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US WA: First Pot Shop Poised To Open Tuesday

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 07/02/2014 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 02 Jul 2014 - All It Needs Is License, Supply of Marijuana Seattle Store Expects to Sell Out the First Day A week before the grand opening of Cannabis City, James Lathrop paces by the conspicuously bare glass display cases in his small shop, tucked away just south of downtown Seattle.
Categories: Latest News

US NM: Ex-Gov. Johnson Heads Pot Startup

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 07/02/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 02 Jul 2014 - Nev. Company Makes Marijuana Oils, Drops (AP) - A Nevada-based startup that plans on selling medical and recreational marijuana products named former New Mexico governor and U.S. Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson as its CEO and president, the company announced Tuesday.
Categories: Latest News

Chronicle AM -- July 1, 2014

Drug War Chronicle - Tue, 07/01/2014 - 18:56

July 1 sees new drug-related laws and regulations going into effect in various places, a University of Arizona researcher falls victim to anti-medical marijuana politics, Massachusetts is cracking down on caregivers, Ohio activists give up on a medical marijuana (and hemp) initiative this year, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Colorado Marijuana Legalization Enters New, Expansive Phase. As of today, any state resident can apply to open a marijuana retail outlet in Colorado. Until now, only owners of already existing medical marijuana dispensaries could apply. It is expected that this new phase of the state's marijuana legalization experience will add hundreds of new marijuana-related businesses in the state.

Berkley, Michigan, Decriminalization Petitioners Hand in Signatures Today. Campaigners for a municipal decriminalization initiative in Berkley plan to turn in 700 signatures today. Berkley is one of about 20 Michigan towns where Safer Michigan is working to get similar initiatives on the ballot for either the August or November elections. Local ordinances that ease penalties for possessing marijuna already are on the books in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Ferndale, Flint, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Ypsilanti.

Medical Marijuana

University of Arizona Fires Medical Marijuana Researcher. The University of Arizona has abruptly fired Dr. Suzanne Sisley, who months earlier had received approval from the federal government to study the effects of medical marijuana on people suffering from PTSD. Now, her research is in jeopardy, and she is blaming state legislators who threatened university funding after her research plans made the news. "This is a clear political retaliation for the advocacy and education I have been providing the public and lawmakers," Sisley said. "I pulled all my evaluations and this is not about my job performance."

Massachusetts Crackdown on Caregivers. The state Department of Public Health has sent letters to more than 1,300 patients and 17 caregivers warning that state regulations bar caregivers from selling marijuana to more than one patient. Caregivers are the only legal avenue for patients to buy medical marijuana until dispensaries open, and that won't happen until November at the earliest. The move has forced Bill Downing, the operator of Yankee Care Givers, which supplies an estimated 1,000 patients to quit selling medical marijuana. He is urging patients to join him in a lawsuit challenging the state's interpretation of the law. "DPH is more concerned with their regulations than they are with the well-being of the citizens of Massachusetts," Downing said.

Low-THC, High-CBD Medical Marijuana Laws Go into Effect in Iowa, Utah. At least two of the states that passed limited, low-THC, high-CBD medical marijuana laws this year see those laws go into effect today. Those states are Iowa and Utah. It is unclear what impact those laws will have or how many people they will help.

Vermont Medical Marijuana Improvements Go into Effect Today. A medical marijuana improvement bill, Senate Bill 247, goes into effect today. The new law eliminates the cap of 1,000 patients who may access dispensaries, allows naturopaths to certify patients, and allows dispensaries to deliver marijuana to patients. It also authorizes a study of whether PTSD should be added as a qualifying condition.

Ohio Medical Marijuana Initiative Gives Up on 2014. Medical marijuana won't be on the ballot in the Buckeye State this year. The campaign by the Ohio Rights Group needed 385,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the ballot this year, but had only 100,000. The good news is that those gathered signatures are still good in future years and can supply a starting point for a new campaign down the road. The initiative would also have legalized hemp production.

