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Yemen: Yemen Bans Khat

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 05/20/2016 - 07:00
Mail and Guardian, 20 May 2016 - Authorities in South Yemen have banned the sale of the mild narcotic khat on weekdays, but said it will be allowed into the city of Aden and its suburbs on weekends. Checkpoints were set up on Monday around Aden to stop khat shipments from entering the port city. Patrols roamed markets to enforce the ban on its sales. It will only be permitted on Thursdays and Fridays.
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US TX: OPED: Felon Disenfranchisement an Obstacle to Democracy

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 05/20/2016 - 07:00
Austin American-Statesman, 20 May 2016 - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe recently restored the right to vote for 206,000 citizens in his state, many of whom had completed their sentences decades ago. One of them, Terry Garrett, had struggled with homelessness and drug addiction, receiving multiple felony convictions, before turning her life around. She's now sober, a grandmother, and helps people facing addiction. Told that she could now vote, she said, "Finally, someone sees past what we did." As the 2016 presidential race heats up, it's clear that the outcome will affect the course of the nation for some time to come. Yet nearly 6 million Americans will not be at the polls this November. It's not that they don't care about the outcome of the election, but rather, they're prohibited from voting due to a current or previous felony conviction.
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US MT: Guard Accused of Smuggling Drugs into Montana State

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 05/20/2016 - 07:00
Bozeman Daily Chronicle, 20 May 2016 - HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A Montana State Prison guard has been accused smuggling methamphetamine and marijuana into the prison in exchange for cash. A federal grand jury indicted Martin Reap on conspiracy, drug possession, drug distribution and bribery charges earlier this month. The case against him was unsealed on Thursday.
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CN ON: Warnings Issued To Unlicensed Pot Shops

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 05/19/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 19 May 2016 - Dispensaries cropping up in Toronto while marijuana remains illegal in Canada The city's crackdown on unlicensed pot dispensaries began Wednesday as Toronto police delivered warning letters to property owners across the city.
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CN ON: Residents' Opinions Shift on Pot Shops

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 05/19/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 19 May 2016 - But Forum Research poll finds that almost half are still fine with medical marijuana dispensaries A shrinking but sizable number of Torontonians think the medicinal marijuana dispensaries popping up all over the city should be allowed to remain open.
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CN ON: Column: If We Want Legal Pot, We Need To Face Facts

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 05/19/2016 - 07:00
Metro, 19 May 2016 - Dear pot smokers: Please don't f--k this up. We are on the verge of legalization. This is a pivotal moment in our country. And some of you - actually statistically about half of you - are ruining it. In a recent survey, conducted by State Farm, 44 per cent of marijuana users said they don't think the drug impacts their ability to drive a car.
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CN AB: Column: If We are Really Going To Legalize Pot (Calgary)

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 05/19/2016 - 07:00
Metro, 19 May 2016 - Dear pot smokers: Please don't f--k this up. We are on the verge of legalization. This is a pivotal moment in our country. And some of you - actually statistically about half of you - are ruining it. In a recent survey, conducted by State Farm, 44 per cent of marijuana users said they don't think the drug impacts their ability to drive a car.
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CN BC: Column: If We are Really Going To Legalize Pot

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 05/19/2016 - 07:00
Metro, 19 May 2016 - Dear pot smokers: Please don't f--k this up. We are on the verge of legalization. This is a pivotal moment in our country. And some of you - actually statistically about half of you - are ruining it. In a recent survey, conducted by State Farm, 44 per cent of marijuana users said they don't think the drug impacts their ability to drive a car.
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CN AB: Pot Rally For Charged Activist

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 05/19/2016 - 07:00
The Calgary Sun, 19 May 2016 - Pedestrians cheered, car drivers honked and even a bus driver showed their support by blasting their horn as pot users banded together to march for marijuana legalization, and to support pot activist Dana Larsen during his first court appearance in Calgary. Larsen, known for his "Overgrow Canada" campaign in which he vowed to give out a million marijuana seeds country-wide, was arrested in Calgary last month during one of his give-away events.
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CN ON: Feds Asked To Share Wealth From Pot Sales

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 05/19/2016 - 07:00
The Chatham Daily News, 19 May 2016 - Public Health Issues Raised Over Coming Federal Marijuana Legislation Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley said some southwestern Ontario city mayors believe municipalities should receive a cut of the federal government's income from legalizing and regulating recreational marijuana.
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CN ON: Feds Asked To Share Wealth From Pot Sales

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 05/19/2016 - 07:00
The Observer, 19 May 2016 - Public Health Issues Raised Over Coming Federal Marijuana Legislation Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley said some southwestern Ontario city mayors believe municipalities should receive a cut of the federal government's income from legalizing and regulating recreational marijuana.
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US: House Votes For Easier Veterans Access To Medical Marijuana

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 05/19/2016 - 07:00
Fremont Tribune, 19 May 2016 - WASHINGTON - The U.S. House voted to allow Department of Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical marijuana to their patients in states where it's legal, marking the strongest sign yet that attitudes in Congress toward the drug are shifting along with public sentiment. The House took several other emotional votes Thursday, including approving an amendment that would ban the display of the Confederate battle flag in veterans' cemeteries and, in a particularly raucous moment, narrowly defeating another that aimed to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination in federal contracting.
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US CA: OPED: After Pot Legalization?

