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Medical Marijuana

CN BC: Editorial: Consider The Tax Implications

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 07:00
Sooke News Mirror, 19 Mar 2014 - While many may think that a medical marijuana grow op will bring lots of revenue to a municipality or a regional district, that may not be the case. It appears a Medical Marijuana Production(MMP) facility can become a farm and the resulting property taxes would be far less than if the property was classed as an industrial zone. Business taxes are generally three times that of residential and can build up the coffers in a significant way compared to a property with farm status. An example would be the proposed MMP facility in Otter Point. If it was industrial the taxes would be roughly $7,600 and if it had farm status the taxes would be $176. That is a significant difference. This could destroy a community's tax base plain and simple.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US DC: Medical Marijuana Advocates Decry Debate

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 07:00
Washington Times, 19 Mar 2014 - Medical marijuana advocates in the District are grumbling that prospective patients have been left behind in the rush to decriminalize and legalize pot for recreational use. The District's program, which has a notoriously restrictive list of just four conditions that qualify a patient to use the drug, has underperformed in the eight months since it was implemented. In the meantime, lawmakers have approved a plan to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana in the city, and an effort to outright legalize the drug appears on its way to a public vote in November.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CA: Column: Burning Down The House

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 07:00
SF Weekly, 19 Mar 2014 - Democrats Vote for Pot Laws Yet Work Against Them It's only one item, just a few lines in a 21-page document full of bold pronouncements and promises. And yet, if you knew that the California Democratic Party had had a convention at all, you knew it because an item pledging support for marijuana legalization, "in a manner similar to that of tobacco or alcohol," was added to the statewide party's platform on March 9.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM -- March 18, 2014

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 03/18/2014 - 20:56

Federal drug prosecutions are declining, marijuana legalization moves forward in the Northeast, Pennsylvania counties pay for taking babies away from mothers over false positive drug tests, and more. Let's get to it:

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

New Hampshire Legalization Bill Moves Forward. A bill to legalize and regulate marijuana like alcohol has passed out of the House Ways and Means Committee after the committee adopted an amendment to simplify the tax structure and improve regulations. House Bill 492 then got a "no pass" from the committee, but now goes to the House floor for a second vote. The House already approved the bill in January, after overturning a similarly negative recommendation from the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. If it passes the House again, it then goes to the Senate.

New Jersey Legalization Initiative Bill Introduced. Assemblymen Reed Gusciora (D-Trenton) and Michael Patrick Carroll (R-Morris Plains) have introduced Assembly Bill 2842, a bill that, if approved by the legislature and signed by the governor, would put the decision on whether to legalize marijuana in the hands of the voters. The bill would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana and related paraphernalia. It does not address taxation or allow for commercial sales.

Medical Marijuana

Maryland House Passes Medical Marijuana Bill. The House Monday overwhelmingly approved a bill that would make Maryland a full-fledged medical marijuana state. House Bill 1321 now moves to the Senate.

Drug Testing

Pennsylvania County Pays for Taking Baby from Birth Mother Over False Positive Drug Test. Lawrence County Children and Youth Services has settled, for $160,000, a lawsuit filed by a woman whose child was taken away following a false positive opiate test apparently caused by pasta salad. It's not the first time, either. Last July, Jameson Hospital and Lawrence County Children and Youth Services agreed to pay $143,500 to settle a similar lawsuit filed by a woman whose infant was taken by a false positive drug test apparently caused by consumption of a poppy seed bagel. A third local case is also pending. Last week, another woman Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, saying a false positive drug test apparently spurred by poppy seeds in farmer's market bread resulted in an Allegheny County Children Youth and Families investigation of her family.

Drug Policy

Maine Hearing Sees Criticism of Governor's Law Enforcement-Heavy Drug Policy. The legislature's Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee Monday heard strong criticism of Gov. Paul LePage's (R) recently announced plan to address drug problems in the state by ratcheting up law enforcement. Throughout the hearing on Legislative Document 1811, speakers also highlighted the need to balance new enforcement with drug treatment programs and additional funding for the state's corrections system.

