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Philippines: 'Drug Lords Ordered Hits'

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 07/15/2016 - 07:00
Philippine Daily Inquirer, 15 Jul 2016 - Bato Says Syndicates Employing Vigilantes TRECE MARTIRES CITY- Director General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa on Thursday said convicted drug lords were behind a rash of vigilante killings, directing hit men to target distributors who had run into difficulties remitting earnings following the Duterte administration's intensified campaign against illegal drugs.
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Philippines: Bohol, Samar Cases Illustrate Brutality of

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 07/15/2016 - 07:00
Philippine Daily Inquirer, 15 Jul 2016 - CLARIN, Bohol-Alma Arcales Sabejon, 42, tried to flee her assailants, wounded in the initial volley of fire. Desperate, she pleaded for help to bus passengers who could just watch as the gunmen ran after her and finished her off with a shot in the head. Ariel Pitong Unay was in his hotel room when policemen came knocking at 4:30 a.m. Minutes later, he lay dead in the bed with multiple gunshot wounds.
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Philippines: 12 More Drug Suspects Slain By Police

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 07/15/2016 - 07:00
Philippine Star, 15 Jul 2016 - Twelve more suspected drug pushers were killed in separate anti-drug operations in various parts of the country in the past two days. The figure showed an average of five suspects killed in a day since the Duterte administration declared a war against drugs.
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Philippines: De Lima Asks Senate To Probe Drug Slays

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 07/15/2016 - 07:00
Philippine Daily Inquirer, 15 Jul 2016 - WARNING that the string of killings may escalate into a state-sponsored "crime against humanity," Sen. Leila de Lima is pushing ahead with her proposed legislative inquiry into the administration's bloody war against drugs and crime despite the reluctance of some senators. De Lima, who is expected to head the Senate committee on justice and human rights, yesterday filed Senate Resolution No. 9 calling for an "urgent" investigation into the "rampant extrajudicial killings and summary executions of suspected criminals" in aid of bolstering police accountability for excesses and to "institute corrective legislative measures to ensure full respect for basic human rights."
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Chronicle AM: Congress Passes Opioid Bill, RI Gov Signs PTSD Bill, MT Init Qualifies, More... (7/14/16)

Drug War Chronicle - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 20:34

Governors use their bill-signing pens in Rhode Island and North Carolina, a new poll has surprisingly strong support for marijuana legalization in Wisconsin, Montanans will vote on medical marijuana in November, and more.

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

Wisconsin Poll Has Strong Majority for Marijuana Legalization. A Marquette Law School poll released Wednesday has a whopping 59% support for freeing the weed in the Badger State. The poll question asked whether pot should be "fully legalized and treated like alcohol." The level of support is up dramatically from September 2014, when voters asked a similar (but not identical) question about legalization only gave it 46% support.

Medical Marijuana

Montana Medical Marijuana Initiative Qualifies for the Ballot. An initiative aimed at reestablishing the state's medical marijuana system has qualified for the November ballot, state officials said Wednesday. The I-182 initiative would reverse restrictions imposed by the legislature in 2011 and, after lengthy court challenges, set to go into effect on August 31. Voters had approved the state's medical marijuana system in 2004.

Rhode Island Governor Signs Bill to Allow Medical Marijuana for PTSD. Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) Wednesday signed into law a bill that will allow medical marijuana to be recommended for the treatment of PTSD symptoms.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Congress Passes Major Heroin and Opioids Bill, But Doesn't Adequately Fund It. The Senate voted Wednesday to send opioid legislation known as the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) to President Obama for his signature. The House voted last week 407-5 to approve CARA. The bill advances a large number of treatment and prevention measures intended to reduce prescription opioid and heroin misuse, including evidence-based interventions for the treatment of opioid and heroin addiction and prevention of overdose deaths. This bill, however, does not provide federal funding. Republican leadership have maintained that opioid funding must be appropriated through regular order and have repeatedly pledged to fund the programs authorized in CARA this year. Advocates urge Congress to deliver on this promise.