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 05/19/2016 - 07:00
Lodi News-Sentinel, 19 May 2016 - In six months, California will join Maine, Nevada and probably a few other states in deciding whether or not to legalize the 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 organizations. 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.
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This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 05/18/2016 - 22:42

A sticky-fingered Wisconsin cop gets nailed, a truth-challenged Washington state cop gets canned, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left]In Vancouver, Washington, a Vancouver police officer was fired last week for lying about an affair he carried on with a woman and for smoking and distributing marijuana. Leonard Gabriel, a 12-year veteran, lied when confronted about the affair, violating departmental policy, smoked cannabis oil, and provided marijuana to at least three people. While pot is legal in Washington state, it remains illegal under federal law. Vancouver police are required to obey all state and federal laws.

In Madison, Wisconsin, a former Madison police officer pleaded guilty Monday to stealing nearly $4,000 in what he thought was a drug bust, but was in reality a sting. Andrew Pullman, 31, went down after authorities got a tip that he might be planning a robbery. An undercover agent posing as an informant then told Pullman she was mad at her boyfriend dealing drugs and there might be money and cocaine in the car. Pullman went for the bait, stole the money, and was arrested. He's looking at up to 10 years in prison when sentenced in August.

In New London, Connecticut, a former Ansonia police officer was sentenced last Wednesday  to probation for stealing drugs from the evidence room. Matt Macero, a 15-year veteran, admitted to stealing an Oxycontin pill from the department in one incident and to falsely telling his superiors he had been exposed to cocaine during an investigation and as a result he would test positive. He copped to one count of fourth degree larceny, one count of making a false statement to police, and one count of falsely reporting an incident. 

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Medical Marijuana Update

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 05/18/2016 - 22:13

In Oklahoma and Ohio, medical marijuana half-measures are being challenged by initiative campaigns, Oakland tries to create some racial equity in the industry, Maryland medical marijuana hits another delay, and more.

[image:1 align:left]California

On Tuesday, Oakland passed an ordinance designed to encourage minority participation in the industry. The city council unanimously approved a medical marijuana ordinance with an "equity program" that would reserve half of the city's new cannabis permits for people who live in a designated high-crime police beat in East Oakland or were imprisoned for marijuana-related crimes in Oakland in the past 10 years. But the plan is coming under fire from industry leaders who say it may actually be counterproductive to encouraging minority participation and could undercut a pot economy expected to boom if and when the state legalizes marijuana.

Louisiana

Last Wednesday, the House passed a CBD cannabis oil expansion bill. The House approved Senate Bill 271, but because it amended it, the bill must now go back to the Senate for a final vote. Last year, legislators legalized CBD cannabis oil, but only for a handful of conditions. This bill expands those conditions to include seizure disorders. No one can currently use CBD cannabis oils because the legislature is still figuring out how to regulate them.

Maryland

On Tuesday, the Medical Cannabis Commission announced continuing delays in implementing the program. The commission, which is charged with establishing the state's medical marijuana program, announced yet another delay in getting the program up and running. The state approved medical marijuana more than two years ago, in April 2014, making this one of the slowest roll-outs yet. The commission now says patients probably won't have access to medical marijuana until the late summer of 2017.

Missouri

Last Wednesday, the House rejected a medical marijuana bill. The House killed the bill on a 71-85 vote. That leaves an open path for a medical marijuana initiative whose supporters have handed in signatures and are awaiting confirmation that the initiative has qualified for the November ballot.

Montana

Last Thursday, medical marijuana supporters appealed tothe US Supreme Court. The Montana Cannabis Industry Association filed a petition with the US Supreme Court seeking to reverse a state Supreme Court decision that guts the state's once-thriving medical marijuana industry. Petitioners argue that the state Supreme Court mistakenly held that marijuana is universally illegal under federal law and point to the Obama administration's decisions to allow states to implement their own marijuana laws.

Oklahoma

Last Friday, the governor signed a CBD cannabis bill into law. Gov. Mary Fallin (R) has signed into law a CBD cannabis oil expansion bill. Last year, the state approved the use of the oil, but only for people under 18. This bill removes that age restriction.

Last Saturday, medical marijuana advocates began an initiative signature gathering drive. CBD cannabis oil isn't enough for Oklahomans for Health, which began gathering signatures over the weekend for a full-blown medical marijuana initiative. The group has 90 days to gather 66,000 valid voter signatures to get the measure on the November ballot.