Law Enforcement

Federal Drug Prosecutions Declining. The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse reports that the monthly count of federal prosecutions for narcotics/drugs offenses has reached its lowest level since May 2000. The latest available data from the Justice Department show there were 1,487 new prosecutions in this category in January 2014, down 7.8% from the previous month and down 11.5% from the year before. The number observed during the most recent six month period appears to be the lowest seen since the end of the Reagan Administration.

New Synthetic Drugs

Minnesota Synthetic Drug Bills Moving. Bills that would grant the Board of Pharmacy the cease and desist authority to prevent the sale of synthetic drugs are moving forward in the Minnesota Legislature. House File 2446 has passed two committees and is now being heard in the Judiciary Finance and Policy Committee In the Senate, a companion bill was heard in the Health, Human Services and Housing Committee and passed on a voice vote. It now moves on to the Judiciary Committee.

International

Mexican Anti-Cartel Vigilantes Now Complain Government is Persecuting Them. Vigilante groups in the western state of Michoacan who rose up against the Knights Templar cartel with the tacit approval of the Mexican government now say they are being persecuted not only by criminals, but also by the government. The vigilantes complained publicly Sunday, a day after the Mexican government said it was going to "put a stop" to them. The government had bruited plans to fold them into a rural security force, but now no longer seems to need them.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN NS: Minor Pot Growers Not A Top Cop Priority

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 03/18/2014 - 07:00
Metro, 18 Mar 2014 - The deputy chief of Halifax Regional Police says officers won't be "kicking down doors" when Canada's marijuana licensing laws change on April 1. "If they have a small amount of marijuana and they had a medical licence, we will get to them at some point, but there's no plan to go out and do a full collection," said Deputy Chief Bill Moore at Monday's meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Pot Doc Faces New Restrictions

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 03/18/2014 - 07:00
The Intelligencer, 18 Mar 2014 - Ontario's physician watchdog has levied further restrictions against a Coe Hill doctor amidst the beginning of a Belleville court's preliminary inquiry into his involvement with medical marijuana prescriptions. On Feb. 25, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario imposed further limitations on the certificate of registration held by Dr. Rob Kamermans.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Canada: Ottawa To Inform Police If Growers Flout New Rules

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 03/18/2014 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 18 Mar 2014 - Health Canada says it will tell police if medical marijuana users fail to declare they have disposed of their homegrown stashes - a requirement of strict new federal rules. The department says it will share relevant information - including the names and addresses of those who flout the new system - with law enforcement.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US OR: Temporary Ban In Unincorporated Areas, Does Not Apply

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 03/18/2014 - 07:00
The Bulletin, 18 Mar 2014 - TEMPORARY BAN IN UNINCORPORATED AREAS, DOES NOT APPLY IN CITIES Medical marijuana dispensaries will immediately be banned in unincorporated areas of Deschutes County at least through May 1, 2015, following a vote of county commissioners Monday.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Canada: Destroy Your Pot, Licensed Growers Told

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 03/18/2014 - 07:00
The Record, 18 Mar 2014 - Ottawa Will Tell Police If It Thinks Patients Are Disobeying New Rules OTTAWA - Health Canada says it will tell police if medical marijuana users fail to declare they have disposed of their homegrown stashes - a requirement of strict new federal rules.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Canada: Stern Warning For Medical Pot Growers

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 03/18/2014 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 18 Mar 2014 - Destroy Personal Marijuana Supplies Before April 1 or Face Police, Health Canada Warns Health Canada is warning medicinal marijuana users and growers, licensed under an outgoing law, that if they don't destroy and dispose of their pot before new regulations take full effect April 1 the police will be notified.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US OR: Just Saying 'No'

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 03/18/2014 - 07:00
The Register-Guard, 18 Mar 2014 - Local Governments Eye Moratoriums on Medical Pot With a May 1 deadline looming, several Lane County local governments are springing into action to discuss and possibly enact moratoriums on new medical marijuana retailers, known as "dispensaries."
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US: Government Eyes Marijuana As Possible Treatment For PTSD

