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Medical Marijuana

US: Venture Capital Firm Invests In Pot

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 01/09/2015 - 08:00
Los Angeles Times, 09 Jan 2015 - Founders Fund Puts Millions into a Cannabis-Focused Private Equity Group. Despite growing momentum toward marijuana legalization, big-name investors have largely stayed on the sidelines of the budding industry, content to hold out until federal prohibition is one day repealed.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US WA: Column: Medical-Marijuana Advocates May Howl, but No

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 01/09/2015 - 08:00
Seattle Times, 09 Jan 2015 - City Attorney Pete Holmes has bona fides as the most marijuana friendly prosecutor in the United States. So when he says something is rotten in pot, there's more than just smoke in air. This week, Holmes lit a fire in local pot politics by describing the existing medical-marijuana industry as essentially a giant felony enterprise.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN NS: N.S. Doctors Adonat Have Data On Medical Pot Use

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 01/09/2015 - 08:00
Chronicle Herald, 09 Jan 2015 - No one knows exactly how many people legally smoke marijuana in Nova Scotia anymore under a new system that places doctors as the sole gatekeepers to the drug. Health Canada previously tracked medical marijuana licences across the country. But the federal department stopped on April 1, 2014, when approvals fell into the laps of Canadian doctors.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Canada: Bay Street Law Firms Going To Pot

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 01/09/2015 - 08:00
Toronto Star, 09 Jan 2015 - Corporate Lawyers Aim To Gain From Changes To Rules Governing Access To Medical Marijuana The pot industry has long created work for criminal lawyers. But now it's attracting some of the biggest corporate law firms on Bay Street.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN NS: Man Who Grew Marijuana For Medicine Gets Jail Time For

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 01/09/2015 - 08:00
The News, 09 Jan 2015 - PICTOU - A Stellarton man will serve 60 days in jail for producing marijuana that he says he needs to help ease his chronic pain. James Malcolm Russell MacDonald, 36, was sentenced in Pictou provincial court Thursday on a conviction of production of marijuana and three additional counts of unsafe storage of a firearm.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Canada: Much Interest In Producing Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 01/09/2015 - 08:00
The Sun Times, 09 Jan 2015 - 23 Companies Now Have Grow Licences Health Canada has received nearly 1,200 applications so far from companies interested in producing medical marijuana. Spokeswoman Sara Lauer said there is no cap on how many licences the federal agency will approve.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CO: In Colorado, Pot Legalization Fails To Match

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 01/09/2015 - 08:00
Wall Street Journal, 09 Jan 2015 - Forecasts of Big Tax Windfall, Dire Social Consequences Don't Prove Entirely True DENVER - Before Colorado became the first state to allow marijuana for recreational purposes, supporters boasted that legalization would generate a sizable tax windfall, while opponents warned it could have serious social consequences.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Pot Plant Proposal Welcome News

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 01/08/2015 - 08:00
The Sun Times, 08 Jan 2015 - Planned Medical Marijuana Facility Would Bring 100 Full-Time Jobs A Toronto-based company hopes to transform the remaining section of the former PPG plant in Owen Sound into one of the largest medical marijuana production facilities in North America.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Update

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 01/07/2015 - 22:19

All the medical marijuana news this week is from the West and Midwest. There's good news from Iowa, Montana, and South Dakota, but things are going slowly in Illinois. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right caption:true]Illinois

Last Wednesday, the state missed its own deadline on issuing medical marijuana licenses. State officials admitted Wednesday afternoon that they had missed their self-imposed deadline to begin issuing dispensary and cultivation licenses before the end of 2014. But they didn't say why or when they would be ready. Here is the statement from the Department of Health: "We are strongly committed to bringing relief to thousands of people across the state and ensuring Illinois is the national model for implementing medical cannabis. We are working hard to make sure this is done right. We are conducting a comprehensive review of every cultivation center and dispensary applicant to ensure that only the most qualified are approved for this important program. We will announce the recipients when this important review is finished."

