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US CA: Editorial: A Medical Pot Win, For Now

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 08/18/2016 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 18 Aug 2016 - A federal appeals court gave medical marijuana advocates what seemed like a big win this week with a unanimous ruling that the federal government may not prosecute people who grow and distribute medicinal cannabis if they comply with state laws. The decision affirms a mandate from Congress, which barred the U.S. Department of Justice in 2014 and 2015 from bringing cases against legitimate pot shops in states that have medical marijuana laws. It makes clear that if operators are meticulously following the rules, they shouldn't have to worry about the feds coming after them.
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US NJ: NJ Weedman To Sue Over 'False Arrest'

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 08/18/2016 - 07:00
The Trentonian, 18 Aug 2016 - TRENTON - Ed Forchion once brought new meaning to the words "high culture." The down-with-earth marijuana activist last year opened his own restaurant, NJ Weedman's Joint, providing Trenton with a unique blend of cannabis and cuisine.
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This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 08/17/2016 - 22:48

A North Carolina detective had a thing for "nudish fetish catfights," a Pennsylvania state trooper had a snitch scoring coke for him, an Oregon crime lab tech had a bad case of sticky fingers, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]In Myrtle Beach, North Carolina, a former Horry County police detective was accused Monday of sexually abusing drug-using women in a civil suit. Three other women have already filed similar suits against Detective Allen Large. In the case of Jane Doe #4, Large is accused of calling a woman and telling her he knew she used drugs, visiting her home and forcing her into a non-consensual sex act, then later providing her with drugs, and continuing "to contact (her) on a daily basis to demand that she engage in nude fetish catfights," the lawsuit said. He gave up on the woman after she entered drug treatment in 2015. The lawsuit doesn't name Large; instead it accuses his supervisors, including the police chief, of knowing what Large was up to and failing to do anything about it.

In Avondale, Pennsylvania, a state trooper was arrested last Friday after he was caught buying cocaine from a confidential informant. Trooper Jose Lebron allegedly gave the informant cash to buy drugs over a period of months and was repeatedly seen snorting cocaine by the informant. Lebron also began paying the informant with cocaine, saying it was too expensive to keep paying with cash. Lebron went down in a controlled buy at a local McDonald's. He is charged with one felony count of criminal use of a communication facility as well as misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. He is free on $5,000 bail.

In Pendleton, Indiana, a jail guard at the Pendleton Correctional Industrial Facility was arrested last Friday after he got caught trying to smuggle drugs into the prison. Guard Mark Wooten went down after consenting to a search in which officials found 200 suboxone strips. He is charged with one count of trafficking in a controlled substance with an inmate and one count of possession of a controlled substance.

In Portsmouth, Virginia, a former Portsmouth police officer was arrested last Friday on charges he went rogue in trying to bust a drug dealer. Mark Anthony Deluca, Jr. is accused of lying to a judge to obtain a search warrant to raid a home where heroin was found. Deluca gave conflicting accounts of what happened, and the charges were dropped against the homeowner. Now, Deluca faces one count of forgery, one count of uttering a forged public instrument, and three counts of perjury.

In Gadsden, Alabama, a former Etowah County sheriff's deputy was arrested Monday on charges he smuggled drugs into the county jail. Detention Deputy Erick Bullock, 33, went down after his name came up in an internal investigation into contraband at the jail and meth, salvia, suboxone, tobacco, and a cell phone were found in his bag. He is charged with one count of first-degree promoting prison contraband, one count of second-degree promoting prison contraband, two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, one count of salvia possession and one count of third-degree promoting prison contraband. He is now residing at his former workplace until he comes up with a $9,500 bond.

In Portland, Oregon, an Oregon State Crime lab forensic scientist pleaded guilty Monday to stealing as many as 700 pills from more than 50 separate evidence specimens submitted to the labs. Nika Elise Larsen, 36, copped to two counts of obtaining a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, and deception. She admitted stealing meth, morphine, hydrodocone, morphine, and methadone while overseeing cases. She's looking at up to three years in prison, according to her plea bargain agreement. She could have been looking at up to eight years.

