Garden Island, 21 Aug 2016 - SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Nine living marijuana plants will be displayed at the Oregon State Fair in a first of its kind event for the United States starting next Friday. The exhibit of the nonflowering, immature plants brings pot cultivation more into the agricultural mainstream less than two years after Oregon voters legalized recreational marijuana. The Oregon Cannabis Business Council, which organized the exhibit, says it's the first time live cannabis will be shown at a state fair anywhere in the U.S.
Los Angeles Times, 21 Aug 2016 - Californians first threatened to legalize recreational marijuana by ballot initiative in 1972. It failed 66% to 33%. We tried again in 2010. It was voted down 53% to 46%. Now we're back at it. This time, though Proposition 64 looks like a sure thing. Polls show support for legalization in general at 55%, and 60% among likely voters. What's so different this time around?
Hamilton Spectator, 20 Aug 2016 - Draft regulations consider freelance dispensaries illegal It turns out police have already raided at least two Hamilton storefront medical marijuana sellers this year. The raids raise questions about the fate of all self-styled dispensaries in the city - particularly since newly released draft regulations for medical marijuana now specifically label freelance storefront sellers as illegal.
The East Bay Times, 20 Aug 2016 - Federal officials remain in a haze when it comes to articulating a comprehensible national policy on marijuana. Perhaps last week's ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals curtailing the feds from prosecuting legitimate growers and distributors will help clear the air.
An effort to knock the Arizona legalization initiative off the ballot gets slapped down, a new Nevada poll shows a very tight contest for the legalization initiative there, a new study finds that marijuana use is not implicated in organ transplant problems, and more.
[image:1 align:right caption:true]Marijuana Policy
Arizona Judge Rejects Lawsuit Trying to Knock Legalization Initiative Off the Ballot. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Jo Lynn Gentry has dismissed a lawsuit brought by opponents of the Prop 205 legalization initiative. The lawsuit had challenged the 100-word initiative summary that will appear on ballots, but Gentry ruled that the summary "substantially complies with the law." The foes, led by Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, said they will appeal.
Nevada Poll Has Legalization Initiative Under 50%, But Still Leading. A new Nevada poll from Suffolk University shows a tight race ahead. The poll had support for the Question 2 legalization initiative at 48%, with 43% opposed, and 9% undecided.
Study Finds Marijuana Use Not Associated With Bad Organ Transplant Outcomes. A peer-reviewed study from the journal Clinical Transplantation finds that marijuana use is not contraindicated in kidney transplants. "[R]ecreational marijuana use should not be considered a contraindication to kidney transplantation," the authors concluded. "[R]ecreational marijuana use should be systematically evaluated in a larger setting before a decision is made on what, if any, degree of use or abuse should be considered a relative or absolute contraindication, or whether use or abuse should be considered a contraindication." Even in jurisdictions that allow for medical marijuana use, hospitals routinely disqualify patients with a marijuana history from eligibility for organ transplants.
Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana System Moving Forward. The state Health Department has released a draft of the rules for the state's nascent medical marijuana industry. The more than 90 pages of draft regulations create a roadmap for aspiring medical marijuana growers and processors who are competing for 25 lucrative permits.
Nelson Star, 19 Aug 2016 - The lawyer who successfully overturned the former Conservative government's ban on the home growing of medical marijuana is praising a move by the federal Liberals to create a new licensing system for doctor-approved patients. Kirk Tousaw said the new Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations, which take effect Aug. 24, appear to be much the same as the old home growing licenses that prevailed until 2014 when the Conservative government tried to outlaw them and force approved patients to buy only from licensed commercial producers.
The Morning Star, 19 Aug 2016 - The City of Vernon Is Not Cracking Down on Marijuana Dispensaries. Council decided Monday not to investigate a zoning bylaw that would prohibit marijuana operations. "I haven't heard any complaints from the public," said Coun. Juliette Cunningham.
Washington Post, 19 Aug 2016 - Critics Say MD. Diversity Isn't Reflected; Decisions May Be Challenged Maryland set up its legal medical marijuana industry with hopes of racial diversity and equity in the division of profits, but not one of the 15 companies that were cleared this week for potentially lucrative growing licenses is led by African Americans.
