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Medical Marijuana

US MA: OPED: Marijuana Taxes Open For Debate

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

US MI: Ferndale Oks Medical Marijuana Facility

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

US IA: Editorial: Another Look At Marijuana

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

Australia: Editorial: Medical Need For Weed

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
Sunday Mail, 03 Aug 2014 - THE vexed question of legalising medical marijuana is gaining momentum in Australia. Only recently NSW Premier Mike Baird said he wouldn't completely rule it out. Now, Brisbane mum Sally White tells 60 Minutes tonight that her 16-month-old daughter is dying and she wants to put her child on weed. A young cancer sufferer in Tamworth in NSW, his father a policeman, is waging a campaign to have medical marijuana made legal. It is legal in Colorado in the US and other states are investigating.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US PA: OPED: We Can Regulate Marijuana Use

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
Standard-Speaker, 03 Aug 2014 - For Michele Leonhart, the administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, there is no difference between the health effects of marijuana and those of any other illegal drug. "All illegal drugs are bad for people," she told Congress in 2012, refusing to say whether crack, methamphetamines or prescription painkillers are more addictive or physically harmful than marijuana.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US PA: Editorial: Gov't Should Clear Remaining Obstacles to

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
Pottstown Mercury, 03 Aug 2014 - Is medical marijuana (or perhaps even Colorado-style legalization) "the next gay marriage"? The idea of allowing equal marriage rights for same-sex couples was resisted for decades - actually centuries. But advocates persisted, attitudes changed and eventually legalization of gay marriage became inevitable.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US PA: Editorial: Gov't Should Clear Remaining Obstacles to

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
The Reporter, 03 Aug 2014 - Is medical marijuana (or perhaps even Colorado-style legalization) "the next gay marriage"? The idea of allowing equal marriage rights for same-sex couples was resisted for decades - actually centuries. But advocates persisted, attitudes changed and eventually legalization of gay marriage became inevitable.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MD: Editorial: Marijuana Paradox

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 03 Aug 2014 - Advocates' Concerns About Some Aspects of Maryland's Proposed Medical Marijuana Regulations Reflect the Lunacy of Federal Treatment of the Drug Advocates are generally praising Maryland's proposed new medical marijuana regulations as a step in the right direction after an initial effort failed to make the drug available to patients with chronic pain, nausea and other conditions thought to be alleviated by it. But they have raised concerns about some details that essentially boil down to this paradox: They object that the regulations would treat marijuana like any other medicine and that they would not.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US PA: Editorial: Push For Medical Marijuana Approval Makes

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
The Daily Local, 03 Aug 2014 - Is medical marijuana (or perhaps even Colorado-style legalization) "the next gay marriage"? Probably. The idea of allowing equal marriage rights for same-sex couples was resisted for decades- actually centuries. But advocates persisted, attitudes changed and eventually legalization of gay marriage became inevitable.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US PA: State Senator Samples Pot On Taxpayer Trip To Colo.

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
Pottstown Mercury, 03 Aug 2014 - HARRISBURG (AP) - A Pennsylvania state senator admitted he used marijuana during a recent taxpayer-funded trip to Colorado to observe the state's legal marijuana industry in action. Sen. Daylin Leach, a leading proponent of legalized marijuana in the Legislature, said he took two hits from a vape pen, similar to an e-cigarette, at his hotel. The device vaporizes a form of marijuana and is smokeless. Leach said it was a gift from a facility he and aides toured during the trip, which cost nearly $5,000.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US WA: Legal Bog Ahead For Island Pot Growers

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 03 Aug 2014 - Taking Weed to Mainland Marijuana Moved by Air, Sea Governed by Federal Anti-Pot Regulations Scott Durkee is ready to grow some weed.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US PA: State Sen. Leach Inhales On Taxpayer-funded Trip To Colo.

