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CN AB: Pharmacist Wants To Distribute Medical Cannabis

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 06/24/2016 - 07:00
Medicine Hat News, 24 Jun 2016 - There are no pharmacies in Alberta licensed to sell medical cannabis but there is at least one pharmacist locally that would like to see that changed. "Pharmacies are the logical choice to be the distribution system. Pharmacists are highly trained and knowledgeable of drugs and drug interactions, have access to medical records, have all the security measures in place and are accessible to the entire community," said Greg Buekert, pharmacist Greg's Remedy's Rx.
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CN ON: Underage Access To Marijuana A Concern

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 06/24/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 24 Jun 2016 - Clearer Delineation Between Medicinal and Recreational Use Needed, Premier Says Talk about a joint effort. There are bureaucrats from a dozen provincial departments working on an exhaustive cannabis strategy that will examine the impact of legalized recreational marijuana.
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CN ON: Emery Dispensary Busted In Latest Blitz

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 06/24/2016 - 07:00
Toronto 24hours, 24 Jun 2016 - The hits keep coming for Toronto's pot shops. Cops raided four marijuana dispensaries on Thursday - the blitz comes almost one month after Toronto Police raided dozens of shops across the city. And Chief Mark Saunders delivered a blunt warning to any Hogtown bud businesses still operating when asked about these latest raids.
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CN ON: Pot Shops Lit Up - Again

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 06/24/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Sun, 24 Jun 2016 - T.O. Cops Raid More Marijuana Stores The hits keep coming for Toronto's pot shops. Cops raided four marijuana dispensaries Thursday - the blitz comes almost one month after Toronto Police raided dozens of shops across the city.
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Chronicle AM: House Blocks MJ Banking, No Prostitutes for DEA, Thai Meth Policy, More... (6/23/16)

Drug War Chronicle - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 20:32

House Republicans blocked an effort to open up banking for marijuana businesses, an Oregon worker fired for medical marijuana use wins his job back, DEA agents get new marching orders on hookers, the Thai government grapples with methamphetamine policy, and more.

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

House Turns Back Effort to Give Pot Businesses Access to Banks. The Republican-led House Wednesday voted down an amendment to the FY 2017 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act that would have blocked federal regulators from punishing financial institutions for working with state-legal marijuana businesses. A similar amendment had passed the Senate last week.

Nevada Legalization Effort Has Raised Nearly $300,000 This Year. The Nevada Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has raised $285,000 so far this year, with more than half coming in a two-day period earlier this month when local marijuana companies made significant donations. The campaign's legalization initiative has qualified for the November ballot. Opposition groups made no reports of donations this reporting period.

Oregon Takes in Nearly $15 Million in Pot Taxes So Far This Year. As of May 30, the state Department of Revenue had processed $14.9 million in marijuana tax payments this year, the agency said Wednesday. Medical marijuana dispensaries authorized to sell to any adult 21 or over began collecting the tax in January.

Medical Marijuana

New Mexico Auditor Bemoans Delays in Processing ID Cards. The state auditor and the attorney general are investigating a backlog of medical marijuana ID card applications as requests for the cards surge. The state has 30 days to issue the issue the cards, but the Department of Health said it is taking 45-50 days, and the auditor's office said it had complaints of wait times of up to 90 days.

 

Oregon Worker Fired for Medical Marijuana Wins Jobs Back. An arbitrator has ordered Lane County to reinstate a worker it fired because he used medical marijuana to deal with the side effects of cancer treatment and it has ordered the county to give him nearly $22,000 in back pay. Michael Hirsh had been employed as a senior programmer for the county before he was fired in December after two employees reported smelling pot smoke on his clothing.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

New York Governor Signs Heroin Bill Package. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) Wednesday signed into law a package of bills aimed at the state's heroin and prescription opioid problems. The bills, which address prevention, treatment, and insurance coverage, should produce an additional 270 treatment beds and more than 2,000 slots for drug treatment programs. The bills also require insurance companies to wait 14 days before denying coverage to drug users deemed in need of drug treatment, and it limits initial prescriptions for opioids for severe pain to seven days.

