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CN AB: Editorial: Leave The Sales To The Experts

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 07:00
The Calgary Sun, 06 Oct 2017 - Trust us, the grass is greener on the other side of state-run business. Anyone who ever had to line up outside one of a handful of Alberta liquor Control Board retail outlets back in the day knows how brutal it was buying something as simple as a case of beer or bottle of wine. It was enough to drive you to drink. Or how about the stress-elevating experience of a visit to the old department of motor vehicles. Talk about road rage. Privatization has made life so much easier in those two areas, not to mention the jobs created through competition and better, varied pricing for consumers in the case of booze - tax portion aside, of course.
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CN AB: MADD Urges Alberta Pursue Public Model On Cannabis To Ensure

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 07:00
Edmonton Sun, 06 Oct 2017 - The advocacy group Mothers Against Drunk Driving wants Alberta to sell marijuana through government-run stores - at least in the short term - to ensure public safety before profit. Andrew Murie, the CEO of MADD, points to marijuana stores in the United States that slash prices to mark the annual April 20 counter-culture celebration of public cannabis consumption.
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CN ON: Editorial: Get Smarter On Drugs

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 06 Oct 2017 - The chorus calling on Ottawa to decriminalize possession of all drugs is growing louder and more urgent. The government should listen The chorus calling on Ottawa to rethink its approach to the epidemic of opioid overdoses sweeping this country is growing louder and more urgent. Two new reports issued this week echo a broad consensus among public health experts: decriminalizing the possession of all drugs is crucial if we're going to tackle this crisis.
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CN ON: Editorial: Move Carefully On Cannabis Taxes

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 07:00
Hamilton Spectator, 06 Oct 2017 - The first legal sales of recreational marijuana in Canada are still months away, but some provincial premiers are already demanding a bigger piece of the action. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's opening offer this week to evenly split a 10-per-cent excise tax on cannabis sales between Ottawa and the provinces was quickly scorned by premiers such as Alberta's Rachel Notley and Quebec's Philippe Couillard.
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Chronicle AM: MA Advocates Push for No Pot Tax $$$ for Towns That Ban Pot Ops, More... (10/5/17)

Drug War Chronicle - Thu, 10/05/2017 - 20:50

It's all marijuana today, with Washington state considering personal grows, Delaware pondering legalization, Massachusetts activists trying to put the screws to towns that ban stores, and more.

[image:1 align:left]Marijuana Policy

Delaware Marijuana Task Force Meets, Hears Concerns. The state's Adult Cannabis Use Task Force met for the second time Wednesday and heard from the Department of Safety and Homeland Security. The department unsurprisingly wants strict regulations on marijuana if legislators decide to legalize it. Homeland Security Director John Yeomans said the department was against allowing personal cultivation because it could lead to a "grey market" and edibles should not be allowed because they could appeal to kids. The Chamber of Commerce also weighed in, expressing concerns about workplace injuries, unemployment claims, and how impairment would be defined. The task force will continue to meet on a monthly basis for the rest of the year and then make policy recommendations.

Massachusetts Advocates Say Towns With Pot Bans Shouldn't Enjoy Pot Tax Revenues. Pro-legalization advocates are working on a bill that would prevent towns that ban commercial marijuana operations from collecting a share of marijuana tax revenues. The Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council is talking to legislators about the proposal, which comes as more than a hundred municipalities in the state have enacted bans, moratoria, or other tough restrictions on pot businesses. "Any sensible person would agree, why should you get tax money if you don't have it in your town, it just doesn't make any sense," council vice-president Kamani Jefferson said in remarks reported by the Daily Free Press. "I think it will catch on even to the people who may not be in love with marijuana. If you don't put any work in, you shouldn't get any benefits is what we're really proposing to the Commonwealth."

Washington Regulators Get Earful at Hearing on Allowing Personal Cultivation. A three-member panel of the state Liquor and Cannabis Board held a hearing Wednesday on allowing home grows in the only legalization state that doesn't allow them. Most of the three dozen people who testified support home cultivation, but not the options being studied because they have too many restrictions and allow localities to ban personal grows even if legalized in the state. The panel must issue a report with recommendations to the legislature by December 1.

International

Canada Legalization Bill Sheds Language Restricting Plant Height. The Commons Health Committee on Tuesday scrapped a clause in the bill that would have made growing a plant taller than one meter a criminal offense. The provision had been criticized as arbitrary and difficult to enforce, with even the Ontario police and corrections ministry noting that "people could be criminalized for small amounts of overproduction." Others pointed out that someone could have a legal plant, go on vacation for a couple of weeks, and come back to an illegal plant. The limit of four plants per household remains intact, though.

