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US MI: Column: Justice, Congress Beg to Reform Marijuana Laws

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
The Daily Tribune, 19 Nov 2014 - Both Sides Look to Hand Off Responsibility The Controlled Substances Act, which set up the drug schedules in the early 1970s, explicitly places drug scheduling authority in the hands of the attorney general, and even instructs him or her to "remove any drug or other substance fromthe schedules if he finds that the drug or other substance does not meet the requirements for inclusion in any schedule."
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US CA: Column: Green Lit: California Legalization Measure Is a

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
East Bay Express, 19 Nov 2014 - After the historic marijuana midterms, a seven-hundred-day battle for the Golden State begins. As the dust settles from the historic marijuana midterm election of 2014, a few things have become clear: Namely, Californians will vote on ending cannabis prohibition in 2016. But change is far from inevitable.
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US MI: Column: The Pot Racket

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
Metro Times, 19 Nov 2014 - Crunching the Numbers in Marijuana's March to Legalization Let's play a little numbers game today. This is not the kind of numbers they played in an illegal lottery that flourished for decades before states started taking over the gambling business.
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US: Marley-Branded Marijuana To Go On Sale In 2015

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
Washington Post, 19 Nov 2014 - It's fair to say that Bob Marley probably could not have imagined that 33 years after his death, his name would be lent to what is about to be the newest entrant to the burgeoning legal marijuana market. The reggae icon was perhaps the most prominent and outspoken advocate of the drug throughout his life and at the height of his fame. He viewed it as a spiritual and creative force that was probably more likely to be legalized by "Christ's government" than governments here on Earth.
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US CA: Column: End Of The Growhouse

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
SF Weekly, 19 Nov 2014 - END OF THE GROWHOUSE We're inside a former safe factory next to the freeway in a certain East Side neighborhood, and we are looking at It. "It" is a metal box at least six feet high, easily the biggest object in this otherwise empty rectangular room that, at one-quarter of the 18,000-square-foot warehouse's ground floor, is also huge.
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US CO: Column: Edibles Uncertainty Continues, Pueblo Debates

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
Colorado Springs Independent, 19 Nov 2014 - Edible uncertainty The debate over cannabis edibles could've made headway Monday, when a Colorado task force met for the fourth time in an attempt to hammer out some rules differentiating edibles from regular food. But, as in the meetings before it, no clear direction emerged. Ultimately, the group of industry representatives, police, state regulators and lawmakers voted to send the Legislature several different bills in January, reported the Associated Press.
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US NV: Pot Venture Capitalists See Green

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
Baltimore Sun, 19 Nov 2014 - Legalization Opens Paths for Investors HENDERSON, Nev. - The frenzy in the cavernous Green Valley Resort ballroom might have passed for any conference of entrepreneurs pitching their business plans to poker-faced angel investors - until an organizer took the podium for a public service announcement.
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This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 07:33

A Baltimore cop who insisted on arresting the wrong guy is in trouble, a suburban Chicago cop who tried to be a little too helpful to some women has lost his job, and a Tennessee cop facing federal drug-related money laundering charges retires with his benefits. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]In Baltimore, a Baltimore police officer was charged last Friday with arresting on drug charges a man he knew was innocent. Officer Steven Slack was part of an arrest team directed to detain a man observed by hidden officers making a hand-to-hand drug deal, but he placed the wrong person under arrest. Even though he was informed by the observing officers that he had the wrong guy, Slack arrested him anyway and wrote up an arrest report claiming he had committed the crime. Slack is now charged with official misconduct and perjury.

In Newport, Tennessee, a Newport police officer facing money laundering charges retired last Wednesday. Former Captain Roger Lynn Schults, 54, had been indicted in July on one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and three counts of money laundering along with another Newport police officer, the officer's wife, who is a city alderwoman, and their son. The federal charges involve a hydrocodone distribution ring. It looks like Schults will get his retirement benefits, too, according to his brother, Newport Police Chief Maurice Schults.

