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CN ON: Sabot Eradicated Marijuana Plants

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 07:00
Standard Freeholder, 20 Sep 2014 - 'Our overall goal is a safe Canada': Insp. Tim Kimpan Local police agencies partnered with the Canadian Armed Forces over four days to eradicate 1,743 marijuana plants in SDG and Prescott-Russell earler this month.
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US FL: Legal Challenges Put 'Charlotte's Web'

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 07:00
Sun-Sentinel, 20 Sep 2014 - Final development of Florida's legalized non-euphoric medical-marijuana program is on hold for up to 60 days because several potential growers are furious over the state's proposed rules and filed challenges. Earlier this month, the Department of Health issued its final proposed rules on who could qualify for five state licenses to grow, process and sell so-called Charlotte's Web marijuana products to treat Florida patients with epilepsy, other neurological disorders and cancer.
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US NM: Court Puts Pot Questions Back On Ballot

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 20 Sep 2014 - NM Supreme Court Overrules Action by Secretary of State Marijuana is back on the ballot. The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Friday that Secretary of State Dianna Duran overstepped her authority when she refused to allow Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties to put advisory questions on the Nov. 4 ballot.
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US NM: Column: When Will We Really Listen to the Experts on

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 20 Sep 2014 - New Study Says That Legalizing All Drugs Is the Smart Thing to Do Here's a riddle: How many knowledgeable people does it take to suggest a policy change before society adopts their sage advice? Buried in all the recent news about ISIS, horrific weather lashing the United States, the violence of NFL players and the like came a hardly noticed news item about the idea of legalizing drugs. Now, stay with me on this. It's important. The Global Commission on Drug Policy, an illustrious panel including former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Paul Volcker, former presidents and prime ministers of nearly a dozen countries, and others issued a detailed study about why it's smart - for reasons both humanitarian and financial - to legalize marijuana and other drugs. Yes, all drugs. Maybe it's time to consider their suggestion? After all, our decades-long War on Drugs has been a miserable failure. Actions to curb drug production and violence in other countries, and along our border have obviously not worked.
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Chronicle AM: DC Pot Poll, NM Pot Poll, Molly Fry Petition, EU Sides with Bolivia on Coca, More (9/19/14)

Drug War Chronicle - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 20:30

A pair of marijuana polls have good news for DC, but not so good for New Mexico, there's a move on to get Dr. Molly Fry out of federal prison, Ohio employers are pushing drug testing for students, the EU sides with Bolivia -- not the US -- on that country's coca policy, and more. Let's get to it:

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

New Poll Has DC Initiative at 65%. A new Washington Post/NBC News/Marist poll has the DC marijuana possession and cultivation legalization initiative Measure 71 winning easily with the support of nearly two-thirds of likely voters. That's the highest number ever polled for an actual legalization initiative. Click on the poll link for more information.

New Poll Has Legalization Coming Up Short in New Mexico. An Albuquerque Journal poll suggests it may be a good thing New Mexicans aren't voting on legalization this year. The poll asked whether respondents supported legalizing marijuana for adults with a tax and regulation scheme similar to Colorado. Only 44% were in favor, with 50% opposed. Click on the title link for more information.

Medical Marijuana

Change.org Petition to Free Dr. Mollie Fry. California medical marijuana advocate Dr. Mollie Fry is sitting in federal prison for providing the drug to sick patients. Supporters have organized a Change.org petition seeking a pardon for her. As of this writing, there are only 27 signatures. You can add yours by clicking on the title link.

Drug Testing

Ohio Industry Groups Urge Schools to Drug Test Vocational Education Students. The Mahoning Valley Manufacturer's Coalition and the Youngstown/Warren Chamber of Commerce have sent a letter to schools in Columbiana, Mahoning, and Trumbull counties urging them to drug test students who enroll in vocational training programs. While somewhere between 20% and 30% of school districts nationwide subject some students to drug testing, this is the first time we've heard of employers directly lobbying schools to do so.

