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US CO: Series: State Prevention Efforts Criticized

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 03/22/2015 - 07:00
The Gazette, 22 Mar 2015 - In one of the neatly maintained, brick buildings lining a street on the campus of the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan in southwest Denver is a hive of offices where about 60 state employees focus on the prevention and treatment of mental health problems, including substance abuse and addiction. Their work in the Office of Behavioral Health is cut out for them in Colorado, home to some of the highest drug-use rates in the nation and one of the country's worst track records for public funding of mental health care, especially for youths. The state almost entirely bankrolls the office's efforts to prevent substance abuse and addiction with an $8.3 million federal grant.
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US NY: Speaker: Drug Users Need Treatment, Not Jail

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 03/22/2015 - 07:00
Oneida Daily Dispatch, 22 Mar 2015 - CAZENOVIA - On ideas about future drug policy, a speaker Friday night in Cazenovia talked grassroots action and called for politicians to do more. The program, "War on Drugs: Charting the past, present and future of drug policy in the United States, "was part of the 2015 Cazenovia forum, and was held in Caz College's Catherine Cummings Theater.
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US HI: Column: Is America Ready For Medical Pot?

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 03/22/2015 - 07:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 22 Mar 2015 - A bipartisan trio of U.S. senators - New Jersey's Cory Booker, New York's Kirsten Gillibrand and Kentucky's Rand Paul - are sponsoring a bill to classify marijuana as a Schedule II drug, meaning the federal government would allow it be used as medicine. Some critics worry that such a bill could become a "gateway law" to full legalization of recreational weed; defenders say sick patients need the pain relief best provided by marijuana.
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US CO: Series: Regulation Still Ineffective

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 03/22/2015 - 07:00
The Gazette, 22 Mar 2015 - The promises of Colorado's Amendment 64 largely hinged on two words blazing from campaign signs dotting the state before the historic November 2012 vote that legalized recreational marijuana for people 21 and older: Regulation works. But how it would work was described only in general terms and sound bites before voters headed to the polls to make a decision Gov. John Hickenlooper later would call "reckless" and "a bad idea" and new Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman declared "not worth it" to dozens of state attorneys general last month. The pro-Amendment 64 campaign's website claimed that "by regulating marijuana like alcohol, Colorado can further reduce teen marijuana use, minimize teens' access to marijuana, reduce exposure to more dangerous drugs and take sales out of the hands of criminals."
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New Zealand: Review: Just Ask Why

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 03/22/2015 - 07:00
Sunday Star-Times, 22 Mar 2015 - CHASING THE SCREAM: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, Johann Hari, Bloomsbury Circus $27 Johann Hari's new book is a clear-eyed look at the war on drugs, writes David Herkt. MOST OF us know the war against drugs has been a comprehensive failure. Many of the negative effects of drug use are due to its criminalisation. In Portugal, Switzerland, and Uruguay, which have removed some of the legal consequences of drug use, we see countries that haven't collapsed into chaos, but have, in fact, a decreasing social problem.
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US FL: OPED: Florida Sentencing Laws Cut Blacks' Chances For Success

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 03/21/2015 - 07:00
Sun-Sentinel, 21 Mar 2015 - The tributes to those who braved the nightsticks of Alabama state troopers 50 years ago to march for voting rights were inspiring. The state of Black America a half-century later is depressing. In a recent report titled "Five Bleak Facts on Black Opportunity," the Brookings Institution laid out where things stand. In 1965, the idea of an African-American president and an African-American attorney general might have been unimaginable, but despite that progress at the top, there's been regression below.
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US IL: OPED: Cannabis Prohibition Is The Real Crime

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 03/21/2015 - 07:00
The Journal Standard, 21 Mar 2015 - Claiming that marijuana has a "lethal legacy," as Debbie Leiniger did in her March 7 "My View" opinion is not only specious and spurious, it is akin to declaring that the Earth is flat. Despite all evidence to the contrary. History shows that people have always used intoxicants. In every age, in every part of the world, people have pursued intoxication with plants, alcohol and other euphoric substances. In fact, this behavior has so much force and persistence that it functions much like our drives for food, sleep and sex.
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Chronicle AM: DEA "Cold Consent" Searches, NYC Calls for Pot Legalization, KY Heroin Bills Collide, More (3/20/15)

Drug War Chronicle - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 22:41

An Ohio legalization initiative heads for signature-gathering, the NYC city council calls for decrim and legalization, the DEA's "cold consent" searches get critiqued, Kentucky pols can't agree on how to deal with heroin, and more.