In Hoffman Estates, Illinois, a Hoffman Estates police officer has resigned after being caught phoning female partiers at a local hotel and warning them that police were on the way because of a marijuana smoke and loud noise complaint. The officer, who has not been named, had met the two women earlier in the evening during a traffic stop. One of the women, who was later arrested on a prostitution charge, told arriving officers "one of your cops keeps calling us, and he just called telling us the cops were on the way." He signed a separation agreement with the department in September, and faces no administrative or criminal charges.

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Chronicle AM: Marley Marijuana, New Player in Maine, DC OKs Forfeiture Reform, More (11/18/14)

Drug War Chronicle - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 21:30

Get ready for "Marley Natural" weed, there are now competing legalization efforts in Maine, a high-CBD medical marijuana bill is the first one pre-filed for next year in Georgia, the DC city council approves civil asset forfeiture reform, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left]Marijuana Policy

Bob Marley Will Become a Marijuana Brand. The family of legendary Jamaican reggae singer and ganja lover Bob Marley has inked a deal with an American private equity group to sell marijuana under the "Marley Natural" name. The deal is with Privateer Holdings, which says on its web site that "Marley Natural is born of Bob Marley's deep respect for the power of nature to heal and inspire us. True to his ideals, we will cultivate fine cannabis, blend infused topicals, and craft accessories that celebrate life, awaken well-being and nurture a positive connection with the world." The Marley-branded weed is expected to show up next year in places where it is legal.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Supports Putting Marijuana on the Ballot in 2016. In an editorial last week, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch came out in support of the Show Me Cannabis petition drive to put a pot legalization constitutional amendment initiative on the 2016 ballot. "The time for a statewide debate over marijuana legalization is ripe," the newspaper editorialized. "Let the great pot debate of 2016 begin." The Post-Dispatch is Missouri's second largest daily circulation newspaper.

Second Legalization Effort Emerges in Maine. A new group has emerged seeking to free the weed in Maine. Legalize Maine says it will take "a homegrown approach" to legalization and will include the legalization of marijuana social clubs. It has registered the LegalizeMaine.org and LegalizeMaine.com web sites, but there's nothing on them yet. The Marijuana Policy Project has been working Maine for the past several years and plans to run a 2016 legalization initiative there. This could complicate matters.

Medical Marijuana

Georgia Legislator Pre-Files Low-THC, High-CBD Medical Marijuana Bill. State Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) has pre-filed a bill that would legalize a form of medical marijuana in the state. At this point, House Bill 1 is little more than a mission statement, with details to be filled in later, Peake said. Peake tried to do the same thing in the just finished legislative session, but that bill died on the last day of the session.

Iowa Board of Pharmacy Committee Hears Debate on Reclassifying Marijuana. The board met Monday in Des Moines to hear debate on whether marijuana should be moved from Schedule I to Schedule II under state law. Such a move would be a step toward allowing medical marijuana in the state. The board is responding to a petition from long-time Iowa medical marijuana activist Carl Olsen. The committee is expected to make a recommendation on the matter to the full Board of Pharmacy on Wednesday.

Rhode Island's Third and Final Dispensary Opens Tomorrow. The Summit Medical Compassion Center is set to open in Warwick tomorrow. There are two others in the state, one in Portsmouth and one in Providence. Three is all the state's medical marijuana law allows.

Asset Forfeiture

DC City Council Votes Unanimously for Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform. The council voted unanimously today to reform the way the nation's capital handles asset forfeiture. The measure would direct seized funds to the city's general fund instead of the police department and it establishes more protections for citizens in the asset forfeiture process.

International

Marijuana Legalization Debated in Frankfort. For the first time, a German city has officially debated changing its marijuana laws. Officials heard from police, economists, doctors, and drug counselors. A city health department official, Rosemarie Heilig, called for a pragmatic approach to dealing with marijuana that stresses counseling and therapy instead of punishment.

