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Chronicle AM -- March 24, 2014

Drug War Chronicle - Mon, 03/24/2014 - 19:23

Medical marijuana dominates the drug policy news today, plus a legalization bill is filed in New Jersey, welfare drug testing advances in a pair of states, the Russians halt anti-drug cooperation with the US, and more. Let's get to it:

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

New Jersey Legalization Bill Introduced. State Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Linden) introduced a marijuana legalization bill today. The bill is not yet available online, but Scutari said it is modeled on the laws in Colorado and Washington state. "Anybody that looks at the facts, knows that the war on marijuana has been a miserable failure," Scutari said in a press release. "We're not delusional about how simple the effort would be, but I think from a standpoint of moving this state and this country forward on its archaic drug laws, I think it's a step in the right direction."

Medical Marijuana

Arizona Judge Okays Use of Medical Marijuana Extracts. A Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled Friday that using marijuana extracts is legal under the state's medical marijuana law. The state Health Department had argued that that the law only allows patients to consume parts of the actual plant, but Judge Katherine Cooper said nothing in the law backs that conclusion.

Arkansas Attorney General Rejects Initiative Language. Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has rejected the popular name and ballot title of a proposed medical marijuana initiative. The initiative is sponsored by Arkansans for Medical Cannabis. Another Arkansas initiative, from Arkansans for Compassionate Care, is already in the signature-gathering phase.

Iowa Lawmakers Introduce Resolution for Medical Marijuana Study. A bipartisan group of 10 Iowa lawmakers have introduced a resolution seeking a legislative interim study of the feasibility of legalizing medical marijuana in the Hawkeye State. Senate Resolution 112 now goes to the Iowa Legislative Council, which meets in June to consider requests for interim studies, which are typically completed prior to the next legislative session.

Oregon Health Authority Says No to Edibles at Dispensaries. The Oregon Health Authority last week released draft rules for dispensaries that do not allow medical marijuana edibles to be sold there. The authority said it feared edibles would be attractive to young people, but advocates said some patients need to take the drug orally.

Tennessee Medical Marijuana Bill Dead. A bill to allow for the use of medical marijuana in Tennessee is dead after sponsors reported no possibility of action on it in the state Senate. House Bill 1385, sponsored by Rep. Sherry Jones (D-Nashville) also got no respect in the House, where the Health Subcommittee heard unscheduled testimony opposing it from the Department of Health and the hearing ended without Jones being able to present an amendment to the bill and get a vote on it.

Alabama CBD Medical Marijuana Bill Passes Legislature. A bill to authorize and fund a $1 million University of Alabama study of the effectiveness of CBD cannabis oil in treating seizures has passed the Alabama legislature. Senate Bill 174 now goes to the governor's desk.

Georgia CBD Medical Marijuana Bill Dies. A bill to allow the use of CBD cannabis oil for epileptic seizures died in the legislature last week. House Bill 885 fell victim to parliamentary maneuvering as the session neared an end. After it passed the House, Senate leaders tied it to a favored autism bill and approved that, but the House never voted on the merged bill. Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon), the bill's sponsor, vowed to try again next year.

Kentucky CBD Medical Marijuana Bill Passes House Committee. A bill to allow the use of CBD cannabis oil for children suffering seizures passed the House Judiciary Committee last week and now heads for a House floor vote. Senate Bill 124 has already passed the Senate.

South Carolina CBD Medical Marijuana Bill Advances, But With Restrictions. A bill that would allow children with epilepsy to use CBD cannabis oil won a Senate committee vote last week and now advances to the Senate floor. The Senate Medical Affairs Committee unanimously approved Senate Bill 1035, but only as part of clinical trials testing federally approved drugs.

Utah Governor Signs CBD Medical Marijuana Bill. Gov. Gary Herbert (R) has signed into law House Bill 105. The measure allows children with epileptic seizures to use CBD cannabis oil and allows their families to bring it back to the state with a neurologist's consent.

Drug Policy

Massachusetts Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Would Consider Decriminalizing Drug Possession, But… Democratic gubernatorial candidate Juliette Kayyem said last week she would consider decriminalizing some drugs, including cocaine, in an effort to treat nonviolent drug offenders differently within the criminal justice system. "Decriminalization of marijuana has been important. I think we should consider it for other drugs, or create more drug courts so that people do not fall into the criminal justice system," Kayyem said. But she later clarified that she meant drug users should be sent to treatment, not jail.