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Medical Marijuana Update

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 08/17/2016 - 21:07

The federal courts remind the Justice Department that Congress passed a law barring it from using federal funds to go after state-legal medical marijuana operations, Maryland takes a step toward getting its industry up and running, California balks at a medical marijuana grower tax, and more.

[image:1 align:left]National

On Tuesday, a federal appeals court blocked the Department of Justice from going after medical marijuana in states where it is legal. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Justice Department can't spend money to prosecute federal marijuana cases if the defendants are in compliance with state laws permitting medical marijuana production and sales. The ruling upholds the Farr-Rohrabacher amendment, passed by Congress in 2014, which prohibits the spending of appropriated funds to interfere in medical marijuana states. That amendment "prohibits DOJ from spending funds from relevant appropriations acts for the prosecution of individuals who engaged in conduct permitted by the State Medical Marijuana Laws and who fully complied with such laws," the court said.

California

Last Friday, a medical marijuana tax bill died in committee. A bill that would have imposed a tax on commercial medical marijuana growers has been killed in the Senate Appropriations Committee. Assembly Bill 2243 would have imposed a tax of up to $9.25 per ounce of marijuana buds, $2.75 for pot leaves, and $1.25 for immature pot plants. The panel killed the bill after patient advocates said it would impose a burden on patients.

Maryland

On Tuesday, the state named medical marijuana growers and processors. The state Medical Cannabis Commission has awarded preliminary licenses to 20 companies to grow and process medical marijuana and has named the companies selected. The licenses were actually awarded on August 5, but the commission did not reveal the names of the licensees until Monday, so state officials could conduct background checks and review financial records.

New Mexico

On Wednesday, a patient's mom and a marijuana growers sued over the state's medical marijuana shortage. The mother of an infant suffering from a rare form of epilepsy has joined with a state-legal grower to sue the Department of Health over restrictive rules they say are harming patients by making it impossible for producers to supply patients with the medicine they need.

[For extensive information about the medical marijuana debate, presented in a neutral format, visit MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org.]

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Chronicle AM: 64% Support Legalization in CA Poll, NM MedMJ Access Lawsuit, More... (8/17/16)

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 08/17/2016 - 20:41

The marijuana legalization campaigns are starting to heat up, a new California poll has the strongest support yet for pot legalization, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

New California Poll Has Support for Legalization at Nearly Two-Thirds. A poll released Wednesday by the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley has 63.8% supporting legalizing recreational marijuana use. Somewhat surprisingly, when it comes to ethnicity, support was highest among blacks (71.9%) and Latinos (69.3%). The Prop 64 legalization initiative goes before the voters in November.

Sen. Harry Reid "Dubious" on Nevada Legalization Initiative. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is not getting behind the Question 2 legalization initiative. He is "very, very dubious and concerned," he said. "If I had to vote on it now, I wouldn't vote for it," Reid told reporters Tuesday. "That's something we need to look at quite a bit longer. I think it's something that we have to be very careful with. People better start making a case to me. They haven't done it yet."

Barney Frank Supports Massachusetts Legalization Initiative. The former long-time Democratic congressman from Massachusetts is headlining a fundraiser at the Harvard Club for the Question 4 legalization initiative. The fundraiser is August 28. Oregon US Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D) will also be in attendance. Tickets are priced at $250, and the campaign says it needs to raise $3 million in the next 12 weeks.

Medical Marijuana

New Mexico Patient's Mom, Marijuana Producer Sue Over Medical Marijuana Shortage. The mother of an infant suffering from a rare form of epilepsy has joined with a state-legal grower to sue the Department of Health over restrictive rules they say are harming patients by making it impossible for producers to supply patients with the medicine they need.

