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Medical Marijuana

US: Congress Hears a New Cannabis Pitch: It's Just Good

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 03/14/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 14 Mar 2014 - The delegation from the National Cannabis Industry Association made a point of dressing well for its day on Capitol Hill, sporting mostly dark suits, lots of ties and plenty of the group's signature lapel pins, which feature a sun rising over vibrant fields of marijuana. Marijuana advocates have come to lobby Washington before, often to argue for more lenient treatment under federal law. But on Thursday, buoyed by a flurry of state decisions that have expanded the legal use of marijuana, the cannabis crowd came less as social activists than as entrepreneurs, asking Congress to remove some of the obstacles that stand in the way of their fledgling businesses.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MD: Marijuana Hearings Reflect A Shift In Public Opinion

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 03/14/2014 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 14 Mar 2014 - An NAACP leader, a former Maryland State Police major, a candidate for governor and a mother seeking to help her son with epilepsy converged Thursday on Annapolis to support more liberal marijuana laws. A number of bills, backed by lawmakers from a range of philosophical backgrounds, are moving through the General Assembly this year as a broader swath of the electorate has embraced legalizing or decriminalizing the drug.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US: Holder Backs Proposal To Reduce Drug Sentences

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 03/14/2014 - 07:00
New York Times, 14 Mar 2014 - Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is endorsing a proposal that would reduce prison sentences for people convicted of dealing drugs, the latest sign of the Obama administration's retrenchment in the so-called war on drugs. In January, the United States Sentencing Commission proposed changing federal guidelines to lessen the average sentence for drug dealers by about one year, to 51 months from 62 months. Mr. Holder testified before the commission on Thursday in support of the plan.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CO: A Pot Headache For Colorado Police

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 03/14/2014 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 14 Mar 2014 - Driving While Stoned? With Legalization, Officers Must Learn to Identify Those WHO Are High GOLDEN, Colo. - The instructions seemed simple enough: nine steps forward, heel to toe, a quick turnaround, then nine steps back. But for the guy swaying a bit as he walked, his face slack, his eyes half closed, it was all too much.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US TX: Column: Don't Fear The Reefer!

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 03/14/2014 - 07:00
Austin Chronicle, 14 Mar 2014 - Momentum Builds for Lone Star Legalization of Marijuana For more than a decade, Austin Democratic state Rep. Elliott Naishtat has brought to his Capitol colleagues a modest proposal: Create an affirmative defense to prosecution on pot possession charges for seriously ill Texans.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM -- March 13, 2014

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 03/13/2014 - 22:56

Attorney General Holder endorses federal drug sentencing reductions, CBD medical marijuana bills move in the South, a New Hampshire decriminalization bill advances, Zohydro may get some competition, and the UN is generating plenty of news, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Marylanders Rally for Legalization. Nearly 100 supporters of sweeping changes in Maryland's marijuana laws rallied in Annapolis Thursday before planned legislative hearings on bills to legalize -- or at least decriminalize -- possession of the drug. The House Judiciary Committee is hearing a series of marijuana reform bills this afternoon, including a legalization bill (House Bill 880) from Rep. Curt Anderson (D-Baltimore).

Maryland Poll Has Slim Majority for Legalization. As the legislature considers marijuana reform bills, a new Goucher Poll has support for legalization at 50.1%, with 39.4% opposed. The poll also had a whopping 89.6% in favor of medical marijuana.

New Hampshire Decriminalization Bill Passes House. The House approved a decriminalization bill by a veto-proof margin Wednesday. House Bill 1625, sponsored by Rep. Adam Schroadter (R-Newmarket) and a bipartisan group of seven cosponsors including Sen. Jeff Woodburn (D-Dalton), would make possession of up to one ounce of marijuana punishable by a civil fine of up to $100. It would also make cultivation of up to six plants a Class A misdemeanor instead of a felony. Currently, possession of any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000. Now, it's on to the state Senate.

Medical Marijuana

Kentucky Senate Approves CBD Medical Marijuana Bill. The Senate passed a bill allowing doctors to prescribe and patients to use CBD cannabis oil for medical reasons Wednesday. The bill passed with no opposition. Senate Bill 124 now goes to the House.

