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Medical Marijuana

Australia: Medical Dope High On Victoria Poll Agenda

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 08:00
Cairns Post, 15 Nov 2014 - NO matter who wins the Victorian election, the state is heading into what was until recently a political no-go zone legal access to medical marijuana. No longer left to fringe parties or the Greens, the issue now has support from the major parties.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US HI: Column: Road to White House Goes Through Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 08:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 15 Nov 2014 - Of the three jurisdictions where voters approved marijuana legalization last week, Washington, D.C., is the smallest but the most symbolically potent. The prospect of legal marijuana in the nation's capital dramatically signals the ongoing collapse of the 77-yearold ban on a much-maligned plant.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CA: Column: Clear Thinking Needed On Pot

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 08:00
Los Angeles Times, 15 Nov 2014 - Four states out of 50 may not sound like much of a mandate, but the success of marijuana initiatives on the ballot last week suggests the nation is inching toward legalizing the once-demon weed. California started the ball rolling 16 years ago with a medical marijuana law so broad, it makes a gram of weed cheaper and easier to get than a prescription for Vicodin. Now dozens of states allow adults access to marijuana as medicine, and four - Oregon, Alaska, Colorado and Washington - allow the drug to be sold outright, without even the pretense of illness.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: NYC Council Head Says Legalize, UT Drug Defelonization Move, Burma Opium, More (11/14/14)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 21:50

New York's city council speaker says legalize it, there are medical marijuana moves in Connecticut and Maryland, a Utah commission suggests defelonizing drug possession, a Peruvian petition seeks to end arrests for drug use, which is not a crime in Peru, and more. Let's get to it:

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

New York City Council Speaker Says Legalize It. Melissa Mark-Viverito, speaker of the New York City Council, has come out for marijuana legalization. "It's not something we can just do randomly, but with a thought process, and looking how it's being implemented in other areas. But I do support the legalization of marijuana," she said in response to a reporter's question. "States are speaking. Based on the conversations that we see happening nationally, and how people feel about it, I think that it's just something that is appropriate at this time." At least four other council members, including Rafael Espinal, Stephen Levin, Mark Levine, and Jumaane Williams, have also pronounced in favor of freeing the weed.

Medical Marijuana

San Diego Moves Ahead on Shutting Down Unpermitted Dispensaries. San Diego officials forced yet another unpermitted dispensary to shut down Thursday after shutting down four others three weeks ago. About 50 unpermitted dispensaries still operate in the city, which is going to allow permitted dispensaries to begin operating early next year.

Maryland Commission Approves Medical Marijuana Regulations. The commission charged with drafting the regulations approved them Thursday, but they still need to be approved by a legislative panel and the state's health secretary. The approval came after a delay last month, when some critics said fees for growers and dispensaries were too high. They still ain't cheap: Fifteen licensed growers will have to pay $250,000 every two years, while dispensaries will have to pay $80,000 every two years. The program isn't expected to be operational until 2016.

South Carolina Senator Will Introduce Medical Marijuana Bill. State Sen. Tom Davis (R-Beaufort), who sponsored a successful low-THC, high-CBD medical marijuana bill this year, said Thursday he will sponsor a full-fledged medical marijuana bill next year. He made the announcement at a meeting of the state Medical Marijuana Study Committee at Clemson University.

Connecticut to Consider Adding New Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana. The state Department of Consumer Protection is considering whether to expand the state's quite restrictive list of qualifying medical conditions to include sickle cell anemia, Tourette's syndrome, "failed back syndrome," severe psoriasis, and psoriatic arthritis. The Board of Physicians will hold a public hearing on the matter on November 26. Click on the title link for more information.

Asset Forfeiture

The Orange County Register Calls for Federal Asset Forfeiture Reform. In a Thursday editorial, The Orange County Register wrote that one way a divided Congress could show some bipartisanship is by passing asset forfeiture reform legislation. "Civil asset forfeiture hasn't made many headlines until this year. But its very obscurity has bred a degree of corruption that badly undermines the integrity of law enforcement -- from local police all the way to the FBI," the newspaper noted, calling the process "rife with abuse." The suburban Los Angeles daily, California's 5th largest circulation newspaper, also said asset forfeiture too often resembled "literal highway robbery -- committed by the very people charged to serve and protect." The Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (HR 5212) is pending in the Congress.

Harm Reduction

Report on the 10th National Harm Reduction Coalition Conference. The Harm Reduction Coalition's 10th national conference took place late last month in Baltimore. Click on the title link to get a lengthy and informative report on it from the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition's Tessie Castillo.

