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Medical Marijuana

Canada: Track Pot Prescriptions, Doctors Advise

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 12/02/2016 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 02 Dec 2016 - Physicians groups say oversight is operating in a vacuum; Health Canada urged to license marijuana, assign it a drug ID number The provincial bodies that regulate Canada's physicians have no way of tracking how doctors are prescribing medical marijuana, leaving them unable to determine how often the drug is prescribed, to whom and in what quantities.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US: Cancer Study Of Psilocybin Hints At New Role For Illegal Drug

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 12/01/2016 - 08:00
New York Times, 01 Dec 2016 - On a summer morning in 2013, Octavian Mihai entered a softly lit room furnished with a small statue of Buddha, a box of tissues and a single red rose. From an earthenware chalice, he swallowed a capsule of psilocybin, an ingredient found in hallucinogenic mushrooms. Then he put on an eye mask and headphones and lay down on a couch. Soon, images flew by like shooting stars: a spinning world that looked like a blue-green chessboard; himself on a stretcher in front of a hospital; his parents, gazing at him with aching sadness as he reached out to them, suffused with childlike love.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Canada: Government Receives Cannabis Task Force's Report

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 12/01/2016 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 01 Dec 2016 - Regulated production and a patchwork of provincial rules for recreational users expected when the Liberals table legislation in spring Canada's new legal marijuana regime is expected to feature a mishmash of provincial rules and a heavily regulated production system that will initially favour existing producers of medical cannabis, sources say.
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US AZ: High Hopes For High Times

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 12/01/2016 - 08:00
Tucson Weekly, 01 Dec 2016 - Arizona continues efforts towards legal marijuana The failure of Prop 205 may have been a sobering realization for some, but others still have high hopes for the future of marijuana in Arizona. Several new efforts have popped up to change the landscape of Arizona's marijuana landscape since voters rejected this year's recreational proposition.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Will Trump's Dead Alcoholic Brother Haunt His Drug Policy? [FEATURE]

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 11/30/2016 - 22:46

This article was produced in collaboration with AlterNet and first appeared here.

As incoming president, Donald Trump will be, among other things, the man in charge of the nation's drug policy. Whether he takes a hand-on, direct approach to policy-making or whether he delegates decision-making authority on drug matters to subordinates -- think Attorney General Jeff Sessions and shudder -- the buck ultimately stops with Donald.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]What a Trump administration will do with states that have legalized marijuana is a huge burning question, but the drug policy horizon extends well beyond weed. The Obama administration has championed federal drug sentencing reform, and the president is now commuting the sentences of dozens of drug offenders each week as the clock ticks down on his tenure. Will Trump reverse course?

There's also a huge cry for drug treatment in response to increasing heroin and prescription opioid use. Will a Trump administration be sympathetic? And what about harm reduction -- needle exchanges, supervised consumption sites, and the like? Do such programs have a future under Trump?

The short answer is: Who knows? Trump is proving day by day that how he governs will not necessarily have much correlation with anything he said on the campaign trail. And, as with his approach to many policy areas, what he has said about drugs, both during the campaign and in his earlier life, sounds both spur-of-the-moment and self-contradictory.

But Trump is not just a rather unpredictable president-elect. He's also a person with his own personal and family history, and that history includes a close encounter with substance abuse that sheds some light on his attitudes towards drugs and may influence his drug policy decision-making.

Donald Trump's older brother, and his overbearing father's namesake, "Freddy, Jr." was a full-blown alcoholic by his mid-20s (and Donald's teens) and drank himself into an early grave at the age of 43 in 1981. Freddy wasn't ready to take over the family business and instead became a fun-loving airline pilot, but his descent into the bottle had a traumatic -- and lasting -- impact on his little brother.

[image:2 align:right caption:true]"I learned a lot from my brother Fred's death," Trump told Esquire in a 2004 interview. "He was a great-looking guy. He had the best personality. He had everything. But he had a problem with alcohol and cigarettes. He knew he had the problem, and it's a tough problem to have. He was ten years older than me, and he would always tell me not to drink or smoke. And to this day I've never had a cigarette. I've never had a glass of alcohol. I won't even drink a cup of coffee. I just stay away from those things because he had such a tremendous problem. Fred did me a great favor. It's one of the greatest favors anyone's ever done for me," he recalled.

