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US CA: Editorial: Chico: Say No To A Ban

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 08:00
The Chico News & Review, 28 Jan 2016 - The City Council Must Act Wisely-Not Hastily-in Regard to Medical Marijuana While cities throughout California scramble to react to a deadline in a new state law, Chico will be better served if it sits back and takes a more thoughtful approach. The law is part of a package of three bills, collectively known as the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA), that went into effect Jan. 1 and creates a framework for licensing and taxing the drug for commercial sale. Unfortunately, the bills came with a deadline of March 1 for local governments to enact laws relating to cannabis cultivation in order to maintain local control. This has cities and towns-including every other municipality in Butte County-acting brashly and outright banning growing, selling and delivering medical marijuana.
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CN BC: Column: This Is B.C. On Weed

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 08:00
Merritt Herald, 28 Jan 2016 - With unlicensed marijuana dispensaries popping up in urban areas and thousands of unregulated medical licences for home growing still in legal limbo, the Trudeau government is starting work on its promise to legalize recreational use. Marijuana was a media darling in the recent election, but meeting in Vancouver with provincial ministers last week, federal Health Minister Jane Philpott found herself preoccupied with issues deemed more urgent.
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Chronicle AM: DC MJ Club Ban Moving, Fed Lawmakers Want MedMJ Allowed for Vets, More... (1/27/16)

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 22:56

State legislators are getting busy, the DC city council resorts to sneakery to try to kill pot clubs, federal representatives ask the VA to let doctors recommend medical marijuana for veterans, and more.

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

Arizonans Rally to Support Legalization Bill. Marijuana reform advocates rallied at the state capitol Wednesday to support a bill that would legalize marijuana. Carrying signs that red "Cannabis Reduces Opiate Overdose" and "Cannabis is a Natural Alternative to Harmful Pharma," the ralliers urged passage of House Bill 2006, introduced by Rep. Mark Cardenas (D).

Vermont Legalization Bill Sees Tussles Ahead of Vote Tomorrow. The powerful chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Dick Sears (D-Burlington) has said he won't vote for his own committee's legalization bill if it allows for home cultivation, and he's also asking the committee to make additional changes, including moving some of the tax proceeds to the general fund and increasing penalties for adults who sell pot to minors. The measure is Senate Bill 137.

Washington State Bill Would Allow Home Cultivation. A bill to allow for home cultivation of up to six plants has been introduced with bipartisan support in the legislature. Washington's version of legalization does not allow for home cultivation, but House Bill 2629 would change that, bringing Washington in line with other legalization states.

In Sneak Move, DC Council Moves to Ban Pot Social Clubs. With the public notified only moments before markup, the DC Council's Committee on the Judiciary voted today to permanently ban marijuana consumption in private clubs. A temporary ban was set to expire April 15, and advocates had hoped the Council would let it lapse. The bill approved by the committee bars entities from providing adults with private spaces other than a residence to consume marijuana, and requires the Mayor's office to revoke a business' license after only one instance of a patron consuming marijuana on the premises.

Medical Marijuana

Lawmakers Call on VA to Let Doctors Recommend Medical Marijuana. Twenty-one members of Congress have written to VA Secretary Robert McDonald urging him to allow VA doctors to discuss medical marijuana as a possible treatment in states where it is legal. A VA policy that does not allow doctors to recommend it expires at the end of this month, and the lawmakers are calling on McDonald to not extend it. "You are in a position to make this change when the current directive expires at the end of this month," Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sen. Steve Daines (D-MT), and others wrote Wednesday to McDonald. "We ask that you act to ensure that our veterans' access to care is not compromised and that doctors and patients are allowed to have honest discussions about treatment options."

Industrial Hemp

Hawaii Industrial Hemp Production Bill Filed. Reps. Kaniela Ing (D-South Maui) and Cynthia Thielen (R-Oahu) have introduced House Bill 2555, which would allow for industrial hemp production for research purposes. The bill is backed by the state Department of Agriculture.

Asset Forfeiture

Wisconsin Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Gets Committee Hearing. The Senate Committee on Labor and Government Reform Tuesday took up Senate Bill 521, which would end civil asset forfeiture in the state. Speaking in support were the Wisconsin ACLU and the Wisconsin Grandsons of Liberty; speaking against were -- you guessed it -- representatives of law enforcement. No vote was taken.

