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New Zealand: Harre Defends 'Legalise' Call

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 07:00
New Zealand Herald, 11 Sep 2014 - Internet Party Leader Says Study Proves Cannabis Use Should Be Treated As Health Issue Internet Party leader Laila Harre is standing by her policy to decriminalise cannabis following the publication of a study highlighting the damaging effects of regular use on young people.
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US NJ: Column: Corruption Is Rampant In New Jersey Courts

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 07:00
The Trentonian, 11 Sep 2014 - "We standout in our corruption, New Jersey is unique" wrote Bob Ingles, author of "The Soprano State". His book details the "you-couldn't-make-this-up" true story of the corruption that has pervaded New Jersey politics, government and business for the past thirty years. As U.S. Attorney, Chris Christie made his name on corruption - busting state officials, bullying his way through towns, legally hammering away with the full weight of the federal government. State officials cowered at the mere mention of his office.
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US NM: State Won't Let Marijuana Question On Ballot

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 11 Sep 2014 - Counties Could Sue Secretary of State Secretary of State Dianna Duran says she won't allow Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties to put nonbinding "advisory" questions on the fall ballot. Each county had agreed earlier this week to ask voters whether they support decriminalizing possession of an ounce or less of marijuana.
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US CO: Column: What's With The Pot-Centric Alphabet Soup?

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 07:00
Westword, 11 Sep 2014 - Dear Stoner: What is the alphabet soup that follows marijuana around? I know THC is what gets me high, but what about CBD, CBN, THCV, CBA, CBS, ESPN and all of the other things in pot? What do they do? Confused in Commerce City
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US AZ: Column: Patient Focused

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 07:00
Tucson Weekly, 11 Sep 2014 - Desert Bloom Re-Leaf Center on the Eastside Is Looking Toward the Future, While Helping Card-Holders in the Present "For the patients, by the patients." That's the slogan of Desert Bloom Re-Leaf Center, an innovative and progressive medical marijuana dispensary located on Tucson's east side at 8060 E. 22nd St.
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New Zealand: Evidence Mounts Against Cannabis

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 07:00
Manawatu Standard, 11 Sep 2014 - Regular cannabis use by teenagers can lead to an increased risk of suicide, greater use of illicit drugs and poor educational achievement, a Christchurch study says. The study, published in medical journal The Lancet, showed daily cannabis users under the age of 17 were 60 per cent less likely to complete high school or attend university and were nearly seven times more likely to attempt suicide.
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Medical Marijuana Update

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 22:50

The Florida initiative is in a close fight, hearings are coming in Hawaii, draft regulations are coming in Maryland, Illinois begins taking medical marijuana business applications, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left]California

Last Thursday, a federal judge denied a request from Lake County patients for a temporary restraining order barring the county from carrying out searches and eradications under its Measure N grow rules. US District Judge Thelton Henderson ruled that the claims did not meet the legal standard required for a temporary restraining order, but held that plaintiffs could still seek a preliminary injunction.

Florida

Last Thursday, a new poll had the state medical marijuana initiative coming up just short. A new Florida Decides poll has a majority in favor of the Measure 2 medical marijuana initiative, but not the super-majority needed to pass a constitutional amendment. The poll had support at 57%, but 60% is needed. But the poll also had 17% undecided, and if only a fraction of the undecided break in favor of the initiative, it could win. Another poll earlier this week had support at 64%.

Hawaii

Last Friday, officials announced public hearings on dispensaries. A task force created by the state legislature to address dispensary issues will hold public hearings this week in Hilo and on September 24 in Honolulu. Click on the link for more details and information about how to submit public comments.

Illinois

On Monday, the state began accepting applications for medical marijuana businesses. The state Agriculture Department is now taking applications from people who want to open dispensaries or cultivation centers. There are 22 licenses available for growers and 60 for dispensaries.

Maryland

On Wednesday, the state was waiting for new draft medical marijuana regulations. The Maryland Medical Marijuana Commission was expected to release a second draft of regulations for the state's medical marijuana program today. The first draft came under public criticism last month for, among other things, language that would have barred grows or dispensaries within the Baltimore city limits. That language has been removed. Stay tuned for the actual draft.