Trump's experience with his brother turned him into a teetotaler, although he does swill Diet Coke instead. And he admits to one other "vice" in revealing terms. In a 2007 video, he said that hot women are his "alcoholism," especially "beautiful" teens.

"I never understood why people don't go after the alcohol companies like they did the tobacco companies," he continued in the Esquire interview. "Alcohol is a much worse problem than cigarettes."

Still, the free-wheeling marketeer wasn't ready to reinstate Prohibition because of Freddy, and that attitude extended to drugs. In the early 1990s, Trump reportedly talked about drug legalization, calling drug law enforcement "a joke" and saying "You have to legalize drugs to win that war. You have to take the profits away from these drug czars."

But Trump was singing a different tune on the campaign trail, especially in New Hampshire, which has been hit hard by the opioid wave. In a November 2015 interview with ABC News' Martha Raddatz, Trump backtracked.

"Well, I did not think about it," he confessed. "I said it's something that should be studied and maybe should continue to be studied. But it's not something I'd be willing to do right now. I think it's something that I've always said maybe it has to be looked at because we do such a poor job of policing. We don't want to build walls. We don't want to do anything. And if you're not going to want to do the policing, you're going to have to start thinking about other alternatives. But it's not something that I would want to do."

[image:3 align:left caption:true]That suggests that he thinks if we just enforce drug laws more vigorously, we could solve the problem. But it also suggests that he hasn't really been paying attention to the last 40 years of the war on drugs. Still, he has also said that marijuana legalization "should be a state issue, state by state," suggesting that he will not try to roll back pot legalization in the eight states that have now voted to free the weed.

And in an October 15 speech in New Hampshire, where he made his most coherent remarks about drug policy, he was mainly about building the wall on the Mexican border to stop the flow of heroin from Mexico. But in that speech, he at least sketched the outlines of response that included increased access to the overdose reversal drug naloxone, increased reliance on drug courts, and increased access to the silver bullet of drug addiction, "abuse-deterring drugs." But he didn't say anything about how much he would be willing to spend on treatment and recovery (Hillary Clinton rolled out a $10 billion plan), nor how he would pay for it.

As with many policy areas, Trump's positions on drug policy are murky, seemingly only half-developed, and full of potential contradictions. Will having a teetotaler with a dead alcoholic brother in the White House make for better drug policies or an administration more understanding of the travails of addiction? As with many things Trump, we shall have to wait for his actions. Nominating drug war hardliners like Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to head the Justice Department and giving Vice President-elect Mike Pence props for enacting mandatory minimum drug sentences aren't good omens, though.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Update

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 11/30/2016 - 22:28

The elections are over and the legislative season is yet to begin, so things are pretty quiet on the medical marijuana front. Still, here are a couple of tidbits.

[image:1 align:right]Maryland

On Monday, the Maryland Cannabis Commission announced that it is hiring a consultant to advise it on steps it can take to improve racial diversity in the nascent industry. The consultant will decide whether a study can be conducted to determine whether minorities have been unfairly excluded. If such a finding is made, that would allow the state to consider race when awarding medical marijuana licenses.

Montana

Last Wednesday, activists filed suit to force early action on patient cards. In the wake of last week's vote to reinstate the state's medical marijuana program, the Montana Cannabis Industry Association has filed a lawsuit seeking to force the Department of Health and Human Services to immediately begin processing and issuing medical marijuana cards. The language of the ballot measure means the state has until next summer to act, but the MCIA doesn't want to dally.

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

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN NF: Canna Leaf Violated City Bylaw: Galgay

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 11/30/2016 - 08:00
The Telegram, 30 Nov 2016 - City inspectors will visit marijuana dispensary The Canna Leaf marijuana shop on Water Street will be getting a visit from city inspectors, because they violated municipal bylaw in setting up business.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN SN: Pot Dispensary Owner Charged

