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US MI: Officer Trained To Detect Drug Use

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 03/31/2014 - 07:00
Morning Sun, 31 Mar 2014 - When Mt. Pleasant Police Officer Michael Covarrubias was in training in Arizona, he was talking to a drug addict who rather abruptly said, "I'm going to seize." Immediately after that proclamation, the man dropped to the floor and had a seizure, which was prompted by drug withdrawal.
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US IL: Medical Marijuana Is Just What Doc Ordered

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 03/31/2014 - 07:00
The News-Gazette, 31 Mar 2014 - As executive director of the Illinois Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, I object to letter writer Ed Wilhite's comment that medical cannabis is a non-issue for most people. The prevalence for cancer rates in this country make medical cannabis an issue for just about everyone because many people know someone with cancer or will get cancer themselves someday. Cannabis can be very helpful for people undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment, and anyone who has witnessed what those treatments do will likely agree that any ease of suffering greatly improves a patient's quality of life.
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US IL: Marijuana Is Not Safe Drug To Consume

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 03/31/2014 - 07:00
The News-Gazette, 31 Mar 2014 - As an employee at the Prairie Center, I have some observations about marijuana use. People smoke marijuana for a lot of different reasons: to feel good, to feel better, to feel different or to fit in. Butwhatever the reason, drug use has consequences.
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US GA: OPED: Why Georgia Needs Medical Cannabis

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 03/30/2014 - 07:00
Macon Telegraph, 30 Mar 2014 - When the 2014 General Assembly session began 10 short weeks ago, the odds of a medical cannabis bill passing this year would have been longer than having a perfect March Madness bracket in Vegas because no one was crazy enough to take that bet. But by the time the last day of the legislative session arrived, the issue of legalizing cannabidiol oil in Georgia to help children with seizure disorders had picked up such momentum and popularity that its passage seemed almost a certainty. But, despite the overwhelming support, the effort failed on the last night. Many people have asked me what in the heck happened.
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US MO: Marijuana Raid In Bates County Illustrates The

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 03/30/2014 - 07:00
Kansas City Star, 30 Mar 2014 - ADRIAN, Mo. - As usual, Gene Halbin rolled a fat one after lunch. He'd taken a couple of hits when two strangers appeared at the front door. Halbin's place sits way out of town, off the blacktop, down a dirt road, round a bend, over a bridge and deep into some woods in northwestern Bates County.
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US HI: Making The Right Choice

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 03/30/2014 - 07:00
Garden Island, 30 Mar 2014 - Talking Story With Theresa Koki What are some of the things happening in those states which passed marijuana legislation, and do we want those things happening here? Theresa Koki, coordinator of Life's Choices Kauai, said that was one of the multi-pronged issues discussed during the 2014 Drug Summit, "The Truth About Marijuana and Other Drugs," that wrapped up this week at the Kauai Marriott Beach Club and Resort.
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UK: Rebel LibDem Defies Theresa On Drugs Ban

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 03/30/2014 - 07:00
The Mail on Sunday, 30 Mar 2014 - HOME SECRETARY Theresa May faced a revolt last night after one of her own Ministers refused to implement a drugs ban. Liberal Democrat Drugs Minister Norman Baker is defying Mrs May's order to criminalise khat, a plant chewed to give users a high and used predominantly in East African immigrant communities.
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Malta: Softer Legal Stance on Drugs 'Inevitable'

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 03/30/2014 - 07:00
The Times, 30 Mar 2014 - The decriminalisation of drugs for personal use is inevitable if Malta is to continue following the UN's lead, an expert advising Parliament has told The Sunday Times of Malta. "The United Nations has started to shift towards the decriminalisation of drugs and Malta has always followed the UN's position on this issue," former director of the National Forensic Lab Mario Mifsud said. Dr Mifsud said Maltese lawmakers were already moving towards a decriminalisation policy but would eventually be forced to make a choice by the international community. The UN has not yet taken an official stand on the issue but Dr Mifsud said it appeared to be moving towards a softer legal stance on the issue after a number of countries decriminalised drug use. The use of cannabis for personal use has been decriminalised in 16 US states, the most recent one being Colorado, and Washington state is expected to follow suit this year. Uruguay also recently decriminalised the drug.
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CN ON: Column: My Trip To The Pot Shop

