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Medical Marijuana

Comedian Randy Credico's Deadly Serious Quest to Run New York [FEATURE]

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 08/12/2014 - 12:28

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is widely expected to cruise to an easy victory in the Democratic primary on September 9, despite festering influence-peddling scandals, despite his embrace of corporate benefactors, and despite his lackluster support for the ever-popular medical marijuana. He faces only one traditional challenger, Fordham University law professor Zephyr Teachout.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]But he also faces the insurgent candidacy of comedian, satirist, political gadfly, and perennial candidate Randy Credico, who bills himself as "the most progressive candidate since FDR" and who is running on an anti-corporate and pro-drug reform platform. That's nothing new for Credico, who has long been active in the Rockefeller drug law repeal movement, the prison reform movement, and other progressive social movements.

"Cuomo's father built 37 prisons, Teachout's father [a judge] sends people to prison, my father went to prison -- I know what it does to families," Credico said, beginning to sketch out not only the policy differences but the life experiences that sets him apart from the other contenders.

Credico's father did 10 years in Ohio for a nonviolent offense, the candidate explained.

Credico lays out his platform on the home page of his campaign web site, and it is the stuff of a populist backlash to both overweening corporate control and the state's alive-and-kicking prison/law enforcement industrial complex.

Keeping to the FDR comparison, he calls for "A New Deal for New York" to "Tax Wall Street, Not Main Street," bring "Benefits for the average person," "Clean up City Hall and policing," and "Build infrastructure to create jobs." The platform calls for taxes on the sales of stocks, bonds, and derivatives, income-based real estate taxes, and a more progressive income tax, as well as raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, lowering subway fares and other transit tolls, and providing Medicare for all.

But his drug policy platform is also something to behold, and goes well beyond the baby steps taken by even the most progressive mainstream politicians. His criminal justice planks include:

  • legalize marijuana;
  • close Attica prison;
  • ban racial profiling and end stop and frisk;
  • end the Rockefeller drug laws; and
  • direct election of all criminal judges.

[image:2 align:right caption:true]"I'm for decriminalizing all drugs and legalizing marijuana," Credico told the Chronicle Monday. "I'm not sure if the state is ready for legalizing cocaine and heroin, but I can't believe methadone is better than heroin. We ought to be transforming Rikers Island from a penal colony to a center for job training, education, and treatment. When Attica exploded, there were only 10,000 people in the state prison system; now there are 10,000 on Rikers alone."

[Editor's Note: The 1971 Attica state prison riot left 43 people dead, including 10 guards, and was a spark for the prisoners' rights movement of the 1970s.]

Although the draconian Rockefeller drug laws have been reformed in recent years and the prison population has declined somewhat -- from an all-time high of 95,000 at the end of 2006 to just over 81,000 at the end of June -- there are still more than 10,000 people serving prison time for drug offenses, or, as Credico notes, more than there were people in prison for anything 40 years ago.

"This is happening under the purview of Democrats," he said. "Attorney General Eric Schneiderman walked with us against the Rockefeller laws, but he's been captured by the powers that be and has ignored any calls for further reform, not just of the drug laws, but also of odious prison conditions."

Once upon a time, political candidates had to deny ever having smoked marijuana. Then, one famously denied ever having inhaled. Now, they admit to having used, but brush it off as a youthful indiscretion from their wild school days. Not Credico.

"I've admitted being a pot smoker," he said. "Not every day, but it's been good for me. I smoked and I inhaled, and I believe marijuana is better for you than e-cigs. People should have access to it. It's better than drinking or doing blow," he added.

But Credico even argues that he should have the right to do blow, if that's what he wants to do.

"I can eat Ritalin, I can gobble down all those pharmaceuticals, but if somebody shows up with some pure Bolivian, I want to try that. That's against the law? Who is responsible for that, and who is enforcing it? Nobody gives a shit if I smoke a joint or do a line," he declared.

[image:3 align:left caption:true]Of course, that could be because Credico is a middle-aged white guy. But New York City, Credico's home, is infamous for its arrests of tens of thousands of young black and brown city residents each year on marijuana charges, and Credico, of course, is aware of that.

"All the kids I see getting arrested are black. It's against the law to smoke pot -- if you're black," he scoffed.