New Jersey

Last Friday, a Princeton employee was put on paid leave over his medical marijuana use. Princeton University campus dining manager Don DeZarn, who had been told to choose between his job and his medicine after he began legally using medical marijuana this summer, is now on paid leave as the school attempts to resolve the issue. The problem arose after DeZarn said he might use the drug while at work and school public safety officials raised concerns he could be impaired and might accidentally give a student with food allergies the wrong item (or something).

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

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This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 22:14

A storied Chicago narc finally goes down, a Michigan reserve cop admits trying to trade speed pills for sex, and a whole raft of jail and prison guards get themselves in trouble. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]In El Centro, California, a state prison guard was arrested last Tuesday on charges he smuggled drugs into the prison. Guard Ramon Rosales, 41, has been hit with a raft of charges, including bribery, conspiracy, possession of a controlled substance for sale, transportation of a controlled substance and bringing a controlled substance into a state prison. He was an 18-year veteran at Centinela State Prison.

In Fort Stockton, Texas, a Fort Stockton prison guard was arrested last Wednesday after purchasing from an undercover agent meth that he intended to smuggle into the Lynbaugh Corrections Unit. Erick Carbajal, 23, is charged with possession of a controlled substance and has posted $2,500 bail.

In Greenville, New York, a state prison guard was arrested last Wednesday after authorities caught her with controlled substances on the grounds of the Maury Correctional Institution. Devetta Stokes, 27, is charged with possession of a controlled substance at a prison, possession of a Schedule III controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond was set at $6,000; it's not clear if she posted it.

In Albany, Georgia, a Dougherty County jail guard was arrested last Thursday after an investigation into drug smuggling into the jail. Detention Officer Felicia Ruiz was immediately fired and charged with conspiracy to bring contraband into the jail and violating her oath of office. She is out on $7,500 bond.

In Alfred, Maine, three York County jail guards and four former jail guards were indicted last Thursday on charges they smuggled drugs into the jail. The guards went down after someone posted a photograph from inside the jail on social media and a subsequent investigation uncovered evidence of drug dealing behind the bars. The indicted guards and their charges are: Steven Thomas, 25, trafficking in prison contraband; Connar Bogan, 21, trafficking in prison contraband; Jay Bodnar, 30, official oppression, falsifying or destroying evidence; Anthony Klingensmith, 42, official oppression, conspiracy; Richard Lane, 43, official oppression, conspiracy; Chris Langlais, 24, official oppression, conspiracy; and Nathan Watson, 21, official oppression, conspiracy. A prisoner was also arrested on prison contraband trafficking charges.

In Kalamazoo, Michigan, a former Prairieville Township reserve police officer pleaded guilty last Friday in a case where he was accused of trading amphetamines he obtained illicitly for sex with men. Michael Strong went down after police set up a sting through a social networking dating site. He was arrested after meeting an undercover officer to exchange drugs for sex. He copped to one count of delivery of methamphetamine or ecstasy in return for all other charges being dropped. His sentencing date is set for next March.

In Chicago, a former Chicago undercover narcotics officer was sentenced last Wednesday to 15 months in prison for extorting a tow truck operator and selling guns to a convicted felon. Ali Haleem, who called himself "the Mayor of 63rd Street," got a short sentence because of his "extraordinary degree of cooperation" with prosecutors. He had been busted by the feds in 2008, but was allowed to keep his police job in return for becoming a snitch for them and helping build public corruption cases. Left unmentioned at sentencing were allegations that he had been paid by a drug smuggling ring in 2001 to tip them off about investigations. Those allegations were investigated by both federal and internal police probes, but he was never charged.

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Chronicle AM: House Won't Block DC Decrim, Forfeiture and SWAT on Trial, More (9/10/2014)

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 21:07

The House backs off on DC decrim, Maryland awaits medical marijuana draft rules, asset forfeiture is in the news, so is SWAT, Russia says "nyet" to drug legalization, and more. Let's get to it:

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

House Won't Challenge DC Decriminalization Law. House Republicans yesterday unveiled their continuing resolution for an appropriations bill that includes spending for the District of Columbia, and it doesn't include an amendment adopted by the Appropriations Committee in July that would have barred the District from implementing its recently passed law decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Colorado Retail Marijuana Sales in July Greater than Medical Marijuana Sales for First Time. The Department of Revenue has reported that July recreational marijuana sales were $29.7 million, compared to $28.9 million for medical marijuana sales. That's the first time recreational sales have surpassed medical sales, which are not subject to the same tax burden on consumers as recreational sales.