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CN BC: Expert Calls For Drug Decriminalization

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 10/05/2017 - 07:00
Prince George Citizen, 05 Oct 2017 - VANCOUVER - Canada's political leaders must take bold action by joining forces to decriminalize illicit drugs and save lives in the midst of an unprecedented overdose crisis, a leading drug-policy expert says. Donald MacPherson of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's stance on legalizing marijuana to protect youth and stop the flow of profits to organized crime must also apply to drugs that have killed thousands of Canadians.
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CN BC: Decriminalize Drugs To Fight Overdoses: Expert

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 10/05/2017 - 07:00
The Record, 05 Oct 2017 - VANCOUVER - Canada's political leaders must take bold action by joining forces to decriminalize illicit drugs and save lives in the midst of an unprecedented overdose crisis, a leading drug-policy expert says. Donald MacPherson of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's stance on legalizing marijuana to protect youth and stop the flow of profits to organized crime must also apply to drugs that have killed thousands of Canadians.
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CN BC: Column: On Marijuana, Let The Provinces Keep The Cash

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 10/05/2017 - 07:00
Vancouver 24hours, 05 Oct 2017 - The federal government plans to legalize marijuana this summer and they say they want their fair share of tax revenue. A dollar tax on anything up to $10 - and a 10% tax on anything above that amount - to be split 50/50 between the federal and provincial governments. But wait, Trudeau says, it's not about the money.
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CN ON: Marijuana Advocate Back In Niagara Falls

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 10/05/2017 - 07:00
The Tribune, 05 Oct 2017 - Grow Up Expo features Jodie Emery as speaker at convention focussed on impending legalization of marijuana next July Jodie Emery laughs when reminded of her last visit to Niagara Falls seven years ago.
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CN ON: Toronto Endorses Province's Pot Plan

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 10/05/2017 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 05 Oct 2017 - Toronto city council has, by a narrow margin, endorsed Premier Kathleen Wynne's plan for tightly regulated marijuana sales through LCBO-style stores. Council voted 21-16 Wednesday in favour of backing Wynne's pot plan, while demanding that the city be compensated for any related costs when the federal government legalizes marijuana next year.
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CN ON: Who's Minding The Pot?

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 10/05/2017 - 07:00
The Delhi News-Record, 05 Oct 2017 - Norfolk police board, county seek answers on personal grow-ops Health Canada is handing out licences for people to grow marijuana for personal use, but the question of who will be monitoring that growth has stymied both the Norfolk police board and council.
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CN AB: Cannabis, Can'tabis

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 10/05/2017 - 07:00
Metro, 05 Oct 2017 - Albertans get first look at pot plan Albertans will be able to toke up in public when marijuana is legalized across Canada next summer, as long as they're not around kids. The province released its Draft Cannabis Framework on Wednesday morning, confirming people will be allowed to smoke in public but not in playgrounds, spray parks, zoos, hospitals, school grounds or other places frequented by children.
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CN ON: Grieving Moms Now Advocates On Opioids Crisis

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 10/05/2017 - 07:00
The Grimsby Lincoln News, 05 Oct 2017 - Mothers galvanize regional politicians with powerful stories of loss of kids to overdoses NIAGARA - Wilma Thompson was hearing about the horrific death toll the opioid crisis sweeping across the country was having, so she pulled her daughter Jaena, age 19, aside last year.
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CN ON: Pot Legislation 'Prohibition 2.0,' Emery Says

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 10/05/2017 - 07:00
Niagara This Week, 05 Oct 2017 - The approach being taken by federal and provincial governments, when it comes to the legalization of marijuana is just another form of prohibition, says a woman who is a longtime advocate for allowing unrestricted access to cannabis. "We're seeing prohibition 2.0," said Jodie Emery, who along with her husband, Marc, have been campaigning for legalization for more than two decades. Jodie will be among the speakers taking part in the Grow Up Cannabis Conference & Expo taking place Friday and Saturday at the Scotiabank Convention Centre. "It's very upsetting."
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Federal Bill Would Reverse Perverse Incentives for Mass Incarceration [FEATURE]

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 10/04/2017 - 22:01

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

Even as President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions descend into a law-and-order authoritarianism that views mass incarceration as a good thing, Democrats in Congress are moving to blunt such tendencies. A bill introduced last week in the House is a prime example.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]Last Wednesday, Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) filed the Reverse Mass Incarceration Act of 2017 (HR 3845), which would use the power of the federal purse to reduce both crime and incarceration at the same time. Under the bill, states that decreased the number of prisoners by 7% over three years without a substantial increase in crime would be eligible for grants.