Drug Testing

Virginia Welfare Drug Testing Bills Killed. The Health, Welfare and Institutions Subcommittee #1 narrowly defeated a combined pair of bills, House Bill 468 and House Bill 86, that would have required welfare applicants to undergo drug tests before receiving benefits. "VIEW recipients are no more likely statistically to be drug users than any other group and to target them would be unfair," Del. Marcia Price (D-Newport News) said. "I am proud to have agreed with my colleagues across the aisle that there was a lack of evidence to warrant this practice. We would be better served, instead of this practice, to continue to invest money into the tangible obstacles to employment. Rightly, partisan politics did not stand in the way of doing what is right for our Commonwealth."

Sentencing

Maine Bill to More Harshly Punish Outsiders Bringing Drugs to State Gets Hearing. The legislature's Criminal Justice Committee heard conflicting testimony Monday on LD 1541, which creates the crime of "aggravated importation of scheduled drugs." The bill doesn't specify, but the measure is clearly aimed at heroin traffickers bringing the drug into the state. Not everyone was gung-ho, though: Tougher sentences are "just not the most effective tool against this scourge," said John Pelletier, a member of the Maine Criminal Advisory Commission. The measure would double prison sentences for importing heroin into the state from five to 10 years, and up to 30 years in some cases.

International

Mexico's National Marijuana Legalization Debate is Underway. Lawmakers met in Cancun Tuesday to open the first batch of debates on marijuana legalization. President Enrique Pena Nieto is opposed, but called for national debate after court rulings appeared to open cracks in the country's prohibition.

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CN BC: Editorial: Legal Limbo On Marijuana Laws

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 08:00
Penticton Western, 27 Jan 2016 - Though it was an election promise, Justin Trudeau's Liberals aren't going to be able to legalize marijuana overnight. In fact, the legalization of pot might take longer than the four years they are guaranteed before the next federal election in Oct. 2019.
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CN BC: Editorial: Dispensing Pot Advice

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 08:00
Peninsula News Review, 27 Jan 2016 - Sidney and the local police force seem to be doing everything they can to nip a proposed medicinal marijuana dispensary in the bud. Better to try and prevent a retail pot shop up front, one would suppose, rather than have police conduct raids later on.
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Chronicle AM: Marijuana Decrim Killed in VA, Ireland Ponders Pill Testing for Festivals, More (1/26/16)

Drug War Chronicle - Tue, 01/26/2016 - 22:12

Alaska's commercial marijuana regulations advance, so does a Kansas bill lowering pot penalties and a pair of Florida asset forfeiture reform bills, the Irish government ponders pill testing for nightclubs and festivals, a medical marijuana bill is filed in Mexico, and more.

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

Hillary Clinton Reiterates Support for Letting States Legalize Marijuana. In an interview Monday, the Democratic presidential contender restated her position that the federal government shouldn't interfere with state-level legalization. "I think that states are the laboratories of democracy, and four states have already taken action to legalize, and it will be important that other states and the federal government take account of how that's being done, what we learn from what they're doing,"said Clinton. "I think that the states moving forward is appropriate and I think the federal government has to move to make this more available for research that they can then distribute to interested people across our country."

Alaska Legal Marijuana Rules Advance, With Two Exceptions. The Marijuana Control Board's rules and regulations for commercial marijuana activity have been approved by the state Law Department, with two exceptions. The Law Department struck down a requirement for a national criminal history check, saying that authority must come from statute, not regulations, and it struck down marijuana testing requirements for rural growers. The Law Department said the Board's allowance of "alternative means of testing" for rural growers lacks standards. The Board said the legislature is already working on a fix for the background checks, but it doesn't yet have a fix for the rural grower issue.

Kansas Senate Panel Okays Lessening Pot Penalties, Legalizing CBC Cannabis Oil. The Senate Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee Tuesday approved bills lessening marijuana possession penalties and allowing for the use of CBD cannabis oil for people with epilepsy. The bills now head for the Senate floor.

Virginia Decriminalization Bills Killed By House Committee. The House Courts of Justice Committee's Subcommittee on Criminal Law Monday voted down a pair of bills that would decriminalize marijuana possession in the Commonwealth.

New Orleans Ordinance Would Give Police Discretion to Ticket Marijuana Possessors. Currently, only first-time pot possession offenders are eligible for a summons instead of an arrest, but Councilwoman Susan Guidry is offering a measure that would allow police to only ticket pot possessors no many how many offenses they had. The measure is on the council's agenda today.

