Latest News

Chronicle AM: OR Drug Decriminalization Initiative Launches, Colombia Coca Conflict, More... (3/2/20)

Drug War Chronicle - Mon, 03/02/2020 - 21:01
div class=field field-type-text field-field-body div class=field-items div class=field-item odd pUtah#39;s medical marijuana program rolled out today, an Oregon initiative would decriminalize the possession of personal amounts of all drugs, Nepalese Communist lawmakers move toward legalizing marijuana farming, and more.nbsp;/pp[image:1 align:left caption:true]strongMedical Marijuana/strong/ppa href=https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/florida-measure-caps-thc-levels-at-10-percent-for-underage-medical-marijuana-patients target=_blankFlorida Measure Would Cap THC at 10% for Underage Patients/a. House Speaker Jose Oliva (R-Hialeah) last Friday filed an amendment to a Senate Appropriations Committee bill that would cap the THC level of medical marijuana at 10% for underage patients. Last month, Oliva said that capping medical marijuana at 10% was one of his priorities. The amendment tonbsp;a href=https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2020/230 target=_blankSenate Bill 230/a, which limits the cap to kids, is most likely a concession to veterans#39; groups that made it clear last week they opposed any caps./ppa href=https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2020/03/01/asd-medical-cannabis-amendments-bill-passes-unanimously-program-to-begin-march-2/#.Xl1i76hKjIU target=_blankUtah Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Amendments Bill/a. Gov. Gary Herbert (R) last Friday signed into law a href=https://le.utah.gov/~2020/bills/static/SB0121.html target=_blankSenate Bill 121/a, just days before the state#39;s medical marijuana program opened Monday. The changes in the bill include packaging, expungements, dosing, and limits on how many patient recommendations doctors can provide. quot;This bill makes needed adjustments and clarifications to Utahrsquo;s medical cannabis law,quot; Herbert said. quot;These changes will help us ensure that Utah patients have the best possible access to cannabis products as our new program rolls out on Monday, March 2.quot;/ppstrongDrug Policy/strong/ppa href=https://www.opb.org/news/article/oregon-voters-decriminalize-drugs-initiative-petition-44/ target=_blankOregon Drug Decriminalization Initiative Launches/a. A campaign to put a drug treatment and drug decriminalization initiative, the quot;Drug Treatment and Recovery Actquot; (nbsp;a href=http://egov.sos.state.or.us/elec/web_irr_search.record_detail?p_reference=20200044..LSCYYYDRUGS target=_blankIP 44/a), on the November ballot launched on Saturday. The measure would take money from the state#39;s existing marijuana tax revenues to fund the expansion of access to drug treatment, as well as decriminalizing the possession of personal use amounts of all drugs, including cocaine, meth, and heroin. If the measure qualifies for the ballot and passes in November, Oregon would be the first state in the country to decriminalize drug possession./ppstrongHarm Reduction/strong/ppa href=https://www.opb.org/news/article/oregon-voters-decriminalize-drugs-initiative-petition-44/ target=_blankMissouri Needle Exchange Bill Passes House/a. The House last Friday passed a href=https://house.mo.gov/BillContentMobile.aspx?bill=HB1486amp;year=2020amp;code=Ramp;style=new target=_blankHouse Bill 1486/a, which would legalize needle exchanges across the state. The bill now heads to the Senate./ppstrongInternational/strong/ppa href=https://colombiareports.com/no-aerial-fumigation-of-coca-without-crop-substitution-colombias-court-reminds-government/ target=_blankColombia High Court Reminds Government No Aerial Fumigation of Coca without Crop Substitution/a. The country#39;s Constitutional Court last Thursday reminded the government of President Ivan Duque that if it does not help farmers find substitutes for their coca cropsmdash;as agreed in a 2016 treaty with the FARCmdash;it will not be able to engage in aerial crop fumigation. The move came in reaction to the government reportedly ended a contract with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime that monitors the crop substitution program. The Duque government has said it will resume aerial eradication this year./ppa href=https://english.onlinekhabar.com/ruling-party-lawmaker-registers-bill-demanding-legalisation-of-marijuana-farming.html target=_blankNepalese Communist Party Lawmaker Files Bill to Legalize Marijuana Farming/a. Former law minister and current House member Sher Bahadur filed a private bill Monday to allow marijuana farming. The move comes after 46 lawmakers last month called for legalization. The Nepalese parliament is controlled by the Nepalese Communist Party./p /div /div /div
Categories: Latest News

Chronicle AM: INCB Head Suggests UN Drug Treaties Are Out of Date, Houston Dope Squad Reforms, More... (2/28/20)

Drug War Chronicle - Fri, 02/28/2020 - 22:09
div class=field field-type-text field-field-body div class=field-items div class=field-item odd pA top UN drug official suggests international drug treaties are out of step with the times, a hemp bill is moving in Idaho, Malawi legalizes hemp and medical marijuana cultivation, and more./pp[image:1 align:right caption:true]strongMarijuana Policy/strong/ppa href=https://wgme.com/news/marijuana-in-maine/maines-plans-for-special-cannabis-crimes-unit-sparks-outrage target=_blankMaine Plans for Special Marijuana Crimes Unit Sparks Outrage/a. The state plans to spend $649,000 in marijuana taxes to fund a four-person unit in the its Drug Enforcement Agency to deal with regulatory compliance and monitoring illegal marijuana activities, but the plan announced earlier this week isn#39;t sitting well with some lawmakers and marijuana business owners. quot;We do not want to see one additional person incarcerated for marijuana,quot; said Mark Barnett, a Portland coffee shop owner applying for a recreational cannabis license. quot;Itrsquo;s a move in the wrong direction and counter to the very idea of legalization.quot; Rep. Charlotte Warren (D-Hallowell, co-chair of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, concurred: quot;I thought we legalized cannabis,quot; she said. quot;If we have spent a total of $33.2 million over just the time Irsquo;ve been in the legislature, why are we adding more agents for something that we actually legalized?quot;/ppstrongHemp/strong/ppa href=https://www.idahopress.com/news/local/idaho-senate-backs-legalization-of-industrial-hemp/article_9abddf92-39bf-557c-92df-89c6f96ce196.html target=_blankIdaho Senate Passes Bill to Legalize Hemp Production/a. The Senate on Thursday approved a href=https://legiscan.com/ID/bill/S1345/2020 target=_blankSenate Bill 1345/a, which would allow farmers in the state to legally grow and process industrial hemp. The bill now heads to the House./ppstrongLaw Enforcement/strong/ppa href=https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/HPD-chief-Art-Acevedo-Gerald-Goines-69-cases-15089532.php target=_blankHouston Police Chief Announces Reforms for Tarnished Narcotics Unit/a. Police Chief Art Acevedo announced a series of reforms for his department#39;s Narcotics Division on Wednesday, just hours after Harris County DA Kim Ogg said 69 defendants convicted on the testimony of disgraced former drug cop Gerald Goines might have their cases overturned. Goines was the lead officer in a fatal raid last year that left two innocent homeowners dead. Among the changes announced by Acevedo are requiring more oversight and signoff from superiors for drug operations, tighter controls on informants and payments, and restating the already announced policy of requiring high-level approval for quot;no-knockquot; raids like the one Goines led./ppstrongVaping/strong/ppa href=https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/house-votes-to-ban-flavored-tobacco-to-curb-youth-vaping-epidemic/2020/02/28/4cb4c15a-5a38-11ea-9b35-def5a027d470_story.html target=_blankHouse Votes to Ban Flavored E-Cigs, Tobacco, Including Menthol/a. The House on Friday approved a bill, a href=https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/2339?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22hr+2339%22%5D%7Damp;s=2amp;r=1 target=_blankHouse Resolution 2339/a, that would ban the manufacture and sale of flavored tobacco and e-cigarettes, including menthol. The vote divided House Democrats and drew opposition from Republicans. Some members of the Congressional Black Caucus slammed the bill over its ban on menthol, which is popular with African-American smokers. The bill#39;s fate is uncertain in the Senate./ppstrongInternational/strong/ppa href=https://mjbizdaily.com/in-major-shift-un-drug-chief-questions-whether-control-treaties-involving-cannabis-are-out-of-date/ target=_blankTop UN Drug Official Questions Whether Drug Control Treaties Are Out of Date/a. International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) President Cornelius P. de Joncheere said Thursday the United Nations drug conventions may be outdated, especially when it comes to marijuana. quot;We have some fundamental issues around the conventions that state parties will need to start looking at,quot; he said, adding, quot;We have to recognize that the conventions were drawn up 50 and 60 years ago.quot;nbsp;Joncheere said 2021 is quot;an appropriate time to look at whether those are still fit for purpose, or whether we need new alternative instruments and approaches to deal with these problems.quot;/ppa href=https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/27/landmark-nsw-inquiry-condemns-ineffective-drug-laws-and-calls-for-decriminalisation target=_blankAustraliana New South Wales Commission Calls for Drug Decriminalization/a. A government-commissioned special inquiry into drug use has called the criminalization of drug users quot;a profound flawquot; in the state#39;s criminal justice system and recommended the complete decriminalization of drugs in the state. The report called current state drug laws quot;tiredquot; and quot;lacking in imagination.quot; It calls for pill testing, ending the use of drug dogs at music festivals, and more safe injection sites. But the NSW state government has already rejected some of those recommendations./ppnbsp;/pp. Malawi#39;s parliament on Thursday approved legislation to allow the cultivation of medical marijuana and hemp. The country is looking at an alternative to its tobacco crop, its main earner of foreign exchange, which is under pressure from anti-smoking campaigns. quot;Legalization of this crop will contribute to economic growth as it will contribute in the diversification of the economy and boost the countryrsquo;s exports, especially at this time when tobacco exports are dwindling,quot; agriculture minister Kondwani Nankhumwa said. Marijuana for recreational use remains illegal./p /div /div /div
Categories: Latest News

Chronicle AM: Philly Safe Injection Site Could Open Soon, VT House Approves Pot Sales Bill, More... (2/27/20)