Sentencing

Utah Crime Commission Calls for Defelonzing Drug Possession. In a report released Thursday, the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Commission rolled out a package of recommendations for controlling prison population growth, including making first-time drug possession a misdemeanor instead of a felony. All of the report's recommendations were approved unanimously by the commission. Now, it will be up to the legislature to enact them.

International

Another Year of Rising Opium Production in Burma. The Irawaddy Journal and Magazine has a lengthy report on this year's opium crop in the Shan state. Production is up for the sixth year in a row, and Burma now accounts for 18% of global opium production, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). "We could not grow any other plants here to make a living, except poppy. If they [the government] ban it, we will have no other jobs," said a 50-year-old villager. A good read; check it out.

Petition Urging Peruvian Government to Stop Arresting People for Drug Use, Which is Not a Crime. Drug use is not a crime under Peruvian law, but more than half of all drug trafficking charges are for drug use -- not drug trafficking. Activists in Peru have been working to get police to actually obey the law and not arrest drug users, but so far to no avail. Now, there is a petition directed at Interior Minister Daniel Urresti and the National Police, urging them to abide by the law. Click on the link to sign it. They are seeking 25,000 signatures, but only have 526 so far. Okay, make that 527 now.

Saudi Arabia Executes Another Drug Offender, 22nd This Year. A Pakistani man convicted of smuggling heroin into the kingdom in his intestines was beheaded in Kharj Thursday. Niaz Mohammed Ghulam Mohammed was the seventh person beheading for drug trafficking this month, and the 22nd of the year. Drug offenders account for about 40% of all Saudi executions so far this year.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

US FL: Manatee's Sheriff Says Medical Marijuana Issue Isn't Going

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 08:00
Bradenton Herald, 14 Nov 2014 - BRADENTON -- Though Amendment 2 failed to pass, which would have legalized medical marijuana, the issue is still not over in Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube's eyes. The county's top law enforcement officer spoke to a crowd of about 200 on Thursday evening for "Supper with the Sheriff" at Police Athletic League, 202 12th Ave. E., Bradenton.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US: Lawmakers Seek Help To Legitimize Pot Shops

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 08:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 14 Nov 2014 - WASHINGTON (AP - Members of Congress from states with legal pot urged their colleagues Thursday not to stand in the way of legalization and to approve measures that would make it easier for marijuana businesses to operate. Voters in Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia approved ballot initiatives to legalize marijuana possession last week. Colorado and Washington state already have legal pot.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US IL: Downtown Pot Shop Approval Burns ABCD

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 08:00
Boston Herald, 14 Nov 2014 - Action for Boston Community Development - an anti-poverty organization - is taking a not-in-my-backyard approach to the proposed downtown location for a medical marijuana dispensary. "What I'm concerned about is that it's everybody's backyard," said ABCD president John Drew. "You could probably have situated this shop in a better location. You're talking about in the middle of Boston. . I think it's a prescription for some real problems."
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Zambia: Zambia's Green Guru Sees Pot As a Path to the

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 08:00
The Guardian, 14 Nov 2014 - For decades Zambia has staked its economic fortunes on copper mining, but when voters go to the polls in January to elect a new president at least one candidate will be looking to send that tradition up in smoke. Today Peter Sinkamba is due to announce his candidacy on the Green party ticket to replace the late President Michael Sata, who died on 29 October from an undisclosed illness. Sinkamba, regarded as Zambia's leading environmentalist for his battles against the country's big copper mines, is running on an unlikely platform in this socially conservative nation: legalising marijuana.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CT: OPED: Looking At The Science Behind Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 08:00
New Haven Register, 14 Nov 2014 - If we are the parents or guardians of infants, toddlers, young children, we may be telling ourselves that we have nothing to be concerned about regarding the current marijuana controversies. By the time our kids are tweens and teens, our story goes, issues related to marijuana (decriminalization, medicalization, and legalization) will be settled once and for all, and settled with the health and safety of our kids in mind.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MD: Rules On Pot Move Ahead

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 08:00
Baltimore Sun, 14 Nov 2014 - State Commission Sets High Fees for Medical Growers, Dispensers Maryland's medical marijuana program cleared a key hurdle Thursday as a state panel approved draft rules to govern the new businesses.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Afghan Opium Funds Elections, Big WA Pot Auction, NV Signatures Handed In, More (11/13/14)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 22:23

More poppies are growing than ever in Afghanistan, and they helped fund the recent presidential election; the UNODC head tsk-tsks at US legalization votes, Nevada petitioners hand in 2X the signatures needed, federal bills get more sponsors, and more. Let's get to it:

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

UN Anti-Drug Chief Says Legalization in US States Violate Drug Treaties. Yuri Fedotov, head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said Wednesday that American states that have legalized marijuana are not in line with international drug conventions. "I don't see how (the new laws) can be compatible with existing conventions," he told reporters. Fedotov is coming to Washington next week to discuss the issue with the US State Department and other UN agencies.

