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CN BC: Council Won't Let Delta Go To Pot

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 08:00
Delta Optimist, 28 Feb 2014 - Civic Legislation Prohibits Growing or Selling of Medical Marijuana Delta council has approved a bylaw amendment prohibiting the production, storage, research or sale of medical marijuana anywhere in the municipality. Civic politicians unanimously agreed to grant third reading to the bylaw Tuesday following a public hearing at municipal hall.
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CN AB: Up In Smoke

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 08:00
Edmonton Sun, 28 Feb 2014 - St. Albert Bylaw Upheld Banning Sale of Drug Paraphernalia Alberta's highest court has ruled a St. Albert licensing bylaw prohibiting the sale of drug paraphernalia at so-called bong or head shops is valid.
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CN ON: Column: Drugs As Bad As Alcohol When It Comes to

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 08:00
Northern News, 28 Feb 2014 - A recent national study conducted by the Partnership for a Drug Free Canada has come up with some startling results about what parents of teenagers think. Almost 25 percent of parents of teenagers do not consider driving high while on cannabis, to be as bad as drinking and driving. I just can't fathom that parents would believe that taking any mind altering drug before driving would not impair a person's ability to drive.
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CN NS: Column: Winning The War Against Drugs Is Impossible

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 08:00
Amherst News, 28 Feb 2014 - One thing about getting old is you have lived through a lot of history. People of my age remember when there was no TV and no computers. We appreciate how our world has changed and, if they are like me, they are amazed at the change.
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Canada: Editorial: Teen Brains On Drugs

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 28 Feb 2014 - Marijuana has momentum on its side. In the United States, Colorado, Washington and Oregon have already voted to legalize pot. More than a dozen other states could line up to follow suit, through bill, ballot initiative or executive order. In Canada, too, there's a growing discussion over liberalizing the laws. Colorado opened its pot shops this year, so it's far too early to tell what the impact of legalization will be. In Canada, legalization is playing out as an election issue - with Liberals and Conservatives weighing in on the morality of legalization. What Canadians should be paying more attention to is the science around the effects of marijuana - particularly on the teenage brain.
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Chronicle AM -- February 27, 2014

Drug War Chronicle - Thu, 02/27/2014 - 21:23

A thousand people march in support of "El Chapo" Guzman in his home state, Alaska makes it official that legalization is on the August ballot, another poll has a nationwide majority for marijuana legalization, medical marijuana bills move in a pair of states, there are a pair of moves to tighten up on pain pills, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left caption:true]

Marijuana Policy

It's Official -- Alaska Lieutenant Governor Signs Off on Legalization Initiative. Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell Wednesday made it official: Alaska will vote on a marijuana legalization initiative sponsored by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska, which is working with the Marijuana Policy Project. "I have determined that the initiative sponsors have timely filed the petition and that the petition is signed by qualified voters… the Director of the Division of Elections shall place the ballot title and proposition on the election ballot for the Primary Election on August 19, 2014," Treadwell wrote in his official statement.

CBS News Poll Has Narrow Majority for Legalization, Strong Support for Medical Marijuana. Some 51% of Americans think marijuana should be legal, according to a new CBS News poll, and a whopping 86% think doctors should be able to prescribe it for medical use. Just three years ago, the CBS News poll had support for legalization at only 40%. CBS News now joins pollsters at Gallup, Pew Research, CNN,Quinnipiac, PPP, NBC News/Wall Street Journal, who have have all found that a majority of the country supports marijuana legalization.

Medical Marijuana

Georgia CBD Medical Marijuana Wins House Committee Vote. A bill that would allow for the use of CBD cannabis oil for children suffering epileptic seizures won a unanimous vote in the House Health and Human Services Committee Wednesday. House Bill 885 was approved after sponsor Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) amended it to allow for cultivation of marijuana at Georgia medical research universities. Producers of CBD cannabis oils cannot legally import them to Georgia.

Kentucky Medical Marijuana Bill Wins House Committee Vote. The Kentucky House Health and Welfare Committee approved a bill that would allow people suffering from conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis (MS), and HIV/AIDS to use medical marijuana by a vote of 9-5 today, following a public hearing. The Cannabis Compassion Act, or House Bill 350, introduced by Rep. Mary Lou Marzian (D-Louisville) and cosponsored by Committee Chairman Tom Burch (D-Louisville), would permit licensed patients and caregivers to possess and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana, and it would establish regulations to operate a limited number of medical marijuana compassion centers and testing facilities.