Drug War Chronicle - Thu, 02/27/2020 - 21:04
div class=field field-type-text field-field-body div class=field-items div class=field-item odd pThe Vermont House has passed that bill to allow taxed and regulated marijuana sales, a California bill would allow paying meth users not to use, the INCB issues its annual report, and more.nbsp;/pp[image:1 align:left caption:true]strongMarijuana Policy/strong/ppa href=https://www.pressherald.com/2020/02/26/state-plan-to-harmonize-marijuana-program-would-wreak-havoc-critics-say target=_blankMaine Wants to quot;Harmonizequot; Medical, Adult Use Marijuana Programs/a. The Office of Marijuana Policy told state lawmakers Wednesday that it wants the medical and adult-use programs to abide by the same state rules whenever possible. It introduced a bill to apply the same plant size restriction, labeling rules, manufacturing safety and background checks to both programs. The plan is generating pushback from small operators, who say the plan would drive up prices and force them out of business./ppa href=https://www.marijuanamoment.net/vermont-house-approves-bill-to-legalize-marijuana-sales/ target=_blankVermont House Approves Marijuana Sales Bill/a. The House on Wednesday voted 90-54 to approve a href=https://legislature.vermont.gov/bill/status/2020/S.54 target=_blankSenate Bill 54/a, which would tax and regulate legal marijuana sales in the state. The Senate approved the bill with a veto-proof margin last year, the first year of the biennial session. Since it was amended in the House, the House and the Senate will have to reconcile differences before sending the bill to the governor#39;s desk./ppstrongMethamphetamine/strong/ppa href=https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/California-bill-would-fund-rewards-for-meth-15085453.php target=_blankCalifornia Bill Would Pay Meth Users Not to Use/a. State Sen. Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco) has filed a href=http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200SB888 target=_blankSenate Bill 888/a, which would make public funding available for programs that provide financial incentives to participants to stop using drugs. The bill would expand substance abuse treatment options that qualify for Medi-Cal, the program that provides health care to the poor, to include contingency management programs that use vouchers or small cash awards to motivate people to stay off drugs. Weiner said he was motivated by a growing methamphetamine problem in the city./ppstrongHarm Reduction/strong/ppa href=https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/884vyg/the-first-legal-safe-injection-site-in-the-us-is-set-to-open-next-week-heres-why-that-matters target=_blankPhiladelphia Safe Injection Site Could Open as Early as Next Week/a. Officials with Safehouse, the nonprofit group that is moving to open a safe injection site, said Wednesday that the facility could be open as soon as next week. The announcement came hours after a federal judge ruled that it would not violate federal law. It would be the first legally permitted safe injection site in the country. But US Attorney William McSwain said the government will seek to stop the site from opening, as the government intends to appeal the judgersquo;s decision./ppstrongInternational/strong/ppa href=http://www.incb.org/incb/en/news/AR2019/incb-2019-annual-report-and-precursors-report-launched.html target=_blankInternational Narcotics Control Board Issues Annual Report/a. The Vienna-based International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has released its a href=http://www.incb.org/incb/en/publications/annual-reports/annual-report-2019.html target=_blankINCB Annual Report 2019/a, which examines the global drug control situation and makes recommendations to national governments and international organizations. Among other things, the report said the INCB wants more done to ensure pain relief medications are available to everyone who needs them and it warns of the quot;dangersquot; of non-medical marijuana developments, i.e. the trend toward marijuana legalization. nbsp;/p /div /div /div
Categories: Latest News

Trump's Latest Drug Budget: Pretty Much More of the Same [FEATURE]

Drug War Chronicle - Thu, 02/27/2020 - 06:15
div class=field field-type-text field-field-body div class=field-items div class=field-item odd pThe Trump administration rolled out its proposed a href=https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/FY-2021-National-Drug-Control-Budget-Highlights.pdf target=_blankFiscal Year (FY) 2021 National Drug Control Budget/a Tuesday, and it#39;s pretty much more of the same -- $35.7 billion more, to be precise. That#39;s a proposed $94 million increase over what was actually allocated in the current fiscal year./pp[image:1 align:left caption:true]To be fair, only about half of that money would be destined for the fruitless and endless battle to enforce drug prohibition. The request includes $18.6 billion for prevention and treatment efforts and $17.1 billion for quot;domestic law enforcement, interdiction, and international drug control efforts,quot; the drug war side of the federal drug budget./ppquot;The FY 2021 budget request sends a strong message that, although we#39;ve seen signs of real progress, the Trump administration will not let up in our efforts to save American lives,quot; Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Jim Carroll said in a a href=https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/trump-administration-seeks-increased-funding-continue-curbing-drug-crisis/ target=_blankstatement/a accompanying the budget release. quot;Whether it is going after drug traffickers, getting people struggling with addiction the help they need, or stopping drug misuse before it starts, this budget request ensures our partners will have the resources needed to create safer and healthier communities across the nation.quot;/ppBut big talk notwithstanding, there#39;s not really much of a bump for much-needed treatment. The budget would provide more than $14 billion to the Department of Health and Human Services for drug treatment funding, a 3% increase for the department and a 2.9% increase for treatment funding across the federal government. That includes $3.9 billion in drug treatment funding for the DEA for something outside its purview and for which it has not been previously funded./ppThere#39;s another $2.135 billion for prevention, which we tend to think of mainly as educational efforts, but which the administration notes includes coercive and punitive quot;drug-free workplace programsquot; and quot;drug testing in various settings, including athletic activities, schools, and the workplace.quot;/ppIronically given ONDCP#39;s role in rolling out the drug budget, the budget once again takes aim directly at ONDCP. Since the Bush administration, there have been efforts to eliminate or sideline ONDCP, and the Trump administration is back at it. This budget, if enacted, would slash the drug czar#39;s office funding from the $261 million allocated this year to a measly $4.3 million next year, a whopping 98.4% reduction. Congress has so far always rejected such moves. The major part of that reduction results from the transfer of control over High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) funds from ONDCP to the DEA./ppAnd speaking of the DEA and the prohibition enforcement fraction of the overall drug budget, DEA would see its budget increase to $3.1 billion, an increase of 15.8% over this year. More than half of that increase, though, comes from the transfer of those HIDTA funds from ONDCP./ppOverall, domestic drug law enforcement spending would increase to $9.95 billion dollars, a jump of 0.9% over this year. That would include $3.4 billion to pay for housing federal drug war prisoners, $931 million for the US Marshals Service to catch more drug war fugitives, and more than half a billion dollars for the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force program, among other line items./ppThere#39;s also $3.4 billion for the Department of Homeland Security#39;s Customs and Border Protection to quot;protect America#39;s land, sea, and air borders from drug trafficking-related security threats.quot; At the same time, though, the budget would reduce the Defense Department#39;s drug interdiction activities -- think Coast Guard ships loaded with seized cocaine -- from $225 million to $109 million, a reduction of more than half./ppBut there#39;s also international drug enforcement spending, and the Pentagon would get another $200 million for interdiction and counterdrug activities. That would be a dramatic 43% reduction from the $354 million appropriated this year./ppThe Justice Department, though, would see a 31% increase in its overseas spending, to just over half a billion dollars. The vast bulk of that funding -- $499.7 million -- would be destined for DEA overseas activities./ppBut the department with the biggest chunk of foreign drug war funding is State, which would see its Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (quot;drugs and thugsquot;) funded at $441 million, up 15% over this year. That includes things like trying to suppress the Afghan opium crop or the Colombian coca crop, tasks which have proven remarkably futile./ppThis is the Trump administration#39;s drug war wish list. It is only a budget proposal and is unlikely to remain unchanged, and with keeping ONDCP active a long-running congressional priority, the radical reduction in its funding is one item that#39;s likely to be amended. Still, the Congress has for years passed largely similar drug budgets, and this one will probably pass, too, without many substantial changes./p /div /div /div
Categories: Latest News

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 02/26/2020 - 22:05
div class=field field-type-text field-field-body div class=field-items div class=field-item odd pA former DEA agent gets popped for helping a Colombian drug trafficker, a former Atlanta-area drug task force member goes to federal prison for stealing and reselling drugs from drug busts, and more. Let#39;s get to it:/pp[image:1 align:left caption:true]In San Juan, Puerto Rico, a href=https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/23/us/dea-agent-arrested.html target=_blanka former DEA special agent was arrested last Friday/a on charges he used cash seized during undercover drug operations to buy luxury goods, including jewelry, cars, and a house in Cartagena, Colombia, and engaged in money laundering with a Colombian drug trafficker. He is charged with conspiracy to launder money, honest services wire fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, conspiracy to commit identity theft and aggravated identity theft. His wife, who was also arrested, is charged with conspiracy to launder money. His charging indictment accuses him of quot;engaging in a corrupt schemequot; and quot;enriching himself by secretly using his position and his special access to information to divert drug proceeds from DEA control to the control of himself and his co-conspirators.quot;/ppIn Cincinnati, a href=https://www.lawofficer.com/cincinnati-police-officer-arrested-accused-of-outing-undercover-operator-to-nightclub-during-investigation/ target=_blanka Cincinnati police officer was arrested last Friday/a on charges she outed an undercover officer to a nightclub owner targeted in a money laundering and drug trafficking investigation, as well as concealing $81,000 in off-duty income. Officer Quianna Campbell, 39, is charged with lying to federal agents and filing false income tax returns./ppIn North Charleston, South Carolina, a href=https://abcnews4.com/news/local/former-n-chas-officer-arrested-and-charged-for-misconduct-in-office target=_blanka former North Charleston narcotics detective was arrested Tuesday/a officials said they found he provided information about another agency#39;s investigations to a person involved in drug activity. Brett Bull, 33, allegedly sent text messages to that person, alerting him to drug operations being planned by the Charleston County Sheriff#39;s Office and warning him to quot;stay away.quot; He is charged withmisconduct in office and obstruction in connection to the incident./ppIn Atlanta, a a href=https://www.ajc.com/news/crime--law/gwinnett-drug-task-force-member-gets-years-for-stealing-narcotics-traffic/DFxdiCO2aQP3hPgjI8Eh3H/ target=_blankformer Gwinnet County drug task force member was sentenced Monday/a to 10 years in federal prison for stealing drugs off the street and then selling them. Antione Riggins, 41, pleaded guilty late last year to drug trafficking He admitted seizing narcotics, including methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and oxycodone, while creating documents to try to cover up his tracks. In one case, he seized three pounds of cocaine from a high-speed crash, but only logged one into the evidence room. In another incident, Riggins was tasked with transporting 13 pounds of meth from an Atlanta hotel to the evidence room. None of the meth made it there. Three days after that 2017 incident, Riggins made off with more than eight pounds of heroin that were supposed to go to the evidence room./p /div /div /div
Categories: Latest News

Chronicle AM: Philly Safe Injection Site Gets Favorable Final Ruling, San Diego to Dismiss Pot Convictions, More... (2/26/20)

