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Medical Marijuana

What Does Congress's Medical Marijuana Legislation Actually Mean?

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Sun, 12/14/2014 - 17:32

Earlier this year we noted here that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives had enacted two pro-medical marijuana amendments.

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US IA: Anti-drug Groups Warn About Push For Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 12/14/2014 - 08:00
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, 14 Dec 2014 - WATERLOO | As lawmakers consider expanding medical marijuana laws and cities like Cedar Falls debate decriminalization of the drug, anti-drug advocates are urging Iowans to think of the children and proceed with caution. "When you say, 'I'm not going to enforce these sets of laws,' there's potential unintended consequences to that, and I just want people to think it all through and have a thorough debate on these issues and not make any decisions =C2=85 without being fully informed," said Steven Lukan, director of the Governor's Office of Drug Control Policy.
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US CT: Tribe Weighs Marijuana As New Revenue Stream

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 12/14/2014 - 08:00
New Haven Register, 14 Dec 2014 - HARTFORD - New guidance from the federal Justice Department has the Mohegan tribe weighing the possible economic benefits of legalizing recreational marijuana on its reservation land. In a memo, the Justice Department signaled it was not interested in enforcing marijuana laws on nationally-recognized tribal lands, so long as tribes adhered to rules outlined by the feds.
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US DC: Marijuana Showdown Looms

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 12/14/2014 - 08:00
Washington Post, 14 Dec 2014 - The congressional effort to block marijuana legalization in the District has been widely viewed as yet another frustrating defeat for self-governance by residents of the nation's capital. But city leaders are saying otherwise, promising to throw the issue back to Congress next month in a way that could prompt the most high-profile showdown in years over D.C. rights.
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US FL: 'Charlotte's Web' Rewrite

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 12/14/2014 - 08:00
Sun-Sentinel, 14 Dec 2014 - Medical-Marijuana Rules May Change Florida's rules for companies to grow and sell medical marijuana to patients with severe epilepsy and other debilitating conditions could be out as soon as Monday.
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Canada: Medical Pot Firms: Supply Scarce Due To Red Tape

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 12/13/2014 - 08:00
Chronicle Herald, 13 Dec 2014 - OTTAWA - Delays in inspections and approvals to grow medical marijuana are causing shortages, according to some in the industry. This year, Canada transformed its medical marijuana regime by banning small, homegrown outfits and moving to multimillion-dollar industrial producers.
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US PA: 2015 2015 Could Be the Year for Legalizing Medical

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 12/13/2014 - 08:00
The Daily Local, 13 Dec 2014 - Medical marijuana legislation will get a second chance in 2015. The bipartisan pair of state senators who pushed for legalization during 2014 announced this week they will re-introduce the same text of a bill approved by the state Senate with a 43-7 vote in September. The bill didn't receive a vote from the House of Representatives before the two-year legislative session came to a close Nov. 30.
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US CT: Mohegans 'Not Actively Pursuing' Marijuana Production

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 12/13/2014 - 08:00
The Day, 13 Dec 2014 - Mohegan- Don't look for marijuana sprouts to start popping up on the Mohegan reservation any time soon. While the tribe that owns Mohegan Sun acknowledged Thursday that it is reviewing a U.S. Department of Justice announcement regarding the legal cultivation and sale of marijuana on tribal lands, it has yet to determine whether such an endeavor would be a good investment.
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US NM: OPED: Pot Business Mimicking Big Tobacco

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 12/13/2014 - 08:00
Albuquerque Journal, 13 Dec 2014 - Marijuana May Follow in Footsteps of Cigarette Industry in Luring New Users Last month, people voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana in Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia. As the movement toward marijuana legalization continues, lawmakers and policy experts are looking to the experiments in Colorado and Washington for guidance. We should not overlook, however, valuable lessons from our experience with another legal drug: tobacco.
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Chronicle AM: Obama on DC Pot Laws, WI "Cocaine Moms" Law Challenged, No More 'Shrooms in Bali, More (12/12/14)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 12/12/2014 - 21:35