US Representatives from Marijuana States Urge Colleagues Not to Interfere. Members of Congress from states that have legalized marijuana held a press conference in Washington, DC, today to urge Congress not to try to interfere with state-level legalization. Democrats from Colorado (Jared Polis), Oregon (Earl Blumenauer), and the District of Columbia (Eleanor Holmes Norton) were joined by Republican California Congressmen Dana Rohrabacher. With some congressional Republicans grumbling, DC would appear to be at some risk of interference, since Congress controls the purse strings.

Nevada Legalization Petitioners Turn in Twice the Number of Signatures Needed. It looks like Nevada is going to vote on legalization in 2016 (if the legislature doesn't act first). The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Nevada Wednesday turned in 200,000 signatures for its proposed 2016 legalization initiative. It only needs 101,667 valid voter signatures to qualify for the ballot. Once the signatures are validated, the measure will head for the 2016 ballot unless the legislature decides to just pass it itself next year.

Oregon Liquor Control Commission Has Updated FAQs for Recreational Marijuana. In response to public queries, the commission has updated its recreational marijuana FAQs page. Click on the link to see the updates. Here is the full FAQs page.

RAND Briefs Vermont Lawmakers on Legalization Issues; Public Hearing, Too. The RAND Corporation's Drug Policy Research Center, which has been contracted by the state to prepare an in-depth report on the potential financial and social impact of legalization, briefed lawmakers Wednesday with the report's outlines. Center co-director Beau Kilmer told the lawmakers the report will cover the state's marijuana "landscape," analyze health and safety issues, review alternate approaches to taxation and regulation, and provide financial projections. Kilmer identified nine questions lawmakers should be asking themselves; click on the link to see them. The briefing was followed by a public hearing that took place on closed circuit television on towns around the state. The RAND report is due in January.

Virginia Decriminalization Bill Filed. State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Arlington) has filed a bill that would decriminalize the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. The bill will be considered in the new session beginning in January. It is SB 686.

Washington Pot Farmer to Auction Off A Ton of Weed. Well, this should help with those reported shortages plaguing the Washington state legal marijuana market. Fireweed Farm, a licensed marijuana producer in Prosser, has announced that its crop is in and processed, and it will be selling its one-ton harvest to the highest bidder (heh) on Saturday.

Medical Marijuana

Federal Charlotte's Web Medical Hemp Act Picks Up New Sponsors. The bill would remove low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oils from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. It's newest sponsors are Reps. Mike Honda (D-CA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Alan Nunnelee (R-MS), Richard Hanna (R-NY), and Allen Lowenthal (D-CA). The bill was introduced by Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) and now has 32 cosponsors -- 18 Democrats and 14 Republicans. It has been assigned to subcommittees of the House Judiciary and House Energy and Commerce Committees.

Georgia Low-THC, High-CBD Medical Marijuana Bill to Be Debated in January. Lawmakers who tried and failed to get a low-THC, high-CBD medical marijuana passed this year will be back at it in the coming session. The bill sponsor, Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon), said he will introduce an improved bill to be debated in January. He said he hopes to file it next month.

Asset Forfeiture

Federal Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act Picks Up New Sponsors. The bill, HR 5212, is sponsored by Rep. Tim Wahlberg (R-MI) and would tighten requirements for asset forfeiture. The latest cosponsors are Reps. Sam Farr (D-CA), James Moran (D-VA), Steve Stockman (R-TX), Henry Johnson (D-GA), Tom McClintock (R-CA), and Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI). The bill now has 19 cosponsors -- 15 Republicans and four Democrats. It is before the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.

Pardons and Clemency

Arkansas Governor Pardons Son for Marijuana Conviction. Gov. Mike Beebe (R) has issued a pardon for his son, Kyle Beebe, who was convicted in 2003 of marijuana possession with intent to deliver. It is one of 25 pardons he is issuing before leaving office in January. Beebe has issued more than 700 pardons during his time in office, including a number of other first time drug offenders.