Drug Courts

New Jersey Governor Wants $4.5 Million for Drug Court Expansion. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) announced Wednesday that his proposed 2015 budget includes $4.5 million to pay for an expansion of the state's drug court program, but the sponsor of the bill that created the expansion says that isn't enough. The budget also includes half a million dollars to help provide drug offenders with employment services and another half million to allow drug court clients to obtain job training, skills acquisition, and job placement. But critics said if the state wants to provide drug treatment, it should do so without forcing people into drug court. "If you're really going to talk about the shift from addiction to treatment, it's not just for those who get arrested," said Roseanne Scotti, the director of the Drug Policy Alliance New Jersey office.

Opioid Pain Medications

Coalition Calls on FDA to Reverse Approval of Zohydro. Zohydro, a hydrocodone-based opioid pain reliever, was approved by the FDA last fall, but now a coalition of drug treatment, healthcare, and consumer groups led by Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing is calling on the agency to reverse that decision. "It's a whopping dose of hydrocodone packed in an easy-to-crush capsule," said the group's Dr. Andrew Kolodny. "It will kill people as soon as it's released." But Zogenix, Zohydro's manufacturer, and the FDA both insist that the drug's benefits outweigh its risks.

DEA Publishes Proposal to Move Hydrocodone Combo Products to More Restrictive Schedule II. The DEA today published in the Federal Register notice that it intends to reschedule the opioid pain reliever hydrocodone from Schedule III to Schedule II, making it more difficult to access, when it is sold in products that also contain substances, such as aspirin or acetaminophen. Hydrocodone by itself is already Schedule II, but Congress placed the combination products in Schedule III when it passed the Controlled Substances Act in 1970. The DEA says Schedule III opioids are more likely to be abused than the more tightly controlled Schedule II ones. Public comment on the proposed rule must be made by April 27 and can be done at www.regulations.gov. A request for a hearing can be made at the same web site, but the deadline for that is March 31.

Sentencing

Sentencing Discrepancies Under Scrutiny in Minnesota. Widespread disparities in Minnesota drug sentencing revealed in a Minneapolis Star Tribune story Sunday led to a legislative hearing Wednesday in which legislators offered up fixes ranging from stiffer sentences for drug "kingpins" to lesser penalties for low-level drug offenders. But even though Minnesota has tougher drug sentences that surrounding states, increased penalties appeared to have more traction than decreased ones.

International

A Thousand March for "El Chapo" Guzman in Culiacan. More than a thousand people marched through the streets of Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa, in support of captured Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Wednesday. The largely young crowd, many dressed in white, bore signs that read "We want Chapo Freed" and "We demand no extradition" as they filed across the center of Culiacan.

Bermuda Activist Challenges Bias of Speaker Chosen By Government to Address Medical Professionals. Attorney Alan Gordon, one of Bermuda's most prominent marijuana activists, is raising concerns about the government's selection of Dr. Andrea Barthwell to address medical professionals there. Barthwell, a former deputy drug czar under George W. Bush, has "a long history of credible accusations" made against her "one-sided and heavily misleading information which could harm Bermuda health care," Gordon said. "Dr. Barthwell's bias against medical cannabis, historically, is so strong that she is not a credible source of information until she meaningfully addresses the allegations," said Gordon. He had a lot more to say about Barthwell, too. Click on the link to read it all.

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US AK: Pro-Pot Legalization Group Targets Alaska

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 02/27/2014 - 08:00
Juneau Empire, 27 Feb 2014 - Law Enforcement Against Prohibition Meeting With Legislators This Week When it comes to legalizing pot, you'd think you know which side the police fall on. But one law enforcement group is in Juneau this week advocating for the legalization of recreational marijuana, an issue Alaskans will decide with an August ballot initiative.
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US GA: Editorial: Medical marijuana: A Humane Option

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 02/27/2014 - 08:00
Savannah Morning News, 27 Feb 2014 - GEORGIA LAWMAKERS haven't done much of anything this legislative session, which is not a bad thing. Here's one humane measure, however, that deserves passage - a law that would allow limited use of medical marijuana to treat young Georgians suffering from horrific bouts of seizures.
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US CA: Column: In The Club

