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Australia: Send In Sniffer Dogs

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 07:00
The Townsville Bulletin, 16 Jul 2014 - SEND IN SNIFFER DOGS DRUG problems have reached "epidemic" proportions on Palm Island say residents, who have called for permanent sniffer dogs. The community's drug use has reportedly increased since the Alcohol Management Plan was introduced in 2006 because the illegal substances are easier to smuggle in.
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US FL: Opponents Say Amendment 2 Is 'De Facto Legalization' Of

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 07:00
Tallahassee Democrat, 16 Jul 2014 - Opponents of Florida's medical marijuana ballot initiative criticized the language of Amendment 2 Wednesday and pointed to growing concerns in other states that have allowed recreational use of the drug. "Don't fool yourself," said Drug Free America Foundation Executive Director Calvina Faye. "This amendment is de facto legalization."
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CN SN: OPED: Narcan Helps Paramedics To Save Lives

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 07:00
Prince Albert Daily Herald, 16 Jul 2014 - What if you could save a life? Just one life. Would you? For almost all of us, the answer to these questions is an enthusiastic yes. Without question, regardless of anything, a life, just one life, is worth saving.
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CN ON: OPED: Legalize Soft Drugs To Reduce Availability Of

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 07:00
Petrolia Topic, 16 Jul 2014 - Does caffeine lead to cocaine use? Obviously not. But what would happen if caffeine was outlawed? Naturally, a black market would emerge. Drug gangs, which are highly skilled at operating outside the law, and have pre-existing distribution channels, would begin trafficking illegal caffeine pills. If people were forced to use black market distribution chains to obtain a mild stimulant such as caffeine, would they be more likely to opt for a stronger stimulant such as cocaine? Almost certainly.
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US DC: Police Quietly Prepping For Change In Law On Marijuana

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 07:00
Washington Times, 16 Jul 2014 - Decriminalization Starts on Thursday The District is quietly preparing for a law to take effect Thursday that decriminalizes possession of small amounts of marijuana, with the Metropolitan Police Department issuing a special order to officers advising them of new protocols.
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CN ON: Editorial: Saluting The Resilience Of Rade Kovacevic

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 07:00
Guelph Mercury, 16 Jul 2014 - A bookie would have given long odds to anyone seeking a wager in August 2010 that Rade Kovacevic would in a short time be a darling of the local business community and a key player in a burgeoning research-linked firm spotlighted for its innovation. After all, in August 2010, Kovacevic was a principal in a local cannabis club that had just been raided by the Guelph Police Service, and he and other stakeholders with the organization were facing multiple charges. He and the others charged vigorously asserted their innocence, claimed that the investigation against them was improper and vowed that they would not be found guilty. But isn't that the usual line from suspects - particularly ones with a somewhat prominent profile in the community?
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US NM: Santa Feans Seek A Vote On Marijuana

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 16 Jul 2014 - SANTA FE - Supporters of decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana brought petitions with the signatures of more than 7,000 people to Santa Fe City Hall on Tuesday, in an effort to get a proposal on the November general election ballot. Over the next 10 days, City Clerk Yolanda Vigil will verify whether there are enough valid signatures of registered voters - 5,763 are required - to call an election among city voters on the measure. The proposal would make possession of an ounce or less of marijuana a civil infraction punishable by a fine of $25 or less.
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US NY: Editorial: A Sensible Marijuana Policy In Brooklyn

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 07:00
New York Times, 16 Jul 2014 - Kenneth Thompson, the Brooklyn district attorney, served both justice and common sense this week when he announced that he would no longer prosecute most cases in which people are arrested or ticketed for small amounts of marijuana. Such cases are usually dismissed. But by keeping thousands of them from going to court at all, Mr. Thompson will have more resources to devote to fighting serious crime. The new policy will also prevent the young minority men who are most of those arrested from getting criminal records that deny them jobs, housing or entry into armed services. New York has been wrestling with the marijuana enforcement problem for several decades. In 1977, for example, the State Legislature sought to cut down on arrests and relieve pressure on the court system by decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana. The law made possession of 25 grams or less of marijuana a noncriminal violation akin to a parking ticket, punishable by a $100 fine for the first offense. Possession of marijuana in public view was made a misdemeanor punishable by up to three months in jail and a $500 fine.
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Chronicle AM -- July 15, 2014

