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US CA: Heroin Use Surges In Northern California

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 07/17/2015 - 07:00
Appeal-Democrat, 17 Jul 2015 - Health care providers say a surge in heroin use in Northern California is linked to the abuse of prescription opiate pain medications, following a nationwide trend. Methamphetamine is still the drug of choice of people in need of assistance with substance abuse in Yuba, Sutter and Butte counties, but "it is shifting and shifting very quickly towards opiates," according to Jen Carvalho, CEO of Skyway House, a recovery organization based in Chico.
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US CA: Yuba County Suspends $34k Pot Penalty

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 07/17/2015 - 07:00
Appeal-Democrat, 17 Jul 2015 - The Rocklin-based owners of a Linda mobile home park have had a $34,000 penalty suspended for three years following the first appeal hearing under Yuba County's new marijuana cultivation ordinance. Yuba County supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday to uphold a penalty imposed on Brikemen LLC, as owners of the Walnut Grove Mobile Home Park on Garden Avenue.
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Chronicle AM: Big CA Legalization Init Coming Soon, Italian Legalization Bill Filed, More (7/16/15)

Drug War Chronicle - Thu, 07/16/2015 - 22:19

We're waiting for the big one to drop in California, there's marijuana arrest expungement news from Jamaica and Ohio, Colorado rejects medical marijuana for PTSD, Chris Christie talks crime and drug policy, and more.

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

Big California Legalization Initiative About to Drop. A handful of marijuana legalization initiatives have already been filed in the Golden State, but many observers have been waiting for the one from the California Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform, and now the group has announced it will file its initiative within the next few weeks.

Ohio Officials Approve Initiative to Expunge Marijuana Convictions. The Ohio Ballot Board voted 3-2 Wednesday to approve the Fresh Start Act for signature-gathering. The initiative would allow convictions to be expunged once marijuana is legal in the state. The initiative is another project of ResponsibleOhio, the people behind the controversial marijuana legalization initiative almost certainly headed to the ballot there this year.

Medical Marijuana

Colorado Rejects Medical Marijuana for PTSD. Colorado health officials voted Wednesday against adding PTSD to the list of qualifying ailments for medical marijuana. They cited scant research on the issue. "We can't have physicians counseling people in favor of it because we don't have data to show it's correct," said Jill Hunsaker-Ryan, one of the board members who voted no.

Hawaii Moves to Begin Licensing Dispensaries. After Gov. David Ige (D) signed a bill Tuesday allowing for eight dispensaries to operate in the state, state officials are moving forward with developing rules and regulations for the program. They say to they will begin accepting license applications early next year. The move comes 15 years after Hawaii became the first state to okay medical marijuana through the legislative process.

Heroin and Prescription Opiates

Connecticut Governor Signs Bill Aimed at Opiate Problems. Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) Wednesday signed into law House Bill 6856, which is meant to combat opiate addiction and overdoses by increased prescription drug monitoring and increased access to naloxone, the opiate overdose reversal drug. Prescribers must now report each opioid prescription to the state's Prescription Monitoring Program within 24 hours instead of the previous seven days.

Criminal Justice

Chris Christie Calls for "Fresh Approach" on Criminal Justice. The New Jersey governor and Republican presidential contender today unveiled criminal justice reform proposals, including allowing nonviolent drug offenders a better shot at rehabilitation. He also emphasized "community policing" in his policy speech in the crime-ridden city of Camden. "As governor, there are few things I've worked on harder, or that I believe as strongly as this: Drug addiction, just like cancer, is an illness," Christie said. "Instead of settling for jail time every time, we need to give people the chance to get help," he said. "Our drug court program works, and we've opened a new front in the fight against drugs -- one that saves money, keeps people out of prison, and is just good policy generally. There's no reason we can't replicate this nationally, and as president this is something I'll absolutely make happen."

International

Colombia Outpaces Peru in Coca Production, UNODC Says. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reported Wednesday that Colombia had overtaken Peru in the sowing of coca crops. That's mainly because Peru reported a 14% drug in the area under cultivation in the face of aggressive measures by the government of President Ollanta Humala. But Peru may still be the world's largest cocaine producer, because its crop is more mature and higher yielding.

