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CN ON: Dogs Can Detect Visitors' Contraband

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 05/09/2015 - 07:00
Kingston Whig-Standard, 09 May 2015 - Canines work at sniffing out drugs, firearms and ammunition at area penitentiaries A visitor who once tried to smuggle some drugs into an area correctional institution appeared to be drug-free to correctional service officers, but one of the institution's drug-sniffing dogs didn't think so.
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CN ON: Column: How Did Lisi Case Ever Get To Court?

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 05/09/2015 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 09 May 2015 - Pair Acquitted in Minor Drug Case, Which Would Have Gone Unnoticed Without the Rob Ford Connection "I'm shy." Those were the first two words offered by Sandro Lisi after he and co-accused Jamshid Bahrami were found not guilty by a judge Friday on a slew of itsy-bitsy drug charges, including trafficking in marijuana. To be precise, 288 grams of marijuana.
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US CA: Pot Poses Conundrum For GOP

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 05/09/2015 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 09 May 2015 - Party's Presidential Hopefuls Must Choose Between Enforcing Federal Laws and Upholding State Rights. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's response in a recent radio interview to a question about legal marijuana was in keeping with his tough-on-crime persona.
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US HI: Column: 'States' Rights' Is Best Way to End Ruinous

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 05/09/2015 - 07:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 09 May 2015 - Howard Wooldridge, a Washington lobbyist, is a former detective and forever Texan on an important mission - trying to persuade the 535 members of Congress to end the federal war on marijuana. Liberals tend to be an easier sell than conservatives. With liberals, Wooldridge dwells on the grossly racist way the war on drugs has been prosecuted.
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US NY: Column: Let The States Make Drug Laws

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 05/09/2015 - 07:00
Buffalo News, 09 May 2015 - WASHINGTON - Howard Wooldridge, a Washington lobbyist, is a former detective and forever Texan on an important mission - trying to persuade the 535 members of Congress to end the federal war on marijuana. Liberals tend to be an easier sell than conservatives. With liberals, Wooldridge dwells on the grossly racist way the war on drugs has been prosecuted.
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Chronicle AM: Fiorina on Drugs, Hawaii Dispensaries, Drugs on the UN Agenda More (5/8/15)

Drug War Chronicle - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 20:47

Marijuana reforms pass the Kansas House, a dispensary bill passes the Hawaii legislature, another Ohio legalization initiative is moving, one Republican presidential contender makes some nice noises about drug policy, and more.

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

Kansas House Passes Marijuana Reform Bill. The House Thursday approved a bill that would decrease penalties for small-time marijuana possession, allow for the sale of CBD cannabis oil, and set up a study for uses of industrial hemp. The measure is House Bill 2049. It now heads to the Senate.

Ohio Legalization Initiative Approved by Attorney General. Attorney General Mike DeWine has approved the ballot summary for the "Legalize Marijuana and Hemp in Ohio" initiative proposed by Better for Ohio. The group is pushing this 2015 initiative as alternative to the controversial one being run by ResponsibleOhio, which would set up a 10-grower monopoly on commercial cultivation. The ResponsibleOhio initiative is already deep into its signature-gathering campaign.

Medical Marijuana

Hawaii Legislature Approves Dispensaries. Fifteen years after it gave the go-ahead to medical marijuana, the state legislature has gotten around to approving a bill that would allow up to 16 dispensaries statewide by mid-2016. House Bill 321 was approved unanimously in the Senate Thursday and passed the House the same day on a 38-13 vote. Gov. David Ige (D) is expected to sign the bill.

Drug Policy

Carly Fiorina Hints at Support for Drug Decriminalization, Would Leave Legal Marijuana States Alone. GOP presidential contender Carly Fiorina staked out some progressive drug policy ground Thursday in an interview with the Des Moines Register editorial board. "I would not, as president of the United States, enforce federal law in Colorado, where Colorado voters have said they want to legalize marijuana," she said, adding that she didn't personally support legalization. "I do not think they should legalize marijuana," she said. "If you look at a place like Colorado, we've sent the message that pot is just no big deal. And it's just not true." And on drug decriminalization, she had this to say: "I don't think it helps this nation to criminalize drug abuse," she said. "It is not helpful -- to the system, the community, or to a drug abuse victim -- it's not helpful to treat them as hardened criminals and throw them into jail."

