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Medical Marijuana

US: Prince of Pot likely to back Trudeau: Marijuana Lobby Ally

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 07:00
Sentinel Review, 07 Aug 2014 - In Politics: Ground shifting rapidly on pot prohibition WASHINGTON - Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau might have an ally in Canada's Prince of Pot - whether he likes it or not. Allen St. Pierre - executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, the oldest pro-legalization group in the U.S. - knows Marc Emery from their time fighting pot laws. He says Emery's likely itching to return to the fray after serving time in U.S. prison for marijuana distribution.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Chief Favours Tickets For Simple Marijuana Possession

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 07:00
Markham Economist & Sun, 07 Aug 2014 - Fines could be similar to those issued for drinking in parks If you are found smoking a joint on a corner in York Region, should you end up with a criminal record? York Regional Police Chief Eric Jolliffe does not think so.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Should Pot Rules Be Softened?

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 07:00
Vaughan Citizen, 07 Aug 2014 - York Police Chief Eric Jolliffe says yes, but he doesn't believe in decriminalization or legalization If you're found smoking a joint on a corner in York Region should you end up with a criminal record?
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US: Prince of Pot likely to back Trudeau: Marijuana Lobby Ally

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 07:00
Packet & Times, 07 Aug 2014 - In Politics: Ground shifting rapidly on pot prohibition WASHINGTON - Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau might have an ally in Canada's Prince of Pot - whether he likes it or not. Allen St. Pierre - executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, the oldest pro-legalization group in the U.S. - knows Marc Emery from their time fighting pot laws. He says Emery's likely itching to return to the fray after serving time in U.S. prison for marijuana distribution.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US: Prince of Pot likely to back Trudeau: Marijuana Lobby Ally

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 07:00
Standard Freeholder, 07 Aug 2014 - In Politics: Ground shifting rapidly on pot prohibition WASHINGTON - Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau might have an ally in Canada's Prince of Pot - whether he likes it or not. "I dare say that putting him in jail for five years did not reform him in the slightest. It only agitated him to the point where I think getting Mr. Trudeau elected as a reformer is going to be the singular thing he focuses on the most," St. Pierre said.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US DC: Pot Legalization On Ballot For DC Voters In November

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 07:00
Washington Times, 07 Aug 2014 - Sale of Marijuana Would Remain Illegal D.C. residents will vote on legalizing the recreational use and possession of marijuana when they head to the polls in November. The D.C. Board of Elections voted unanimously Wednesday to allow the ballot initiative to go before voters.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US DC: City Voters To Decide On Marijuana Use In November

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 07 Aug 2014 - D.C. residents will vote in November on whether to legalize marijuana use in the nation's capital after elections officials decided Wednesday to place the question on the ballot. The three-member D.C. Board of Elections voted unanimously Wednesday morning to approve the ballot initiative, certifying that activists gathered the tens of thousands of voter signatures necessary to qualify for the Nov. 4 general election ballot.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CA: Higher Authority

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 07:00
Sacramento News & Review, 07 Aug 2014 - Will Anyone Agree on How to Regulate California's Medical-Cannabis Industry? Grab your medicated popcorn. August is going to be an action-packed month in California pot politics. A bill to regulate the state's vast $1.8 billion medical-cannabis industry is speeding through Sacramento on a tight, end-of-August deadline.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CA: Costa Mesa Council Rejects Pot Law

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 07 Aug 2014 - Proposal on Marijuana Dispensaries Fails to Gain Enough Votes for the Nov. 4 Ballot. It was called an excellent law, possibly one of the best in California. But such sentiment didn't sway the Costa Mesa City Council enough to put a medical marijuana proposal on the Nov. 4 ballot.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Update

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 22:01

Medical marijuana bills pick up some support in Congress, Maryland and Minnesota issue draft rules, California continues to be a battleground, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]National

Last Thursday, the National Bureau of Economic Research reported that medical marijuana has not led to more teen use. The finding comes in the working paper Medical Marijuana Laws and Teen Marijuana Use. "Our results are not consistent with the hypothesis that the legalization of medical marijuana caused an increase in the use of marijuana among high school students. In fact, estimates from our preferred specification are small, consistently negative, and are never statistically distinguishable from zero," the authors said.

