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Medical Marijuana

US HI: Legislators Tell Officials to Kill Rules on Pakalolo

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 12/29/2015 - 08:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 29 Dec 2015 - The State Department of Health Is Criticized for Its New Regulations on Medical Marijuana Hawaii lawmakers criticized top Department of Health officials on Monday over new rules governing the growth and sale of medical marijuana, saying that health officials may have overstepped their statutory authority by prohibiting the use of greenhouses and excluding official retail outlets from selling rolled marijuana cigarettes and certain smoking paraphernalia.
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Chronicle AM: Houston Decriminalizes, Detroit Tightens Snitch Procedures, More... (12/28/14)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 12/28/2015 - 21:30

America's fourth largest city decriminalizes on Friday, Detroit tightens up on police use of paid snitches, a federal judge in Denver is hearing a pot banking case, and more.

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

Denver Federal Judge Hears Marijuana Banking Case Today. US District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson is hearing arguments today in a case filed by Fourth Corner Credit Union against the Federal Reserve Bank's Kansas City branch. The credit union was designed to serve the legal marijuana industry, but the Fed rejected its application, so the credit union sued in July. It is asking the court to force the Fed to accept its application. There is no deadline for issuing a decision.

Decriminalization Coming to Houston on Friday. Beginning this weekend, Harris County will not charge first-time marijuana possession offenders, instead diverting them into the county's First Chance Intervention Program. People diverted instead of arrested will have to pay a $100 fee and engage in either eight hours of community service or eight hours of "cognitive class." Harris County is the nation's third most populous.

Medical Marijuana

Michigan Bill Would Bar Employers From Firing Patients. Rep. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) and Rep. Sam Singh (D-East Lansing) have filed House Bill 5161 to protect the employment rights of medical marijuana patients. The bill would protect patients with registration cards, but they could still be fired if their marijuana use interferes with their job performance.

Law Enforcement

In Wake of Scandal, Detroit Cops Rein in Use of Paid Snitches. After a police corruption case in which Detroit narcs ripped off drug dealers and used informants to sell their stashes, the Detroit Police have tightened the rules on the use of paid snitches. Now, individual officers have to get permission from supervisors to use someone as a snitch, they must follow departmental rules for the use of informants, and they can't cut informal plea deals with potential snitches, among other changes.

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US IL: Medical Pot Lures Former Law Enforcers

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 12/28/2015 - 08:00
Seattle Times, 28 Dec 2015 - Big Business 'Who Better Would You Want to Oversee Your Compliance Than a Cop?' COLLINSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - With fewer than 4,000 approved patients, the nascent medical-marijuana business in Illinois is off to a slow start. Yet it hasn't kept away a cadre of cannabis entrepreneurs who once relied on guns, badges, tough drug laws and lengthy prison sentences to fight pot. STEVE NAGY / BELLEVILLE NEWS-DEMOCRAT Scott Abbott, a retired Illinois State Police colonel, speaks with Mark Lewis, left, and Jeff Greer in September at the new medical-marijuana dispensary being built in Collinsville, Ill.
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Canada: Column: Marijuana Monopoly: Three Problems With

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 12/28/2015 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 28 Dec 2015 - Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is the latest leader to advocate distributing marijuana through provincial liquor control boards, should Ottawa legalize the drug. It is not an entirely stupid idea. Yet it will encounter three intractable problems. First, there is a fundamental conflict between harm prevention and revenue maximization. The LCBO may talk about the millions of times each year underage would-be drinkers, or the obviously inebriated, are denied service. Yet the ugly truth is that the alcoholic who stops by his local Liquor Control Board of Ontario to buy a bottle of whisky every day or two is more likely to be greeted with a friendly "Good day, sir" than a health warning.
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US MD: Businesses Seek Novel Partners In Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 12/27/2015 - 08:00
Washington Post, 27 Dec 2015 - Small Town Will Share in Pot Company's Profits At least two Maryland state universities are jumping at the chance to work with marijuana growers to research the medicinal application and cultivation of cannabis. A tiny Western Maryland town says it would happily accept a 5 percent share of profits from a company that hopes to operate there.
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US CA: Column: Ad for State Pot Czar: New Form of Reefer

