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Medical Marijuana

US CO: Column: How Are Pot Tax Revenues Being Used?

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 08:00
Westword, 13 Nov 2014 - Dear Stoner: How are recreational marijuana tax revenues being distributed within the state? Is this information made available to the public? I think if people see that the tax revenues are being used to help schools, fix the terrible roads and help the homeless, opinions may be changed. Money Bags of Weed
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Update

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 23:03

It's been a quiet week on the medical marijuana front, perhaps a post-election lull. But there is news from California, Colorado, and Rhode Island. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]California

On Tuesday, activists complained that California veterans were being denied pain medications over their medical marijuana use. California NORML reported that it is being contacted by veterans who are being told by their VA doctors that they must choose between their prescription pain medications and medical marijuana. The group reports "a spate of complaints" from Long Beach and Loma Linda after scheduling changes for some prescription drugs recently took effect. Those changes entail stricter reporting requirements for doctors, and that, among other factors, seems to have spurred the tightening up. Click on the title link for more details and a plan for action from Canorml and Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access.

Colorado

On Tuesday, Colorado reported another $30 million month in medical marijuana sales. September sales were at $31.6 million, down slightly from August's $33.4 million. The all-time high was in February, when medical marijuana sales totaled $36 million. Recreational sales are also running about $30 million a month.

Rhode Island

On Wednesday, the ACLU filed a lawsuit over medical marijuana employment discrimination. The ACLU of Rhode Island has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a URI graduate student who was denied summer employment this year at a fabrics company because of her status as a registered medical marijuana user. The suit is on behalf of Christine Callaghan, a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design who is studying textiles and working towards a masters' degree in that field at URI. She has participated in the medical marijuana program for almost two years to deal with frequent, debilitating migraine headaches. She lost a pain internship offer with Darlington Fabrics after disclosing her medical condition and medical marijuana patient status. The lawsuit argues that failure to hire because of a potential employee's patient status is discriminatory under the state's Civil Rights Act.

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

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Chronicle AM: AR Marijuana Init, Nadelmann TED Talk, Colombia MedMJ, Dutch Grower Crackdown, More (11/12/14)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 20:56

An Arkansas legalization initiative moves forward, Massachusetts' new GOP governor-elect will oppose legalization, Ethan Nadelmann gives a sizzling TED Talk, Colombia moves toward approving medical marijuana, the Dutch move resolutely backward, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]Arkansas Attorney General Approves Legalization Initiative. A marijuana and hemp legalization constitutional amendment initiative sponsored by Arkansas CALM (Citizens' Alliance for the Legalization of Marijuana) has won ballot title approval by Attorney General Dustin McDaniel. The Secretary of State's office must still approve the Arkansas Hemp & Marijuana Amendment's petition wording instructions. The amendment would legalize the cultivation, production, distribution, sale, purchase, possession and use of the cannabis plant, prohibiting sale to anyone under the age of 21. It would let people to grow up to 36 plants.

For First Time, Colorado Monthly Recreational Pot Sales Don't Increase. Recreational marijuana sales totaled $31.6 million in September, down from $34.1 million in August, the first time month-over-month sales have not increased. It's not clear why this is, but some observers point to the time of year -- in between the state's summer tourism high season and its winter tourism high season.

Massachusetts' New Republican Governor Will Oppose Legalization. Incoming Republican Governor-elect Charlie Baker has pledged to "vigorously oppose" marijuana legalization in the Bay State. "I'm going to oppose that and I'm going to oppose that vigorously... with a lot of help from a lot of other people in the addiction community," he said in an interview. Massachusetts has already approved medical marijuana and pot decriminalization through the initiative process, and seven elections worth of successful nonbinding public policy questions suggest that Baker is out of touch with his constituents on the issue.

Michigan Appeals Court to Hear Challenge to Grand Rapids Decriminalization Ordinance. The appeals court will hear arguments Friday from Kent County prosecutor Bill Forsyth challenging the voter-approved 2012 decriminalization ordinance in Grand Rapids. He will argue that voters there cannot trump the state's marijuana law. Forsythe lost in district court, with the judge in the case ruling that the city's ordinance didn't make marijuana legal, but merely adapted a policy about how police should deal with it.