Iowa

On Monday, the Iowa Pharmacy Board voted to reschedule CBD, but not marijuana. The state Board of Pharmacy voted to move cannabidiol (CBD) from Schedule I to Schedule II, but not marijuana. The board was acting on a petition from long-time activist Carl Olsen, who sought to have the whole plant rescheduled. But the board wasn't ready to do that. Olsen says while it isn't what he was asking for, it is a step in the right direction.

Montana

Last Friday, a district court judge blocked some restrictions on medical marijuana. A state district court judge dealt a death blow to provisions of a restrictive state medical marijuana law passed by the Republican-dominated legislature seven years after Big Sky voters approved a more open initiative allowing for medicinal use and a wide open dispensary scene. District Judge James Reynolds in Helena permanently enjoined the implementation of certain key provisions in the law. Those provisions have never actually taken effect because Reynolds blocked them with a temporary injunction back in 2011. Click on the title link for more details.

South Dakota

On Monday, medical marijuana billboards began going up in Sioux Falls. Billboards pushing for medical marijuana and paid for by the Sioux Falls Free Thinkers are going up this week in South Dakota's largest city. The move comes as advocacy groups, including South Dakota Against Prohibition, work to get a medical marijuana bill through the legislature this session. South Dakota legislators have consistently rejected medical marijuana, and so have the state's voters. Past efforts to legalize medical marijuana at the ballot box failed in 2006 and 2010.

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

Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MS: Group Leads Drive To Legalize Pot In Mississippi

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 01/07/2015 - 08:00
Commercial Appeal, 07 Jan 2015 - Petition Effort Seeks to Get Issue on 2016 Ballot An effort to legalize marijuana in Mississippi is growing out of DeSoto County, where petition organizer Kelly Jacobs of Hernando is planning a series of town hall meetings this month to explain the proposal.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US: States Find You Can't Take Legal Pot Money To The Bank

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 01/07/2015 - 08:00
The Virgin Islands Daily News, 07 Jan 2015 - WASHINGTON - The nation's rapidly expanding legal marijuana industry, which operates in 23 states and the District of Columbia, enters a new year facing a multibillion-dollar question: What to do with all the millions in cash it collects each week? Nearly all of the nation's banks refuse to take money from marijuana sales or offer basic checking or credit card services to the industry for fear they'll be shut down by federal authorities, for whom marijuana remains an illegal narcotic. The banks won't do business with growers, processors, retail shops and medical dispensaries, or with their employees and contractors.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Seattle Pot Vapor Lounges, VA Pot Poll, Here Comes California, Iran Drug Executions, More (1/6/15)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 01/06/2015 - 23:28

Seattle's city attorney wants a place for marijuana users to congregate, California activists start moving toward 2016, Dr. David Nutt criticizes British Ecstasy policy, Iran starts the New Year with a bakers' dozen drug executions, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Seattle City Attorney Wants Marijuana Vapor Lounges. In a new memo on marijuana policy, City Attorney Peter Holmes is calling for the legalization of pot vapor lounges in the city. "Single family homeowners have a legal place to consume marijuana; others however, such as out-of-town visitors, the homeless, and renters and condominium owners whose buildings do not permit marijuana use, have fewer options," he noted in the memo. "You can enforce that law much better if you, at the same time, provide an outlet for that demand," Holmes said. The lounges would be open only to those 21 and over, require customers to bring their own weed, and would only allow vaping, not smoking. Such a move would require the approval of the city council and the city health department.

Virginia Poll Finds Majority Support for Decriminalization, Medical Marijuana. A Public Policy Polling survey commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project finds that 74% of respondents supported allowing medical marijuana and 60% supported decriminalization. The poll also had a near-majority for legalization, with 49% in favor and 44% opposed.

California Activists Set First Meeting for 2016 Initiative. The California Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform will kick off the effort to legalize pot in the state in 2016 with a meeting in Oakland this Friday. The meeting will be a seminar examining lessons from the successful initiative efforts in Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia, as well as the roll-out of marijuana commerce in Colorado. Click on the link for meeting details.  