Harm Reduction

Georgia 911 Good Samaritan, Naloxone Bill Passes Legislature. A bill that would provide a "medical amnesty" to people seeking medical attention for overdose victims has passed the Georgia legislature. House Bill 965 was also amended to include allowing for the distribution of the overdose reversal drug naloxone. It now heads for the desk of Gov. Nathan Deal (R).

New Jersey EMTs to Carry Overdose Reversal Drug. The office of Gov. Chris Christie (R) announced last week that emergency medical technicians will be able to carry and administer the overdose reversal drug naloxone. The move required a waiver of state EMT rules, which do not cover the use of naloxone. "Allowing first responders to administer Narcan [naloxone] will save lives," Christie said in a statement. "We want to encourage people to seek medical assistance when a drug overdose occurs."

Drug Testing

Georgia Food Stamp Drug Testing Bill Passes Legislature. A bill requiring food stamp recipients to undergo drug tests if state officials have "reasonable suspicion" they are using drugs has passed the state legislature on the last day of the session. House Bill 772 now goes to the desk of Gov. Nathan Deal (R) for a signature.

Michigan Senate Passes Welfare Drug Testing Bill. A bill that would require drug testing for welfare recipients if state officials suspect they are using drugs has passed the state Senate. It would set up a pilot program in three counties. The bill is part of a package of welfare drug testing bills that are still under consideration in the House.

Methamphetamine

Illinois Pseudoephedrine Prescription Bill Gets Hearing. A bill that would require prescriptions to obtain cold medications containing the meth precursor pseudoephedrine got a hearing before a Senate panel last week. Senate Bill 3502 is supported by law enforcement, but opposed by OTC drug manufacturers.

Sentencing

New Jersey Supreme Court Committee Report Urges Major Bail Reforms. The state Supreme Court has released a report from its Joint Committee on Criminal Justice calling for significant changes to the current bail system in New Jersey and enactment of speedy trial legislation. Click on the links for more details.

International

Russians Warn US Sanctions Will Halt Anti-Drug Cooperation. Russia's anti-drug agency said Friday US sanctions imposed over the Crimea crisis would wreck its cooperation with the US. "The U.S. administrations' arbitrary and ill-considered decision will, in one day, destroy our unique experience of cooperation," the agency said.

Canadian Court Rules Medical Marijuana Patients Can Keep Growing Their Own. A Canadian federal court judge has issued an injunction exempting patients already licensed to possess or grow medical marijuana from the Conservative government's new rules attempting to restrict such grows to commercial facilities. The federal government announced its plans to overhaul the production of medical pot last year, arguing the current system had grown out of control and was rife with problems ranging from unsafe grow-ops to infiltration by criminals. The injunction is only good while a lawsuit filed by patients works its way through the courts.

Bermuda Marijuana Reform Report Coming Next Month. A final report detailing local opinions on cannabis reform is to be handed in to the government by April 17, according to the Cannabis Reform Collaborative (CRC). The group has canvassed views through seven focus groups, targeting different age groups. Bermuda's marijuana laws are being appraised following a call last year by National Security Minister Michael Dunkley for a public discussion on decriminalizing the drug.

Bermuda Has Near Majority for Marijuana Decriminalization. The Bermuda National Household Survey on Drug Consumption and Health is out, and it shows that nearly 49% support marijuana decriminalization, with 41% opposed and 9% undecided.

Australian Government Toughens Penalties for New Synthetics. The Australian government said it has added four substances marketed as "synthetic LSD" to its list of drugs that attract the most serious penalties. Under the move, importers will face a minimum of two years in jail. Currently, importers pay only a fine set a three times the value of the product. The substances are derivatives of phenethylamine marketed under names like "N-Bomb."

(This article was published by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. 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.)

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US OH: Medical Marijuana

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 03/24/2014 - 07:00
The Marietta Times, 24 Mar 2014 - What Will Ohio Voters Say If the Issue Is on the Ballot? Medical marijuana proponents are continuing efforts to bring legalization of the drug to Ohio voters in November. Libertarian candidate for governor Charlie Earl announced his endorsement for the "Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment" earlier this month, and John Pardee, president of the Ohio Rights Group that's pushing to get the amendment on the ballot, praised Earl for his support in a recent news release.
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New York Man Falls to Death in Drug Raid

Drug War Chronicle - Mon, 03/24/2014 - 01:14

A Yonkers, New York, man fell to his death attempting to escape police serving a drug search warrant Friday night. The as yet unnamed man becomes the 11th person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.

[image:1 align:right]According to The Lower Hudson Journal News, citing a police news release, the 45-year-old man attempted to flee through a third-floor window of an apartment as officers executed a drug search warrant.