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 12/27/2015 - 08:00
Appeal-Democrat, 27 Dec 2015 - It surely looked like reefer madness was back the other day, when the state began advertising for a new medical marijuana czar. The timing of the listing, coming while a dozen proposed ballot initiatives to legalize recreational pot are pending, appeared to suggest an assumption by Gov. Jerry Brown and his administration that at least one will pass. The new pot czar, to be paid between $115,000 and $128,000 annually, would actually only be in charge of medical marijuana to start with. (Two more putative ballot measures now authorized to seek voter signatures would make refinements to the 1996 Proposition 215, which legalized medipot.) The wide presumption is that if and when recreational marijuana is legalized, it will be regulated by the same czar as medipot, working under the state's Department of Consumer Affairs.
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US: Marijuana Power Demands Threaten To Overwhelm System

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 12/27/2015 - 08:00
Appeal-Democrat, 27 Dec 2015 - DENVER - The $3.5 billion U.S. marijuana market is emerging as one of the nation's most power-hungry industries, with the 24-hour demands of thousands of indoor growing sites taxing electricity grids and unraveling hard-earned gains in energy conservation. Without design standards or efficient equipment, the growing facilities in the 23 states where marijuana is legal are responsible for greenhouse-gas emissions almost equal to those of every car, home and business in New Hampshire. While reams of regulations cover such things as tracking individual plants, package labeling and advertising, they lack requirements to reduce energy waste.
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US NM: Column: Time to Rethink Consequences of New Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 12/27/2015 - 08:00
The New Mexican, 27 Dec 2015 - The classic 1936 anti-marijuana propaganda film Reefer Madness revolved around very melodramatic events where high school students, lured by pushers to try marijuana, descended into a sensational multitude of drug-induced depravities. In decades hence, this cautionary tale of a drug menace gone mad has been rightfully seen as an extremely exaggerated take on the use of marijuana. Today the pendulum has swung to quite another extreme.
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CN NS: Burlington Man Misses Flight Over Marijuana Mishap

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 12/26/2015 - 08:00
Hamilton Spectator, 26 Dec 2015 - Told by Air Canada He Couldn't Get on Flight With Prescription Pot Michael Korchak was admittedly a little nervous flying home to Toronto from Halifax for the holidays last week. This was the first time the Burlington resident was travelling with his medicine on him: a small bottle of medical marijuana.
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CN BC: Policing Possession

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 12/26/2015 - 08:00
The Telegram, 26 Dec 2015 - As Liberals Prepare to Legalize Marijuana, Canadians Facing Pot Charges Left in Limbo While Rose Miranda waits for her April court date to face potential charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking, the 65-year-old retired education assistant can't take cannabis for her arthritis.
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US MD: Researchers Aim to Catch UP With State's Pot Industry

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 12/26/2015 - 08:00
Baltimore Sun, 26 Dec 2015 - Experts Want More Data on Effects of Medical Marijuana Even though Maryland is following the lead of 23 other states in setting up a medical marijuana industry, the collective experience of those states has translated to relatively little understanding of how the dozens of active substances within the plant affect health.
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US HI: State Urged to Convince Feds Status of Pot Needs a

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 12/25/2015 - 08:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 25 Dec 2015 - Four Hawaii doctors earlier this month filed a petition with the state to put pressure on the federal government to change the classification of medical marijuana. Marijuana is classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a "Schedule I controlled substance," the most dangerous category of controlled substances, which includes heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and Ecstasy.
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Chronicle AM: MPP's Marijuana Policy Top 10, NY MedMJ Registration Begins, More (12/24/15)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 12/24/2015 - 21:21

[image:1 align:right caption:true]Things are pretty quiet on Christmas Eve, but MPP has a Top 10 list out, a Georgia state rep wants to bring the state's pot possession law out of the dark ages, and more.

Marijuana Policy

Marijuana Policy Project's 10 Marijuana Policy Victories of 2015. The list includes good stances by presidential candidates, actions in the Congress, decriminalization victories at the state and local level, and more. Check it out.

Georgia Bill to Defelonize Possession of More Than an Ounce Pre-Filed. That's right: Possession of more than an ounce of marijuana is a felony in Georgia. State Senator Harold Jones (D-Augusta) has announced he is pre-filing a bill that would reduce possession of any amount of marijuana to a misdemeanor. He said that people with large amounts of marijuana could still be charged with possession with intent to deliver.

Medical Marijuana

New York Begins Online Registration for Patients. The state Health Department has launched its online registration for patients to obtain non-smokable medical marijuana when it becomes available next month. Registration information is here.

Oregon County Employee Fired for Medical Marijuana Use. Medical marijuana is legal in Oregon. Heck, marijuana is legal in Oregon. But Lane County has fired a county employee suffering from cancer who uses medical marijuana because he violated the county's drug-free workplace policy. The fired worker, Eugene resident Michael Hirsch, now has the backing of the county's largest labor union. AFSCME Local 2831 said it plans to file a grievance and fight to get Hirsch's job back. "It's outrageous to me that the county did this," said union rep Jim Steiner. "We have fought the county's termination decisions before and won, but among the terminations, this one just doesn't make sense."