The grants would come from the Justice Department and would be awarded "to implement evidence-based programs designed to reduce crime rates and incarcerations," according to the bill text.

The measure essentially reverses the 1994 crime bill, which set up Justice Department block grant programs aimed at increasing arrests and incarceration. Instead of incentivizing states to increase prison populations, the legislation would pay states to decrease them, while keeping down crime.

Under the legislation, grants would be awarded every three years. States are eligible to apply if the total number of people behind bars in the state decreased by 7 percent or more in three years, and there is no substantial increase in the overall crime rate within the state. The bill could lead to a 20 percent reduction in the national prison population over 10 years.

Although state and federal prison populations have stabilized in the past decade and we are no longer seeing the massive increases in inmate numbers that began under Reagan and continued largely on autopilot through the Clinton and Bush years, the number of people incarcerated is still unconscionably high. With more than 1.5 million people in prison in 2015, the United States remains the world leader in incarceration, in both per capita and absolute numbers.

[image:2 align:right]A healthy percentage of them are people locked up for drug offenses. The Bureau of Prisons reports that nearly half of all federal prisoners are drug offenders. Among the states, the percentage varies between about 15% and 25%; overall, about 17% of state prison inmates are drug offenders.

"The costs of our nation's epidemic of over-incarceration is not just metaphorical," said Rep. Cárdenas at a press conference rolling out the bill. "Yes, mass incarceration and mandatory minimums have taken their toll on our families and our communities, and represent one of the biggest civil rights issues of our time. At the same time, the cost to the taxpayer is real. Americans spend almost $80 billion per year on our prison system, in addition to much more significant long-term societal costs. It's time to right the wrongs of the last decades and help states have the freedom to implement programs that are more cost-effective and keep our streets and communities safer."

It's not just in the House. In June, Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) filed the Senate version of the bill, SB 1458. Both Booker and Blumenthal came out for the rollout of the House version.

"In 1994, Congress passed the Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act, which created grant programs that incentivized states to incarcerate more people," said Sen. Booker. "The Reverse Mass Incarceration Act would do the opposite -- it would encourage states to reduce their prison populations and invest money in evidence-based practices proven to reduce crime and recidivism. Our bill recognizes the simple fact that locking more people up does little to make our streets safer. Instead, it costs us billions annually, tears families apart, and disproportionately drives poverty in minority communities."

"Our criminal justice system is in a state of crisis," said Sen. Blumenthal. "Under current sentencing guidelines, millions of people -- a disproportionate number of them people of color have been handed harsh prison sentences, their lives irreparably altered, and our communities are no safer for it. In fact, in many cases, these draconian sentencing policies have had the opposite of their intended effect. State sentencing policies are the major drivers of skyrocketing incarceration rates, which is why we've introduced legislation to encourage change at the state level. We need to change federal incentives so that we reward states that are addressing this crisis and improving community safety, instead of funneling more federal dollars into a broken system."

[image:3 align:left caption:true]While the bills don't have any Republican sponsors or cosponsors, they are backed by a panoply of civil rights, human rights, faith-based, and social justice organizations that are pushing hard for Congress to address mass incarceration and the class and racial disparities that underlie it.

"At a time when we have an Attorney General who seeks to continue the unwise practice of privatizing prisons and putting more and more people in them, Congress must reform our criminal justice system and do more to address mass incarceration," said Vanita Gupta, former deputy attorney general for civil rights and currently CEO of the Leadership Conference on Human Rights.

"Rep. Cárdenas, and Senators Cory Booker and Richard Blumenthal, have developed a creative policy proposal that would serve as a powerful tool to accelerate state efforts in reversing the damaging impact of mass incarceration," said Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League. "This proposal builds on smart prison-reduction policies while also reducing crime. The National Urban League applauds the lawmakers and is committed to working with them until this bill is signed into law."

That could be awhile. With Republicans in control of the Congress, the bills' prospects this session are clouded. But even among congressional Republicans, there are conservative criminal justice reformers willing to take a hard look at harsh policies of the past, and there is always the next Congress. While the Reverse Mass Incarceration Act of 2017 is unlikely to pass this year, it deserves to be fought for and is laying the groundwork for sentencing reform victories to come. Let's hope they do so soon.