Police then observed the man on the ground floor of the building with a head injury and summoned medical assistance. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was shortly pronounced dead.

In addition to the drug search warrant, police already had a drug arrest warrant for the man from New York City. Police said they found drugs, packaging materials, a scale, and an unspecified amount of money in the apartment.

The Yonkers Police Department Internal Affairs Division and the Westchester County District Attorney's Office are investigating the incident.

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US: Web: Marijuana Medicine's Near-Miraculous Healing Powers Require

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 03/23/2014 - 07:00
AlterNet, 23 Mar 2014 - Marijuana Medicine's Near-Miraculous Healing Powers Require the Whole Plant-Not Just One Oil Extract CBD-only laws are a pretext to extend marijuana prohibition under the guise of 'protecting the children.'
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US HI: Column: Is Legalization Of Pot Inevitable?

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 03/23/2014 - 07:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 23 Mar 2014 - First, 20 states and the District of Columbia passed laws legalizing marijuana for medical use. Then in 2012, voters in Washington state and Colorado approved measures legalizing the sale and possession of marijuana for non-medical use, with state oversight. Now at least a half-dozen states from Alaska to Maine are considering following suit. Marijuana still remains a federally controlled substance, but Attorney General Eric Holder in January said the U.S. Justice Department would soon issue regulations to let state-sanctioned marijuana businesses have access to banking and credit. Can full legalization be far behind? Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis, the RedBlueAmerica columnists, try to answer the question.
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US MI: Group Targets City Of Summer Marijuana Vote

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 03/23/2014 - 07:00
The Macomb Daily, 23 Mar 2014 - Marijuana proponents are gearing up to get pot decriminalization proposals on ballots in about a dozen cities statewide this year, including one in Macomb County. The effort comes after the Safer Michigan Coalition successfully passed similar proposals last year in Ferndale, Jackson and Lansing.
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US NY: Fewer Would Have A Criminal Record If Pot Is Legalized

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 03/23/2014 - 07:00
Times Herald-Record, 23 Mar 2014 - The eventual legalization of marijuana may seem inevitable. But that doesn't mean advocates on both sides of the issue have stopped fighting for and against it. Those who oppose legalization see the increased use and acceptance of marijuana by young people as the primary reason it shouldn't be legalized. After all, in Colorado it's available in kids' candies like gummy worms, which can't legally be sold or consumed by anyone under 18.
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US HI: OPED: Bill Makes Progress Toward Better Access To Medical

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 07:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 22 Mar 2014 - Hawaii has yet to craft a functional law that addresses medical marijuana for chronic disease. Progress to date has been incremental but in the right direction. Last year the platform for medical marijuana moved from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Health, establishing it as a mainstream medical program. SB 2574 SD 1, relating to medical marijuana, permits board-certified pain specialist physicians, oncologists, ophthalmologists and board-certified palliative care physicians to prescribe medical marijuana beginning Jan. 2. Currently, only primary care physicians are authorized to prescribe.
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Canada: Feds' Bid to Snuff Home Growers Goes Up in Smoke

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 07:00
Winnipeg Free Press, 22 Mar 2014 - VANCOUVER - The Conservative government's plan to move medical marijuana plants out of patients' basements and into commercial facilities was dealt a significant setback Friday, after a Federal Court judge ruled anyone already licensed to grow the drug may continue to do so. Judge Michael Manson issued an injunction exempting patients who are licensed to possess or grow medical marijuana under the current rules, either for themselves or someone else, from new regulations that would have made the practice illegal.
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Canada: Federal Court Grants Injunction to Allow Patients to

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 22 Mar 2014 - The Conservative government's plan to move medical marijuana plants out of patients' basements and into commercial facilities was dealt a significant setback Friday, after a Federal Court judge ruled anyone already licensed to grow the drug may continue to do so. Justice Michael Manson issued an injunction exempting patients who are licensed to possess or grow medical marijuana under the current rules, either for themselves or someone else, from new regulations that would have made the practice illegal.
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CN BC: Federal Judge Imposes Medical Marijuana Growing Reprieve

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 07:00
Prince George Citizen, 22 Mar 2014 - A Prince George man who legally grows marijuana in his home for medical purposes is pleased that a federal court judge has struck down a federal ban that was set to take effect April 1. Judge Michael Manson granted an application from a group of medical marijuana patients, who asked for a temporary injunction to preserve the status quo until a constitutional challenge of the new system can be heard.
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US OR: Oregon Dismays Medical Pot Shops With Munchies Ban