Wichita Decriminalization Initiative Qualifies for April Ballot. The Southcentral Kansas Peace and Justice Center reports that a municipal initiative to make marijuana and pot paraphernalia possession a citable offense with a $50 fine has qualified for the April ballot. An earlier effort was derailed by disallowed signatures, but activists this time concentrated on gathering signatures from people leaving the polls on election day -- and it worked.

Medical Marijuana

ACLU Files Rhode Island Lawsuit Over Medical Marijuana Discrimination. The ACLU of Rhode Island has filed a lawsuit today on behalf of a URI graduate student who was denied summer employment this year at a fabrics company because of her status as a registered medical marijuana user. The suit is on behalf of Christine Callaghan, a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design who is studying textiles and working towards a masters' degree in that field at URI. She has participated in the medical marijuana program for almost two years to deal with frequent, debilitating migraine headaches. She lost a paying internship offer with Darlington Fabrics after disclosing her medical condition and medical marijuana patient status. The lawsuit argues that failure to hire because of a potential employee's patient status is discriminatory under the state's Civil Rights Act.

Drug Policy

Ethan Nadelmann TED Talk on Why We Need to End the War on Drugs. Drug Policy Alliance executive director Ethan Nadelmann has given a fiery and visionary TED talk in Rio de Janiero analyzing US drug policy and how society can more effectively and humanely deal with drugs. "The reason some drugs are legal and others are not has nothing to do with science or health or the risk of drugs, and everything to do with who uses, and is perceived to use, certain drugs," he said in the talk. "If the principal smokers of cocaine were affluent older white men and the principal users of Viagra were young black men, using Viagra would land you time behind bars." The speech was made last month, but was just made available today. Click on the TED talk link to hear the whole thing.

International

Colombia Senate Panel Approves Medical Marijuana Bill. The Senate's First Commission Tuesday approved a medical marijuana bill on a 13-2 vote. The bill authored by Sen. Juan Manuel Galan would allow the use of marijuana by people suffering from terminal illness or chronic painful conditions, including cancer and AIDS. It was amended during debate to clarify that marijuana-containing medications could not be imported into the country. The bill has the support of Health Minister Alejandro Gaviria.

Dutch Crack Down on Illegal Marijuana Grows, Suppliers. Anyone involved in the illegal production of marijuana is subject to up to three years in prison under a proposal from Justice Minister Opstelten that has been approved by the Senate. The new measure will go into effect on March 1. Under this new law, not only growers, but also grow shops, landlords, electricians who install illegal grow equipment, financiers, and anyone else involved in the illegal grows can be punished. Where the country's famous cannabis coffee shops are supposed to get their product will now be even more of a mystery.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

US FL: Editorial: Medical Marijuana Debate Is Not Over

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 08:00
The Star-Banner, 12 Nov 2014 - Amendment 2, Florida's -proposed medical -marijuana measure, failed on Election Day because too many voters felt it had too many loopholes. Critics overcame the proposal's widespread, even at times overwhelming, support by honing in on three little words: "or other conditions."
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US CO: Column: Prominent Local Activist Retires, and Governor

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 08:00
Colorado Springs Independent, 12 Nov 2014 - Good night and good luck Audrey Hatfield began her rise at the beginning of the medical marijuana boom in September 2010. Then as now, Hatfield battled epilepsy and other medical conditions, and found them alleviated by marijuana use. This led her to create Coloradans 4 Cannabis Patient Rights, with the modest ambition of creating a website and updating it a few times a week.
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US: Pot Legalization: Gateway To What?

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 08:00
U.S. News & World Report, 12 Nov 2014 - Advocates look to further reduce drug-related arrests, incarceration. Shane Mckee, co-founder of Shango Premium Cannabis dispensary in Portland, Ore., pulls a medical marijuana sample from a display casing on Nov. 5. Oregon became the third state to legalize recreational pot on election night, but it will be more than a year before the first shops open.
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US NM: Heavy Pot Smoking Shrinks Gray Matter

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 08:00
Albuquerque Journal, 12 Nov 2014 - UNM Professor Plays a Key Role in the Groundbreaking Research Longtime, chronic marijuana use causes significant abnormalities in brain function and structure - and perhaps lower IQ - according to a major new study conducted in part at the Mind Research Network on the campus of the University of New Mexico.
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US WA: Bellevue Sued Over Pot-Shop Restrictions