Law Enforcement

No Prostitutes for DEA Agents. In the wake of scandalous behavior by DEA agents in Colombia during the 2012 Summit of the Americas, the DEA has instituted a one-strike policy for agents caught patronizing prostitutes. "Solicitation of prostitution on duty or off duty, whether you're in a jurisdiction where it is legal or illegal, first time offense -- removal," DEA administrator Chuck Rosenberg told a Senate panel Wednesday.

International

UN Releases Annual Global Drug Report -- 250 Million Adults Used a Drug Last Year. The UN Office of Drugs and Crime has released the World Drug Report 2016, and notes that 5% of the adult population has used at least one drug in the past year. The UN also reported that the number of people classified as suffering from a dependency disorder climbed to more than 29 million, up from 27 million the previous year.

Thailand Won't Legalize Meth, But Will Remove it From List of Dangerous Drugs. Thai Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya has walked back talk about legalizing the amphetamine, but now says the country will work to reform its drug laws by removing meth from its list of hard drugs like heroin and recognizing a distinction between traffickers and users, workers, and addicts.

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US OH: Minority Goals For Pot Market Raise Legal Questions

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 07:00
Morning Journal, 23 Jun 2016 - Part of Ohio's new medical marijuana law that sets aside a piece of the state's budding pot business for minorities appears to be unconstitutional, legal experts told The Associated Press. The provisions were inserted into the fast-tracked bill at the request of Democrats, whose votes were key to its passage in both Republican-controlled legislative chambers. The law made Ohio the 25th state to legalize medicinal cannabis. It takes effect Sept. 8.
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US CT: Medical Marijuana Program Touted As A Success

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 07:00
New Haven Register, 23 Jun 2016 - The number of patients in the state of Connecticut receiving medical marijuana treatment has grown from 2,000 a few years ago to 11,000, according to Department of Consumer Protection Deputy Commissioner Michelle Seagull. Connecticut legalized medical marijuana for adults in 2012. There are nine dispensaries in the state serving the more than 11,000 registered patients.
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US CA: Pot Start-Up Hooks A Giant

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 23 Jun 2016 - When David Dinenberg decided to get into the marijuana industry, his business plan was based on fear. In 2014, he founded Kind Financial with the aim of making loans and providing other services to marijuana growers and sellers - customers banks were scared to work with.
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Indonesia: Court Sentences Four Drug Smugglers To Death

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 07:00
Jakarta Post, 23 Jun 2016 - The Medan District Court on Wednesday decided on capital punishment for four Indonesians convicted of smuggling 270 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine from Malaysia to North Sumatra. The four defendants are businessmen Ayau and Daud, alias Athiam, from Bengkalis, Riau, Lukmansyah, a security guard in Dumai, Riau, and Jimmy Syahputra, a resident of Deli Serdang, North Sumatra.
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Thailand: Meeting Mulls Decriminalising Meth

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 07:00
The Nation, 23 Jun 2016 - Paiboon Ready to Transfer Drug Rehab Function to Public Health Ministry JUSTICE Minister Paiboon Koomchaya is ready to transfer drug rehabilitation function completely to the Public Health Ministry.
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Philippines: Rody: Some Cops Silencing Cohorts

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 07:00
Philippine Star, 23 Jun 2016 - Some policemen may be killing their accomplices in drug trafficking to ensure they will not be implicated in the criminal activities. President-elect Rodrigo Duterte himself conceded this possibility yesterday even as he vowed to help police officers who may face criminal charges for killing drug suspects. "I will take care of you, I will protect you," Duterte said in a speech delivered before local officials in Sarangani.
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US CA: Column: Big Brands