International

China Urges UN to "Firmly Oppose" Drug Legalization. At a UN debate in preparation for next year's UNGASS on Drugs, China took a predictably hard line stance on legalization: "In recent years, there have been voices calling for the legalization of narcotic drugs and raising doubts about the three UN Conventions on drug control and other existing international drug control mechanisms," said Wang Min, China's deputy permanent representative at the world body. "This is not conducive to the healthy development of international drug control," he added.

Reformers Take on Drug Prohibition At UN. Not all countries agree with China, and global civil society is also active at the UNGASS on Drugs prep sessions. Click on the link to read Dave Borden's account of what's going on.

(This article was prepared by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also pays the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

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CN BC: Pot Seller Welcomes Regulation

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 07:00
Vancouver Courier, 08 May 2015 - 'Edibles' banned in proposed city rules If city council decides to regulate the growing number of marijuana dispensaries in Vancouver, that will mean an end to all marijuana goods sold in pot shops.
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CN BC: City Mulls Medical Marijuana Shops

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 07:00
North Shore News, 08 May 2015 - Licence request sparks pot dispensary debate The City of North Vancouver is mulling a business licence application from a resident who is strongly intent on opening the first medical marijuana dispensary in the community.
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CN BC: Column: Nelson Grapples With Pot Dispensaries

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 07:00
Nelson Star, 08 May 2015 - City Needs a Comprehensive Plan to Deal With the Potential Influx of Marijuana-Selling Establishments According to Nelson Mayor Deb Kozak, if there's one local issue that's more polarizing than the recently overturned downtown dog ban, it's the growing concern around the implications of marijuana legalization.
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Thailand: Editorial: Politicians Still High on Damaging Drug

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 07:00
The Nation, 08 May 2015 - Regardless of What Our Self-Serving Leaders Say, the So-Called Wars on Drugs Have Been a Disaster Laws to deal with drugs offences drew international attention in recent weeks as rights groups, governments and family members called on President Joko Widodo to pardon a group of drug traffickers sentenced to death in Indonesia.
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US ME: OPED: A Path To Wellness, Not A Jail Cell

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 07:00
Bangor Daily News, 08 May 2015 - This Friday at the State House, the Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety will have a work session on LD 113, An Act to Reduce the Penalties for Certain Drug Offenses. The bill is sponsored by Senator Roger Katz of Kennebec. The bill, in part, looks to downgrade punishments associated with possession of heroin and methamphetamine, two drugs that have been especially problematic in Maine. The bill would downgrade possession of these Class W drugs from a Class C Felony crime to a Class D Misdemeanor crime. Class D crimes come with a maximum 364 days in jail while Class C felonies come with up to 5 year prison terms. The bill also downgrades other penalties including possession of hypodermic needles.
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CN BC: Column: Almost Legit

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 07:00
Prince George Citizen, 08 May 2015 - Found a smoker the other day. He was outside the safe injection site, trying to make like he was toking up, but since when do joints come with filters? "Tobacco Police! Freeze!" I said, but he bolted - for about half a block before running out of breath and taking a knee. Not a lot of drawn-out foot chases with smokers. OK, Victoria isn't quite at the point where tobacco is illegal, though it's getting there. As of this spring, the region's smoking ban is being extended to parks, playgrounds and public squares. The no-smoking zone around doorways and air intakes has gone from three metres to seven, effectively making it illegal to smoke on most downtown sidewalks. As of April 1, the only place it will still be legal to light up is the old leper colony on Bentinck Island.
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CN BC: Victoria City Council To Draft New Pot-Dispensary Bylaws

