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Philippines: Cops Raid Marijuana Plantations

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 07:00
Manila Standard Today, 27 Oct 2014 - SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union--Composite teams of police and drug enforcement agents uprooted and destroyed marijuana plants and seedlings worth P6.6 million in a two-day marijuana-eradication drive in Ilocos Sur, a senior official said on Sunday. Chief Supt. Roman Felix, police regional director, said various teams backed by armed forces intelligence agents fanned out to locate and destroy the plants in Barangay Licungan, Sugpon, Ilocos Sur and destroyed 24,770 fully grown plants and 34,100 seedlings in several plantation sites.
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US PA: Editorial: Failure To Take Up Bill Hurts Children

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 07:00
Springfield Sun, 26 Oct 2014 - The medical marijuana bill awaiting a vote in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives never made it off the table. How sad for the many young children suffering from severe seizures and other medical problems that SB 1182 is designed to help.
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US MI: Voters In 3 Cities To Decide Pot Proposals

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 07:00
The Daily Tribune, 26 Oct 2014 - Marijuana decriminalization proposals are on the ballot in three south Oakland County communities on Nov. 4 and pro-pot organizers have yet to lose such an election. Election Day in Huntington Woods, Pleasant Ridge and Berkley will show whether the activists' winning streak will continue in Oakland County and elsewhere.
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US FL: Medical Marijuana: Florida Parents Fight to Help

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 07:00
Miami Herald, 26 Oct 2014 - Nicolas Peruyero was 8 years old, blind and unable to walk or talk when his mother saw a documentary about the benefits of medical marijuana and its promise to reduce seizures. For a few moments, Nancy Peruyero imagined what Nicolas' life might be like without the relentless myoclonic seizures every day. And for the first time, she allowed herself to hope, an emotion she had rarely felt since that August afternoon in 2009 when her youngest son was diagnosed with Batten disease, an unusual neurological disorder marked by seizures, loss of motor skills and mental impairment. His life expectancy with the disease is no more than 12 years. He turned 9 on Oct.2.
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US WA: Editorial: Where's The Weed?

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 26 Oct 2014 - FOUR months into Washington's era of legal marijuana stores, a strange reality has settled over Seattle: The city doesn't seem to care much about the availability of over-the-counter pot. Combined sales at Seattle's recreational marijuana stores trail those in Vancouver, Spokane and even Bellingham. On a per capita basis, Seattle's sales are about half of Yakima's and one-third of Tacoma's, according to data from the state Liquor Control Board.
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US DC: OPED: A Campaign for Justice - Through Legal Marijuana

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 26 Oct 2014 - Racial Disparities Still Exist in Enforcement Not even the threat of legal penalty has kept marijuana users from making it the most commonly used recreational drug after alcohol and tobacco. But in black America, marijuana's harsh penalty is evergreen: It is a consistent gateway into jails that lock away mostly young black folk, including those who don't have prior arrest records.
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US DC: OPED: The Route To Reefer Sanity

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 26 Oct 2014 - On a warm Seattle summer evening in 1978, my wife wanted to talk about my increasingly frequent pot smoking: "I feel you've abandoned me, that the person I married-even when you're sitting next to me on the couch - is not there." She had complained before about my use, and I'd tried to reassure her. "It's not as if I'm stoned every day," I'd counter. "Is it that different from having a drink or two?" I'd promise to cut back, but my resolve would give way, and I'd start to cut corners, making exceptions to the rules I'd set. Eventually I'd slide right back to where I started.
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US IL: Column: On Medical Marijuana and Illinois

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 07:00
The News-Gazette, 26 Oct 2014 - Q: When will medical marijuana actually be available in Illinois? A: Soon, but not yet. Probably early to mid-2015. Some applicants have apparently been approved, and have received the "registry identification card" that certifies they're a "qualifying patient" who can use medical marijuana.
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US IL: OPED: Benefits of Medical Marijuana Site in Metamora

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 07:00
Peoria Journal Star, 26 Oct 2014 - When I was first approached about having a medical marijuana cultivation site in Metamora, I said we were most likely not interested. My reaction was based on years of thinking of marijuana as "pot," being sold by a drug dealer on a street corner. After doing research, I changed my mind for three reasons. The first was hearing about a 4-year-old boy who had epileptic seizures. Specially grown marijuana that produced the right strain would stop the seizures. I heard about cancer patients who after treatment experienced terrible side effects. With the right medical marijuana, they experienced no side effects. I learned there are 41 debilitating illnesses that can be treated with legally grown marijuana. Metamora is a caring community willing to help those who are in trouble medically. The medicine produced from genetically engineered marijuana could potentially help many sick people improve their lives.
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Australia: Psychiatric Units Struggle With Scourge of Smuggled Drugs

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 07:00
The Age, 26 Oct 2014 - Illicit drugs and alcohol are being smuggled into mental health wards run by the state's busiest public hospitals, undermining patient care and putting psychiatric staff at risk of violence. Parents have reported that their children have bought and used illegal drugs while in hospital being treated for drug-induced psychosis, and health authorities say patients are returning to wards affected by drugs after going on temporary approved leave.
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US FL: Law School Panelists Differ on Legalization of Pot

