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US WA: Legal Bog Ahead For Island Pot Growers

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 03 Aug 2014 - Taking Weed to Mainland Marijuana Moved by Air, Sea Governed by Federal Anti-Pot Regulations Scott Durkee is ready to grow some weed.
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US: Pro-Pot Editorials Draw A Rebuttal

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 03 Aug 2014 - A coalition of groups is running a full-page advertisement in the New York Times this weekend, advocating against the maturing movement to legalize marijuana. The ad comes in response to a New York Times editorial series launched last weekend arguing for an end to marijuana prohibition. The newspaper's editorial board advocated for an end to the federal ban on the drug.
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US PA: State Sen. Leach Inhales On Taxpayer-funded Trip To Colo.

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
The Reporter, 03 Aug 2014 - HARRISBURG (AP) - A Pennsylvania state senator admitted he used marijuana during a recent taxpayer-funded trip to Colorado to observe the state's legal marijuana industry in action. Sen. Daylin Leach, a leading proponent of legalized marijuana in the Legislature, said he took two hits from a vape pen, similar to an e-cigarette, at his hotel. The device vaporizes a form of marijuana and is smokeless. Leach said it was a gift from a facility he and aides toured during the trip, which cost nearly $5,000.
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Australia: Legalise Pot For Sick Kids, Say Mums

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
Sunday Mail, 03 Aug 2014 - TWO Queensland mums have made desperate pleas to legalise marijuana to save their children's lives, including one who is just 16 months old. Sunshine Coast mum Sally White fears for the life of her 16-month-old daughter Zali, who suffers from a rare genetic disease and cannabis could be the only option to ease her suffering.
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Uruguay: Call For Bids To Farm Legal Marijuana

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
Herald Sun, 03 Aug 2014 - URUGUAY, the first country to fully legalise the production, sale and distribution of marijuana, has called for bids from private growers who want to farm cannabis in a public field. The tender seeks up to five growers who will get a licence to farm marijuana plants and sell it to consumers. Growers will be able to produce up to two tons of cannabis per year, to be sold at pharmacies for about $1.08 a gram. - --- MAP posted-by: Matt
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New Zealand: Dope Smokers 'Muddying Waters'

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
Sunday Star-Times, 03 Aug 2014 - Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne Is Blaming Dope Smokers for the Current Debate Over Cannabis Decriminalisation. Josh Fagan Reports. DEBATE OVER medical cannabis has been hijacked by "nuisance" campaigners who are making it harder for people with serious diseases, says Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne.
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House Passes Pain Meds Bill

Drug War Chronicle - Sat, 08/02/2014 - 21:13

The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed House Resolution 4709, the Ensuring Patient Access and Drug Enforcement Act of 2014. The measure sponsored by Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) passed on a voice vote.

[image:1 align:right]Attempts in recent years to tighten up access to opiate pain medications have led to insistent charges that legitimate pain patients are left to suffer needlessly. This bill attempts to both reduce the diversion of prescription medications and ensure that people with medical needs for them have access.

The bill does the former by amending the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) to clarify that when the Justice Department issues a license to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled substance "consistent with the public health and safety," that means the issuance of the license has a substantial relation to the CSA's purpose of preventing diversion and abuse.

It also clarifies that when the Justice Department issues a finding of "imminent danger" justifying the immediate suspension of such a license, that means a significant, current risk of death or serious bodily injury is more likely to occur without such a suspension.

The bill includes language providing some protections to licensees who face a revocation of their registrations. The Justice Department must provide specific grounds for doing so, and if it alleges a legal violation, it must cite the specific law. The Department would also have to give the registrant the opportunity to present a corrective plan of action.

When it comes to ensuring patient access to prescription pain medications, the bill calls for the Department of Health and Human Services, through the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to assess "how patient access to medications could be adversely impacted by federal and state enforcement activities" and identify "how collaboration between agencies and stakeholder can benefit patients and prevent diversion and abuse of controlled substances."