Last Friday, the Legitimate Use of Medicinal Marijuana Act picked up a new cosponsor. House Resolution 4498, the Legitimate Use of Medical Marijuana Act, has picked up a fourth cosponsor, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). The bill, sponsored by Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA), would move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act and block the act from being used against medical marijuana in states where it is legal.

On Monday, the Charlotte's Web Medical Hemp Act picked up cosponsors. The bill, House Resolution 5226, would exclude low-THC therapeutic cannabis oil from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. It was filed with three cosponsors, and picked up seven more through Monday. There are five Democrats and five Republicans now sponsoring it.

California

Last Monday, Mendocino County activists announced the formation of a new marijuana lobby. More than a hundred people met at the Laytonville Grange to form a cannabis coalition to lobby for local interests as marijuana legalization looms on the horizon and a bill to regulate medical marijuana in the state moves closer to passage. Present were some stalwarts of the Mendo scene, including Pebbles Trippet, California Cannabis Voice, and the Emerald Growers Association.

On Tuesday, the Costa Mesa city council rejected an initiative to regulate dispensaries and grows. The last-minute proposal introduced by Councilman Gary Monahan was designed as an alternative to two different citizen initiatives currently in the signature-gathering process. The two groups said they would drop their initiatives if the city placed its own alternative on the ballot. But the city has decided not to.

Also on Tuesday, Santa Clara County supervisors voted to ban dispensaries. In doing so, the board killed a late 1990s ordinance allowing cultivation in a handful of locations. The board did order staff to monitor the situation in San Jose, where there are currently about 70 dispensaries, but most are expected to be forced to close under new city rules. If the number drops below 10, the board may reconsider.

Also on Tuesday, Santa Cruz County supervisors voted to put a dispensary tax before the voters. The board said it would ask voters to approve a 7% tax on dispensary receipts. Both medical marijuana industry representatives and patients objected strongly, saying the rate was too high. There are only a handful of local governments statewide that tax medical marijuana.

Maryland

Last Friday, the Maryland medical marijuana commission issued draft regulations. The Marijuana Policy Project has some problems with them, including calls for an "unnecessary" training course on medical marijuana for all certifying physicians, mandatory drug testing for patients, and a requirement that doctors specify dosage and strain type. These are draft regulations, but the period for comment on the draft ends Tuesday. Interested parties can email the commission to register their comments.

Minnesota

On Monday, the state Health Department issued draft regulations for medical marijuana. The department issued draft rules for applications and oversight for medical marijuana manufacturers. Public comment can be made by going here. The department will also host a public meeting for people interested in the manufacturing process.

New Mexico

On Wednesday, a veteran who is a medical marijuana patient sued her employer for wrongful firing. A veteran and licensed physician's assistant who is enrolled in the state's medical marijuana program is suing Presbyterian Health Care Services after being fired for testing positive for marijuana. When she provided them with her state-issued medical marijuana card, they informed her that they did not recognize it and that her termination would stand. The lawsuit has just been filed in state court for violation of the New Mexico Human Rights Act (NM Statute § 28-1-7).

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

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM -- August 6, 2014

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 19:31

DC will vote on legalizing marijuana possession and cultivation, two more Michigan towns vote to decriminalize, Maine's governor unveils a plan to force people with drug felonies to undergo drug tests before getting welfare benefits, an Austrian marijuana legalization initiative gets underway, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left]Marijuana Policy

DC Marijuana Initiative Makes November Ballot. The DC Board of Elections today officially certified for the November ballot an initiative that will legalize the cultivation and possession of small amounts of marijuana. DC now joins Alaska and Oregon in voting on marijuana legalization. The campaign needed some 23,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the ballot. It had turned in more than twice that number of raw signatures.