Drug War Chronicle - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 19:10

The Obama administration comes out against congressional interference with the District of Columbia's decriminalization law, Dana Rohrabacher comes out as the first Republican congressman to support marijuana legalization, the Smarter Sentencing Act picks up more sponsors, and more. Let's get to it:

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

White House Comes Out Against Congress Blocking DC Decriminalization Law. In a statement of administration policy on pending appropriations bills, the White House Monday came out "strongly" against a congressional move to bar the District from spending money to implement its new decriminalization law. "The Administration strongly opposes the language in the bill preventing the District from using its own local funds to carry out locally- passed marijuana policies, which again undermines the principles of States' rights and of District home rule. Furthermore, the language poses legal challenges to the Metropolitan Police Department's enforcement of all marijuana laws currently in force in the District," the statement said.

DC City Council Passes Emergency Resolutions Condemning Congressional Interference. The council Monday approved two emergency resolutions opposing a recent effort led by US House Representative Andy Harris (R-MD) to use congressional oversight to block the District of Columbia from spending any of its locally-raised revenues to enact marijuana reform. Read more on DC marijuana politics in a feature article here later today.

Dana Rohrabacher, First Republican Congressman to Back Marijuana Legalization. California Republican US Rep. Dana Rohrabacher told the Christian Science Monitor Monday that he supports legalizing marijuana and would "probably" endorse a 2016 California legalization initiative if it qualifies for the ballot. Rohrabacher is the first sitting Republican congressman to explicitly endorse legalization. About 40 congressional Democrats have expressed support for legalization.

National Press Club Newsmakers Event Next Week Centers on Marijuana Policy. The National Press Club in downtown Washington, DC, will host a news conference next Thursday on medical and recreational marijuana legalization. The news conference will feature Bill Piper, national affairs director for the Drug Policy Alliance, and Dr. Kevin Sabet of the anti-legalization group Project SAM (Smart About Marijuana). The event is open to all credentialed journalists and National Press Club members. Click on the link for event details.

Medical Marijuana

Missouri Governor Signs CBD Cannabis Oil Bill. Gov. Jay Nixon (R) yesterday signed into law a bill allowing Missourians with epilepsy that cannot be treated by conventional means to use low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oil. Patients will have to register for the state and have a neurologist aver that conventional treatments have not worked.

Los Angeles Moves to Shut Down Medical Marijuana Farmers' Market. Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer has said he will today seek a restraining order to block a Boyle Heights medical marijuana farmers' market from doing it again. The farmers' market occurred two weekends ago. It isn't clear if there are plans to do it again.

Prescription Opiates

University of Wisconsin Pain Policy Study Group Releases Two Reports. The reports are Achieving Balance in State Pain Policy: A Progress Report Card (CY 2013) and Achieving Balance in State and Federal Pain Policies: A Guide to Evaluation (CY 2013). The first report contains a grade for each state and the District of Columbia, which represents the extent that state policies can support pain management and patient care. The second report explains PPSG's evaluation method and criteria as well as its "principle of balance," which says that "efforts to prevent drug diversion and abuse are essential and should avoid interfering with healthcare practice and patient care."

Law Enforcement

Oklahoma Narcs on the Lookout for Kratom. The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics is worried about kratom, a Southeast Asian shrub whose leaves are mildly psychoactive and who some users claim is useful as a means of breaking opiate addictions. The OBN says it is not a "major problem" yet, but that it has received worried phone calls from a half-dozen parents. Kratom is on the DEA's list of drugs to watch, but the federal agency has made no move to ban it.

Sentencing

Smarter Sentencing Act Picks Up Two More Cosponsors. Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Donald Payne (D-NJ) are the latest to sign onto the Smarter Sentencing Act, which would reduce some federal drug sentences by retroactively adjusting crack and powder cocaine sentences and allowing judges to sentence below mandatory minimums in some cases. The act now has 44 cosponsors -- 30 Democrats and 14 Republicans. Similar legislation has been filed in the Senate.

International

Dutch Senate Wants Justice Minister to Explain What He's Doing About Illegal Marijuana Production. The Senate has summoned Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten to explain what he is doing about "the backdoor problem" -- the fact that while cannabis coffee shops can sell marijuana without legal penalty, there is no legal source for the marijuana they sell. Opstelten and Home Affairs Minister Ronald Plasterk will appear before the Senate in September. Despite the pleas of numerous mayors, Opstelten has refused to allow experiments with regulated marijuana production.