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 02/26/2020 - 20:58
div class=field field-type-text field-field-body div class=field-items div class=field-item odd pA federal judge has issued a final order saying a proposed Philadelphia safe injection site does not violate federal law, Kansas lawmakers vote to keep a third pot possession conviction a felony, the Virginia legislature has passed a smokeable hemp bill, and more./pp[image:1 align:left caption:true]strongMarijuana Policy/strong/ppa href=http://www.kake.com/story/41809436/kansas-lawmakers-reject-lower-penalties-on-pot-possession target=_blankKansas Lawmakers Kill Bid to Lower Marijuana Penalties/a. The House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee voted 7-4 Tuesday to reject a href=http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2019_20/measures/hb2686/ target=_blankHouse Bill 2686/a, which would have reduced third time simple pot possession from a felony to a misdemeanor and released people serving prison time for felony marijuana possession. I thought this was mild enough that it might get through the committee,quot; said Democratic Rep. Boog Highberger, of Lawrence, home to the liberal University of Kansas main campus. quot;I can#39;t explain it.quot; But Republican committee members said it was a step toward legalization, which they don#39;t support./ppa href=https://www.kpbs.org/news/2020/feb/25/san-diego-da-files-motion-to-reduce-and-dismiss/ target=_blankSan Diegonbsp;DAnbsp;Files Motion to Reduce and Dismiss Marijuananbsp;Convictions/a.The San Diego County District Attorney#39;s Office announced Tuesday that it has filed a motion to reduce nearly 25,962 felony marijuana convictions to misdemeanors, while also moving to dismiss 1,040 misdemeanor marijuana convictions completely. The office said it had already reduced or dismissed more than 1,600 marijuana-related convictions since 2016, when Proposition 64 was voted into law, legalizing recreational marijuana use in California. The DA#39;s Office#39;s reduction and dismissal motions are pending review by a judge./ppstrongHemp/strong/ppa href=https://www.marijuanamoment.net/smokeable-hemp-bill-heads-to-virginia-governors-desk-and-lawmakers-approve-legal-marijuana-study/ target=_blankVirginia Lawmakers Pass Smokeable Hemp Bill/a. The Senate voted 37-3 Tuesday to approvenbsp;a href=https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+sum+HB962 target=_blankHouse Bill 962/a, which clarifies that smokeable hemp products can lawfully be sold to people 21 and over. The bill now goes to the desk of Gov. Ralph Northam (D)./ppstrongHarm Reduction/strong/ppa href=https://www.inquirer.com/news/philadelphia-supervised-injection-site-opening-federal-ruling-20200225.html target=_blankPhiladelphia Safe Injection Site Gets Final Approval from Federal Judge/a. A federal judge Tuesday issued a final order in a case where he earlier ruled that a proposed safe injection in the city would not violate federal law. The final order upholds that previous ruling and clears the way for the nonprofit group Safehouse to move forward with opening the site. The Trump administration had challenged the legality of the harm reduction measure and could still appeal the ruling, but Safehouse says it is moving forward anyway./ppstrongInternational/strong/ppa href=https://www.marijuanamoment.net/mexican-senate-committees-meeting-this-week-to-finalize-marijuana-legalization-plan/ target=_blankMexican Congress Moving Closer to Marijuana Legalization/a. Sen. Ricardo Monreal of the ruling MORENA Party said Monday that marijuana legalization is quot;on trackquot; and that several congressional committees are meeting this week to work on the issue. Four committees were set to meet to review a draft bill Wednesday. The congress is working under an April Supreme Court deadline to get legalization done./p /div /div /div
Categories: Latest News

Chronicle AM: Colombia Coca Moves, VT Legal Marijuana Sales Bill Advances, More... (2/25/20)

Drug War Chronicle - Tue, 02/25/2020 - 21:22
div class=field field-type-text field-field-body div class=field-items div class=field-item odd pA Vermont bill to tax and regulate marijuana sales heads for a House floor vote, a potential Ohio marijuana legalization initiative campaign emerges, Israel#39;s embattled prime minister says his government is open to marijuana legalization, and more./pp[image:1 align:right caption:true]strongMarijuana Policy/strong/ppa href=https://bringmethenews.com/minnesota-news/minnesotans-in-favor-of-marijuana-legalization-oppose-mining-near-boundary-waters target=_blankMinnesota Poll Has Slim Majority for Marijuana Legalization/a. A new poll from Minnesota Public Radio and the Minneapolis Star Tribune has support for marijuana legalization at 51%, with 37% opposed. The poll comes after House Democrats last month revealed plans for a marijuana legalization bill. That bill faces tough prospects in the Republican-led Senate, though./ppa href=https://www.fox19.com/2020/02/24/marijuana-legalization-could-be-ohio-ballot/ target=_blankOhio Marijuana Legalization Initiative Campaign Emerges/a. Some state medical marijuana growers are among a new coalition working on putting a marijuana legalization initiative before the voters in November. The proposed constitutional amendment would allow people 21 and over to buy, possess, and consume up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants. Existing medical marijuana businesses would get the first shot at the market, with state regulators deciding later on whether to issue additional licenses. Not all of the medical marijuana sector is behind the move, though./ppa href=https://www.marijuanamoment.net/bill-to-legalize-marijuana-sales-heads-to-vermont-house-floor-following-key-committee-vote/ target=_blankVermont Marijuana Sales Legalization Bill Heads for House Floor Vote/a. A bill to legalize and tax marijuana sales, a href=https://legislature.vermont.gov/bill/status/2020/S.54 target=_blankSenate Bill 54/a, is now set for a House floor vote after winning the approval of the House Appropriations Committee on a 6-5 vote. The House floor vote should come later this week. The Senate passed the bill last year, but because of changes in the House, differences will have to be settled through a conference committee./ppstrongSentencing Policy/strong/ppa href=https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1150 target=_blankColorado Bill to Reverse Drug Defelonization Gets Hearing Thursday/a. The House Judiciary Committee will hear a bill Thursday that seeks to undo a law passed last year that changed drug possession charges from felonies to misdemeanors. a href=https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1150 target=_blankHouse Bill 20-150/a seeks to undo the sentencing reform before it takes effect next month./ppstrongInternational/strong/ppa href=https://colombiareports.com/colombia-ends-coca-crop-substitution-monitoring-deal-with-un-report/ target=_blankColombia Ends Crop Substitution Monitoring Program with UN/a. The Colombian government has ended its cooperation with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in monitoring coca crop substitution, a program the government of President Ivan Duque said it wanted to end. But ending the program would put the government out of compliance with its 2016 peace deal with leftist FARC guerrillas, so the government backed away from that. But refusing to monitor the program would block the UNODC from evaluating the effectiveness of planned forced coca eradication, recently announced by Defense Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo and supported by the Trump administration. Previous UNODC reports have found that only a tiny 0.4% of voluntary eradicated crops had been replanted, while the number for forcibly eradicated crops was 80%, making the program quite ineffective./ppa href=https://www.ibtimes.com/colombia-launches-military-push-against-narco-gangs-slashing-forests-coca-plants-2928253 target=_blankColombia Launches Military Push Against FARC Dissidents in National Parks/a. Defense Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo said Monday the military will step up an offensive against FARC dissidents who have again taken up arms and are overseeing the clearing of thousands of acres of land in national parks for coca cultivation. Trujillo claimed the FARC dissidents were forcing peasants to clear the land and quot;commit a massacre against nature.quot;/ppa href=https://reason.com/2020/02/24/israels-prime-minister-to-explore-marijuana-legalization/ target=_blankIsraeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Says His Government is Exploring Marijuana Legalization/a. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday his government is exploring legalizing recreational marijuana and is looking at Canada as a model. He said Justice Minister Amir Ohana quot;has begun work on the issue, and he will head a committee including professionals and Oren Leibovich, chairman of the [pro-legalization] Green Leaf Party, that will investigate importing the Canadian model for regulation of a legal market in Israel.quot; Netanyahu, who is struggling to maintain power, has gone through two indecisive elections since last April and faces a third next month./p /div /div /div
Categories: Latest News

Chronicle AM: Liz Warren Releases Marijuana Plan, WVA Bill Would Hike Meth Sentences, More... (2/24/20)

Drug War Chronicle - Mon, 02/24/2020 - 20:21
div class=field field-type-text field-field-body div class=field-items div class=field-item odd pElizabeth Warren rolls out a plan for a just and equitable marijuana industry, a Hawaii bill would protect medical marijuana patients from being fired or not hired because of positive drug tests, and more./pp[image:1 align:left caption:true]strongMarijuana Policy/strong/ppa href=https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/23/warren-marijuana-tobacco-plan-2020-116948 target=_blankElizabeth Warren Releases Plan for Just and Equitable Marijuana Industry/a. Democratic presidential contender and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has released her plan for a a href=https://elizabethwarren.com/plans/cannabis target=_blankJust and Equitable Cannabis Industry/a. The plan calls for passage of a marijuana legalization bill similar to the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, the appointment of law enforcement agency heads who support legalization, the expungement of past marijuana convictions, and protections for immigrants, among other provisions. nbsp;/ppstrongMedical Marijuana/strong/ppa href=https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/hawaii/articles/2020-02-22/hawaii-bill-would-protect-workers-allowed-to-use-medical-pot target=_blankHawaii Bill to Protect Patients#39; Employment Rights Advances/a. A bill that would protect medical marijuana cardholders from being fired or not hired because they tested positive for marijuana is advancing in the legislature. Instead of a drug test, cardholders could undergo a quot;fit-for-dutyquot; test that measure impairment, not metabolites. The bill excludes law enforcement and prison guards, other public safety workers, and health care workers who administer drugs to patients. The state Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health Committee and the state Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill Friday with some amendments. It now heads for a Senate floor vote./ppstrongKratom/strong/ppa href=https://www.ksdk.com/article/news/local/missouri-house-passes-bill-requiring-more-regulation-kratom/63-985ad375-be72-41d5-b4f6-5123cd3b0ac4 target=_blankMissouri House Passes Kratom Regulation Bill/a. The House has approved a href=https://house.mo.gov/Bill.aspx?bill=HB2061amp;year=2020amp;code=R target=_blankHouse Bill 2061/a, which would require more regulation for kratom products. The bill creates the Kratom Consumer Protection Act, which orders quot;sellers of kratom products to ensure that their products are not adulterated with dangerous substances.quot; The bill would also ban the sale of kratom to people under 18. The bill now heads to the Senate./ppstrongMethamphetamine/strong/ppa href=https://www.theintelligencer.net/news/top-headlines/2020/02/meth-punishments-increased-under-ihlenfeld-bill/ target=_blankWest Virginia Bill Would Increase Meth Sentences/a. The Senate last Thursday approved a href=http://www.wvlegislature.gov/Bill_Status/bills_text.cfm?billdoc=SB502%20INTR.htmamp;yr=2020amp;sesstype=RSamp;i=502 target=_blankSenate Bill 502/a, which would increase sentences for methamphetamine offenses to make them as severe as those for narcotics offenses. Under current law, meth possession can net up to five years, but under this bill that would rise to 15 years. Sponsor Sen. Sen. William Ihlenfeld (D), a former U.S. attorney, said that law enforcement and prosecutors told him that increasing sentences would have quot;a positive effectquot; in deterring meth-related crime. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and is already being taken up in the House./ppem(This article was prepared by StoptheDrugWar.org#39;s 501(c)(4) lobbying nonprofit, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also pays the cost of maintaining this website. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)/em/p /div /div /div
Categories: Latest News

Chronicle AM: KY House Passes MedMJ Bill, DEA Announces New Anti-Meth Operation, More... (2/21/20)