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 03/30/2014 - 07:00
Toronto Sun, 30 Mar 2014 - Medical Marijuana Effective for Many Patients PUEBLO WEST, Colo. - It's 9 a.m. on a weekday, and I'm at the Marisol Therapeutics pot shop. This is serious business. Security is tight. ID checks are frequent. Merchandise is strictly regulated, labeled, wrapped and controlled.
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US OK: Test At Halfway House Finds Many On Drugs

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 03/29/2014 - 07:00
Tulsa World, 29 Mar 2014 - The Community Corrections Center Is Run by Avalon, Which Closed in Tulsa. OKLAHOMA CITY - A surprise drug screening at a private Oklahoma City halfway house this week showed that more than half of the offenders were using illegal drugs.
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US GA: Editorial: U.S. Should Cut Prison Costs

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 03/29/2014 - 07:00
Calhoun Times, 29 Mar 2014 - Among the casualties of a failed war on drugs that has spanned more than three decades are bloated prisons that cost the nation nearly $90 billion a year. With only 5 percent of the world's population, the United States holds 25 percent of its prisoners; more than 2 million people are locked up in this country. The U.S. Sentencing Commission, which sets penalty guidelines for federal judges, is considering changes that would shorten average sentences for nonviolent drug offenders by roughly one year - to 51 months from 63 months. That would result in a 17 percent sentence reduction for the average offender.
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Uruguay: Uruguay To Track Pot By Markers

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 03/29/2014 - 07:00
The News-Item, 29 Mar 2014 - MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP)- Uruguay's drug czar says every legal marijuana plant in the country will be registered and tracked using radio frequency tags and genetic markers to make sure what's grown there stays there. Julio Calzada has described the plans for Uruguay's government-run marijuana market in an interview with The Associated Press. He says the rules will be published next month and the first government-grown plants won't be ready until the end of the year. He says it will take that long to harvest genetically identical pot from cloned plants whose product can be identified as legal by the authorities. - --- MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom
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Chronicle AM -- March 28, 2014

Drug War Chronicle - Fri, 03/28/2014 - 19:43

Medical marijuana and CBD bills continue moving in state legislatures, Northeastern governors respond to opiates, the Department of Agriculture wants to buy Ukrainian hemp seed, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Alaska Poll Has Legalization Initiative in Narrow Victory. A new Alaska House Majority Caucus poll suggests that the marijuana legalization initiative there should win at the polls in August, but it will be close. The poll had support for the initiative at 52%, with 44% opposed and only 4% undecided. Click on the poll link for cross-tabs and top lines.

New Jersey Governor Christie Rejects Legalization, Raises "Gateway" Specter. During Gov. Chris Christie's (R) "Ask the Governor" radio program Thursday, Christie rejected legalization in response to a listener's question. "Mike, I love you baby, but it ain't happening, not while I'm governor," Christie said to the caller. "I don't believe that legalizing an illegal drug for purposes of governmental profit is something that we should be doing. I believe that this is a gateway drug into other more serious drugs, I think it sends a wrong message to our kids and I don't think it makes anybody a better or more productive person," he said.

Vermont Lawmakers Want Marijuana Tax Revenue Study. Vermont lawmakers were expected to offer an amendment to a tax bill passed by the House Thursday to include a study on the revenue effects of legalizing marijuana. The proposed amendment would require the Joint Fiscal Office to report back to the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee on specific revenue projections. The amendment calls on the Joint Fiscal Office to use the Colorado tax model for purposes of the report.