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

Louisiana Legalization Bill Pre-Filed. State Rep. Dalton Honore (D-Baton Rouge) has pre-filed a marijuana legalization bill. He submitted House Bill 117 yesterday. To go into effect, it would have to both pass the legislature and be approved by the electorate in the November 2016 election. Louisiana has some of the country's harshest marijuana laws.

Ohio Ballot Board Clears ResponsibleOhio Legalization Initiative. Backers of the ResponsibleOhio legalization initiative have cleared the final hurdle before beginning signature-gathering. The state Ballot Board agreed that the proposal amounts to a single constitutional amendment, so it's good to go. Backers will now need to gather more than 300,000 signatures by July to qualify for the ballot. The amendment would allow only 10 growing sites already promised to investors.

NYC City Council Calls for Decriminalizing and Legalizing Marijuana. This week, the New York City Council called for the state to pass legislation to both decriminalize and to tax and regulate marijuana. As part of the Council's State Budget and Legislative Agenda for the 2015-2016 legislative session, the council urged the state legislature to pass two marijuana policy reforms -- the Fairness and Equity Act and the Marijuana Regulation and Tax Act (MRTA). The Speaker of the City Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito had previously announced her support for marijuana legalization in November, but this marks the first time that decriminalization and legalization have been part of the Council's official legislative agenda.

Medical Marijuana

Georgia Medical Marijuana Bill Wins Senate Committee Vote. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved House Bill 1 yesterday. The measure has passed the House and now heads for a Senate floor vote.

Methamphetamine

New York Senate Approves Bill to Increase Meth Penalties. The Senate has passed Senate Bill 1150, which would increase penalties for meth possession and sale. Meth would be treated similarly to heroin and cocaine under the bill. The bill is now in the Assembly Codes Committee as Assembly Bill 5577.

Opiates

Kentucky Legislators Still Can't Agree on Heroin Bills. House and Senate negotiators met yesterday to try to reach a compromise on competing bills that address heroin use in the state, but mainly agreed to disagree. There are differences over increasing penalties for heroin dealers, whether to allow needle exchanges, and on how to protect people who report overdoses. There is now a chance legislators could agree on a compromise that simply omits the sentencing and overdose reporting provisions.

Asset Forfeiture

Sen. Chuck Grassley Investigating Asset Forfeiture Abuses in US Marshals Service. The Iowa Republican sent a letter Wednesday to the agency demanding documents after he received whistleblower allegations that the service's Asset Forfeiture Division had used asset forfeiture monies "to purchase extravagant office decorations such as custom wall paper and window treatments." He is also looking into allegations of favoritism in hiring at the agency.

Law Enforcement

Justice Department Report Criticizes DEA's "Cold Consent" Searches. In a new report, the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General details how the DEA's use of "cold consent" searches, where agents confront travelers at airports, bus, and rail stations and "ask" for consent to search them, may be racially profiling passengers and unjustly seizing their money. Click on the title link or read the report for lots more detail.

Reentry and Rehabilitation

Ex-Felon Federal Voting Rights Bills Filed. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) has filed S 772 to secure the federal voting rights of people who have served their time. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has filed a companion bill, HR 1459, in the House.

Sentencing

Smarter Sentencing Act Picks Up More Cosponsors. The Senate version, S 502, now has nine cosponsors, with the latest being Sen. John Isaakson (R-GA). The House version, HR 920, now has 22 cosponsors, with six signing on in the past week. The bills would retroactively apply provisions of the Fair Sentencing Act and would reduce mandatory minimum sentences.

International

Canada Supreme Court Takes Up Medical Marijuana Edibles. The high court is hearing a case where plaintiffs charge that Health Canada violated medical marijuana patients' constitutional rights to life, liberty, and safety by barring any form of marijuana except dried plants. The government has lost at every step of the legal process so far, but continues to argue the case.

