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Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: MPP Files for 2016 in CA, Addiction Group Calls for FDA Head's Head, More (9/24/14)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 09/24/2014 - 18:37

MPP begins laying the groundwork for a 2016 legalization initiative in California, a new report examines the impact of pot law reforms, Pennsylvania Senate votes on medical marijuana today, anti-addiction activists target the FDA, and more. Let's get to it:

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

MPP Files Campaign Committee for 2016 California Initiative. And so it begins. The Marijuana Policy Project today filed with the California secretary of state to create a campaign committee to support a 2016 marijuana legalization ballot initiative. The group says the committee will be part of a broad coalition working to legalize marijuana in the nation's most populous state. That coalition will be working on an initiative draft in the coming months.

CJCJ Report Examines Impact of Marijuana Law Reforms, Supports Legalization Over Decriminalization. In a report released today, the Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice examines the impact of pot law reforms in states that have either decriminalized or legalized the herb and calls legalization the best policy choice. The report is Reforming Marijuana Laws: Which Approach Best Reduces the Harms of Criminalization? A Five-State Analysis.

Medical Marijuana

Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Bill Headed for Senate Vote Today. The bill, which was amended yesterday in the Appropriations Committee to ban the use of vaporizers and to greatly narrow the list of allowed conditions for using medical marijuana, is set for a Senate floor vote today.

Heroin and Opiates

Pennsylvania Report Says Heroin Cheaper Than Beer. The Center for Rural Pennsylvania (an agency of the state legislature) has issued a report on opiate addiction in the Keystone State that finds that heroin is cheaper than beer and is sold through sophisticated retail networks. The report, Heroin: Combating this Growing Epidemic in Pennsylvania, recommends a variety of legislative actions, including passage of bills creating a statewide prescription drug database, "Good Samaritan" laws, and making the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone more available.

Anti-Addiction Activists Call on FDA Head to Resign. A group calling itself FED UP: A Coalition to End the Opioid Epidemic today released a letter calling for the resignation of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg because of "the FDA's continued approval of new, dangerous, high-dose opioid analgesics that are fueling high rates of addiction and overdose deaths." The group takes issue with the FDA's approval last year of the new opioid pain reliever Zohydro, but it also criticized the agency for approving new drugs that are actually designed to be harder to misuse, such as Targiniq, which combines oxycodone with naloxone. FDA spokeswoman Erica Jefferson defended Dr. Hamburg, saying she had to balance concerns about abuse and public safety with those about adequate access to pain medications. "Preventing prescription opioid abuse and ensuring that patients have access to appropriate treatments for pain are both top public health priorities for the FDA," Jefferson said in a statement.

Sentencing

California Defelonization Initiative Has Healthy Lead in New Poll. A poll released yesterday by the Public Policy Institute of California has the state's defelonization initiative, Proposition 47, winning with support at 62%. The initiative would turn drug possession felonies and some other low-level nonviolent offenses into misdemeanors.

International

Bermuda Activist Sues Premier Over Medical Marijuana. Attorney Alan Gordon has sued Premier Michael Dunkley as part of his campaign to ease access to medical marijuana on the island. Gordon accuses the government of creating a double standard by not arresting him for openly cultivating medical marijuana while prosecuting atheists and Rastafarians for the same offense.

Serbian Health Minister Supports Medical Marijuana. Serbian Health Minister Zlatibor Loncar has said marijuana provides "good results in medicine" and announced he will open a public debate on the issue. "The ministry would not prevent the introduction in medicine of anything that gives results for treatment, including marijuana. There are results showing that cannabis gives good results in medicine. We do not want to make decisions for one day, though. We want to meet people with all the details," he said.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN NS: Medical Marijuana Advocate Sent To Jail