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 08 May 2015 - City councillors in Victoria have asked staff to draft new business and zoning regulations for marijuana dispensaries that could include licence fees and ban minors from the premises in response to public concern over a surge in new outlets. Bylaw changes that staff were asked for at a meeting on Thursday could limit hours of operation and introduce security requirements, licence fees and age restrictions.
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US MD: How 5.9 Grams of Marijuana Led to a 20-Year Prison Term

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 08 May 2015 - When Ronald Hammond appeared in a Baltimore courtroom on a charge of possessing 5.9 grams of marijuana, the judge scoffed at the case. District Judge Askew Gatewood told the prosecutor that "5.9 grams won't roll you a decent joint," according to a transcript of the 2012 case. "Why would I want to spend taxpayers' money putting his little raggedy butt in jail - feeding him, clothing him, cable TV, Internet, prayer, medical expense, clothing - on $5 worth of weed?"
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Chronicle AM: TX MJ Legalization Bill Wins Committee Vote !); Decrim Advances in DE, IL, More (5/7/15)

Drug War Chronicle - Thu, 05/07/2015 - 20:47

Holy Cow! A marijuana legalization bill wins a committee vote in Texas! Also, decrim bills are moving in Delaware and Illinois, welfare drug testing gets shot down by Democrats in Iowa, but advances thanks to Republicans in Wisconsin, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

Fourth California Legalization Initiative Filed. Busy, busy. Jason Porter and Lara Marie Collinsworth have filed the 2016 California Bipartisan Decriminalization of Cannabis Act. That's the fourth so far this year, and we're still waiting for the big one to drop. This one would legalize up to five pounds for personal possession and allow a 500 square foot garden. It would also force medical marijuana into a pharmacy system. There is a handy spreadsheet on the various proposals here.

Delaware Decriminalization Bill Heads for House Floor Vote. A bill to decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce of pot has passed the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee after its sponsor, Rep. Helene Keeley (D-Wilmington), said she would revise to address law enforcement concerns. It now includes language making public pot smoking or smoking in a vehicle a misdemeanor with a maximum $200 fine. The cops still oppose it, though. The bill is House Bill 39.

Illinois Decriminalization Bill Wins Senate Committee Vote. A bill that would decriminalize the possession of up to 15 grams of pot passed the Senate Criminal Law Committee Wednesday. House Bill 218 has already passed the House and now heads for a Senate floor vote.

Texas House Committee Approves Legalization Bill. In a surprise move, the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee approved an outright legalization bill on a 5-2 vote. The bill, House Bill 2165 now awaits a chance at a House floor vote.

Medical Marijuana

Illinois Medical Marijuana Extension Heads for Senate Floor Vote. A bill to extend the state's long-delayed medical marijuana pilot program is now headed for a final Senate vote. House Bill 3299 passed the House last month. It would extend the program for four years after the first dispensary opens.

Texas Senate Approves CBD Cannabis Oil Bill. The Senate today approved Senate Bill 339, the "Texas Compassionate Use Act," which would allow people with severe epileptic conditions to use CBD cannabis oil. The bill now goes to the House. The House is considering a companion bill, but it has not had a floor vote yet.

New Synthetic Drugs

New Hampshire House Approves Synthetic Drug Bill. The House voted Wednesday to restrict synthetic drugs. The bill, Senate Bill 106, would impose fines on persons who sell synthetic drugs and fines and other penalties on businesses that sold them, but would not penalize personal possession of the substances. The bill has already passed the Senate, but was amended in the House, so it needs to go bac for a final Senate vote.

Texas Senate Approves Synthetic Drug Bill. The Senate Wednesday passed Senate Bill 1582, which would allow the state health department to designate new synthetics as "hazardous controlled substances" until the legislature has time to ban them. The bill now goes to the House.

Asset Forfeiture

Oklahoma Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Filed. Sen. Kyle Loveless (R-Oklahoma City) today filed Senate Bill 838, the "Personal Asset Protection Act." The bill would require a criminal conviction before asset forfeiture can be undertaken. Although the bill is being filed late in the session, Loveless said it was an important issue and that he would hold an interim study to examine the issue.