Medical Marijuana

Study Finds Marijuana Medical Access Not Linked to Crime Increases. A new study from University of Texas-Dallas criminologist Robert Morris finds no link between violent crime and the legalization of medical marijuana. "We're cautious about saying, 'Medical marijuana laws definitely reduce homicide.' That's not what we're saying," said Morris. "The main finding is that we found no increase in crime rates resulting from medical marijuana legalization. In fact, we found some evidence of decreasing rates of some types of violent crime, namely homicide and assault."

Colorado Health Department Wants to Restrict Caregiver, Patient Grows. The state Department of Public Health wants to limit the number of patients caregivers can serve and put a cap on the number of plants patients or caregivers can grow. The agency says it will ask legislators to craft new laws, but is still moving forward with its proposed rule change. Some patient activists are viewing this as a power grab by state regulators.

Maryland Senate Passes Medical Marijuana Bill. The state Senate approved a full-blown medical marijuana bill Thursday. Senate Bill 923 now goes to the House, where a similar bill has already been passed.

Mississippi House Approves CBD Medical Marijuana Bill. The House voted 112-6 Thursday to approve a measure that would allow the limited use of CBD cannabis oil as a medical treatment. House Bill 1231 is not quite done in the House yet, though. It was held over on a motion that could allow for more debate.

Florida Senate Committee Approves CBD Medical Marijuana Bill. A bill that would allow doctors to prescribe "non-euphoric" marijuana strains for seizure or cancer patienta passed a Senate committee Thursday. Senate Bill 1030 passed out of the Criminal Justice Committee and is now headed for the Appropriations Committee. A companion bill is also moving in the House.

Hemp

Ag Secretary Says US Seeking to Buy Ukraine Hemp Seed. US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said Thursday that the US is looking to buy hemp seed from Ukraine in a bid to bolster the East European country's economy. "We are now involved in trying to figure out ways in which we might be able to use the industrial hemp seeds that are created in the Ukraine in the US," Vilsack told reporters. Ukraine is one of the world's largest hemp seed producers, and Vilsack said its hemp seed doesn't contain any THC, "so it probably does not run afoul of any of our drug laws."

Drug Policy

Maine Governor's Anti-Drug Bill Gets Some Balance, But ACLU Still Opposes It. Maine Gov. Paul LePage's (R) law enforcement-heavy bill to deal with drug problems in the state has been amended to cut the number of new drug agents, prosecutors, and judges and increase funding or drug treatment programs. The changes to Legislative Document 1811 came in the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee and could generate enough Democratic support to pass them, but the ACLU of Maine still says the measure should be defeated.

Massachusetts Governor Declares Public Health Emergency on Opiates, Calls for All First Responders to Have Overdose Reversal Drug. Gov. Deval Patrick declared a public health emergency Thursday to combat the growing abuse of opiates, directing that all the state's police, firefighters, and other emergency personnel be equipped with a drug that can quickly reverse heroin overdoses. Using his emergency powers, Patrick told the Department of Public Health to make Narcan available immediately to all first responders, as well as more accessible to families and friends of drug abusers. Narcan, the brand name for naloxone, halts overdoses almost instantly. Unfortunately, however, the state will also prohibit the sale of Zohydro, an opioid pain reliever approved last year by the FDA.

International

"Women, Drug Policy, and Incarceration in the Americas" Events in DC, NYC Next Week. The Harm Reduction Coalition, the International Drug Policy Consortium, the Washington Office on Latin America, the Permanent Mission of Uruguay to the UN, and the Inter-American Commission of Women will be discussing women, drug policy, and imprisonment at meetings Monday in Washington, DC, and Thursday at the UN in New York City. Click on the links for details and/or to RSVP.

Canada's Alberta Arbitration Board Rejects Random Drug Testing. The Alberta Arbitration Board sided with union workers against Suncor Energy after the union filed a grievance over the company's random drug testing policies. The board ruled that the company failed to demonstrate "a significant problem or legitimate safety risk" to justify random alcohol testing and that its use of urinalysis to do drug testing "failed to identify current impairment." While the tests did find employees who had recently used drugs, "this did not meet the threshold of a legitimate business interest which would justify the significant intrusion into employees' privacy."