Advocates Launch Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana. The Marijuana Policy Project has formed the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana in a bid to influence the legalization debate there. The state legislature has authorized a study of the issue, but the coalition has been formed "to make sure we get the entire state talking about the potential benefits of marijuana regulation." [Editor's Note: The web site in the title link doesn't appear to be live yet, but should be soon.]

Two Detroit Suburbs Vote to Decriminalize Pot Possession. Residents of the Detroit suburbs of Hazel Park and Oak Park voted Tuesday to approve municipal charter amendments decriminalizing the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. Nine other Michigan cities, including Detroit, have done the same since 2010. Another dozen or so will likely vote on similar initiatives this fall.

Medical Marijuana

New Mexico Veteran Sues Employer for Wrongful Firing. A veteran and licensed physician's assistant who is enrolled in the state's medical marijuana program is suing Presbyterian Health Care Services after being fired for testing positive for marijuana. When she provided them with her state-issued medical marijuana card, they informed her that they did not recognize it and that her termination would stand. The lawsuit has just been filed in state court for violation of the New Mexico Human Rights Act (NM Statute § 28-1-7).

Drug Testing

Maine Governor Announces Plan to Drug Test Convicted Drug Felons Who Apply for Welfare. Gov. Paul LePage (R) announced today that the state will start forcing people with drug felonies to undergo and pass drug tests before they can apply for or receive welfare benefits. The move is authorized under a 2011 law that had never been implemented. LePage and legislative allies had tried to pass a bill mandating drug testing for all welfare recipients, but failed. LePage is making welfare his signature issue as he runs for re-election. Both of LePage's opponents in the governor's race, Democrat Mike Michaud and independent Eliot Cutler, also said they support testing for drug felons.

International

Austrian Marijuana Legalization Initiative Campaign Gets Underway. The group Legalize! Austria today filed a parliamentary citizen's initiative to remove marijuana from the scope of the Austrian Narcotics Act, which would effectively legalize it. The measure calls for marijuana to be sold, taxed, and regulated through licensed distributors, with an exception for personal cultivation.

(This article was published by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares 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 NM: State Advised To Go Slow On Pot Rules

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 06 Aug 2014 - Medical Marijuana Changes Considered SANTA FE - The New Mexico Department of Health should take its time before implementing proposed rule changes to the state's medical marijuana program, a state-appointed hearing officer has recommended.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CO: Column: Avenue Hotel Is 'Cannabis-Friendly,' Maggie's

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 07:00
Colorado Springs Independent, 06 Aug 2014 - Bud and breakfast With the opening of Maggie's Farm on the eastern edge of town (see below for more on that) the marijuana menace has officially spread to Manitou Springs. And quietly, it's claimed another victim: The Avenue Hotel Bed & Breakfast (711 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, avenuehotelbandb.com), whose co-owner, Gwenn David, 60, says in an interview that toking travelers are welcome.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM -- August 5, 2014

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 08/05/2014 - 19:30

It's the slow season in Congress and at state houses, but it's the beginning of eradication season in the fields. Plus, the Oregon legalization initiative has raised a million bucks, the drug war racks up two more domestic deaths, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

Oregon Legalization Campaign Has Raised A Million Dollars. The New Approach Oregon marijuana legalization initiative campaign has raised a million dollars so far, according to campaign finance documents. The initiative has qualified for the ballot, and will appear as Measure 91. The largest individual donations are $150,000 from Washington, DC, libertarian activist Philip Harvey and $100,000 from New York fragrance heir Henry van Ameringen. The initiative has also received substantial donations from the Drug Policy Alliance's campaign arm and from the estate of Progressive Insurance founder Peter Lewis.

NORML Founder Says Legalization Should Include Home Cultivation. In an essay-length blog post, NORML founder Keith Stroup made a strong case for allowing people to grow their own under legalization. "At NORML," he writes, "we have always supported the right of individuals to grow their own marijuana, as a logical option compared to purchasing it from licensed dispensaries. On one hand, growing your own just makes common sense. We can brew up to 100 gallons of home-brew beer in our basements under current law, even if very few Americans actually make their own beer. The same should be true for cultivating our own marijuana." Stroup stopped short of criticizing initiative organizers who don't include home growing, however, saying, "If it appears we can win these initiatives with a clause permitting personal cultivation, we should obviously include the provision; but if it appears the initiative might well fail if personal cultivation is included, we should pass the initiative now, and be prepared to come back and add personal cultivation when we have the political support to accomplish that."