The president weighs in on congressional moves to block DC marijuana legalization, Oklahoma could be joining the cannabis oil medical marijuana club, a Wisconsin woman sues over the "cocaine moms" law, the ACLU is looking to sue a Connecticut housing agency over mandatory drug tests, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Obama Thinks Congress Should Not Interfere With DC Pot Laws. As the battle continues over whether Congress has managed or not to block the District of Columbia's Measure 71 legalization initiative, President Obama has weighed in. In a Thursday press conference, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the president did "not believe Congress should spend a lot of time interfering with the citizens of District of Columbia." Asked specifically about Measure 71, Earnest noted that the measure had been approved by the voters and that, "on principle," that Congress shouldn't interfere with home rule. But Earnest also noted that Obama supports passing the omnibus spending bill that would, some say, overturn the measure.

Medical Marijuana

Cannabis Oil Bill Should Be Filed Today in Oklahoma. Rep. John Echols (R-Oklahoma City) has said he plans to file a low-THC cannabis oil bill today. The bill would only allow for use my children suffering from epilepsy. The news comes as the director of the state's drug agency says he now backs a study that would make the medicine available to sick children.

Drug Testing

Connecticut Public Housing Agency Under Fire for Suspicionless Drug Testing of Applicants. The Norwalk Housing Authority (NHA) requires mandatory, suspicionless drug testing of people applying to live there, and the ACLU of Connecticut is looking for people who want to sue the agency over the issue. "We urge you to repeal this policy because this suspicionless drug testing violates guarantees in the United States and Connecticut constitutions against unreasonable searches and seizures," wrote ACLU staff attorney David McGuire in a December 2013 letter to the Authority. "We would like to hear from any potential tenant who objects to the suspicionless drug test so that we can consider legal action," McGuire said Wednesday. To make matters worse, the NHA is the only housing authority in the country to drug test using hair follicles, which unlike urine or blood samples, can reveal drug use going back weeks or even months.

Law Enforcement

Georgia Judge Convicted of Planting Drugs on Woman. A woman accused a judge of propositioning her when she appeared before him to seek warrants against people who had assaulted her, so he conspired with some local cops to plant methamphetamine in her vehicle and have her arrested. Now, former Magistrate Court Judge Bryant Cochran has been found guilty of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, violating the civil rights of a court employee by sexually assaulting her, and witness tampering. He's looking at almost certain federal prison time when he is sentenced in February.

Pregnancy

Lawsuit Will Challenge Wisconsin's "Cocaine Mom" Law. A woman who was jailed after admitting past drug use while seeking a pregnancy test and medical help for depression is filing suit to have the state's "cocaine mom" law thrown out. That law allows authorities to detain and force treatment on pregnant women suspected of drug or alcohol use. Tammy Loertscher of Medford is filing the suit with the assistance of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, which says the Wisconsin "fetal protection" law is one of the most sweeping in the nation.

International

Hungary's Prime Minister Wants Drug Tests for Journalists and Politicians. Hungary's rightist prime minister, Viktor Orban, who has vowed to make the country a "non-liberal" state, called today for mandatory drug testing for journalists and politicians. "The government decided that it will rid Hungary of the drug mafia in this term," Orban said. "Politicians, journalists and those filling positions of public trust have to be included (in the drug tests) because it is clear that those who consume drugs cannot be relied on in the fight against drugs." Orban's statement isn't sitting well with journalists and civil libertarians, with the Association of Independent Journalists calling his proposal "legally and morally deeply outrageous." Earlier this week, the mayor Budapest calling for drug testing teens as well, but that proposal appears have been dropped.