"They arrest 50,000 kids for smoking pot, but I smoked it at the state capitol, and they wouldn't arrest me," he said. "We have 55,000 homeless people in this city, 20,000 homeless kids. Just think what we could do if marijuana was legal and taxed and we used it to rebuild the infrastructure and create low cost housing. Instead, he keep arresting brown and black kids."

Credico's campaign is low-budget, but he's using tactics honed by years of activism to get his message out. He travels to events throughout the city and state and works crowds -- many of whom already know him from his years of activism around prison issues.

"I'm focusing on the projects; that's where I'm getting my support," he said. "People are tired of the marijuana arrests, the abuse by police. We need a state law banning racial profiling. We're supposed to be the guiding light of the nation, and we don't have a racial profiling law."

Credico is using social media to the best advantage he can. He's produced an award-winning documentary, Sixty Spins Around the Sun, to explain how he's gotten to the point where he's spending his 60th year trying to unseat a powerful incumbent governor, and he's got a Facebook campaign page.

Over the weekend, he penned a piece for the Huffington Post, "Is New York Ready for a Governor Who's Ready to Inhale?", but when it comes to mainstream media attention, he feels like the Rodney Dangerfield of New York politics.

"I don't get no respect," he intoned. "I'm running against two people from the ruling class."

But at least he was on his way to do an interview with NY 1, one of the city's 24-hour cable news channels. And the campaign continues.

(This article was published by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN BC: Epileptic B.C. Girl Makes Dramatic Recovery, Family

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 08/12/2014 - 07:00
The Telegram, 12 Aug 2014 - The two-year-old Summerland, B.C., girl whose family is feeding her illegal cannabis oil has had a dramatic improvement in her seizure disorder. Kyla Williams' family says in the past five months the oil given to the girl has greatly reduced the hundreds of seizures she was suffering from daily.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MP: Online Group Founder Weighs In On Marijuana Initiative

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 08/12/2014 - 07:00
Marianas Variety, 12 Aug 2014 - THE founder of the island's online marijuana legalization group, Kelvin Rodeo, is concerned about retired teacher Ambrose Bennett's proposal to submit a legislative initiative to lawmakers. A legislative initiative must be passed by three-fourths of the members of each house, present and voting. It does not require the governor's approval but must be ratified by voters.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Canada: Canada's Royal Couple Of Marijuana Has Big Plans After Emery's

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 08/12/2014 - 07:00
Vancouver 24hours, 12 Aug 2014 - Marc and Jodie Emery, Canada's royal couple of marijuana, plan to take their drug-reform fight global after Marc returns home from the U.S. a free man. Soon after Marc walks across the Ambassador Bridge from Detroit into Windsor, Ont., Tuesday afternoon, Jodie said the couple will fly to Ireland and Spain on sponsored speaking gigs.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM -- August 11, 2014

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 19:28

Germans march for marijuana, Washington state takes in a million in taxes from the first month of pot sales, New Mexico local decriminalization initiatives struggle to make the ballot, Central Florida cops make a bunch of small-time drug busts, a new poll has some old results on the success of the drug war, and more. Let's get to it:

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

$3.8 Million in Marijuana Sales in Washington's First Month. The Washington State Liquor Control Board reported last Friday that the first month of legal marijuana retailing generated $3.8 million in gross sales. The state expects to collect about $1 million in tax revenues from the sales. That's about half of what Colorado did in its first month, but Washington is off to a slower start, with only 18 stores selling weed in July.

Gavin Newsom Says He Will Support Marijuana Legalization on 2016 California Ballot. California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) says he will support whatever marijuana legalization initiative makes the ballot in 2016. That will probably be the one he is working on as part of a California ACLU task force studying legalization. The task force hopes to release a report on the issues around legalization by year's end.

Santa Fe Decriminalization Initiative Hands in More Signatures. After coming up short after their first signature hand-in, ProgressNow New Mexico and Drug Policy Action, the campaign arm of the Drug Policy Alliance, the sponsors of the Santa Fe decriminalization initiative, handed in additional signatures last Friday. The ballot initiative calls for making the penalty for possession of an ounce or less of marijuana and possession of marijuana-associated paraphernalia a civil infraction punishable by a fine of no more than $25.