California GOP Attorney General Candidate Says Legalize It. A leading candidate for the Republican gubernatorial nomination has called for marijuana legalization. "My position is it needs to be legalized," candidate Ron Gold told KCRA 3 in a one-on-one interview Monday. Incumbent attorney general, Democrat Kamala Harris didn't take the bait, but instead responded that it should be up to the people. "She believes that this is an evolving issue that requires that we monitor what is happening in Colorado and other states, and that ultimately, this should be up to a vote of the people," a Harris spokesman said.

Albuquerque City Council to Consider Decriminalization. The city council heard debate on a decriminalization measure Monday night and will vote on it on August 18. The measure would make possession of small amounts punishable by no more than a $25 fine. A decriminalization initiative is now in the signature-counting process, as well.

Medical Marijuana

Minnesota Issues Draft Rules for Medical Marijuana. The state Health Department has issued draft rules for applications and oversight for medical marijuana manufacturers. Public comment can be made by going here. The department will also host a public meeting for people interested in the manufacturing process.

Law Enforcement

The Year's 28th and 29th Drug War Deaths. A North Carolina man fleeing a DEA-instigated traffic stop in a drug investigation struck another vehicle head-on on a rain-slick highway last Friday night, killing both drivers. Fleeing driver Angel Santana, 52, and innocent motorist Tamar White, 55, become the 28th and 29th persons to die in US domestic drug law operations so far this year.

International

Colombian Army Eradicates Coca Plants. Colombian soldiers destroyed some 14,000 coca plants in Choco department over the weekend. They have also eradicated 45 acres of coca and confiscated 350 pounds of coca seeds and 225 pounds of coca leaves. Colombia says the drug trade in the region benefits leftist guerrillas of the FARC and the National Liberation Army.

Turkey Marijuana Eradication Operation Gets Underway. Turkish police have seized more than 200,000 marijuana plants and more than a thousand pounds of processed hash in operations in Diyarbakir province in southeastern Turkey. Turkey accuses the Kurdish rebel group PKK of dominating the drug trade in the region. Last year, the Turks destroyed more than 49 million plants in the region and confiscated 76 tons of hash.

Kashmir Marijuana Eradication Operation Gets Underway. Kashmir authorities have launched a marijuana eradication operation in Anantag district in South Kashmir. Authorities estimate that over 125 acres of marijuana is being cultivated in the valley and claim to have destroyed about 10% of it so far.

(This article was published by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares 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 MI: Pain Management, Medical Marijuana Clinic to Open in

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 08/05/2014 - 07:00
Traverse City Record-Eagle, 05 Aug 2014 - TRAVERSE CITY Daniel Reid's life changed more than a decade after he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a neurological disease that can lead to vision problems, pain and paralysis. An MS researcher told Reid about using Cannabidiol, a compound in marijuana, to treat the disease.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US NY: Editorial: Rules For The Marijuana Market

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 08/05/2014 - 07:00
New York Times, 05 Aug 2014 - As voters and lawmakers in more states decide to legalize marijuana, policy makers will have to answer a fresh and difficult question: How should governments regulate the production and sale of the drug? Beyond keeping marijuana out of the hands of minors, a good regulatory system has to limit the increase in drug abuse that is likely to accompany lower prices and greater availability after legalization. It should protect consumers from both dangerous and counterfeit products, reducing the physical risk from a psychoactive substance. And a well-regulated system should undermine and eventually eliminate the black market for marijuana, which has done great damage to society.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM -- August 4, 2014

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 08/04/2014 - 20:19

Sentencing reform bills look to be picking up steam in Congress, Massachusetts is expanding drug courts, Tennessee's welfare drug test law generates unimpressive results, drug reform conferences are coming in Latin America, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Toledo, Ohio, Decriminalization Initiative Campaign Hands in Signatures. Backers of a Toledo municipal decriminalization initiative handed in some 13,000 signatures Monday. They need 6,000 valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot. The campaign is being led by Northwest Ohio NORML.