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 02/27/2014 - 08:00
Sacramento News & Review, 27 Feb 2014 - Will California's anti-smoking laws impede the opportunity for business growth after legalization? My question stems from the idea that there could be Dutch-style coffee shops and smoking lounges, or some such other California incarnation of a social establishment catering to patrons of the green. What are the known legal obstacles for would-be proprietors of a business where marijuana is (openly) consumed on-site? - -The Bulldog
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US CO: Column: Is My Motor Home Considered Private Property?

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 02/27/2014 - 08:00
Westword, 27 Feb 2014 - Dear Stoner: I was wondering about RVIA licenses for vehicles and motor homes - whether people can use marijuana in the enclosed area of those vehicles when they're not in use. I know there are some quasi-public ones around, but I'm more interested in private use and whether I can smoke marijuana in mine in our state parks. Camper Dude
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CN ON: OPED: Drug Lord's Arrest Could Lead To More Violence In

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 02/27/2014 - 08:00
The Record, 27 Feb 2014 - The arrest of the powerful and elusive Sinaloa Cartel boss Joaquin (El Chapo) Guzman will, for at least a short time, be a major notch in the belt for the government of Enrique Pena Nieto, who promised to reduce Mexico's drug violence after the carnage that took place under his predecessor, Felipe Calderon. During Calderon's tenure, nearly 60,000 Mexicans lost their lives in drug-related violence.
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US FL: Florida Man: I'm 'Living Proof' For Legalizing Medical

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 02/27/2014 - 08:00
Orlando Sentinel, 27 Feb 2014 - Whenever Irv Rosenfeld needs relief from the pain and swelling of hundreds of bone tumors, he lights up a joint - almost anywhere he wants. Legally. Rosenfeld, a financial planner from South Florida, calls it medicine. So do his doctors. So does the federal government, which not only supplies Rosenfeld with the equivalent of a get-out-of-jail-free card, it also supplies him with his weed. Rosenfeld, 61, is one of only two people in the United States who have a federal legal blessing to smoke pot.
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US AZ: Legalizing Recreational Drugs Is A Bad Idea

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 02/27/2014 - 08:00
Daily Courier, 27 Feb 2014 - The libertarian side of me thinks we should legalize all drugs. There would have to be some adjustments in our criminal procedures and additional laws dealing with punishments for those who commit crimes while under the influence of drugs. There could be sentencing enhancements. Those who commit crimes while under the influence of any drug should have a mandatory five years added to the sentence for the crime itself. Ten years could be added to the sentence for each and every injury caused during the commission of a crime while under the influence. A mandatory life sentence would apply to any conviction of a crime committed while under the influence, where a death occurs.
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US NH: Edu: LEAP Organization Members Move Towards the

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 02/27/2014 - 08:00
The Equinox, 27 Feb 2014 - A recent Business Insider report of the 50 "Most On-Campus Drug Arrests Per 1,000 Students," ranked Keene State College at number 20. On a wider scale, KSC has contributed to a small percentage of drug-related arrests made nationally since President Richard Nixon's "War on Drugs" began. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, or LEAP, has proposed one possible way of reducing future drug use and drug related arrests in the United States; legalizing all drugs at once. "This [drug use] is a health problem, not a crime problem. Let's not let the criminal justice system take care of this issue. Let's save a whole bunch of money and a whole bunch of lives and help educate people. We have to end prohibition in order to do this. We legalize all drugs. Drugs like marijuana, drugs like cocaine, drugs like heroin. That sounds pretty radical. We're not making it up," Richard Van Wickler, a speaker for LEAP, stated at the non-profit organization's KSC presentation on Tuesday Feb. 18.
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US MD: Raskin: Odds For Easing Penalties For Pot Improving

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 02/27/2014 - 08:00
Washington Post, 27 Feb 2014 - A day after more than a 100 people packed a Maryland State House committee room to share their views on legalizing marijuana, advocates for easing prohibitions on the drug said they feel momentum building in their favor. "The floodgates for change are open now," said Sen. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Montgomery), who has sponsored a bill that would legalize marijuana and impose taxes and regulations on its distribution and use. "We have essentially vilified and criminalized our own people for doing something that our last three or four presidents have admitted to doing. That is a theme I heard yesterday."
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US: Pivotal Point Is Seen On Legalizing Marijuana