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 09/24/2014 - 07:00
Lunenburg Progress Enterprise, 24 Sep 2014 - Cancer survivor had illegal 'wall-to-wall' grow-op COUNTY - A Chester man who believes marijuana saved his life is now in jail after police found an illegal "wall-to-wall" grow-op in his basement. George Gary Evans received the minimum mandatory sentence of nine months in custody September 16 on charges of producing marijuana and possessing it for the purpose of trafficking.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US FL: Editorial: 'Pill Mill' Lessons Can Inform Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 09/24/2014 - 07:00
Sun-Sentinel, 24 Sep 2014 - Chances are you didn't attend the medical marijuana debate hosted last week by state Sen. Eleanor Sobel at Broward College's campus in Pembroke Pines. Few people did. Had you been there, you would have heard the questions that surround the push to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes - as proposed in a state constitutional amendment facing voters in November.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US IL: Rauner 'Open' To Limiting Pot Offenses

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 09/24/2014 - 07:00
Chicago Sun-Times, 24 Sep 2014 - One week after Bruce Rauner said he wouldn't have signed a bill supporting medical marijuana in Illinois, the Republican gubernatorial candidate on Tuesday said he was "open to the discussion" of decriminalizing small amounts of the substance statewide. When asked about Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposal to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana and reducing to a misdemeanor the penalty for possession of one gram or less of any controlled substance, Rauner said: "I think we can and should talk about ways we can creatively deal with nonviolent offenders. We should have that discussion . . . We have a massive failure by Pat Quinn to deal with violent criminals."
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US CO: Column: Altitude Organic Expands Locations, Cannabis

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 09/24/2014 - 07:00
Colorado Springs Independent, 24 Sep 2014 - Spreading the high Altitude Organic Medicine (523 S. Tejon St., altitudeorganic.com) hit a bit of setback two years ago, when it was forced by Colorado's U.S. Attorney to move because its west-side location was too close to Buena Vista Elementary School. But now the downtown dispensary is ready to expand its goods across the city.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MI: Christeen Landino Looks Back On 13 Years Of Fighting for Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 09/24/2014 - 07:00
Metro Times, 24 Sep 2014 - A change is gonna come Christeen Landino remembers attending her first marijuana protest in downtown Detroit back in 1974. She still has a card from then that she paid $1 for in support of the Michigan Marijuana Initiative, an unsuccessful petition drive to get decriminalization on the ballot that year. It didn't happen then, but we know that a whole lot of water has passed under the Ambassador Bridge since then.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US HI: OPED: If You Think Big Tobacco Was Bad, Wait Until You

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 09/24/2014 - 07:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 24 Sep 2014 - Proponents of legalization and other drug policy reforms make some important points. It is true that most people who try drugs do not get addicted - they stop after using a few times. It is also true - and regrettable - that America's incarceration rate is embarrassingly high and that blacks and Latinos bear the brunt of harsh arrest policies.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US: Group Eyes Wider Push To Legalize Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 09/24/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 24 Sep 2014 - Organization Seeks Ballot Measures in 2016, Adds California to Its List When it comes to politics, it's never too early. The fate of marijuana legalization in two states and the nation's capital won't be decided until November, but advocates are already proceeding with their 2016 campaigns in three other states.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MD: Marijuana Panel Suggests $125,000 Grower Fee

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 09/24/2014 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 24 Sep 2014 - License for Growing Medical Marijuana Could Shut Out Small Local Businesses Running a medical marijuana operation could cost each grower more than $125,000 a year in fees, a sum so steep some officials believe it may shut out small businesses.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CA: Column: Harvest Season Impacted By Drought, Raids

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 09/24/2014 - 07:00
East Bay Express, 24 Sep 2014 - An increasing number of people are growing pot these days, but the lack of water and stepped up enforcement by police have made it a tough year. The 2014 outdoor cannabis cultivation season will draw to a close in Northern California during the next few weeks, and in the Bay Area, the arrival of harvest is often met with trimming parties and bargains on gorgeous, fragrant "sungrown" bud. But beyond the Bay, growers are battling almost-Biblical drought conditions this fall. And across California, law enforcement agencies have stepped up eradication campaigns against marijuana growers with little regard for whether crops are meant for the medical market.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Rahm Says Defelonize, Mex Prez Says Don't Legalize, Florida MedMJ Poll, More (9/23/14)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 20:58

Thar's gold in them thar marijuana legalization laws, Seattle's prosecutor throws out pot possession tickets, Massachusetts medical marijuana advocates chastise the slow-moving state government, Rahm Emanuel wants to defelonize drug possession, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Legal Marijuana Sales in DC Could Net Nearly $9 Million in Tax Revenues. A report from NerdWallet estimates that the District of Columbia could net nearly $9 million a year from taxes on the sales of marijuana -- if taxation and regulation is approved in the District. The DC marijuana initiative, Measure 71, does not include provisions for taxation and regulation because DC law precludes it from doing so, but a tax and regulate legalization bill is already before the city council. The NerdWallet report also includes marijuana tax revenue projections for all 50 states.