Categories: Latest News

Federal Bill Would Reverse Perverse Incentives for Mass Incarceration [FEATURE]

Top Stories (STDW) - Wed, 10/04/2017 - 22:01

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

Even as President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions descend into a law-and-order authoritarianism that views mass incarceration as a good thing, Democrats in Congress are moving to blunt such tendencies. A bill introduced last week in the House is a prime example.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]Last Wednesday, Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) filed the Reverse Mass Incarceration Act of 2017 (HR 3845), which would use the power of the federal purse to reduce both crime and incarceration at the same time. Under the bill, states that decreased the number of prisoners by 7% over three years without a substantial increase in crime would be eligible for grants.

The grants would come from the Justice Department and would be awarded "to implement evidence-based programs designed to reduce crime rates and incarcerations," according to the bill text.

The measure essentially reverses the 1994 crime bill, which set up Justice Department block grant programs aimed at increasing arrests and incarceration. Instead of incentivizing states to increase prison populations, the legislation would pay states to decrease them, while keeping down crime.

Under the legislation, grants would be awarded every three years. States are eligible to apply if the total number of people behind bars in the state decreased by 7 percent or more in three years, and there is no substantial increase in the overall crime rate within the state. The bill could lead to a 20 percent reduction in the national prison population over 10 years.

Although state and federal prison populations have stabilized in the past decade and we are no longer seeing the massive increases in inmate numbers that began under Reagan and continued largely on autopilot through the Clinton and Bush years, the number of people incarcerated is still unconscionably high. With more than 1.5 million people in prison in 2015, the United States remains the world leader in incarceration, in both per capita and absolute numbers.

[image:2 align:right]A healthy percentage of them are people locked up for drug offenses. The Bureau of Prisons reports that nearly half of all federal prisoners are drug offenders. Among the states, the percentage varies between about 15% and 25%; overall, about 17% of state prison inmates are drug offenders.

"The costs of our nation's epidemic of over-incarceration is not just metaphorical," said Rep. Cárdenas at a press conference rolling out the bill. "Yes, mass incarceration and mandatory minimums have taken their toll on our families and our communities, and represent one of the biggest civil rights issues of our time. At the same time, the cost to the taxpayer is real. Americans spend almost $80 billion per year on our prison system, in addition to much more significant long-term societal costs. It's time to right the wrongs of the last decades and help states have the freedom to implement programs that are more cost-effective and keep our streets and communities safer."

It's not just in the House. In June, Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) filed the Senate version of the bill, SB 1458. Both Booker and Blumenthal came out for the rollout of the House version.

"In 1994, Congress passed the Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act, which created grant programs that incentivized states to incarcerate more people," said Sen. Booker. "The Reverse Mass Incarceration Act would do the opposite -- it would encourage states to reduce their prison populations and invest money in evidence-based practices proven to reduce crime and recidivism. Our bill recognizes the simple fact that locking more people up does little to make our streets safer. Instead, it costs us billions annually, tears families apart, and disproportionately drives poverty in minority communities."

"Our criminal justice system is in a state of crisis," said Sen. Blumenthal. "Under current sentencing guidelines, millions of people -- a disproportionate number of them people of color have been handed harsh prison sentences, their lives irreparably altered, and our communities are no safer for it. In fact, in many cases, these draconian sentencing policies have had the opposite of their intended effect. State sentencing policies are the major drivers of skyrocketing incarceration rates, which is why we've introduced legislation to encourage change at the state level. We need to change federal incentives so that we reward states that are addressing this crisis and improving community safety, instead of funneling more federal dollars into a broken system."

[image:3 align:left caption:true]While the bills don't have any Republican sponsors or cosponsors, they are backed by a panoply of civil rights, human rights, faith-based, and social justice organizations that are pushing hard for Congress to address mass incarceration and the class and racial disparities that underlie it.

"At a time when we have an Attorney General who seeks to continue the unwise practice of privatizing prisons and putting more and more people in them, Congress must reform our criminal justice system and do more to address mass incarceration," said Vanita Gupta, former deputy attorney general for civil rights and currently CEO of the Leadership Conference on Human Rights.