Georgia Senate Committee Approves CBD Medical Marijuana Bill. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee unanimously approved House Bill 885, which would allow patients to use CBD-based cannabis oils. It also amended the bill to allow parents to bring the oil into the state without facing penalties. The bill has already passed the House and now awaits a Senate floor vote.

South Carolina Senate Panel Approves CBD Medical Marijuana Bill. A subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Medical Affairs approved a bill allowing people suffering from epilepsy to use CBD cannabis oil Wednesday. Senate Bill 1035 still needs to pass the full committee. Similar legislation is moving in the House.

Hemp

Tennessee Hemp Bill Wins House Committee Vote. A bill that would allow the cultivation of hemp for research purposes passed the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee Wednesday. House Bill 2445 now heads for the House Finance Ways and Means Committee.

Drug Testing

Mississippi Food Stamp Drug Testing Bill Heads to Governor. A bill that would require applicants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to undergo drug testing if there is a suspicion they are using drugs passed the Senate Wednesday and now goes to the desk of Gov. Phil Bryant (R), who has made it a keystone of his legislative agenda. House Bill 49 passed the Senate after debate in which supporters couched the program as an additional benefit that could help somebody struggling with addiction, while opponents said it was unfairly singling out the poor.

ASAM White Paper Calls for Vastly Expanded Drug Testing. The American Society for Addiction Medicine (ASAM) has published a white paper by former NIDA director and present day drug testing consultant Robert Dupont calling drug testing "underutilized" and arguing it should be expanded to be include people of all ages in virtually all aspects of daily life. The totalitarian vision is ably critiqued by NORML drug testing expert Paul Armentano (click the title link), as well as by progressive talk radio host Thom Hartman, who countered Dupont with an op-ed entitled "It's Time to End All Drug Testing." Both Armentano's and Hartman's critiques are worth the read.

Prescription Opioids

Oxycontin Maker Offers Alternative to Zohydro. Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of Oxycontin, says it has completed testing of an abuse-resistant version of the painkiller hydrocodone, a surprise development that could derail sales of the recently launched Zohydro, a similar medication that has been criticized for lacking such safeguards. Purdue Pharma says it plans to submit its extended-release hydrocodone drug to the Food and Drug Administration later this year. Shares of rival Zogenix Inc. plunged more than 20% after the announcement, which appears to jeopardize sales of the company's just-launched drug Zohydro. Zogenix began shipping Zohydro to pharmacies last week.

Sentencing

Attorney General Holder Endorses Proposal to Cut Federal Sentences. US Attorney General Eric Holder today endorsed a proposal from the US Sentencing Commission to reduce the sentences of people convicted of federal drug trafficking offenses by about a year, from an average of 62 to months to an average of 51 months. "This overreliance on incarceration is not just financially unsustainable," Holder said. "It comes with human and moral costs that are impossible to calculate."

International

Listen to the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs Sessions. You can do it by clicking on the UNODC's webcast page at the link above. Also, Oregon activist Doug McVay has uploaded audio of the second part of today's plenary session here. There will be more updates on McVay's weekly Drug War Facts podcast.

UNODC Panel Says Criminalizing Drug Use "Not Beneficial". Today, a key working group of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) announced the release of groundbreaking recommendations discouraging criminal sanctions for drug use. The Scientific Consultation Working Group on Drug Policy, Health and Human Rights of the UNODC -- which includes Nora Volkow, head of the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) -- is releasing the recommendations at the High-Level Segment of the 57th UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs. The working group recommendations say "criminal sanctions are not beneficial" in addressing the spectrum of drug use and misuse.

UNODC Sees "Serious Setbacks" in Fight Against Drugs. Addressing the opening session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNOC) head Yury Fedotov said the global fight against drugs had suffered "serious setbacks," including record opium crops in Afghanistan, violence linked to drug trafficking in Central America, and weak West African states succumbing to the blandishments of traffickers. While he said legalization was no solution, he did add that: "A public health response to the drug use problem should consider alternatives to penalization and incarceration of people with use disorders."

Caricom Creates Commission to Study Marijuana Legalization. The leaders of the Caricom Caribbean trade bloc announced today that they are creating a commission to study the impact of legalizing marijuana. The move came at the end of a two-day summit where members discussed a preliminary report on decriminalization. The commission is charged with presenting its report in early July for a Caricom summit in Antigua.