Zambia Opposition Party Joins Green Call for Marijuana Legalization. Zambia's second largest opposition party, the United Party for National Development, has joined the Greens in calling for the legalization of marijuana cultivation. "There is nothing wrong with cannabis. Just like you and me 'dear reader' Cannabis Sativa, the plant, was also created by God," wrote party vice-president for political affairs Canisius Banda. "Cannabis is a resource. Cannabis must be decriminalized the world over. Nonetheless, regulation, albeit wise, just as it exists for many other things ought to remain. Just like Zambia boasts of Copper, California boasts of Cannabis, the biggest cash crop, responsible for US$14 billion a year in sales. Zambia would do well, under decriminalized but controlled conditions, to start growing Cannabis, and at least, for now until we are a bit more civilized, only for export to countries that have made it legal."

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CN BC: Compassion Club Licensed In Gibsons, Second Dispensary Denied

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 07:00
Coast Reporter, 20 Mar 2015 - The Town of Gibsons has issued a business licence for a compassion club, but the operators say no cannabis products will be sold on site - - at least for now. "We do plan to eventually become a dispensary, but you know the controversy surrounding that," Rainforest Compassion Club co-owner Rod McEwan said Tuesday.
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CN BC: MP Discusses Recent Events, Statements

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 07:00
Cranbrook Daily Townsman, 20 Mar 2015 - It's not everyday that a federal Cabinet minister comes to town. However, Kootenay-Columbia MP David Wilks has been trying to get James Moore out to Cranbrook for the last year. "I think he was well received and it was great to have him out and about," said Wilks, who spent the day with Moore meeting with different groups all day, including addressing members of the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce for lunch on Wednesday.
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US NJ: Column: Passing It at the State House Saturday 4:20

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 07:00
The Trentonian, 20 Mar 2015 - I wanted to write about the fact that starting at 2:30 on Saturday afternoon, hundreds of victims of New Jersey's current criminal marijuana laws will march from the Trenton train station down State Street to the State House, where a large smoky "civil disobedience protest" will begin at 4:20 p.m. But first I must cringe at President Obama's recent comments to VICE magazine. VICE is a youth-oriented media outlet that I enjoy even though I'm actually 50 and considered middle-aged now. (I can't believe I just conceded that I'm middle aged.)
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Chronicle AM: Good New Pot Polls, State Dept. Drug Report Released, UN Iran Drug Aid Criticized, More (3/19/15)

Drug War Chronicle - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 22:25

A new national pot poll has good numbers and so does a Vermont poll, a Washington state home grow bill is filed, a Missouri hemp bill moves, the DEA warns on fentanyl, critics pounce on the UNODC over aid to Iran, and more.

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

Benenson Strategy Group Poll Has Support for Legalization at 61% Nationwide. The poll, which has a 3.5 +/- margin of error, also has 72% for decriminalization. A General Social Survey poll, the "gold standard" of polls, last week had support at 52%. Other recent polls have also found support above the 50% mark. In this week's BSG poll, Republicans were practically split, but 59% of GOP voters under age 50 supported legalization.

Massachusetts Initiative Group Warns Legislators on Excessive Taxation. The group Bay State Repeal, which intends to run a legalization initiative campaign next year, has released a statement saying it welcomed legislative efforts to legalize it, but cautioned against excessive taxation and fees. "A major aim of legalization is to limit access to minors by driving out the black market," the group said in its statement. "But inevitably, unlicensed producers will continue to supply consumers at the black market if legal marijuana is more expensive."

Vermont Poll Has Support for Legalization at 54%. A new Castleton Polling Institute survey has a majority for legalization, with 70% of respondents under 45 in favor and 61% of respondents over 65 opposed. The poll comes as the legislature considers a legalization bill, but signs are the bill will not move this year.

Washington State Bill Would Allow Home Grows. Washington is the only legalization state that does not allow home cultivation (except for medical), but a pair of bills introduced today would change that. Senate Bill 6083, sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, and House Bill 2196, sponsored by Rep. Brian Blake, would let adults 21 and over grow up to six plants and possess up to eight ounces of their harvest.