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 08:00
Seattle Times, 12 Nov 2014 - Business Squeezed Out of Main Street Site City Rules on Where They Can Set Up Shop Seth Simpson and David Ahl are so dead-set on selling marijuana in downtown Bellevue that they say they've spent at least $500,000 on a space on Main Street.
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Chronicle AM: No More Portland Pot Cases, Senior Drug Testing Racket, Vets' MedMj Problems, More (11/11/14)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 11/11/2014 - 21:56

The fallout from last week's legalization votes begins, California veterans are reporting medical marijuana problems with the VA, doctors are billing Medicare for largely needless senior drug testing, and more. Let's get to it:

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

No More Pot Prosecutions in Portland. That didn't take long. Less than a week after Oregon voters approved the Measure 91 legalization initiative, prosecutors in Multnomah County (Portland) announced Monday that they will dismiss all pending violation-level marijuana possession cases and won't bother to prosecute any future ones. "Because it is clear that a significant majority of voters in Multnomah County support the legalization of marijuana in certain amounts, this office will dismiss the pending charges related to conduct which will otherwise become legal July 1, 2015," said a statement from Multnomah County DA Rode Underhill. "Any remaining charges not impacted by Ballot Measure 91 will be prosecuted." Prosecutors in other Oregon counties are still figuring out how to respond.

Alaska Legislator Getting to Work on Legal Marijuana Draft Regulations. That didn't take long, either. Less than a week after Alaska voters approved the Measure 2 legalization initiative, Rep. Bob Lynn (R-Anchorage) said Monday he plans to file legislation in January that would restrict pot shops within a certain distance of schools and public parks, limit advertising, and bar people with felonies from working in the industry. Lynn said he expects his proposals to attract plenty of discussion among lawmakers.

Opposition Coalition Forms in Vermont. A coalition to oppose marijuana legalization in the Green Mountain State has announced itself. SMART VT calls itself a "grassroots coalition" of "concerned Vermonters" and is now calling on Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) to not take up legalization this legislative session. Too late, though: A public hearing on legalization is set for Wednesday. Click the last link for hearing details.

Medical Marijuana

US Veterans Denied Pain Medications Over Medical Marijuana Use. California NORML is reporting that it is being contacted by veterans who are being told by their VA doctors that they must choose between their prescription pain medications and medical marijuana. The group reports "a spate of complaints" from Long Beach and Loma Linda after scheduling changes for some prescription drugs recently took effect. Those changes entail stricter reporting requirements for doctors, and that, among other factors, seems to have spurred the tightening up. Click on the title link for more details and a plan for action from CANORML and Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access. Happy Veterans Day!

Drug Testing

Pain Docs Getting Rich Doing Useless Drug Tests on Seniors, Taxpayers Pick Up the Tab. In an expensive side-effect of the "war" on pain pill addiction, pain specialists are now ordering costly testing of seniors for recreational drug use, and Medicare is stuck footing the bill. The doctors are also responding to a Medicare crackdown on abusive billing for simple urine drug screens by moving to high-tech testing methods for which billing is not limited. Now, doctors are testing for a number of different drugs -- including illegal ones rarely used by seniors, such as cocaine, ecstasy, and PCP -- and raking in the tax dollars. Medicare spending on drug testing has increased an incredible 1,423% since 2007 to $445 million in 2012. That included $14 million for testing seniors for PCP, for which one lab director with 25 years in the business told The Wall Street Journal she had never seen a positive test result in people over 65. The comprehensive article is worth the read; click on the link to get it.

International

Montreal Gets First Medical Marijuana Clinic. Montreal's first medical marijuana clinic is opening today. Sante Cannabis does not sell medical marijuana, but its doctors and staff guide patients on how to use marijuana, proper strains to use, and determine whether to smoke, vape, or use edibles. The city has had dispensaries or "compassion centers" for years, but Sante Cannabis is the first medical marijuana business to have doctors on staff.