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US MD: Escape From Planet Earth: Psychedelics, Religion, and

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 08/17/2016 - 07:00
City Paper, 17 Aug 2016 - Most scientists don't include personal stories in their research reports, but for John Lilly, personal experiences and science experiments were the same thing. His ears, eyes, mouth, and nose were calibrated probes.
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US CA: County Extends Medical Pot Moratorium

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 08/17/2016 - 07:00
Porterville Recorder, 17 Aug 2016 - No One Speaks Against Extension Surprisingly, not one person spoke Tuesday for or against an ordinance which will extend the ban on new medical marijuana collectives or cooperatives in Tulare County.
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Philippines: People Push Back Over 'War On Drugs'

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 08/17/2016 - 07:00
Fraser Coast Chronicle, 17 Aug 2016 - PROTESTS are growing in the Philippines over President Rodrigo Duterte's brutal campaign against the drug trade. Estimates of the numbers killed by police and vigilantes since Mr Duterte emerged as president-elect after the May 9 election vary between 650 and 1000.
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US MD: An Unorthodox Marijuana Partnership

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 08/17/2016 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 17 Aug 2016 - Town of Hancock Joins With Grower of Medical Cannabis The small Western Maryland town of Hancock - population 1,545 - is poised to be a part owner of a medical marijuana company after winning a license to grow cannabis plants this week.
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Australia: Medical Cannabis On The Horizon

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 08/17/2016 - 07:00
The Age, 17 Aug 2016 - Victoria's medicinal cannabis is a step closer to being dispensed to children with severe epilepsy, Premier Daniel Andrews has declared after visiting the state's clandestine marijuana crop. Less than an hour after pictures were released of Mr Andrews inspecting the crop, the Premier announced the appointment of an independent medical committee to work out which patient cohort will be next to access medicinal cannabis. Victoria's medicinal cannabis is on track to be dispensed to the first group, children with severe epilepsy, next year, Mr Andrews says.
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Philippines: Column: The Expendables

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 08/17/2016 - 07:00
Philippine Star, 17 Aug 2016 - This administration will be remembered for institutionalizing mass killings as the ultimate crime-fighting tool. Public acquiescence to the mass killings is among the most astonishing elements in this vicious war on drugs. President Duterte, the architect of the crime-fighting strategy, may be glad to know that these days, when people are exasperated with criminality and even corruption and other forms of abuse in government, they ask why the crooks are still alive. "There oughta be a law" has been replaced with "they oughta be shot" - fatally, if possible.
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Philippines: Column: Vigilante Executions Smear the Drug War

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 08/17/2016 - 07:00
Philippine Star, 17 Aug 2016 - Unstopped, the silencing of surrendered pusher-addicts could worsen to vendetta against anti-narcotics operatives. Vigilante killers are riding on, thus smearing Rody Duterte's war on drugs. They began striking, seemingly random, days after his May presidential win and worsened to almost daily after his June inaugural. The victims mostly were street pushers or addicted petty criminals from the slums.
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Philippines: Editorial: US Embassy Statement, Philippine

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 08/17/2016 - 07:00
Manila Times, 17 Aug 2016 - THE public is wondering how our government will respond or react to the statement issued on Friday, August 12, by the United States embassy in Manila, in which it expressed a number of concerns about certain statements made by President Duterte and the phenomenon of extrajudicial killings in the prosecution of the administration's war on drugs. Before saying anything, our government must carefully take note that it is an embassy statement, not a statement of the US Department of State, which would make it an entirely different thing.
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Chronicle AM: CA Forfeiture Bill Advances, 9th Circuit Blocks DOJ MedMj Meddling, More... (8/16/16)

Drug War Chronicle - Tue, 08/16/2016 - 20:33

California is moving to reform its civil asset forfeiture system, a federal court has told the Justice Department it can't spend funds to prosecute state-compliant medical marijuana businesses, and more.

