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CN ON: Pot Store Owner Unfazed By Graffiti

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 09/21/2016 - 07:00
The Peterborough Examiner, 21 Sep 2016 - The windows at Cannabis Culture on George St. N. were found sprayed with graffiti Tuesday morning, but supporters cleaned it up as a courtesy to the pot shop owner. Cannabis Culture has been closed since a police raid last Thursday.
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CN ON: Column: Safe Drug Use Sites A Way Station To Hell Or The

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 09/21/2016 - 07:00
Hamilton Spectator, 21 Sep 2016 - Moral dilemmas, NIMBY-ism and budgets pose obstacles Coun. Donna Skelly was curious what safe injection places for drug addicts look like. So Dr. Jessica Hopkins, Hamilton associate medical officer of health, drew her attention to slides of the Insite facility in Vancouver, one of two legally operating injection sites in Canada, both in Gastown.
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Chronicle AM: Seattle Call for Injection Sites, Duterte Wants More Lethal Drug War, More... (9/20/16)

Drug War Chronicle - Tue, 09/20/2016 - 20:40

A Seattle/King County heroin task force has recommended two safe injection sites be established, a California bill to let landlords ban medical marijuana smoking dies, Nevada legalization foes get organized, and more.

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

Nevada Legalization Foes Get Organized. Opponents of the Question 2 legalization initiative have organized as Protecting Nevada's Children, complete with a slick website that warns that "legalizing marijuana… like giving candy to a baby." Officials with the no campaign are also worrying about "a well-prepared workforce" if Las Vegas becomes "the Amsterdam of the West." The group refuses to divulge its funding, saying it would be revealed in mid-October, when campaign finance reports are due.

Medical Marijuana

California Bill to Let Landlords Ban Medical Marijuana Smoking Dies. Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-North Coast) has dropped his bill that would let landlords ban smoking medical marijuana after he conceded he was unable to figure out how to meet the needs of medical marijuana patients.

Harm Reduction

Seattle Heroin and Opioid Task Force Issues Report, Calls for Two Safe Injection Sites. The King County Heroin and Opiate Addiction Task Force has issued a final report calling on increased prevention and access to treatment for addicted users. Among other recommendations, the report calls for authorities to "Create a three-year pilot project that will include at least two locations where adults with substance-use disorders will have access to on-site services while safely consuming opioids or other substances under the supervision of trained healthcare providers." Look for a detailed article on the task force recommendations tomorrow.

Sentencing Reform

North Dakota Legislature Squabbles Over Drug Sentences. Legislators are working off-session on a pair of criminal justice reform bills aimed at curbing a growing prison population, but some are reluctant to embrace reductions in drug sentences that experts said were necessary to actually achieve prison population cuts. There was support for reducing some sentences for drug possessors, but not for drug sellers. A proposal from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to eliminate mandatory minimums for people dealing drugs was rejected. But a proposal from the Council of State Governments to make probation the presumptive sentence for first-time, low-level felonies was accepted. The bills will be introduced at the beginning of the next session.

International

Philippines President Wants Six More Months of Drug War Because He "Cannot Kill Them All" Fast Enough. Even as the death toll from President Rodrigo Duterte's slow motion massacre of drug suspects tops 3,000, the hardline leader is saying he wants to extend his crusade another six months. "I did not realize how severe and how serious the drug menace was in this republic until I became president," Duterte said. "Even if I wanted to I cannot kill them all because the last report would be this thick," he said, referring to a new police list of people including top officials suspected of being involved in the drugs trade.

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CN ON: City Seeks Local Input On Injection Centres

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 09/20/2016 - 07:00
Hamilton Spectator, 20 Sep 2016 - Crack pipes, overdose kits also get panel's OK Hamilton will join the vanguard of Ontario cities studying whether to give drug users a legal, supervised site to inject opioids such as heroin. The board of health voted Monday to study supervised injection sites - so long as the cost fits within the 2017 budget.
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Chronicle AM: LA Times Endorses Prop 64, Urgent Action Time on Kratom, More... (9/19/16)

Drug War Chronicle - Mon, 09/19/2016 - 21:01

Donations are starting to flow for and against reform initiatives, California's largest newspaper endorses marijuana legalization, so do Italian cops, a new study suggests medical marijuana may reduce opioid-related auto fatalities, it's time to act to keep kratom off Schedule I, and more.