Sentencing

Federal Second Chance Reauthorization Act Picks Up New Sponsors. Introduced by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), the bill would expand grant programs aimed at helping people upon their release from prison. The House version, HR 3465, has now picked up Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Suzan DelBene (D-WA), while the Senate version, S 1690, is now cosponsored by Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD). The House version now house 44 cosponsors (36 Democrats and eight Republicans), while the Senate version, introduced by Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT), now has 22 cosponsors (17 Democrats, four Republicans, one independent).

Drug Testing

Key West Settles With Job Applicant Who Refused Drug Test. The city of Key West, Florida, will pay $75,000 to a former resident who refused to take a pre-employment drug test after applying for a position with the city and was then eliminated from consideration. The city will also pay $60,000 to the ACLU of Florida, which represented Karen Cabanas Voss. She had sued, arguing that the city's drug testing policy was unconstitutional, and a federal district court judge found in her favor.

International

Opium Helped Fund Afghan Elections, UNODC Says. The amount of land planted with opium poppies this year is at record levels, UN officials said Wednesday, and they said this year's presidential election campaign was part of the reason. "With the presidential election ongoing, there was a huge demand of funding," said Jean-Luc Lemahieu, a senior official with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). "And that funding is not available in the licit economy, and that money has to come from somewhere, so they turned to the illicit economy." In its annual opium survey, UNODC found that the area under cultivation had increased 7%, while eradication decreased by 63% between last year and this year.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

US FL: Families Despair As Legal Fight Snags 'Charlotte's Web'

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 08:00
Orlando Sentinel, 13 Nov 2014 - Although Amendment 2 failed, Florida still has a limited medical-marijuana program in the works - but it is tied up in a legal dispute while families wait in limbo. The treatment would be an oil, commonly called "Charlotte's Web," made from a noneuphoric strain of marijuana to treat relentless, intractable seizures in children.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CA: Column: America Proves Its Love For Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 08:00
Sacramento News & Review, 13 Nov 2014 - Hey Ngaio. Is weed still winning? - -Hank Hermit Are you kidding? All weed do is win! Last week, Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., all voted to legalize marijuana for adults. Florida came very close to passing a medical-marijuana law with 58 percent of the vote. You would think that would be enough, but Constitutional amendments in Florida need 60 percent to pass. I still count it as a moral victory.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US NY: Column: Congress & the District of Cannabis

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 08:00
New York Post, 13 Nov 2014 - OF the three jurisdictions where voters approved marijuana legalization last week, Washington, DC, is the smallest but the most symbolically potent. The prospect of legal marijuana in the nation's capital dramatically signals the ongoing collapse of the 77-year-old ban on a much-maligned plant. The passage of Initiative 71, which voters backed by a margin of more than 2 to 1, presents a challenge to the Republicans who will soon control both houses of Congress. Will they respect democracy and local control, or will they insist that Washingtonians toe a prohibitionist line that is steadily disappearing?
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US RI: Medical Marijuana User Sues Over Lost Internship

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 08:00
Washington Times, 13 Nov 2014 - PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A graduate student has sued a textile company for refusing to hire her for a two-month internship because she uses medical marijuana to treat frequent and debilitating migraine headaches, a decision her attorney calls discrimination. Christine Callaghan, who is studying textiles at the University of Rhode Island, sued Westerly-based Darlington Fabrics Corp. and its parent, the Moore Co., on Wednesday. The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing Ms. Callaghan, said it believes it's the first lawsuit of its kind in the state.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US AZ: Column: Smashing The Stigma

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 08:00
Tucson Weekly, 13 Nov 2014 - At Cathy's Compassion Center, a cancer survivor helps others with their struggle For medical marijuana dispensary owner Cathy Mead, opening up Cathy's Compassion Center in December 2012 wasn't just a business decision.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CA: Column: Legalized It

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 08:00
North Coast Journal, 13 Nov 2014 - Head north from Humboldt County and, after about two hours, you're now pretty much able to spark up all the way to the North Pole. Voters chose on Nov. 4 to legalize marijuana in Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia, joining Colorado and Washington in the inevitable swing toward decriminalization.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

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

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

Medical Marijuana Update

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

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

[image:1 align:right]California

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

Colorado

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

Rhode Island

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

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

Categories: Medical Marijuana

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Medical Marijuana

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

Drug Policy

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

International

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

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

Categories: Medical Marijuana
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