Ohio

Last Wednesday, a new poll had overwhelming support for medical marijuana. A new Quinnipiac University poll has support for medical marijuana at very high 90%. The poll comes as a restrictive medical marijuana bill is working its way through the legislature and as a medical marijuana initiative is in the signature-gathering phase. The poll also asked about support for legalization, which came in at 52%.

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Chronicle AM: Shocking CA Asset Forfeiture Poll, Oakland Addresses Racial Imbalance in Pot Industry, More... (5/18/16)

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 05/18/2016 - 20:54

Organized opposition is trying to emerge in California, legalization in Oregon is creating jobs and payrolls, Oakland attempts to redress racial imblance in the pot business, but catches some flak, and more. 

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

California Dems Tied to Law Enforcement Oppose Legalization Initiative. A pair of state Democratic lawmakers with "deep law enforcement ties" have come out in opposition to the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) legalization initiative. Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove), a former Sacramento County sheriff's official who regularly warns against drug liberalization, and Sen. Cathleen Gagliani (D-Stockton), "the Democratic senator most aligned with law enforcement," have joined with Republican colleagues to oppose the measure. The initiative is favored by many Democratic elected officials, including Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Oregon Legalization Creates Jobs, Payrolls. Retail cannabis employees will be paid nearly $46 million this year, and that number is set to increase in the future, according to a new report from local marijuana industry consulting firms. Legalization has also created at least 2,165 jobs, with more to come, the report said.

Medical Marijuana 

Oakland Passes Marijuana Ordinance Designed to Encourage Minority Participation. The city council Tuesday unanimously approved a medical marijuana ordinance with an "equity program" that would reserve half of the city's new cannabis permits for people who live in a designated high-crime police beat in East Oakland or were imprisoned for marijuana-related crimes in Oakland in the past 10 years. But the plan is coming under fire from industry leaders who say it may actually be counterproductive to encouraging minority participation and could undercut a pot economy expected to boom if and when the state legalizes marijuana.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

New York State Senate Releases Heroin Report. The GOP-dominated body has released a report on heroin and prescription pain pill use that recommends 48 changes to state law and policy, including increased penalties for the sale and possession of opioids. The report also calls for increased prevention, treatment, and harm reduction measures. The report includes a package of bills that were expected to be passed Tuesday night. Stay tuned.

Asset Forfeiture

Southern California Poll Finds 10% Report Having Cash or Property Seized Without a Conviction. The survey, conducted by Public Policy Polling, looked at Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties, and also found that 19%o of respondents said they knew someone who had experienced the same. The poll, sponsored by the Drug Policy Alliance, comes as a push is underway to get a civil asset forfeiture reform bill, Senate Bill 443, through the Assembly. The bill passed the Senate last year, but was blocked in the Assembly by law enforcement lobbying. It is still alive, though, and hopes are that it can get through the Assembly this year. 

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US CA: Cottonwood Man Pleads Not Guilty to Pot, Weapons Charges

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 05/18/2016 - 07:00
Record Searchlight, 18 May 2016 - A Cottonwood man who says he grows medical marijuana on his property for disabled and ailing veterans under his Medicine for Our Military program pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Shasta County Superior Court to illegal marijuana cultivation and other charges. Donald James "Blue" Mobley, 44, was arraigned on four felonies and one misdemeanor count. He also saw his bail reduced by retired Superior Court Judge Anthony Anderson to $85,000 from $110,000,
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US IL: Rauner Gets New Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 05/18/2016 - 07:00
Chicago Tribune, 18 May 2016 - House lawmakers sent Gov. Bruce Rauner legislation on Wednesday to decriminalize marijuana across Illinois, meaning people caught with small amounts of marijuana would be fined instead of receiving jail time. The legislation incorporates changes the Republican governor suggested when he used his amendatory veto powers to rewrite similar legislation last year. Rauner said the old version would have let people carry too much marijuana and set fines too low.
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US CO: Pot Money To Fund Sending Homeless 'Home'

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 05/18/2016 - 07:00
Pueblo Chieftain, 18 May 2016 - The fines levied against marijuana businesses through the county's enforcement division are helping homeless people who have become stranded in Pueblo. In an effort to help homeless get back to their places of origin, the Pueblo County commissioners voted Wednesday to give the Pueblo Area Law Enforcement Chaplains Corp. a $25,000 grant that would be used to help benefit homeless individuals without support in Pueblo County.
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US CA: Grand Jury: Mendocino County Pot Program Should Continue

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 05/18/2016 - 07:00
The Press Democrat, 18 May 2016 - A unique Mendocino County program that reduces defendants' felony marijuana charges to misdemeanors in exchange for restitution payments has succeeded in reducing court backlogs, jail crowding and law enforcement costs, according to a recently released Mendocino County grand jury report, which recommended it continue. But the report also reiterated concerns about whether the controversial five-year-old program provides equal justice.
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