DC Council Advances Effort to Seal Marijuana Possession Records. The DC Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety voted unanimously last week to approve B20-467, a bill that would allow people to file motions to seal records for offenses that have since been legalized or decriminalized. DC decriminalized marijuana possession earlier this year and could legalize it in November if Measure 71 passes, which means many DC residents would be able to take advantage of the law if it passes.

Seattle Prosecutor Will Drop All Pot Possession Charges. City Attorney Pete Holmes said Monday will dismiss about a hundred pot possession tickets issued by the Seattle Police Department in the first half of this year -- because most of them were written by a single police officer who disagrees with the state's marijuana legalization law. That officer, Randy Jokela, has been temporarily reassigned.

Medical Marijuana

Massachusetts Advocates Press State Leaders on Slow Implementation. Patients and advocates rallied Monday at the state house to put pressure on the Department of Health to speed up access to medical marijuana under the state's nearly two-year-old law. The rally was sponsored by the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance, whose leader, Matthew Allen, told reporters that Gov. Deval Patrick (D) had not lived up to his responsibility to implement the will of the voters.

Florida Campaign Internal Poll Has Initiative at 69%. The United for Care campaign, the people behind the Measure 2 medical marijuana initiative, released an internal poll Monday that showed support for the initiative at 69%. Because the initiative is a constitutional amendment, it needs 60% to pass. The internal poll release came after several recent polls showed the initiative hovering at the edge of defeat.

Harm Reduction

Drug Czar to Open Next Month's National Harm Reduction Conference. Michael Botticelli, the acting director of the White House's Office on National Drug Control Policy, better known as the drug czar's office, will provide the opening remarks for the 10th National Harm Reduction Conference set for Baltimore a month from now. Click on the title link or the conference link to learn more.

Sentencing

Chicago Mayor Calls for Statewide Defelonization of Drug Possession Offenses. Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) today proposed before a General Assembly panel in Chicago that possession of up to a gram of any controlled substance be treated as a misdemeanor, not a felony, as is currently the case. Emanuel also proposed decriminalizing marijuana possession statewide. "It doesn't make sense that one arrest for a very small amount of a controlled substance can lead to a lifetime of struggles," Emanuel said. "It is time to put our sentencing policies in line with our values, reduce penalties for nonviolent, misdemeanor drug offenses so we don't put people in prison who need drug treatment."

International

Mexican President Opposes Marijuana Legalization. In an interview with Bloomberg News, President Enrique Pena Nieto said he opposes legalizing marijuana because that would be "opening the door to a large intrusion of drugs that is very damaging to the population." But he added that he was open to discussion on the issue. "I'm in agreement that we need to have a large debate in the hemisphere about the policies for this area, whether it's to tolerate or to legalize or to simply take a hemispherical definition," Pena Nieto said.

Peru Dynamiting Cocaine Plane Landing Strips, To No Avail. The Peruvian armed forces have been dynamiting clandestine airstrips in the world's number one coca growing region, the Valleys of the Apurimac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers (VRAEM). But even though soldiers "cratered" 54 airstrips, Peru's counternarcotics chief, Gen. Vicente Romero, said that they were quickly repaired, with traffickers paying villagers up to $100 each to fill in the holes. Sometimes, he said, they get fixed overnight.