Medical Marijuana

California Senate Approves Bill to Slow Medical Marijuana Bans. The state Senate Monday approved Assembly Bill 21, designed to fix what lawmakers called a mistake in the state's comprehensive medical marijuana regulation laws. The bill had a paragraph that gave the state authority to license cultivation in localities that didn't have their own laws on the books by March 1, and many localities had responded by passing preemptive cultivation bans. The bill now goes to the Assembly.

Asset Forfeiture

Florida Asset Forfeiture Reform Bills Win Committee Vote. Two competing reform bills passed a Senate panel Tuesday. A bill from Sen. Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach) would leave civil asset forfeiture intact, but increase oversight, while a bill from Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) would require a criminal conviction before seizure of assets. Law enforcement supports the first bill, but not the second. The committee passed both measures.

Drug Policy

Poll: New Hampshire Voters Support Drug Decriminalization. Two-thirds of state voters supported not arresting small-time drug possessors, but instead offering them counseling and treatment. And nearly three-quarters (73%) supporting doing away with mandatory minimum sentences for drug possession offenses.

International

Ireland Considering Pill Testing for Nightclubs, Festivals. In the wake of the drug-related death of a teenage clubber last week, Health Minister Leo Varadkar said the government is considering allowing pill testing kits for music venues. But he said that prevention is the first pillar in the department's approach to the problem.

Mexico Medical Marijuana Bill Coming. A senator from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) has proposed a bill to legalize medical marijuana and says she thinks it can pass by May. Sen. Cristina Diaz said she hoped the national debate on marijuana, which began this week, would help the bill progress.

(This article was prepared by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also pays the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

Categories: Latest News

CN NF: Column: Cha-Ching!

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 01/26/2016 - 08:00
The Telegram, 26 Jan 2016 - Colorado Raking in Taxes From Legalized Weed A pall hangs over Denver, Colorado. Lawlessness stalks its streets, while stupefied potheads loll on every corner, stoned senseless on legal weed. Well, actually, no, it's not really like that at all. Really, it's just another day.
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CN NF: Column: Cha-Ching! Colorado Raking in Taxes From

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 01/26/2016 - 08:00
The Western Star, 26 Jan 2016 - A pall hangs over Denver, Colorado. Lawlessness stalks its streets, while stupefied potheads loll on every corner, stoned senseless on legal weed. Well, actually, no, it's not really like that at all. Really, it's just another day.
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CN ON: Good Weeds Lounge Owners Charged

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 01/26/2016 - 08:00
Metro, 26 Jan 2016 - Toronto police have raided a marijuana dispensary on the Danforth, a little more than a week after its owners were featured in a media interview that touted their business as "totally illegal." Chris Goodwin and Erin Goodwin, owners of Good Weeds Lounge, are charged with two counts possession for the purpose of trafficking, relating to marijuana and cannabis resin, plus possession of the proceeds of crime. Erin Goodwin is also charged with simple possession. The investigation was sparked by "community complaints," Const. Caroline de Kloet told Metro. The raid happened Thursday.
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CN BC: Pot Shops Not Far Enough Away From Children: School

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 01/26/2016 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 26 Jan 2016 - Vancouver's pot-shop bylaw doesn't keep storefront cannabis sales far enough away from students, a school board trustee says, and he's urging the city once again to toughen the licensing provisions. The board asked city council last June to force licensed dispensaries to keep 500 metres away from any school, but the new bylaw created a buffer zone of 300 metres.
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CN ON: Column: Dealing With Drug-Abusing Teen Not For The

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 01/26/2016 - 08:00
Hamilton Spectator, 26 Jan 2016 - DEALING WITH DRUG-ABUSING TEEN NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART Q: Our son has a drug problem. He uses marijuana daily. He continues to bring it into our home even though we ask him not to. His grades have dropped drastically and we don't like the friends he hangs out with. He argues that marijuana is harmless and uses information from the Internet to support his point of view. Clearly our arguing is going nowhere, but we don't know what to do and we don't want to kick him out of our home. What more can we do?
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Canada: Out-of-Province Parents Denied Reviews In Motherisk

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 01/26/2016 - 08:00
Toronto Star, 26 Jan 2016 - 'This Is a Canada-Wide Situation,' Says N.S. Man Who Lost Custody of Child Because of Lab's Tests When William McIntyre reached out to the commission looking into child protection cases that used hair test results from the Hospital for Sick Children's Motherisk laboratory, he was shocked to learn that the review did not apply to him.
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US CA: Column: Atascadero's Ban on Marijuana, Celebration of

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 01/26/2016 - 08:00
The Tribune, 26 Jan 2016 - Don't allow marijuana sales here. I see that the Atascadero City Council voted unanimously to ban all marijuana cultivation in the city and to continue its ban on both dispensaries and deliveries of the drug.
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CN PI: Column: Cha-Ching!