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 11/30/2016 - 08:00
Yorkton This Week, 30 Nov 2016 - Illegal medical marijuana dispensaries are not just for big cities anymore. Earlier this month, RCMP made good on a September 2015 Health Canada warning threatening to shut down Martin Medical Services in Whitewood. In a raid on the business and home of owner Jerry Martin November 8, police seized undisclosed quantities of marijuana, hash oil and cash along with cellphones, computers and three vehicles. He is charged with trafficking marijuana, possession of marijuana, trafficking cannabis resin, possession of cannabis resin, possession of proceeds of crime, trafficking proceeds of crime and laundering proceeds of crime.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Medpot User Says She Was Wrongfully Charged With DUI

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 11/30/2016 - 08:00
Goderich Signal-Star, 30 Nov 2016 - Linda Birks was only a handful of kilometers away from her new home in Port Albert when she became caught in a thunderstorm and drove her car off the road, down a ditch and into a hydro pole. The trip was supposed to have been the beginning of a new start, she said.
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Chronicle AM: Calls for Obama to Cut More Sentences, Iran Drug Death Penalty Moves, More... (11/29/16)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 11/29/2016 - 22:02

Scholars, advocates, and a US congressman are calling on Obama to ramp up the commutation process in the final weeks of his term, the CDC issues a report calling for expanded syringe exchange, Maryland moves to address racial diversity (or the lack thereof) in the medical marijuana business, and more.

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

Massachusetts Marijuana Victory Faces Certification Delay. Secretary of State William Galvin said Monday that the November 8 election results may not be certified in time for marijuana legalization to go into effect on December 15, that date it is supposed to become legal. Ballot initiatives in the state do not become law until they are officially certified, and a December 14 meeting is the earliest date voting tallies on the initiative are likely to presented, Galvin said. But if not by December 15, certainly by early next year, he added: "All those tokers can hold their breath a little longer, but they'll be able to exhale" by early 2017, Galvin quipped.

Medical Marijuana

Maryland Moving to Improve Diversity in Medical Marijuana Industry. The state Cannabis Commission announced Monday that it is hiring a consultant to advise it on steps it can take to improve racial diversity in the nascent industry. The consultant will decide whether a study can be conducted to determine whether minorities have been unfairly excluded. If such a finding is made, that would allow the state to consider race when awarding medical marijuana licenses.

Harm Reduction

Groundbreaking Report from CDC Calls for Expansion of Syringe Access Programs. In a report on HIV and injection drug use released Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls strongly for expanding needle exchange programs. "Syringe services programs (SSPs) can play a role in preventing HIV and other health problems among people who inject drugs (PWID)," the report found. "They provide access to sterile syringes and should also provide comprehensive services such as help with stopping substance misuse; testing and linkage to treatment for HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C; education on what to do for an overdose; and other prevention services. State and local health departments can work with their lawmakers and law enforcement to make SSPs more available to PWID."

Sentencing

Calls Mount For Obama to Ramp Up Commutations as Term Nears End. A coalition of scholars and activists as well as a US congressman are calling on President Obama to expand clemency efforts in the final weeks of his administration -- including considering granting clemency to entire groups of people without case-by-case review. Obama has commuted the sentences of more than a thousand people sentenced under draconian drug war sentencing laws, but thousands more have applied for commutations without those applications yet being acted on.

International

Iran Keeps Moving Toward Ending the Death Penalty for Drugs. The Iranian parliament last week agreed to expedite deliberations on a measure that would dramatically limit the number of people facing execution for drug offenses in the Islamic Republic. Now, the proposal will get top priority in the Legal and Social Affairs Committee before heading before the full parliament. The measure would limit the death penalty to "organized drug lords," "armed trafficking," "repeat offenders," and "bulk drug distributors." Iran is one of the world's leading drug executioners, with drug offenders accounting for the vast majority of the more than a thousand people it executed last year.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN NF: 'Technically Illegal'

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 11/29/2016 - 08:00
The Telegram, 29 Nov 2016 - Marijuana advocate approached N.L. police months ago about starting a dispensary Marijuana advocate Ryan Stratton said when he first heard about pot dispensaries popping up in St. John's, he was a little bitter.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Canada: Trudeau's Marijuana Czar Lobbied During Cash-for-access

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 11/29/2016 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 29 Nov 2016 - Liberal Party says it will refund donations, but denies any ethical breaches at event attended by Bill Blair Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's point person on legalizing recreational pot was the prize guest at a Liberal Party fundraiser attended by a marijuana lobbying group at a Toronto law office that advises clients in the cannabis business.
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