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US NM: Hooked On Crack By Federal Informant

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 15 Jul 2014 - Man Claims He Was Paid in Drugs for Brokering Deals in Las Vegas, NM A one-time target of a federal narcotics investigation claims U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents and informants "reignited" his crack cocaine addiction to help their undercover investigation into drug dealing in Las Vegas, N.M., during an operation called "Smack City."
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US MA: High Marks For Marijuana Applicants, But No Licenses

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 15 Jul 2014 - Applicants Say Changes State Suggested Led Nowhere One of the companies received the second-highest score among the dozens that applied for Massachusetts' first medical marijuana dispensary licenses. Another tied for fourth-highest.
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US DC: Column: Vice For Fun And Profit

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 15 Jul 2014 - Two of the larger social trends of our time - the growth of payday gambling and the legalization of marijuana - have two things in common: They are justified as the expansion of personal liberty, and they serve the interests of an expanding government. The ideological alliance behind these changes is among the strangest in U.S. politics. Libertarians seek to lift governmental restraints on consensual acts. State governments seek sources of revenue without the political inconvenience of requesting broad tax increases. Both find common ground in encouraging and exploiting the weaknesses and addictions of citizens. (And business interests and their lobbyists, of course, find new ways to profit from reliable vices.)
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UK: Cannabis Could Help Cut Growth Of Tumours

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 07:00
The Courier, 15 Jul 2014 - CANNABIS COULD be used to reduce tumour growth in cancer patients, scientists have said. New research reveals the drug's main psychoactive ingredient - tetrahydrocannabino ( THC) - could be responsible for its success in shrinking tumours.
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US CA: Pot's Popularity, State Law Create Tough Times For

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 07:00
The Virgin Islands Daily News, 15 Jul 2014 - LOS ANGELES - Julie Shemitz watched warily as the judge asked prospective jurors whether they or anyone close to them had a card for medical marijuana. Ten hands lifted, a third of the jury pool. "Look at all those hands," the judge said.
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CN BC: Column: Pot's Positive Potential Is Hard To Ignore

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 07:00
Whistler Question, 15 Jul 2014 - A few weeks ago I wrote about the eternal issue of kids and booze. Now it's time to talk about adults and pot. I am always amazed by the number of people who, at some social occasion, will puff on a joint with the caveat that their spouse doesn't know. These people either have partners without a sense of smell or they are deluding themselves.
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US CA: Pot Market Faces Challenge

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 15 Jul 2014 - City Attorney to Request a Temporary Restraining Order Against Boyle Heights Marijuana Sellers. The Los Angeles city attorney is seeking an injunction to stop what's being dubbed as the city's first ever cannabis-centric farmers market, which opened for business over the Fourth of July weekend.
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Chronicle AM -- July 14, 2014

Drug War Chronicle - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 19:38

Happy Bastille Day! And speaking of which, the US Sentencing Commission is reporting heavy public response to its proposal to make some sentencing reforms retroactive. Meanwhile, marijuana remains on the move, the good burghers of New York will pay for another drug war killing, millennials loosen up on drugs, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Washington State Earns $150,000 in Excise Taxes From First Three Days of Limited Legal Marijuana Sales. Legal pot sales in Washington started last Tuesday with only a handful of shops open across the state, but by last Friday, the Washington Liquor Control Board reported that the sales had generated almost $150,000 in excise taxes alone. The excise tax is 25% imposed on producers when they sell to retailers and another 25% imposed on consumers when they buy retail. The figure doesn't include state and local sales taxes.

Colorado Recreational Marijuana Sales Declined for First Time in May. Retail pot shops sold $21 million worth of marijuana in May, down 5% from the $22 million sold in April. The combined 4/20 celebrations and High Times Cannabis Cup that same weekend may have had something to do with the high April figures. Also, tax-free medical marijuana sales remain strong and still exceeded recreational sales in April, coming in at $32 million.

Nevada 2016 Legalization Initiative Campaign Kicks Off With Innovative Bathroom Ads. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has begun its campaign to get a legalization initiative on the 2016 ballot with "bathroom-themed ads, which are scheduled to appear in restrooms at more than two dozen restaurants and bars across Las Vegas throughout July and August." The ads highlight the costs of marijuana prohibition.

South Portland, Maine, Activists Hand in Signature for Municipal Legalization Referendum. Citizens for Safer Maine, a Marijuana Policy Project affiliate, today handed in 1,521 signatures to place a legalization initiative on the municipal this November. The group needs 959 valid voter signatures to qualify. Similar efforts are underway in York and Lewiston; Portland passed a similar measure last year.