Drug War Chronicle - Fri, 02/21/2020 - 21:15
div class=field field-type-text field-field-body div class=field-items div class=field-item odd pA new poll shows Florida voters strongly support marijuana legalization, the DEA announces Operation Crystal Shield, the drug czar announces this year#39;s version of a border strategy, and more./pp[image:1 align:right caption:true]strongMarijuana Policy/strong/ppa href=https://www.firstcoastnews.com/article/news/poll-large-majority-of-florida-voters-support-legalizing-recreational-pot-background-checks-for-gun-sales-15-min-wage/77-87e41c7c-5e39-41a4-ac68-4c1a1bc31f09 target=_blankFlorida Poll Has Strong Support for Marijuana Legalization/a. A new poll from the University of North Florida Public Opinion Lab and First Coast News has support for marijuana legalization in the Sunshine State at 64%. The poll asked whether respondents would support allowing up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana to be legally purchased, possessed, transported, displayed and used. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of Democrats supported legalization, and even a majority (52%) of Republicans did, too./ppstrongMedical Marijuana/strong/ppa href=https://www.wdrb.com/news/kentucky-house-votes-to-legalize-medical-marijuana/article_87c8afd0-542b-11ea-8726-271cc8b80459.htmlKentucky House Approves Medical Marijuana/a. The House voted 65-30 Thursday to approve stronga href=https://u7061146.ct.sendgrid.net/ls/click?upn=4tNED-2FM8iDZJQyQ53jATUbYriJsRC1V9O3oa-2Fr4s4vilPJHvNAgAvzErMsNYFu6zITEIUJmPVigrIgBwmSUXNw-3D-3DM8aq_IIbrxKnoOF4A1-2B5RcKiXcrdl2-2F2ejLMEraRWEFJJC3ikRSoc-2B9ZTh7QPu1-2BoKP0isgJZPsmDYeJdIcPSLCMyycjHdUomXieS9UaKimWIil5bO-2B7qiAzOl1RWKs8DMwzYesx265OTQ22W5qv5WOCSoWCCbAdYMipR6f3b7QpWpnkinSlNGFmyONuZBe2TwCedcbWEqwiFtA-2BQMfJ8FUoqt4MMGA0dGQPXYkyf-2BCztEwdZQydk3HvVDO2pkW3BRl1Gx3VHcW08GDLqgZUX9k6D05ps9Px0zT-2FtJoDF-2Bc-2BLfd1bDKNOJ2afEvYo2sro1iMbd5bI8aWmzNkJNkBcC26rtQ-3D-3D target=_blank title=This external link will open in a new windowHB 136/a/strongstrong, /strongwhich would legalize medical marijuana in the state, but not in smokable formstrong. /strongThe bill must pass the state senate and be signed by Gov. Andy Beshear (D) before it becomes law./ppstrongMethamphetamine/strong/ppa href=https://www.dea.gov/press-releases/2020/02/20/dea-announces-launch-operation-crystal-shield target=_blankDEA Announces Launch of Operation Crystal Shield, Will Target Meth Transport Hubs/a. DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon announced Thursday that the DEA will direct enforcement resources to methamphetamine ldquo;transportation hubsrdquo; mdash; areas where methamphetamine is often trafficked in bulk and then distributed across the country. While continuing to focus on stopping drugs being smuggled across the border, DEArsquo;s Operation Crystal will target eight major methamphetamine transportation hubs: Atlanta, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Phoenix, and St. Loius. Together, these DEA Field Divisions accounted for more than 75% of methamphetamine seized in the U.S. in 2019./ppstrongDrug Policy/strong/ppa href=https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/white-house-releases-national-drug-interdiction-plan-border-strategies/ target=_blankWhite House Releases National Drug Interdiction Plan, Border Strategies/a. White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Jim Carroll on Thursday released thenbsp;a href=https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/2020-National-Interdiction-Command-and-Control-Plan.pdf target=_blankNational Interdiction Command and Control Plan/anbsp;(NICCP), which outlines the Trump Administrationrsquo;s interdiction strategy to reduce the availability of illicit drugs in the United States. The plan includes both a southwestern border strategy and a northern border strategy. quot;Almost all of the drugs killing thousands of Americans originate from outside the United States. The Plan demonstrates how close coordination across Federal, State, territorial, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies is crucial to stopping these deadly drugs from coming into our country and making their way into our communities,quot; ONDCP Director Jim Carroll said./p /div /div /div
Categories: Latest News

Chronicle AM: NH House Approves Legal Pot Bill, DC Psychedelic Decrim Init Advances, More... (2/20/20)

Drug War Chronicle - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 21:00
div class=field field-type-text field-field-body div class=field-items div class=field-item odd pNew Hampshire could be the next state to legalize marijuana after the House approves it, an Alabama medical marijuana bill advances, and so does the DC psychedelic decriminalization initiative./pp[image:1 align:left caption:true]strongMarijuana Policy/strong/ppa href=https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomangell/2020/02/19/top-trump-campaign-spokesman-marijuana-must-be-kept-illegal/#1a8eeb3f762b target=_blankMarijuana Must Be quot;Kept Illegal,quot; Trump Campaign Spokesman Says/a. A top Trump campaign aide said in an interview Wednesday that the administration#39;s policy is that marijuana and other illegal drugs should remain illegal. quot;I think what the president is looking at is looking at this from a standpoint of a parent of a young person to make sure that we keep our kids away from drugs,quot; said Marc Lotter, director of strategic communications for the Trump 2020 effort. quot;They need to be kept illegal,quot;he said. quot;That is the federal policy.quot;/ppa href=https://www.coloradopolitics.com/legislature/house-committee-turns-down-bill-to-allow-workers-to-use/article_6e318a76-535c-11ea-a1f7-77b9631ad2b4.html target=_blankColorado Bill to Protect Workers Who Use Marijuana on Their Own Time Fails/a. A bill aimed at barring employers from firing workers who use marijuana during their off-work hours has been killed amid business concerns over workplace safety and the inability of drug tests to actually determine impairment. a href=https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1089 target=_blankHouse Bill 1089/anbsp;was defeated unanimously in the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee. It didn#39;t mention marijuana by name, but would have changed state law to allow for activities deemed illegal under federal law but that are legal under state law./ppa href=https://blog.norml.org/2020/02/20/new-hampshire-house-lawmakers-approve-bill-allowing-personal-possession-of-marijuana/ target=_blankNew Hampshire House Passes Limited Marijuana Legalization Bill/a. nbsp;The House on Thursday voted 236-112 to approve a limited marijuana legalization bill, a href=https://legiscan.com/NH/bill/HB1648/2020 target=_blankHB 1648/a. The bill would legalize the possession of up to frac34; of an ounce of weed by adults and allow for the home cultivation of up to six plants (three mature ones), but not allow for taxed and regulated sales. The bill now heads to the Senate./ppstrongMedical Marijuana/strong/ppa href=https://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/2020/02/19/alabama-medical-marijuana-bill-passes-out-senate-committee/4799326002/ target=_blankAlabama Senate Committee Advances Medical Marijuana Bill/a. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a medical marijuana bill, a href=http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/ALISON/SearchableInstruments/2020RS/PrintFiles/SB165-int.pdf target=_blankSenate Bill 165/a, on an 8-1 vote Wednesday, clearing the way for a Senate floor vote on it. The bill would create the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission to oversee and regulate a system of dispensaries and cultivators. The Senate approved a similar bill last year, only to have the House amend it into only a study commission. This year#39;s bill is based on a recommendation by that commission. It now heads for a Senate floor vote.nbsp;nbsp;/ppstrongPsychedelics/strong/ppa href=https://www.marijuanamoment.net/ballot-language-approved-for-washington-d-c-psychedelics-decriminalization-measure/ target=_blankWashington, DC, Psychedelic Decriminalization Initiative Ballot Title Approved/a.nbsp;The DC Board of Elections on Tuesday approved the short title and summary statement for the proposed psychedelic decriminalization initiative, another step on getting the measure before the voters in November. The initiative doesn#39;t change local laws regarding natural psychedelics, but calls for making offenses involving those substances the lowest law enforcement priority and calls on the DC attorney general and the Districtrsquo;s federal prosecutor to end prosecutions of such offenses. The initiative is now called the quot;Entheogenic Plant and Fungus Policy Act of 2020.quot;nbsp;The short title and summary will be published in the DC Register next week, following which point a 10-day challenge period will be opened. After the close of the comment period on March 9, the panel will then the hold another meeting to give final approval to the language. Once the title and summary get final approval, organizers will have to collect about 25,000 valid signatures from voters within 180 days in order to qualify for the November ballot./ppem(This article was prepared by StoptheDrugWar.org#39;s 501(c)(4) lobbying nonprofit, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also pays the cost of maintaining this website. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)/em/p /div /div /div
Categories: Latest News