"Rep. Cárdenas, and Senators Cory Booker and Richard Blumenthal, have developed a creative policy proposal that would serve as a powerful tool to accelerate state efforts in reversing the damaging impact of mass incarceration," said Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League. "This proposal builds on smart prison-reduction policies while also reducing crime. The National Urban League applauds the lawmakers and is committed to working with them until this bill is signed into law."

That could be awhile. With Republicans in control of the Congress, the bills' prospects this session are clouded. But even among congressional Republicans, there are conservative criminal justice reformers willing to take a hard look at harsh policies of the past, and there is always the next Congress. While the Reverse Mass Incarceration Act of 2017 is unlikely to pass this year, it deserves to be fought for and is laying the groundwork for sentencing reform victories to come. Let's hope they do so soon.

Categories: Latest News

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 10/04/2017 - 21:56

We've only got a couple this week, but they're both pretty juicy and involve federal law enforcement officials. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left]In New Orleans, a DEA agent and a Hammond police officer were arrested Sunday on charges related to the DEA task force led by Agent Chad Scott. Task force members are accused of stealing property and thousands of dollars in drug investigations, as well as a raft of related offenses. Scott and Hammond Police Officer Rodney Gemar are accused of participating in a seven-year conspiracy to not report drug, cash, and property seizures and instead keep them for their own profit. Scott faces ten counts, including falsifying government records, obstruction of justice, perjury, conspiracy, and seeking and receiving illegal gratuities. Gemar faces six counts, including stealing evidence and conspiracy. Gemar is out on bail, but Scott was still being held after appearing in court Monday.

In Orlando, Florida, a Department of Homeland Security officer was arrested last Monday for allegedly taking bribes to help a Colombian cocaine trafficker avoid criminal charges. Special Agent Christopher Ciccione was the case agent for an organized crime and drug trafficking task force that obtained indictments for a number of Cali Cartel cocaine traffickers, but Ciccione is accused of taking a $20,000 bribe to get the indictment dismissed, then altering records and lying to federal prosecutors. He is charged with conspiracy, corruption, and obstruction of justice.

Categories: Latest News

Medical Marijuana Update

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 10/04/2017 - 21:22

Florida is slow getting out of the gate with cultivation licenses, a Georgia lawmaker is pushing to makes the state's CBD law workable, Michigan lawmakers are moving to keep dispensaries open during a year-end switchover, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Florida

On Tuesday, the state missed its own deadline for issuing growing licenses. Florida officials were supposed to distribute ten medical marijuana cultivation licenses Tuesday, but that's not going to happen. Officials said last Friday said the delay would be brief and pointed fingers at Hurricane Irma and a recently-filed lawsuit from a black farmer challenging the state's effort to achieve racial diversity among growers. That farmer charged that the state's guidelines were too restrictive.

Georgia

Last Friday, a state lawmaker was mobilizing supporters to broaden the state's CBD law. State Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) is calling on families and advocates to contact their legislators ahead of the upcoming legislative session to lay the groundwork for expanding the state's CBD medical marijuana law to allow limited cultivation and manufacturing in the state. The state legalized the use of CBD cannabis oil in 2013, but there is no legal way to obtain it. Peake wants to let one or two growers and manufacturers operate in the state. They would be limited to creating CBD cannabis oil.

Kentucky

Last Wednesday, a court dismissed a medical marijuana lawsuit aimed at the governor and attorney general. A lawsuit filed against Gov. Matt Bevin (R) and Attorney General Andy Beshear (D) seeking to force them to legalize medical marijuana in the state was thrown out. A Franklin circuit court judge ruled that legal precedent makes it clear that only the legislature can regulate the use of marijuana in the state -- not the executive branch and not the courts.

Michigan

Last Thursday, lawmakers moved to keep dispensaries open during the changeover to the new medical marijuana regime. As the state prepares to shift to a new regime allowing licensed dispensaries, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has tentatively asked all existing dispensaries to shut down by December 15 and seek licenses. But some legislators have filed House Bill 5014, which would allow dispensaries to stay open while their license applications are pending before the department. A Senate version of the bill is expected to be filed shortly.

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

Categories: Latest News

Chronicle AM: Alaska Towns Reject Marijuana Bans, DEA Names Acting Head, More...(10/4/17)

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 10/04/2017 - 20:59

The DEA names an in-house acting administrator, the Massachusetts high court takes up the question of whether judges can order addicts to remain drug-free, Canada advances on looming marijuana legalization, and more.

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

Alaska Towns Reject Marijuana Bans. Voters in Fairbanks and several towns on the Kenai Peninsula south of Anchorage rejected bans on commercial marijuana growing operations in local votes on Tuesday. The state legalized marijuana in 2014.