International

European Union Agrees With Morales, Not Obama, on Bolivia's Coca Policy. The Obama administration this week certified that Bolivia had "failed demonstrably" to live up to US drug policy mandates, but the European Union has joined Bolivian President Evo Morales in strongly disagreeing. "In my opinion, the work we have achieved has been successful, the results as well are visible in the successful and sustained reduction of the coca production in the country, and successes as well related with the prohibition," said Timothy Torlot, head of an EU delegation in Bolivia. "My experience here, working with the Bolivians, is one of a government that seriously executes its work, that has proved its results, no need to talk with the US government about that," he added.

Non-Binding Referendum on Marijuana in Mexican State of Jalisco. The state of Jalisco, home to Guadalajara, the country's second largest city, has begun voting on a non-binding referendum on marijuana policy. The referendum asks whether medical marijuana should be legalized and whether personal possession limits should be increased. Voting takes place through Sunday. So far, medical marijuana is winning approval, but increasing possession limits is not. After the referendum, PRD legislator Enrique Velazquez will present a bill in the state congress.

Luxembourg Justice Minister Says It Is Time to Rethink Drug Policy, But Rules Out Marijuana Legalization. Justice Minister Felix Braz told the newspaper Luxemburger Wort that the country needs to rethink its drug policy, saying that criminalization and repression have not had the desired results. Braz pointed to increasing drug problems in the country. "I am convinced that we cannot help these people only through criminal justice measures," the Justice Minister said. "The fact that drug consumption increases steadily, leads us to the conclusion that we need to rethink our drugs policy. With an open spirit, we need to search for alternative solutions to get the problem under control," he added. But Braz also said that the coalition government of which he is a member is not going to legalize marijuana. Marijuana is effectively decriminalized in Luxembourg.

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US DC: OPED: Kill The Program We Helped Start

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 19 Sep 2014 - Civil Asset Forfeiture Was a Good Idea - Until Government's Self-Interest Corrupted It Last week, The Post published a series of in-depth articles about the abuses spawned by the law enforcement practice known as civil asset forfeiture. As two people who were heavily involved in the creation of the asset forfeiture initiative at the Justice Department in the 1980s, we find it particularly painful to watch as the heavy hand of government goes amok. The program began with good intentions but now, having failed in both purpose and execution, it should be abolished.
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US WA: Millions Expected In State Pot Taxes Into Mid-2019

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 19 Sep 2014 - Council Warns Projections Could Change Won't Fill Budget Gap OLYMPIA (AP) - The state's legal recreational marijuana market is expected to bring in about $636 million in taxes to state coffers through the middle of 2019, according to an economic forecast released Thursday.
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US NM: Pot Legalization Falls Short With Nm Voters

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 19 Sep 2014 - Support for Change Strongest Among Young Respondents A proposed constitutional change legalizing marijuana never made it to this year's ballot, but it looks like it would have been a hard sell with voters anyway.
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US DC: Poll: DC Is Poised To Legalize Pot

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 19 Sep 2014 - Almost Two-Thirds of Likely Voters Back Measure on Nov. 4 Ballot Voters in the District of Columbia are poised to follow Colorado and Washington state into a closely watched experiment to legalize marijuana, according to a new NBC4/Washington Post/ Marist poll.
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US MA: Column: Medical Marijuana Advocates' Growing Impatience

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 19 Sep 2014 - Matt Allen, the man behind the state's medical marijuana law, is all done holding his tongue. Almost two years after voters passed that ballot question, Allen notes, this state isn't even close to having, in his felicitously turned phrase, "seeds in the ground."
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US MA: OPED: Like Big Tobacco, Big Marijuana Will Drive

