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Ballot Initiatives

US MA: Baker Staunch In Opposition To Legalizing Marijuana

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 08:00
Boston Globe, 23 Jan 2015 - But Governor Still Sees Value in Review by State Senate With marijuana legalization advocates considering a ballot measure campaign in Massachusetts in 2016, Governor Charlie Baker said Thursday that he is "going to always be opposed to legalizing" recreational use of the drug.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM: ME Mj Bills, OH Mj Init, VA Heroin Bills, WY Drug & Asset Forfeiture; More (1/20/15)

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 20:39

State legislative sessions are getting underway, and drug policy-related bills are popping up all over. There's good, bad, and ugly. Let's get to it:

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

Alaska Bill Would Delay Regulations for Marijuana Concentrates. Rep. Paul Seaton (R-Homer) last Friday filed House Bill 59, which would delay regulations for concentrates by up to a year. That conflicts with the language of the marijuana legalization initiative, and has legalization supporters unhappy. Click on the story link for more details.

A Big Batch of Pot Bills in Maine. There are at least 15 marijuana-related bills pending before the state legislature, including one that would legalize, tax, and regulate the weed. Rep. Dianne Russell (D-Portland), sponsor of the legalization bill, is also sponsoring four medical marijuana bills. Another bill, sponsored by the Department of Public Safety, would set a limit on the amount of THC drivers could have in their systems. Click on the link for more detail.

Nebraska Bill Would Make Pot Concentrates a Felony. The state decriminalized pot possession in the 1970s, but a bill being pushed by the state attorney general's office, LB 326, would begin to undo that by making possession of marijuana concentrates not just a misdemeanor, but a felony, punishable by up to five years in state prison. It's been referred to the Judiciary Committee.

Responsible Ohio Lays Out its Vision for Legalization. The group wants to put a constitutional amendment to legalize pot on the November 2015 ballot, and today announced details of its proposal. The initiative would create a Marijuana Control Commission, allow for 10 licensed commercial grows, allow for marijuana manufacturing facilities that would sell only to retailers, allow for nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries, and would tax marijuana at a 15% rate. Click on either link for more.

Heroin

Virginia Legislature Sees Heroin Bills Filed. At least four bills have been filed that seek to address the toll of heroin addiction and overdoses. House Bill 1638 would make people who provided drugs that resulted in a fatal overdose liable for a second degree murder charge; House Bill 1500 is a limited 911 Good Samaritan bill; House Bill 1458 would expand access to the overdose reversal drug naloxone, and Senate Bill 817 would expand the state's prescription monitoring program to allow probation and parole officers to access the database.

Asset Forfeiture

Wyoming Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Advances to Senate Floor. A bill that would bar police from seizing people's property unless they are charged with a felony drug crime passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday and now awaits a Senate floor vote. Senate File 14 drew late opposition from the offices of Gov. Matt Mead (R) and Attorney General Peter Michael (R), which claimed they would have to charge more people with felonies if they couldn't just take their money, but legislators expressed irritation at the late objections when the bill has been in process for months.

Drug Policy

Wyoming Bill Would Lighten Up on Repeated Drug Possession Punishments. Under current law, people convicted a third time in their lives for misdemeanor drug possession face felony penalties. House Bill 109 would change state law to make the felony penalties apply on the forth conviction, and the previous convictions would have to have happened in the past five years, instead of throughout the convict's lifetime, which is current law. There are at least three other bills relating to drug possession before the legislature; click on the title link to read more.

Drug Testing

Montana Food Stamps Drug Testing Bill Filed. Rep. Randy Pinocci (R-Sun River) Monday filed House Bill 200, which would require all applicants for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, the food stamps program) to be screened for evidence of drug abuse. Those whose screening suggests a possible issue would be required to undergo a drug test. People who test positive for drugs wouldn't be allowed to receive benefits unless they agreed to complete a 30-day drug treatment program.

Harm Reduction

Michigan Cops Start Carrying Overdose Reversal Drug. Deputies in Oakland County have begun carrying naloxone opioid overdose reversal kits in a bid to reduce overdoses. That was made possible by the passage last year of Senate Bill 1049, which allowed law enforcement agencies to distribute the drug to police who have been trained to use it.