Medical Marijuana

North Carolinians Rally for New Medical Marijuana Bill in Raleigh. More than a hundred people rallied at the state capitol today in support of House Bill 317, which would allow for medical marijuana use by terminally ill patients. Rep. Kelly Alexander formally introduced it today.

Tennessee GOP Senator Says He Will File Medical Marijuana Bill. State Sen. Steve Dickerson (R-Nashville) said today he is working on a bill that would allow for medical marijuana. He said he expected to have final details by Monday. A Democratic bill in the House has yet to make it out of committee.

Hemp

Missouri Hemp Bill Heads for House Floor Vote -- Maybe. An industrial hemp bill, H.B. 830 has passed its final House committee hurdle and awaits a House floor vote. But it is unclear whether House Majority Leader Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff) will give it time for a debate and a vote.

Opiates

DEA Warns on Fentanyl. Fentanyl is increasingly showing up in heroin, the DEA warned yesterday. The opioid is up to 50 times stronger than heroin, and dealers are using it to increase the potency of their products, but the result can be accidental overdoses. "Drug incidents and overdoses related to fentanyl are occurring at an alarming rate throughout the United States and represent a significant threat to public health and safety," said DEA administrator Michele Leonhart.

International

State Department Releases Annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report. "The two-volume report offers a comprehensive assessment of the efforts of foreign governments to reduce illicit narcotics production, trafficking and use, in keeping with their international obligations under UN treaties, while also presenting information on governments' efforts to counter money laundering and terrorist financing," State says. Click on the link to read the report.

UNODC Preparing New Iran Aid Deal Despite Drug Executions. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is planning a new five-year financial assistance deal with Iran, one of the world's leading executioners for drug crimes. Iran executed at least 350 drug offenders last year and about two a day so far this year. That has critics very unhappy. "Iran has hanged more than a hundred so-called drug offenders this year, and the UN has responded by praising the efficiency of the Iranian drug police and lining them up a generous five-year funding deal," said Maya Foa, strategic director of the death penalty team for Reprieve, a British advocacy group.

Israeli Marijuana Party Fails to Reach Threshold to Enter Knesset. Aleh Yarok, the Israeli political party pushing for marijuana legalization, failed to gain the 3.25% of the popular vote needed to give it representation in the Knesset. Aleh Yarok garnered only 38,000 votes, or 0.97% of the vote. The party may have lost some votes to Meretz, which appealed to youth voters by also embracing marijuana reforms.

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US CO: Column: The Cannabis Debate Drifts into the Halls of

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 07:00
Boulder Weekly, 19 Mar 2015 - Last week I wrote about a bill that was then being debated in the Utah state legislature. S.B. 259 would have amended a law passed last year that allowed Utah citizens to use certain strains of CBD-dominate cannabis to treat medical conditions but mandated no legal way that patients could obtain them. Like many others, I concentrated on the testimony of a DEA agent whose job is to eradicate illicit marijuana from national forest land. Matt Fairbanks testified against the bill because he feared that wildlife might be adversely affected by ingesting cannabis. It reminded me that about all prohibitionists have left is to continue to make up things this ridiculous to press the point that cannabis is more dangerous than alcohol.
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US CA: Column: Weed-mart

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 07:00
North Coast Journal, 19 Mar 2015 - Local Planned Parenthood employees got a bit of a scare recently, when a suspicious package prompted a call to the bomb squad and an evacuation of the Cutten clinic. A little before noon on March 16, the U.S. Postal Service dropped a 2-foot by 2-foot package at the Planned Parenthood Northern California office. The package had been sent to an undeliverable address in Georgia and bore a return address - the Planned Parenthood clinic on Timber Falls Court - and a name: J. Black.
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US CO: Column: What's The Deal With Live-Resin Extract?

