The Daily Local, 23 May 2016 - MARIJUANA'S ROLE AS MEDICINE REMAINS CONTROVERSIAL Medical marijuana has been legalized in Pennsylvania, as well as 23 other states and the District of Columbia, but there are still many questions about how exactly the drug can be used as medicine.
The Daily Local, 23 May 2016 - NEW LAW MAY HELP IN FIGHT AGAINST OPIOID CRISIS Can the legalization of one drug help decrease abuse of another drug? It's possible that medical marijuana could be used to fight the epidemic of opioid addiction that has resulted in numerous deaths from overdoses in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States.
Albuquerque Journal, 23 May 2016 - ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - An Albuquerque police narcotics operation in which undercover detectives haggled with transient drug addicts in some cases accepting the clothes off their backs in exchange for drugs, then arresting them is raising broader questions about the agency's approach to drug crimes, especially when using stings. APD says a court order allowing them to sell drugs on the streets, then arrest people is a valuable tool that lowers crime, while the public defender's office contends that police are targeting the poor and that the tactic has done nothing to battle drug crime in the city. The district attorney said the value of the operations is minimal.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 23 May 2016 - Maryland's state medical marijuana commission delivered a blow to marijuana advocates and would-be entrepreneurs last week by abruptly capping the number of businesses that can process marijuana into pills, oils and other products. The commission also gave conflicting information about when the first long-awaited growing licenses would be issued, with executive director Patrick Jameson first saying it would be late summer or early fall, then stating that licenses would come "weeks" after the evaluations of the applications are completed in early July.
Toronto Sun, 22 May 2016 - U.S. President Barack Obama recently used the twilight of his tenure to again grant clemency to almost 60 non-violent drug offenders. With those commutations, Obama has now reduced the sentences of 300 federal prisoners in order to secure their release, more than the last six presidents combined.
The News-Gazette, 22 May 2016 - The days of "reefer madness" are long ago and far away. Illinois legislators have sent to Gov. Bruce Rauner a bill decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana, a measure taken in recognition of its widespread use and the futility of imposing more serious penalties on violators. The bill incorporates changes suggested by Gov. Bruce Rauner in an amendatory veto of similar legislation passed last year.
Ottawa Sun, 22 May 2016 - U.S. President Barack Obama recently used the twilight of his tenure to again grant clemency to almost 60 non-violent drug offenders. With those commutations, Obama has now reduced the sentences of 300 federal prisoners in order to secure their release, more than the last six presidents combined.
The Call, 22 May 2016 - PROVIDENCE ( AP) - The Narragansett Indian Tribe would be able to grow hemp in Rhode Island under a new bill proposed in the state's General Assembly. Rep. Helio Melo, an East Providence Democrat, introduced the legislation on Thursday.
The Times Herald, 22 May 2016 - Legalization Has Patients and Businesses Seeing Green Pennsylvania joined the growing list of states to legalize medical marijuana when Gov. Tom Wolf signed Senate Bill 3, the Medical Marijuana Act, into law on April 17. To date, 23 other states and Washington D.C. have legalized either medical marijuana, recreational marijuana or both.
The Herald, 22 May 2016 - MEDFORD, Ore. - Only a handful of medical marijuana growers have applied for Jackson County permits to keep growing on rural residential land - even though growers without permits face fines of up to $10,000 and orders to remove their plants. Most are flying under the radar, hoping to avoid detection rather than pay the $1,563 permit application fee, the Mail Tribune reported.
The Press Democrat, 22 May 2016 - SANTA CRUZ - The other day, in a seaside cafe here, veteran cannabis journalist David Bienenstock gamely fielded my attempts to catch up on a subject I have failed to appreciate for far too long: the coming end of marijuana prohibition. Earlier this month, the backers of a California initiative to legalize the recreational use of marijuana (including Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and tech kabillionaire Sean Parker) said they had gathered enough signatures to make the November ballot. In the same week, the federal government dropped its long-standing case against Oakland's Harborside Health Center, the largest medical pot dispensary in the country.
The Trentonian, 22 May 2016 - FACT I'M NEITHER PROUD NOR ASHAMED OF: I used to smoke a lot of marijuana. I was pretty much high all the time from September 1990 (when I was a freshman in college) until June of 1999, at which point I decided I didn't want to be high all the time. And really: I was high all the time. I also managed to graduate college, write a book, win journalism awards, meet my future wife, land full time jobs, and be a decent member of society. MEDICAL FACT: Marijuana killed the sum total of zero people in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Commercial Appeal, 22 May 2016 - In six months, California will join Maine, Nevada and probably a few other states in deciding whether to legalize large-scale commercial production of marijuana. Residents will be inundated with wild claims about the promises and pitfalls of these initiatives. You will hear debates about government revenue, criminal justice benefits, the environment and the effect of legalization on Mexican drug-trafficking cartels. Public health conversations may prove especially contentious. Some will claim that legalization will constitute a net gain for health. Others will say the exact opposite.
Commercial Appeal, 22 May 2016 - Since 1970, when President Richard Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana has been a Schedule I drug. Congress placed it in the most restrictive category of psychoactive substances, those with no currently accepted medical value and a high potential for abuse or dependence. The upshot was a renewed ban on marijuana, except for highly restricted research purposes. I say renewed because Congress first prohibited marijuana use for non-industrial purposes in 1937. The Schedule I designation ratified the status quo, with one notable exception: The 1970 CSA in fact reduced federal penalties for cannabis possession, a bit of Nixon-era liberality few recall.
Commercial Appeal, 22 May 2016 - There are rumors that the federal government may soon lift its ban on marijuana, but that wouldn't end marijuana prohibitions in the United States. This incongruity is the result of federalism: the ability of each jurisdiction - the federal government and every state - to maintain its own laws as to which drugs are illegal and which are not. Completely legalizing marijuana in the United States would require the actions of both the federal government and every state government. If the federal government repealed its criminal prohibition of marijuana or rescheduled the drug under federal law, that would not change state laws that forbid its possession or sale. Likewise, state governments can repeal their marijuana laws, in whole or in part, but that does not change federal law.
Toronto Sun, 21 May 2016 - They may have the pot but Mayor John Tory says he's got the people. Tory said Friday that when it comes to the city cracking down on the booming marijuana dispensary business, there is "substantial" public support.
Canberra Times, 21 May 2016 - There's never been a more exciting time to be a drug policy researcher. That's the view of one, Professor Beau Kilmer, who was in Canberra this week for a conference at the National Portrait Gallery, hosted by the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy.
Orlando Sentinel, 21 May 2016 - TALLAHASSEE - The medical marijuana amendment is back, and the fight over the issue is poised to return to the airwaves and screens of all sizes throughout Florida. Drug Free Florida, the group that successfully fended off a similar amendment in 2014, released its first video this week attacking the new measure that will go before voters on the November ballot. The three-minute video is running online only, but it signals the start of a campaign likely to inundate the state with ads.
The Dominion Post, 20 May 2016 - Terminally ill Helen Kelly says the Government has made her a criminal after a review of medicinal cannabis guidelines has resulted in little change. More than a year ago the former Council of Trade Unions president was diagnosed with lung cancer and after trying a variety of different medications she resorted to cannabis for pain relief.
Globe and Mail, 20 May 2016 - British Columbia researchers have determined a straightforward method for health-care professionals to effectively identify people at a heightened risk of dying from a future drug overdose. Scientists at the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV-AIDS revealed those who have recently survived a non-fatal overdose are more likely to die from a subsequent overdose.