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 07:00
Boston Herald, 19 Sep 2014 - Proponents of legalization and other drug policy reforms make some important points. It is true that most people who try drugs do not get addicted --- they stop after using a few times. It is also true - --- and regrettable --- that America's incarceration rate is embarrassingly high and that blacks and Latinos bear the brunt of harsh arrest policies. And, finally, despite our best efforts, fully eradicating drug use and its consequences remains a distant dream. But placing faith that legalization will help any of these issues is misguided. In fact, legalization threatens to further contribute to disproportionate health outcomes among minorities, all the while creating a massive new industry --- Big Tobacco 2.0 --- intent on addicting the most vulnerable in society.
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Chronicle AM: NFL Relaxes Marijuana Policy, Bolivia Rejects US Criticism, Aussie PM Supports MedMj, More (9/18/14)

Drug War Chronicle - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 20:08

MPP fights to get a third local Maine initiative on the ballot, Florida CBD cannabis oil growers fight for better rules, the NFL relaxes its marijuana policy, Bolivia's president rejects US claims on drugs, Australia's prime minister supports medical marijuana, and more. Let's get to it:

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

MPP Files Complaint to Get York, Maine, Initiative on Ballot. The Marijuana Policy Project filed a complaint yesterday in York County Superior Court seeking a temporary injunction to force the town Board of Selectmen to put a possession legalization question on the November ballot. The board has twice refused to put the matter to voters, despite petitioners gathering enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot. The complaint seeks a hearing by tomorrow. Similar initiatives are already set for Lewiston and South Portland; Portland voted to legalize it last year.

Medical Marijuana

Florida CBD Cannabis Oil Program Delayed After Growers Complain About Proposed Rules. The Department of Health's issuance of proposed rules on who could qualify for one of five licenses to grow low-THC, high-CBD medical marijuana under a new state law have run into stiff opposition from potential growers. The growers have filed challenges to the rules, and now an administrative judge must deal with those challenges. He has up to 60 days to do so.

Drug Policy

NFL, Players Agree on New Drug Policy, League Eases Up on Marijuana. The league's new drug policy allows for immediate testing for the presence of human growth hormone (HGH). It also raises the acceptable level of THC found in a player's system from 15 nanograms per millileter to 35 nanograms. The change in policy will allow several suspended players to return immediately; others will see the lengths of their suspensions reduced.

Opiates

Senator Whitehouse Files Bill to Address Prescription Opiate, Heroin Use. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) yesterday introduced SB 2389, "a bill to authorize the Attorney General to award grants to address the national epidemics of prescription opioid abuse and heroin use." The next of the bill is not yet available online. The bill heads to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

North Carolina Conference on Heroin Set for February. The North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, legislators, medical professionals, law enforcement, and heroin users and people impacted by its use will hold a conference in February to discuss legislative solutions to heroin use and heroin-related drug overdoses. Click on the link for more information.

International

Irish Review Calls for Easing Drug Laws. A government study of sentencing policy has called for an easing of mandatory minimum sentences for serious drug dealing offenses, which currently stand at 10 years. The Strategic Review of Penal Policy also recommends increasing the monetary threshold that triggers serious drug dealing charges, which is currently at about $20,000. And it calls for increasing "good time" for good behavior in prison from 25% to 33%.

Bolivia Rejects US Claim It Hasn't Done Enough to Curtail Drug Production. Bolivian President Evo Morales, a coca growers' union leader, rejected the White House's designation last week of Bolivia as one of three countries (along with Burma and Venezuela) that had failed to comply with US drug policy mandates. "Whatever they do and whatever they say, or yell from the United States, the people won't be confused by this type of information," Morales said Wednesday in a speech. Although the US complains that "illegal cultivation for drug production remains high," the UNODC said in June that coca leaf production in Bolivia last year had declined 9% and was at the lowest level since 2002.

Mexico Orders 18 Black Hawk Helicopters for More Better Drug War. The Pentagon announced this week that it has awarded a $203 million contract to Sikorsky to build 18 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for the Mexican Air Force. That contract doesn't include the cost of engine and mission systems; the total cost for supplying the choppers will be about $680 million. Mexico will use the choppers "to enhance its counter-narcotics capabilities."