Medical Marijuana Update

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 02/19/2020 - 20:33
div class=field field-type-text field-field-body div class=field-items div class=field-item odd pA Pennsylvania patient fights for access to public housing, and state legislatures are back in session with medical marijuana on the agenda -- for better and for worse./pp[image:1 align:right]strongAlabama/strong/ppa href=https://www.al.com/news/2020/02/medical-marijuana-bill-introduced-in-alabama.html target=_blankAlabama Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced/a. Sen. Tim Melson (R-Florence) has filed Senate Bill 154 to legalize the use of medical marijuana in the state. The bill is based on a study done by a commission of doctors, lawyers, and legislators. Melson was chair of that commission. Smokable and vaping marijuana products would not be authorized under the bill, only tablets, certain types of edibles and creams. Patients suffering from several conditions, including seizures, anxiety, autism, nausea, cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder could qualify for cards. Patients who don't suffer from any of the conditions listed in the bill could appeal to a board for special consideration./ppstrongArizona/strong/ppa href=https://azmarijuana.com/arizona-medical-marijuana-news/new-arizona-bill-attempting-to-limit-medical-marijuana-to-2-thc/ target=_blankArizona Lawmakers Seek 2% THC Cap for Medical Marijuana/a. Fifteen House Republicans have cosponsored a bill a href=https://www.azleg.gov/legtext/54leg/2R/bills/HCR2045P.htm target=_blankHCR 2045/a, that would amend the state's medical marijuana program by putting a 2% THC limit on medical marijuana. Currently, there is no limit on THC. The measure would also provide grants from the state's medical marijuana fund to conduct research on the relationship between marijuana and violence and marijuana and schizophrenia./ppstrongKentucky/strong/ppa href=https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article240232736.html target=_blankKentucky Medical Marijuana Bill Advances/a. The House Judiciary Committee voted last Wednesday to approve a href=https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/20rs/hb136.html target=_blankHouse Bill 136/a, which would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients suffering from conditions that would be determined by a panel of eight doctors, four public advocates and a pharmacist. The bill now heads for a House floor vote./ppstrongNew Mexico/strong/ppa href=https://nmpoliticalreport.com/2020/02/17/medical-cannabis-qualified-patient-bill-goes-to-lujan-grisham/ target=_blankNew Mexico Legislature Passes Bill to End Limit Patient Enrollment to State Residents/a. A bill that would bar out-of-state people from enrolling the state's medical marijuana program has passed out of the legislature and is headed to the desk of Gov. Michelle Grisham Lujan (D), who has said she supports it. State officials said they feared allowing out-of-state enrollment could lead to federal interference in the program. Bill supporters said the state's reciprocity program would allow residents of other states that allowed medical marijuana to participate, but the state hasn't even set the rules for reciprocity yet. They are due by March 1. There are currently more than 600 non-New Mexico residents enrolled in the program./ppstrongPennsylvania/strong/ppa href=https://www.post-gazette.com/business/healthcare-business/2020/02/13/medical-marijuana-Section-8-Mary-Cease-Housing-Authority-of-Indiana-County-Commonwealth-Court/stories/202002130143 target=_blankPennsylvania Patient Fights for Right to Stay in Public Housing/a. Medical marijuana patient Mary Cease has no criminal record and a low income, but the Housing Authority of Indiana County has twice denied her application for Section 8 housing because Section 8 is a federal program and federal law considers marijuana to be illegal, period. She sued and lost in the Court of Common Pleas last April, but has appealed, and last Thursday, a panel of three Commonwealth Court judges heard oral arguments in her case. Her attorneys asked them to reverse the lower court decision and order Indiana County to give her access to Section 8 housing. No decision is expected for weeks, and final resolution of the case could take months./ppa href=https://www.al.com/news/2020/02/medical-marijuana-bill-introduced-in-alabama.html target=_blankAlabama Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced/a. Sen. Tim Melson (R-Florence) has filed Senate Bill 154 to legalize the use of medical marijuana in the state. The bill is based on a study done by a commission of doctors, lawyers, and legislators. Melson was chair of that commission. Smokable and vaping marijuana products would not be authorized under the bill, only tablets, certain types of edibles and creams. Patients suffering from several conditions, including seizures, anxiety, autism, nausea, cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder could qualify for cards. patients who don't suffer from any of the conditions listed in the bill could appeal to a board for special consideration./ppa href=https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article240232736.html target=_blankKentucky Medical Marijuana Bill Advances/a. The House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to approve a href=https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/20rs/hb136.html target=_blankHouse Bill 136/a, which would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients suffering from conditions that would be determined by a panel of eight doctors, four public advocates and a pharmacist. The bill now heads for a House floor vote./ppa href=https://www.al.com/news/2020/02/medical-marijuana-bill-introduced-in-alabama.html target=_blankAlabama Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced/a. Sen. Tim Melson (R-Florence) has filed Senate Bill 154 to legalize the use of medical marijuana in the state. The bill is based on a study done by a commission of doctors, lawyers, and legislators. Melson was chair of that commission. Smokable and vaping marijuana products would not be authorized under the bill, only tablets, certain types of edibles and creams. Patients suffering from several conditions, including seizures, anxiety, autism, nausea, cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder could qualify for cards. patients who don't suffer from any of the conditions listed in the bill could appeal to a board for special consideration./ppa href=https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article240232736.html target=_blankKentucky Medical Marijuana Bill Advances/a. The House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to approve a href=https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/20rs/hb136.html target=_blankHouse Bill 136/a, which would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients suffering from conditions that would be determined by a panel of eight doctors, four public advocates and a pharmacist. The bill now heads for a House floor vote./ppa href=https://www.al.com/news/2020/02/medical-marijuana-bill-introduced-in-alabama.html target=_blankAlabama Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced/a. Sen. Tim Melson (R-Florence) has filed Senate Bill 154 to legalize the use of medical marijuana in the state. The bill is based on a study done by a commission of doctors, lawyers, and legislators. Melson was chair of that commission. Smokable and vaping marijuana products would not be authorized under the bill, only tablets, certain types of edibles and creams. Patients suffering from several conditions, including seizures, anxiety, autism, nausea, cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder could qualify for cards. patients who don't suffer from any of the conditions listed in the bill could appeal to a board for special consideration./ppa href=https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article240232736.html target=_blankKentucky Medical Marijuana Bill Advances/a. The House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to approve a href=https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/20rs/hb136.html target=_blankHouse Bill 136/a, which would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients suffering from conditions that would be determined by a panel of eight doctors, four public advocates and a pharmacist. The bill now heads for a House floor vote./p /div /div /div
Categories: Latest News

Chronicle AM: Bloomberg Says Decriminalize Weed, GA Hemp/Marijuana Bill, AZ MedMJ THC Limits Bill, More... (2/19/20)

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 02/19/2020 - 20:24
div class=field field-type-text field-field-body div class=field-items div class=field-item odd pMichael Bloomberg goes as far as calling for marijuana decriminalization, a Georgia bill would let police anyone for possession of green leafy substances even if they can#39;t say whether it#39;s hemp or marijuana, and more.nbsp;/pp[image:1 align:right caption:true]strongMarijuana Policy/strong/ppa href=https://www.rollcall.com/2020/02/18/bloombergs-new-marijuana-policy-is-short-on-details/ target=_blankMichael Bloomberg Calls for Marijuana Decriminalization/a. Former New York City mayor and billionaire Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg formalized his approach to marijuana Tuesday, calling for decriminalization as part of a broader criminal justice platform. But his one-paragraph policy is short on details. It says he would decriminalize quot;small amountsquot; of weed and commute sentences for certain convictions. It also says legalization should be left up to the states quot;for the moment.quot;/ppa href=https://www.courant.com/politics/capitol-watch/hc-pol-clergy-marijuana-20200218-lzqqxxvr45cexmr2bmy2sis2ue-story.html target=_blankConnecticut Clergy Rally for Marijuana Legalization/a. Local clergy spoke Tuesday in support of Gov. Ned Lamont#39;s (D) push to legalize marijuana at a press conference organized by the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana. Prominent leaders such as the Rev. Charlie L. Stallworth of the East End Baptist Tabernacle Church in Bridgeport and the Rev. Edwin Pérez of the United Church of Christ in West Hartford were joined by the Rev. Alexander Sharp of Illinois, executive director of national reform group Clergy for a New Drug Policy, who said legalization would reduce needless arrests and quot;provide jobs in communities ravaged by the failed war on drugs.rdquo;/ppa href=https://www.ajc.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/georgia-bill-advances-for-police-make-arrests-for-hemp-marijuana/6B4PNzKLfyfoyROJVAUNaJ/ target=_blankGeorgia Bill Would Allow Police to Make Arrests for Hemp or Marijuana/a. A bill that would let police arrest people for possession of small amounts of green, leafy substances even if they can#39;t tell whether it#39;s legal hemp or illegal marijuana has passed the House Agriculture Committee and is now headed for a House floor vote. The measure, a href=https://legislativenavigator.ajc.com/#bills/HB/847 target=_blank title=House Bill 847House Bill 847/a, is an attempt to allow police to enforce marijuana laws after the federal and state governments legalized hemp. But Mazie Lynn Causey, a lobbyist for the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said if police wanted to enforce marijuana laws, they needed to prove the substance in question was indeed marijuana. ldquo;Whatrsquo;s happening here is the criminalizing of a legal substance,rdquo; Causey said. ldquo;What this bill does is it treats hemp as marijuana for the purposes of prosecution.rdquo;/ppa href=https://www.weny.com/story/41717454/pa-lawmaker-unveils-another-recreational-marijuana-legalization-bill target=_blankPennsylvania Marijuana Legalization Bill Filed/a. Rep. Jake Wheatley (D-Allegheny County) has filed another marijuana legalization bill, House Bill 2050 (not yet available on the legislative website). He says it#39;s an improved version of a bill that he filed last year. That bill didn#39;t move, and this one isn#39;t likely to, either. It#39;s headed to the House Health Committee, chaired by Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren), who opposes legalization and says she has no plans to move this bill in committee, either./ppstrongMedical Marijuana/strong/ppa href=https://azmarijuana.com/arizona-medical-marijuana-news/new-arizona-bill-attempting-to-limit-medical-marijuana-to-2-thc/ target=_blankArizona Lawmakers Seek 2% THC Cap for Medical Marijuana/a. Fifteen House Republicans have cosponsored a bill, a href=https://www.azleg.gov/legtext/54leg/2R/bills/HCR2045P.htm target=_blankHCR 2045/a, that would amend the statersquo;s medical marijuana program by putting a 2% THC limit on medical marijuana.nbsp;Currently, there is no limit on THC. The measure would also provide grants from the state#39;s medical marijuana fund to conduct research on the relationship between marijuana and violence and marijuana and schizophrenia./ppa href=https://nmpoliticalreport.com/2020/02/17/medical-cannabis-qualified-patient-bill-goes-to-lujan-grisham/ target=_blankNew Mexico Legislature Passes Bill to End Limit Patient Enrollment to State Residents/a. A bill that would bar out-of-state people from enrolling the state#39;s medical marijuana program has passed out of the legislature and is headed to the desk of Gov. Michelle Grisham Lujan (D), who has said she supports it. State officials said they feared allowing out-of-state enrollment could lead to federal interference in the program. Bill supporters said the state#39;s reciprocity program would allow residents of other states that allowed medical marijuana to participate, but the state hasn#39;t even set the rules for reciprocity yet. They are due by March 1. There are currently more than 600 non-New Mexico residents enrolled in the program./ppem(This article was prepared by StoptheDrugWar.org#39;s 501(c)(4) lobbying nonprofit, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also pays the cost of maintaining this website. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)/em/p /div /div /div
Categories: Latest News

Chronicle AM: OK Bills Would Legalize Needle Exchanges, HI Defelonization Bill Advances, More... (2/18/20)