Harm Reduction

North Carolina Governor Signs Bill to Allow Needle Exchanges. Gov. Mike McCrory (R) Monday signed into law House Bill 972, which authorizes the operation of needle exchange programs by local governments.

International

Indian MP Calls for Legalization of Recreational Drugs. MP Dr. Dharamvira Ghandi said Wednesday he is crafting an amendment to the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act to legalize recreational drugs. Gandhi has been working with Delhi-based lawyers and professionals on a draft of the bill. He says drug prohibition has failed. "Punitive measures to combat the supply of drugs failed miserably, as demand for drugs had exhibited an exponential growth, leading to creation of drug mafias that provided continuous supplies, regardless of the harshest provisions for punishment," he said. "It has dawned upon countries worldwide that by decriminalizing certain substances that pose minimal health risks, and by following harm reduction policies, the demand for harmful and killing medical drugs had dropped drastically, along with the offences committed. Certain Indian states are currently facing a massive drug problem, with citizens between 15-40 years of age abusing drugs, and this has caused considerable harm to society in general, and the youth in particular."

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US WI: Poll: Strong Majority Of Wisconsinites Want Legal

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 07:00
Wisconsin State Journal, 14 Jul 2016 - A majority of Wisconsinites want marijuana to be legal and regulated like alcohol, a new poll shows. Results were released Wednesday for the Marquette Law School Poll, a leading measure of public opinion in the Badger State.
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US MD: Medical Marijuana Acceptance Urged

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 14 Jul 2016 - Morhaim Tells Advocates to Be Aggressive in Pressing State's Health Care Providers A leading architect of the state's medical marijuana program urged representatives of the fledgling industry Wednesday to pressure health care providers and hospital administrators to remove obstacles to making the drug available to patients.
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CN ON: Editorial: Too-Strict Pot Rules Bad Idea

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 07:00
Orillia Today, 14 Jul 2016 - It was always clear that many hurdles will have to be jumped before legal marijuana can become a reality in Canada. Pot advocates won't be too pleased with the latest one. Ottawa, which recently struck a marijuana task force led by former deputy prime minister Anne McLellan, is sending strong signals legalized pot will be so strictly controlled that homegrown weed (even for medical purposes) may remain an illegal substance.
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CN ON: Editorial: Overly Strict Pot Rules A Bad Idea

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 07:00
The Mirror, 14 Jul 2016 - It was always clear that many hurdles will have to be jumped before legal marijuana can become a reality in Canada. Pot advocates won't be too pleased with the latest one. Ottawa, which recently struck a marijuana task force led by former deputy prime minister Anne McLellan, is sending strong signals legalized pot will be so strictly controlled that homegrown weed (even for medical purposes) may remain an illegal substance.
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CN ON: Editorial: Too-Stringent Cannabis Rules A Bad Idea

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 07:00
Innisfil Journal, 14 Jul 2016 - It was always clear that many hurdles will have to be jumped before legal marijuana can become a reality in Canada. Pot advocates won't be too pleased with the latest one. Ottawa, which recently struck a marijuana task force led by former deputy prime minister Anne McLellan, is sending strong signals legalized pot will be so strictly controlled that homegrown weed (even for medical purposes) may remain an illegal substance.
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US CA: Cloverdale Seeks to Join Growing Number of California

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 07:00
The Press Democrat, 14 Jul 2016 - With medicinal marijuana becoming more regulated and the possibility that California voters will legalize pot in November, Cloverdale is pursuing a local tax on cannabis-related businesses. A majority of Cloverdale voters would need to approve the tax, which the City Council is likely to place on the November ballot.
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US CA: Column: Pot Not The New Almond