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 07:00
The Gainesville Sun, 25 Oct 2014 - Florida voters will decide on Amendment 2 in less than two weeks, but it's safe to say that the disagreement over medical marijuana and, more broadly, marijuana legalization will carry on well after Nov. 4. That was one takeaway from a panel discussion on marijuana legalization that the University of Florida Levin College of Law student law review hosted Friday at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.
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US OR: Oregon Initiative Seeks Lower Pot Taxes Than Cities Want

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 07:00
Wall Street Journal, 25 Oct 2014 - HAPPY VALLEY, Ore.-As voters in this state prepare to decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana, a dispute over taxing the drug is demonstrating the complexity of transforming a black market into a legal one. Drafters of the Oregon initiative, Measure 91, have proposed a state tax on pot producers that would be lower than those in the first two states where recreational pot was legalized, Colorado and Washington. Their aim is to prevent a situation where high prices at authorized pot shops push buyers to the black market.
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US FL: OPED: Marijuana Amendment Poorly Written

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 07:00
Sun-Sentinel, 25 Oct 2014 - While Amendment 2 may have good intentions-to provide relief to Floridians suffering from serious illnesses-the poorly written language of the amendment will have irreversible, unintended consequences on our reputation as a family-friendly and business-friendly state. Gaping holes in the amendment language will open the floodgates for widespread marijuana use in Florida. Any patient who suffers debilitating diseases "or other conditions" would qualify for medical marijuana, meaning anyone with as much as a headache could buy pot.
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US NY: Editorial: No Progress On Marijuana Arrests

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 07:00
New York Times, 25 Oct 2014 - When he ran for mayor, Bill de Blasio condemned police practices under which young black and Latino men were unfairly - sometimes illegally - charged with possessing tiny amounts of marijuana, placing them at risk of losing jobs, access to housing or eligibility for military service even though such charges are often dismissed. His promise to address this problem was supported in minority communities that bear the brunt of this destructive policy. But a new analysis of state data shows that low-level marijuana arrests during the de Blasio administration have continued at roughly the same level as under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. That's not what the voters signed up for.
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US CA: Editorial: Pressure Is Now on the Medical Marijuana

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 07:00
Porterville Recorder, 25 Oct 2014 - Now that the city has basically given local medical marijuana users what they want, the pressure is on them to see to it that the city's new medical marijuana growing ordinance is followed and there are no problems with people illegally growing marijuana in their back yards. The council has agreed to not only allow those who have a "letter of recommend" from a doctor to use and grow their own marijuana, but to grow as many as 20 plants. The council set the fee to get a permit at the lowest recommended amount -- just $40 per user, which we feel it too low.
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Chronicle AM: GOP Rep. Tackles Forfeiture, OR Measure 91 Support, CA Dispensary Troubles, More (10/24/14)

Drug War Chronicle - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 21:00

James Sensenbrenner is on the asset forfeiture case, Oregon's Measure 91 picks up some big name endorsements, dispensaries get shut down in San Diego and raided by the DEA in LA, fallout continues in the case of the missing Mexican student teachers, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left caption:true]Asset Forfeiture

Key GOP Lawmaker Questions Asset Forfeiture Seizures. US Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), chair of the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations, today sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to provide documents and data related to the Justice Department's role in more than 60,000 cash and property seizures under the department's Equitable Sharing Program with state and local law enforcement agencies. "While we must ensure law enforcement is properly equipped, they should not be funded by slush funds accrued by violating Americans' civil liberties," Sensenbrenner said in a statement today. "The implications on civil liberties are dire," he said in the letter. "The right to own property is a fundamental right implicitly recognized in the Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. I also believe that it is a human right." Sensenbrenner sent similar letters to the DEA and Department of Homeland Security last week, after a Washington Post investigation that found that 61,998 cash seizures of more than $2.5 billion have been made since 9/11 without search warrants or indictments through Equitable Sharing.

Marijuana Policy

Marijuana Policy Expert Mark Kleiman Says Yes on Oregon's Measure 91. He grumbled, but in the end, academic marijuana policy expert and Washington state legalization implementation maven Mark Kleiman has come down in favor of Oregon's Measure 91 marijuana legalization initiative. Even though he says the initiative doesn't reflect "a sophisticated understanding of the problems of illegal markets or a nuanced view about substance abuse disorder" and says that claims that legalization will reduce youth access to marijuana don't pass "the giggle test," "the choice Oregon voters face isn't between what's on the ballot and some perfectly designed cannabis policy; it's between what's on the ballot and continued prohibition at the state level, until and unless a better initiative can be crafted, put before the voters, and passed into law." Bottom line? "It's not an easy choice; as a Californian, I'm glad I don't have to make one like it (yet). But if I had to vote in Oregon, I'd vote 'Yes.'" Click on the link to read the whole piece.