Just a Reminder: Magic Mushrooms Are Now Illegal in Indonesia.Magic mushrooms had long been excluded from Indonesian drug laws, and were openly sold and used, especially in the popular tourist destination of Bali, but that's no longer the case. They are now considered a Type 1 narcotic since the law was revised earlier this year, and police are on a campaign to let people know. "All people who consume and trade in magic mushrooms are violating the Narcotics Law," Denpasar Police drug section head Comr. I Gede Ganefo said recently. "Many people do not yet know that magic mushrooms are illegal and they could face a prison term if they sell or consume them. They think it is all right as they grow naturally in manure," Ganefo said. Police said the informational campaign will become an enforcement campaign starting January 1. "Next month [Jan. 2015], there will be no more tolerance. If we find any people selling or consuming magic mushrooms, we will arrest them. They could face the same charges as those using marijuana and other drugs, a minimum four-year and maximum 12-year prison term," Ganefo said.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

US NJ: OPED: Spending Bill Blocks DC's Marijuana Initiative

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 12/12/2014 - 08:00
The Trentonian, 12 Dec 2014 - The federal spending bill now pending before Congress includes a provision that bars the Justice Department from spending any money to undermine state medical marijuana laws. It also includes an amendment that prohibits the Drug Enforcement Administration from interfering with a federal law that allows industrial hemp research in states that have approved it. But for the District of Columbia and its effort to legalize marijuana, it's a different story, with Congress showing no shame or compunction in trying to upend local authority. The hypocrisy is stunning even by the standards of Capitol Hill.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US AZ: Column: Educated Choices

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 08:00
Tucson Weekly, 11 Dec 2014 - How to make the best cannabis choices for you and how dispensaries can help you make those choices The cannabis movement is subject to a lot of stigma in the world today and one of the biggest hurdles we have to overcome to gain acceptance is the idea that medical marijuana must be smoked to be effective. This is simply untrue.
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US CA: Pot 'O Money

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 08:00
The Chico News & Review, 11 Dec 2014 - Board of Supervisors Allocates a Half-Million to Marijuana Measure On Tuesday (Dec. 9), the Butte County Board of Supervisors unanimously authorized spending nearly a half-million dollars toward the added costs of code enforcement anticipated with the recent passage of Measure A, a stricter medical marijuana cultivation ordinance than the county formerly had in place.
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US CA: Column: Fresno's A No-Go For Those Who Grow

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 08:00
Sacramento News & Review, 11 Dec 2014 - Hey, I hear Fresno is going to repeal their growing ban. What have you heard? - -Ray Zin Hey yourself. The Fresno County Board of supervisors had a meeting last week to discuss changing their ridiculous and overbearing ban on outdoor cultivation. The way the law stands now, no one can grow any cannabis at all and those that do are subject to a fine of $1,000 per plant, plus interest. If growers would like to appeal the fines, they have to appear in front of the Board of Supervisors. As it turns out, dang near everyone would like to appeal their fines, especially landlords from out of town, seeing as there is no grace period allowed for removing plants, and the BoS is having a hard time keeping up. So they had a meeting, and surprise surprise, nothing changed. It is still illegal to grow medical cannabis, indoors or outdoors, in Fresno County. This sort of zero-tolerance policy toward medical marijuana seems to be contagious. Some supervisors in El Dorado County are looking to repeal their current growing ordinance and replace it with a total ban on cannabis growing. Last week, they decided to form a committee to look into the best way to change the law.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CA: 'The Revolution Starts Here'

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 08:00
North Coast Journal, 11 Dec 2014 - A Fledgling Political Action Committee's Push to Regulate Weed in Humboldt It's Dec. 8, and three members of California Cannabis Voice Humboldt are sitting in the Journal's Old Town office. There's a sense of urgency - and even a little desperation - as they explain how the group has grown from its inaugural meeting less than six months ago to push itself to the forefront of the 18-year-old conversation about how Humboldt County should regulate its largest industry.
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US DC: Editorial: Congress's Hypocrisy

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 08:00
Washington Post, 11 Dec 2014 - It Allows State Marijuana Laws to Stand but Stirs to Action Against the District. THE FEDERAL spending bill now pending before Congress includes a provision that bars the Justice Department from spending any money to undermine state medical marijuana laws. It also includes an amendment that prohibits the Drug Enforcement Administration from interfering with a federal law that allows industrial hemp research in states that have approved it.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US WA: Seattle To Shutter Firms That Deliver Pot