[image:1 align:left]Marijuana Policy

Dr. Bronner's Kicks In $660,000 for Legalization Initiatives. The magic soap and organic products maker -- and longtime drug reform supporter -- Dr. Bronner's had pledged to contribute at least $660,000 to the initiatives in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada. "The expected sweep of these states will exert enormous pressure on federal lawmakers to end the racist outdated policy of cannabis prohibition, that shreds productive citizens' lives and families for no good reason, and focus law enforcement resources instead on actual crime," officials for Dr. Bronner's said in an announcement released Monday.

Los Angeles Times Endorses Prop 64. California's largest newspaper has hopped on board the legalization bandwagon with an editorial endorsing the Prop 64 initiative. Saying that "the federal government has effectively ceded its role and left it to the states to create a new national marijuana policy," the Times editorial board asks if it is time "to treat marijuana less like heroin and more like alcohol" and answers its own question in the affirmative. "On balance, the proposition deserves a 'yes' vote. It is ultimately better for public health, for law and order and for society if marijuana is a legal, regulated and controlled product for adults. Proposition 64 -- while not perfect -- offers a logical, pragmatic approach to legalization that also would give lawmakers and regulators the flexibility to change the law to address the inevitable unintended consequences."

Massachusetts Legalization Supporters Celebrate With Big Freedom Rally Turnout. Thousands of people turned out for the annual Boston Freedom Rally this weekend, jazzed by the prospect of being able to vote "yes" on the Question 4 legalization initiative in November.

Mississippi Legalization Initiative Campaign Gearing Up. A measure known as Initiative 60, which would legalize marijuana for people 21 and over, has been approved for signature gathering in Mississippi. To make it to the 2018 ballot, organizers will need roughly 86,000 valid voter signatures, with at least 17,000 from each of the state's five congressional districts. They have one year for signature-gathering.

Medical Marijuana

Study of Fatal Car Crashes Suggests Medical Marijuana May Curb Opioid Use. A study conducted at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health has found that fewer drivers killed in car crashes tested positive for opioids in medical marijuana states than before those laws went into effect. The findings will be published online in the American Journal of Public Health.

Florida Medical Marijuana Foes Get a Million Dollars From Sheldon Adelson.Las Vegas casino magnate and conservative philanthropist Sheldon Adelson is again attempting to sway Florida voters away from approving medical marijuana. In 2012, Adelson spent $5.5 million to help defeat the initiative; this year, he has recently kicked in another one million.

Nine out of Ten Montana Medical Marijuana Patients Have No Legal Provider. With the GOP-led legislature's 2011 gutting of the state's medical marijuana program now in effect, 93% of the state's more than 12,000 registered patients have no registered provider. That means unless they can grow it themselves, they are out of luck. An initiative that would restore the state's medical marijuana program, I-182, is on the November ballot.

Kratom

It's Urgent Action Time to Fight DEA's Proposed Kratom Ban. The American Kratom Association is asking supporters to urge their congressional representatives to sign onto a bipartisan "Dear Colleague" letter asking the DEA to slow down the process of placing the herb on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. The group is urging supporters to call or email their reps BEFORE 5:00 PM ET TUESDAY.

Sentencing Reform

Federal Sentencing Reform Dead for the Year. Efforts to further reform federal drug sentencing in this congressional session are dead, congressional leaders said late last week. While the consensus legislation appeared set to pass earlier this year, opposition from some Republican lawmakers has killed it. Some Republicans opposed cuts in mandatory minimums, others were angry at President Obama for freeing so many federal drug prisoners, and the "law and order" campaign of Donald Trump seems to have been the final nail in the coffin.

International

Italy's Largest Police Union Calls for Marijuana Legalization. The SIULP, Italy's primary police union, has now come out in support of legalization. A bill to do just that is currently before the Italian parliament, with growing support.

Governor of Mexico's Guerrero State Again Calls for Legalization of Opium Production. Guerrero Gov. Hector Astudillo has again called for the legalization of poppy production for medicinal purposes. "We must look for other paths that bring about less tension, less conflict, and less violence," he said as he reiterated a call first made in March. Guerrero is one of the centers of opium production in Mexico, and production is increasing as local farmers switch from coffee to poppy due to low coffee prices.