Albuquerque Decriminalization Initiative Comes Up Short on Signatures. Sponsors of an Albuquerque decriminalization initiative -- the same folks involved in the Santa Fe initiative -- came up with only 9,172 valid voter signatures, short of the 14,218 needed to qualify for the ballot. The city had originally said they needed only 11,000 signatures, and there was talk of legal action if sponsors met the original goal, but they didn't even manage to do that.

Medical Marijuana

Northern Arizona University Rejects Dr. Sue Sisley Medical Marijuana Research Proposal. Dr. Sue Sisley, who was fired by the University of Arizona over what she says is her support medical marijuana, has lost a bid to do her study at the University of Northern Arizona. She had received FDA approval and a $1 million grant from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies to study its effects on PTSD in veterans, but that study is now in limbo until she finds a new home for it.

Guam to Vote on Medical Marijuana Initiative in November. The Guam Electoral Commission last Thursday approved putting the Joaquin "KC" Concepcion II Compassionate Cannabis Use Act of 2013 on the November ballot. The act would allow for the creation of medical marijuana dispensaries, with regulations and rules to be developed later by a government commission. The commission had balked at the move, but a Guam Supreme Court decision earlier last week said the legislature has the right to put measures before the voters. Under Guam law, the referendum must get more than 50% of the voters of all voters who vote in the general election, not just a simple majority.

Clock Ticking on Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Initiative. Oklahomans for Health, the group behind the state's effort to get a medical marijuana initiative on the November ballot, is running out of time. The group has until Friday to turn in 150,000 valid voter signatures, but it has so far gathered only 120,000 raw signatures. With a typical disqualification rate of 20-30%, the group would likely need more than 200,000 raw signatures to make the ballot.

Illinois Medical Marijuana Licensing Starts Next Month. Patients and caregivers wanting to enroll in the state's medical marijuana program can begin applying for licenses on September 2, state officials said last Friday. Application materials are available at the web site for the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program.

Utah Issues First Registration Cards for High-CBD Cannabis Oil Treatment. The Department of Health has issued registration cards to 11 patients for its new program allowing people with severe epilepsy to use high-CBD cannabis oil. People with the cards can legally possess high-CBD cannabis oil, but they will have to get it out of state. The main producer of the extract, next door in Colorado, has a lengthy waiting list.

Drug Policy

Rasmussen Poll: 84% Say War on Drugs is Being Lost. A new Rasmussen Poll finds that 84% believe the nation is losing the war on drugs. Only 3% though it was winning. Americans are split on financing the drug war, with one third saying we're spending too much, 29% saying not enough, 17% saying spending levels are about right, and 22% unsure. The poll also has Americans split down the middle on marijuana legalization, with 43% for and 43% against. Click on the link for more details.

Law Enforcement

Polk County, Florida, Narcs Make String of Petty Drug Busts. The Polk County Sheriff's Department narcotics unit, the joint state-federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Task Force, and Haines City Police combined to make a string of drug busts last week, arresting 17 people. But a perusal of the charges shows that they were primarily low-level. Twelve of the charges involved simple drug possession, most of them for marijuana, and many of them with the additional charge of being within 1,000 feet of a church. Most of the other charges were for small-time marijuana sales, again within 1,000 feet of a church. A handful of the arrests also involved other drugs, usually for possession or small-time sales. The arrests appeared to target the local African-American community.

International

Thousands March for Marijuana in Germany. Thousands of people calling for marijuana legalization marched through Berlin on Saturday for the city's annual Hemp Parade (Hanfparade). This year's slogan was "Green Light for Legalization," with marchers hoping legalization in Uruguay and two US states will lead to the same in Germany.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

US FL: Medical Marijuana Draws Voters

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 07:00
Sun-Sentinel, 11 Aug 2014 - Getting young people engaged in politics is never easy, but voter-registration volunteers say the medical-marijuana amendment on November's ballot is attracting new voters who otherwise might not bother with a midterm election. Both political parties for more than a year have been knocking on doors to energize supporters who might be lured to the polls by a heated governor's race. Democrats are especially eager to avoid the usual big drop-off of turnout in non-presidential elections, which tends to hurt their party's candidates.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US FL: OPED: Misinformation and Fear Infiltrate Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 07:00
Sun-Sentinel, 11 Aug 2014 - When I asked my oncologist why she wasn't more familiar with alternatives to chemotherapy and radiation to treat breast cancer, she said she was too busy to learn about natural, holistic therapies. They certainly don't teach them in medical school.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Medical Pot User Claims Smoking Cost Him His Job