Medical Marijuana

Federal Charlotte's Web Medical Hemp Act Picks Up Cosponsors. The bill, House Resolution 5226, would exclude low-THC therapeutic cannabis oil from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. It was filed with three cosponsors, and picked up seven more late last week. There are five Democrats and five Republicans now sponsoring it.

Sentencing

Senate Smarter Sentencing Act Picks Up New Cosponsor. The bill, Senate Bill 1410, would allow federal judges to sentence below mandatory minimums in some cases, apply adjusted crack cocaine sentences to people after the passage of the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act, as well as other sentencing reform provisions. The latest cosponsor is Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). The bill now has 31 cosponsors -- 23 Democrats, two independents, and six Republicans.

House Smarter Sentencing Act Picks Up New Cosponsor. The bill, House Resolution 3382, is identical to the Senate version above. The latest cosponsor is Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN). The bill now has 49 cosponsors -- 35 Democrats and 14 Republicans.

House Second Chance Reauthorization Act Picks Up New Cosponsor. The bill, House Resolution 3465, introduced by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), amends the Second Chance Act of 2007 to allow for funding for grants for family-based drug treatment and for drug treatment and criminal justice collaboration for people leaving prison. The latest cosponsor is Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX). The bill now has 40 cosponsors -- 33 Democrats and seven Republicans.

Drug Testing

Tennessee Welfare Drug Testing Law Screens 800 Applicants; One Fails Drug Test. In the first month that the new welfare drug screening and testing law went into effect, 812 applicants were asked to submit to screening for evidence of possible drug use. Four refused the initial screening, a series of questions about drug use. After initial screening, only six people were asked to submit to drug tests in order to receive benefits. Five out of the six passed. One failed the drug test.

Asset Forfeiture

Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act Picks Up Cosponsor. The bill, House Resolution 5212, was introduced late last week by. Rep. Tim Wahlberg (R-MI). It would raise the standard of proof necessary for the government to seize property and reinstate due process so the government is required to prove a property owner's involvement in criminal activity. It now has a cosponsor, Rep. Renee Elmers (R-NC).

Law Enforcement

Massachusetts to Expand Drug Courts. Faced with an increase in heroin overdoses and opiate addiction, the state will add five drug courts to the 21 it currently has. Drug reformers criticize drug courts as not the answer for dealing with people whose only "crime" is their drug habit.

International

Mexican State Moves to Limit Coverage of Violent Crime. The state of Sinaloa, home to -- you guessed it -- the Sinaloa Cartel, has barred reporters from covering the violence there. The state congress last Thursday approved a law that restricts journalists to official government press releases for crime information and bans them from inspecting the scene, taking any photos or videos, or recording audio on-site.

Uruguay Solicits Bids for Marijuana Growers. Would-be marijuana growers in Uruguay have until August 18 to submit bids for licenses to grow pot at government-run fields and then sell it to consumers. The government there will license up to five growers.

Colombia Drug Reform Conference Later This Month. A drug reform conference will be held in Bogota on August 14 and 15. The conference is "Drug Policy 25 Years After the Death of Luis Carlos Galan: How Much Have We Advanced?" The Drug Policy Alliance's Ethan Nadelmann and Dr. Carl Hart will be there, as will numerous Colombian and other Latin American presenters and participants. Click the title link for more details.

Fifth Annual Latin American Drug Reform Conference in Costa Rica Next Month. The hemispheric conference will be held in San Jose on September 3 and 4. The conference will also include the First Annual Central American Drug Reform Conference. Click on the title link for lots more information.

