New York Times, 20 Aug 2016 - MANILA - Even amid the slaughter of President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs, the killings of Renato and Jaypee Bertes stand out. The Bertes men, father and son, shared a tiny, concrete room with six other people in a metropolitan Manila slum, working odd jobs when they could find them. Both smoked shabu, a cheap form of methamphetamine that has become a scourge in the Philippines. Sometimes Jaypee Bertes sold it in small amounts, relatives said.
An effort to knock the Arizona legalization initiative off the ballot gets slapped down, a new Nevada poll shows a very tight contest for the legalization initiative there, a new study finds that marijuana use is not implicated in organ transplant problems, and more.
[image:1 align:right caption:true]Marijuana Policy
Arizona Judge Rejects Lawsuit Trying to Knock Legalization Initiative Off the Ballot. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Jo Lynn Gentry has dismissed a lawsuit brought by opponents of the Prop 205 legalization initiative. The lawsuit had challenged the 100-word initiative summary that will appear on ballots, but Gentry ruled that the summary "substantially complies with the law." The foes, led by Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, said they will appeal.
Nevada Poll Has Legalization Initiative Under 50%, But Still Leading. A new Nevada poll from Suffolk University shows a tight race ahead. The poll had support for the Question 2 legalization initiative at 48%, with 43% opposed, and 9% undecided.
Study Finds Marijuana Use Not Associated With Bad Organ Transplant Outcomes. A peer-reviewed study from the journal Clinical Transplantation finds that marijuana use is not contraindicated in kidney transplants. "[R]ecreational marijuana use should not be considered a contraindication to kidney transplantation," the authors concluded. "[R]ecreational marijuana use should be systematically evaluated in a larger setting before a decision is made on what, if any, degree of use or abuse should be considered a relative or absolute contraindication, or whether use or abuse should be considered a contraindication." Even in jurisdictions that allow for medical marijuana use, hospitals routinely disqualify patients with a marijuana history from eligibility for organ transplants.
Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana System Moving Forward. The state Health Department has released a draft of the rules for the state's nascent medical marijuana industry. The more than 90 pages of draft regulations create a roadmap for aspiring medical marijuana growers and processors who are competing for 25 lucrative permits.
Nelson Star, 19 Aug 2016 - The lawyer who successfully overturned the former Conservative government's ban on the home growing of medical marijuana is praising a move by the federal Liberals to create a new licensing system for doctor-approved patients. Kirk Tousaw said the new Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations, which take effect Aug. 24, appear to be much the same as the old home growing licenses that prevailed until 2014 when the Conservative government tried to outlaw them and force approved patients to buy only from licensed commercial producers.
Northumberland Today, 19 Aug 2016 - South Shores Wellness at Alderville First Nation Was Raided by Opp on Wednesday ALDERVILLE - A marijuana dispensary was taken down by provincial police on Wednesday afternoon. The Ontario Provincial Police Central East Drug Unit, assisted by Northumberland OPP, executed a search warrant at South Shore Wellness - - Full Service Cannabis Dispensary located at 8987 County Road 45 in Roseneath.
Sun.Star Cebu, 19 Aug 2016 - (The following are excerpts from the "Position Paper on Extra-Judicial Killings As Means in the 'War on Drugs'" by the Center for Governance, Leadership and Development of the Department of Political Science of the University of San Carlos) While the campaign against illegal drugs is a fight we all share, the relentless killings of persons allegedly linked to the illegal drug trade has raised an important question that every Filipino, regardless of social status, education, political beliefs, or religious affiliation, ought to confront: Are we doing this right?
Philippine Star, 19 Aug 2016 - The United Nations yesterday urged the Philippine government to put an end to the current wave of extrajudicial killings in the context of an intensified campaign against crime and the drug menace. Two UN human rights experts said "allegations of drug trafficking offenses should be judged in a court of law, not by gunmen on the streets."
Philippine Star, 19 Aug 2016 - As of yesterday, Sen. Leila de Lima didn't look "destroyed," although she was clearly distressed and admitted feeling scared and concerned for herself and those close to her. Lamenting the "abuse" and "misuse" of executive power, De Lima announced that her committee would proceed with its probe on Monday into the continuing killing spree. And if the administration is correct in its suspicions, no one is backing out either from efforts to bring the killings before the United Nations a possibility that seems to make the President fly into a fit of rage.