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 07:00
Metro, 11 Aug 2014 - David-George Oldham. Former TD employee takes case to Human Rights Commission after he says he was fired for medicating at work A former TD Bank employee in Ottawa says he was fired for using medical marijuana while on the job and he's taken his complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US FL: OPED: Medical Community Opposes Amendment

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 07:00
The Palm Beach Post, 11 Aug 2014 - Congratulations to the Florida Medical Association for passing a resolution on July 27 to oppose Amendment 2. The FMA is the latest member of the medical community to come out overwhelmingly in opposition to allowing people to buy marijuana in stores across the state based on a recommendation - not a prescription - from a doctor. It continues to baffle me that despite this strong opposition from doctors that the media reporting on this issue are not covering this angle. After all, Amendment 2 is a medical issue, or at least that is how it is advertised.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US DC: OPED: A Former Drug Czar Weighs In On Pot And Traffic Fatalities

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 11 Aug 2014 - At the Hudson Institute, David Murray and former drug czar John Walters have responded to my post on marijuana legalization and roadway fatalities in Colorado. It's an odd response. It includes some condescending lecturing about statistics, a complete misunderstanding of my point and criticism of me for overlooking things that my post actually addresses. Before I get to their response, I'll just reiterate that my argument isn't that roadway fatalities in Colorado have fallen because of pot legalization. My argument is this: Opponents of legalization predicted a surge in roadway fatalities due to drivers under the influence of pot. After seven months, that hasn't happened. Roadway fatalities have continued to decline. Opponents of legalization also argue that we've seen an increase in arrests for "drugged driving" and that we've also seen an increase in accidents (in Colorado and in states that have legalized medical marijuana) in which one or more drivers tested positive for pot. My argument is that these tests don't measure inebriation. Therefore, we can't say that those accidents were caused by pot, and we can't say what percentage of those new drugged-driving arrests involved drivers who were actually a threat to the other people on the road. All we can say is that as pot becomes more widely available, a larger percentage of people on the roads are testing positive for pot. It doesn't necessarily mean they were high while driving, nor that they were significant impaired while driving. As pot becomes more widely available, you would expect a large percentage of people to test positive for pot from any sample group.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US IL: Illinois To Hold Three Town Halls On Medical Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 08/10/2014 - 07:00
Southern Illinoisan, 10 Aug 2014 - CHICAGO -- As Illinois' new medical marijuana program gets underway, potential patients, growers and retailers have questions. State officials plan to hold three town hall meetings across Illinois to provide answers, particularly about the application process, which starts next month. Multiple sclerosis patient Marla Levi of Buffalo Grove plans to apply for the required ID card so she can buy marijuana legally from a state-approved dispensary. She's found that the drug helps relieve the rigidity in her legs, she said. She wants to attend one of the meetings to get more information.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US NM: Editorial: Employers Need Final Say On Workers' Use Of Medical

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 08/10/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 10 Aug 2014 - When you go to urgent care, you should be able to be confident the medical professionals treating you aren't high. When you drive down the highway, you should expect a truck driver to be sober. A drug-free workplace is what most people expect - including employers. And that's what Presbyterian Healthcare Services says it is committed to and is required to provide under federal law. So, when a nurse practitioner started working in one of its centers and tested positive for THC, the active chemical in marijuana, she was fired, even though she provided documentation that she is authorized to use medical marijuana to treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Donna Smith's attorney says she did not possess or use marijuana at work and had excellent performance reviews at previous jobs.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CA: Mendocino Pot Eradication Creates A Mystery

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 08/10/2014 - 07:00
The Press Democrat, 10 Aug 2014 - Tales of mysterious men in black or camouflage dropping from helicopters into legal marijuana gardens, cutting the plants, then disappearing with nary a word to the growers, have been spreading fear among Mendocino County pot cultivators. Many believe the intruders are private, paramilitary security officers conducting vigilante anti-pot operations, but the real story likely is less intriguing, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US: Medical Marijuana Research Hits Wall Of U.S. Law