Drug Testing

Tennessee Food Stamp Drug Testing Law Goes into Effect. A law passed in 2012 that mandates drug testing for food stamp applicants if state workers have reason to believe they are using drugs goes into effect today. The ACLU of Tennessee is not happy: "This law singles out limited-income people and requires them to submit to humiliating and intrusive searches of their bodily fluids because they need temporary help making ends meet," said Hedy Weinberg, state director for the ACLU. "Research indicates that TANF recipients are no more likely to use illicit drugs than farmers, veterans, and students, who also receive government support. ACLU-TN wants to hear from any potential TANF recipients who do not want to submit to the required drug testing." The ACLU of Tennessee also has a web page for those who need help dealing with the law.

Sentencing

Rep. Keith Ellison is Latest Cosponsor of Smarter Sentencing Act. The Smarter Sentencing Act (House Resolution 3382) has picked up another cosponsor, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN). The measure now has 42 cosponsors -- 28 Democrats and 14 Republicans. The bill remains stuck in the House Judiciary Committee, where it has been sitting since October.

International

Mexican Soldiers Kill 22 Cartel Members in Michoacan Confrontation. The Mexican Army reported that it killed 22 members of the La Familia Michoacana cartel after soldiers on patrol in Tlatlaya, Michoacan, came under fire from cartel gunmen.

Another Mexican Town Tries to Ban Narcocorridos. Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, in northwest Mexico has banned the playing or performing of narcocorridos, the border ballads that glorify drug traffickers and recount their adventures. The ban follows the killing in the city of a narcocorrido singer from Phoenix, Tomas Tovar Rascon. But more than a year ago, the Mexican Supreme Court overturned a similar ban in the state of Sinaloa, so it is unlikely this ban could withstand a legal challenge -- if anyone brings one.

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US WA: Launching Legal Pot Faces Difficult Road

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 07/01/2014 - 07:00
Republican & Herald, 01 Jul 2014 - SEATTLE (AP) - As Washington plows toward the legalization of pot, it's finding that getting the cannabis market off the ground has been even tougher than anyone imagined. Among the frustrated are growers who have been waiting months for permission to start raising their bar-coded plants; advocates who wish more public health messaging had been done by now; and would-be pot vendors like O'Neil who said bad luck, minor oversights on their applications, or errors by state officials have torpedoed otherwise promising efforts.
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US MI: Berkley Is Next Mich. City Expected To Vote On Easing

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 07/01/2014 - 07:00
Detroit Free Press, 01 Jul 2014 - Volunteers who've walked the streets of Berkley for the last month said Monday they plan to turn in about 700 signatures today aimed at putting yet another marijuana-legalization question before yet another city's voters. By the time the door-to-door campaigns end, similar questions likely will appear on ballots in nearly 20 communities around the state, from Utica to the U.P., said leaders of Safer Michigan, a Detroit-based nonprofit group coordinating the far-flung petition drives.
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US NC: Parents Talk About N.C.'s Legalization Of Marijuana Oil

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 07/01/2014 - 07:00
Star-News, 01 Jul 2014 - Several local parents are celebrating the move by the state House and Senate to approve oil that is derived from marijuana plants that has shown some early success in other states treating children with severe seizure disorders. "I was really surprised that it all happened so quickly," said Wilmington school teacher Annetta Saggese. "Not only could it be so incredible for our kids, but it's also refreshing to see that it was bipartisan, that our representatives listened and took the time and cared." Annetta and her husband Matt are the parents of 4-year-old Netta, who began having seizures at about 6 weeks old, severely stunting her development. The StarNews featured the Saggeses and other North Carolina families in an article in September, during which time parents were gearing up for a fight to push legislation legalizing what's known as CBD oil during the short session. Parents largely connected through a Facebook page lobbied their legislators hard, and their educational efforts paid off. The bill passed with very little opposition, and Gov. Pat McCrory said last week that he intended to sign it into law. House Bill 1220 was approved by a vote of 112-1 in the House and 45-0 in the Senate. "This law will help ease the suffering endured by children from whom no other treatments are effective against their seizures," McCrory said in a statement. "I want to congratulate the General Assembly for crafting a bill that not only improves the lives of many North Carolina children and their parents, but also provides common sense regulation and facilitates clinical research at our major research universities."
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US MA: Editorial: Pot System Doped Up

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 07/01/2014 - 07:00
Boston Herald, 01 Jul 2014 - Scoring 65 on a test is usually the equivalent of a D-minus - if not an F. That's how well the Patrick administration handled the first big test of the state's new "medical" marijuana system, and yet the official in charge is simply "delighted" with the results. Time for a reality check at the Department of Public Health.
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One of the Worst Ideas to Come Out of the War on Drugs: Sentencing Enhancement Zones