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 03/18/2014 - 07:00
Washington Times, 18 Mar 2014 - (AP) - The federal government has signed off on a long-delayed study looking at marijuana as a treatment for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, a development that drug researchers are hailing as a major shift in U.S. policy. The Department of Health and Human Services' decision surprised marijuana advocates who have struggled for decades to secure federal approval for research into the drug's medical uses.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MD: Modified Medical Marijuana Bill Wins Approval From House

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 03/18/2014 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 18 Mar 2014 - Some Doctors Would Be Allowed to Recommend Drug Responding to growing public support for medical use of marijuana, the House of Delegates approved legislation Monday that would allow specially licensed physicians in Maryland to recommend the drug to patients with debilitating medical conditions.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MI: Pot Activists Prepare For New Campaigns In Michigan

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 03/18/2014 - 07:00
Detroit Free Press, 18 Mar 2014 - Political organizers behind Michigan's string of victories in local ballot proposals on marijuana said they will soon launch campaigns in as many as a dozen other communities. After wins in cities as large as Detroit and as small as Ferndale, organizers said they will start gathering signatures April 1 for proposals in Hazel Park, Oak Park, Utica, East Lansing, Mt. Pleasant, Port Huron and several other communities yet to be decided.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MD: House Passes Medical Marijuana Bill

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 03/18/2014 - 07:00
Washington Times, 18 Mar 2014 - (AP) - The Maryland House of Delegates has passed by a wide margin a measure to make the state's medical marijuana law effective. The House voted 123-13 on Monday for the bill, which now goes to the state Senate.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MD: Medical Marijuana Bill Clears House

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 03/18/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 18 Mar 2014 - The Maryland House of Delegates approved legislation Monday intended to make it possible for patients to use medical marijuana, which was legalized last year but remains unavailable in the state. Delegates voted 127 to 9 to allow "certified physicians" to discuss the option of medical marijuana with patients and then recommend its use. Those patients or their caregivers could obtain a 30-day supply from a licensed grower. The legislation now heads to the Senate, where approval is expected.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN NS: Digby County Cannabis Grower Says He Won't Stop Growing

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 03/18/2014 - 07:00
The Shelburne County Coast Guard, 18 Mar 2014 - Upstairs in his mother's barn in Conway, just outside Digby, Shawn Harvey has hundreds of cannabis plants. He has two rooms up there, built out of white fiberglass paper and hung with bright lights; one room contains 60 large plants-they get a warm yellow light-and across the hall are a couple hundred younger plants under cooler white lights. The large plants are budding and almost ready to harvest; the smaller plants will be the next crop.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM -- March 17, 2014

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 03/17/2014 - 20:51

Alaska state agencies complain that legalization will cost money (and they want some of it), Vermont cops complain the governor is soft on pot, federal prosecutors complain about reforming mandatory minimums, and more. Let's get to it:

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

California Cannabis Hemp Initiative Dead for 2014. The number of active marijuana legalization initiatives in California has dropped to one after the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative failed to qualify for the ballot by its signature-gathering deadline. That leaves only the Marijuana Control, Legalization & Revenue Act, which, barring a miracle, isn't going to make the ballot, either. It needs 504,000 valid voter signatures by April 18, but only has 10,000. The big money is waiting for 2016 in California.

FBI Refuses to Do Washington State Marijuana Industry Background Checks. The FBI is refusing to do criminal history background checks on people applying for legal marijuana licenses in Washington state, even though it has done such checks in Colorado. The agency has balked for the past year at requests from state officials, and refused to tell the Associated Press why. The state has issued three licenses so far; for those, they relied on background checks by the Washington State Patrol, which would catch in-state criminal convictions, but might miss out-of-state ones.