Iran Executed More Than 300 People for Drugs Last Year, Report Says. A report from the nonprofit group International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran released Wednesday says Iran executed 331 people on drug-related charges last year. The drug executions accounted for almost half of all executions in the Islamic Republic, the report found. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime sponsors anti-drug programs in Iran, and is under increasing pressure from European donor countries to put in place measures to stop its support from contributing to the death penalty.

Dire Prospects for Afghanistan Drug War, Analysis Finds. A new analysis from Alex Pollard-Lipkis of Foreign Policy in Focus finds that "if costly drug war strategies in Afghanistan have been unsuccessful even with a strong US military presence, they won't stand a chance after the US withdraws." The analysis critiques contemporary US approaches and peeks into the post-US future. Click on the title link to read the whole thing.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN AB: Residents Share Views on Licensed Medical Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 03/13/2014 - 07:00
Cochrane Eagle, 13 Mar 2014 - Rocky View County residents shared their feelings on a proposed land use amendment that would permit Licensed Medical Marijuana Facilities. Rocky View County (RVC) is proposing a change to its Land Use Bylaw (LUB) to only allow federally-regulated Licensed Medical Marijuana Facilities to be located in areas of the county that are zoned for commercial use.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN BC: Businessman Debunks Myths About Medical Pot

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 03/13/2014 - 07:00
Kelowna Capital News, 13 Mar 2014 - The District of West Kelowna is progressing with its plans to have medical marijuana production limited to industrial lands. Council gave third reading to the zoning amendment bylaw in a six to one vote Tuesday. If the bylaw is passed, commercial medical marijuana operations would be prohibited on agricultural land and in multi-unit buildings, unless all tenants are growers.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CA: Record High 1,140 Weed Shops Still Operate In L.A.

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 03/13/2014 - 07:00
LA Weekly, 13 Mar 2014 - Last year Los Angeles voters essentially outlawed all marijuana dispensaries in town. Prop. D, which passed 62 percent in favor to 37 percent opposed, grants limited immunity to the 135 or fewer legit weed stores still standing following a 2007 City Council moratorium on pot sellers. As we've said, that leaves about 90 percent or so of our town's pot shops eligible to be closed down. And the L.A. City Attorney's office and LAPD say they've been making headway.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US FL: Republicans Weigh New Medical Pot Plan

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 03/13/2014 - 07:00
The Palm Beach Post, 13 Mar 2014 - TALLAHASSEE - Florida's ruling Republicans are uniting behind legislation that would allow the use of certain, weaker strains of marijuana by epilepsy patients, an action they say is sparked by heart-moving stories but which others suspect is driven more by election-year politics. Republican support for the so-called "Charlotte's Web" legislation has emerged in the weeks following the Florida Supreme Court's approval of a November ballot proposal that would legalize a more sweeping use of marijuana for medical purposes in the state.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MN: Editorial: Dayton, Not Law Enforcement, Should Wield

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 03/13/2014 - 07:00
Post-Bulletin, 13 Mar 2014 - Most political observers agreed that legalizing marijuana for medical purposes faced a tough fight in this year's legislative session, especially after Gov. Mark Dayton said he wouldn't sign the bill without the support of the law enforcement community. But the landscape of the issue changed briefly last week when the Minnesota Law Enforcement Coalition said it was open to discussing medical marijuana becoming legal in extract form. The coalition, which represents the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, the Minnesota Sheriffs Association, the Minnesota Chief of Police Association and the Minnesota County Attorneys Association, announced a list of acceptable conditions for medical use of marijuana.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN NS: Marijuana Facility Planned For Stellarton

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 03/13/2014 - 07:00
The Digby Courier, 13 Mar 2014 - An old factory in Stellarton has turned a new leaf. Vida Cannabis (Canada) has signed a purchase and sale agreement to produce medicinal and recreational marijuana in the Clairtone building, originally a television factory in the 1960s and only occasionally used since, by Sears for example as a warehouse.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US: The Entrapment Of Jesse Snodgrass

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 03/13/2014 - 07:00
Rolling Stone, 13 Mar 2014 - He was a friendless high school loner struggling with autism. So why did an undercover cop target him as a drug dealer? Jesse Snodgrass plodded around yet another stucco corner, searching for Room 254 in time for the second-period bell, only to find he was lost yet again.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Update