Speakeasy Blog (STDW) - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 22:45
Video from the Prison Policy Initiative on what is indeed one of the worst ideas to come out of the w

read more

Categories: Latest News

Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki Talks Drug Reform [FEATURE]

Drug War Chronicle - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 22:23

In a conference call Monday morning, filmmaker Eugene Jarecki discussed the impact of his award-winning drug war documentary The House I Live In and where we go from here in the fight to end the drug war and mass incarceration.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]The call was the second in a series of discussions planned and organized by the Drug Policy Alliance as part of its campaign to deepen and broaden the drug reform movement. The first discussion featured Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow. Hear that conversation here.

Jarecki won the Sundance Film Festival grand jury prize for The House I Live In in 2012. The film made a shattering case against the drug war. Since its release, it has been used as a primer in faith institutions, schools and community-based organizations across the nation.

The drug reform landscape has been undergoing tectonic shifts in the two years since The House I Live In was released. It is possible, Jarecki said, that his film has played a role in shifting public opinion.

"One of the great lies that pervades the public imagination is the Hollywood lie that its movies don't shape the violence in this country," he said. "For Hollywood to pretend that movies have no role in shaping behavior is laughable. There are books that start revolutions. While Hollywood should bristle at the notion that movies create violence -- the violence comes in a society where we don't have health service and the roots of unwantedness can lead to violent behavior -- movies do shape public activity," he said.

"My movie is shaping public activity, and I am reminded by friends that this matters," the filmmaker continued. "A lot of young people will look at Michelle Alexander and say 'I want to be like that,' and that kind of example is extremely precious."

The recognition that the film would be an instrument of social change even influenced the title, Jarecki said.

"The making and handling of the film as a tool for public change and discussion" was important, he said. "We called it House over sexier titles, such as Kill the Poor or just Ghetto. I couldn't get it in a church or prison with a title like Kill the Poor. We had to choose a softer title; we weren't just thinking about the most poetic title, but really, how do we make sure this thing has legs where people all across the country can use it? We didn't want to alienate groups on the ground, and I wanted to make sure there were many groups on the ground doing this important work."

[image:2 align:right]It worked. The film is now standard viewing in all the prisons in at least 11 states, and in New York, a viewing serves as an alternate punishment for juvenile offenders. And, Jarecki said, churches have been a key partner in getting the message out.

"We've found churches very welcoming, in large part because of our partnership with the Samuel Dewitt Proctor Conference," he said. "They've helped get churches across the country seeing the film, and it stretches far beyond the black church community. It's been very useful and robust. We also live stream the showings themselves to other churches. When we broadcast out of Shiloh Baptist Church, 180 other congregations also watched it."

But while Jarecki intended the film to serve polemic purposes, even he was surprised at the rapidity of the changes coming in the drug policy realm.

"The most significant surprise has been seeing the entire climate of the war on drugs change in the public imagination," he said. "When we started out, it was impossible to imagine any systemic shifts from the top. We see that the entrenched bureaucracies and corrupt interests are never open to negotiation, but the combination of the moral bankruptcy of the war on drugs and its economic bankruptcy -- 45 million drug arrests over 40 years, and what do we have to show for it? -- the catastrophic cycle of waste without achieving goals, unifies the left and the right like no other issue. The left sees a monster that preys on human rights for profit, and the right sees a bloated government program."

The policies of the war on drugs are now vulnerable, Jarecki said.

"Community groups see how it brings unfairness to communities and ravages society, so now, Washington is trying to appeal to the public by being more sensible," he argued. "This policy is vulnerable. While we've joined forces with the Drug Policy Alliance and other organizations to fight at the ground level, we're also seeing shreds of leadership from Obama, Holder, and Rand Paul. This is a moment of enormous vitality for us."

With a few exceptions, as mentioned just above, "the political class is isolated and orphaned as supporting something that doesn't make any sense," Jarecki said. "I thought I was choosing a very tough enemy, but it doesn't seem like much of a worthy adversary. The gross expenditures are hard to defend, they don't have the national security card to play anymore, the drug war has worn itself thin. 'Just Say No' and 'This is Your Brain on Drugs' hasn't worked. Instead, people just see family members with damaged lives."