Another Poll Finds Coloradans Still Like Their Legal Pot. A new NBC/Marist Poll has found that Colorado's retail cannabis market remains popular among Colorado residents, 55% of whom continue to support the passage and implementation of Amendment 64, the 2012 initiative that legalized taxed and regulated sales to adults. Other recent polls have also showed support hovering in the mid-50s.

Medical Marijuana

Maryland Awaiting New Draft Regulations Today. The Maryland Medical Marijuana Commission was expected to release a second draft of regulations for the state's medical marijuana program today. The first draft came under public criticism last month for, among other things, language that would have barred grows or dispensaries within the Baltimore city limits. That language has been removed. Stay tuned for the actual draft.

Asset Forfeiture

Montana Legislators Plan Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill. Two freshman legislators from Billings, Reps. Daniel Zolnikov (R) and Kelly McCarthy (D) plan to introduce legislation to reform the state's civil asset forfeiture law. The proposed legislation would create a public database on asset forfeiture, require a criminal conviction before forfeiture, protect innocent property-owners from seizures for actions of co-owners, and possibly drop civil forfeiture altogether.

Civil Asset Forfeitures Have Doubled During Obama's Tenure. As part of its ongoing investigative series on asset forfeiture, The Washington Post reports today civil asset forfeitures have more than doubled since President Obama took office. They were at $508 million in 2008, increasing to $1.1 billion last year. Since 2001, police have seized at least $2.5 billion in cash from people never convicted of a crime.

Philadelphia Homeowners Seek Injunction to Block Forfeiture Seizures. A group of homeowners in the city has asked a federal judge to block the city from seizing homes, cars, and other property. The homeowners, who include a couple who lost their home after their adult son sold $40 worth of heroin to an undercover cop, have filed a lawsuit alleging that the city's asset forfeiture practices are unconstitutional. The city conducts more than 6,000 forfeiture actions a year, and local law enforcement is allowed to keep a percentage of the proceeds.

Law Enforcement

Georgia SWAT Raid That Burned Toddler Goes to Grand Jury. A Habersham County grand jury will look into a May SWAT team no-knock drug raid that found neither drugs nor the suspect, but resulted in severe burns and injuries to a 19-month-old toddler when a SWAT team member tossed a flash-bang grenade into his crib. Bounkham "Bou Bou" Phonesavanh was hospitalized for weeks and is still undergoing medical treatment, which the county has so far refused to pay for. DA Brian Rickman said the grand jury will examine both the investigation leading up to the raid and whether anyone should face criminal charges for it. The grand jury goes to work on September 29.

Oregon SWAT Team Arrests Man for Videotaping Drug Raid. Gresham resident Fred Marlow was arrested by police after he refused to stop filming a SWAT raid on a neighbor's home and go inside his own home as ordered. Marlow has uploaded his videotaped exchange with SWAT team members, who accused him of interfering with their operation. When Marlow told police his video was going direct to the cloud, he was then arrested on charges of interference and -- you guessed it -- resisting arrest. Filming in public spaces is not a crime, according to the ACLU, which has a web page on photographers' rights.

International

Key Australian Federal Senator Says Legalize Drugs. Senator David Leyonhelm (LD-NSW) has called for the legalization of both hard and soft drugs as a means of curbing organized crime. He said pot should be sold in supermarkets, while drugs such as cocaine and heroin should be available for purchase from the government.

In Response to Global Commission Report, Russian Drug Agency Rules Out Legalization. Responding to yesterday's release of a new report from the Global Commission on Drugs calling for decriminalization and the regulated sale of drugs, the Federal Drug Control Service said today it rejected the notion, warning that such a move could lead to non-repairable damage to the nation.