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CN ON: Column: Addiction Awareness Will Require All Of Us

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 08:00
The Expositor, 18 Nov 2014 - This is National Addictions Awareness Week. That itself marks progress in admitting there is a problem. It is up to all of us to help fight the battle. For the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, preventing and reducing harms associated with substance use and abuse by youth is a priority.
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CN ON: Column: Addiction Awareness Will Require All Of Us

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 08:00
The Recorder & Times, 18 Nov 2014 - This is National Addictions Awareness Week. That itself marks progress in admitting there is a problem. It is up to all of us to help fight the battle. For the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, preventing and reducing harms associated with substance use and abuse by youth is a priority.
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CN ON: Column: Addiction Awareness Will Require All Of Us

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 08:00
Kingston Whig-Standard, 18 Nov 2014 - This is National Addictions Awareness Week. That itself marks progress in admitting there is a problem. It is up to all of us to help fight the battle. For the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, preventing and reducing harms associated with substance use and abuse by youth is a priority.
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CN ON: Column: Addiction Awareness Will Require All Of Us

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 08:00
North Bay Nugget, 18 Nov 2014 - This is National Addictions Awareness Week. That itself marks progress in admitting there is a problem. It is up to all of us to help fight the battle. For the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, preventing and reducing harms associated with substance use and abuse by youth is a priority.
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CN ON: Column: Addiction Awareness Will Require All Of Us

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 08:00
The Niagara Falls Review, 18 Nov 2014 - This is National Addictions Awareness Week. That itself marks progress in admitting there is a problem. It is up to all of us to help fight the battle. For the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, preventing and reducing harms associated with substance use and abuse by youth is a priority.
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CN ON: Column: Addiction Awareness Will Require All Of Us

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 08:00
The Beacon Herald, 18 Nov 2014 - This is National Addictions Awareness Week. That itself marks progress in admitting there is a problem. It is up to all of us to help fight the battle. For the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, preventing and reducing harms associated with substance use and abuse by youth is a priority.
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US DC: Editorial: Time For Civil-Forfeiture Reform

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 08:00
Washington Times, 18 Nov 2014 - Law Enforcement Needs to Stop Extorting Innocent Victims The D.C. Council later today will vote on whether to adopt a package of reforms designed to restrict the ability of D.C. law enforcement officials to seize the property of those connected to, but innocent of, wrongdoing. Civil forfeiture has been termed "policing for profit," because in many states and local jurisdictions law enforcement agencies that seize such property are allowed to keep the cash realized from its sale or the cash itself if that is what is seized, and use it as they will.
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US DC: D.C. on Track to Reform Police Property Seizure Laws

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 08:00
Washington Times, 18 Nov 2014 - Department Has Incentive to Keep Cars D.C. lawmakers are pushing forward with legislation to reform policies allowing police to seize property from people they stop, regardless of whether criminal charges are ever filed - a practice called civil asset forfeiture that is facing increasing scrutiny nationwide.
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Chronicle AM: Congress Unlikely to Mess With DC Marijuana Legalization, Guatemala Could Legalize Next Year, More (11/17/14)

Drug War Chronicle - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 04:36

Congress may "just say meh" to DC legalization, Washington state's first pot auction was a success, it's back to the drawing board for Florida Charlotte's Web regulators, Lebanese hash farmers have an unusual problem, Guatemala's president said pot legalization could be coming soon, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Congressional Republicans Not Too Interested in Blocking DC Legalization. Congressional Republicans, eager to wage battle against President Obama and the Democrats on immigration reform and the Affordable Care Act, don't appear that interested in trying to block the District of Columbia from implementing the marijuana legalization initiative voters approved on Election Day. The Washington Post quoted several senators who said they had other things on their minds. "That's pretty far down my list of priorities," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-NC). "I haven't given it one thought," said Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH). The Post also quoted a Heritage Foundation analyst as saying trying to block DC legalization could cost valuable political capital and expose a rift between GOP social conservatives and libertarians.

Washington State's First Pot Auction Brings in $600,000. In the first auction of legally licensed and produced marijuana in the state, Fireweed Farms sold more than 300 pounds of pot Saturday at an average price of $2,000 a pound. That's a $600,000 payday for the growers.

Pot Smoking Tickets Up Nearly Five-Fold in Denver. Through the first three quarters of this year, Denver police have cited 668 people for public pot smoking, compared to just 117 during the same period last year. That's a 471% increase. Even under legalization, public display and consumption of marijuana remains a no-no. Some advocates said public consumption will be an issue until the city allows for it to be consumed in bars or pot clubs.