Los Angeles Times, 19 Aug 2016 - A Statewide Ballot Measure on Adult Recreational Use Is Complicated - and Highly Likely to Pass. SACRAMENTO - I know you've been distracted/disgusted/gobsmacked by the presidential campaign all summer.
Despite what's been called "de facto legalization," California has arrested a half million for pot in the last decade; Tennessee's Music City moves toward decriminalization, a Montana anti-medical marijuana initiative has come up short, and more.
[image:1 align:left caption:true]Marijuana Policy
California Saw Half a Million Marijuana Arrests in the Last Decade. And you thought pot was virtually legal there already. A new report from the Drug Policy Alliance shows that far from "de facto legalization," tens of thousands of Californians are still getting arrested for marijuana offenses each year. Even though the state decriminalized pot possession in 2011, thousands are still arrested for marijuana misdemeanors each year, and the burden of arrests falls disproportionately on blacks, Latinos, and youth.
Report Finds West Virginia Could Make Millions By Legalizing Marijuana. The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy released a report Thursday saying that if the state legalized marijuana and taxed it at 25% of its wholesale price, the state could collect an estimated $45 million a year. And if just 10% of marijuana users living within 200 miles of the state came to buy legal weed there, the state could make $194 million a year. It would also save most of the $17 million a year it currently spends enforcing pot prohibition.
Nashville Moves Toward Marijuana Decriminalization. Tennessee's second largest city (less than a thousand people fewer than Memphis) is headed for decrim. The city council Tuesday gave its initial approval to a measure that would make possession of up to an ounce a civil infraction punishable by a $50 fine. It's not a done deal yet, though, and the police are grumbling. Stay tuned.
Possible Arizona Pot Legalization Spurs Rush for Medical Marijuana Licenses. More than 750 people or groups have submitted applications for 31 medical marijuana dispensary licenses to be awarded in October. Medical marijuana license holders will get first crack at new adult use licenses if the Prop 205 legalization initiative passes.
Montana Anti-Medical Marijuana Initiative Fails To Qualify for Ballot, But Challenges Signature Shortfall. An initiative seeking to repeal the state's medical marijuana law has failed to qualify for the November ballot after coming up short on valid signatures. The Safe Montana campaign claims the state improperly rejected or lost signatures and has filed suit to challenge the state's decision. Meanwhile, the I-182 initiative, which would rebuild the state's largely gutted medical marijuana program, has already qualified for the ballot.
Philippines President Duterte Slams "Stupid" UN Criticism of Drug War Killings.President Duterte, who has presided over hundreds of drug war killings since assuming office just weeks ago, has pushed back against criticism of his policies by the United Nations. ""Here comes the UN, easily swayed, and coming with a very stupid proposition,"Duterte said in a speech on Wednesday at an event for police officers also attended by foreign diplomats. "Why would the United Nations be so easily swayed into interfering in the affairs of this republic?" Duterte has ordered police not to hesitate to kill and even urged ordinary citizens and communist rebels to join in the war against drugs. Drug users are "not viable human beings," he said.
The Peterborough Examiner, 18 Aug 2016 - Gage has a rare and incurable neurological disorder, and the drug has proven to help NAPANEE - A Napanee-area marijuana facility is now able to sell its medical product to patients in need, and a mother says her son is benefitting from the development.
Airdrie City View, 18 Aug 2016 - If you mention laws surrounding the use of marijuana, you are likely to get an earful of differing opinions. But when it comes to medical marijuana, there seems to be at least some lenience on negative views. According to Health Canada, under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations, Canadians who have been authorized by their health care practitioner to access cannabis for medical purposes will continue to have the option of purchasing safe, quality-controlled cannabis from one of the 34 producers licensed by Health Canada. Canadians will also be able to produce a limited amount of cannabis for their own medical purposes, or designate someone to produce it for them.