Medical Marijuana

Iowa Pharmacy Board Votes to Reschedule CBD, But Not Marijuana. The state Board of Pharmacy voted Monday to move cannabidiol (CBD) from Schedule I to Schedule II, but not marijuana. The board was acting on a petition from long-time activist Carl Olsen, who sought to have the whole plant rescheduled. But the board wasn't ready to do that. Olsen says while it isn't what he was asking for, it is a step in the right direction.

Sentencing

Washington State Defelonization Bill to Get Hearing. A bill that would make simple drug possession a misdemeanor instead of a felony will get a public hearing in the House Public Safety Committee on January 16. The bill is House Bill 1024, introduced by Rep. Sherry Appleton (D-Poulsbo), and is estimated to save the state millions in incarceration costs each year if passed. Fourteen other states have defelonized drug possession, with California being the most recent. Voters there approved a defelonization initiative in November.

Law Enforcement

Rolling Stone Exposé on Crooked Texas Border Drug Task Force. Rolling Stone has published an in-depth look at a South Texas drug task force, the infamous "Panama Unit" of the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office and the Mission Police Department. The extent of the thievery and corruption is mind-blowing. Well worth the read.

International

"Illogical and Punitive Drug Policy" to Blame for British Ecstasy Deaths, Prominent Critic Says. Dr. David Nutt, the former head of the Advisory Commission on the Misuse of Drugs who was fired for failing to toe the government's hard line of drug policy, has blamed that hard-line policy for the drug overdose deaths of four men in the past few days. The men thought they were taking Ecstasy, but a British government crackdown on the drug has led to it being substituted by a more lethal substance, PMA. That's the "illogical and punitive drug policy," Nutt was referencing. "The emergence of the more toxic PMA following the so-called ‘success’ in reducing MDMA production is just one of many examples of how prohibition of one drug leads to greater harm from an alternative that is developed to overcome the block," he added.

Mexican Army Kills Nine Civilians in Cartel-Plagued Michoacan. Nine civilians have been killed by Mexican soldiers in the town of Apatzigan, Michoacan, after the army tried to take control of city hall, which had been held for days by armed civilians. It's not clear who exactly was involved, but the western Mexican state has been plagued for years by violent drug trafficking organizations, and more recently, by armed vigilantes fighting the cartels.

Iran Greets New Year By Hanging 13 Drug Offenders. New Year's Day saw 13 drug offenders hanged in Iranian prisons, including four women. All had been convicted of drug trafficking. Iran hanged hundreds of drug traffickers last year, and it looks like it's off to a quick start this year, too. 

Categories: Medical Marijuana

US WA: Holmes Asks State To Act On Medical Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 01/06/2015 - 08:00
Seattle Times, 06 Jan 2015 - Urges It Be Put into Recreational System Wants City to Crack Down on Medical-Shop Offenses Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes urged the Legislature to fold medical marijuana into the state's recreational system in a wide-ranging policy memo Monday.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US: Medical Marijuana A Challenge For Legal Pot States

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 01/06/2015 - 08:00
The Day, 06 Jan 2015 - SEATTLE (AP) - A year into the nation's experiment with legal, taxed marijuana sales, Washington and Colorado find themselves wrestling not with the federal interference many feared, but with competition from medical marijuana or even outright black market sales. In Washington, the black market has exploded since voters legalized marijuana in 2012, with scores of legally dubious medical dispensaries opening and some pot delivery services brazenly advertising that they sell outside the legal system.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US WA: Editorial: Outdated Pot Law Again Stirs Costly Trouble

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 01/06/2015 - 08:00
Spokesman-Review, 06 Jan 2015 - The outdated Controlled Substances Act of 1970 continues to act as a gateway to lunacy, with the latest example being a lawsuit filed by the states of Oklahoma and Nebraska against neighboring Colorado over the legalization of recreational marijuana. The offended attorneys general fought hard for federalism in warding off the Affordable Care Act's bid to widen Medicaid eligibility in the two states. Butt out, said Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, and the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately agreed. Now, they want the same court to intervene in Colorado and throttle its legal pot industry.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM:MT MedMJ Court Victory, DC Mayor Will Fight for Legalization, Thai Drug Sentences, More (1/5/15)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 23:02

DC's mayor will fight for legalization, a Montana judge blocks most of a restrictive medical marijuana law, a New York county's misdemeanor drug bust asset forfeiture law gets vetoed, Thailand will review drug sentences, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

DC Mayor Says She Will "Explore Every Option" to Get Legalization Enforced. Appearing on Meet the Press Sunday, new Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser stuck up for the District's voter-approved marijuana legalization law. In the face of opposition in the Republican Congress, Bowser said the city will "explore every option," up to and including a lawsuit against Congress, to ensure that the will of the voters is respected. She said the city would send the measure to Congress this month.