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US CA: Attorney Convicted In Drug Scheme Against PTA Volunteer

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 10 Sep 2014 - An Irvine attorney was convicted Wednesday of having a PTA volunteer falsely imprisoned in a drug bust that was part of a revenge scheme. Kent Easter, 40, was convicted of one felony count of false imprisonment by deceit in a retrial of the case, the Orange County district attorney's office said. A judge declared a mistrial in Easter's first trial in 2013 after jurors reported that they were deadlocked 11 to 1 in favor of convicting.
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Canada: Health Group Calls For Pot-Policy Review

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 10 Sep 2014 - Government-Funded Organization Seeks 'Evidence to Inform the Discussion on Legislative Change,' As Parties Take Sides on Legalization The Health Canada-funded Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse is calling for a broad review of marijuana policy, including a closer look at the impact of legalization south of the border in Colorado and Washington.
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US FL: Florida A Step Closer To Medical Marijuana

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 07:00
The Palm Beach Post, 10 Sep 2014 - Barring Lawsuits, New Rule May Take Effect Late October. TALLAHASSEE - State health officials Tuesday started the countdown clock on a proposed rule governing the production and sale of a medical marijuana strain approved earlier this year by the Florida Legislature.
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US PA: Philadelphia Poised to Make Pot Possession Akin to a

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 07:00
The News-Item, 10 Sep 2014 - PHILADELPHIA (AP) - City officials have given the green light to a bill that would allow the Philadelphia Police Department to stop arresting people from possessing small amounts of marijuana. The original bill passed City Council in June with a veto-proof majority. Mayor Michael Nutter's spokesman said Monday that he would sign it.
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South Africa: Dagga Bill Revived By Lawmakers

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 07:00
The Mercury, 10 Sep 2014 - THE late IFP MP Mario Ambrosini's private member's bill calling for the legalisation of dagga has been revived by Parliament, following his death last month. Ambrosini decided to end his life after battling stage-four lung cancer for more than a year, his family said soon after his death.
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Australia: MP Bid For Legal Dope

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 07:00
The Advertiser, 10 Sep 2014 - CANNABIS would be sold in supermarkets under a federal MP's radical plan for drug reform in Australia. Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm wants to kill the power of organised criminals by decriminalising drugs, opening up the market and bringing down prices for a hit. Senator Leyonhjelm said that marijuana is a non-addictive drug and should be openly available.
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Australia: Warning On Legalising Cannabis

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 07:00
The Australian, 10 Sep 2014 - RESEARCHERS behind a new Australasian study into the effects of cannabis use in young adults have warned policymakers they "need to be very careful" if they are considering decriminalisation. The study, which examined the effects of Australia's most widely used drug on 14 to 19year-olds up until the age of 30, found there was a "very strong" association between cannabis use over time and harmful outcomes.
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US MI: Column: It Won't Be Too Long

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 07:00
Metro Times, 10 Sep 2014 - Marijuana has become pretty normal in America. That doesn't mean that people aren't still getting dragged off to jail for possession. According to FBI estimates, about 750,000 people were arrested for marijuana-related offenses in 2012. The vast majority of them were for simple possession, and although marijuana use is approximately equal among both groups, young African-Americans and Latinos are arrested at rates much higher than whites.
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US CO: Column: Two RMJ Questions on Palmer Lake Ballot, Bud on

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 07:00
Colorado Springs Independent, 10 Sep 2014 - If two votes are good ... Though Palmer Lake voters rejected recreational-marijuana stores in April, 538 to 481, residents will get another crack at the issue this November. Two cracks actually, as two questions will deal with the plant.
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US CA: Column: Watch The Skies

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 07:00
SF Weekly, 10 Sep 2014 - WATCH THE SKIES His weathered face and his whitening hair make Butch Small look older than his 58 years. He looks better than he should, according to the doctors who told him two years ago that he'd soon die from a combination of hepatitis C and cirrhosis of the liver. He'd been sober a quarter-century, he says, but the booze kept stalking him. It was marijuana that saved him: High-CBD strains grown by his neighbor in Mendocino County's remote Potter Valley turned his yellowed skin back to normal, and, "had me springing out of bed at 7 in the morning feeling great."
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US HI: Task Force Weighs U.S. Medical Pot Laws

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 07:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 10 Sep 2014 - Meetings on How to Address Hawaii's Regulations Are Set for Oahu and the Big Island Any system of medical marijuana distribution centers in Hawaii would likely incorporate policies and programs that have proved successful in other states, but also accommodate the unique needs of the state's roughly 13,000 medicinal cannabis patients, officials say.
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