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 07:00
North Coast Journal, 14 Jul 2016 - How much marijuana is being grown in Humboldt County? We've all heard some store porch supposition on the subject, but there's little actual data to back it up. A recent article, published in the April edition of Environmental Research Letters, may help fill this vacuum. University of California Berkeley research specialist Van Butsic, and Jacob C. Brenner, a professor at Ithaca College, spent almost a year analyzing satellite imagery from Humboldt County, counting greenhouses and extrapolating to come up with a figure of 4,428 grow sites spread over 60 watersheds. The project was inspired by what the researchers called "an urgent need for systemic empirical research."
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US CA: Column: A Multibillion Dollar Industry Without a Bank

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 07:00
SF Weekly, 14 Jul 2016 - As the California campaign for the Adult Use of Marijuana Act gains momentum and state economists forecast an industry that could grow to $15 billion annually by 2020, creating thousands of jobs and generating millions in tax revenue, there's a dark cloud hanging over potential victory celebrations on Nov. 8: The multibillion industry will have no legal baking options. If approved by voters, new cannabis businesses in California will have to overcome an obstacle that has dogged the industry in 25 medical marijuana states and four recreational-use states - Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. There simply is no safe, efficient, and legal banking. The Attorney General's Office made that very clear with the now infamous 2011 "Cole Memo," which warned bankers not to open cannabis-related accounts or they could face money-laundering charges or possibly lose their FDIC insurance, which would be ruinous.
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US AZ: Column: Free Kyle Catlin

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 07:00
Tucson Weekly, 14 Jul 2016 - Parents of Medical Marijuana Patient, Caregiver in Prison Are Not Giving Up Until Their Son Is Free Suson Catlin has been letters to the Governor's Office hoping someone out there will help get her 27-year-old son, Kyle, out of prison-where he's been since mid-January over nonviolent marijuana felony charges. Unsurprisingly, she hasn't received a response. But as I imagine most mothers would, Suson is willing to exhaust all options. Hope dies last.
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US CO: Column: Dear Stoner: How Much Marijuana Can a Tourist

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 07:00
Westword, 14 Jul 2016 - Dear Stoner: I'll be visiting Colorado this summer, and everyone is telling me I can only buy a quarter-ounce. Is that true? If so, is that for every shop, or can I buy more at another? Based B Dear Based: It used to be that way, but not any longer! In June, Governor John Hickenlooper signed a law bumping up the out-of-stater limit to an ounce, so you don't have to limit yourself to a quarter-ounce at each shop you visit. Not that I've met many people who go through a quarter in a day - but they're out there.
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US OR: Column: California's Pot Initiative

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 07:00
Portland Mercury, 14 Jul 2016 - Is That State's Brand-New Cannabis Initiative Any Good? What do you think of California's brand new pot initiative? IT'S A MIXED BAG, but I'm getting on board. Last week, California announced that the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) officially has a home on the state's November ballot. Over the past year, the concept of legalization among California voters has been polling very well. It seems almost certain the AUMA will pass.
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US OR: Column: The Banks Hate The Dank

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 07:00
Portland Mercury, 14 Jul 2016 - It's Still Impossible for Cannabis Businesses to Open Bank Accounts AT A RECENT cannabis event I went to, the crowd was made up of cannabis professionals: dispensary owners and staff, growers, edible makers, processors, and wholesalers. Among the speakers was the head of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission's (OLCC) cannabis program. During the Q&A, a grower brought up how that very week, his bank account had been shut down-the third time in the past year.
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This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 07/13/2016 - 21:38

A major Detroit corruption case comes to an end, a Pennsylvania cop gets nailed for accepting pain pills to let a drug dealer walk, an Ohio cop rips off the undercover drug buy fund, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]In Sabina, Ohio, a former Sabina police officer was arrested last Wednesday for stealing a thousand bucks from the department's undercover drug buy fund. Olin Mills was in charge of that fund, from which the money went missing last August. He is charged with felony theft in office.