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 07:00
Westword, 19 Mar 2015 - Dear Stoner: What's the deal with "live resin" extract? What makes it so expensive, other than the fact that tourists will buy it? If the extraction process for "live resin" is to freeze and process the plant while it's still alive, then "live resin" does not cure. As a patient, this seems odd, because the shops don't cure enough, and some say that's where the best flower shines through - after the cure. Resinator
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US AZ: Column: The New Norm

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 07:00
Tucson Weekly, 19 Mar 2015 - Medicating on the Go With Vape Pens There are many ways to ingest medical marijuana and each has its pros and cons. Some folks swear by their edibles while others prefer the tried and true approach to medical marijuana: just plain smoking it. But thanks to advances in science and tech, vaporizing marijuana is the new norm. In fact, next to dabs, vaping (inhaling and exhaling the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device, which became Oxford Dictionary's word of the year in 2014) has become one of the most popular new ways for patients to medicate.
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US CA: Column: Crack Hangover

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 07:00
SF Weekly, 19 Mar 2015 - CRACK HANGOVER The weather is weird in Oakland on a recent Saturday, as a biting wind cuts through the warm glow of a late February sun. Soon, a brief but furious rain pounds the skylights on the roof of Laney College's black student union, making it hard for the 40 or so people seated in folding chairs to hear the voice of the slight man standing at the podium. The man is America's most successful drug dealer.
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US CA: Column: California Pot Initiatives Spark Up

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 07:00
Sacramento News & Review, 19 Mar 2015 - I see plenty of people getting excited about legalizing marijuana in California, but are there any ballot initiatives ready to go? Any you can recommend? - -Ivana B. Puffingwun There are a few ready to go, but I am not sure they will have much of a chance. The folks behind the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative are trying (again) to get their initiative on the ballot. While I really like the language of their proposal (the tax on pot is really low, you would be able to grow an incredible amount of weed in your home and it would free people in jail for nonviolent cannabis crimes), I don't think they have a chance. The CCHI has no money, and no real organization. Sigh.
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This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 23:48

A sticky-fingered Detroit cop goes down, so does an entrepreneurial New Mexico deputy, and more jail guards get in trouble. Of course. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]In Baltimore, a Baltimore County jail guard was arrested last Thursday on charges related to a drug smuggling conspiracy at the jail. Guard Melvin Jerome Hodges, 31, is accused of smuggling suboxone into the jail to be distributed by an inmate. He is charged with conspiracy to distribute drugs and has been released on bail.

In Albuquerque, a Colfax County sheriff's deputy was arrested last Friday on drug corruption charges. Deputy Vidal Sandoval, 45, came under suspicion after two men reported that he had seized marijuana and cash from them without providing a receipt. State police and the FBI then deployed undercover officers to drive highways where Sandoval patrolled, and on three occasions, he stopped their vehicles, found drugs, then offered to escort them down the highway in exchange for a share of their drug proceeds. He is now charged with aiding and abetting an attempt to possess cocaine with intent to distribute.

In Detroit, a Detroit police officer was arrested last Friday on charges he stole a "Scarface movie collage" from a home during a drug raid. Officer Christos Kyriakides, 62, is charged with larceny from a building. His arrest comes as lawsuits have been filed against Detroit drug officers and as the FBI is investigating the former dope squad.

In Vienna, Missouri, a state corrections official was arrested last Saturday in a drug raid in Vienna. Anthony Williams, 46, is a major and Chief of Custody for the state Department of Corrections. Police turned up meth, LSD, cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana, pills, and evidence of drug distribution. It's not clear what he is charged with.

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Medical Marijuana Update

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 23:16

The federal medical marijuana bill picks up two more sponsors, San Diego gets its first permitted dispensaries (with numbers two and three in the works), Florida's CBD cannabis oil program is delayed again, and more.

[image:1 align:left]National

On Tuesday, the federal medical marijuana bill got a new cosponsor. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) is the latest. A second Republican senator has also signed on to the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act (Senate Bill 683). Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) joined fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul (KY) and Democrats Cory Booker (NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) -- and now, Boxer, too.

California

Last Wednesday, a Southern California tribe said it was getting in the marijuana business. The Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Tribe is setting aside some 40 acres to grew medical marijuana it will sell to dispensaries across the state.

Also last Wednesday, dispensary advocates filed two lawsuits against the city of Costa Mesa. They came one day after the city killed an ordinance that would have permitted and regulated dispensaries. The suits contend the city should have held a special election this month on two dispensary initiatives instead of delaying until the November 2016 general election.