Australia Prime Minister Backs Medical Marijuana. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has written in a letter to a radio host saying he is prepared to support legalizing medical marijuana. "I have no problem with the medical use of cannabis, just as I have no problem with the medical use of opiates," Abbott wrote. "If a drug is needed for a valid medicinal purpose though and is being administered safely there should be no question of its legality. And if a drug that is proven to be safe abroad is needed here, it should be available. I agree that the regulation of medicines is a thicket of complexity, bureaucracy and corporate and institutional self interest. My basic contention is that something that has been found to be safe in a reliable jurisdiction shouldn't need to be tested again here."

South Africa Medical Marijuana Bill Gets Support of Christian Democrats. The Medical Innovation Bill, which would allow for the use of medical marijuana, has gained the support of the African Christian Democratic Party. The bill was reintroduced by an Inkatha Party member last week, and the governing African National Congress Party approved letting it move forward.

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Canada: Can U.S. Border Guards Turn Me Away For Saying I've Smoked

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 18 Sep 2014 - I get really nervous when driving across the border, especially because I've heard the story of a friend of a friend who was banned from the U.S. on his way to Burning Man. He has no criminal record, but the officer asked him if he'd ever smoked a joint and he said yes. Can I really get turned away at the border for saying I've smoked pot a couple of times in my life? - - Martin, Calgary
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CN ON: Rehab Programs Feel The Crunch

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 07:00
Ottawa South News, 18 Sep 2014 - Jail Break: A four-part series about recidivism in Ontario Canada's jails are bursting at the seams. Federal and provincial correctional facilities are struggling to meet the rising intake of inmates, the result of federal government tough-on-crime legislation. A Metroland East special report shows rehabilitation and treatment programs have taken a backseat to the push for prison expansion. In the first of a four-part series, we look at how prisoners are struggling to find employment and addiction-treatment support.
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CN BC: Column: Still Monkeying Around On Pot Legalization

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 07:00
Pique Newsmagazine, 18 Sep 2014 - There's a famous experiment in the annals of learning. It involves a jar, a banana and a monkey. I know it sounds very similar to jokes that start, "There was a priest, a rabbi and a minister," but that's where the similarity ends. The experiment goes like this. The banana is put inside the jar and the jar is put inside a room. So is the monkey. Put inside the room, that is, not inside the jar. It's not that big a jar. The monkey being a monkey and the banana being a banana, it doesn't take long for the monkey to notice the banana and decide he/she would really like to eat it. This is where it gets good.
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US CO: Campaign Promotes Responsible Marijuana Consumption

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 07:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 18 Sep 2014 - DENVER (AP) - Tired of Cheech & Chong pot jokes and ominous anti-drug campaigns, the marijuana industry and activists are starting an ad blitz in Colorado aimed at promoting moderation and the safe consumption of pot. To get their message across, they are skewering some of the old Drug War era ads that focused on the fears of marijuana, including the famous "This is your brain on drugs" fried-egg ad from the 1980s.
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US WA: A Rocky Start For State's Pot Stores

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 18 Sep 2014 - Seattle Stores Have Been Delayed by Limited Locations, Short Supply, City Code Issues and Unprepared Applicants. More than two months after the first state-licensed marijuana stores opened in Washington, only one is selling pot in Seattle, and it might be weeks before another opens.
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US DC: Group Opposes Efforts To Legalize Pot

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 18 Sep 2014 - Organization Plans Ad Campaign in Days Before City Vote has formed to oppose the legalization of marijuana in the District. A group has formed to combat the legalization of marijuana in the District, an issue residents will vote on this fall.
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Medical Marijuana Update

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 22:36

Our first-ever medical marijuana update with no news from California. But there are things going in places that are not the usual suspect -- sign of changing times, indeed. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]National

This week, the Charlotte's Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014 continued to pick up new sponsors. The bill, HR 5526, would exclude low-THC, cannabidiol-based medicines from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. The latest cosponsors are Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Tom McClintock (R-CA). The bill now has 24 cosponsors -- Democrats and 10 Republicans.