International

German Cops Tired of Messing Around With Small Time Drug Crimes. The country's police union is calling for "soft" drug offenses and other minor crimes to be decriminalized so police can focus on serious crime and terrorism. German police are also faced with shrinking numbers due to mandatory retirement of officers.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Mendocino County To Vote On Creation Of Pot Panel

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 08:00
The Press Democrat, 19 Jan 2015 - Officials in pot-rich Mendocino County are thinking ahead to the potential economic impacts of what they see as the inevitable legalization of marijuana for general use. "Whether it's at the state Legislature or the ballot box, it is foreseeable that we will have legalization for personal recreational use within the next two years," said Supervisor John McCowen, one of two board members nominated to sit on a proposed committee that would study the issue. The county can either prepare for that event or wait on the sidelines, he said.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US OR: Oregon Lawmakers Busy Filing Marijuana Bills

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 08:00
The Bulletin, 19 Jan 2015 - SALEM - Oregon legislators filed more than a dozen marijuana-related bills last week, giving early insight into how they'll tinker with a new law that will legalize recreational marijuana starting this July. The proposals show what lawmakers may do now that Oregon is the nation's fourth state to take on regulation of the federally banned drug.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US DC: Council Sets Up Pot Bill Hearings

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 08:00
Washington Times, 19 Jan 2015 - Move to Gauge How Lawmakers Challenge Congress The D.C. Council is pursuing a regulatory scheme for the sale and taxation of marijuana, scheduling hearings on proposed legislation that flies in the face of congressional attempts to prevent the District from loosening its drug laws.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US MT: Marijuana Bills Wafting Into Legislature

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 01/18/2015 - 08:00
Montana Standard, 18 Jan 2015 - HELENA - Marijuana once again will be an issue at the Legislature, with a number of bills anticipated, from possibly decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of pot to banning medical marijuana. "I wanted to do a legalization of marijuana bill, but I don't have the energy," Sen. Mary Caferro, D-Helena, said.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US AK: Forum Crowd Pro-Pot, Pro-Regulation

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 01/18/2015 - 08:00
The Frontiersman, 18 Jan 2015 - PALMER - Residents and local government officials appear cautiously optimistic about the future of marijuana in the Mat-Su Valley, based on discussion at Thursday's meeting. Some of the commentary heard during Thursday's informal mayoral forum - - which involved mayors of Wasilla, Palmer, Houston, and the Mat-Su Borough - focused on specific policy recommendations, like the suggestion that a limited number of licenses be offered, and be initially awarded via lottery. Other recommendations, like a speaker who urged officials to adopt specific regulations only as specific problems arose, were more general.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US FL: Editorial: Lead Or Be Eclipsed On Medical Marijuana

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 01/18/2015 - 08:00
Sun-Sentinel, 18 Jan 2015 - Those who opposed last year's push to legalize medical marijuana in Florida raised several concerns. They feared it would allow children to get medical pot from their doctor. They feared it would be prescribed for just about anything, including a hangnail. They feared caregivers would become drug dealers. And above all else, they said it had no business as an amendment to the state constitution. In November, Amendment 2 came close to passing with 58 percent of the vote, just shy of the 60 percent needed. At the time, its principal backer, Orlando trial attorney John Morgan, promised he'd be back. And Monday, he filed paperwork to start the process for placing a revised initiative on the 2016 ballot.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US VT: Green Mountain High?

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 01/18/2015 - 08:00
Los Angeles Times, 18 Jan 2015 - Vermont Is Exploring Whether to Become the Center of Legal Pot Sales in the East. If It Does, a Tourism Boom May Follow. Forget ski resorts and prize-winning maple syrup. The big tourism draw for tiny Vermont could soon be marijuana.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US OH: Pot Backers' Plan Includes Safety Tests

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 08:00
Columbus Dispatch, 16 Jan 2015 - Backers of a prospective investment-based marijuana ballot issue said yesterday that they would set up five "testing centers" throughout Ohio to verify for consumers the chemical content of marijuana for sale for personal use. ResponsibleOhio said the testing program would end the uncertainty about dangerous drugs purchased on the black market.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US MS: State's Bid To Legalize Marijuana Gets Support

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 08:00
Commercial Appeal, 15 Jan 2015 - Scotty Gray of Southaven thinks marijuana could help with his seizures more than the prescribed medication he's taking now. Jim Ferguson of Nesbit thinks that even when used recreationally, marijuana is less of a threat to the public than what's already available legally. "I'd much rather come across somebody on the road high on pot than drunk."
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US: The War On Drugs Is Burning Out