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 07:00
North Coast Journal, 23 Jun 2016 - Microsoft made some tech industry-sized waves this week with the announcement that it's diving into the marijuana business. Before you get too excited, don't expect to find any Windows 10 Kush in your next purchase of Microsoft Office.
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US CA: Column: Under Siege

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 07:00
Sacramento News & Review, 23 Jun 2016 - Hey, what's all this about a company in Santa Rosa getting raided? I thought raids were a thing of the past? - -Lou Kout Sigh. You heard right. The CBD Guild (the company behind the brands Absolute Xtracts and Care By Design pills and tinctures) in Santa Rosa, was raided last week. According to reports, a disgruntled former employee went to the police and accused CBD Guild of making butane hash oil and concentrates. Using butane or other volatile solvent to make hash is illegal in California, although possessing or selling butane extracted marijuana concentrates is not illegal.
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US CA: Tough On Hash

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 07:00
The Chico News & Review, 23 Jun 2016 - City Council Passes Law to Combat Rise of Butane Honey Oil Labs In an effort to combat a growing problem with concentrated cannabis oil, the Chico City Council voted unanimously to restrict the sale and possession of butane during its meeting on Tuesday (June 21).
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US CO: Numbers Of Teen Dope-Smokers Flat

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 07:00
New Zealand Herald, 23 Jun 2016 - Rates of cannabis use among Colorado's teenagers are essentially unchanged in the years since the state's voters legalised marijuana in 2012, new survey data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shows. Last year, 21 per cent of Colorado youths had used marijuana in the past 30 days. That rate is slightly lower than the national average and down slightly from the 25 per cent who used marijuana in 2009, before legalisation. The survey was based on a random sample of 17,000 middle and high school students in Colorado.
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In Exercise in Futility, Danish Cops Raid Christiania's Pusher Street (Again)

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 22:09

Last Friday, more than a hundred Danish police swept into Copenhagen's hippy enclave of Christiania to attack the hash and weed sellers of the community's infamous Pusher Street. They tore down 37 stalls and arrested 18 people, carrying off nearly 10 kilos of cannabis by the time they were done.

[image:1 align:right caption:true]But it was an exercise in futility. Before police had even left the scene, new stalls had been constructed and new drug sales had taken place.

The raid, coming after previous raid after fruitless raid on Pusher Street, has re-ignited the ongoing debate about legalizing cannabis in Denmark, with members of law enforcement and parliament speaking out.

"I personally believe we should legalize the sale of cannabis because this is a fight we cannot win," said senior prosecutor Anne Birgitte Stürup from the Copenhagen Public Prosecutor Office (Statsadvokaten). "We've tried fighting this for so many years and have gotten nowhere. We cannot stop the use of cannabis by outlawing it. It is expensive and is of very little use," she continued.

The debate on cannabis legalization is nothing new. Pusher Street was for decades the center of the city's weed trade as Christiania, a former military base invaded by hippies in 1971, enjoyed existence as an autonomous community within greater Copenhagen. But conservative national governments in recent years have both ended Christiania's special status and regularly attacked Pusher Street, sending the weed trade to street corners around the city.

Copenhagen itself has repeatedly sought a trial program to legalize the trade in the city, with sales handled by public authorities, only to be blocked by the parliament. It's time to move forward with such plans, said former Copenhagen Police Chief Inspector Per Larsen.

"The money is going into the wrong hands today and I think it could be used for something much more positive, for example preventative measures and rehab for those suffering from cannabis psychosis," Larsen said.

Another former public prosecutor, Erik Merlung, agreed it was time to change course and accused members of parliament of "shutting their eyes to reality."

"You make huge raids on Christiania in which all of the stalls are torn down in the afternoon and then up and running again the next morning -- if not in Christiania, then other places in the city," he said, adding that the current prohibitionist strategy is "hopeless."