Medical Marijuana

Berkeley City Council Gives Initial Approval for Free Medical Marijuana for the Poor and Homeless. The Berkeley city council last week gave initial approval for an ordinance that would require dispensaries in the city to set aside 2% of their medical marijuana to be given away free to poor and homeless residents who are patients. A second reading is set for next month.

South Carolina Limited CBD Medical Marijuana Law Not Working. South Carolina's new law allowing for the use of high-CBD cannabis oil is stymied because no one in South Carolina is making it and federal law prohibits it being shipped across state lines. The new law does create a study committee to determine how to grow the plants and manufacture the oil in state, but it looks like that is years down the road.

North Carolina Medical Marijuana Supporters Protest at Trial of Grower. Protestors gathered in Hendersonville this morning to protest the trial of a man they say is a medical marijuana grower. Todd Stimson is charged with numerous marijuana cultivation and related offenses. His trial starts this afternoon.

Drug Policy

Poll of Millennials Finds Majority for Marijuana Legalization, One in Five for Cocaine Legalization. A new Reason-Rupe survey finds that 57% of millennials support legalizing marijuana and a surprising 22% support legalizing the use of cocaine. Majorities of millennials said people should not be jailed or imprisoned for using marijuana (83%), ecstasy (68%), cocaine (63%), or heroin (61%). Click on the link above for more top lines, cross tabs, and methodological details.

Drug Testing

Florida Governor Gives Up on Testing Some State Workers, But Not All. Gov. Rick Scott's (R) dream of imposing drug testing on all state workers has faded further after attorneys representing the state last month filed court documents conceding that nearly a thousand job classes are ineligible for drug testing. But Scott has yet to concede that his plan to force state workers to undergo mandatory suspicionless drug testing is unconstitutional, despite lower court rulings against him. He's vowing to go to the US Supreme Court.

Law Enforcement

New York City Pays $2 Million for Undercover Narc's Killing of Unarmed Man on His Mother's Doorstep. Shem Walker, 59, was shot and killed when he attempted to run off shady characters loitering on his mother's apartment building doorstep. The shady characters were undercover NYPD narcotics detectives. Walker punched one of the plain clothes narcs, who responded by shooting him three times and killing him. Now, the good burghers of New York will pay out $2.25 million to settle the family's lawsuit against the city. No criminal charges were filed against the officer.

Sentencing

US Sentencing Commission Got 65,000 Letters Regarding Sentencing Retroactivity. The US Sentencing Commission reports that it had received some 65,000 letters regarding its plans to make the changes to drug sentencing guidelines that reduce many drug sentences retroactive. The Commission will hold a public meeting on the issue on Friday. Click on the link for more details and to read the letters.

International

Honduras President Blames US Drug Policy for Refugee Crisis. In an interview published today, President Juan Hernandez blamed US drug policy for creating violence in Central American countries and thus propelling a surge of migration toward the US. He said US anti-drug policies for generating prohibition-related violence first in Colombia and Mexico and now in Central America. "Honduras has been living in an emergency for a decade," Hernandez told Mexican daily newspaper Excelsior. "The root cause is that the United States and Colombia carried out big operations in the fight against drugs. Then Mexico did it. This is creating a serious problem for us that sparked this migration."

Categories: Latest News

CN ON: OPED: Good Samaritan Immunity Law Could Save Lives

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 07:00
The Record, 14 Jul 2014 - What if you could save a life? Just one life. Would you? For almost all of us, the answer to these questions is an enthusiastic yes. Without question, regardless of anything, a life, just one life, is worth saving.
Categories: Latest News

US MI: Michigan Legislature May Take Steps on Roads, Marijuana

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 07:00
Detroit Free Press, 14 Jul 2014 - LANSING -- The Legislature has a few session days scheduled through July and August that traditionally have been used to introduce bills and not much more. Roll call generally isn't taken and neither are any votes. But this year, that might change.
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US: Pot Ads Signal New Strategy In Push To Legalize

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 07:00
The News-Item, 14 Jul 2014 - WASHINGTON- In the topsy-turvy world of marijuana politics, conservative Republican Rep. Doc Hastings of Washington state is the unlikely hero of the moment, lauded for trying to protect medical pot users from federal arrest. In Florida, liberal Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is portrayed as the unlikely villain, a politician willing to send sick marijuana-using patients to prison.
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