The bill specifies that such an evaluation include consultation with patient groups, as well as pharmacies, drug manufacturers, health care providers, state attorneys general, state and federal law enforcement agencies, health insurance providers, common carriers, and wholesale drug distributors.

The measure now goes to the Senate.

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US CO: Denver County Fair Is First To Include Pot Competitions

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 08/02/2014 - 07:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 02 Aug 2014 - A 21-And-Over Area Shows Photographs of Winning Plants and Infused Foods DENVER (AP) - Marijuana joined roses and dahlias Friday in blue-ribbon events at the nation's first county fair to allow pot competitions.
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US HI: Column: Bill Would Make It Harder for Police to Seize Property

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 08/02/2014 - 07:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 02 Aug 2014 - In 2003, a Nebraska state trooper stopped Emiliano Gonzolez for speeding on Interstate 80 and found $124,700 inside a cooler on the back seat of the rented Ford Taurus he was driving. Gonzolez said the money was intended to buy a refrigerated truck for a produce business, but the cops figured all that cash must have something to do with illegal drugs.
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US MD: Police: Officer Tried To Break In For Drugs

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 08/02/2014 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 02 Aug 2014 - A veteran Baltimore County police officer was suspended this week and faces several criminal charges after the department said he tried to break into a Dundalk home in search of drugs. Officer Joseph Stanley Harden, 31, of Towson told investigators he became addicted to Oxycodone after a work-related injury. He was charged late Thursday with attempted burglary, drug possession, attempted robbery and malicious destruction of property. The department said he has been suspended without pay. His police powers also have been suspended.
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Uruguay: Pot Marketplace May Go Up In Smoke

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 08/02/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 02 Aug 2014 - (AP) - Uruguay's plan to create the world's first national, government-regulated marketplace for legal marijuana may be going up in smoke. Delays in implementing the plan are putting it at risk as polls point to opposition gains in October's election and reveal that most Uruguayans oppose it. Opposition politicians have said they will seek to repeal or modify the legislation, which gives the national government power to oversee the production, sale and consumption of marijuana. - --- MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom
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Chronicle AM -- August 1, 2014

Drug War Chronicle - Fri, 08/01/2014 - 20:39

The New York Times isn't done talking about marijuana, a House committee hears about stoned driving, you can comment now on Maryland's draft medical marijuana regulations, federal asset forfeiture and overdose prevention bills get introduced, and more. Let's get to it:

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

New York Times Has a Week's Worth of Legalization Editorials. The Times's editorial last Sunday calling for the end of federal marijuana prohibition, Repeal Prohibition, Again, was only the beginning. Throughout this week, the "newspaper of record" has kept at it -- and there's still more to come. The other editorials printed so far are Let States Decide on Marijuana, The Injustice of Marijuana Arrests, The Federal Marijuana Ban is Rooted in Myth and Xenophobia, and What Science Says About Marijuana. Still to come are editorials addressing track records and regulation. There is also a blog post providing background on the Times's decision to endorse legalization.

House Holds Hearing on Stoned Driving. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing yesterday on driving under the influence of marijuana, "Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Operating While Stoned," but the upshot was that the federal government has very little information about stoned driving and little basis for setting a legal limit for marijuana impairment. "No one is arguing that [driving while high is] a good idea, but the fact of the matter is that we don't have a lot of data," said Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly. "[Public policy has] got to be based on science, and we need more of it." Researchers testifying before the committee agreed. Click on the hearing link to watch the whole thing.

Washington Attorney General Intervenes in I-502 Lawsuits. Attorney General Bob Ferguson yesterday moved to intervene in three marijuana lawsuits filed against the cities of Wenatchee and Fife, which have passed local ordinances barring the operation of retail marijuana outlets. An opinion released by Ferguson in January concluded that I-502 does not bar localities from banning such businesses, so it appears he will be siding with the localities.

More Michigan Towns to Vote on Marijuana Reform Measures. Three more Michigan communities have joined the list of towns and cities that will vote on municipal legalization measures. Saginaw, Clare, and Harrison all have measures that have qualified for the ballot. In Saginaw, up to an ounce would be legalized; in Clare and Harrison, up to 2.5 ounces. More than a dozen Michigan communities are expected to vote on reform measures in November.