Jamaican Justice Minister Signs Order to Expunge Minor Marijuana Convictions. Justice Minister Mark Golding signed the expungement order Wednesday. The move comes after the island nation decriminalized marijuana earlier this year. Now, possession of less than two ounces is no longer a crime. Before that, an estimated 300 people a week were getting criminal records and possible life-long stigma for possession arrests.

Italian Marijuana Legalization Bill Filed. Benedetto Della Vedova, a junior minister for foreign affairs, Wednesday introduced a bill that would legalize the possession of up to a half-ounce of marijuana, allow for growing small quantities, and set up government-licensed marijuana retail outlets. The bill is cosponsored by more than 200 members of the country's 900-member parliament. The bill is supported by members of the governing Democratic Party and two opposition parties, the Left, Ecology and Freedom Party and the Five Star Movement.

(This article was prepared by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, 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.)

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CN ON: Throw the Thugs Out: Tory

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/16/2015 - 07:00
Toronto 24hours, 16 Jul 2015 - The mayor's task force wants drug dealing swept out of Toronto Community Housing properties by the end of the year. Minutes after Sen. Art Eggleton unveiled that call to action, Mayor John Tory admitted it's likely impossible, but said he does want drug dealing "thugs" turfed from TCHC.
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CN BC: Marijuana Dispensaries Operate In Legal Limbo

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/16/2015 - 07:00
Nanaimo News Bulletin, 16 Jul 2015 - A steady stream of customers file into Trees Dispensary Nanaimo, one of several places to pick up medical marijuana in the Harbour City. Cookies, brownies and B.C bud can all be found behind glass cases at the Bowen Road storefront, estimated to serve 1,500 people each week. Clients don't have to be medical marijuana patients as long as they declare they have a serious medical condition.
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CN BC: Editorial: Politicians Behind On Pot Laws

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/16/2015 - 07:00
Langley Advance, 16 Jul 2015 - If the voters of British Columbia had their way, marijuana would already be legal or decriminalized. At least, that's the results of a new Insights West poll. It showed that 67 per cent of British Columbians support ending the criminalization of cannabis. A full 38 per cent want legalization, 24 per cent want decriminalization, and 27 per cent favour only medical use. Just seven per cent want the use of pot banned completely.
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US CA: Column: Evergreen State Oversupply

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/16/2015 - 07:00
North Coast Journal, 16 Jul 2015 - Bust season is in full swing, with the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office serving warrants on parcels suspected of harboring marijuana grows in the northeastern corner of the county, near Weitchpec. Sheriff's Lt. Wayne Hanson says it's all part of the yearly, decades-old eradication measures the county takes, and says there are about 20 law enforcement personnel involved, including officers from the county drug task force, the National Guard, Fish and Wildlife and CAMP.
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US CO: Column: Rep. Jonathan Singer, Jack's Bill and Tabor

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/16/2015 - 07:00
Boulder Weekly, 16 Jul 2015 - When I interviewed Rep. Jonathan Singer last October, he was gearing up for the 2015 legislative session. It adjourned in May, and I decided to check in and find out more about what happened this time around. "It's fascinating how marijuana has threaded its way through Colorado's legislative tapestry, and it's an interesting thread," Singer, who represents House District 11, said last week at a local coffee shop. A non-user, Singer was one of only two legislators who supported Amendment 64 before its passage and has become a proponent and advocate of making legal cannabis work in Colorado.
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US AZ: Column: BYOM?

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/16/2015 - 07:00
Tucson Weekly, 16 Jul 2015 - Colorado Is Giving Businesses Another Way to Bring Marijuana to the Table Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) and attorney Brian Vicente are two of the champions of the 2012 Amendment 64 (The Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol Act) which legalized and regulated the use and sale of recreational marijuana in Colorado.
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US CA: Editorial: Talk to Your Doctor If YOU Want to Smoke Pot

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/16/2015 - 07:00
Sacramento News & Review, 16 Jul 2015 - Should women smoke or consume marijuana while pregnant? In his recent The 420 columns, our resident cannabis expert Ngaio Bealum-who conceded that he is not a medical expert-wrote that weed use during pregnancy should be a personal decision. He rightly noted that, like all things marijuana, current medical research is insufficient.
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US CA: Column: Progress And Congress