Categories: Medical Marijuana

The Top 10 International Drug Policy Stories of 2015 [FEATURE]

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 12/24/2015 - 16:16

Last century's international prohibitionist consensus on drug policy continued to crumble this year, with moves to relax controls on medical and personal use of marijuana leading the way. But harm reduction measures such as supervised injection sites are also on the rise, international civil society and even some governments are laying the groundwork for reforming the global drug control regime next year at the UN, America's most stalwart drug war ally in South America changes its tune, and more.

Here are the biggest international drug policy stories of the year, in no particular order:

[image:1 align:left caption:true]Canada Elects a Marijuana-Legalizing Prime Minister. We may have a handful of legal pot states, but Canada is about to become the first country in North America to free the weed. Newly elected Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made marijuana legalization a central plank of his election campaign, and this month, he immediately ordered his new Justice Minister to get on it after winning the election. In the annual throne speech last week, his government reiterated its intention to legalize it. It won't happen overnight, but it's coming.

The US is No Longer the Bogeyman of International Drug Reform. It's not like 2001, when Jamaican decriminalization got put on the back burner after thunderous protests from the US embassy, or even 2009, early in the Obama administration, when more muffled protests from the US helped put the kibosh on drug decriminalization in Mexico. It's more difficult for Washington to criticize other countries when the Obama administration has signaled it can live with legal marijuana in US states, but the administration seems less inclined to do so, anyway. Last year, William Brownfield, head of the State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs enunciated a policy of tolerance toward reform efforts abroad, and the State Department reiterated that again this year. It's not all roses, though; the prohibitionist beast may be weakening, but its tail still twitches.

Laying the Groundwork for UNGASS on Drugs. The UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs is coming next spring, and the international drug reform movement was busy preparing for it this year. In May, during the High Level Thematic Debate on drugs, reform groups released an open letter calling on the UN to respect countries' drug policy reforms, and in June, while the UNODC marked global anti-drug day, global civil society fought back with events and demonstrations around the globe. Then, in October, Sir Richard Branson provoked a kerfluffle by leaking a UNODC draft document that urged governments to consider drug decriminalization, forcing the agency to walk it back under pressure from at least one country. At year's end, the European Parliamentary Council called for a public health-oriented global drug policy. A lot more has been going on behind the scenes, too, but drug reform at the UN moves at a glacial pace. Stay tuned.

Afghan Opium Production Declines. For the first time since 2009, opium production has decreased in Afghanistan, the UNODC reported. The area under cultivation declined by 19% from last year -- an all-time high -- and production declined even more, by 48%. UNODC attributed the decline to drought conditions. "The low (overall) production can be attributed to a reduction in area under cultivation, but more importantly to a drop in opium yield per hectare," said the report, which was released last week. "The lack (of) sufficient water for irrigation... affected the decision of some farmers not to cultivate poppy."

[image:2 align:right caption:true]Iran Drug Death Penalty Mania Shows First Signs of Receding. Iran has executed hundreds of people for drug offenses this year, but a campaign to end European and UN funding of Iran's drug war has been picking up steam. Some European countries, including Denmark, Great Britain, and Ireland have stopped funding, and in October, the UN special rapporteur on Iran warned that it was using UN support to justify its aggressive use of the death penalty. But that didn't stop the UN Office on Drugs and Crime from this month increasing funding for Iranian anti-drug operations. While the struggle continues on the international front, this month, Iranian parliamentarians themselves expressed discomfort with the death toll. At least 70 are supporting an effort to end the death penalty in nonviolent drug smuggling cases. Lawmakers are now preparing a bill to present to the parliament.

Columbia Stops Aerial Spraying of Herbicide on Coca Fields, Farmers. With US backing and encouragement, the Colombian government sprayed the herbicide glyphosate on coca crops for years despite peasant protests that it was causing illness and damaging other crops and livestock. But in April, after a World Health Organization report reclassified the herbicide as "probably carcinogenic to humans," the health ministry called for the suspension of spraying. The following month, Colombia ended the program despite US pressure to continue it. Then, in September, President Juan Manuel Santos deepened the departure from two decades of US-style drug policies, unveiling a new national drug strategy that will emphasize alternative development.