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US TN: Like Its Music, Nashville May Soften On Marijuana

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 09/19/2016 - 07:00
New York Times, 19 Sep 2016 - NASHVILLE - Willie Nelson's famous habit of smoking marijuana is not seen as a badge of outlaw courage here anymore, so much as the frivolous foible of an eccentric uncle. A popular FM station disgorging the Boomer rock hits of yesteryear calls itself Hippie Radio 94.5; one of its sponsors is a smoke shop that incessantly hawks glass pipes and detox kits. Even mainstream country acts mention smoking marijuana now and again among the litany of acceptable American pastimes. So perhaps it is not surprising as much as telling that this city, which residents often refer to as the Buckle of the Bible Belt, may be on the cusp of joining the long roster of American cities, including New York, that have decriminalized the stuff.
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CN ON: Home Grown Ideas

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 09/19/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Sun, 19 Sep 2016 - Activists want pot treated like beer, tobacco When the feds finally roll out their plan to legalize marijuana, advocates want to see home-grown weed treated like tobacco or alcohol. The Toronto Sun spoke with several cannabis advocates who cited the need for laws that allow people to grow pot at home - similar to those permitting the cultivating of tobacco or the brewing of beer for personal use.
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CN ON: Middle-Aged Adults Fuel Surge In Weed Use

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 09/19/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Sun, 19 Sep 2016 - Pot use is on the increase among adults. A recent U.S. study found that for the first time since at least 2002, middle-aged Americans are more likely to smoke marijuana than teens. And here in Ontario, Dr. Robert Mann, of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), says they're seeing more people over the age of 18 sparking up the green, as well.
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CN ON: Biz Gone To Pot

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 09/19/2016 - 07:00
Ottawa Sun, 19 Sep 2016 - Marijuana shops struggling with image, lack of regulation Two of Ottawa's most popular pot shops have closed after Canada Post intercepted shipments of marijuana mailed to them from B.C. Don Briere, the president of the B.C.-based Weeds Glass & Gifts chain, says he hopes his dispensaries on Bank Street and Montreal Road will reopen if he can figure out a way to ship the dried weed, cannabis-laced brownies, candy, concentrates and other merchandise across the country. Weeds buys the products from growers and "bakers" in B.C.
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US: Marijuana Makes For Slackers? Now There's Evidence

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 09/17/2016 - 07:00
Wall Street Journal, 17 Sep 2016 - In cities like Seattle and Vancouver, the marijuana icon has become almost as common on storefronts as the Starbucks mermaid. But there's one big difference between the products on offer: A venti latte tastes the same everywhere and provides an identical caffeine rush, while marijuana stores offer the drug's active ingredients in varying combinations, potencies and formats. There is no consistency in testing, standards or labeling. This matters because marijuana's two psychoactive ingredients, tetrohydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), have contrasting effects on the brain. "THC makes you feel high," said Catharine Winstanley, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia who does research on marijuana, while CBD "is responsible for its analgesic, antiseizure and purported anticancer effects."
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CN AB: Column: Safe Injection Not A Gateway

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 09/17/2016 - 07:00
Edmonton Sun, 17 Sep 2016 - People get twitchy when you start talking about safe injection sites. A clean, safe spot where needle drug users can use needle drugs. Vancouver's still the only spot in the country but that could be changing if the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta gets their way.
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CN BC: Oped: Feds Should Say No To City Pot Tax Grab

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 09/17/2016 - 07:00
Penticton Herald, 17 Sep 2016 - City politicians, never shy about demanding more money from beleaguered taxpayers, are now trying to get a cut of future cannabis taxes. In last year's Liberal election platform, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to legalize marijuana, touting a "new system of strict marijuana sales and distribution, with appropriate federal and provincial excise taxes applied."
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CN ON: Cannabis Culture Owner Out On Bail After Raid

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 09/17/2016 - 07:00
The Peterborough Examiner, 17 Sep 2016 - Richard Standen, the owner of the Cannabis Culture at 382 George St. in downtown Peterborough, walked away from court on bail Friday afternoon after being arrested in a city police raid Thursday. Standen didn't say whether he's reopening the store.
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CN AB: Oped: U.S. Pot Laws In The 21st Century