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 02/27/2014 - 08:00
New York Times, 27 Feb 2014 - A little over a year after Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana, more than half the states, including some in the conservative South, are considering decriminalizing the drug or legalizing it for medical or recreational use. That has set up a watershed year in the battle over whether marijuana should be as available as alcohol. Demonstrating how marijuana is no longer a strictly partisan issue, the two states considered likeliest this year to follow Colorado and Washington in outright legalization of the drug are Oregon, dominated by liberal Democrats, and Alaska, where libertarian Republicans hold sway.
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Medical Marijuana Update

Drug War Chronicle - Thu, 02/27/2014 - 00:57

The Epilepsy Foundation comes out in support of medical marijuana, the feds delay a PTSD study, CBD bills are popping up, and a battle over local dispensary bans looms in Oregon, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]National

Last Thursday, the National Epilepsy Foundation endorsed medical marijuana. "The Epilepsy Foundation supports the rights of patients and families living with seizures and epilepsy to access physician directed care, including medical marijuana. Nothing should stand in the way of patients gaining access to potentially life-saving treatment," according to the statement from Epilepsy Foundation President and CEO Philip M. Gattone and Epilepsy Foundation Board of Directors Chairman Warren Lammert. "If a patient and their healthcare professionals feel that the potential benefits of medical marijuana for uncontrolled epilepsy outweigh the risks, then families need to have that legal option now -- not in five years or ten years. For people living with severe uncontrolled epilepsy, time is not on their side," according to their statement.

Last Friday, researchers charged federal bureaucrats with blocking the supply of marijuana for a research study on PTSD in veterans. The study has been approved by the FDA and the University of Arizona's Institutional Review Board, but the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) said the US Public Health Service has for the past 3 ½ months refused to act on its request to purchase marijuana for the study. The PHS marijuana review process exists only because the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)-protected monopoly on the supply of marijuana legal for use in FDA-regulated research. This additional review is not required for research on any other Schedule I drug.

California

Last Tuesday, the Diamond Bar city council voted to ban dispensaries. The council first approved an extension of a temporary ban on medical marijuana clinics that will last until January 2015. It also introduced a second ordinance that will permanently ban medical marijuana operations from the city. The permanent ban gets a second reading next week. The city had one dispensary, Farm Assist Caregivers, but it was shut down by the feds last year.

On Tuesday, the San Diego city council approved up to 30 dispensaries to operate in the city. The council voted 8-1 to create new zoning laws for medical marijuana dispensaries after years of debate about providing access for patients while at the same time protecting neighborhoods. The rules limit dispensaries to some commercial and industrial zones and require them to be at least 1,000 feet from one another as well as schools, playgrounds, libraries, child care and youth facilities, parks and churches. They must operate as nonprofits, have curtailed business hours and hire security guards.

Also on Tuesday, a San Jose initiative began gathering signatures for the 2014 ballot. The San Jose Medical Marijuana Regulation for San Jose Act (MMRSJ) is designed to put in place "reasonable regulations" for dispensaries and is a response to a city council stance that "all dispensaries are illegal" until it comes up with its own regulations. The supporters of MMRSJ would like to collect 30,000 signatures before the March 18 San Jose City Council meeting on the topic, but have set a goal of completing the signature drive on April 20.

Florida

On Monday, Tampa was the scene of a rowdy debate over medical marijuana. With a medical marijuana initiative headed for the voters in November, initiative proponent and prominent attorney John Morgan and NORML head Alan St. Pierre faced off against Project SAM spokesman Kevin Sabet and prehistoric prohibitionist Dr. Eric Voth. "Screaming, yelling, and even people dragged out" were all part of the action, as WTSP News 10 reported.

Georgia

On Monday, a CBD medical marijuana bill was stalled in committee. The bill, House Bill 885, would allow for the use of CBD cannabis oil to treat epileptic seizures in children is stuck in committee as lawmakers grapple with the issue of how to obtain it. Either growing it or importing it would violate state law.