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
The Reporter, 03 Aug 2014 - HARRISBURG (AP) - A Pennsylvania state senator admitted he used marijuana during a recent taxpayer-funded trip to Colorado to observe the state's legal marijuana industry in action. Sen. Daylin Leach, a leading proponent of legalized marijuana in the Legislature, said he took two hits from a vape pen, similar to an e-cigarette, at his hotel. The device vaporizes a form of marijuana and is smokeless. Leach said it was a gift from a facility he and aides toured during the trip, which cost nearly $5,000.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Australia: Legalise Pot For Sick Kids, Say Mums

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
Sunday Mail, 03 Aug 2014 - TWO Queensland mums have made desperate pleas to legalise marijuana to save their children's lives, including one who is just 16 months old. Sunshine Coast mum Sally White fears for the life of her 16-month-old daughter Zali, who suffers from a rare genetic disease and cannabis could be the only option to ease her suffering.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

New Zealand: Dope Smokers 'Muddying Waters'

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
Sunday Star-Times, 03 Aug 2014 - Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne Is Blaming Dope Smokers for the Current Debate Over Cannabis Decriminalisation. Josh Fagan Reports. DEBATE OVER medical cannabis has been hijacked by "nuisance" campaigners who are making it harder for people with serious diseases, says Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US NY: Editorial: High in the Rockies, a Chill Marijuana Debate

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
New York Times, 03 Aug 2014 - GUNNISON, Colo. - Getting a feel for Gunnison, Colo., a town in the Rockies about four and a half hours southwest of Denver, takes a bicycle and a few minutes. On Main Street and nearby blocks you will pass a Wal-Mart, a pizza place called Pie-Zans, a bike-repair-and-espresso shop, the offices of The Gunnison Country Times, the campus of Western State Colorado University and Traders Rendezvous, which claims to have the state's largest collection of antlers and mounted animal trophies. Ride long enough and you will find seven churches and five liquor stores, six if you count the Safeway. What you will not find are any stores selling marijuana. These are not allowed.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US PA: Senator's First-hand Marijuana Research

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 08/02/2014 - 07:00
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 02 Aug 2014 - Leach Looks into Colorado Bill's Details, Samples the Product. On a state-funded trip to Denver last week, Pennsylvania State Sen. Daylin Leach aimed to study every aspect of Colorado's legal marijuana industry. Even the customer side.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Man Gives Up Hunger Strike

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 08/02/2014 - 07:00
Sudbury Star, 02 Aug 2014 - But Continues Fight for Equitable Access to Medical Pot Alexander Stewart has given up his hunger strike, but he hasn't given up the fight for more equitable access to medical marijuana. At the urging of his family, Stewart, 54, ate some soup, peaches and a slice of pizza Thursday.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM -- August 1, 2014

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 08/01/2014 - 20:39

The New York Times isn't done talking about marijuana, a House committee hears about stoned driving, you can comment now on Maryland's draft medical marijuana regulations, federal asset forfeiture and overdose prevention bills get introduced, and more. Let's get to it:

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

New York Times Has a Week's Worth of Legalization Editorials. The Times's editorial last Sunday calling for the end of federal marijuana prohibition, Repeal Prohibition, Again, was only the beginning. Throughout this week, the "newspaper of record" has kept at it -- and there's still more to come. The other editorials printed so far are Let States Decide on Marijuana, The Injustice of Marijuana Arrests, The Federal Marijuana Ban is Rooted in Myth and Xenophobia, and What Science Says About Marijuana. Still to come are editorials addressing track records and regulation. There is also a blog post providing background on the Times's decision to endorse legalization.

House Holds Hearing on Stoned Driving. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing yesterday on driving under the influence of marijuana, "Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Operating While Stoned," but the upshot was that the federal government has very little information about stoned driving and little basis for setting a legal limit for marijuana impairment. "No one is arguing that [driving while high is] a good idea, but the fact of the matter is that we don't have a lot of data," said Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly. "[Public policy has] got to be based on science, and we need more of it." Researchers testifying before the committee agreed. Click on the hearing link to watch the whole thing.

Washington Attorney General Intervenes in I-502 Lawsuits. Attorney General Bob Ferguson yesterday moved to intervene in three marijuana lawsuits filed against the cities of Wenatchee and Fife, which have passed local ordinances barring the operation of retail marijuana outlets. An opinion released by Ferguson in January concluded that I-502 does not bar localities from banning such businesses, so it appears he will be siding with the localities.

More Michigan Towns to Vote on Marijuana Reform Measures. Three more Michigan communities have joined the list of towns and cities that will vote on municipal legalization measures. Saginaw, Clare, and Harrison all have measures that have qualified for the ballot. In Saginaw, up to an ounce would be legalized; in Clare and Harrison, up to 2.5 ounces. More than a dozen Michigan communities are expected to vote on reform measures in November.