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 08:00
Rolling Stone, 15 Jan 2015 - Leading at the Ballot Box From Alaska to Washington, D.C., Americans Are Charting a Path to a Saner National Drug Policy The conservative wave of 2014 featured an unlikely, progressive undercurrent: In two states, plus the nation's capital, Americans voted convincingly to pull the plug on marijuana prohibition. Even more striking were the results in California, where voters overwhelmingly passed one of the broadest sentencing reforms in the nation, de-felonizing possession of hard drugs.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Medical Marijuana Update

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 02:36

The battle over a CBD medical marijuana bill is heating up in Georgia, the Florida medical marijuana initiative returns, California localities continue to deal with dispensary issues, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left]California

Last Friday, Kern County sued to shut down five more dispensaries. That's makes a least a dozen lawsuits filed against dispensaries by the county. Those hit this time are Genuine Empathy, Greenery Lounge, Organic Caregivers Center, Medical Alternative Supply House Corporation, and Platinum Wellness.

On Tuesday, the San Diego city council moved forward on dispensary applications. The council rejected appeals of a staff finding that dispensary applications are exempt from provisions of the state's Environmental Protection Act. This will allow some 40 permit applications to move forward, although it's unlikely more than a few will be granted. The city does not yet have a legal dispensary, but it has shut down dozens of unpermitted ones.

Also on Tuesday, the Vallejo city council voted to ban dispensaries, then voted to regulate them instead. The council first voted 5-2 to ban all dispensaries, then voted 4-3 not to. It then approved a measure to begin the process of regulating dispensaries. The city has about 30 dispensaries now operating, but only 12 are complying with tax and licensing requirements. It's unclear how many would be allowed under the regulation scheme, but one council member said the proper number was two.

Connecticut

On Wednesday,the medical marijuana program's Board of Physicians recommended expanding the list of qualifying medical conditions. The board voted to include sickle cell disease, chronic back pain after surgery, and severe psoriasis as qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, but not Tourette's Syndrome. The recommendations now go to the Consumer Protection Commissioner, who would then decide whether to accept the recommendation, then draft a new regulation that would go to another public hearing before going to the General Assembly's regulation-review committee for a final decision. It could take months or even years.

Florida

On Monday.the Florida medical marijuana initiative returned. Proponents of last year's failed medical marijuana initiative have filed a rewritten ballot measure aimed at 2016. "The language and the essence of the amendment is essentially the same," said John Morgan, the Orlando attorney who chairs People United for Medical Marijuana, and the chief financer of the legalization drive. "What I would say is that we have tweaked or clarified positions that were constantly brought up by our opposition to help us talk more freely about the real issue, which is the legalization of medical marijuana."

Georgia

Last Friday,a poll found that Georgians back allowing CBD cannabis oil. Some 84% of Georgians support the legalization of low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oils to treat medical conditions, according to a new Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll. The poll also found that when it came to legalizing marijuana for recreational use, Georgians were split almost evenly, with 49% saying legalize it and 48% saying don't.

On Monday,the fight over a CBD medical marijuana bill continued. Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) has said he will modify his CBD medical marijuana bill, House Bill 1, after Gov. Nathan Deal (R) objected to a provision that would allow production of the group in the state. That has supporters of the bill unhappy. They say that because federal law prohibits transporting medical marijuana between states, their medicine will remain out of reach if it cannot be grown in-state.

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

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM: DC Challenges Congress on Pot Legalization, ME Welfare Drug Test Plan Approved, More (1/14/15)

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Wed, 01/14/2015 - 20:46

The District of Columbia is challenging Congress on marijuana legalization, Sens. Feinstein and Grassley complain about administration drug policy, a plethora of pot bills have bill filed in Oregon, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left]Marijuana Policy

DC Sends Legalization Measure to Congress. DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) Tuesday sent to Congress the District's voter-approved Initiative 71 legalization measure, in effect challenging the body to either block it or let it stand. Mendelson's move starts a 30-day clock during which time Congress must act or the measure becomes law. In December, Congress voted to block funds to implement the measure, but DC maintains that that move does not stop the District from enacting it. Stay tuned.

Anchorage Mayor Wants to Ban Public Consumption. Mayor Dan Sullivan has proposed an ordinance that would ban pot use in public places. But his plan is running into opposition, with opponents claiming it is too broad. Click on the link for more details.

Oregon Legislature Sees a Bundle of Marijuana Bills. You'd think legalizing marijuana would quiet the issue at the statehouse, but you would be wrong. At least 16 marijuana-related bills were introduced Monday, ranging from limits on physician prescribing to limitations on retail sales locations to warnings to pregnant women, and more. Click on the link for a fuller rundown.