Portland, Oregon, Moves to Tax Marijuana Before It's Even Legal. The city of Portland has created a marijuana advisory committee in anticipation of voters legalizing marijuana statewide in November. The committee is discussing where to allow pot shops, but it is also moving to create a city sales tax -- and it has to do that before the November election because the language of the New Approach Oregon initiative does not allow cities to impose taxes beyond the state tax it imposes. The thinking is that if a tax is passed before the election, it can be grandfathered in.

Medical Marijuana

Maryland Medical Marijuana Draft Regulations are Now Available -- And You Have Until Tuesday to Comment. Maryland's medical marijuana commission has released draft regulations for cultivators and physicians. The Marijuana Policy Project has some problems with them, including calls for an "unnecessary" training course on medical marijuana for all certifying physicians, mandatory drug testing for patients, and a requirement that doctors specify dosage and strain type. These are draft regulations, but the period for comment on the draft ends Tuesday. Interested parties can email the commission to register their comments.

Legitimate Use of Medicinal Marijuana Act Picks Up New Cosponsor. House Resolution 4498, the Legitimate Use of Medical Marijuana Act, has picked up a fourth cosponsor, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). The bill, sponsored by Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA), would move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act and block the act from being used against medical marijuana in states where it is legal.

Sentencing

Smarter Sentencing Act of 2014 Picks Up New Cosponsor. Senate Bill 1410, the Smarter Sentencing Act of 2014, has picked up its 31st cosponsor, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). The bill would allow judges in some cases to sentence without regard to mandatory minimums, reduce mandatory minimums, and allow people sentenced for crack offenses after the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act went into effect to seek sentence reductions.

Harm Reduction

Senator Jack Reed Introduces Overdose Prevention Act. Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) and four Democratic cosponsors today introduced the Overdose Prevention Act, which would expand overdose prevention services and providing funding for access to the overdose reversal drug naloxone. The bill is not yet up on the congressional web site.

Asset Forfeiture

Rep. Tim Walberg Introduces Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill. Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) has filed House Resolution 5212, the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act. The bill would raise the standard of proof necessary for the government to seize property and reinstate due process so the government is required to  prove a property owner's involvement in criminal activity. This is the second asset forfeiture reform bill filed in as many weeks. Last week, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) filed the FAIR (Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration) ACT, Senate Bill 2644, which would require the government to prove with clear and convincing evidence that the property it wishes to forfeit is connected with a crime.

Law Enforcement

Justice Department Report Scolds DEA for Leaving Student in Cell for Five Days. A Justice Department report on the detention of San Diego student Daniel Chong, who was left unattended in a holding cell for five days at a DEA office there, has concluded that the DEA did not take simple measures to ensure that detainees are not forgotten. The report also slammed the agency for having the same agents who left Chong in the cell conduct the investigation into how it happened. Chong earlier received a $1.4 million payout from the DEA to settle a lawsuit he brought against the agency.

International

Russian Drug Agency Proposes Giving Social Benefits to Recovering Drug Users. In something of a surprise move, the Russian Federal Drug Control Service has proposed providing free housing, food subsidies, and home health care to help recovering drug users progress in their rehabilitation. The bill would add drug addicts to a list of categories of people considered socially vulnerable, such as senior citizens and people with disabilities. The proposal has drawn harsh criticism from opponents, who argue that it would encourage drug use.