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/16/2015 - 07:00
Sacramento News & Review, 16 Jul 2015 - What's up with that bill to create comprehensive medical marijuana regulations in California? Any progress? - -Willy Wonky There has been progress, but I feel like they may be making it worse. Assembly Bill 266 has been amended (again) in the Legislature and the new one is horrible. Cities and counties can still ban cannabis clubs (although Dale Gieringer, the head of CA NORML, expects this rule to be changed), the grow limits are way too small, there's a $50 per plant fee (!), yadda yadda. You can read it for yourself (http://tinyurl.com/amended266), but you may not like it very much.
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US CO: Marijuana Opponents Using Racketeering Law to Fight

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/16/2015 - 07:00
The Daily Reporter, 16 Jul 2015 - DENVER (AP) - A federal law crafted to fight the mob is giving marijuana opponents a new strategy in their battle to stop the expanding industry: racketeering lawsuits. A Colorado pot shop recently closed after a Washington-based group opposed to legal marijuana sued not just the pot shop but a laundry list of firms doing business with it - from its landlord and accountant to the Iowa bonding company guaranteeing its tax payments. One by one, many of the defendants agreed to stop doing business with Medical Marijuana of the Rockies, until the mountain shop closed its doors and had to sell off its pot at fire-sale prices.
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CN ON: Cops Keep Eye Out For Weed Among Corn

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/16/2015 - 07:00
Packet & Times, 16 Jul 2015 - Season for Growing Marijuana Outdoors Is Here Police are already taking special notice of this year's corn crop - and a particular weed that's growing among it. The outdoor marijuana season is in full bloom.
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US CA: Column: SF Nixes Pop-up Cannabis Marketplaces

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/16/2015 - 07:00
SF Weekly, 16 Jul 2015 - Last month, a collection of food trucks and vendors with portable tables under pop-up tents gathered on a strip of pavement in South of Market for a pancake breakfast. The Saturday morning meal was noteworthy enough to draw the attention of The New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle, because it involved cannabis. The "loaded" pancakes were the opening ceremony for the "Get Baked Sale," a cannabis-laced food emporium that took over the space for the day. Attendees with a medical marijuana recommendation - available from doctors on-site, as always - could sample THC-laden treats until they became comatose, and buy an armload of their preferred super-strength brownies to bring home from the vendors. If you wanted a bag of regular old cannabis flower without the hassle of going to a dispensary, you could buy that, too.
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Obama Calls for Greater Criminal Justice Reforms [FEATURE]

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 07/15/2015 - 22:53

In a 45-minute speech at the NAACP convention in Philadelphia Tuesday, President Obama laid out a far-reaching roadmap for criminal justice reform, including calls for reducing or eliminating mandatory minimum sentences, reviewing the use of solitary confinement, and eliminating barriers to reentry for former prisoners.

[image:1 align:right caption:true]The president has touched on many of the themes before, but the Philadelphia speech was the first time he tied them all together into a plan for action. The speech likely signals upcoming executive actions on criminal justice reform.

Obama recited the by now well-known statistics demonstrating American's over-reliance on incarceration: America is home to 5% of world's population but 25% of world's prisons; that African Americans and Latinos make up 30% of the U.S. population, but 60% of American inmates; that one out of three black men are now likely to serve time in prison, among others.

While the United States has 2 ½ million people behind bars, only about 200,000 of them are in the federal prison system that Obama has the ability to impact. Of those, 98,000 are doing time for drug offenses.

He used those stats to bolster his case for broad criminal justice reform, calling the criminal justice system an "injustice system."

"Any system that allows us to turn a blind-eye to hopelessness and despair, that's not a justice system, that's an injustice system," Obama said. "Justice is not only the absence of oppression, it's the presence of opportunity."

Washington has seen limited criminal justice reform during the Obama years, particularly with legislation partially undoing the crack-powder cocaine sentencing disparity and later actions making it retroactive. Then-Attorney General Eric Holder signaled to federal prosecutors that they should move away from mandatory minimums, and the Obama administration has asked federal drug prisoners to seek sentence commutations.