Alaska Agencies Claim Legalization Will Cost Millions. In a new report, Alaska state agencies said that if the marijuana legalization initiative passes there, it will cost the state between $3.7 million and $7 million to implement and enforce the new law. Included in that figure are law enforcement requests for "at least three additional Alaska State Trooper positions to target the illegal diversion and exportation of marijuana lawfully cultivated in Alaska" and nearly $1.5 million for a media campaign to warn of stoned driving and training for troopers to recognize when a driver is high. The report doesn't address increased tax revenues from legalization.

Vermont Cops Accuse Governor of Being Soft on Pot. The Vermont Association of Chiefs of Police, Vermont Sheriffs Association and the Vermont Police Association said in a press release Friday that they are united against efforts for marijuana legalization and that, while they have previously expressed concern about Gov. Peter Shumlin's (D) "tolerance of marijuana," their concerns had been ignored. They also called marijuana "a gateway drug."

Washington Legislature Approves Sale of Hash and Hash Oil. The state legislature has approved a bill that would legalize the sale of hashish and hash oil at state-licensed marijuana retail outlets.House Bill 2304 now goes to the desk of Gov. Jay Inslee (D).

Medical Marijuana

HHS Gives Go-Ahead for MAPS PTSD Research Study. The federal Department of Health and Human Services granted permission Thursday for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) to purchase research-grade marijuana from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for its planned study of marijuana for symptoms of PTSD. MAPS notes that this is the first time in the 22 years it has been trying to start marijuana drug research that it has actually won permission to purchase marijuana from NIDA. It's not quite a done deal yet, though; the DEA still as to approve. MAPS said it was "optimistic" DEA would do so.

Florida Poll Shows Strong Support for Initiative. A University of North Florida poll released Monday has the state's medical marijuana amendment initiative well-positioned to win in November. The initiative has already qualified for the ballot. The poll had 74% of registered voters planning to vote for it. Because it is a constitutional amendment, it will need 60% approval to pass.

Iowa Poll Has Support for Medical Marijuana at 81%. In a new Quinnipiac Poll, 81% of Iowa voters said they would support "allowing adults in Iowa to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if their doctor prescribes it." Even among Republicans, 68% agreed. That's in sharp contrast to a recent Iowa Poll that had only 59% supporting "legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes."

Michigan Chamber of Commerce Wants No Jobless Benefits for Fired Medical Marijuana Users. Michigan's leading business group is urging the state appeals court to rule out jobless benefits for people who are fired for using medical marijuana. The move comes as the court weighs the cases of people who sought benefits after being fired for using medical marijuana. Lower court judges have ruled in favor of the workers, who argued that they shouldn't be denied benefits after losing their jobs for using marijuana legally under state law.

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Initiative Has 15% of Necessary Signatures. A signature-gathering campaign to put medical marijuana on the November ballot has collected about 15% of the signatures needed to qualify, Arkansans for Compassionate Care said on Thursday. The initiative is one of two gathering signatures this year. It has until July 7 to hand in 62,000 qualified signatures, and has about 10,000 so far.

Nevada Board of Health Approves Dispensary Regulations. The Board of Health gave its approval Friday to rules to regulate new dispensaries. The next and final step is approval by a legislative commission on March 28. A 2013 law allowing dispensaries goes into effect April 1. But even then, there will be a 45-day notice announcing the date applications will be accepted. Once the application period opens, there will only be a 10-day window for accepting them. After the application period closes, the state must make a decision on each application within 90 days of receiving it. And then dispensaries have to grow their supply. Maybe by year's end…

Drug Policy

House Passes Bill to Force President to Enforce Federal Drug Laws. The Republican-controlled US House last week passed the Enforce the Law Act (House Resolution 4138), which would allow Congress to sue the president for failing to execute federal laws. While the bill is a broad attack on the Obama administration, one key supporter, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), singled out the "selective non-enforcement" of part of the Controlled Substance Act in medical marijuana and legal marijuana states as a major concern. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said the bill was "dead on arrival" in the Senate.