Mexico Marijuana Moves. In a country where public opinion does not favor legalization, the Supreme Court stunned the nation in November by ruling that people have the right to grow and use marijuana. The decision does not undo Mexico's marijuana laws, but does open the door for a wave of legal actions that could end in their being rewritten. It also opened the door for a national debate on marijuana policy, with President Enrique Pena Nieto promising it will occur early next year.

Medical Marijuana Advances. More countries okayed the use of medical marijuana in 2015, including Australia, Croatia, and, just this week, Colombia. Meanwhile, Chile harvested its first medical marijuana crop in April, the Italian Army began growing it in May (to address shortages within the country), and the Dalai Lama endorsed it in June. That same month, Costa Rica outlined requirements for a pending medical marijuana bill, and in July, Israel announced it would make it available in pharmacies and allow more doctors to prescribe it.

[image:3 align:left caption:true]Jamaica Decriminalizes Ganja. In February, parliament voted to approve a government-supported decriminalization bill, and the law went into effect in April. Now, anyone, including foreign tourists, can now possess up to two ounces of ganja and face only a $5 fine. And any household can now grow up to five plants. Adult Rastafarians can also now use the herb for religious purposes. The law also paved the way for a regulatory authority for medical, scientific, and therapeutic uses. In July, Justice Minister Mark Golding signed an order to expunge minor marijuana convictions, and by December, the government had granted its second "marijuana exemption" allowing Rastafarians at a festival to partake of (and possess and transport) Jah Herb without fear of arrest.

Supervised Injection Sites Expand. The harm reduction measure allows drug users to ingest their drugs under medical supervision and without fear of arrest and has been proven to improve outcomes for users and the community without increasing crime or other negatives and without fear of arrest. At the beginning of the year, there were supervised injection sites in eight countries -- Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, Luxembourg, Norway, Spain, and Switzerland. By year's end, two more countries got them up and running, France in the spring and Slovenia in the fall. Late in the year, Ireland approved a supervised injection site in Dublin. Meanwhile, in the US, the Drug Policy Alliance and other advocates are mounting a campaign to open one in New York City, which would be the first (official) one in the country.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN BC: Flying High

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 12/24/2015 - 08:00
Toronto 24hours, 24 Dec 2015 - Air Canada Grounds Medicinal Marijuana User Michael Korchak says he could see the stares and hear the whispers. He'd hit a snag on his trip home to Burlington last Thursday for Christmas and a group of Air Canada employees was gathering around him at its busy departure gate at the Halifax airport.
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CN BC: Canadians Facing Pot Charges In Limbo, While Liberals

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 12/24/2015 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 24 Dec 2015 - While Rose Miranda waits for her April court date to face potential charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking, the 65-year-old retired education assistant can't take cannabis for her arthritis. The RCMP have also banned her from visiting or contacting anyone at Phoenix Pain Management Society, the medical marijuana dispensary where she was volunteering when she was arrested in Nanaimo, B.C.
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CN BC: Cannabis `Criminals' Left In Limbo

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 12/24/2015 - 08:00
London Free Press, 24 Dec 2015 - COURTS: Although the prime minister has vowed to legalize and regulate marijuana, the RCMP is still mandated to enforce current laws VANCOUVER - While Rose Miranda waits for her April court date to face potential charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking, the 65-year-old retired education assistant can't take cannabis for her arthritis. Mounties have also banned her from visiting or contacting anyone at Phoenix Pain Management Society, the medical marijuana dispensary where she was volunteering when she was arrested in Nanaimo, B.C. "I love Baby Trudeau, but he says, ' We're going to fix this.' When? Meanwhile, I have clients who don't have their medication," Miranda said.
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CN ON: Air Canada Leaves Flyer High And Dry

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 12/24/2015 - 08:00
Ottawa Sun, 24 Dec 2015 - TORONTO - Michael Korchak says he could see the stares and hear the whispers. He'd hit a snag on his trip home to Burlington last Thursday for Christmas and a group of Air Canada employees was gathering around him at its busy departure gate at the Halifax airport.
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CN ON: Smoke Screened

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 12/24/2015 - 08:00
Toronto Sun, 24 Dec 2015 - Soldier with medicinal pot barred from flight Michael Korchak says he could see the stares and hear the whispers. He hit a snag on his trip home to Burlington last Thursday for Christmas and a group of Air Canada employees was gathering around him at its busy departure gate at the Halifax airport.
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US DC: Shattering The Pot Paradigm

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 12/24/2015 - 08:00
Washington Post, 24 Dec 2015 - Loudoun Deputies Seize Potent Hash-Oil Extract That Contains 80% THC As marijuana extracts expand their presence on the East Coast, an especially potent concentrate is appearing on law enforcement radar.
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