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 08/10/2014 - 07:00
New York Times, 10 Aug 2014 - Nearly four years ago, Dr. Sue Sisley, a psychiatrist at the University of Arizona, sought federal approval to study marijuana's effectiveness in treating military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. She had no idea how difficult it would be. The proposal, which has the support of veterans groups, was hung up at several regulatory stages, requiring the research's private sponsor to resubmit multiple times. After the proposed study received final approval in March from federal health officials, the lone federal supplier of research marijuana said it did not have the strains the study needed and would have to grow more - potentially delaying the project until at least early next year.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US UT: Cities Take Aim At Legal Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 07:00
The Daily Herald, 09 Aug 2014 - PROVO -- City mayors and a county commissioner were recently warned of the impacts the cities and county may have if recreational marijuana was ever made legal in Utah. On Thursday night at a meeting of the Utah County Council of Governments, a monthly meeting of county and city leaders, the county's Department of Drug and Alcohol Prevention and Treatment made a brief presentation informing the leaders of what has happened in cities and states that have already moved forward with legalizing pot.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US IL: Applications Now Online For People Seeking Medical Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 07:00
Chicago Sun-Times, 09 Aug 2014 - Seriously ill people seeking to use medical marijuana in Illinois can start filling out the application to belong to the program. Illinois officials on Friday posted the nine-page patient application online.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM -- August 8, 2014

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 19:15

Things get slow in the dog days of summer, but there's still news from the legal marijuana states, California continues to grapple with regulating medical marijuana, and a couple of items from Britain suggest change could be in the air there. Let's get to it:

Marijuana Policy

[image:1 align:right caption:true]ACLU of Washington Joins Fight Against Local Marijuana Store Bans. The ACLU of Washington announced today that it is representing three state-licensed marijuana business owners who have filed a lawsuit challenging the city of Fife's ban on marijuana operations. The business owners and the ACLU argue that local bans violate I-502, the voter initiative that legalized marijuana in the state. You can view the ACLU's pleadings in the case here.

Colorado Health Department Says Teen Marijuana Use Is Down Since Dispensaries Came, Voters Approved Legalization. An annual survey of teen drug use in the state has found that marijuana use has been declining since hundreds of medical marijuana outlets opened in the state in 2009 and since the state legalized adult marijuana use and sales in late 2012. Current use among Colorado teens dropped from 24.8% in 2009 to 20% in 2013. Meanwhile, nationally, teen current use has increased, from 20.8% in 2009 to 23.4% last year.

Wichita Decriminalization Initiative Campaign Comes Up Short on Signatures. There will be no popular vote on decriminalization in Wichita this year. Election officials said that campaigners didn't have enough valid voter signatures to qualify. Although they handed in about 3,500 signatures and only needed 2,928, they still came up 180 valid voter signatures short. They say they will now press the city council to act on decriminalization.

Medical Marijuana

California Statewide Regulation Bill Goes to Assembly Appropriations Committee Next Week. The Assembly Appropriations will examine Senate Bill 1262, the law enforcement- and local government-backed bill to regulate the state's medical marijuana industry next Wednesday. That's the last day the committee meets this session. The bill has already passed the Senate, but must pass the Assembly by month's end or it dies. The bill link above may not represent the latest changes to it; new updates are expected today. The bill has divided the state's medical marijuana community, with some groups supporting it as is and some demanding changes to make it friendlier to patients and the industry.

International

British Liberal Democrats Will End Jail for Drug Possession, Nick Clegg Says. Liberal Democratic Party leader Nick Clegg has said that if the Lib Dems win the next election, they will move to abolish prison sentences for simple drug possession, even for Class A drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Half of the people currently being jailed for drug possession in Britain are being held for marijuana offenses. This call for effective decriminalization puts Clegg and the Lib Dems at odds with their governing coalition senior partners, the Tories. Meanwhile, the Home Office is currently undertaking a review of British drug policy.