In Cullman, Alabama, a state prison guard was arrested last Thursday for trying to smuggle drugs into the St. Clair Correctional Facility. Guard Deandre Price, 23, is charged with possession of a controlled substance and promoting contraband within a state correctional facility. He went down after being subjected to a search as he arrived at work.

In Detroit, two Detroit narcotics officers were convicted Tuesday of ripping off drug dealers for drugs and cash during raids. Officers David Hansberry, 34, and Bryan Watson, 47, were convicted of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by extortion and robbery and face up to 20 years in federal prison. A third officer, Kevlin Brown, 46, was acquitted. The convictions bring to an end a sensational scandal that has rocked the city for months.

In Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, a former Dupont police officer was sentenced Monday to five to 12 months in prison for letting a drug dealer go free in exchange for pain pills. Kenneth Shotwell, 47, went down after he let another officer who was getting drugs from the dealer persuade him not to arrest the dealer if the dealer gave him some pills. He was convicted in March of bribery, official oppression, and obstructing justice. The other cop is now doing time in federal prison.

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Medical Marijuana Update

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 07/13/2016 - 21:08

The Republican platform committee rejects medical marijuana, medical marijuana research issues get a hearing in the Senate, Arkansas will vote on at least one medical marijuana initiative this fall -- maybe two -- and more.

[image:1 align:left]National

On Monday, the GOP rejected a medical marijuana platform plank. Republican delegates meeting Monday in Cleveland ahead of the party's national convention voted against endorsing medical marijuana in their party platform. The vote came after contentious debate, with some delegates making claims about marijuana reminiscent of Reefer Madness. One delegate claimed people who commit mass murders are "young boys from divorced families, and they're all smoking pot," another compared medical marijuana to physically addictive and potentially lethal prescription opiates. Still, it took two voice votes for the measure to be voted down.

On Tuesday, a Senate subcommittee held a hearing on medical marijuana research. The US Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism held the hearing on "Researching the Potential Medical Benefits and Risks of Marijuana." Testimony was heard from Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), who are original co-sponsors of medical marijuana legislation introduced last year in the Senate known as the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act (S 683). Other scheduled included officials from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), among others.

Also on Tuesday, Senators Feinstein and Grassley called for expedited evaluation of the medical uses of CBD. The two Senate octogenarians have asked Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Health and Human Services Director Sylvia Burwell for the two agencies to work together to remove barriers to the scientific and medical evaluation of cannabidiol (CBD). The pair, who are, respectively, the co-chair and chair of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, made their request in a letter to the two agency heads.

Arkansas

Last Tuesday, the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act qualified for the November ballot. Arkansans for Compassionate Care (ACC) has collected enough valid voter signatures to qualify its medical marijuana initiative for the November ballot, Secretary of State Mack Martin confirmed. A second initiative, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, has yet to qualify for the ballot, and ACC is calling on its organizers to end their campaign and join forces.

Last Friday, supporters of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment handed in signatures. Backers of a proposed constitutional amendment to allow medical marijuana turned in more than 106,000 signatures to state officials, the last day for turn-ins. They need nearly 85,000 valid voter signatures, so this is going to be a nail-biter. Earlier this week, a competing medical marijuana initiative from Arkansans for Compassionate Care qualified for the ballot.

On Tuesday, the Health Department came out against the medical marijuana initiatives. The state Department of Health said in a statement that it opposed such initiatives because marijuana is not approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration and its legalization by popular vote is not grounded in "rigorous" science. A medical marijuana initiative from Arkansans for Compassionate Care has already qualified for the ballot, and the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment has handed in some 106,000 signatures. It needs 85,000 valid ones to qualify.

California

Last Tuesday, the San Bernardino city council voted to put a dispensary regulatory system before the voters. The city council voted to put the measure on the November ballot even though a majority disapproves of it. Their hand was forced by a petition campaign that gathered more than 6,000 voter signatures. A second, competing proposal may also make the ballot.