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 01/26/2016 - 08:00
The Journal-Pioneer, 26 Jan 2016 - Colorado Raking in Taxes From Legalized Weed A pall hangs over Denver, Colorado. Lawlessness stalks its streets, while stupefied potheads loll on every corner, stoned senseless on legal weed. Well, actually, no, it's not really like that at all. Really, it's just another day.
Categories: Latest News

CN NS: Column: Cha-Ching!

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 01/26/2016 - 08:00
The News, 26 Jan 2016 - Colorado Raking in Taxes From Legalized Weed A pall hangs over Denver, Colorado. Lawlessness stalks its streets, while stupefied potheads loll on every corner, stoned senseless on legal weed. Well, actually, no, it's not really like that at all. Really, it's just another day.
Categories: Latest News

CN NS: Column: Cha-Ching!

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 01/26/2016 - 08:00
Truro Daily News, 26 Jan 2016 - Colorado Raking in Taxes From Legalized Weed A pall hangs over Denver, Colorado. Lawlessness stalks its streets, while stupefied potheads loll on every corner, stoned senseless on legal weed. Well, actually, no, it's not really like that at all. Really, it's just another day.
Categories: Latest News

CN NS: Column: Cha-Ching! Cha-Ching!

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 01/26/2016 - 08:00
Cape Breton Post, 26 Jan 2016 - Colorado Raking in Taxes From Legalized Weed A pall hangs over Denver, Colorado. Lawlessness stalks its streets, while stupefied potheads loll on every corner, stoned senseless on legal weed. Well, actually, no, it's not really like that at all. Really, it's just another day.
Categories: Latest News

US CA: Trial Over Yuba Cultivation Ordinance Delayed to Summer

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 01/26/2016 - 08:00
Appeal-Democrat, 26 Jan 2016 - A Yuba County Superior Court jury trial on the constitutionality of the county's marijuana cultivation ordinance is being delayed until this summer. Judge Benjamin Wirtschafter approved a request by Yuba County to move the scheduled March 16 trial to July 26. A settlement conference is scheduled June 16.
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Chronicle AM: Mexico Legalization Debate Gets Underway, NH Gov Signs Heroin Bills, More... (1/25/16)

Drug War Chronicle - Mon, 01/25/2016 - 21:55

New Hampshire's governor signs a package of heroin and prescription opiate bills, a similar package goes to the desk of the Wisconsin governor, Illinois patients seek to add more qualifying conditions, South Dakota's GOP governor rejects a welfare drug testing bill, a key Mexican politician endorses pot legalization, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

Student Marijuana Group Wins Free Speech Lawsuit Against Iowa State University. A federal judge last Friday ruled that ISU administrators violated the First Amendment rights of ISU NORML by barring the group from using ISU logos on its t-shirts. ISU NORML won a permanent injunction against the university preventing it from using its trademark policy to block the group from printing shirts depicting a marijuana leaf.

Denver Social Pot Club Effort Gains New Life. A shelved ballot measure that aims at winning approval for marijuana use at some private businesses is being brought back to life by a newly formed NORML chapter. Denver NORML says it is going to take up where advocates left off. Advocates from the Vicente Sederberg law firm and the Marijuana Policy Project had begun such a ballot effort last year, but withdrew and is now seeking a potential compromise ordinance with city officials and other interested parties. But Denver NORML says it time to "get this done."

Medical Marijuana

Arizona GOP Rep Withdraws Bill to Cripple Medical Marijuana Program. State Rep. Jay Lawrence (R-Fountain Hills) has withdrawn HCR 2019, which would have barred naturopaths and homeopaths from recommending medical marijuana. Nearly 90% of all recommendations in the state are written by those health care professionals. Lawrence said he withdrew his bill after his office "received so many calls" and he actually learned about how the program works.