Medical Marijuana

Florida Judge Rejects Medical Marijuana Growers Lottery Plan, Sends Health Department Back to Drawing Board. The state legislature this year approved the use of low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oils, but now an administrative law judge has ruled that the Department of Health's plan to use a lottery to choose growers is not the way to go. "I knew that the lottery became strictly a chance-based scenario and it wasn't merit-based or experience-based. And to me, I had to object to it," said Judge W. David Watkins in his order last Friday. The ruling should result in a better system of distributing licenses, but it could also delay when the cannabis oil actually becomes available to patients.

Asset Forfeiture

Scranton Times-Tribune Calls for Asset Forfeiture Reform. One of Pennsylvania's mid-level newspapers has jumped on the asset forfeiture reform bandwagon. In a Monday editorial, The Scranton Times-Tribune called for federal civil asset forfeiture reform. Citing "pervasive abuses" by state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies, the newspaper called on the Congress to pass pending asset forfeiture reform legislation, and for Pennsylvania officials to examine whether the state's asset forfeiture law needs reform as well.

Prescription Drugs

DEA Pays Visit to NFL Teams Over Use of Pain Relievers. Spurred by reports of widespread use of prescription pain relievers in a recent lawsuit filed against the NFL, DEA agents Sunday visited several NFL teams to question medical staff members about their prescribing practices for drugs used to energize players before games and relieve their pain afterward. The DEA characterized the visits as "administrative," and nothing was seized and no one detained. "Our role is law enforcement, and we have the regulatory authority to make sure anyone who has a license operates within the law," said DEA spokesman Rusty Payne.

Harm Reduction

Chicago Recovery Alliance's Harm Reduction Gets Work Some Notice. The DePaul University newspaper The DePaulia has profiled the Windy City's Chicago Recovery Alliance and the harm reduction work in which it is engaged. The newspaper calls harm reduction "a small movement in the United States meant not to stigmatize drug users, but to safely educate and assist drug users with the ultimate purpose of reducing risk and eliminating drug-related complications and deaths." It's actually a pretty good overview of the harm reduction field.

International

With Lebanese Army Busy with Syrian Civil War, Hash Farmers Are Cursed By Oversupply. For the second year in a row, the Lebanese Army has been too concerned with the fighting on its borders to get around to eradicating marijuana crops in the Bekaa Valley, but the hash farmers can't win for losing. Now they face a flooded market and falling prices. Before the Syrian civil war and the glut, farmers were getting $1,500 for 1.2 kilos of hash; now that price has fallen to $500. Not only is the glut the problem, but political and military insecurity have made smuggling more difficult as well, feeding further downward price pressures.

Guatemala President Says County Could Legalize Marijuana Next Year. In an interview with TeleSur TV on Saturday, President Otto Perez Molina said Guatemala would decide early next year whether to follow Uruguay on the path to marijuana legalization. Perez Molina has also made similar noises about legalizing opium poppy production. Stay tuned.

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CN BC: Pot A Possible Salvation For PTSD Sufferers

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 17 Nov 2014 - Marijuana producer and UBC are pitching a clinical trial on the impact of the drug on people with post-traumatic stress disorder After developing post-traumatic stress disorder during his second deployment in Afghanistan in 2007, Canadian army veteran Fabian Henry tried numerous anti-depressants to quell his suicidal thoughts and violent rages. For three years, he was on as many as nine pills a day. But only one drug worked for him: marijuana.
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US CO: Colorado Health Department to Recommend 'Premarket

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 08:00
New York Times, 17 Nov 2014 - DENVER (AP) - Worried that edible marijuana sweets are too attractive to children, Colorado health authorities plan to ask on Monday for a new panel to decide which marijuana foods and drinks look too much like regular snacks. A Health Department recommendation, obtained by The Associated Press in advance of a final meeting Monday on edible marijuana regulations, suggests a new state commission give "premarket approval" before food or drinks containing pot can be sold.
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