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 08:00
Seattle Times, 11 Dec 2014 - '1 Strike' And Then ... Police, Prosecutors to Enforce Crackdown, City Council Told The city of Seattle plans to shut down marijuana-delivery services, which became popular after the state legalized recreational marijuana.
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US NY: Editorial: Congress's Double-Edged Marijuana Stance

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 08:00
New York Times, 11 Dec 2014 - A bold stride in the popular campaign to legalize marijuana - an amendment blocking federal interference with states that allow medical marijuana - has been written into the bipartisan budget spending bill that's now being rushed through Congress. At the same time, this clear victory for the pro-marijuana movement nationally has been coupled with Congress's outrageous rebuff of the will of District of Columbia residents, who voted overwhelmingly last month to join the growing state move to legalize small amounts of recreational marijuana. Rarely has the "plantation" oversight powers long exploited by Congress to checkmate home rule in Washington been indulged with such blatant contrast.
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Medical Marijuana Update

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 22:28

Big news from DC on Tuesday as congressional budget negotiators included language barring the use of federal funds to go after medical marijuana where it is legal, and a whole lot of news from California, too. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left]National

On Tuesday, a congressional budget deal blocked federal interference in medical marijuana states. In a deal hammered out Tuesday evening, the leaders of the House and Senate appropriations committees agreed on a budget bill that includes a measure curbing Justice Department enforcement efforts in states where medical marijuana is legal. The measure, in the form of an amendment offered by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), passed the House back in May. The relevant section of the bill, Section 538, lists all the states that have some form of legalized medical marijuana and says, "None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used… to prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana"

California

Last Tuesday, El Dorado County supervisors voted not to repeal the county's cultivation ordinance. Instead, supervisors decided to appoint a task force consisting of county counsel, the sheriff, DA and activists to come up with a solution that will protect patients' rights.

Also last Tuesday, Kern County supervisors approved civil lawsuits against collectives and cooperatives. The supervisors are going after 19 co-ops or collectives located in unincorporated areas of the county. The county previously sued other collectives and most of those have closed up shop.

Last Thursday, legislators filed statewide medical marijuana regulation bills. Legislators will try again next year to bring statewide regulation to the state's medical marijuana industry. Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) has filed Assembly Bill 26, which largely revives Tom Ammiano's failed AB 1894 from this year, while Rep. Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) has filed Assembly Bill 34, which is a one-sentence placeholder bill saying it is intended to regulate medical marijuana.

Last Saturday, California doctors rejected denying organ transplants to medical marijuana patients. The California Medical Association (CMA) voted unanimously this past weekend to urge transplant clinics in the state against removing patients from organ transplant lists based on their medical marijuana status or use. The CMA House of Delegates was in San Diego for its annual meeting, and voted Saturday on Resolution 116-14 in support of patients' ability to remain on transplant lists despite their medical marijuana use.

On Monday, the Siskiyou County planning division released its draft cultivation ordinance. The ordinance would limit outdoor grows to four plants on properties an acre or smaller, six plants on properties up to 2.5 acres, eight plants on up to five acres, and 10 plants on properties greater than five acres. Comments can be submitted via email at MMCO@co.siskiyou.ca.us.

On Tuesday, Butte County supervisors approved spending $446,500 to enforce the county's cultivation ordinance. The ordinance limits the size of medical marijuana gardens to 50 square feet on property larger than a half-acre, 100 square feet on properties larger than five acres, and 150 square feet on properties larger than 10 acres. The ordinance also allows anonymous denunciations of alleged violations.