Also last Tuesday, a Long Beach dispensary initiative qualified for the November ballot. City Clerk Maria de la Luz Garcia announced that an initiative to allow dispensaries has qualified for the November ballot. A city council member may try to add another ballot measure that would allow dispensaries, but with more restrictions.

Illinois

On Monday, officials reported climbing medical marijuana sales. The state saw $2.57 million in medical marijuana sales in June, up from $2.3 million in May, according to figures from the state Department of Agriculture. Sales total $13.8 million since the first dispensaries started operating last November. The numbers should increase even further once two new qualifying conditions -- PTSD and terminal illness -- come on line. They've already been approved, but the Department of Health is in the midst of preparing new rules and application forms.

Maine

On Tuesday, Mthe state rejected including opiate addiction as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana. The administration of Tea Party Gov. Paul LePage (R) has rejected a petition seeking to include opiate addiction on the state's list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. State officials said the case for inclusion was "compelling," but they also said human studies hadn't been done and more research was needed.

North Dakota

On Monday, a medical marijuana initiative campaign handed in signatures. The North Dakotans for Compassionate Care campaign handed in some 15,500 raw signatures for its medical marijuana initiative Monday, the last day for handing them in. The campaign needs 13,452 valid voter signatures to qualify, so there is very little cushion for invalidated signatures. Stay tuned.

On Wednesday, word came that the initiative campaign actually handed in 17,000 signatures. The North Dakotans for Compassionate Care campaign actually handed in some 17,000 raw signatures for its medical marijuana initiative Monday. Earlier reports had the number at 15,500. It's still going to a nail-biter to see if it qualifies for the ballot; it needs 13,452 valid voter signatures.

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

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Chronicle AM: NYC K2 Panic, Sen. Feinstein Rejects Marijuana Initiative, More... (7/13/2016)

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 07/13/2016 - 20:23

Feinstein comes out against California's Prop 64, the Arkansas Health Department comes out against medical marijuana initiatives, an outbreak of synthetic cannabinoid overdoses in New York City raises alarms and more reasoned responses, and more.

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

Senator Dianne Feinstein Opposes California Legalization Initiative. US Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has formally opposed the Prop 64 legalization initiative. In remarks Tuesday, she said the measure lacked protections for children and motorists and would clash with the state's medical marijuana system. "I am not really for recreational use of marijuana," she said. "Medical use, yes."

Medical Marijuana

Arkansas Health Department Opposes Medical Marijuana Initiatives. The state Department of Health said in a statement Tuesday that it opposed such initiatives because marijuana is not approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration and its legalization by popular vote is not grounded in "rigorous" science. A medical marijuana initiative from Arkansans for Compassionate Care has already qualified for the ballot, and the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment has handed in some 106,000 signatures. It needs 85,000 valid ones to qualify.

North Dakota Activists Actually Handed in 17,000 Signatures. The North Dakotans for Compassionate Care campaign actually handed in some 17,000 raw signatures for its medical marijuana initiative Monday. Earlier reports had the number at 15,500. It's still going to a nail biter to see if it qualifies for the ballot; it needs 13,452 valid voter signatures.

New Psychoactive Substances

Outbreak of "Synthetic Marijuana" Overdoses in New York City. On Tuesday, emergency workers had to transport 33 people suspected of overdosing on synthetic cannabinoids commonly referred to as K2 to local hospitals. Locals and press reports refer to the victims as "zombies." The outbreak occurred at the border of the Bedford-Stuyvesant and Bushwick neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

Drug Policy Alliance Responds to K2 Outbreak, Media Coverage. The piece by DPA Director of Academic Engagement Dr. Julie Netherland notes that the synthetic cannabinoid market is completely unregulated and people who use those substances do not know what they are getting. She also points out that one of the primary factors driving the use of such substances is marijuana prohibition. And more.

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