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 09/17/2016 - 07:00
Medicine Hat News, 17 Sep 2016 - Sometimes we hear or read things in the news that are simply questionable. Then we read further and realize that, yes, someone actually did this or said that, or accomplished this or that. And our understanding of the world grows, and our credulity is assigned new standards. There have been many of these kinds of stories in the news lately. I'm not referring to the apparently endless crassness, ignorance, maliciousness, and world endangering policies of Donald Trump here. Nor am I referring to the strange questionnaire issued by federal Conservative leadership hopeful, Kellie Leitch, about whether immigrants should be vetted for "anti-Canadian values." (What would these values be? Who decides?)
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Chronicle AM: AK Marijuana Social Club Battle, Oregonians Like Legalization, More... (9/16/15)

Drug War Chronicle - Fri, 09/16/2016 - 20:57

Oregonians have no regrets about legalizing weed, a new Cato report studies the impact of state-level legalization so far, the Alaska battle over marijuana social clubs gets heated, and more.

[image:1 align:right caption:true]Cato Report on Impact of State-Level Marijuana Legalization. The libertarian-leaning Cato Institute has released a report on the impact of legalization in the four states that have gone that route so far. Here's the bottom line: "Our conclusion is that state marijuana legalizations have had minimal effect on marijuana use and related outcomes. We cannot rule out small effects of legalization, and insufficient time has elapsed since the four initial legalizations to allow strong inference. On the basis of available data, however, we find little support for the stronger claims made by either opponents or advocates of legalization. The absence of significant adverse consequences is especially striking given the sometimes dire predictions made by legalization opponents."

Alaska AG Faces Heat Over Ruling That Pot Social Clubs Are Illegal. Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth authored an opinion two weeks ago that marijuana social clubs were illegal, but legislators Wednesday took her to task, saying she was making an unnecessarily broad interpretation of initiative language that banned marijuana use "in public." Several businesses have opened as clubs, saying that because they require membership, they are not public. But Linesmuth was undeterred: "The initiative bars public consumption, and if you're joining others that you don't know in a club, that's a public place," Lindemuth said. But House Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux (R-Anchorage) demurred: "There are lots of definitions of what a public place may be for different purposes," she said. "I think when most people voted on the initiative, to the extent that they were looking at public places, they figured that just meant you can't have people smoking joints while walking down the street. I think that's what the definition of public meant to most people." Given Lindemuth's stance, a legislative fix may be the only solution.

Poll: Oregonians Happy With Marijuana Legalization. A new DHM Research poll finds that 61% of Oregon voters think legalization has had a positive impact on the state. That's five points higher than the 56% who voted for it in 2014. "Big picture, I think Oregonians are relatively satisfied," pollster John Horvick said. "I don't think a lot of minds have changed, but the general acceptance of marijuana continues apace. There hasn't been a backlash."

Medical Marijuana

Delaware Governor Signs Bill Allowing Medical Marijuana Use at School. Gov. Jack Markell (D) has signed into law Senate Bill 181, which allows registered medical marijuana patients to use their medicine while on school grounds. The law allows for cannabis-based medicines such as tinctures and oils to be used. Delaware is now the third state to enact such a law, following Colorado and New Jersey. The new law takes effect immediately.

New Psychoactive Substances

New York US House Member Files Bill to Study and Educate About New Synthetic Drugs. Rep. Nydia Velasquez (D-NY) Thursday filed the "Synthetic Drug Overdose Prevention and Education Act," which would authorize the Centers for Disease Control to complete a study or studies on how to combat the use of new synthetic drugs and help treat users, as well as require other government agencies including the National Institutes of Health and Drug Abuse and the Drug Enforcement Agency to come up with a national outreach campaign to reach out to community leaders about the drug's risk. The bill has not yet been assigned a number.

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CN ON: Meth Driving Core Break-Ins?

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 09/16/2016 - 07:00
London Free Press, 16 Sep 2016 - Cops say drug scourge, trend-busting 2015 spike in thefts from vehicles downtown may be linked As crime drops in London, one offence is stubbornly bucking the trend in some areas of the city and defying its nationwide decline. Police believe they know what's driving that.
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Chronicle AM: DOD Could Become More Flexible on Marijuana, MI MedMJ Regs Pass, More... (9/15/16)

Drug War Chronicle - Thu, 09/15/2016 - 19:58

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter seems pretty mellow about marijuana, more workers are testing positive for illegal drugs, medical marijuana advances in Massachusetts, Michigan, and New Jersey, and more.