Iran Hangs 13 on Drug Charges. Iran has executed 13 people for drug crimes in the past week, including eight hanged in Shahab Prison in Kerman on September 18 and five, including two Pakistani women, hanged in Central Prison in Zahedan. Along with China and Saudi Arabia, Iran is one of the world's most prolific drug war executioners.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

US WA: Pot 101

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 07:00
The Herald, 23 Sep 2014 - Laws for Recreational Marijuana Use, Legal in Washington Since July, Center on Public Safety Don't drive under the influence. Don't operate a boat. Don't give to minors. Don't overdo it. The ABCs of recreational cannabis use is, in many ways, like alcohol. And in many ways, it's not. Recreational marijuana use falls under the Washington State Liquor Control Board, which has no jurisdiction over medical marijuana. It started in 2012 when Initiative 502 was passed, allowing the recreational sale of marijuana to adults by licensed stores.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US AK: F-Bomb Dropped On Career In News

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 07:00
The Herald, 23 Sep 2014 - ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A television reporter quit her job on live TV with a big four-letter flourish after revealing she owns a medical marijuana business and intends to press for legalization of recreational pot in Alaska. After reporting on the Alaska Cannabis Club on Sunday night's broadcast, KTVA's Charlo Greene identified herself as the business' owner.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Joe McNamara Passes, Rand Paul Speech, OAS Drug Resolution, More (9/22/14)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 19:54

Oregon's Measure 91 picks up a nice endorsement, a marijuana legalization vote in York, Maine, is snuffed out, decrim advances in the US Virgin Islands, Rand Paul tells the GOP to reach out on drug policy, Joe McNamara dies, the OAS passes a drug policy resolution, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Oregon Legalization Initiative Endorsed By Former US Attorney. Former Oregon US Attorney Kris Olson today endorsed Measure 91, the Oregon marijuana legalization initiative. "I enforced our marijuana laws, and they don't work," she said. "Filling our courts and jails has failed to reduce marijuana use, and drug cartels are pocketing all the profits." Olson was US Attorney for Oregon from 1994 to 2001. Meanwhile, the Oregon State Sheriff's Association has made a $100,000 donation to the No on 91 campaign.

York, Maine, Effort to Get Marijuana Vote on Ballot Thwarted. A state court judge last Friday rejected an effort to put a local marijuana possession legalization on the ballot in York. York County Superior Court Judge Paul Fritzsche sided with town councilmen, who had rejected two citizen petitions seeking the vote. Fritzsche ruled that York cannot regulate marijuana because it is governed by state and federal law. Two other Maine towns, Lewiston and South Portland, will vote in November. The state's largest city, Portland, approved a similar initiative last year.

US Virgin Islands Decriminalization Bill Wins Committee Vote. A bill that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana was approved by the Virgin Islands Senate Committee on Homeland Security, Public Safety, and Justice last Thursday. The measure is Bill 30-0018. It would make possession of an ounce or less of weed a civil offense punishable by a fine of between $100 and $200, with the possible forfeiture of the contraband.

Medical Marijuana

Today is Deadline Day for Illinois Medical Marijuana Business Applicants. People who want to operate medical marijuana businesses have until 3 pm CDT to hand in their applications to state agencies. The Illinois Medical Marijuana Pilot Program has more information.

Drug Policy

Rand Paul Calls on Republicans to Embrace Drug Reform, Other Non-Traditional GOP Planks. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) used a speech Saturday to the California GOP convention to call on the party to reach beyond its base by embracing issues such as drug reform, privacy in personal communications, voting rights, and an anti-interventionist foreign policy. Republicans need to "show compassion for people," especially young black and brown people disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. "If you look at surveys, it's not that they're using drugs more than your kids are using drugs, it's because they're getting caught because they live in an urban environment with more patrols, they have less good attorneys, they don't have the resources, and some of the laws are still frankly wrong," he said.

Law Enforcement

Pentagon Surplus Arms Program Let Military Weapons Go to Police Forces That Abused Civil Rights. The Pentagon's program to distribute surplus military equipment to US civilian police forces allows even agencies that have been censured by the Justice Department for civil rights violations to receive lethal weaponry. The Defense and Justice Departments have apparently not been coordinating on the program, the Associated Press reports.