Clashes as Bolivians Protest New Anti-Drug Base in Coca-Growing Region. Coca growers blocked roads and hurled stones at police, who responded with volleys of tear gas, as protestors agitated against a new anti-drug military base being constructed near the Chapare, the country's main coca-growing region. Local leaders said people feared an increased law enforcement presence would lead to violence and abuses. The European Union is financing the base at a cost of $1.3 million.

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US HI: Editorial: Let's Talk About Marijuana Issue

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 03/28/2014 - 07:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 28 Mar 2014 - Part of the reason that some states haven't made much progress reforming their marijuana laws is because the people most engaged in this issue tend to be extremely at odds. On one end there are the advocates demanding that pot be legalized, right now, and on the other there are calls for tougher drug laws, even if that means putting more users behind bars. For Hawaii lawmakers considering this issue from a public-policy perspective, however, it is important to find the sensible middle ground, one that considers myriad legal, social, economic, educational and public health impacts as Americans shift from the "war on drugs" mindset and toward more common-sense regulations, especially regarding marijuana.
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US HI: Pot Legalization Called Potentially Devastating to

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 03/28/2014 - 07:00
Garden Island, 28 Mar 2014 - Drug Summit Explores Consequences of Marijuana LIHUE - The two-day Drug Summit opened on Thursday with a panel presentation on reducing unintended consequences of marijuana policies, and preventing the onset of an industrialized "big marijuana" industry in Hawaii.
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US MD: Senate Passes Medical Marijuana Legislation

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 03/28/2014 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 28 Mar 2014 - The Senate passed legislation Thursday that would give Marylanders with serious medical conditions access to marijuana if it is recommended by a specially licensed physician. As amended in the Senate, the bill is significantly different from the version passed by the House. The Senate bill, which passed 45-1, takes a much less restrictive approach to the number of licenses for growers and distributors of marijuana, which the House had restricted to 10.
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US NJ: EDU: Column: Opposition To Legalization Of Marijuana

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 03/28/2014 - 07:00
Daily Targum, 28 Mar 2014 - The debate on the legalization of recreational marijuana is a topic that has been hitting a record high in publicity right now. Very recently, Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-22) proposed a bill to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in New Jersey. This has sparked public controversy, as well as the input of Governor Chris Christie, who has stated several times in the past that he is very much against the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. Legal prohibition of marijuana does nothing to curb its production or consumption. Those opposed to the legalization of recreational marijuana are convinced that if the drug were legalized, inexperienced smokers would all of a sudden get caught up in this supposedly bad habit. Christie has been very vocal about his opinion against the legalization of recreational marijuana.
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Chronicle AM -- March 27, 2014

Drug War Chronicle - Thu, 03/27/2014 - 17:54

No marijuana legalization in New Hampshire this year, neurologists recommend cannabis oil for MS, New Mexico pharmacists will start prescribing naloxone, Russian-US drug cooperation is at risk over the Crimea crisis, and more. Let's get to it:

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

California PPIC Poll Has Support for Legalization at 53%. A new Public Policy Institute of California poll has support for marijuana legalization at 53% among registered voters, with 60% of independents and 57% of Democrats in favor. On the other hand, 62% of Republicans were opposed.

New Hampshire House Kills Legalization Bill. A bill to legalize marijuana in New Hampshire died in the House yesterday on a 192-140 vote. The House had passed the bill once in January, but support has eroded since then. The measure was House Bill 492.