Last Thursday, San Diego approved its second and third legal dispensaries. The Planning Commission okayed dispensaries in Kearney Mesa and San Ysidro, but delayed approval of one in the Midway district over parking and other access issues. In January, the commission approved the first legal dispensary in the city since medical marijuana became law in 1996. Dozens have operated illegally over the years.

On Tuesday, the Richmond city council voted to cut the number of permitted dispensaries from six to three. There are only three currently operating in the city. It also voted to allow three more permits for edibles manufacturing operations.

On Wednesday, San Diego's first legally permitted dispensary opened for business. A Green Alternative opened this morning at Otay Mesa. Last week, the city approved two more permitted dispensaries. They are the first legal ones to operate in the city.

Florida

On Monday, the state's CBD cannabis oil program was again delayed. For the second time, the Department of Health has posted "final rules" for the program, and now, for the second time, it is being challenged by lawsuits. That pushes back the timeline for getting the program up and running by another 60 to 90 days. It was supposed to be running by January 1.

Georgia

Last Thursday, the Senate passed a restrictive cannabis oil bill. The Senate passed Senate Bill 185, which would allow parents bringing CBD cannabis oil into the state to treat their children with epilepsy to be exempted from criminal prosecution, but would not allow medical marijuana in any other form and would not let adults or children with other diseases use it. The House has passed a broader CBD bill; the Senate Health Committee chair has promised it will try to reconcile the two bills.

Idaho

Last Wednesday, a CBD cannabis oil bill won a Senate committee vote. The Senate State Affairs Committee has narrowly approved a CBD cannabis oil bill, Senate Bill 1146. It passed on a 5-4 vote after law enforcement objections scuttled an earlier bill. The new bill only allows for an affirmative defense; the old one would have explicitly made it legal for patients and providers to possess the oils.

Missouri

Last Wednesday, a medical marijuana bill won a House committee vote. The House Emerging Issues Committee approved HB 800, although it added restrictions.

Montana

On Tuesday, a state senator said she was ready to file a medical marijuana bill. State Sen. Robyn Driscoll (D) says she will file a bill this week to allow the sale for profit of medical marijuana, remove limits on the number of patients a caregiver can grow for, allow for advertising, allow for the trade in plants and seedlings, and remove a requirement that doctors who recommend for more than 25 people in a year be reviewed by the Board of Medical Examiners. The provisions would enact parts of a district judge's decision permanently enjoining portions of a harsh 2011 medical marijuana law that undid much of the state's 2004 voter-approved medical marijuana initiative.

Nevada

On Wednesday, a medical marijuana for pets bill was filed. State Sen. Tick Segerholm (D-Las Vegas) introduced Senate Bill 372, which would allow pet owners to obtain marijuana for their animals upon a veteranarian's certification that it could help. He said he worries that some animals might have adverse reactions, but "you don't know until you try."

New Jersey

On Monday, the state released standards for edibles producers. The Health Department has released regulations for growers who will produce medical marijuana edibles. The guidelines are a first step in a process that is likely to last months before the first edibles are available for sale. Click on the link for more details.

North Dakota

On Monday, the House killed a medical marijuana study bill. Not only does the legislature not want to approve medical marijuana; it doesn't even want to study it. The House earlier killed a medical marijuana bill and now it has killed a study bill, with opponents claiming it wasn't needed because the House Human Services Committee "couldn't find anything that wasn't already taken care of in the hearing process."

Tennessee

On Tuesday, a CBD cannabis oil bill won a House committee vote. The House Criminal Justice Committee Wednesday approved House Bill 197, which would allow for the use of low-THC cannabis oils by specified patients. The bill now goes to the House Health Committee, the last stop before a House floor vote. Companion legislation is moving through the Senate.

Texas

Last Friday, medical marijuana bills were filed in both chambers. Rep. Marissa Marquez (D-El Paso) Friday introduced HB 3785, a full-fledged medical marijuana bill, in the House, and Sen. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) filed a companion bill in the Senate. The bills would allow qualifying patients to use and possess small amounts of marijuana and obtain it through regulated dispensaries.

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

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