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

Federal Appeals Court Blocks DOJ From Going After Medical Marijuana in States Where It Is Legal. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the Justice Department can't spend money to prosecute federal marijuana cases if the defendants are in compliance with state laws permitting medical marijuana production and sales. The ruling upholds the Farr-Rohrabacher amendment, passed by Congress in 2014, which prohibits the spending of appropriated funds to interfere in medical marijuana states. That amendment "prohibits DOJ from spending funds from relevant appropriations acts for the prosecution of individuals who engaged in conduct permitted by the State Medical Marijuana Laws and who fully complied with such laws," the court said.

Maryland Names Medical Marijuana Growers and Processors. The state Medical Cannabis Commission has awarded preliminary licenses to 20 companies to grow and process medical marijuana and has named the companies selected. The licenses were actually awarded on August 5, but the commission did not reveal the names of the licensees until Monday, so state officials could conduct background checks and review financial records.

Asset Forfeiture

Bipartisan Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Passes California Assembly. Civil asset forfeiture reform legislation authored by Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) and David Hadley (R-Torrance) passed the Assembly Floor by a 67-7 vote Tuesday. The bill has already passed the Senate, but must now go back for a concurrence vote. The The bill will require that in all cases where law enforcement seize cash under $40,000, that there be a conviction in the underlying criminal case, before that money flows to law enforcement coffers. The same protection would be afforded homes, land, and vehicles, regardless of value. Under current law, there is not such protection for cases sent into the federal system, and the current threshold for cash in state law is $25,000, established in 1994. The measure is Senate Bill 443.

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CN ON: 'Grow-Your-Own' Regs Not A Threat: Producer

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 08/16/2016 - 07:00
The Recorder & Times, 16 Aug 2016 - When you grow it yourself, it is what it is, and that won't always be good." SMITHS FALLS - Despite a federal decision giving Canadians the right to grow their own medical marijuana, Smiths Falls-based pot producer Tweed said it'll be business as usual at its converted chocolate factory here.
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Philippines: Column: War on Drugs Not Just Digong's Fight Alone

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 08/16/2016 - 07:00
Cebu Daily News, 16 Aug 2016 - We can rant all day about how dirty and bloody the current war on drugs has become, but we cannot deny the fact that only President Rodrigo Duterte has shown utmost resolve and political will to do battle with drug syndicates. The illegal drug trade is just one of the tentacles of the underworld. According to law enforcement experts, revenues accrued from drug trafficking fund the criminal colony that is illegal gambling, human trafficking, white slavery, gunrunning, cybercrime and terrorism, not to mention sustaining the network of government officials who aid the illegal structure.
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Philippines: Column: War

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 08/16/2016 - 07:00
Philippine Star, 16 Aug 2016 - What changed is that the socalled "war" on drugs is now taken most literally. Our entire police organization seems entirely focused on the drug problem. Raids are conducted incessantly. Evidence is being collected against the so-called "drug lords" and their powerful protectors.
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Canada: Canada Head Shop Owners Ask: Why Wait?

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 08/16/2016 - 07:00
Buffalo News, 16 Aug 2016 - They Choose to Ignore the Current Laws VANCOUVER, British Columbia The Cannabis Culture Lounge has everything a pothead might need to feel right at home: $3 marijuana buds, bongs for rent, bags of Skittles and Doritos for sale, and black leather couches where customers can recline in zoned-out contemplation in a pungent haze. Never mind that it is all technically prohibited by Canadian law.
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US OH: Miamisburg May Join Bans On Medical Pot

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 08/16/2016 - 07:00
Dayton Daily News, 16 Aug 2016 - Six-Month Measure Needed to Evaluate Issue, City Officials Say. MIAMISBURG - Miamisburg is moving to become the latest Miami Valley community to place a temporary ban on medical marijuana. The city is considering a six-month ban on issuing and processing "any permits allowing retail dispensaries, cultivators, or processors of marijuana" in the city, according to a proposed ordinance.
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US: Cannabis Education Needed, Doctors Say

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 08/16/2016 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 16 Aug 2016 - Legal Limbo Limits Training on Subject Medical marijuana has been legal in Maine for almost 20 years. But Farmington physician Jean Antonucci says she continues to feel unprepared when counseling sick patients about whether the drug could benefit them.
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