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 07:00
The Daily Home, 22 Mar 2014 - SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Hash brownies, space cakes and other pot-laced munchies won't be among the items allowed at Oregon medical marijuana dispensaries, state officials said, and that's drawn criticism from pot-shop advocates. The Oregon Health Authority released draft rules late Wednesday for medical-pot dispensaries to follow when they open as early as next week under a new law. Although medical marijuana will be available at the dispensaries, the agency wants to ban sweets containing the drug because they could be attractive to young people.
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US: Researchers Decry Politics Of Marijuana

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 22 Mar 2014 - Millions of ordinary Americans are able to walk into a marijuana dispensary and purchase bags of pot on the spot for a variety of medical ailments. But if you're a researcher like Sue Sisley, a psychiatrist who studies posttraumatic stress disorder, getting access to the drug isn't nearly so easy. That's because the federal government has a virtual monopoly on growing and cultivating marijuana for scientific research, and getting access to the drug requires three separate levels of approval.
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US: Is The Bloom Off Marijuana Stocks?

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 07:00
The Virgin Islands Daily News, 22 Mar 2014 - The non-profit Financial Industry Regulatory Authority says investors should remain wary and research pot stocks before they consider buying. Wall Street seems to be losing its appetite for pot. Marijuana stocks were high flyers - so to speak- after Colorado and Washington states legalized pot sales and several other states announced they may legalize sales or decriminalize possession. Shares in about 20 marijuana-related companies began soaring, with some gaining more than 500 percent off 52-week lows.
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CN BC: Medical Pot Producers Win Legal Reprieve

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 07:00
The Daily Courier, 22 Mar 2014 - People who grow medical marijuana at home won a reprieve Friday, but they still have to destroy most of their plants. A Federal Court judge ruled anyone already licensed to grow the drug may continue to do so beyond March 31, when new regulations governing production were to take effect.
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CN ON: Mulcair Faces Question Period In Brant

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 07:00
Brant News, 22 Mar 2014 - From pension plans to marijuana and most everything in between, federal NDP leader Tom Mulcair fielded an array of questions from a packed Sanderson Centre audience in Brantford on Tuesday. Between all the promises on different subjects, Mulcair made sure to leave the impression that changes in Ottawa would happen swiftly if Canada elected an NDP government in the next federal vote.
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US GA: Medical Marijuana Bill Fails

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 03/21/2014 - 07:00
Macon Telegraph, 21 Mar 2014 - ATLANTA -- As the clock ticked through the final hours of the annual state legislative session, state Rep. Allen Peake launched a last-minute but ultimately unsuccessful plan to pass his medical marijuana bill. "For these families, their reality is ... a child who is going to have one hundred seizures tomorrow," said Peake, R-Macon, author of House Bill 885, which would have decriminalized possession of a liquid medicine derived from cannabis that's used to treat pediatric seizures.
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US: Scientists Want Government To Relax Control On Pot

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 03/21/2014 - 07:00
Sun-Sentinel, 21 Mar 2014 - WASHINGTON - As the nation's only truly legal supplier of marijuana, the U.S. government keeps tight control of its stash, which is grown in a 12-acre fenced garden on the campus of the University of Mississippi in Oxford. From there, part of the crop is shipped to Research Triangle Institute in North Carolina, where it's rolled into cigarettes, all at taxpayer expense.
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US FL: House Panel Oks Bill To Legalize Pot For Seizures

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 03/21/2014 - 07:00
The Palm Beach Post, 21 Mar 2014 - TALLAHASSEE - With several legislators saying they were deeply troubled by the bill, the House Budget Committee unanimously approved legislation Thursday aimed at decriminalizing the possession of lowgrade marijuana for use in treating seizures. The so-called "Charlotte's Web" measure (CS/HB 843) is getting the blessing of Republican leaders in the Legislature, with many seeing it as potentially blunting a ballot measure in November that would go much further and legalize medical marijuana in Florida.
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US AZ: Column: War Against Weed Is Lost All That's Left Is Shouting

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 03/21/2014 - 07:00
Daily Courier, 21 Mar 2014 - In Arizona, a referendum to legalize is moving toward inclusion on a statewide ballot in 2016. Also, a bill to end felony sentencing for minor possession cases has been introduced in the Arizona House and may move forward. Based on current public opinion - a Gallup poll in October found 58 percent of Americans say it should be legalized - it's only a matter of time before it is. After decades of evidence that prohibition doesn't work, it's time to end the weed war.
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