Iowa

Last Friday, a judge rejected an activist's lawsuit challenging the state Board of Pharmacy's refusal to recommend rescheduling of marijuana. Carl Olsen had brought the suit after the board denied his request to recommend a change in classification, and he says he will appeal.

Kentucky

On Wednesday, a CBD medical marijuana bill won a Senate committee vote. A bill to allow trial use of cannabis oil for severe childhood seizures passed the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, and now goes to the full Senate. The measure is Senate Bill 124.

Nevada

On Tuesday, the Boulder City council voted to ban dispensaries. The unanimous vote came after council members said they didn't think the businesses were "a good fit" for the town. Boulder City becomes the first town in Clark County to ban them. Las Vegas has a moratorium, but only while city staffers research the issue.

New York

On Tuesday, a new Sienna poll showed strong support for medical marijuana. A third of respondents (32%) said Gov. Andrew Cuomo's pilot medical marijuana program was sufficient, but 45% said the state should implement a full-fledged program. The poll comes as pressure rises on the state Senate to approve pending legislation.

Ohio

On Monday, a Quinnipiac poll showed nearly nine out of 10 Ohioans favor medical marijuana. The poll had support at 87%. Medical marijuana activists are trying to get an initiative on the ballot there.

Oregon

On Monday, a House committee amended the dispensary regulation bill to allow local bans. The Senate earlier passed a version of the bill that allowed localities to regulate, but not ban them. Senate Bill 1531 still has to pass the House, and if the ban still stands, the Senate must vote to concur in the change or the two versions will have to be reconciled in conference committee.

Also on Monday, the Tualatin city council voted to ban dispensaries until year's end. The measure passed 6-0.

On Tuesday, the Beaverton city council voted to ban dispensaries for at least six months. Councilors said they voted for the moratorium to figure out the best options for city regulations regarding dispensaries, including zoning and business license requirements.

South Carolina

Last Wednesday, a CBD medical marijuana bill was introduced. Sen. Tom Davis (R-Beaufort) and six GOP cosponsors filed the bill primarily to help patients who suffer from a severe form of epilepsy. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Medical Affairs.

Utah

Last Friday, a CBD medical marijuana bill advanced on a House committee vote. The House Law Enforcement Committee approved a substitute version of House Bill 105 that would also allow institutions of higher education to petition the state Department of Agriculture to grow industrial hemp for the purposes of research.

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

Categories: Latest News

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 02/26/2014 - 23:24

A drug court probation officer parties down with one of his clients, a Georgia cop goes to prison for ripping off a drug dealer, and so does a Philadelphia cop. Keep an eye on Philly. The stench is really rising there. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left]In Philadelphia, a former Philadelphia narcotics officer pleaded guilty Monday to attempted robbery and firearms charges for stealing $15,000 from a Southwest Philly drug dealer after planting cocaine in his car. Jeffrey Walker, a 24-year veteran of the department, also agreed to testify against his former colleagues in a widening federal probe of corruption in the dope squad, and his lawyer said his crimes paled in comparison with those of other implicated officers.

In Atlanta, a former Clayton County police officer was sentenced last Friday to 10 years in federal prison for conspiring with a drug dealer to do a fake traffic stop on a car so they could steal the cocaine inside. Dwayne Penn copped to one count of conspiracy to distribute over five kilograms of cocaine.

In Springfield, Illinois, the former head probation officer for the Adams County drug court was sentenced Monday to 30 days in jail and 200 hours of community service after pleading guilty to turning his home into a "drug house." John Grotts was arrested in April 2012 after a search of his home turned up meth and a female drug court probationer, who was also arrested.

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Chronicle AM -- February 26, 2014

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 02/26/2014 - 21:51

A Maryland police chief embarrasses himself with bogus marijuana death claims, welfare drug testing bills face challenges in the Deep South, a hemp bill advances in Indiana, Russia's drug czar says "nyet" to legalization, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left]Marijuana Policy

Maryland Decriminalization, Legalization Bills Get Hearing; Police Chief Cites Hoax Story About Pot Overdose Deaths. Sen. Robert Zirkin's (D-Baltimore) Senate Bill 364, which would decriminalize marijuana possession, and Sen. Jamie Raskin's (D-Montgomery County) Senate Bill 658, which would legalize marijuana, got hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday. Law enforcement opposed the bills, while leaders of the ACLU and NORML members supported it. The lowlight of the hearing was Annapolis Police Chief Michael Pristoop's testimony mentioning an article about 37 overdose deaths the day marijuana became legal in Colorado. After being called out for repeating the hoax story by Sen. Raskin, Pristoop quickly backtracked.