Medical Marijuana

California Supreme Court Ruling Upholds Local Cultivation Bans. The state Supreme Court Wednesday denied review of an appellate court decision upholding the rights of local governments to completely ban personal cultivation by medical marijuana patients. The ruling came in a lawsuit sponsored by California NORML, which had asked the high court to "depublish" the decision. "We are deeply disappointed by the court's decision," said CANORML Director and Prop 215 coauthor Dale Gieringer, "They have effectively undermined Prop. 215's stated purpose 'to ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes.'"

American Academy of Neurology Recommends Cannabis Oil for Multiple Sclerosis. The American Academy of Neurology is recommending oral cannabis extract to help ease spasticity symptoms and pain in patients with multiple sclerosis, along with other therapies, in new evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) recommendations. Click on the link for more details.

Kentucky CBD Medical Marijuana Bill Passes House. The House voted 98-0 Wednesday to approve a bill allowing the use of high CBD cannabis oil to treat seizures in children. Senate Bill 124 has already passed the Senate, but must return there for approval of minor changes made in the House version of the bill.

Heroin

Kentucky Heroin Bill Wins House Committee Vote. A bill that would address heroin use with a combination of increased penalties for trafficking and harm reduction measures for users squeaked through the House Judiciary Committee on a one-vote margin. But Senate Bill 5 faces an uncertain future; civil libertarians oppose some law enforcement provisions, while some elected officials oppose some harm reduction provisions.

Harm Reduction

New Mexico Pharmacists to Start Prescribing Overdose Reversal Drug. New Mexico pharmacists are the first in the nation to be certified to prescribe the overdose reversal drug naloxone (Narcan). The first batch of 60 pharmacists have been trained and certified by the state Health Department. New Mexico law allows pharmacists to prescribe certain drugs.

Law Enforcement

Detroit Drug Sweep Nets Arrests, Not Many Drugs. Yesterday's sweep of poor Detroit neighborhoods, the most recent in a series of mass drug sweeps, yielded 44 felony and 19 misdemeanor arrests, two grams of cocaine, three grams of heroin, 25 pounds of marijuana, 4,000 prescription pills, $14,500 in cash, and about two dozen illegal weapons. Similar raids in November, December, and February have netted similar results.

International

US Drug Official Rejects Invitation from Russian Counterpart. Deputy director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Michael Botticelli has rejected an invitation to meet on drug issues in Moscow, citing the ongoing Crimea crisis. "Given the continued violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine by Russia, we are suspending some bilateral discussions with the Russian Federation, including this one," Rafael Lemaitre, ONDCP communications director, told Itar-Tass news agency. Russian Federal Drug Control Service chief Viktor Ivanov is one of the Russia political figures sanctioned by the US as a result of the Crimea conflict.

International Ibogaine Providers Conference in South Africa in May. The 4th International Ibogaine Provider's Conference will take place between May 7 and 10 in Durban, South Africa. Discussions will cover a broad spectrum of topics, from developments in research, treatment protocol, and legislation. The featured topic of interest for the conference will be the sustainability of tabernanthe iboga, the implications of ibogaine treatment on regional practices in Africa, and ways that international collaborations can help to ease the effects of demand on iboga's availability. Click on the link for more details and registration information.

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US CA: Assembly Hopefuls Talk Pot And Taxes

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 03/27/2014 - 07:00
The Argonaut, 27 Mar 2014 - West Los Angeles Democratic Club hosts first political forum featuring candidates in an eight-way race Questions about how to protect the environment, whether to legalize marijuana use and whether to tweak Proposition 13 came to the forefront during the first public forum for candidates seeking an open Westside state Assembly seat.
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US MN: Benefit Set For Hibbing Girl With Dravet Syndrome

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 03/27/2014 - 07:00
Duluth News-Tribune, 27 Mar 2014 - A Hibbing child who has become a centerpiece in the discussion about whether to legalize medical marijuana in Minnesota will be the subject of a benefit dinner next month. The "Amelia Bedelia Benefit Dinner and Silent Auction" will take place for Amelia Weaver beginning at 6 p.m. April 25 at the Hibbing Park Hotel, organizers said.
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