Washington State Bill Would Make Old Pot Convictions Go Away. People convicted of misdemeanor marijuana offenses in the past could have a chance to clear their records under a bill pre-filed for this year's legislative session. House Bill 1041, sponsored by Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-Vashon Island), would allow for the vacating of past pot offenses, but only if there are no pending criminal charges or any new charges since the misdemeanor pot conviction. Neither would people with a history of DUI charges, violent or obscene offenses, or domestic violence charges be eligible.

Medical Marijuana

South Dakota Medical Marijuana Billboard Go Up. Billboards pushing for medical marijuana and paid for by the Sioux Falls Free Thinkers are going up this week in South Dakota's largest city. The move comes as advocacy groups, including South Dakota Against Prohibition, work to get a medical marijuana bill through the legislature this session. South Dakota legislators have consistently rejected medical marijuana, and so have the state's voters. Past efforts to legalize medical marijuana at the ballot box failed in 2006 and 2010.

Montana Judge Blocks Some Restrictions on Medical Marijuana. A state district court judge last Friday dealt a death blow to provisions of a restrictive state medical marijuana law passed by the Republican-dominated legislature seven years after Big Sky voters approved a more open initiative allowing for medicinal use and a wide open dispensary scene. District Judge James Reynolds in Helena permanently enjoined the implementation of certain key provisions in the law. Those provisions have never actually taken effect because Reynolds blocked them with a temporary injunction back in 2011. Click on the title link for more details.

Asset Forfeiture

Orange County, NY, County Exec Vetoes Misdemeanor Asset Forfeiture Ordinance. Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus has vetoed an asset forfeiture law that would have allowed for the seizure of cash and property from people arrested for misdemeanor drug offenses. "While the legislation's concept to punish criminals who threaten public safety is something I am supportive of; still, the measure's final result leaves open the possibility of affecting innocent individuals," he said last Friday. "Moreover, the fact that revenue would largely go toward the general cost of government, rather than exclusively preventing future criminal activity is troubling to many."

Sentencing

Obama's Plan for Mass Commutations of Drug Sentences Hitting Roadblocks. President Obama's announced goal of commuting thousands of federal drug sentences is running into problems. Although some 25,000 prisoners have applied for sentence cuts, only eight were handed out last month when Obama announced Christmas pardons and commutations. The Justice Department is struggling to determine which sentences have been influenced by the crack-powder cocaine sentencing disparity and it lacks the lawyers to make a significant dent in the backlog. Advocacy groups have formed the Clemency Project 2014 to recruit private attorneys to help, but that is creating its own sets of issues. Much, much more at the link.

Methamphetamine

Meth Pouring Across California-Mexico Border. US Customs and Border Protection reports that meth is coming across the Mexican border into California at unprecedented levels. Agents seized more than 14,000 pounds of the drug in FY 2014, accounting for nearly two-thirds of all meth seizures at the US border or points of entry. Seizures in California have increased nearly five-fold since 2009, when a US federal law made the procurement of precursor chemicals in this country more difficult.

International

Thailand to Review Drug Sentencing. The country's Narcotics Control Board is meeting this week to consider revising drug sentences. Board Secretary-General Pempong Koomchaya said the laws are too stiff in many instances. "The imprisonment term for drug smugglers across the board is between 10-20 years although many smugglers are found with only 12 pills in their possession. About 60-70% of the arrested drug offenders have in possession less than 50 pills. Jailing them causes overcrowding at prisons also," he said. Pempong said some sentences must be made more lenient and that revisions in the law should be ready by the end of the month.