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 03/13/2014 - 00:14

Marijuana and epilepsy are in the news, Sanjay Gupta strikes again, and state houses across the country are grappling with medical marijuana and CBD bills. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]National

Last week, GW Pharmaceuticals announced that the FDA had granted orphan drug designation to a cannabis-based drug developed to treat childhood-onset epilepsy, The drug, called Epidiolex, contains a highly purified, plant-derived form of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana that doesn't produce the "high" sensation associated with THC, the plant's main psychoactive ingredient. CBD has long been used as a treatment for Dravet syndrome, a rare and severe form of epilepsy in children, and GW Pharmaceuticals sees Epidiolex as useful in treating both Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), another rare form of childhood epilepsy.

On Tuesday, CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta aired a new special on medical marijuana. The special, Weed 2: Cannabis Madness: Dr. Sanjay Gupta Reports was preceded by an op-ed in which Gupta "doubled down" on his support for medical marijuana.

On Wednesday, the AHP released a scientific review on epilepsy. The American Herbal Pharmacopoeia released Cannabis in the Treatment of Epilepsy, which compiles much of the leading and historical research on epilepsy and cannabis (medical marijuana) for use by scientists, physicians, patients, and parents, as well as those producing and manufacturing it for treatment.

Alabama

On Tuesday, a revised CBD Medical Marijuana bill passed the state Senate. The bill, Senate Bill 174 was revised by its sponsors so that the University of Alabama-Birmingham could conduct a research study. It now moves to the House.

California

On Monday, the LA city attorney said 100 dispensaries had been shuttered since the city started enforcing new rules restricting them. City Attorney Mike Feuer said that besides enforcing the rules, the city had also successfully fended off legal challenges. The city attorney said he couldn't say how many marijuana dispensaries are now open in Los Angeles, since there is no permitting process for the shops. Before the measure passed last spring, police estimated roughly 700 dispensaries were operating, though others pegged the number far higher.

On Tuesday, a bill to further restrict dispensary locations died in committee. The measure, Assembly Bill 1588, would have widened "dispensary free" zone around schools from 600 feet to 1,000 feet, but was been blocked in the Assembly Public Safety Committee, Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway (R-Tulare) said Tuesday. Conway is the author of the bill in question.

Also on Tuesday, the DEA and LAPD raided and closed four dispensaries. They hit the Black Rose dispensary in Fairfax, Downtown Medical Caregivers off Main Street, Washington and Western Medical Group in Harvard Heights, Herbman in Exposition Park and two homes in Beverly Hills. The same person owns all the dispensaries, the DEA said.

Also on Tuesday, Los Angeles reported it had collected $1.6 million in taxes from dispensaries for 2013.

Also on Tuesday, the San Diego city council gave final approval to medical marijuana regulations. Under the ordinances, dispensary operators must get conditional-use permit from the city -- which will be good for five years -- and an annual public safety permit from the San Diego Police Department. Collectives may not be within 1,000 feet of public parks, churches, child care centers, playgrounds, residential care facilities, schools and other dispensaries, and not be within 100 feet of residential zones. Dispensaries also are barred from having on-site medical professionals -- a law intended to prevent such businesses from becoming "one-stop shops." This should mark an end to a three-year battle that began after the council passed more restrictive regulations in 2011.

On Wednesday, San Bernardino SWAT teams raided two dispensaries. Little more is known at this point.

Michigan

Last Friday, state regulators recommended added PTSD as a qualifying condition. The Michigan Medical Marihuana Review Panel appointed by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has decided to recommend that the department add PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. It is now up to Steve Arwood, Director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, to accept or reject the recommendation.

On Tuesday, a pair of medical marijuana bills got a hearing. Two bills that would legalize the manufacture and sale of medical marijuana-infused products such as brownies and oils and permit communities to allow and regulate marijuana dispensaries in their towns got a hearing in the Senate Government Operations Committee hearing Tuesday, but no vote. Committee chair and Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville (R-Monroe) is not expected to schedule another hearing for at least a couple of weeks. The bills are House Bill 5104 and House Bill 4271.

Also on Tuesday, the Howell city council approved a dispensary moratorium. Council members said they were waiting for clarity from the state legislature.