At the convention, Obama also touted initiatives including the Department of Justice's Smart on Crime program aimed at reducing the impact of our harsh laws, My Brother's Keeper, and the Clemency Project.

The president commuted the sentences of 46 drug offenders on Monday, and applications from some 30,000 more are in the pipeline.

Obama said the time was ripe for further reforms, citing bipartisan interest in the issue, and even mentioning the Koch Brothers and Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul as allies in the fight. They made "strange bedfellows" with Democrats and the NAACP, he said, but that's what sometimes happens in politics.

"We're at a moment when some good people in both parties, Republicans and Democrats, and folks all across the country are coming together around ideas to make the system work smarter. To make it work better and I'm determined to do my part, wherever I can," Obama said a day earlier in announcing the sentence commutations.

On Thursday, Obama will continue his criminal justice-themed week with a visit to the federal prison in El Reno, Oklahoma -- the first visit ever to a federal prison by a sitting president. He is expected to meet with inmates there, and he told the NAACP crowd he met with four former prisoners -- one white, one Latino, and two black -- before taking to the podium there.

Categories: Latest News

Obama Calls for Greater Criminal Justice Reforms [FEATURE]

Top Stories (STDW) - Wed, 07/15/2015 - 22:53

In a 45-minute speech at the NAACP convention in Philadelphia Tuesday, President Obama laid out a far-reaching roadmap for criminal justice reform, including calls for reducing or eliminating mandatory minimum sentences, reviewing the use of solitary confinement, and eliminating barriers to reentry for former prisoners.

[image:1 align:right caption:true]The president has touched on many of the themes before, but the Philadelphia speech was the first time he tied them all together into a plan for action. The speech likely signals upcoming executive actions on criminal justice reform.

Obama recited the by now well-known statistics demonstrating American's over-reliance on incarceration: America is home to 5% of world's population but 25% of world's prisons; that African Americans and Latinos make up 30% of the U.S. population, but 60% of American inmates; that one out of three black men are now likely to serve time in prison, among others.

While the United States has 2 ½ million people behind bars, only about 200,000 of them are in the federal prison system that Obama has the ability to impact. Of those, 98,000 are doing time for drug offenses.

He used those stats to bolster his case for broad criminal justice reform, calling the criminal justice system an "injustice system."

"Any system that allows us to turn a blind-eye to hopelessness and despair, that's not a justice system, that's an injustice system," Obama said. "Justice is not only the absence of oppression, it's the presence of opportunity."

Washington has seen limited criminal justice reform during the Obama years, particularly with legislation partially undoing the crack-powder cocaine sentencing disparity and later actions making it retroactive. Then-Attorney General Eric Holder signaled to federal prosecutors that they should move away from mandatory minimums, and the Obama administration has asked federal drug prisoners to seek sentence commutations.

At the convention, Obama also touted initiatives including the Department of Justice's Smart on Crime program aimed at reducing the impact of our harsh laws, My Brother's Keeper, and the Clemency Project.

The president commuted the sentences of 46 drug offenders on Monday, and applications from some 30,000 more are in the pipeline.

Obama said the time was ripe for further reforms, citing bipartisan interest in the issue, and even mentioning the Koch Brothers and Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul as allies in the fight. They made "strange bedfellows" with Democrats and the NAACP, he said, but that's what sometimes happens in politics.

"We're at a moment when some good people in both parties, Republicans and Democrats, and folks all across the country are coming together around ideas to make the system work smarter. To make it work better and I'm determined to do my part, wherever I can," Obama said a day earlier in announcing the sentence commutations.

On Thursday, Obama will continue his criminal justice-themed week with a visit to the federal prison in El Reno, Oklahoma -- the first visit ever to a federal prison by a sitting president. He is expected to meet with inmates there, and he told the NAACP crowd he met with four former prisoners -- one white, one Latino, and two black -- before taking to the podium there.