Drug War Chronicle - Tue, 02/18/2020 - 21:34
div class=field field-type-text field-field-body div class=field-items div class=field-item odd pRhode Island sees marijuana expungement and drug possession expungement bills filed, a Vermont poll shows strong support for legalizing and regulating marijuana sales as the House takes up the issue, a Hawaii drug defelonization bill has been filed, and more./pp[image:1 align:left caption:true]strongMarijuana Policy/strong/ppa href=https://www.heraldnews.com/news/20200216/bills-seek-to-expunge-ri-marijuana-convictions target=_blankRhode Island Marijuana Offense Expungement Bill Filed/a. A bill aiming to remove barriers for people previously convicted of marijuana offenses have been filed in the legislature. Rep. Anastasia Williams (D) has filed a href=https://legiscan.com/RI/bill/H7142/2020#039; target=_blankHB 7142/a to allow people quot;previously convicted of marijuana possession, which would now constitute a decriminalized offense, to have their records for those convictions automatically expunged regardless of their criminal history.quot; The House Judiciary Committee last week ordered the bill held for further study./ppa href=https://www.vermontbiz.com/news/2020/february/18/poll-shows-three-out-four-vermonters-support-legal-regulated-cannabis-sales target=_blankVermont Poll Shows Very Strong Support for Legal, Regulated Marijuana Sales/a. nbsp;A new poll conducted by Public Policy Polling and commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project found that an overwhelming 76% of Vermont residents support allowing adults 21 and over to purchase cannabis from regulated, tax-paying small businesses. These results are significant as they come days before the Vermont House is expected to vote on a href=https://legislature.vermont.gov/bill/status/2020/S.54SB 54/a, a bill that would legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis sales in the state. The bill passed the Senate nearly a year ago./ppa href=https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/house-approves-bill-to-issue-cannabis-licenses-with-goal-of-rectifying-racial-inequity/ target=_blankWashington House Passes Bill to Address Racial Inequities in Marijuana Licensing/a. The House on Sunday approved a href=https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2870amp;Year=2019amp;Initiative=false target=_blankHB 2870/a, which aims to address racial inequity within the legal marijuana industry by allowing applicants of a new social equity program to be issued previously forfeited, canceled and revoked retail licenses. That new program would consider the applicant#39;s race and gender, history of marijuana convictions, and plans to employ people of color, as well as the impact the war on drugs had on their neighborhood. There are currently 13 licenses not being used. The bill would also establish a marijuana social equity task force to recommend whether more licenses should be issued. The bill is now in the Senate and must be passed out of committee by February 28./ppstrongHemp/strong/ppa href=https://www.idahopress.com/eyeonboise/sen-lee-rep-troy-introduce-new-industrial-hemp-legalization-bill/article_66005440-c961-523d-90b7-93b2b2c399ca.html target=_blankIdaho Hemp Bill Filed/a. Along with Mississippi and South Dakota, Idaho is one of only three states that have not legalized hemp, but that could change after a pair of Republican state representatives filed a bill that would legalize it. A similar bill has already been filed in the Senate./ppstrongDrug Policy/strong/ppa href=https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/feb/15/hawaii-bill-would-decriminalize-dangerous-drug-pos/ target=_blankHawaii Drug Defelonization Bill Advances/a. A bill that would make it a misdemeanor instead of a felony to be caught with less than two grams of drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee. a href=https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SBamp;billnumber=2793 target=_blankSB 2793/a still needs to be approved in the Senate Public Safety Committee before heading to a Senate floor vote./ppa href=https://www.heraldnews.com/news/20200216/bills-seek-to-expunge-ri-marijuana-convictions target=_blankRhode Island Drug Possession Expungement Bill Filed/a. Rep. Jason Knight (D) has filed a href=https://legiscan.com/RI/bill/H7091/2020 target=_blankHB 7091/a, which makes peopleconvicted of felony simple possession of a controlled substance eligible for expungement five years after completion of their sentence. The act also repeals the requirement that those seeking expungement pay a fee to the court. The House Judiciary Committee last week ordered the bill held for further study./ppstrongHarm Reduction/strong/ppa href=https://oklahoman.com/article/5655192/state-legislators-look-to-legalize-needle-exchanges-in-oklahoma target=_blankOklahoma Bill Would Legalize Needle Exchanges/a. A bipartisan group of state lawmakers is proposing legalizing needle exchanges in a bid to reduce the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C. a href=http://www.oklegislature.gov/BillInfo.aspx?Bill=sb1346amp;Session=2000 target=_blankSB 1346/a from Sen. Carri Hicks (D-Oklahoma City) wouldnbsp;would allow governmental or nongovernmental entities to operate needle exchange programs. It would also remove needles from the state#39;s drug paraphernalia laws. The bill must pass through the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee before heading for a floor vote. In the House, Rep. Carol Bush (R-Tulsa) has filed a href=http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2019-20%20INT/hB/HB3028%20INT.PDF target=_blankHB 3028/a, whichnbsp;would allow state agencies, county health departments, private businesses, nonprofit entities and churches to operate needle exchange programs so long as the programs arenrsquo;t paid for with state funding. That bill passed the House Appropriations Committee last Thursday./p /div /div /div
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Chronicle AM: Mexico Legal Pot Bill Set to Move, Los Angeles DA Clears 66,000 Pot Convictions, More... (2/14/20)

Drug War Chronicle - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 21:21
div class=field field-type-text field-field-body div class=field-items div class=field-item odd pThe clock is ticking on getting marijuana legalization done in Mexico, a Pennsylvania patient fights for the right to have access to public housing, the LA DA clears 66,000 old pot convictions, and more./pp[image:1 align:right caption:true]strongMarijuana Policy/strong/ppa href=https://www.marijuanamoment.net/pennsylvania-lawmaker-unveils-updated-marijuana-legalization-bill-in-letter-to-colleagues/ target=_blankPennsylvania Lawmaker Announces Planned Marijuana Legalization Bill/a. Rep. Jake Wheatley (D), who filed an unsuccessful legalization bill last year, has announced in a letter to colleagues that he will try again this year. Wheatley#39;s bill would create a system of taxed and regulated marijuana commerce, with a 10% wholesale tax on business-to-business transactions and a 6% retail sales tax that would rise to 12% after two years and 19% after another two years. The bill would also expunge past marijuana convictions and promote social equity and restorative justice./ppa href=https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-02-13/la-district-attorney-clear-marijuana-convictions target=_blankLos Angeles County District Attorney Clears 66,000 Marijuana Convictions/a. District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced Thursday that she had secured the dismissal of some 62,000 felony marijuana convictions and 4,000 misdemeanor convictions. Her announcement came after she filed motions last week to erase those convictions and Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Samuel Ohta signed the order on Tuesday./ppstrongMedical Marijuana/strong/ppa href=https://www.post-gazette.com/business/healthcare-business/2020/02/13/medical-marijuana-Section-8-Mary-Cease-Housing-Authority-of-Indiana-County-Commonwealth-Court/stories/202002130143 target=_blankPennsylvania Patient Fights for Right to Stay in Public Housing/a. Medical marijuana patient Mary Cease has no criminal record and a low income, but the Housing Authority of Indiana County has twice denied her application for Section 8 housing because Section 8 is a federal program and federal law considers marijuana to be illegal, period. She sued and lost in the Court of Common Pleas last April, but has appealed, and on Thursday, a panel of three Commonwealth Court judges heard oral arguments in her case. Her attorneys asked them to reverse the lower court decision and order Indiana County to give her access to Section 8 housing. No decision is expected for weeks, and final resolution of the case could take months./ppstrongInternational/strong/ppa href=https://www.marijuanamoment.net/top-mexican-senator-says-marijuana-legalization-bill-will-be-approved-this-month/ target=_blankKey Mexican Lawmaker Says Marijuana Legalization Bill Will Be Approved This Month/a. Sen. Julio Menchaca of the ruling MORENA Party and head of the Senate Justice Committee said a bill to legalize marijuana was quot;already circulated to membersquot; of key legislative panels and that quot;we hope to get it out in the Senate this month.quot; Under a Supreme Court ruling, the Congress has until April to get it done. If the bill indeed passes the Senate this month, it would still have to be approved by the Chamber of Deputies./p /div /div /div
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Chronicle AM: NM Legal Pot Bill Shot Down; AL, OH Synthetic Urine Criminalization Bills Advance, More... (2/13/20)

Drug War Chronicle - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 21:46
div class=field field-type-text field-field-body div class=field-items div class=field-item odd pToday, New Mexico is the Land of Disenchantment, a Kentucky medical marijuana bill advances, synthetic urine prohibition bills advance in Alabama and Ohio, and more./pp[image:1 align:left caption:true]strongMarijuana Policy/strong/ppa href=https://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/2020/02/13/new-mexico-legislative-committee-spurns-recreational-pot-bill/4746880002/ target=_blankNew Mexico Marijuana Legalization Bill Defeated in Committee/a. A bill backed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) to legalize marijuana was defeated in the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 6-4 vote after committee Chairman Joseph Cervantes (D-Las Cruces) harshly criticized it. That means the effort to pass a href=https://www.nmlegis.gov/Legislation/Legislation?Chamber=Samp;LegType=Bamp;LegNo=115amp;year=20 target=_blankSB 115/a is likely dead for the year. There are only days left in the legislature#39;s 30-day short session./ppstrongMedical Marijuana/strong/ppa href=https://www.al.com/news/2020/02/medical-marijuana-bill-introduced-in-alabama.html target=_blankAlabama Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced/a. Sen. Tim Melson (R-Florence) has filed Senate Bill 154 to legalize the use of medical marijuana in the state. The bill is based on a study done by a commission of doctors, lawyers, and legislators. Melson was chair of that commission. Smokable and vaping marijuana products would not be authorized under the bill, only tablets, certain types of edibles and creams. Patients suffering from several conditions, including seizures, anxiety, autism, nausea, cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder could qualify for cards. patients who donrsquo;t suffer from any of the conditions listed in the bill could appeal to a board for special consideration./ppa href=https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article240232736.html target=_blankKentucky Medical Marijuana Bill Advances/a. The House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to approve a href=https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/20rs/hb136.html target=_blankHouse Bill 136/a, which would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients suffering from conditions that would be determined by a panel of eight doctors, four public advocates and a pharmacist. The bill now heads for a House floor vote./ppstrongDrug Testing/strong/ppa href=https://www.al.com/news/2020/02/bill-would-make-it-a-crime-to-sell-fake-urine-for-drug-tests.html target=_blankAlabama Bill to Criminalize Synthetic Urine for Drug Tests Advances/a. A bill that would make it a crime to use or distribute synthetic urine to thwart drug tests has passed the House. The measure now heads to the Senate./ppa href=https://abc6onyourside.com/news/local/bill-prohibiting-use-of-fake-urine-to-cheat-drug-tests-passes-ohio-senate target=_blankOhio Bill to Criminalize Synthetic Urine for Drug Tests Advances/a. A bill that would make it a crime to use or distribute synthetic urine to thwart drug tests has passed the Ohio Senate. The measure, a href=https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA133-SB-156 target=_blankSB 156/a, now heads to the House./p /div /div /div
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Chronicle AM: VA Pot Decrim Bill Passes Legislature, Trump Budget Would Shift Colombia Aid Priorities, More... (2/12/20)