Philippine Star, 19 Aug 2016 - The police service celebrated its 115th anniversary the other day as the Senate prepared to launch an inquiry into the spate of killings of drug suspects since President Duterte assumed power. The official toll, according to Philippine National Police officials, was 1,564 as of yesterday, with 899 attributed not to PNP members but to vigilantes. Echoing the President, PNP officials have defended the mass killings, trotting out statistics to show that the crime rate has gone down. The homicide rate, of course, has soared and is sure to be the highest in this part of the world. Whether the victim was a drug dealer or law-abiding civilian, each killing must be probed and the perpetrator brought to justice.
Philippine Daily Inquirer, 19 Aug 2016 - IF JOSE Rizal were alive today, he would probably be found dead on a Manila street with a crude cardboard sign identifying him as a drug user. Rizal, after all, admitted taking hashish when he was 18 years old. But someone should explain to the trigger-happy police or vigilantes that in Rizal's time, hashish, which we know today as marijuana, "Mary Jane," or "jutes," was not what it is now: a prohibited drug. It was considered medicine and was dispensed freely from a drugstore. We know that Rizal experimented with hashish from a letter he wrote to the German anthropologist Dr. A.B. Meyer of Dresden on March 5, 1890, in answer to a query on hashish in the Philippines. Translated from the original German, the letter reads in full as follows: "My distinguished friend: "I received your letter of the 27th of last month and excuse me for not having answered you before this, for I have had to consult some countrymen and books concerning your question about the hashish.
Manila Bulletin, 19 Aug 2016 - "Rise, above principle and do what's right." - Walter Heller AS the famous Roman orator Cicero had written, "laws are silent in time of war," and Duterte's war against drug trafficking and its lethal effects on humans is total war.
Washington Post, 19 Aug 2016 - By Changing Visitation Rules, Prison Officials Go Overboard in Trying to Contain Drug Smuggling. PRISONS AND jails are struggling to contain the spread of an easily smuggled drug, Suboxone, prized by incarcerated addicts to dampen their craving for heroin and other hard-to-get opioids. But in trying to keep it out of facilities, some corrections officials are going overboard, imposing restrictions that punish the families and children of inmates, most of whom are blameless.
Washington Post, 19 Aug 2016 - FACILITIES FOUND LESS SAFE AND EFFECTIVE Justice order affects 13 sites, about 22,000 inmates The Justice Department plans to end its use of private prisons after officials concluded that the facilities are less safe and less effective at providing correctional services than those run by the government.
Despite what's been called "de facto legalization," California has arrested a half million for pot in the last decade; Tennessee's Music City moves toward decriminalization, a Montana anti-medical marijuana initiative has come up short, and more.
[image:1 align:left caption:true]Marijuana Policy
California Saw Half a Million Marijuana Arrests in the Last Decade. And you thought pot was virtually legal there already. A new report from the Drug Policy Alliance shows that far from "de facto legalization," tens of thousands of Californians are still getting arrested for marijuana offenses each year. Even though the state decriminalized pot possession in 2011, thousands are still arrested for marijuana misdemeanors each year, and the burden of arrests falls disproportionately on blacks, Latinos, and youth.
Report Finds West Virginia Could Make Millions By Legalizing Marijuana. The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy released a report Thursday saying that if the state legalized marijuana and taxed it at 25% of its wholesale price, the state could collect an estimated $45 million a year. And if just 10% of marijuana users living within 200 miles of the state came to buy legal weed there, the state could make $194 million a year. It would also save most of the $17 million a year it currently spends enforcing pot prohibition.
Nashville Moves Toward Marijuana Decriminalization. Tennessee's second largest city (less than a thousand people fewer than Memphis) is headed for decrim. The city council Tuesday gave its initial approval to a measure that would make possession of up to an ounce a civil infraction punishable by a $50 fine. It's not a done deal yet, though, and the police are grumbling. Stay tuned.
Possible Arizona Pot Legalization Spurs Rush for Medical Marijuana Licenses. More than 750 people or groups have submitted applications for 31 medical marijuana dispensary licenses to be awarded in October. Medical marijuana license holders will get first crack at new adult use licenses if the Prop 205 legalization initiative passes.
Montana Anti-Medical Marijuana Initiative Fails To Qualify for Ballot, But Challenges Signature Shortfall. An initiative seeking to repeal the state's medical marijuana law has failed to qualify for the November ballot after coming up short on valid signatures. The Safe Montana campaign claims the state improperly rejected or lost signatures and has filed suit to challenge the state's decision. Meanwhile, the I-182 initiative, which would rebuild the state's largely gutted medical marijuana program, has already qualified for the ballot.