New Hampshire

On Friday, the House passed a medical marijuana home cultivation bill. The measure, House Bill 1622, would allow patients and/or caregivers to grow up to two plants until dispensaries open near their residences. The bill now goes to the state Senate.

New Jersey

Last Friday, the health department said it would not consider expanding its qualifying disease list until 2015. The state's medical marijuana law, signed four years ago, required the health department to consider adding new diseases requested by the public after it submitted two annual reports, beginning in 2011, charting the program's progress. But it is too soon to add more illnesses and place greater demands on the program, Health Department Commissioner Mary O'Dowd's spokeswoman Donna Leusner said.

New York

On Monday, Assembly Democrats rolled a medical marijuana bill into this week's budget proposal. The move is designed to get some traction for medical marijuana, which has been stymied for years in the state Senate.

Oregon

Last Thursday, the Medford city council voted for a moratorium on dispensaries. But it will take another vote, on a second reading of the bill, to enact it formally. The city argues that despite state action, marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Last fall, it revoked the business license of Mary Jane's Attic and Mary Jane's Basement, located in a shopping center.

Last Friday, the Senate gave final approval to the statewide dispensary regulation bill. The final version of the bill gives local governments the ability to ban dispensaries, but only for one year. The bill now goes to Gov. John Kitzhaber (D), who has not said whether he will sign it.

On Tuesday, state officials said 281 dispensaries began the process of registering with the state. A new law, passed in 2013, directed the Oregon Health Authority to create a registry of medical marijuana facilities. Those facilities must follow security and testing rules and they have to carefully track the marijuana coming in and out of their stores. The state, meanwhile, has two regulators who will inspect the establishments annually.

South Carolina

Last Thursday, a CBD medical marijuana bill won a House committee vote. The bill calls for clinical trials of a CBD-based drug and would also allow doctors to prescribe CBD oil pharmaceuticals, although it's unclear whether all doctors would be able to do so.

Utah

On Tuesday, the state Senate passed a CBD medical marijuana bill. The bill would allow compassionate use of non-intoxicating cannabis oil by Utahns with untreatable epilepsy. It passed the Senate by a wide margin, despite reservations some senators have about the oil's safety and long term benefits. House Bill 105 now goes back to the House, which had already passed it, but now must sign off on changes in the Senate version.

Vermont

On Wednesday, the state Senate passed a medical marijuana expansion bill. The bill lifts the 1,000-patient cap on the state's dispensaries and authorizes two more dispensaries. Senate Bill 247 now heads to the House.

Washington

On Saturday, the state Senate approved a bill regulating dispensaries as part of an effort to roll the medical marijuana system into the state's new legal marijuana system. The current unregulated dispensaries would have to close or obtain a state license by September 2015. The bill also allows patients to grow their own, but reduced the amount they can grow and possess. Senate Bill 5887 now goes to the House. The legislative session ends this week.

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

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM -- March 12, 2014

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 03/12/2014 - 21:25

Medical marijuana is keeping state legislators busy, Maine's governor has a 20th Century approach to drug problems, New Mexico's governor cuts funds to a diversion program, Indonesia shifts its stance on drug users, and more. Let's get to it:

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

DEA, LAPD Raid Dispensaries. DEA agents assisted by LAPD officers raided and closed several Los Angeles dispensaries Tuesday. They hit the Black Rose dispensary in Fairfax, Downtown Medical Caregivers off Main Street, Washington and Western Medical Group in Harvard Heights, Herbman in Exposition Park and two homes in Beverly Hills. The same person allegedly owns all four dispensaries.

Vermont Senate Passes Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill. A bill that lifts the 1,000-patient cap on the state's dispensaries and authorizes two more dispensaries passed the Senate with little debate Tuesday. Senate Bill 247 now heads to the House.

Revised Alabama CBD Medical Marijuana Bill Passes Senate. A CBD medical marijuana bill revised by its sponsors so that the University of Alabama-Birmingham would conduct a research study passed the Senate on a unanimous vote Tuesday night. Senate Bill 174 now moves to the House.

Utah CBD Medical Marijuana Bill Passes Senate. A bill that would allow compassionate use of non-intoxicating cannabis oil by Utahns with untreatable epilepsy passed the Senate Tuesday by a wide margin, despite reservations some senators have about the oil's safety and long term benefits. House Bill 105 now goes back to the House, which had already passed it, but now must sign off on changes in the Senate version.