Categories: Latest News

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 07/15/2015 - 22:11

The beat goes on. Cops stealing weed in Texas, heroin in DC, and big sums of cash in Virginia, jail guards dealing smack, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]In Sullivan City, Texas, a Sullivan City police officer was fired last Thursday amid accusations he stole marijuana from the evidence room. Angel de la Mora admitted having stolen the weed, and went down after a fellow officer noticed him "behaving oddly." He had mixed some of the marijuana with rubbing alcohol, a local folk remedy for aches and pains.

In New York City, a Rikers Island jail guard was arrested last Wednesday in a sweep that netted 12 alleged members of the Bloods on drug charges. Rikers guard Covel Duncan and the other 11 are all charged with intent to distribute over a kilogram of heroin between November 2014 and June 2015, authorities said. They're all looking at up to life in prison.

In Leesburg, Virginia, a former Loudon County sheriff's deputy was indicted by a federal grand jury last Thursday on charges that he embezzled $200,000 from a sheriff's office asset forfeiture fund. Frank Michael Parsons, 44, faces four counts of theft concerning programs receiving federal benefits. Parsons oversaw the asset forfeiture program, and is accused of stealing the money over a three-year period.

In Easton, Connecticut, four Connecticut law enforcement officers were arrested Tuesday on federal they were involving in a steroids and prescription opiates distribution ring. Easton Police Commissioner Raymond Martin, 48, went down after what the DEA and FBI called a long investigation into steroid shipments from China. He is charged with conspiracy to possess oxycodone with the intent to distribute. Also arrested in the case were a Newtown police sergeant and dispatcher and a state judicial marshal.

In West Palm Beach, Florida, a former Palm Beach County Sheriff's narcotics detective pleaded guilty last Friday to charges he trumped up a drug charge against a Riviera Beach man. Joaquin Fonseca-Ortiz, 49, pleaded guilty to four misdemeanor charges of official misconduct. In return, prosecutors dropped three other charges, including possession of cocaine, a felony. Under the agreement, he will serve six months house arrest and will have work release.

In Washington, DC, a former FBI agent was sentenced last Thursday to three years in federal prison for stealing heroin seized as evidence. Matthew Lowry's thefts, which he said were to feed his own habit, resulted in the dismissal of cases against 28 drug defendants, including 25 who had pleaded guilty and were freed from prison.

In St. Louis, a former St. Louis police officer was sentenced Tuesday to two years in federal prison for giving a gun to a drug dealer in order to help him stay in business. Don McGhee pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime in April, about a week after being indicted. He went down after a pistol-grip shotgun he had given to the dealer was seized in a later drug raid and traced back to him.

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Medical Marijuana Update

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 07/15/2015 - 21:43

Medical marijuana continues to be an issue in Congress, medical marijuana programs in Illinois and New York move ahead, a federal appeals court decision hits dispensaries in the pocketbook, and more.

[image:1 align:left]National

Last Wednesday, House Republicans blocked a bid for more marijuana studies. Republicans in the House killed an amendment to an appropriations bill that would have reclassified marijuana so laboratories could conduct "credible research on its safety and efficacy as a medical treatment." The amendment would have encouraged the DEA and the National Institutes of Health to work together to allow studies of the risks and benefits of using marijuana to treat various diseases and conditions. The amendment, sponsored by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Sam Farr (D-CA), as well as marijuana legalization foe Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), would have created a new designation in the federal drug scheduling scheme, Schedule 1R, for research.

On Monday, US senators sought information from federal agencies on progress on medical marijuana research. A group of eight United States senators Monday sent a letter to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) requesting information about the agencies' efforts to facilitate and coordinate scientific research on medical marijuana. The letter was signed by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ).

California

Last Thursday, a federal appeals court ruled that dispensaries can't deduct business expenses. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that they can't take the deductions because their product is prohibited under federal law. The ruling came in the case of the embattled Vapor Room dispensary, whose owner had claimed $650,000 in business expenses in 2004 and 2005. The IRS balked, and now the appeals court has sided with the IRS.

Florida

On Monday, state officials said the CBD cannabis oil grow program had 24 applicants. Some 24 commercial plant nurseries have applied for state licenses to grow marijuana and produce CBD cannabis oil to treat epilepsy and other medical conditions. The state is divided into five regions, and only one license will be awarded for each region.