Georgia Lawmaker Admits Breaking State Law to Help Families Obtain CBD Cannabis Oil. Rep. Alan Peake (R-Macon) admitted last week that he has been going to other states to obtain the medicine and bring it back for patients. Under a law he sponsored last year, CBD cannabis oil is legal for people for certain diseases, but there is no provision for in-state cultivation or sales. "We made sure that families properly registered with the state got access to medical cannabis, including delivering it to them if that's the only way we can make that happen," Peake said. "Maybe at some point there is a need for civil disobedience. It comes down to, 'What would I do if it were my child?'" Peake said.

Hawaii Bill Would Bar Patients From Growing Their Own. Now that dispensaries are set to open up in the state, Rep. Marcus Oshiro (D-Oahu) has filed a bill that would prohibit patients from growing their own, instead requiring them to use the dispensaries. The bill is House Bill 1680. Patient groups don't like it.

Illlinois Petition Seeks to Prod Governor to Expand Qualifying Medical Conditions. The state Medical Cannabis Advisory Board has recommended adding eight new qualifying conditions to the state's medical marijuana program. The petition is directed at Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) and the head of the state Department of Public Health, who will make the final decision. The petition currently has more than 19,000 and has been endorsed by Melissa Etheridge.

Ohio Attorney General Rejects Wording on Medical Marijuana Initiative. State Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) has rejected a third petition for a medical marijuana constitutional amendment. He said there were five discrepancies between the language of the proposal and its summary language.

Heroin

New Hampshire Governor Signs Heroin Bills. Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) has signed into law two bills, Senate Bill 447 and Senate Bill 576 that were part of a comprehensive proposal to deal with heroin and opiate addiction she put forth last fall. The former bill creates a study commission on using naloxone more broadly, while the second increases penalties for the sale of fentanyl, requires insurance companies to use similar evaluation criteria to streamline access to drug treatment, and strengthening the state's prescription monitoring program.

Wisconsin Legislature Approves Package of Prescription Monitoring Bills. The state Senate last week gave final approval to the package, which is aimed at reducing heroin use by requiring pharmacists to register prescriptions within 24 hours and requiring police to register prescription drugs found at the scene of an overdose. The package now goes to Gov. Scott Walker (R) for his signature.

New Psychoactive Substances

Massachusetts Bill Would Criminalize More Than a Dozen New Synthetic Drugs. State Rep. Tim Whelan (R-Brewster) has cosponsored a bill that would specifically target 19 new psychoactive substances listed as controlled substances by the DEA. The possession, manufacture, and distribution of the drugs would be criminalized under the bill.

Drug Testing

South Dakota Governor Rejects Welfare Drug Testing. Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) is not supporting a recently filed bill to require suspicionless drug testing of welfare recipients. He said he had not been enthusiastic about similar bills in the past, that the effort was a waste of money, and it is "somewhat insulting."

International

Israeli Likudnik MK Filed Marijuana Decriminalization Bill. Member of the Knesset Sharren Haskel (Likud) has filed a bill to decriminalize pot possession. Such bills usually come from the left of the Israeli political spectrum. "More than a million Israelis occasionally consume cannabis, and the population that uses it is mostly not a criminal population," wrote Haskel. "These are normative people from all parts of society -- academics, public representatives, and others, who consume cannabis in their leisure time."

Key Mexican Lawmaker Calls for Marijuana Legalization, Medical Access. The president of Mexico's chamber of deputies, Jesus Zambrano, is calling for both medical and recreational marijuana use to be legalized. "The topic has its international component and efforts need to be combined, particularly between the United States and Mexico, to have common rules, laws that are essentially identical, though each with its own modalities, because we are distinct, but the United States must help our country apply, for instance, legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use," said Zambrano. His was the opening salvo in a national debate on the topic that began Sunday.

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CN ON: Column: Trenton LCBO Test Store For Marijuana Sales

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 01/25/2016 - 08:00
The Intelligencer, 25 Jan 2016 - So, our debonair and newly-minted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised in his election campaign to legalize marijuana. His fellow Liberal, Ontario Premier Kathleen "Hydro Hiker" Wynne, says it should be sold through Liquor Control Board of Ontario outlets. (The same LCBO that used to protect people from drinking by arbitrarily putting their names on the no-alcohol "Indian List", but that's another story.)
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