It's not just in the realm of marijuana policy that the landscape is shifting in a favorable direction. The issue of the racial disparity in the drug war is also gaining traction.

"The condition of understanding the black American crisis of the drug war has moved light years in the last two years," Jarecki said. "Black folks are bizarrely and disproportionately targeted by the drug war, and that's become a common discussion. It's not a rare thing."

[image:3 align:left caption:true]That understanding is extending to an acknowledgement that the war on drugs has been a brutal attack on the gains of the civil rights era, Jarecki argued.

"In the black American story, there is an argument to be made that the new Jim Crow established with the war on drugs was the final nail in the coffin of the civil rights movement," he said. "Black people are worse off economically than before the civil rights movement, and this critical viewpoint has become more widely understood."

But it's not just race. The unspeakable word in American political discourse -- class -- plays a role as well, Jarecki suggested.

"We've seen a shift from a drug war that could be described as predominantly racist to one that also has elements of class in it," he argued. "Poor whites, Latinos, women -- those are the growth areas for the war on drugs now. But let's not forget that black America is still essentially the leading link. We haven't shifted the drug war from race to class; it has diversified, it preserves its racism, but has seized market share by broadening into other class populations."

Racism and the war on drugs are only a part of a much larger problem, the filmmaker argued.

"We have to invite the country to begin seriously asking itself what kind of country it wants to be," he said. "What we are really looking at is a society that has bought into the notion that we can entrust the public good to private gain. We have industrial complexes that grip American policymaking in almost every sphere of public life, and the prison industrial complex is one of them. It is simply a crass illustration that you can feed a human being into the machine, and out comes dollar signs. This is a country without compassion, a town without pity."

And while change will come from the top, it will be impelled only by pressure from the bottom up, he said.

"Change comes from groups working together, and you start going down that road by getting out and starting walking," Jarecki advised. "It's an illusion to think we're supposed to be rescued by the government."

We have to do it ourselves.

Categories: Latest News

Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki Talks Drug Reform [FEATURE]

Top Stories (STDW) - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 22:23

In a conference call Monday morning, filmmaker Eugene Jarecki discussed the impact of his award-winning drug war documentary The House I Live In and where we go from here in the fight to end the drug war and mass incarceration.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]The call was the second in a series of discussions planned and organized by the Drug Policy Alliance as part of its campaign to deepen and broaden the drug reform movement. The first discussion featured Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow. Hear that conversation here.

Jarecki won the Sundance Film Festival grand jury prize for The House I Live In in 2012. The film made a shattering case against the drug war. Since its release, it has been used as a primer in faith institutions, schools and community-based organizations across the nation.

The drug reform landscape has been undergoing tectonic shifts in the two years since The House I Live In was released. It is possible, Jarecki said, that his film has played a role in shifting public opinion.

"One of the great lies that pervades the public imagination is the Hollywood lie that its movies don't shape the violence in this country," he said. "For Hollywood to pretend that movies have no role in shaping behavior is laughable. There are books that start revolutions. While Hollywood should bristle at the notion that movies create violence -- the violence comes in a society where we don't have health service and the roots of unwantedness can lead to violent behavior -- movies do shape public activity," he said.

"My movie is shaping public activity, and I am reminded by friends that this matters," the filmmaker continued. "A lot of young people will look at Michelle Alexander and say 'I want to be like that,' and that kind of example is extremely precious."

The recognition that the film would be an instrument of social change even influenced the title, Jarecki said.

"The making and handling of the film as a tool for public change and discussion" was important, he said. "We called it House over sexier titles, such as Kill the Poor or just Ghetto. I couldn't get it in a church or prison with a title like Kill the Poor. We had to choose a softer title; we weren't just thinking about the most poetic title, but really, how do we make sure this thing has legs where people all across the country can use it? We didn't want to alienate groups on the ground, and I wanted to make sure there were many groups on the ground doing this important work."

[image:2 align:right]It worked. The film is now standard viewing in all the prisons in at least 11 states, and in New York, a viewing serves as an alternate punishment for juvenile offenders. And, Jarecki said, churches have been a key partner in getting the message out.