Denmark's Liberal Alliance Calls for Drug Decriminalization. The opposition Liberal Alliance called at its summer meeting Sunday for the decriminalization of the possession of all drugs, increasing the use of medical marijuana in the national health sector, and continuing the safe injection site initiative. "We know that it doesn't help to punish people for being in possession of drugs," said party leader Anders Samuelson. "We are not talking about a total liberalization of drug dealing. It should still be illegal to sell drugs, but not to be in possession of them." The proposal is not winning support from other political parties.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MA: OPED: Marijuana Taxes Open For Debate

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 08/04/2014 - 07:00
Metrowest Daily News, 04 Aug 2014 - While opposing a local sales tax on medical marijuana the editorial, "A sales tax on marijuana," proposes holding off on the discussion of "special taxes on marijuana until it's being sold for recreational, not medical, purposes." That discussion needs to be happening now. A year from now the 2016 initiative petition process begins, with the filing of proposed laws to the attorney general for vetting and summary drafting. Already there are two ballot question committees preparing for a 2016 question on marijuana law reform, Bay State Repeal and the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Massachusetts. Bay State Repeal prefers a law that simply regulates adult cultivation and commerce like produce, which means no excise tax. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, according to its name and Statement of Organization, prefers to "tax and regulate the use and sale of marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol for persons 21 years of age or older." Both will require that adults prevent access to growing plants and marijuana products by minors, punish distribution among and to minors, and retain the civil offense for those under age possessing an ounce or less of marijuana, while making no changes to existing driving-while impaired laws and "drug-free" school policies. Bay State Repeal is concerned that "tax and regulate like alcohol" laws enacted in Washington and Colorado and proposed this year for Alaska, Nevada, and Oregon are not at all like the regulations imposed on alcohol in those states. They impose excessive taxes, compared with Massachusetts' alcohol tax, which amounts to 10.3Ac on a 12-ounce bottle of beer. The licensing fees too are excessive, compared with the $22 per year Massachusetts farmers pay for a license to produce up to 5,000 gallons of beer and wine. Likewise, limits on home growing are not similar to those on home brewing, which in Massachusetts are generous enough that those engaging in the hobby do not fear police will break in to count bottles. Massachusetts' moderate taxes, fees, and regulations are the reason the state is not awash in stills and speakeasies. By contrast, our immoderate taxation of tobacco sustains a market for bootleg cigarettes that by one recent estimate supplies 40 percent of the cigarettes sold in Boston. What "tax and regulate similar to alcohol" has meant so far in practice shuts out all but deep-pocketed players from the legal market, making it likely, as noted in the editorial, "that black-market pot may continue to outsell the legal, regulated variety." But marijuana does not need to be "regulated like alcohol" in the first place. Like produce grown for human consumption, marijuana would be subject to existing rules and regulations that control which fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides may be used, ensure accurate weight and measure, and stipulate where farm-stands and grocery stores may be located and when open for business. Marijuana can and should be grown outside, using sunlight instead of electric light. The only additional regulations needed are to keep minors away from growing plants in the field and to check IDs at the store. In an effort to get Massachusetts voters thinking beyond the "regulate like alcohol" model, Bay State Repeal will test support for the produce model with Public Policy Questions on the ballot this November in the 4th, 7th and 8th Essex, 2nd Hampshire, and 3rd and 6th Middlesex representative districts. Treating marijuana as produce, without unnecessary burdens of taxation and regulation, gives the best assurance of driving out the black market that furnishes minors while allowing adults who use marijuana to be secure in their homes. - --- MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MI: Ferndale Oks Medical Marijuana Facility

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 08/04/2014 - 07:00
Detroit Free Press, 04 Aug 2014 - The Ferndale City Council has given its unanimous approval to a medical marijuana center similar to one that county authorities raided with a SWAT team and padlocked in 2010. But city officials said the Meridian Wellness Center, which is to occupy a former liquor store on East 9 Mile near I-75, will operate within state law as it provides medical marijuana to state-approved patients.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US IA: Editorial: Another Look At Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
Quad-City Times, 03 Aug 2014 - Throw away almost every preconceived notion about marijuana. In the past month... * Rock Island aldermen unanimously welcomed a $135,000 investment from a Chicago-based firm eager to win our region's medical marijuana growing rights.
Categories: Medical Marijuana
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