Obituaries

Drug Reforming Police Chief Joe McNamara Dies at 79. One of the earliest law enforcement voices for drug reform is no longer with us. Former San Jose Police Chief Joseph McNamara died last Friday at his home in Monterey, California. He is credited with bringing progressive reforms to the San Jose Police Department in the 1970s. After retiring as police chief in 1992, he went to work at the Hoover Institution, where he continued and sharpened his criticism of the war on drugs. "He was the police chief who became the most deeply involved in the drug policy reform movement," said Ethan Nadelmann, founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, who had worked with McNamara on issues for the past 25 years. "He was convinced the drug war was a total disaster and he needed to speak out about that."

International

OAS Issues Resolution on Drug Policy. At its 46th Special Session in Guatemala City last Friday, the Organization of American States passed a resolution calling for states to "regularly review the drug policies adopted, ensure that they are comprehensive and focused on the well-being of the individual, in order to address their national challenges and assess their impact and effectiveness." The resolution also called on states to develop drug policies "that prevent social costs or contribute to their reduction; and, when appropriate, reviewing traditional approaches and considering the development of new approaches, based on scientific evidence and knowledge." And it calls for states to develop comprehensive approaches that examine "the structural causes, triggers, and the multiple factors that contribute to violence and crime" with a view to taking them into account when drafting the 2016-2020 Hemispheric Plan of Action on Drugs. Click on the link to read the OAS press release.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CO: Group Gives Free Pakalolo To Veterans

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 07:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 22 Sep 2014 - Hundreds of military veterans received free marijuana during a special giveaway in Denver designed to show that pot can help ease their pain. Members of Operation Grow4Vets said the Saturday event aimed to offer veterans an alternative to prescription drugs to help with anxiety, pain and other problems. The organization also says it gave out 400 bags of marijuana-infused products at the Denver Cannabis Giveaway.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CA: Hash- Oil Lab Raids Yield Nine Arrests

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 22 Sep 2014 - Crackdown Reflects a Growing Offshoot of the Illicit Drug Trade. SAN DIEGO - Seven men and two women are facing felony charges here stemming from what authorities say is a new and highly dangerous offshoot of the illicit drug trade: extracting hash oil from marijuana.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US OR: Oregon Starts Laying Groundwork Before State Votes on

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 22 Sep 2014 - PORTLAND - In the months before a marijuana-legalization measure goes before voters, the leadership of Oregon's largest agencies quietly convened high-level meetings to discuss how to deal with it. The legalization measure would touch every corner of state government, from the Oregon State Police, who would no longer make minor marijuana arrests, to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which would administer the program.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CA: Humboldt's Marijuana Industry: Boom Or Bust?

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 09/21/2014 - 07:00
Willits News, 21 Sep 2014 - Local Leaders Speak on County's Future in Branding, Legalization, Medical Use A recently released report states California's legal cannabis industry is expected grow by billions of dollars in five years, and is set to become a golden economic driver for the Golden State should the industry become legalized in 2016. Within Humboldt, already known worldwide as a cannabis capital, many locals are concerned about whether the rural county will be lead the legalization charge to become the Napa Valley of the cannabis industry or if the industry will be exported to other areas in the state.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US HI: The Pot Problem

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 09/21/2014 - 07:00
Garden Island, 21 Sep 2014 - Legal Medically, but Difficult to Obtain, Lawmakers to See If Loophole Can Be Fixed This is the first in a two-part series looking at a loophole in the medical marijuana industry that allows patients to possess and use the substance, but not obtain it unless they grow it themselves. Part two will be published in Monday's TGI.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US PA: Editorial: Pa. Should Approve Overdose Antidote

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 09/21/2014 - 07:00
Standard-Speaker, 21 Sep 2014 - Like every state in the Northeast, Pennsylvania has been in the throes of an opiate drug epidemic for several years. But unlike those other states, the commonwealth has not yet allowed emergency personnel a key tool that they could use to prevent overdose deaths. Overdoses on heroin or prescription opiates often are deadly because they stop the user's breathing. An inexpensive, non-addictive, easily administered antidote called naloxone, or Narcan, is readily available. But in Pennsylvania, most first responders who initially handle an overdose patient - police, firefighters and emergency medical technicians - are not authorized by law to carry or administer the drug.
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