Michigan Medical Marijuana Bills Get Hearing. Two bills that would legalize the manufacture and sale of medical marijuana-infused products such as brownies and oils and permit communities to allow and regulate marijuana dispensaries got a hearing in the Senate Government Operations Committee hearing Tuesday, but no vote. Committee chair and Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville (R-Monroe) is not expected to schedule another hearing for at least a couple of weeks. The bills are House Bill 5104 and House Bill 4271.

California Bill to Tighten Location Restrictions on Dispensaries Killed in Committee. A bill that would have widened "dispensary free" zone around schools from 600 feet to 1,000 feet has been blocked in the Assembly Public Safety Committee, Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway (R-Tulare) said Tuesday. Conway is the author of the bill in question, Assembly Bill 1588.

American Herbal Pharmacopoeia Releases Study on Marijuana and Epilepsy. The medical research group American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP) issued a new scientific review Tuesday, Cannabis in the Treatment of Epilepsy, which compiles much of the leading and historical research on epilepsy and cannabis (medical marijuana) for use by scientists, physicians, patients, and parents, as well as those producing and manufacturing it for treatment. Patient advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) will host a Google Hangout today, March 12th at 8:00pm EDT, featuring AHP director Roy Upton, ASA scientific advisory board member Dr. Sunil Aggarwal and others.

Law Enforcement

Maine Governor Wants More Drug War. Confronted by increasing levels of opiate drug use, Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) responded Tuesday by proposing to beef up drug war spending. The conservative governor wants to add 22 new state positions including 14 new Maine Drug Enforcement agents, four new prosecutors for the Office of the Maine Attorney General as well as four new district court judges to bolster the state's four drug courts in Lewiston, Presque Isle, Bangor and Portland. He also criticized methadone, saying the drug should be provided in a clinical setting only. He said he intended to focus equally on the addiction side of the drug equation but did not offer any details.

New Mexico Governor Vetoes Funding for Drug Diversion Pilot Program. Gov. Susana Martinez (R) vetoed spending $140,000 for a Santa Fe program to divert some drug offenders to treatment Tuesday. The city's pre-booking diversion program, otherwise known as Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD), will begin late this month. If successful, this model could become a model for other New Mexico communities, saving both the criminal justice and health systems tens of millions of dollars each year.

Salvia Divinorum

Rhode Island Bill to Ban Salvia, Jimson Weed Has Hearing Today. A bill that would ban the use of salvia divinorum and Jimson weed was scheduled for committee action today. House Bill 7191, sponsored by Rep. Arthur Corvese (D-North Providence), gets a vote before the House Judiciary Committee. It's not clear what prompted the bill.

New Synthetic Drugs

Minnesota Synthetic Drug Ban Bill Wins House Committee Vote. A bill that would give the state pharmacy board the authority to use its emergency powers to classify new synthetic drugs as banned substances is advancing in the House. House File 2446, introduced by Rep. Erik Simonson (D-Duluth) passed the House Health and Human Services Policy Committee Tuesday with few questions and a unanimous vote.

International

LEAHN Releases Frankfurt Principles on Drug Law Enforcement. The Law Enforcement and HIV Network (LEAHN) has released the Frankfurt Principles on Drug Law Enforcement, developed at the International Conference on Drug Policy and Policing last November in Frankfurt. The principles are designed to make law enforcement an effective partner in a harm reduction approach to drug use and related illness.

TDPF Releases Report on Dutch Coffee Shop Policy. Prompted by "misreports and misunderstandings that have led many to believe the Netherlands is retreating from its pragmatic policy of allowing cannabis to be sold via 'coffee shop,'" the British Transform Drug Policy Foundation has released a new report to set things straight. The report is Cannabis policy in the Netherlands: Moving forward, not backwards.

Ghana Anti-Drug Head Calls for Marijuana Legalization Debate. The executive secretary of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), Akrasi Sarpong, has called for a national debate on legalization of marijuana in the country. "Ordinary people can say don't legalize it but that will be vocalizing the ostrich hiding its head in the sand, because there is a virtual legalization on the ground," Sarpong said. Many people believe "what you are fighting is not crime," he added. "Reports say cannabis is the number one problem in Africa so what are we therefore saying. People laugh at these things, because, they are growing them in their homes," he said.