Even the cops involved didn't seem particularly enthused about their mission, as the video below from the scene makes clear. The video was shot by the Christiania-based documentary group Cadok:

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This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 21:59

Cops get nailed for some big-time rip-offs, cops get nailed for stealing treats from a dispensary, a California cop gets nailed for stealing and dealing meth, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left]In Santa Ana, California, three Santa Ana police officers were charged Monday with stealing protein bars and cookies from a medical marijuana dispensary they were raiding -- apparently oblivious to the fact that a surveillance camera was still operating. Officers Brandon Matthew Sontag, Nicole Lynn Quijas, and Jorge Arroya are each charged with one misdemeanor count of petty theft, while Sontag is also charged with vandalism under $400. The vandalism count is for smashing the lens of surveillance cameras, but he missed one.

In Helena, Montana, a state prison guard pleaded guilty last Wednesday to smuggling marijuana and tobacco to inmates. Guard Martin Reap, 25, admitted smuggling between nine and 16 ounces of marijuana, as well as a small amount of synthetic cannabinoids. He admitted making over $6,000 for his efforts. Reap pleaded guilty to one count of bribery after prosecutors agreed to drop drug possession, distribution, and conspiracy charges. He's looking at up to 10 years for the bribery charge.

In Fresno, California, a former Bakersfield police detective pleaded guilty Monday to stealing meth from drug dealers and then reselling the drugs. Patrick Mara copped to a single count of methamphetamine trafficking, joining his former police partner, Damacio Diaz, in copping to their crimes. Although Mara is looking at up to life in prison and faces a mandatory minimum 10 years, he was allowed to remain free on bond pending sentencing in October.

In Arlington, Virginia, a former Loudon County sheriff's deputy was sentenced last Friday to three years in prison for stealing money from the department's asset forfeiture fund. Frank Michael Pearson, 45, had been found guilty of stealing $229,381 from the fund over a three year period. The money came from at least 80 different cases.

In Green Bay, Wisconsin, a former Brown County DARE officer was sentenced last Friday to two years in state prison for stealing an estimated $200,000 from the program. Former Deputy Kevin Vanden Huevel collected money for parking at Green Bay Packers home games as part of a DARE fundraiser. He was supposed to put the money in the DARE trust fund, but instead put it in his own pocket. He ripped off DARE for years before being caught.

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Medical Marijuana Update

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 20:57

A bipartisan federal effort to open up research on medical marijuana is underway, it looks likely that Arkansas will be voting on medical marijuana in November, a New Jersey PTSD bill advances, and more.

[image:1 align:right]National

On Monday, congressional marijuana reform fans and foes said they were working together on a new research bill. Legalization opponent Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) is joining forces with Congress's "top legal pot advocate," Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) to file a bill to overhaul federal policies on marijuana research. The bill would make it easier for scientists to conduct research on the medical use of marijuana. It hasn't been filed yet, but is expected this week.

On Wednesday, versions of the research bill were filed in the House and Senate. The bills announced earlier this week have been filed and given bill numbers. The House version, sponsored by Reps. Andy Harris (R-MD) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is HR 5549, while the Senate version, sponsored by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) is S 3077.

Arkansas

On Monday, a medical marijuana initiative campaign handed in signatures. Supporters of the Arkansans for Compassionate Care medical marijuana initiative handed in more than 110,000 raw signatures to state officials in Little Rock Monday. The initiative only needs some 67,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November ballot. If as many as 30% of the signatures are found invalid, organizers would still have enough signatures to qualify.

California

As of Tuesday, a Northern California cannabis oil company was back in business after a misbegotten raid. Sonoma County's Care By Design (CBD) is already back in business after a massive raid including a hundred police officers and DEA agents last week. Business operator Dennis Franklin Hunter was released without charges after initially being held on a $5 million bond. Police raided the business thinking it was using a dangerous and illegal butane extraction process to make cannabis oil, but it was actually using a non-flammable CO2 extraction process. CBD is blaming the botched raid on a disgruntled former employee involved in a competing business.