Law Enforcement

Nevada County Settles Up in Interstate-80 Cash Seizure Cases. Humboldt County, Nevada, where sheriff's deputies developed a habit of stopping travelers on I-80 and seizing their cash through threats of arrest or impoundment even though no drugs were found, has settled a lawsuit over the practice. Two men from whom thousands of dollars were taken sued and have won their money back and attorneys' fees. The county District Attorney's Office also said Friday it had launched an internal review of the county's "forfeiture program," but that it had seen no evidence of illegal stops or other wrongdoing on the part of Sheriff Ed Kilgore or his deputies. The lawsuits claimed the cash seizures were part of a pattern of stopping drivers for speeding as a pretext for drug busts in violation of the Constitution.

Illinois Bill to Ban Kratom Filed. Rep. Dennis Reboletti (R-Elmhurst) has filed a bill to outlaw kratom, a Southeast Asian herb with psychoactive properties. The plant is not banned federally, although the DEA has it on its list of "drugs of concern." Indiana is the only state so far to have criminalized it, designating its active ingredients as controlled substances. The Illinois bill is House Bill 5526.

Sentencing

Some Federal Prosecutors Oppose Eliminating Mandatory Minimums. Attorney General Holder's move to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for most drug offenders is running into flak from some prosecutors, The Washington Post reported Thursday. They complained that "tough sentencing policies provide a critical tool to dismantle drug networks by getting cooperation from lower-level defendants and building cases that move up the criminal chain of command." The prosecutors spoke out at a hearing of the US Sentencing Commission where Holder endorsed changing federal sentencing guidelines to reduce drug sentences in most cases.

International

NGOs to Address Inter-American Human Rights Commission on Drug Policy and Human Rights. For the first time, the Inter-American Human Rights Commission has granted an audience to hemispheric civil society groups to address the impact of the war on drugs on human rights in the Americas. The audience will take place in Washington, DC, on March 25. Click on the link to see the impressive list of organizations that will participate.

Jamaican Rastas Want Legal Marijuana Monopoly. The newly formed Westmoreland Hemp and Ganja Farmers Association said licenses to grow and sell marijuana upon legalization should be limited to Rastafarians and other poor people, who have been victimized for decades for cultivating the herb. "We will not stand by and watch anybody outside of Rastafari and grassroots people take over this product. And we make no apology," association President Ras Iyah V declared during his address at the launch of the organisation at the MXIII Lawn in Negril on Sunday night. "We are saying this loud and clear to the Government, we are saying it to society, and we are saying it to the international community. Otherwise, we will take to the streets and turn Jamaica upside down -- and we make no apology. Because we not going take baton lick and brutality and all of a sudden now when the legalization aspect come, a some rich people come tek it ova -- people who used to scoff and scorn at the very mention of the herb name ganja," he added. "The WHGFA's objectives are to make sure that those who have paid the price -- who have been going to jail, going to prison, getting the baton licks, who have been planting the herb and it get cut down by police and soldiers, and yet have been persistent with this product -- that the rights of these individuals are protected."

Mexico Moves to Rein In Anti-Cartel Vigilantes. Leery of having created a Frankenstein monster, Mexican authorities moved last week to put anti-cartel vigilante groups on notice that their illegal tactics will no longer be tolerated. Locals who saw the vigilantes as saviors from cartel extortion and threats now complain of similar behavior from the vigilantes, and the government says it now no longer needs them. Several vigilante leaders have been arrested on murder and other charges.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN BC: Toke Two: Regional District Tries Again On Pot Zoning

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 03/17/2014 - 07:00
Prince George Citizen, 17 Mar 2014 - The Regional District of Fraser-Fort George is taking another whiff of public input into its zoning requirements for medical marijuana facilities. On Thursday, the board of directors will hold another public hearing on its plan to restrict federally licenced grow ops to agricultural areas beginning at 1:30 in the regional district's George Street boardroom.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN BC: City Wants Health Canada To Provide Legal Grow Locations

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 03/17/2014 - 07:00
Abbotsford News, 17 Mar 2014 - Council will ask UBCM to lobby senior government for addresses The city is hoping the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) will endorse a plan to petition Health Canada to provide addresses for all grow operations licensed in the city.
Categories: Medical Marijuana
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