Peru Ponders Restarting Drug Plane Shootdown Program.Peru suspended its law allowing its Air Force to shoot down suspected drug planes in April 2001, when the Peruvian Air Force, accompanied by a CIA support plane, mistakenly shot down an aircraft carrying American missionaries, killing Veronica Bowers and her infant daughter. Now, Congressman Carlos Turbino, a retired general, has filed a bill to reinstate the program. It is currently before the congressional defense committee, even though it is opposed as unnecessary by the government of President Ollanta Humala.

New Indonesian Drug Law Emphasizes Rehabilitation Instead of Punishment of Drug Users. Indonesian ministers this week signed a memorandum of understanding that they say will declare drug users "victims" instead of criminals, to be treated at rehabilitation centers instead of sentencing to prison. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has gone on the record supporting a softer touch for addicts, but early efforts to push for more rehabilitation centers have met with resistance from judges who are loathe to appear weak on drugs and lawmakers who often use the early release of traffickers as opportunities to grandstand against the president. Drug user make up 42% of all Indonesian prisoners.

Marijuana Reform Rally Set for Glasgow Next Month. A mass marijuana rally called by the Glasgow Cannabis Social Club is set for the city center next month, and it's already causing grumbling. "People will be extremely annoyed at the high-profile celebration of something that's illegal," grumped Conservative MSP John Lamont. "It is disappointing that such a carnival in homage to an illegal substance is being facilitated in this way," he added. The old fogies want the police to shut it down, but the police have said they will stop it only if lawbreaking takes place. The celebration is due to take place at Glasgow Green on Sunday April 20. So far, more than 200 people have signed up via Facebook to attend.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MN: Myths Of Legalizing Medicinal Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 03/12/2014 - 07:00
Kenyon Leader, 12 Mar 2014 - The Chemical Health Initiative of Goodhue County in collaboration with other coalitions and state agencies across Minnesota worked together to sponsor a professional forum on Feb. 13 at the Mall of America. Dr. Kevin Sabet spoke about the consequences of legalizing medicinal marijuana. In addition to CHI staff, school staff from Goodhue and Red Wing were in attendance. Sabet brought a wealth of knowledge and experience from working directly with Colorado after marijuana was legalized.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Medical Marijuana Just Another Type of Farming:

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 03/12/2014 - 07:00
Alliston Herald, 12 Mar 2014 - South Simcoe Municipalities Not Sure How to Zone Operations Clearview Mayor Ken Ferguson speaks very positively about his experience with a commercial medical marijuana producer that's been operating in his township for the past two years.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN BC: W. Kelowna Location Eyed For Marijuana Growing

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 03/12/2014 - 07:00
The Daily Courier, 12 Mar 2014 - An industrial building in West Kelowna could become the site of a large-scale medicinal marijuana-growing business. Owner Trent Kitsch asked Tuesday for West Kelowna council to endorse his plans to develop the property at 2322 Dominion Rd. for commercial pot-production under new Health Canada rules that take effect April 1.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN BC: MediJean Growing On City

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 03/12/2014 - 07:00
Richmond News, 12 Mar 2014 - At MediJean you don't need plant cuttings or even seeds to produce high quality marijuana, only a small cluster of plant tissue grown in a petri dish of jelly. The tissue culture, or callus, can regenerate thousands of plants and allows MediJean's biochemists and botanists to store hundreds of strains in a small laboratory inside the biopharmaceutical company's facility on Horseshoe Way.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MN: Medical Marijuana Bill On Shaky Ground

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 03/12/2014 - 07:00
The Daily Tribune, 12 Mar 2014 - ST. PAUL -- Despite gutting her medical marijuana bill over the weekend, Iron Range Rep. Carly Melin continues to be on the other side of Minnesota law enforcement, who remain staunchly opposed to her measure and with little middle ground to offer. Prohibiting the smoking on marijuana, adding seed and plant tracking systems, removing the ability to grow cannabis plants and siphoning excess revenue to law enforcement entities just weren't enough to appease state law enforcement officials, Rep. Melin said on Tuesday.
Categories: Medical Marijuana
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