British Government to Provide Foil to Heroin Users to Encourage Smoking Rather Than Injecting. In a harm reduction move, Britain will begin providing free foil to heroin users to encourage them to smoke the drug instead of injecting it. Injection drug users are more likely to contract blood-borne diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C. The move was approved last year by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, which said it could also help move addicts toward recovery.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN BC: Ending Toddler's Seizures Matters More To Family Than Complying

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 07:00
Penticton Herald, 08 Aug 2014 - The family of a two-year-old Summerland girl is willing to break the law to provide her with the cannabis oil that appears to have dramatically reduced the hundreds of seizures she was suffering daily. Kyla Williams, who has a severe seizure disorder, has shown marked improvement during the past five months while her family has been treating her with the illegal oil.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN AB: Clinic Offers Walk-In Weed Prescriptions

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 07:00
Metro, 08 Aug 2014 - Pot friendly doctors hard to find. Oasis Clinic believed to be first of its kind in Calgary Graeme Mascuich has been using marijuana to treat symptoms associated with Asperger syndrome for years. But it's just recently that the 29-year-old was able to obtain his supply of the drug through legitimate means, thanks to a Calgary clinic believed be the first in the city to offer patient evaluations for the federal medicinal marijuana program.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM -- August 7, 2014

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 19:56

The legalization debate packed 'em in in Anchorage, California's medical marijuana regulation bill is going down to the wire, Massachusetts has a new substance abuse law, China executes two for drugs, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Alaska Legalization Debate Draws Big Crowd. The Wilda Marston Theatre in Anchorage was packed last night as supporters and opponents of the legalization initiative, Ballot Measure 2, duked it out. Click on the link to get the flavor of the debate.

NJ Weedman Becomes a Newspaper Columnist. Longtime New Jersey marijuana activist Ed Forchion, better known as the NJ Weedman, is about to get a new platform. He announced today that he now has a new gig: columnist for the The Trentonian newspaper, where he will produce the "Cannabis Column."

Lewiston, Maine, Initiative Campaign to Turn in Signatures Tomorrow. Citizens for a Safer Maine, the organizers of the Lewiston initiative to legalize marijuana possession for adults, will turn in more than 1,250 signatures tomorrow. They need 859 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November ballot. They will also hold a media availability at 11:00am in front of city hall.

Poll Finds Strong Support for Marijuana Reform in Pennsylvania. A new poll from Keystone Analytics has strong support for marijuana reform, with 47% supporting medical marijuana and another 22% saying they supported legalization for any reason. Only 27% thought marijuana should remain illegal for all purposes. The poll has a +/- 4.4% margin of error.

Medical Marijuana

California Still Struggling with Statewide Regulation Bill. The clock is ticking on Senate Bill 1262, the last effort to regulate medical marijuana statewide still alive in the legislature. It needs to pass before month's end or it dies, but the marijuana community itself is divided over it, and it's not clear that the interests of lawmakers, law enforcement, cities and counties, and the medical marijuana industry can all be aligned. As of now, the most recent version of the bill is still supported by the police chiefs and Americans for Safe Access. But California NORML, the Drug Policy Alliance and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition oppose it unless it's amended. Click on the title link for more details.

Prescription Opiates

Massachusetts Governor Signs Substance Abuse Bill. Gov. Deval Patrick (D) has signed into law Senate Bill 2142, which expands access to drug treatment by requiring insurers to pay for up to 14 days of inpatient care and bars them from requiring prior authorization. The bill also allows the public health commissioner to classify a drug as "dangerous" for up to a year, effectively banning its use in the state, and it creates a commission to come up with substitutes for opiates. And it has new reporting requirements on overdose deaths, infants born exposed to drugs, and for the state's prescription monitoring program. The bill is a response to increases in opiate addiction and overdose deaths in the state. But it contains no provisions explicitly protecting access to opiates for patients suffering from chronic pain.

International

China Executes Two South Korean Drug Traffickers. Two South Korean citizens were executed for drug trafficking in China yesterday. They were killed after being found guilty in Intermediate People's Court in Baishan, Jilin Province of smuggling about 30 pounds of amphetamines. The two men were the first South Koreans executed in China in a decade. Along with Iran, China is one of the world's leading executioners of drug offenders.

Categories: Medical Marijuana
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