"We've found churches very welcoming, in large part because of our partnership with the Samuel Dewitt Proctor Conference," he said. "They've helped get churches across the country seeing the film, and it stretches far beyond the black church community. It's been very useful and robust. We also live stream the showings themselves to other churches. When we broadcast out of Shiloh Baptist Church, 180 other congregations also watched it."

But while Jarecki intended the film to serve polemic purposes, even he was surprised at the rapidity of the changes coming in the drug policy realm.

"The most significant surprise has been seeing the entire climate of the war on drugs change in the public imagination," he said. "When we started out, it was impossible to imagine any systemic shifts from the top. We see that the entrenched bureaucracies and corrupt interests are never open to negotiation, but the combination of the moral bankruptcy of the war on drugs and its economic bankruptcy -- 45 million drug arrests over 40 years, and what do we have to show for it? -- the catastrophic cycle of waste without achieving goals, unifies the left and the right like no other issue. The left sees a monster that preys on human rights for profit, and the right sees a bloated government program."

The policies of the war on drugs are now vulnerable, Jarecki said.

"Community groups see how it brings unfairness to communities and ravages society, so now, Washington is trying to appeal to the public by being more sensible," he argued. "This policy is vulnerable. While we've joined forces with the Drug Policy Alliance and other organizations to fight at the ground level, we're also seeing shreds of leadership from Obama, Holder, and Rand Paul. This is a moment of enormous vitality for us."

With a few exceptions, as mentioned just above, "the political class is isolated and orphaned as supporting something that doesn't make any sense," Jarecki said. "I thought I was choosing a very tough enemy, but it doesn't seem like much of a worthy adversary. The gross expenditures are hard to defend, they don't have the national security card to play anymore, the drug war has worn itself thin. 'Just Say No' and 'This is Your Brain on Drugs' hasn't worked. Instead, people just see family members with damaged lives."

It's not just in the realm of marijuana policy that the landscape is shifting in a favorable direction. The issue of the racial disparity in the drug war is also gaining traction.

"The condition of understanding the black American crisis of the drug war has moved light years in the last two years," Jarecki said. "Black folks are bizarrely and disproportionately targeted by the drug war, and that's become a common discussion. It's not a rare thing."

[image:3 align:left caption:true]That understanding is extending to an acknowledgement that the war on drugs has been a brutal attack on the gains of the civil rights era, Jarecki argued.

"In the black American story, there is an argument to be made that the new Jim Crow established with the war on drugs was the final nail in the coffin of the civil rights movement," he said. "Black people are worse off economically than before the civil rights movement, and this critical viewpoint has become more widely understood."

But it's not just race. The unspeakable word in American political discourse -- class -- plays a role as well, Jarecki suggested.

"We've seen a shift from a drug war that could be described as predominantly racist to one that also has elements of class in it," he argued. "Poor whites, Latinos, women -- those are the growth areas for the war on drugs now. But let's not forget that black America is still essentially the leading link. We haven't shifted the drug war from race to class; it has diversified, it preserves its racism, but has seized market share by broadening into other class populations."

Racism and the war on drugs are only a part of a much larger problem, the filmmaker argued.

"We have to invite the country to begin seriously asking itself what kind of country it wants to be," he said. "What we are really looking at is a society that has bought into the notion that we can entrust the public good to private gain. We have industrial complexes that grip American policymaking in almost every sphere of public life, and the prison industrial complex is one of them. It is simply a crass illustration that you can feed a human being into the machine, and out comes dollar signs. This is a country without compassion, a town without pity."

And while change will come from the top, it will be impelled only by pressure from the bottom up, he said.

"Change comes from groups working together, and you start going down that road by getting out and starting walking," Jarecki advised. "It's an illusion to think we're supposed to be rescued by the government."

We have to do it ourselves.

Categories: Latest News

Chronicle AM -- June 30, 2014

Drug War Chronicle - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 19:32

The Big Dog opines on marijuana, a California sentencing reform initiative qualifies for the ballot, the DC legalization initiative looks poised to make the ballot, municipal decrim initiative campaigns are underway in New Mexico's largest cities, the drug war is driving grand jury indictments in an East Texas county, and more. Let's get to it:

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

DC Legalization Initiative Poised to Make Ballot. The DC Cannabis Campaign is reporting that it has gathered more than 60,000 signatures to place its initiative to legalize home-growing and possession of marijuana on the November ballot. It only needs 22,600 valid voter signatures to qualify. The signature-gathering period ends next week.