British Lib Dem Leader, Former Colombian President Team Up to Fight for Drug Reform. Liberal Democratic party leader and British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos have agreed to work together to help forge an alliance between European and Latin American countries aiming to reform global drug prohibition. They are taking aim at the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs set for 2016.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

US IL: Tough Crowd, but Neighborhood Group Backs Medical Pot

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 11/11/2014 - 08:00
Chicago Sun-Times, 11 Nov 2014 - Though most of the Lake View residents who turned out for a community meeting about a proposed marijuana dispensary opposed it, the East Lake View Neighbors association, sponsors of the meeting, voted to approve a city zoning change that would allow the dispensary to open. More than 60 people attended the meeting Monday evening to discuss a medical marijuana dispensary proposed for 2843 N. Halsted St.
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US OK: Tulsa Firm Wants To Sell Marijuana E-Cigarettes

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 08:00
Tulsa World, 10 Nov 2014 - (AP) - As more states approve the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana, an Oklahoma-based electronic cigarette retailer is looking to build a national franchise. Marijuana is illegal under federal drug laws. But voters in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., approved ballot measures Tuesday to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, joining Washington state and Colorado.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US IL: Medical Marijuana Decisions Kept Secret

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 08:00
Chicago Tribune, 10 Nov 2014 - Rauner, Others Support a More Open Process for License Application Since they won the Super Bowl, members of the 1985 Chicago Bears have made second careers out of promoting apple-pie products like McDonald's, Coca-Cola and G.I. Joe. Now, they can add a more countercultural item to the menu: medical marijuana.
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US WA: Banks' Wariness Hobbles Pot Business

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 08:00
The Herald, 10 Nov 2014 - Ambiguous Federal and State Laws Are Making New Marijuana Retailers' Work Inefficient and Inconvenient. LAKE STEVENS - Reed Evans called several banks looking to open an account for Cannablyss, his family's recreational marijuana business and the only pot retail store in Lake Stevens.
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US FL: What Now for Medical-Pot Users Who Revealed Their

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 08:00
Orlando Sentinel, 10 Nov 2014 - Gail Seltzer fits no one's stereotype of a pothead. She's an accountant who lives in an immaculate home and boasts a clean criminal record. She finds the pungent aroma of weed offputting. But after a statewide vote on medical marijuana fell short Tuesday, Seltzer decided to reveal a touchy secret: The 54-year-old eats berry-shaped cannabis candies to treat symptoms of a sometimes-debilitating immune disorder.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US OK: Emerging Cannabis Oil Market Eyed

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 08:00
Albuquerque Journal, 10 Nov 2014 - E-Cig Company Sees Great Opportunity OKLAHOMA CITY - As more states approve the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana, an Oklahoma-based electronic cigarette retailer is looking to build a national franchise.
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Canada: Column: Stop Playing Politics With Teens' Brains. Legalize

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 10 Nov 2014 - Tobacco is addictive, dangerous and responsible for thousands of deaths in Canada each year. Imagine if the federal government tried to deal with that massive threat by making tobacco illegal and throwing anyone caught with a cigarette in jail. Would that put a stop to smoking? Or simply drive it underground and tie up valuable resources trying to enforce a ban destined to fail?
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US FL: Medical Marijuana: On The Ballot Again In 2016?

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 11/09/2014 - 08:00
Sun-Sentinel, 09 Nov 2014 - Maybe the second time's the charm. After the defeat of Amendment 2, the medical marijuana initiative his money largely got on the ballot, Orlando attorney John Morgan is already looking toward 2016.
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US: Will Marijuana Industry Also Grow Jobs?

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 11/09/2014 - 08:00
The Bulletin, 09 Nov 2014 - WASHINGTON - Bruce Nassau made his first fortune in the cable television industry in Colorado. Now he sees opportunity in legal marijuana. He and his partners have four shops with about 75 employees that serve recreational and medical users, with a fifth for retail opening last week. He expects to have about 90 workers total by January.
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US OR: Cops: Marijuana Laws Still On The Books

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 11/09/2014 - 08:00
Albany Democrat-Herald, 09 Nov 2014 - Want to be a midnight toker? Better wait till next summer, because anyone caught with recreational marijuana before then can expect to get busted as usual. That's the word from Oregon State Police, the Corvallis Police Department and the Linn County Sheriff's Office, all of which say they'll enforce existing marijuana laws until Oregon's new law allowing recreational marijuana use takes effect July 1, 2015.
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US FL: Column: Take Moral, Not Political Road on Medical Pot

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 11/09/2014 - 08:00
The Palm Beach Post, 09 Nov 2014 - Florida voters denied - barely - a political imperative to pass a constitutional amendment legalizing the use of medical marijuana by folks with debilitating illnesses. It falls upon the Florida lawmakers to follow a moral imperative to pass medical marijuana legislation and give relief to thousands of Floridians suffering from horrible ailments. This is reason enough to move quickly, but faith in this Legislature on this issue is hard to come by.
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