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 02/12/2020 - 21:00
div class=field field-type-text field-field-body div class=field-items div class=field-item odd pThe Virginia legislature passes marijuana decriminalization, a Kentucky medical marijuana bill heads for a House floor vote, a South Dakota hemp bill passes the House, and more./pp[image:1 align:right caption:true]strongMarijuana Policy/strong/ppa href=https://www.marijuanamoment.net/marijuana-decriminalization-approved-by-virginia-senate-and-house/Virginia Legislature Approves Marijuana Decriminalization Bill; Governor Expected to Sign/a. Hours after the House of Delegates approved decriminalization Tuesday, the state Senate followed suit by approving its own version of the bill, a href=https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+sum+SB2SB 2/a. Governor Ralph Northam (D) has said he would sign such a bill, but it first needs to go to conference committee to settle minor differences between the House and Senate versions./ppstrongMedical Marijuana/strong/ppa href=https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article240232736.htmlKentucky House Committee Approves Medical Marijuana Bill/a. The House Judiciary Committee voted 17-1 Wednesday to approve nbsp;a href=https://u7061146.ct.sendgrid.net/ls/click?upn=4tNED-2FM8iDZJQyQ53jATUbYriJsRC1V9O3oa-2Fr4s4vilPJHvNAgAvzErMsNYFu6zITEIUJmPVigrIgBwmSUXNw-3D-3D2ro9_IIbrxKnoOF4A1-2B5RcKiXcrdl2-2F2ejLMEraRWEFJJC3ikRSoc-2B9ZTh7QPu1-2BoKP0isgJZPsmDYeJdIcPSLCMyycjHdUomXieS9UaKimWIil6o0TD0FS22ddq4ar6Xypg-2Fhovs-2F63w8CCTszZaRM7O1yYvwEiDUXxaJTOoIeAAVHUQTjyCYOTpHJgSWAOlNmPA8f28vVNG1w9CF2jvpjuZapcJuZ3kg67is-2BFux-2FaV5tm1vZIqPvn3rtwKprXC1kcAwq8LkeSvIZfob7SglvFq08QsFll2CT9PskJenh8GtXDPp4ikKacgZzIJIvvd1yqArHKzscGwsQE9dVlf0KsFIA-3D-3D target=_blank title=This external link will open in a new windowHB 136/a, which would allow for the use of medical marijuana for certain debilitating medical conditions. The measure now heads for a House floor vote. A similar bill was approved by the committee last year, but never got a floor vote. This year, 51 of the state#39;s 100 representatives are cosponsors./ppstrongHemp/strong/ppa href=https://hempindustrydaily.com/south-dakota-hemp-crop-possible-for-2020-after-legalization-clears-house/South Dakota House Passes Hemp Bill with No Debate/a. The House passed a bill to legalize industrial hemp cultivation, a href=https://sdlegislature.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?File=1008HAG.htmlamp;Session=2020amp;Version=House%20Agriculture%20and%20Natural%20Resourcesamp;Bill=1008HB 1008/a, with a two-thirds majority after hearing no debate at all. It now goes to the Senate. If that body also passes it by a two-thirds majority and Gov. Kristi Noem (R) signs it into law, an emergency clause would go into effect allowing state farmers to grow a crop this year./ppstrongForeign Policy/strong/ppa href=https://colombiareports.com/trump-wants-big-boost-in-security-aid-and-big-cut-in-economic-aid-to-colombia/Trump Budget Proposal Would Slash Colombia Development Aid, Boost Ant-Drug Funding/a. President Trump#39;s new federal budget proposal would slash economic assistance to Colombia by nearly $70 million while at the same time nearly doubling anti-drug funding from $125 million this year to $237.5 million for the coming fiscal year, which begins October 1. The budget proposal says the funding is needed to fight quot;threats posed by sharp increases in coca cultivation.quot;/ppstrongInternational/strong/ppa href=https://grizzle.com/croatia-recreational-cannabis/Croatia Marijuana Legalization Bill Filed/a. A Croatian lawmaker has introduced a bill that would legalize recreational cannabis sales and permit adults to grow up to nine marijuana plants for personal use. Mirela Holy, head of the Social Democratic Party#39;s Green Development Council filed the bill and said it will be subject to first public and then parliamentary debate. The country has decriminalized pot possession and legalized medical marijuana in 2015, but marijuana sales remains a felony with a mandatory minimum three-year prison sentence./p /div /div /div
Categories: Latest News

Chronicle AM: Trump Anti-Drug Budget Released, MT and ND Legal Pot Inits See Changes, More... (2/11/20)

Drug War Chronicle - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 21:32
div class=field field-type-text field-field-body div class=field-items div class=field-item odd pThe president praises authoritarian governments that quickly execute drug dealers, the White House releases the annual anti-drug budget, a North Dakota pot legalization initiative extends its signature gathering drive, and more.nbsp;/pp[image:1 align:right caption:true]strongMarijuana Policy/strong/ppa href=https://www.ktvh.com/news/montana-news/montana-committee-removes-medical-marijuana-changes-from-recreational-marijuana-initiative target=_blankMontana Initiative Committee Removes Medical Marijuana Changes from Marijuana Legalization Initiative/a. New Approach Montana, which is proposing a pair of marijuana legalization initiatives, has revised one of them after state officials raised concerns that its a href=https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5da7564c642a85021b9a1363/t/5e1cecc42ca8563a4ea7b9c8/1578953925557/New+Approach+Montana+Marijuana+Legalization+Regulation+and+Taxation+Statutory+Initiative+FINAL.pdf target=_blankstatutory initiative/a provision lowering the tax on medical marijuana would violate the rule that initiatives only deal with a single subject. New Approach has now removed that language; the changes are reflected in the current version of the initiative./ppa href=https://bismarcktribune.com/news/local/bismarck/north-dakota-marijuana-legalization-group-will-aim-for-november-not/article_762916d8-76c2-5536-91f3-dc1fd660d040.html target=_blankNorth Dakota Marijuana Legalization Initiative Campaign Shifts from June Ballot Effort to November/a. The North Dakota Freedom of Cannabis Act campaign, which seeks to pass a marijuana legalization a href=https://vip.sos.nd.gov/pdfs/Measures%20Info/Petitions%20Being%20Circulated/approved%20copy%20of%20petition.pdf target=_blankconstitutional amendment/a has announced it will no longer seek a place on the June ballot, but is now aiming at November. The move came Tuesday, the final day to hand in signatures to qualify for the June ballot. By shifting to the later election date, the campaign gives itself an additional four months to come up with more signatures. It needs 26,904 valid voter signatures to qualify for the ballot and only had 18,000 raw signatures so far./ppstrongMedical Marijuana/strong/ppa href=https://blog.norml.org/2020/02/11/trump-budget-targets-marijuana-states-rights/ target=_blankTrump#39;s FY 2021 Budget Would Remove Protection for Medical Marijuana States/a. As part of its just released fiscal year 2021 budget, the Trump administration is proposing an existing policy that protects state medical marijuana programs from Justice Department meddling. Since 2014, Congress has approved a rider in the department#39;s appropriations bill that blocks it from spending funds to do so, but the Senate failed to approve it last year./ppstrongDrug Courts/strong/ppa href=https://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/2020/02/11/alabama-appleseed-drug-court-diversion-programs-hurt-poor-alabamians/4695168002/ target=_blankAlabama Report Calls for Statewide Standards for Drug Courts/a. The legal advocacy group Alabama Appleseed has released a a href=https://www.alabamaappleseed.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Alabama-Appleseed-Diversion-Report-2020-web.pdf target=_blankreport/a that examined diversion programs in the state, including the resort to drug courts, and recommends that lawmakers establish uniform statewide standards for such programs, which the report found varied wildly from county to county. quot;We hope this report will provide a road map for tackling some really tough issues in a smarter way. We hear so much about the opioid crisis, and it is real and it devastates family and communities. We hear so much about the horrors and the violence in our prisons,quot; said Appleseed Executive Director Carla Crowder. quot;If more people could be treated outside of prison for substance use issues, we could find a way to make these opportunities work for the people who need them most. It could make a difference in two huge and sometimes seemingly overwhelming issues in this state.quot;/ppstrongDrug Policy/strong/ppa href=https://www.newsweek.com/trump-praises-chinas-powerful-death-penalty-drug-dealers-says-hes-unsure-if-americas-ready-1486604 target=_blankTrump Praises China#39;s quot;Powerfulquot; Death Penalty for Drug Dealers/a. At a meeting with US governors at the White House Monday, President Donald Trump responded to a question about fentanyl imported from China by praising Chinese President Xi Jingping#39;s decision to criminalize the drug and execute drug dealers.nbsp;quot;Now they#39;ve put it into their criminal statutes. And criminal in China for drugs by the way means that#39;s serious, they#39;re getting a maximum penalty,quot; saidnbsp;Trump. quot;And you know what the maximum penalty is in China for that, and it goes very quickly.quot; He then praised countries that execute drug dealers after quot;fair but quickquot; trials: quot;It#39;s interesting. Where you have Singapore, they have very little drug problem. Where you have China, they have very little drug problem,quot; Trump said. quot;States with a very powerful death penalty on drug dealers don#39;t have a drug problem. I don#39;t know that our country is ready for that, but if you look throughout the world, the countries with a powerful death penalty... with a fair but quick trial, they have very little, if any drug problem.quot;/ppa href=https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/trump-administration-seeks-increased-funding-continue-curbing-drug-crisis/ target=_blankTrump Drug Budget Continues to Grow; Treatment and Prevention Funds Barely Exceed Enforcement and Interdiction Funds/a. The White House has released the a href=https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/FY-2021-National-Drug-Control-Budget-Highlights.pdf target=_blankFiscal Year (FY) 2021 National Drug Control Budget,/anbsp;which requests $35.7 billion for counter-drug efforts, an increase of $94 million from the previous year. The request includes $18.6 billion for prevention and treatment efforts, and $17.1 billion for domestic law enforcement, interdiction, and international drug control efforts.nbsp;/p /div /div /div
Categories: Latest News

Chronicle AM: VA Pot Decrim Bill Passes House, Nepalese Communists Say Free the Weed, More... (2/10/20)

Drug War Chronicle - Mon, 02/10/2020 - 21:39
div class=field field-type-text field-field-body div class=field-items div class=field-item odd pColorado activists want to de-legalize weed, Nepalese communists want to re-legalize weed, the Afghan and US governments spar over opium production, and more.nbsp;/pp[image:1 align:left caption:true]strongMarijuana Policy/strong/ppa href=https://www.marijuanamoment.net/colorado-marijuana-legalization-would-be-overturned-by-new-ballot-measure/ target=_blankColorado Initiative Would Undo Marijuana Legalization/a. A pair of activist attorneys have filed a href=https://leg.colorado.gov/content/repeal-constitutional-provisions-concerning-personal-use-and-regulation-marijuana-0 target=_blankBallot Proposal #249/a, which would repeal the section of the state constitution that legalizes marijuana. The proposal is only four sentences long, with the key sentence being: quot;Article XVIII, Section 16 of the Colorado Constitution (Personal Use and Regulation of Marijuana) is repealed.quot; The proposal does not seek to change the status quo around legal medical marijuana and hemp. It is currently being reviewed by Legislative Council Staff before heading to the secretary of state#39;s office for title review. Only slightly more than one-third of voters polled in 2016 (the most recent data) supported reversing legalization./ppa href=https://wset.com/news/at-the-capitol/bill-to-decriminalize-marijuana-possession-clears-virginia-house target=_blankVirginia Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Passes House, Needs One More Vote in Senate/a. The House has approved a href=https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=201amp;typ=bilamp;val=hb972 target=_blank title=https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=201amp;typ=bilamp;val=hb972HB 972/a, which would make simple pot possession an infraction punishable by no more than a $25 fine. Under current state law, it is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine for a first offense. The bill also ends driver#39;s license suspensions for adults and treats hash oil like marijuana, instead of the Schedule I substance it is currently considered. Thenbsp;a href=https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=201amp;typ=bilamp;val=sb2 target=_blank title=https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=201amp;typ=bilamp;val=sb2Senate version/anbsp; of the bill also advanced, passing the Finance and Appropriations Committee with a vote 12-3. It now heads for a final Senate floor vote./ppstrongInternational/strong/ppa href=https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/ondcp-releases-data-poppy-cultivation-potential-opium-production-afghanistan/ target=_blankONDCP Releases Data on Poppy Cultivation and Potential Opium Production in Afghanistan/a. The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCPmdash;the drug czar#39;s office) has released the results of the annual US Government estimate measuring poppy cultivation and potential opium production in Afghanistan. The US government estimate found poppy cultivation decreased in 2019 compared to 2018, but potential pure opium production increased.nbsp; Poppy cultivation in Afghanistan declined 28 percent, from 221,000 hectares in 2018 to 160,000 hectares in 2019.nbsp; Conversely, potential pure opium production increased by 21 percent, from 5,550 metric tons in 2018 to 6,700 metric tons in 2019.nbsp; Low opium prices at planting time drove the decline in cultivation.nbsp; The rise in potential pure production is a direct result of favorable weather and harvesting conditions./ppa href=https://menafn.com/1099673398/Afghanistan-MoI-denies-ONDCPs-report target=_blankAfghanistan Interior Ministry Denies ONDCP Opium Report/a. The Ministry of the Interior has challenged the ONDCP report about a surge of Afghan opium production, saying there has been a significant reduction in drug production in the county because counter-narcotics police have conducted quot;several raids to destroy it.quot; Officials also cited tighter border controls. quot;I can assure you about reduction of narcotic products. There are several reasons behind it, the night raids, draught, and narcotics price has downed and recently poppy cultivation in Iraq has scaled up,quot; added Deputy Ministry of Counter Narcotics Najibullah Ahmadi./ppa href=https://www.reuters.com/article/us-colombia-drugs/colombia-aims-to-eradicate-130000-hectares-of-coca-in-2020-idUSKBN2041XP target=_blankColombia Sets Goal of Eradicating 320,000 Acres of Coca This Year/a. Defense Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo said Monday that Colombia hopes to eradicate some 321,237 acres (130,000 hectares) of coca this year. Tools to achieve that goal could include the aerial spraying of the herbicide glyphosate. The country is under constant pressure from the US, the principal market for Colombian cocaine, to reduce coca cultivation. Last year, Colombia destroyed about 250,000 acres of coca using manual eradication. Aerial spraying of glyphosate was banned in 2015, but President Ivan Duque#39;s government is working to get around that ban and reintroduce the practice./ppa href=https://www.kentucky.com/news/business/article240145753.html target=_blankNepal#39;s Ruling Communist Party Proposes Marijuana Legalization/a. Lawmakers from the ruling Communist Party have proposed legalizing marijuana in the country, which has a long history of use. Some 46 members of the party filed the proposal in the parliament. quot;Legalizing marijuana will help the poor farmers and since most of the Western world, which was reason for making it illegal in the first place, have already ended the prohibition, Nepal should also lift the ban,quot; lawmaker Birod Khatiwada said Monday. Marijuana was only criminalized in 1976 under Western pressure after Nepal developed a reputation as a cannabis-friendly destination on the counter-cultural hippie trail in the 1960s./p /div /div /div
Categories: Latest News