Albuquerque, Santa Fe Decriminalization Initiatives Begin Signature-Gathering. Organizers of municipal decriminalization initiatives in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico, began signature-gathering last Saturday. The Drug Policy Alliance's political action arm, Drug Policy Action, is behind the effort. Some 5,700 signatures are needed in Santa Fe and 11,000 in Albuquerque.

Bill Clinton Talks Pot. Former President Bill Clinton was asked on Meet the Press Sunday whether "giving pot a chance" would help governments raise revenue. Here's his response: "Rocky Mountain high?" Clinton quipped. "Look, I think there's a lot of evidence to argue for the medical marijuana thing. I think there are a lot of unresolved questions, but I think we should leave it to the states, if there really is a time when there should be laboratories of democracy because nobody really knows where this is going. Are there adequate quality controls? There's pot and then there's pot. What's in it? There's all these questions, and I think that I like where it is now. If a state wants to try it, they can. And then they'll be able to see what happens."

Washington State Faces Marijuana Shortages, High Prices. With the first retail marijuana shops slated to open in less than 10 days, Washington state is facing a legal marijuana shortage, which is expected to drive up prices. Only 79 of the more than 2,600 people who applied for growing licenses have been approved, and many of them aren't ready to harvest. Pounds being sold to retailers now are going for as much as $4,000, which comes out to $9 a gram before taxes. After a retailers' mark up, the 25% excise tax, and state and local sales taxes, gram prices could be in the $15-20 range -- above the price on the black market.

Medical Marijuana

Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Initiative Has More than 75,000 Signatures. The constitutional amendment medical marijuana initiative sponsored by Oklahomans for Health now has 75,000 raw signatures. The group needs 156,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November ballot. They have until August 17 to come up with more.

California Medical Marijuana Regulation Bill Advances, But Needs Work. A bill to regulate California's medical marijuana industry, Senate Bill 1262, passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee last Friday, but is described as "unworkable, incoherent, and unacceptable to most advocates." Committee approval was conditioned on working out the problems before hearings in the Appropriations Committee in August.

Sentencing

California Sentencing Reform Initiative Qualifies for November Ballot. The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act sentencing reform initiative has qualified for the November ballot, the secretary of state's office announced last Friday. Backed by San Francisco DA George Gascon and San Diego Police Chief William Landsdowne, the initiative would defelonize some drug possession offenses, as well as making some other crimes misdemeanors instead of felonies.

Law Enforcement

Drug War Accounts for Big Chunk of Upshur County, Texas, Grand Jury Indictments. The Upshur County Grand Jury returned its latest batch of indictments last week, and of the 26 indictments, 11 of them (43%) were for drug charges. Of the drug charges, six were possession of methamphetamine, three were meth sales, and two were for cocaine sales.

International

Crackdown on Anti-Cartel Vigilantes in Michoacan, Mexico. Mexican soldiers and police arrested 83 suspected vigilantes last Friday in Michoacan after they encountered them carrying unauthorized weapons. Among those arrested was Dr. Jose Manuel Mireles, one of the founders of the vigilante groups, which formed in response to harassment, extortion, and lawlessness perpetrated by the region's Knights Templar cartel. The vigilantes were supposed to have joined rural police forces, but Mireles and his men had not done that and had instead begun organizing a new vigilante group. He and his men were arrested when they set up roadblocks around the port city of Lazaro Cardenas.

Zambian Government Says No Marijuana Legalization. Responding to increasing calls for marijuana legalization to improve the economy, the government says no way. Home Affairs Minister Ngosa Simbyakula said last Friday that the government remains determined not to legalize marijuana. It would encourage drug use in the country, he said.

Categories: Latest News

US: Six Months In, How Has Marijuana Legalization Treated Colorado?