California Governor Signs Bill Making Smoking Pot While Motoring a $70 Ticket. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Monday signed into law a bill barring the use of marijuana or marijuana products while driving or riding in a motor vehicle. The maximum penalty is a $70 fine. But drivers who operate while impaired could still be nailed for that.

Hemp

Farm Bureau Endorses Federal Hemp Bill. The American Farm Bureau Federation has formally endorsed the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, House Resolution 3530, which would exclude industrial hemp from the Controlled Substances Act definition of marijuana.

Law Enforcement

DEA Veteran Named Acting Administrator. The Justice Department has named veteran DEA official Robert Patterson as acting administrator of the agency. He has been DEA's principal deputy administrator since last November, where he oversaw all of the agency's enforcement, intelligence, administrative, and regulatory activities worldwide. He is the highest ranking career special agent at DEA.

Massachusetts Court Ponders Whether Courts Can Require Addicts to Remain Drug-Free. The state's Supreme Judicial Court heard arguments Monday on whether judges can require people under their supervision who suffer from substance use disorder to remain drug-free. The case involves a woman who was sent to jail for failing a drug test while on probation for a larceny charge, but has large implications for how judges in the state deal with drug-using defendants. A decision in the case is expected around year's end.

International

Canadian Prime Minister Proposes 10% Marijuana Excise Tax. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has proposes an excise tax on retail marijuana sales of $1 for sales of up to $10, and 10% on sales over that amount. Provinces and territories would receive half the revenues under the proposal he made Tuesday, but some provinces argue that isn't enough. Trudeau responded that the details are still open to negotiation.

Alberta Proposes Minimum Age of 18 for Pot Use. The Alberta provincial government's draft plan for marijuana legalization sets the minimum age at 18. The province says it hasn't yet decided on whether to have government-run or private sales. The draft proposal also includes provisions for use in public areas where smoking is allowed and sets a public possession limit of 30 grams.

Categories: Latest News

Chronicle AM: Atlanta A Step Closer to MJ Decrim, Drug Treatment Privacy Threat, More... (10/3/17)

Drug War Chronicle - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 20:11

Atlanta is one step away from decriminalizing marijuana possession, patient advocacy and health care groups unite behind a campaign to protect the privacy of drug treatment patients, and more.

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

Delaware Panel Meets Again This Week, Has Issues. The state task force charged with examining issues around the legalization of marijuana is set to meet again on Wednesday. Members said that before legalization could occur, several issues would have to be addressed, including public and workforce safety, taxation and banking rules, insurance and liability issues, and concerns about the long-term effects of marijuana use.

Massachusetts Regulators Urged to Avoid "Walmart of Weed" Situation. State pot grower advocates urged regulators Monday to institute a tiered licensing system for marijuana cultivation to avoid out-of-state corporate control of the state's legal pot crops. Peter Bernard, president of the Massachusetts Grower Advocacy Council, said a 1 million square foot grow facility being funded by "Colorado money" makes his "New England blood boil" because it could signal that locals will be shut out in the nascent industry. Instead of a "Walmart of Weed" approach, Bernard said, the state should encourage craft cooperatives. "Craft cooperative grows will provide that top shelf product that commands a top shelf price, much like a fine bottle of wine commands a higher price than box wine. Only the tourists and occasional tokers will waste their money on Walmart Weed," he said in testimony reported by MassLive.

Atlanta City Council Unanimously Approves Decriminalization Ordinance. The city council voted 15-0 Monday to decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. The mayor now has eight days to sign or veto this bill. If the mayor does not act, the ordinance becomes law. State law allows for up to six months in jail for pot possession, but the Atlanta ordinance would limit punishment to a $75 fine.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

As Opioid Crisis Rages, Campaign to Protect Patients' Privacy Rights Launched. More than a hundred of the nation's leading patient advocacy and health care organizations have launched the Campaign to Protect Patient Rights to advocate for maintaining the confidentiality of substance abuse disorder patients. The campaign comes as moves are afoot to eradicate existing protections in a misguided bid to address the crisis. Under federal substance abuse disorder confidentiality rules, treatment providers are barred from disclosing information about a patient's drug treatment without his or her consent. Proposals to replace those rules with the more relaxed HIPAA standards "would not sufficiently protect people seeking and receiving SUD treatment and could expose patients to great harm," the groups said.

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