New Jersey

Last Thursday, the Assembly passed a PTSD bill. The Assembly approved the bill, and a Senate committee approved a similar measure the same day. The bills would allow patients suffering from PTSD to use medical marijuana with a doctor's recommendation.

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

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Chronicle AM: MA Init Hands in Signatures, Uruguay's First Legal MJ Harvest, More... (6/22/16)

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 20:45

Marijuana legalization efforts advance in California and Massachusetts, Iowa Democrats blow minds with a platform plank, Michigan's welfare drug testing pilot program scores a big fat zero, and more.

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

Gavin Newsom Warns California Pot People That Legalization Isn't a Done Deal. The state's pro-legalization lieutenant governor told attendees at the National Cannabis Industry Association conference in Oakland Tuesday that they need to get involved in passing the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) this November. "It's not a done deal by any stretch of the imagination," he said. "We need your help on the campaign." Newsom added that while tech billionaire Sean Parker is helping, "He's not going to fund the whole thing. If it is defeated, it will set back this movement in California… and nationally for years and years."

Massachusetts Legalization Backers Hand in Final Signatures. The Massachusetts Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Wednesday handed in some 25,000 raw signatures as the campaign moved toward the final step in placing its legalization initiative on the November ballot. The campaign only needs 10,792 valid voter signatures in this second round of signature gathering after the legislature failed to act when the campaign turned in more than 60,000 signatures last year.

Medical Marijuana

Congressional Medical Marijuana Research Bills Filed. The bills announced earlier this week have been filed and given bill numbers. The House version, sponsored by Reps. Andy Harris (R-MD) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), is HR 5549, while the Senate version, sponsored by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), is S 3077.

Drug Policy

Iowa Democrats' Platform Includes "Legalize All Drugs" Plank. Hawkeye Democrats included the five-word item ("We support legalizing all drugs") as plank No. 293 in their platform, and that's raising eyebrows. But activists involved in the debate said that was shorthand for a policy that aims to treat and mitigate drug addiction instead of criminalizing it. "The brevity of the document doesn't encompass the true meaning,"said Shelly Van Winkle, a registered nurse from Muscatine and newly elected member of the party's state central committee who was active in the platform debate. Another delegate described it as a "divestment strategy in the drug war."

Drug Testing

Michigan Welfare Drug Test Program Generates Zero Positives. The state of Michigan has ordered 303 people seeking welfare benefits to undergo drug testing under a pilot program, and not a single one of them has tested positive for illicit drugs. Gov. Rick Snyder (R), who signed the program into law, declined to comment. Similar programs in other states have produced similar results, although not as dramatic as Michigan's In Tennessee, 65 out of 40,000 applicants tested positive; in Mississippi, two out of 3,656. In Michigan, the people tested were flagged as likely to be using drugs during an initial screening.

International

First Legal Pot Crop Being Harvested in Uruguay. Two companies responsible for marijuana production have begun their first legal harvest, and their product should be hitting the country's pharmacies "soon," said Juan Andres Roballo, head of the National Drug Board, which has oversight over the fledgling industry. By August, Uruguayans should be able to buy weed in five- or 10-gram packets, with the price set at $1.20 per gram.

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CN ON: Column: Here's My Riff On A Whiff Of The Spliff

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Sun, 22 Jun 2016 - Stroll Yonge-Dundas Square near my place night or day and you'll confront the hidden horror of legalized pot. Phheww. Not for nothing do they call it "skunk." As our medieval marijuana laws lift, libertarians like me rejoice. Common sense finally wins out. A victimless "crime" is off the books. No harm, no foul. No foul? Take a whiff. My pal Al, passing Roy Thomson Hall en route from a Jays game, wrinkled his nose and remarked: "It's everywhere. My son really hates that smell. What's he going to do when it's legal?" Good question. Unless you have terminal nasal drip, you know the scent. If symphony goers are toking up in public, everyone is.
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