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 07:00
The Press, 30 Jun 2014 - Opponents warned of increases in crime, car accidents, and drops in tourism, but a report reveals Colorado's mostly flying high with recreational use. By Katie Rucke @katierucke | June 30, 2014 Rachel Schaefer of Denver smokes marijuana on the official opening night of Club 64, a marijuana-specific social club, where a New Year's Eve party was held, in Denver, Monday Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Categories: Latest News

US PA: Column: Revisiting Civil Forfeiture

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 07:00
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 30 Jun 2014 - A Woman Who Lost Her Home Appeals, Saying She's Punished for Son's Crime. At once tidy and stalwart, but pockmarked, too, with its share of boarded-up homes, Elizabeth Young's neighborhood in the Cobbs Creek section of West Philadelphia is the epitome of urban grit.
Categories: Latest News

US MA: MGH To Screen All Patients For Substance Abuse

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 30 Jun 2014 - Massachusetts General Hospital will take the unusual step of questioning all patients about their use of alcohol and illegal drugs beginning this fall, whether they are checking in for knee surgery or visiting the emergency department with the flu. How often have you had six or more drinks on one occasion, caregivers will ask, or used an illegal drug in the past year? If the battery of four questions reveals a possible addiction, doctors can summon a special team to conduct a "bedside intervention" and, if needed, arrange treatment.
Categories: Latest News

CN NS: Casting The Net For Druggies Who Drive

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 06/29/2014 - 07:00
Chronicle Herald, 29 Jun 2014 - Some part of Doug McKenna's internal clock was restarted in November 2011 when he learned of his son's death. More than 19 months had gone by, he said, when he arrived at Antigonish court to hear the verdict for the man responsible.
Categories: Latest News

CN ON: Column: Stop Legislating Morality

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 06/29/2014 - 07:00
Ottawa Sun, 29 Jun 2014 - Canada's proposed prostitution law doesn't protect sex trade workers and will be vulnerable to a Charter challenge I'm always amazed at the power of our federal government. With the simple passage of legislation it can turn ordinary citizens into criminals. How is this possible? Well, our drug prohibition laws are a prime example.
Categories: Latest News

Malta: Column: Legalise It, Or Should We?

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 06/29/2014 - 07:00
Independent, 29 Jun 2014 - The government has already declared its intention to decriminalise substance abuse but up to now one cannot understand exactly to where the new drugs' policy is pointing: will it lead to a liberal progressive quasi legalisation of drugs for recreational purposes on the basis of a created civil right or will it lead to the humane system of depenalisation and rehabilitation, albeit still recognising that illicit drug consumption is not necessarily a desirable thing? The Prime Minister's declarations seem to lead to the former, while his Social Policy Minister seems to be at least emphasising the latter. The controversy of what should be regarded as the legitimate or illegitimate use of drugs was rekindled following a speech by ex-Minister of Health Godfrey Farrugia. It was also the subject of a conference organised by the OASI Foundation that brought together policy-makers, experts, opinion-makers, professional practitioners and addicts to discuss the issue on the International Day against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking and on the eve of the government's publication of its White Paper on Drugs Policy Reform.
Categories: Latest News

US MA: Massachusetts Allows 11 Pot Dispensaries to Move Forward

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 06/29/2014 - 07:00
The Day, 29 Jun 2014 - Boston - ( AP) Eleven medical marijuana dispensaries were cleared by state public health officials on Friday to move forward, but nine others that had initially been given the green light were rejected after a further state review. A company led by former U.S. Rep. William Delahunt, Medical Marijuana of Massachusetts Inc., and Good Chemistry of Massachusetts Inc., which had received provisional approval for dispensaries in Boston and Worcester, were among the firms turned aside.
Categories: Latest News

US NM: OPED: Proposed Medical Pot Rules Threaten Vets

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 06/29/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 29 Jun 2014 - Many Veterans Will Be Unable to Get the Medical Marijuana They Need If State Implements Rule Changes Over the past several weeks I have been following the growing scandal concerning our country's Veterans Affairs system and their disgraceful treatment of American military veterans with disgust. Sadly, we have also learned that veterans here in New Mexico have not been treated any better.
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US NM: Column: Nm A Leader In Police Militarization

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 06/29/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 29 Jun 2014 - If you think local police look increasingly like soldiers armed for battle instead of civil servants responsible for protecting you, it's not your imagination. As noted in the Journal's recent three-part series analyzing "mission creep" at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the federal government funnels millions of tax dollars to local police departments in the form of grants used to purchase high-powered paramilitary style weapons and other gear.
Categories: Latest News
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