Philippines President Duterte Slams "Stupid" UN Criticism of Drug War Killings.President Duterte, who has presided over hundreds of drug war killings since assuming office just weeks ago, has pushed back against criticism of his policies by the United Nations. ""Here comes the UN, easily swayed, and coming with a very stupid proposition,"Duterte said in a speech on Wednesday at an event for police officers also attended by foreign diplomats. "Why would the United Nations be so easily swayed into interfering in the affairs of this republic?" Duterte has ordered police not to hesitate to kill and even urged ordinary citizens and communist rebels to join in the war against drugs. Drug users are "not viable human beings," he said.
The Peterborough Examiner, 18 Aug 2016 - Gage has a rare and incurable neurological disorder, and the drug has proven to help NAPANEE - A Napanee-area marijuana facility is now able to sell its medical product to patients in need, and a mother says her son is benefitting from the development.
Airdrie City View, 18 Aug 2016 - In Alberta, impaired driving includes driving while under the influence of both legal and illegal drugs such as marijuana and doctor-prescribed painkillers. "It comes as a surprise to many people that drunk driving and drugged driving carry the same criminal charges," Alberta Minister of Transportation Brian Mason said in a release Aug. 5. "This is because both substances impair a driver's ability and increase the likelihood of being involved in a collision."
North Bay Nugget, 18 Aug 2016 - Legalization will have significant impact on ill-prepared cities and towns Municipalities don't appear to be well prepared for the legalization of marijuana, says one North Bay councillor. Coun. Mark King said he was struck while attending the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference in Windsor this week by how ill-prepared even the provincial government is for marijuana legalization in Canada.
Toronto Star, 18 Aug 2016 - With dispensaries outnumbering ice cream shops in some parts of Toronto, a casual observer could be forgiven for thinking that marijuana is legal in Canada. Pot has always fallen in somewhat of a "grey area" - compassion clubs, for instance, have operated since the 1990s - but this is something altogether different. Make no mistake: at least for now, these neighbourhood drug stores are prohibited by law (subject to certain constitutional arguments available to those selling to documented medical patients). Owners, employees and customers face potential criminal charges; owners can also be prosecuted and fined under municipal zoning and licensing bylaws; and health practitioners issuing prescriptions can be disciplined by their professional regulator.
London Free Press, 18 Aug 2016 - A businessperson whose London pot shop was raided by police days after opening is digging in for another battle with authorities. Police swooped down on Tasty Budd's medical marijuana dispensary on Whancliffe Road Wednesday, seizing its inventory and arresting two men. The store had opened only six days earlier. Mal McMeekin, founder of the Tasty Budd's franchise, which opened in defiance of the law, is thumbing his nose at police, again. "The plan is to reopen, for sure," McMeekin said from Halifax. "I feel that it's an unnecessary use of taxpayers' money to raid something where we're just helping people." McMeekin and business partner Tim Balogh didn't consult London police before opening the shop last Friday. It sells marijuana, hash oil and cannabis-infused edibles to medicinal marijuana users. Though an estimated 350 pot dispensaries operate across Canada, they 're illegal - despite the Liberal government's pledge to liberalize Canada's pot laws - under a federal law that limits the sale of marijuana to a few dozen producers approved by Ottawa. Dispensary operators argue they provide a needed service for people who use marijuana for medical reasons.
Phoenix New Times, 18 Aug 2016 - You would be forgiven for not recognizing the nondescript brick warehouse in Phoenix's Grand Avenue industrial district as the site of a high-tech agricultural facility. But as soon as you step inside, the smell of hundreds of marijuana plants is overwhelming. As you make your way through the small rooms that line the main hallway, you can hear the whoosh of ventilation fans and the gentle hum of huge artificial lights suspended above a lush green canopy of leaves. Reggae, old-school hip-hop, and pop-punk blare from a portable speaker as a crew of 30 or so workers trim, water, and inspect the all-female crop of cannabis plants casually known as "the ladies."
Globe and Mail, 18 Aug 2016 - Recent Globe and Mail reporting has uncovered a "Wild West" of grey-market marijuana sales where product quality ranges from uneven to potentially unsafe. Given this situation, the federal government should proceed promptly with its legalization promise. This will not only protect consumers from hazardous products, but also enable industry self-improvement. Many products are easy for customers to evaluate before purchase. For example, before buying a sweater, I can see colour, feel texture and test fit. In product-design terms, these are "search" characteristics. I can judge quality while searching for the best product to buy.