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

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Budget Bill Would Block DC Legalization, Also Blocks Federal MedMJ Enforcement, More (12/10/14)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 21:31

With the budget bill, Congress moves to block DC's voter-approved pot legalization, but also to block federal enforcement actions against medical marijuana where it is legal, a DC protest on the legalization move is set for this afternoon, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

Congressional Budget Deal Seeks to Block DC Legalization. The leaders of the House and Senate appropriations committees agreed on a budget bill Tuesday night that includes language seeking to block the District of Columbia from implementing the Measure 71 legalization initiative overwhelmingly approved by District voters. A bill summary provided by the House Appropriations Committee says the bill, which will be considered by the House and Senate later this week, "prohibits both federal and local funds from being used to implement a referendum legalizing recreational marijuana use in the District." While reform advocates were disappointed with outcome, some are suggesting that the bill's language can be parsed in such a way to render the congressional ban moot. That remains to be seen.

DC Protest Against Congressional Interference Set For Tonight. The DC Cannabis Campaign, sponsors of the DC legalization initiative, has announced a march on the US Capitol tonight to protest Congress's move to override the voters' decision to legalize marijuana in the District. Marchers will gather at the Justice Department at 9th and Pennsylvania NW at 5:00pm, then march to the Capitol at 6:00pm.

Anti-Marijuana Speakers Heckled at DC Heritage Foundation Event. Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), author of the budget bill amendment attempting to block legalization in DC, along with Rep. John Fleming (R-LA), another strong opponent of letting the District set its own marijuana laws, were greeted by hecklers at a Heritage Foundation event Tuesday. "I don't want to listen to these lies," shouted one heckler as Harris took the podium. "The people voted," a second shouted. Harris laughed when asked about the heckler, then proceeded to claim that legalizing marijuana would lead to increased teen drug use -- a claim that has not been borne out so far in states that have legalized it.

Medical Marijuana

Congressional Budget Deal Blocks Federal Interference in Medical Marijuana States. In a deal hammered out Tuesday evening, the leaders of the House and Senate appropriations committees agreed on a budget bill that includes a measure curbing Justice Department enforcement efforts in states where medical marijuana is legal. The measure, in the form of an amendment offered by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), passed the House back in May. The relevant section of the bill, Section 538, lists all the states that have some form of legalized medical marijuana and says, "None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used… to prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana." The bill also includes similar language barring the use of Justice Department funds to interfere with hemp research authorized under the already approved Agricultural Act of 2014.

Drug Testing

Florida Governor's Drug Testing Crusade Costing State's Taxpayers. The state has racked up at least $307,000 in legal fees and court costs as it tried in vain to defend Gov. Rick Scott's (R) unconstitutional law mandating suspicionless drug testing of welfare applicants. And taxpayers are likely to shell out even more -- in legal fees to the ACLU of Florida, which took the state to federal court over the law. The bill could rise even higher if Scott decides to appeal the four federal court decisions that have found the law unconstitutional.

International

Isle of Jersey Rejects Islander's Requests to Use Medical Marijuana. Jersey's drug law allows the health minister to issue license for possess marijuana for "special purposes," but the island's parliament has voted against allowing three residents to use medical marijuana products. "It is unlikely that 'special purpose' was ever intended to cover medicinal use," said one senator. "While the law allows for the minister for health and social services to issue a licence for research and special purposes it does not provide for the minister to step into the shoes of a doctor and, in effect, take clinical decisions in respect of an individual case."

Indonesian President to Ban Clemency for Drug Offenders Facing Execution. President Joko Widodo said Tuesday that he plans to enforce the death penalty for people convicted of drug crimes. There are currently 64 drug offenders on death row, and he said he would reject clemency requests for them. "They are not on my table yet. But I guarantee that there will be no clemency for convicts who committed narcotics-related crimes," Jokowi said. The government's insistence on implementing the death penalty has drawn criticism from human rights defenders in the country.

India Cops Do "Workarounds" to Bust Mephedrone Sellers. The synthetic psychedelic stimulant drug mephedrone is not illegal under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, and police are resorting to workarounds to "curb the menace." Mumbai police have instructed officers to arrest sellers under the penal code's offense of selling poison. And some police have even arrested sellers by charging them with selling methamphetamine, which mephedrone is not.

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