Israeli Farmers Eye Expanded Medical Marijuana Opportunities. The Health Ministry is expected to announce later this month it will open bids for additional medical marijuana providers. The tender is set to be published January 31, with results expected in March. Some farmers see new opportunities for profit—and for lower prices for patients. Click on the link for more. 

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Montana Judge Blocks Medical Marijuana Restrictions

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 21:21

A state district court judge last Friday dealt a hard blow to provisions of a restrictive state medical marijuana law passed by the Republican-dominated legislature seven years after Big Sky voters approved a more open initiative allowing for medicinal use and a wide open dispensary scene.

[image:1 align:left]District Judge James Reynolds in Helena permanently enjoined the implementation of certain key provisions in the law. Those provisions have never actually taken effect because Reynolds blocked them with a temporary injunction back in 2011.

Reynolds blocked provisions that ban medical marijuana advertising, forbid the commercial sale of marijuana to authorized patients, restrict caregivers from growing for more than three patients, and require the state to report the names of doctors who recommended more than 25 patients for medical marijuana in a 12-month period to the state Board of Medical Examiners. That final provision would have triggered at automatic review of the doctor's practices—at his own expense.

It wasn't a total wipe-out for the legislature. Reynolds let stand a provision that allows police and the Department of Public Health and Human Services to inspect medical marijuana providers unannounced during regular business hours, and he also left intact a provision barring prisoners, parolees, and probationers from being able to obtain medical marijuana cards.

The Montana medical marijuana scene exploded in 2009, when it appeared the Obama administration would not interfere in medical marijuana states, resulting in a case of severe backlash after some players pushed the envelope with open public pot smoking and loosely-regulated "cannabis caravans" crisscrossing the state and offering recommendations over the Internet. 

In 2011, the legislature moved to rein in the state's Wild West medical marijuana industry. It first voted to repeal the medical marijuana law entirely, but that was vetoed by then Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D). The legislature then passed the bill tightly restricting medical marijuana; that bill became law without Schweitzer's signature.

The Montana Cannabis Industry Association and some individuals sued to block the law. Now, they have succeeded in striking down key provisions—unless and until the state appeals and wins on appeal.

This is the second time Judge Reynolds has thrown out key provisions of the law. The first time, the state Supreme Court sent the case back to him, saying he should rule on it under "a rational basis" instead of the "strict scrutiny" he had applied earlier. Now he has.

"It is not the goal of this court to interfere with the Legislature’s slow and careful opening of the door to the use of medical marijuana," Reynolds wrote. "It is the goal of this court, however, to ensure that everybody who could benefit from medical marijuana, and especially those with the most serious medically debilitating conditions, are able to travel through that door equally."

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Canada: Going To Pot: Could Marijuana Legalization Come To Canada?

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 08:00
Prince George Citizen, 05 Jan 2015 - Could marijuana legalization come to Canada? Smoke it, toke it, vape it, eat it - marijuana, it seems, is going mainstream. Once widely reviled by society at large as the demon weed, medical-grade cannabis is now available through federally licensed growers with a doctor's prescription and even some highly respected health organizations are calling for the herb to be legalized and sold as a taxable commodity like alcohol, in government-regulated outlets.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US NM: Column: Medical Pot Users Not Protected by Americans

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 08:00
The New Mexican, 05 Jan 2015 - With legalized medical marijuana in 23 states and Washington, D.C., you might think that legal use of the plant would not result in the loss of your job or other dire consequences, but you are wrong. This is because federal law still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, which means it has no approved medical uses. Drugs and other substances that are considered controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act are divided into five schedules.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US IL: Gov: ' We're Gonna Try' To Award Medical Pot Licenses

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 08:00
Chicago Sun-Times, 05 Jan 2015 - Gov. Pat Quinn would not commit Sunday to awarding licenses to grow and sell medical marijuana in Illinois before he leaves office. Without explanation, the state blew its self-imposed deadline last week to award those licenses before the end of 2014. On Sunday, Quinn said research is still underway.
Categories: Medical Marijuana
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