Oregon US Senator Jeff Merkley Says He Will Probably Vote Yes on Measure 91. US Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) has said he is inclined vote in favor of the Measure 91 marijuana legalization initiative. "I think folks on both sides of the argument make a good case," Merkley said. "And there is concern about a series of new products -- and we don't have a real track record from Colorado and Washington. But I feel on balance that we spend a lot of money on our criminal justice system in the wrong places and I lean in favor of this ballot measure." If he does vote yes, he will become the first US senator to support legalizing marijuana in his home state.

Medical Marijuana

Four San Diego Dispensaries Shut Down By Court Order. San Diego authorities won court orders earlier this week to close four dispensaries they said were operating illegally in the city. All four had closed their doors by Wednesday. The city has just adopted a permitting process for dispensaries and the first permit was handed out recently, but a number of dispensaries are operating in the city without permits. The city has shut down more than 200 unpermitted dispensaries since 2009, the city attorney's office said.

DEA Raids Two Los Angeles Dispensaries. DEA agents Thursday raided two Los Angeles dispensaries that staffers claim were fully compliant with state laws. Raiders hit two locations of The Farmacy, one in West Hollywood and one in Westwood, seizing cash, computers, and medical marijuana. No arrests were made. The Farmacy's Venice Beach location wasn't hit, but staffers said they thought that was because it had recently moved and the DEA couldn't find it.

Drug Testing

Key West Job Offer Drug Test Case to Go to Jury. A Florida woman who sued the city of Key West for rescinding a job offer after she refused to take a pre-employment drug test will have to seek damages before a jury, a federal judge has ruled. Karen Voss had sued, arguing that all suspicionless, pre-employment drug tests were unconstitutional, and she won a summary judgment holding the city liable. She then filed a second motion seeking financial relief for her losses. US District Judge James Lawrence King ruled that a jury must determine what damages, if any, will be awarded, but he did not address whether mandatory, pre-employment drug testing was constitutional.

International

Irish Report Finds Drug Law Enforcement Has Little Impact on Drug Availability. In a study commissioned by the Irish government's drug advisory body, the National Committee on Drugs and Alcohol, researchers have found that the availability of drugs is "largely unaffected" by law enforcement anti-drug operations and recommended that police focus on drug markets causing the most community harm. Both police and dealers agreed that police operations had "no impact on availability" other than temporary reductions because of stiff competition, massive profits, and a steady demand for drugs. The 328-page report is Illicit Drug Markets in Ireland.

Mexico Missing Student Teacher Scandal Forces Guerrero's Governor to Resign. Guerrero Gov. Angel Aguirre Thursday said he was taking a leave of absence. He is not expected to return to office. Aguirre becomes the highest ranking politician yet to fall victim to the festering scandal over the case of 43 radical student teachers missing for more than a month after being seized by local police forces and Guerreros Unidos drug gang members working hand-in-hand with them. The mayor of Iguala, the city where they were seized, and his wife, also face arrest, but they have fled. Several mass graves have been found in the search for the students, but the bodies in them don't appear to be the students. The case has seen mass protests in Mexico City, as well as violent protests in the Iguala and Chilpancingo, the capital of the state.

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US OR: Editorial: Government Tries To Cash In On The Pot

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 07:00
Albany Democrat-Herald, 24 Oct 2014 - It's a little alarming - and, truth be told, a little amusing - to watch city and county governments line up, one by one, for their potential slice of tax revenue from the sale of recreational marijuana. Even communities that have made it clear that medical marijuana dispensaries are not welcome within their boundaries are hoping to cash in on recreational marijuana as a way to drive some additional dough into their coffers.
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US FL: OPED: Research Doesn't Justify Legalizing Medical Pot

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 07:00
The Palm Beach Post, 24 Oct 2014 - Amendment 2, termed "Use of Marijuana for Certain Medical Conditions" on the November ballot, represents a classic case of creating medicine by public opinion, not by science and research. And, I can assure you that in spite of the anecdotal stories claiming the amazing benefits of "medical marijuana" for everything from epilepsy and cancer to any "condition" a physician identifies, there is currently no scientific evidence that meets the peer-reviewed, statistically relevant level for both effectiveness and safety that prescription medications must meet in the United States today.
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CN MB: Review: Pot Activist Documentary Will Harsh Your Mellow

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 07:00
Winnipeg Free Press, 24 Oct 2014 - POT ACTIVIST DOCUMENTARY WILL HARSH YOUR MELLOW IF Marc Emery is "one of the most influential forces in the modern marijuana legalization movement," the movement should look for some new leaders.
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US FL: Editorial: 'No' On Amendment 2, Then Analyze Medical

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 07:00
Naples Daily News, 24 Oct 2014 - Florida should find a compassionate way to make sure the chronically ill have access to any bonafide medication that might help ease suffering. That said, Amendment 2 isn't the answer. The medical marijuana constitutional amendment is too broadly structured. So we urge a 'no' vote on Amendment 2. But that can't be the end of the story; there needs to be a next chapter.
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