Portland, Oregon, Moves to Tax Marijuana Before It's Even Legal. The city of Portland has created a marijuana advisory committee in anticipation of voters legalizing marijuana statewide in November. The committee is discussing where to allow pot shops, but it is also moving to create a city sales tax -- and it has to do that before the November election because the language of the New Approach Oregon initiative does not allow cities to impose taxes beyond the state tax it imposes. The thinking is that if a tax is passed before the election, it can be grandfathered in.

Medical Marijuana

Maryland Medical Marijuana Draft Regulations are Now Available -- And You Have Until Tuesday to Comment. Maryland's medical marijuana commission has released draft regulations for cultivators and physicians. The Marijuana Policy Project has some problems with them, including calls for an "unnecessary" training course on medical marijuana for all certifying physicians, mandatory drug testing for patients, and a requirement that doctors specify dosage and strain type. These are draft regulations, but the period for comment on the draft ends Tuesday. Interested parties can email the commission to register their comments.

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

Sentencing

Smarter Sentencing Act of 2014 Picks Up New Cosponsor. Senate Bill 1410, the Smarter Sentencing Act of 2014, has picked up its 31st cosponsor, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). The bill would allow judges in some cases to sentence without regard to mandatory minimums, reduce mandatory minimums, and allow people sentenced for crack offenses after the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act went into effect to seek sentence reductions.

Harm Reduction

Senator Jack Reed Introduces Overdose Prevention Act. Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) and four Democratic cosponsors today introduced the Overdose Prevention Act, which would expand overdose prevention services and providing funding for access to the overdose reversal drug naloxone. The bill is not yet up on the congressional web site.

Asset Forfeiture

Rep. Tim Walberg Introduces Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill. Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) has filed House Resolution 5212, the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act. The bill would raise the standard of proof necessary for the government to seize property and reinstate due process so the government is required to  prove a property owner's involvement in criminal activity. This is the second asset forfeiture reform bill filed in as many weeks. Last week, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) filed the FAIR (Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration) ACT, Senate Bill 2644, which would require the government to prove with clear and convincing evidence that the property it wishes to forfeit is connected with a crime.

Law Enforcement

Justice Department Report Scolds DEA for Leaving Student in Cell for Five Days. A Justice Department report on the detention of San Diego student Daniel Chong, who was left unattended in a holding cell for five days at a DEA office there, has concluded that the DEA did not take simple measures to ensure that detainees are not forgotten. The report also slammed the agency for having the same agents who left Chong in the cell conduct the investigation into how it happened. Chong earlier received a $1.4 million payout from the DEA to settle a lawsuit he brought against the agency.

International

Russian Drug Agency Proposes Giving Social Benefits to Recovering Drug Users. In something of a surprise move, the Russian Federal Drug Control Service has proposed providing free housing, food subsidies, and home health care to help recovering drug users progress in their rehabilitation. The bill would add drug addicts to a list of categories of people considered socially vulnerable, such as senior citizens and people with disabilities. The proposal has drawn harsh criticism from opponents, who argue that it would encourage drug use.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

US FL: Column: Moms' Pot-For-Kids Campaign Seeks Help For Children

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 08/01/2014 - 07:00
Sun-Sentinel, 01 Aug 2014 - April Sintz is fighting to loosen marijuana laws for her 7-year-old epileptic son. She is one of hundreds of moms nationwide who have opened a new front in the drive to expand the drug's legal use. While supplying pot to a child is bound to raise eyebrows, Sintz said early evidence on the marijuana extract cannabidiol, also known as CBD, suggests it's a potent anticonvulsant with few dangerous side effects. That could help save the life of her son, Isaac, who has 30 seizures or so a day and suffers with kidney damage from his present treatments, she said.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US FL: OPED: Amendment 2 Not About Relief, It's About

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 08/01/2014 - 07:00
Sun-Sentinel, 01 Aug 2014 - Proponents have argued that Amendment 2 is about providing compassionate care for people who have debilitating symptoms, pain, or are dying. But if compassionate care were what the amendment is only about, then the authors would have specifically cited non-euphoric medical weed in the amendment's language.
Categories: Medical Marijuana
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