Iowa Semi-Decriminalization Bill Introduced. A bill that would remove the possibility of jail time for possession of less than an ounce and a half of marijuana has been introduced by Rep. Bruce Hunter (D-Des Moines). It's not a true decriminalization bill because it would keep simple possession as a misdemeanor offense. House File 2313 has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee. Click on the link to read the bill.

Texas Poll Finds Near Majority for Legalization. Almost half -- 49% -- of Texans surveyed in a University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll support legalizing weed in either small quantities (32%) or any quantity (17%). Another 28% supported legalization only for medical purposes, while only 23% opposed any form of legalization.

New York Poll Finds Majority Oppose Legalization. A new Siena poll has support for legalization at only 43%, with 53% opposed. That contrasts with a recent Q Poll that had New Yorkers supporting legalization 57% to 39%. Differences in the questions asked and the margin of error in the polls may account for the difference. Or New Yorkers are conflicted.

Medical Marijuana

Kentucky CBD Medical Marijuana Bill Advances. A bill that would allow for the trial use of high CBD cannabis oil to treat childhood epileptic seizures was approved by the Senate Health and Welfare Committee Wednesday. Senate Bill 124 now heads for the Senate floor.

Hemp

Hemp Bill Advances in Indiana. A bill to legalize the production of industrial hemp passed the House Agriculture Committee Tuesday and now heads for the House floor. The bill is Senate Bill 357. It has already passed the Senate.

Drug Testing

Welfare Drug Testing Bill Advances in Georgia. A bill that would require food stamp and welfare recipients to undergo drug testing upon "reasonable suspicion" passed the House Judiciary Committee Monday. House Bill 772 now moves to the House floor.

Welfare Drug Testing Bill Stalls in Alabama Senate. A bill requiring drug testing of some welfare applicants hit a roadblock in the Senate Tuesday when Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) adjourned the body after Democrats began fighting the bill. Senate Bill 63 would require drug testing of any applicant with a drug conviction in the last five years. It is just one of five bills in the Republican agenda to tighten regulations for public assistance.

Sentencing

West Virginia Senate Approves Draconian Drug Sentencing Bill. A bill that would increase the penalty for bringing drugs into West Virginia from one year to up to 15 years passed the Senate Monday. It now goes to the House.

International

Russian Drug Czar Rules Out Marijuana Legalization, Methadone Maintenance. The head of Russia's Federal Drug Control Service has called marijuana a dangerous gateway drug and said the authorities did not plan to legalize it, or to allow methadone treatment for heroin addicts. "Marijuana users have a 50 or 60 times higher risk of switching to heroin. There is one step from dope to heroin," Viktor Ivanov said in an interview with the Interfax news agency. He completely ruled out legalization, saying it was too risky in an advanced society. "Today we live in the age of high technology, a lot of things are managed with the help of computer systems. Someone who works at a nuclear power plant can wreak real havoc after smoking marijuana," he said. Ivanov also scoffed at needle exchange and methadone maintenance, saying there was little reliable evidence methadone maintenance worked. [Ed: Ivanov must have missed the entirety large body of research done on both needle exchange and methadone maintenance, which has found them to be effective and of paramount importance.]

Colombia's FARC Calls for Dismantling Drug-Paramilitary Nexus. Colombia's FARC guerrilla army called Tuesday for the dismantling of drug and paramilitary organizations it said were embedded within the Colombian state. The call was part of the FARC's six-point program to deal with the drug issue in the country, which is the fourth item on the agenda of peace talks between the FARC and the Colombian government.

British Chief Constable Says Give Heroin to Addicts. Mike Barton, Chief Constable for Dunham Constabulary, is calling for heroin maintenance for addicts. Such a move would "take money out of drug dealers' pockets," he said, adding that it "isn't practical" to simply arrest addicts. His comments come in a BBC documentary in which he went to Copenhagen to visit drug consumption rooms there.

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