Florida

Last Friday, Florida Republican county chairs came out against the medical marijuana initiative. They voted to oppose Amendment 2, the state's medical marijuana constitutional amendment. They worried it would lead to widespread access to marijuana. "I do not want to see Florida turned into the pot capital of the world," aid Volusia County GOP chair Tony Ledbetter, in a remark typical of Republican concerns.

On Wednesday, a new poll had the initiative leading, but not by enough to pass. The latest SurveyUSA/WFLA tracking poll has the Amendment 2 medical marijuana initiative at 56%, which would be good news except that, because it is a constitutional amendment, it needs 60% to be approved. Other recent polls have shown the initiative hovering on the cusp of passage.

Georgia

Last Thursday, advocates called for whole plant medical marijuana, not just CBD oil. As legislative hearings in Macon continue to examine the use of CBD oil, medical marijuana advocates are calling for whole plant medical marijuana. "The cannabis plant contains many compounds that have proven to be effective in treating a variety of conditions," said Georgia C.A.R.E director James Bell. "We should not be determining who can and cannot benefit from this healing plant."

Guam

On Monday, the Guam Election Commission released the text for the island's medical marijuana initiative. The legislature-sponsored initiative, Proposal 14A, will go before voters in November. The election commission is urging opponents and proponents of the measure to submit written arguments not exceeding 500 words by this Friday.

Iowa

Last Thursday, a legislative panel said medical marijuana should be grown in the state. A bipartisan legislative committee studying the state's CBD oil medical marijuana law has recommended growing and distributing it in the state and reclassifying marijuana under state law. The vote was largely along party lines, with only one Republican voting for Iowa-grown medical marijuana.

Pennsylvania

Last Wednesday, a key Republican senator said he would consider the medical marijuana bill. Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Chester) said he plans to caucus on whether to move forward with Senate Bill 1182, saying the bill has "broad support" in the legislature.

On Monday, a key Republican House member said he supports the medical marijuana bill. State Rep. Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery) told a rally on the capitol steps Monday that he now supports pending medical marijuana legislation. This could be a sign that Republican opposition in the House is softening. The bill has some bipartisan support in the Senate, but the session only has a month left.

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

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This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 21:20

More cops with pill problems, more jail and prison guards in trouble for drug smuggling and selling. Just another week on the drug war corruption front. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left]In New Castle, Pennsylvania, a Lawrence County jail guard was arrested last Monday on charges he sold drugs to an undercover informant while in uniform. Michael Llewellyn, 29, is charged with twice selling prescription pain relievers to the snitch, including once in the parking lot of the jail while he was on a break at work.

In Lumberton, North Carolina, a Red Springs police officer was arrested last Friday on what amount to doctor-shopping charges. George Thomas Wright Jr., 48, allegedly went to doctors in four different counties seeking hydrocodone prescriptions. He charged with obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, trafficking opiates and trafficking by possessing opiates. He is free on $25,000 bond. He's on unpaid leave.

In Brentwood, North Carolina, a county jail guard was indicted Monday on charges he provided morphine to an inmate. Dennis Verill, 65, had been fired earlier after an internal investigation. It's unclear what the precise charges are.

In Woburn, Massachusetts, a state prison guard was arrested Tuesday for allegedly smuggling heroin and cocaine into the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley. Brandon Beach, 30, went down after authorities at the maximum security prison smelled marijuana and started an investigation. That led to a traffic stop in which Beach was caught with cocaine, heroin, marijuana, alcohol, and cigarettes. He is charged with trafficking heroin and cocaine, and at last report, was being held on $5,000 cash bail.

In Phoenix, a former Phoenix police officer was sentenced last Friday to nearly four years in prison for stealing drugs from the police department's evidence room. William McCartney, 40, had pleaded guilty in June to one count each of fraudulent schemes (?) and theft after originally being hit with 40 counts, including evidence tampering, theft, and drug possession. McCartney went down after a 2011 audit found that drugs like oxycodone had been replaced by over-the-counter medications and the evidence pointed to him.

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