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US WA: City Attorney Speaks Out On Officer's Pot Ticketing

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 08/01/2014 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 01 Aug 2014 - Advocate of Legalization Discusses Enforcement of Ban 'It's About Getting People to Stop Smoking Marijuana in Public' In the wake of news stories about a Seattle police officer under investigation for writing 80 percent of the tickets this year for using marijuana in public, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes on Thursday issued a statement outlining his position on enforcement of the ban.
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US: Driving High Questioned On Busy Day By Lawmakers

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 08/01/2014 - 07:00
The News-Item, 01 Aug 2014 - WASHINGTON (AP) - Amid rancorous debate over other weighty issues Thursday on Capitol Hill, lawmakers wondered aloud whether driving cars after smoking marijuana is dangerous. Among the unanswered questions: Would drivers who are "high" travel too fast or too slow for safety? Rep. John Mica, a Florida Republican who convened the Transportation subcommittee hearing, said he's concerned that growing numbers of drivers on U.S. roadways are increasingly impaired with a mix of drugs and alcohol. But with no test to determine if a driver is high on THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, it's nearly impossible to gauge the danger. Instead, he said, it's only after a fatal crash that investigators can determine if a driver has measurable levels of THC in his bloodstream.
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US IL: Column: Medical Pot Shops Are No Big Deal

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 08/01/2014 - 07:00
Chicago Tribune, 01 Aug 2014 - You'd think licensed dispensaries for medical marijuana were all-ages opium dens from the wariness bordering on paranoia with which state and local officials are grudgingly preparing for them to open. A year ago Friday, Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law a four-year pilot program allowing patients suffering from specific maladies to obtain, with a doctor's OK, therapeutic doses of marijuana. The marijuana will be sold at dispensaries accessible only to patients.
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US NM: Editorial: Petition Blunder Warrants Refresher Course

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 08/01/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 01 Aug 2014 - This screw-up is enough to make one wonder: What were they smoking? When it came to calculating the number of valid petition signatures needed to ask Albuquerque voters if they want to reduce penalties in the city for possessing small amounts of marijuana, the numbers didn't add up. And no one caught it until it was too late. The City Clerk's Office miscalculated the number and the Legal Department approved it. Petitioners didn't question it or do the math themselves.
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US WA: Pot Smoking Tickets Issued Unevenly

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 08/01/2014 - 07:00
Spokesman-Review, 01 Aug 2014 - SEATTLE - Yes, you can buy pot. You can smoke pot. You can possess pot here in the Evergreen State. You just can't do those things in public, smelling up parks and annoying pedestrians. If you're caught, the police will write you a ticket. Especially if you're black. Or homeless. And have the bad judgment to light up in the downtown core. And the bad luck to come upon one police officer in particular.
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US CA: Editorial: The Medical Marijuana Mess

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 08/01/2014 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 01 Aug 2014 - Nearly two decades after California voters legalized medical marijuana, legislators are as close as they've ever been to passing the first comprehensive statewide regulations for the cultivation, transportation and distribution of the drug. This is long past due. State leaders should not let another year go by without fixing the medical marijuana mess. And it is a mess. The Compassionate Use Act of 1996 encouraged state leaders to implement a plan to regulate safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to patients. But they were late to act and then developed ineffective guidelines. As a result, California has a patchwork of local rules governing dispensaries, but virtually no regulations on how marijuana is grown or processed, and few consumer protections for a product that, ostensibly, is for sick people.
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US PA: Editorial: Police Thyself

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 08/01/2014 - 07:00
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 01 Aug 2014 - The bad-apple cliche regularly deployed in police corruption cases falls well short of this week's federal indictments of six former members of Philadelphia's narcotics unit on charges ranging from stealing drugs and cash to brutalizing suspects - including not one but two who were dangled off balconies. When multiple officers face such serious accusations, and not for the first time in the force's history, it raises questions about the whole orchard. An arbitrator's award announced Thursday gives Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey long-sought authority to rotate officers out of the narcotics and internal affairs units, which could help prevent entrenched corruption. Union boss John McNesby, who opposed the change, noted that most of the 200 officers in the drug unit do good work. For the sake of their reputations, he should encourage reform instead of obstructing it.
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US CA: County To Reconsider Marijuana Letter Policy

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 08/01/2014 - 07:00
Calaveras Enterprise, 01 Aug 2014 - A Calaveras County Public Health Department manager says her agency will work out a way to allow applicants for medical marijuana ID cards to retain the original copy of their doctor recommendation. Some medical marijuana advocates complained this year when the department began keeping the originals, something patients said caused problems later when they went to dispensaries.
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