Chronicle AM: SF to Open Street Meth Center, Filipino Top Cop Says Bloody Drug War Failed, More... (2/7/20)

Drug War Chronicle - Fri, 02/07/2020 - 21:14
div class=field field-type-text field-field-body div class=field-items div class=field-item odd pConnecticut top lawmakers roll out the governor#39;s marijuana legalization bill, San Francisco moves to open a street meth treatment facility in the Tenderloin, and more.nbsp;/pp[image:1 align:right caption:true]strongMarijuana Policy/strong/ppa href=https://www.marijuanamoment.net/top-connecticut-lawmakers-file-marijuana-legalization-bill-on-behalf-of-governor/ target=_blankConnecticut Top Lawmakers File Governor#39;s Marijuana Legalization Bill/a. Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney (D) and House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz (D) on Thursday filed the quot;Governor#39;s Billquot; (a href=https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Billamp;bill_num=SB00016amp;which_year=2020 target=_blankSB 16/a) to legalize marijuana. The measure supported by Gov. Ned Lamont (D) would allow people 21 and over to possess and buy up to an ounce and a half of weed from a licensed retailer. The measure also includes several social equity provisions, including expungement, allowing those with past convictions to work in the industry, and language that would support businesses operated by people from communities most harmed by the drug war. The bill will now be heard by the Joint Judiciary Committee./ppstrongHemp/strong/ppa href=https://www.newscenter1.tv/hemp-bill-passes-house-committee-with-amendments/ target=_blankSouth Dakota Hemp Bill Advances/a. A bill to legalize the growth and transportation of hemp in the state, a href=https://mylrc.sdlegislature.gov/api/Documents/65806.pdf target=_blankHB1008B/a, passed out of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources committee Thursday morning. The bill was first heavily amended by a skeptical Gov. Kristi Noem (R), who vetoed a similar bill last year. The measure now heads for a House floor vote./ppstrongHarm Reduction/strong/ppa href=https://kmph.com/news/local/san-francisco-to-open-tent-treatment-center-for-meth-users target=_blankSan Francisco to Open Street Meth Treatment Center/a. The city is set to open a center for people experiencing methamphetamine-induced psychosis in the Tenderloin neighborhood later this spring. The 24-hour center, to be located on a city-operated parking lot, is aimed at getting people off the streets and connecting them with treatment and other services. It will include two tents housing 15 beds each./ppstrongInternational/strong/ppa href=https://www.reuters.com/article/us-philippines-drugs-performance-exclusi/exclusive-shock-and-awe-has-failed-in-philippines-drug-war-enforcement-chief-says-idUSKBN2010IL target=_blankPhilippines Drug War Enforcement Chief Says quot;Shock and Awequot; Campaign Has Failed/a. Coloneal Romeo Caramat, head of drug enforcement for the Philippine National Police, has said the President Rodrigo Duterte#39;s ultra-violent drug war has not been effective. quot;Shock and awe definitely did not work, he told Reuters. quot;Drug supply is still rampant. Crime has declined somewhat, he added, but drug users can still buy drugs quot;anytime, anywherequot; in the country. A Duterte spokesman declined to comment on Caramat#39;s remarks, but last month said quot;we are winning the war on drugs.quot;/p /div /div /div
Categories: Latest News

Chronicle AM: VA Pot Decrim Bill Heads for House Floor Vote, Thai Opium Cultivation Declines, More... (2/6/20)

Drug War Chronicle - Thu, 02/06/2020 - 22:02
div class=field field-type-text field-field-body div class=field-items div class=field-item odd pMarijuana decriminalization is moving in Virginia, medical marijuana home cultivation is moving in New Hampshire, a class action lawsuit goes after Detroit-area car seizures, and more./pp[image:1 align:left caption:true]strongMarijuana Policy/strong/ppa href=https://www.marijuanamoment.net/connecticut-governor-renews-marijuana-legalization-pledge-in-budget-proposal-and-speech target=_blankConnecticut Governor Renews Marijuana Legalization Pledge in Budget Proposal and Speech/a. In his State of the State address Wednesday, Gov. Ned Lamont (D) reiterated his call for marijuana legalization. He also put money where his mouth is by including funding for a legal marijuana regulatory framework in the budget proposal submitted to legislators. He also called for regional coordination in marijuana legalization. quot;The patchwork of cannabis and vaping laws are impossible to enforce. We will work with our neighboring states to make our laws safe, uniform, and enforceable. Like it or not, legalized marijuana is a short drive away in Massachusetts and New York is soon to follow,quot; he added. quot;Right now do you realize that what you can buy legally in Massachusetts right across the border can land you in prison here in Connecticut for up to a year?quot;/ppa href=https://www.virginiamercury.com/2020/02/05/general-assembly-closes-the-door-to-marijuana-legalization-until-2021/ target=_blankVirginia General Assembly Blocks Marijuana Legalization, But Advances Decriminalization Bill/a. The House Courts of Justice Committee voted Wednesday to refer three marijuana legalization bills for study, effectively killing them for this session. At the same time, the committee voted to approve a decriminalization bill, a href=https://legiscan.com/VA/bill/HB972/2020 target=_blankHB 972/a, setting it up for a House floor vote. Similar legislation is also moving in the Senate./ppstrongMedical Marijuana/strong/ppa href=https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/02/06/marijuana/new-hampshire-senate-approves-bill-let-medical-marijuana-patients-grow-their-own/ target=_blankNew Hampshire Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Home Cultivation Bill/a. The state Senate Thursday approved a bill that would allow patients and caregivers to grow their own medicine. a href=https://openstates.org/nh/bills/2020/SB420/ target=_blankSB 420/a now heads to the House, which has passed similar legislation with strong support. The bill allows for the cultivation of three mature plants, three immature plants, and 12 seedlings. Gov. Chris Sununu (R) vetoed a similar bill last year. The House voted to override his veto, but the Senate fell three votes short of doing so./ppstrongAsset Forfeiture/strong/ppa href=https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/wayne/2020/02/05/seize-forfeiture-michigan-sheriff-lawsuit/4666153002/ target=_blankClass Action Lawsuit Targets Detroit Car Seizures/a. A class action lawsuit filed in federal court in Detroit Wednesday accuses the Wayne County Sheriff#39;s Office of seizing thousands of cars and other property belonging to residents who have not committed crimes in violation of their constitutional rights. quot;Innocent property owners find themselves ensnared in this system,quot; the lawsuit asserts, leaving them to face the quot;permanent loss of their car or other property, even when emsomeone else/em is alleged to have committed a crime without the property owner#39;s knowledge or consent.quot; The lawsuit was filed by the libertarian Institute for Justice./ppstrongDrug Testing/strong/ppa href=https://www.limaohio.com/wire/state-wire/395454/ohio-supreme-court-hears-sterilite-drug-testing-case target=_blankOhio Supreme Court to Decide Whether Worker Drug Testing That Exposed Genitals Invades Privacy/a. The state Supreme Court has heard oral arguments in a case where workers at the company Sterilite had their genitals viewed during random drug tests. Four employees of the company sued claiming an invasion of privacy. The case was originally thrown out by a Stark County Common Pleas judge in 2017, but both sides appealed, and the case is now before the state#39;s high court. Employees at the company were asked to submit to quot;direct observationquot; random drug tests where drug test administrators watched their groin areas while they produced urine specimens. Two of the plaintiffs were fired because they didn#39;t provide a urine sample within the two-and-a-half hours allotted, according to court records. The original lawsuit seeks reinstatement with back pay for some of the plaintiffs. All four plaintiffs are seeking damages to compensate for pain, suffering and embarrassment./ppstrongInternational/strong/ppa href=https://sundiatapost.com/governor-akeredolu-seeks-for-legalization-of-marijuana-in-meeting-with-buhari/ target=_blankNigerian Governor Lobbies President to Legalize Marijuana/a. Ondo State Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu met with President Buhari on Tuesday and renewed his call for marijuana legalization. He argued that legalization would bring economic and health benefits to the country. quot;It#39;s not because I take it; I take CBD, that#39;s the oil, for medical purposes. I am convinced about the use to which we can put marijuana,quot; Akeredolu said. quot;I know of the fact because we had to bring in experts, who have gone round and believe that the strain of marijuana that we grow in Ogbese in Ondo State is the best in the world. So, if you have that then a government must find a way to put it into good use. Our own is that the pathway to growing marijuana is for medical reasons, not for anybody to smoke.quot;/ppa href=https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/myanmar-opium-cultivation-decline-un-report.html target=_blankThai Opium Cultivation Keeps Declining, UNODC Says/a. Opium cultivation dropped last year, continuing a downward trend that began in 2014, according to a new UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) survey. The amount of land cultivated with poppies dropped 11% last year, down to about 80,000 acres. UNODC said that quot;the highest levels of cultivation continue to take place in unstable and conflict prone areas of Shan and Kachin.quot; Production now is less than one-fifth it was at its peak in 1996./p /div /div /div
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