Drug Testing

Iowa Welfare Drug Testing Defeated. Senate Democrats stood firm to defeat a welfare drug testing amendment proposed as part of a health and human services budget bill Wednesday. The amendment was defeated on a party-line vote, 26-23. The Senate also rejected an amendment that would have required drug testing for lawmakers.

Wisconsin Welfare Drug Testing Bill Moves. A bill that would require some public benefits recipients to undergo drug testing was approved by the Assembly Committee on Public Benefit Reform Wednesday. The Republican-backed measure is Assembly Bill 192

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A Historic Day at the UN

Drug War Chronicle - Thu, 05/07/2015 - 16:58

Last month we sent some emails to our list and posted here about our new campaign to take on international drug policy reform, including but not limited to reform of the UN drug treaties. The first stage of this effort has reached a successful culmination. Two days ago we released a sign-on statement endorsed by more than 100 organizations including some major ones, calling for big changes to how the US and UN do business in drug policy, and for the process of reforming the UN drug treaties to be initiated.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]The statement has been covered so far by several major outlets including WashingtonPost.com and HuffPost Politics, and a second statement on the death penalty for nonviolent drug offenses was covered by HuffPost WorldPost, linked from the Huffington Post home page for almost 24 hours. The broad sign-on statement and links to news articles can be found at http://stopthedrugwar.org/un.

Right now at the UN General Assembly in New York, the "High Level Thematic Debate" on drugs that we've written is unfolding -- a live webcast (and probably an archive later) can be accessed here, and The CND Blog is doing live updates throughout the day here. It has already been historic. Jamaica's minister of justice, Mark Golding, called for a Committee of Experts to be appointed by the UN to study how to accomplish treaty reform, the central ask of our statement, and other countries backed this up with calls for moving to regulation and control instead of drug prohibition and the right of countries to do that.

At 1:30, many of us will gather in front of the UN to protest the recent executions by Indonesia of several people convicted of nonviolent drug crimes. We are wearing black ribbons. Many countries' speakers today have condemned the death penalty for nonviolent and drug offenses as a violation of the human rights treaties. Notably, many countries have also called for the criminalization of drug users to be ended as well.

Our work is making a difference in this hopeful process of change that is now unfolding, and we need your support to continue it. Would you be willing to make a donation now to help us take at least this first step? Donations to our tax-deductible nonprofit, DRCNet Foundation, and our non-deductible lobbying nonprofit, Drug Reform Coordination Network, both can be put toward this project and support the needs of this campaign. Visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate to donate by credit card or PayPal, or send your check or money order (made out to one of the two names listed above) to P.O. 9853, Washington, DC 20016.

We can also accept donations of stock; the information to give your brokerage is Ameritrade, (800) 669-3900), DTC #0188, and account number 781926492 for tax-deductible gifts to DRCNet Foundation or 864663500 for non-deductible gifts to Drug Reform Coordination Network -- please contact us if you are donating this way.

We'd also still like to hear from organizations that might like to endorse our sign-on statement or get involved in the campaign in other ways. You can write to us here.

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Ethan Nadelmann: We Hit A Drug Policy Tipping Point

DrugSense Blog - Tue, 10/29/2013 - 16:25
The HCLU has several videos from the 2013 international drug policy reform conference in Denver on their Youtube channel.
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Hundreds of Medical Marijuana Supporters Protest Obama in Oakland as Feds Escalate War on Pot

Alternet - Tue, 07/24/2012 - 18:00
Demanding answers for unjustified federal raids and threats, patients challenged the DEA's claim that marijuana has no medical use.
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We Can't End AIDS Until We End the Drug War

Alternet - Tue, 07/24/2012 - 18:00
The end of AIDS is not just possible -- but predictably achievable -- if we end the war on drugs.
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4 Major Ways Countries Have Reduced Drug-Related Disease and Death -- Are We Americans Too Conceited to Imitate Them?

Alternet - Tue, 07/24/2012 - 00:00
Over the past two decades, a number of countries have implemented evidence-based programs that reduce the harms associated with drugs -- but the U.S. isn't listening.
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