Toronto Star, 18 Aug 2016 - With dispensaries outnumbering ice cream shops in some parts of Toronto, a casual observer could be forgiven for thinking that marijuana is legal in Canada. Pot has always fallen in somewhat of a "grey area" - compassion clubs, for instance, have operated since the 1990s - but this is something altogether different. Make no mistake: at least for now, these neighbourhood drug stores are prohibited by law (subject to certain constitutional arguments available to those selling to documented medical patients). Owners, employees and customers face potential criminal charges; owners can also be prosecuted and fined under municipal zoning and licensing bylaws; and health practitioners issuing prescriptions can be disciplined by their professional regulator.
London Free Press, 18 Aug 2016 - A businessperson whose London pot shop was raided by police days after opening is digging in for another battle with authorities. Police swooped down on Tasty Budd's medical marijuana dispensary on Whancliffe Road Wednesday, seizing its inventory and arresting two men. The store had opened only six days earlier. Mal McMeekin, founder of the Tasty Budd's franchise, which opened in defiance of the law, is thumbing his nose at police, again. "The plan is to reopen, for sure," McMeekin said from Halifax. "I feel that it's an unnecessary use of taxpayers' money to raid something where we're just helping people." McMeekin and business partner Tim Balogh didn't consult London police before opening the shop last Friday. It sells marijuana, hash oil and cannabis-infused edibles to medicinal marijuana users. Though an estimated 350 pot dispensaries operate across Canada, they 're illegal - despite the Liberal government's pledge to liberalize Canada's pot laws - under a federal law that limits the sale of marijuana to a few dozen producers approved by Ottawa. Dispensary operators argue they provide a needed service for people who use marijuana for medical reasons.
Phoenix New Times, 18 Aug 2016 - You would be forgiven for not recognizing the nondescript brick warehouse in Phoenix's Grand Avenue industrial district as the site of a high-tech agricultural facility. But as soon as you step inside, the smell of hundreds of marijuana plants is overwhelming. As you make your way through the small rooms that line the main hallway, you can hear the whoosh of ventilation fans and the gentle hum of huge artificial lights suspended above a lush green canopy of leaves. Reggae, old-school hip-hop, and pop-punk blare from a portable speaker as a crew of 30 or so workers trim, water, and inspect the all-female crop of cannabis plants casually known as "the ladies."
The Free Press, 18 Aug 2016 - On Aug. 22, the City of Fernie has their next Committee of the Whole meeting. I attend these meetings regularly, and I'm expecting this upcoming one to be a little different. The City is planning to participate in the federal government's marijuana task force, and is hoping to incorporate the views and opinions of Fernieites in their form.
Airdrie City View, 18 Aug 2016 - Like many school-aged children, Sarah Wilkinson's 10-year-old daughter, Mia, will head off to school in September. Though today Mia is laughing, happy and enjoying life, many didn't expect her to still be here. With two boys already at home, Wilkinson and her husband James were "over the moon" to hear another baby was on the way - a girl. But 29 minutes after being born, Mia had her first seizure. The diagnosis - a rare form of epilepsy called Ohtahara syndrome - meant Mia's life would be marked by many more seizures to come.
Globe and Mail, 18 Aug 2016 - 'The way individuals access cannabis for medical purposes is changing." With this sparse statement, Health Canada introduced a new set of regulations, the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR), which will replace the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) on Aug. 24.
The Northern Times, 18 Aug 2016 - The air in this small Northern town may get a little hazy at the end of this month as the annual Hempfest festival kicks off on Aug. 22. For the last 18 years, the festival has attracted advocates and supporters of the decriminalization of marijuana, both for its recreational and medicinal uses, to the week-long music and camping event.
Sacramento News & Review, 18 Aug 2016 - So did the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency finally make a decision? B.A. "Ted" Breath Meh. They did, but it's pretty much the same old song, although they did make a small change. In case you missed it: Last week, the DEA decided not to change cannabis' Schedule I status, meaning that the DEA still considers cannabis to be of no medical use and to be highly addictive, like GHB or heroin. Go figure. I talked about some of the reasons why the DEA probably wouldn't change their position on pot in the column before this one (see "Overscheduled," August 11). I had thought they would have tried to stall for a while longer, but they didn't. Maybe they should have.