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

Defense Secretary Hints Pentagon Could Relax When It Comes to Hiring Marijuana Users. Responding to a hypothetical question at TechCrunch's Disrupt SF event on Tuesday, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said the military should be more flexible when it comes to hiring people who have used marijuana or other illicit drugs. When asked if he would be willing to hire someone who "[partook] in some goodies" at Burning Man when looking for engineers, Carter replied: "It depends on what the goodies are. It's a very good question and we are changing that, in recognition of the fact that times change and generations change and by the way, laws change as respect to marijuana. In that and many other ways, we need to, while protecting ourselves and doing the appropriate things to make sure that it's safe to entrust information with people, we need to understand  -- and we do -- the way people [and] lives have changed, not hold against them things that they've done when they were younger. It's an important question and the answer is yes, we can be flexible in that regard, and we need to," he concluded.

Nebraska Marijuana Activists Begin Working on 2018. Two separate initiative campaigns, one aimed at decriminalization and one aimed at legalization, are getting underway with an eye toward making the 2018 ballot. The decriminalization proposal started signature gathering last month; the legalization campaign is awaiting approval from the secretary of state's office to begin signature gathering.

Medical Marijuana

Massachusetts Moves to Ease Medical Marijuana Access. State regulators Wednesday released draft rules that would make it easier for patients to gain access to medical marijuana. The rules would allow nurse practitioners to certify patients for medical marijuana, allow dispensaries to post prices on their websites, and allow dispensaries to deliver to patients in nursing homes, hospices, and other health care facilities. "Our goal is safety, transparency, and access for patients who need this," said Dr. Monica Bharel, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, which oversees the state's medical marijuana program. "This is an evolving process," Bharel said, "both in Massachusetts and nationally." The proposed rules were presented to the Public Health Council, which will give final approval, but not before a public hearing expected this fall.

Michigan House Gives Final Approval to Medical Marijuana Regulation Package. The House voted Wednesday in concurrence with last week's Senate vote approving a series of bills that would create a regulatory framework for medical marijuana that explicitly allows for dispensaries to operate. It also creates a licensing system for patients, growers, and dispensaries and establishes a 3% tax on retail sales. The package of bills now goes to the desk of Gov. Rick Snyder (R), who is expected to sign it into law.

New Jersey Governor Signs Bill Adding PTSD as Qualifying Condition. Gov. Chris Christie (R) Wednesday signed into law Assembly Bill 457, which will allow people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to use medical marijuana. The bill passed the legislature overwhelmingly a month and a half ago.

Drug Testing

Quest Diagnostics, one of the country's largest drug testing laboratories, reports that the percentage of workers testing positive for illegal drugs has been increasing for the past three years after decades of decline. Some 4% of all 11 million drug tests came back positive. Positive tests results for marijuana have increased 26% since 2011 and account for almost half (45%) of all positives. But heroin positives jumped 146% in the same period.

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US: Drug Use Is On Rise Among Workers

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 09/15/2016 - 07:00
Wall Street Journal, 15 Sep 2016 - The share of U.S. workers testing positive for illicit drug use reached its highest level in a decade, according to data from millions of workplace drug tests administered by Quest Diagnostics Inc., one of the nation's largest medical-screening laboratories. Detection of illicit drugs-from marijuana to heroin to methamphetamine-increased slightly both for the general workforce and the "safety-sensitive" workforce, which includes millions of truck drivers, pilots, ship captains, subway engineers, and other transportation workers. Employers are required to test those individuals at random, as well as in specific situations such as after accidents occur.
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CN ON: Warning Given To Pot Shop

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 09/15/2016 - 07:00
The Peterborough Examiner, 15 Sep 2016 - Lineups at city's first storefront marijuana store, even though police say it's illegal A new marijuana shop that has been swamped with customers since opening on George St. N. on Friday is operating illegally, say city police.
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CN ON: Ontario Urges Ottawa To Clear The Air On Pot

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 09/15/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 15 Sep 2016 - Critics say slow approach to legalization is creating a Wild West atmosphere All three major provincial political party leaders agree that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau needs to clear the haze swirling around marijuana legalization.
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