Illinois

On Monday, the first cultivation center in the state began medical marijuana production. The Ataraxia cultivation center announced that it is beginning to grow medical marijuana. The group says it thinks it is the first in the state to do so. The grow is located in Albion.

New York

Last Friday, the Department of Health said the medical marijuana distribution program had 43 applicants. Nearly four dozen companies have applied for licenses to grow and distribute medical marijuana under a program approved by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D). The state Department of Health is expected to decide which applicants will get licenses sometime within the next couple of weeks.

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

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Chronicle AM: Obama Calls for More Criminal Justice Reforms, Israeli Knesset Pot Brouhaha, More (7/15/15)

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 07/15/2015 - 21:05

The president gives a major speech calling for greater criminal justice reform, there's a revised version of a California marijuana legalization initiative, North Carolina is moving to ban new synthetic drugs, the Israeli Knesset squabbles over marijuana policy, and more.

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

Second Version of California Marijuana Control, Legalization, and Revenue Act Filed. The folks behind the initiative have revised and updated it. This is one of four legalization initiatives already filed. Everyone is still waiting for one from the California Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform to drop. To read the latest version of the Marijuana Control, Legalization, and Revenue Act, click on the title link.

New Synthetic Drugs

North Carolina Set to Ban N-Bomb, Other New Synthetics. A bill that would make the synthetic drug NBOMe (N-Bomb) and other designer drugs illegal is one vote away from passage. House Bill 341 would add 12 known variants of NBOMe to the state's Schedule I list. It would also add methoxetamine, a synthetic form of ketamine often marketed as Special K, and acetyl fentanyl, a synthetic form of the opioid fentanyl. Variants of methylphenidate (Ritalin) would also be banned, and some recent synthetic cannabinoids, too. The bill has passed the House and now awaits a final Senate floor vote.

Criminal Justice

President Obama Calls for Greater Criminal Justice Reform. In a speech before the NAACP Tuesday, Obama called for reducing or eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug crimes, reconsidering solitary confinement, increased reentry programs for people leaving prison, and an end to asking about criminal histories on job applications. He also called on Congress to pass sentencing reform legislation by year's end. Click on the link for much more.

Drug Testing

Wisconsin Challenges Federal Ban on Food Stamp Drug Testing. The state attorney general Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the federal government seeking to clarify whether federal law would allow the state to drug test food stamp recipients. Gov. Scott Walker (R) earlier this week signed a measure to do so into law. The US Agriculture Department says that drug testing food stamp recipients is not allowed, but Attorney General Brad Schimel (R) said that policy is contrary to federal law that allows states to test them.

International

Israeli Knesset Members Boycott Marijuana Policy Meeting to Protest "Pro-Legalization" Views of Panel Head. Most members of the Knesset Committee on Drug and Alcohol Abuse failed to show up for a committee meeting on "progressive cannabis policies" Tuesday, saying they were protesting the pro-legalization stance of committee chair Tamar Zandberg of the Meretz Party. Conservative MPs accused Zandberg of "turning [the committee] into the caucus to promote cannabis... instead of the goal for which the committee was formed: to fight drug abuse and drug-related crimes, rehabilitation of users, and public campaigns to prevent drug and alcohol abuse in general and especially among youth." Zandberg was unbowed. "I support legalization and I have never hidden it, and I plan to lead the committee with up-to-date and relevant discussions based on data," she added. "The committee will seriously deal with a long line of topics, including medical marijuana, dealing with alcoholism, and trying to change the policy of criminalizing cannabis." She accused the protesting members of being a "nature reserve of moralizers."

(This article was prepared by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, 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.)

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US NM: Editorial: State Should Abandon Its Misguided Rx Pot

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 07/15/2015 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 15 Jul 2015 - Among its benefits, medical pot smokers claim that it shuts down various pains and opens the senses. And it's only right that the state should be open about those it licenses to grow and sell medical marijuana. A lawsuit filed last week accuses the state Department of Health of violating state law by refusing to release the names or other information about people who have applied for a license to produce medical marijuana. Among the allegations: refusal to make the information public "distorts the market for medicine" and deprives residents of "information about their neighborhoods, and has the potential to promote cronyism and corruption in the awarding of valuable state licenses."
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