Medical Marijuana

Connecticut Medical Marijuana Program Recommends Expanding List of Qualifying Conditions. The state's Medical Marijuana Program Board of Physicians voted today to include sickle cell disease, chronic back pain after surgery, and severe psoriasis as qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, but not Tourette's Syndrome. The recommendations now go to the Consumer Protection Commissioner, who would then decide whether to accept the recommendation, then draft a new regulation that would go to another public hearing before going to the General Assembly's regulation-review committee for a final decision. It could take months or even years.

Drug Policy

Senators Feinstein and Grassley Criticize Obama's Policy on International Drug Control Treaties. Senate octogenarians Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) have teamed up to express their dismay over the Obama administration's "flexible interpretation" of UN drug control treaties and their concern over whether allowing states to legalize marijuana puts the US in conflict with the treaties. They sent one letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and another letter to Attorney General Eric Holder. The co-chairs of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control complained that administration forbearance in the face of state-level legalization could let states "implement policies that legalize other, even more harmful drugs, without recourse" and that administration approaches to the issue may "weaken US standing as an international leader on drug control issues."

Drug Testing

Maine Governor Gets Go-Ahead for Welfare Drug Testing. Gov. Paul LePage's (R) plan to begin drug testing some welfare applicants has won final approval from the state attorney general, his office said Tuesday. The state will begin drug-testing convicted drug felons who are applying for or receiving welfare benefits. Those who fail will lose benefits unless they enroll in a drug treatment program. Civil rights and poverty activist groups have criticized the measure as an intrusion on privacy and an attack on poor people.

Harm Reduction

Tennessee Cops Now Carrying Overdose Reversal Drug. Police in the Volunteer State are now beginning to carry the overdose reversal drug naloxone in a bid to reduce overdose deaths. The first training seminars for law enforcement personnel began last Friday. The move comes after the legislature last year passed a law allowing for broader distribution of the drug, including law enforcement and emergency medical personnel.

International

Walid Jumblatt Again Calls for Lebanese Hash Legalization, Cites Terror Fight. Senior Druse leader and Lebanese MP Walid Jumblatt has reiterated his call to legalize the hash trade in the country and he has tied it the country's fight against terrorism. The government needs to increase security and stability in the Bekaa Valley, a leading hash cultivation area, he said. "The treatment cannot be a security one only, but it should be backed by development (projects), and thus I still believe that the cultivation of hashish should be legalized because the theory of alternative crops has failed," Jumblatt said.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

DC Councilmembers File Bill to Tax and Regulate Marijuana

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Wed, 01/14/2015 - 19:44

In a pointed message to the Congress, DC councilmembers last week introduced a bill that would tax and regulate marijuana sales in the nation's capital. The move comes despite passage of a federal spending bill that included an amendment barring the District from spending local or federal funds to implement such a law.

[image:1 align:left]Last November, District voters overwhelmingly approved Initiative 71, which legalized the possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana, but not the regulated sale and taxation of it. That's because DC law forbids voter initiatives from addressing tax issues.

The city council, which already approved decriminalization last year, has been prepared all along to consider a taxation and regulation bill to turn Initiative 71 into full-blown legalization. And despite the move by some Republicans in Congress to try to erase November's District election results, the council is undeterred.

Councilmember David Grosso and three colleagues have introduced the Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2015 (B21-0023), which would create a framework for a legal marijuana industry, complete with licensed cultivators, product manufacturers, retail stores, and testing labs.

An earlier version of the bill, the Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2013, got as far as a public hearing in October, before the election. But it has now been superseded in part by Initiative 71 and by the new bill.

With Republicans now in control of both houses of Congress, efforts to quash the District's efforts to end pot prohibition are bound to continue -- even though even some Republicans are now leery of blocking the democratic expression of the will of District voters. But like the District's new mayor, Muriel Bowser, who is vowing to push ahead with Initiative 71, the DC council appears ready to take the fight wherever it leads.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US MI: Column: Citizen Concern Grows Over Detroit's

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 01/14/2015 - 08:00
Metro Times, 14 Jan 2015 - Things are heating up in Detroit regarding the proliferation of medical marijuana storefronts in the city. Some citizens are alarmed at the number they see popping up in their neighborhoods. "It is a hornet's nest of a topic," says City Councilmember James Tate, who represents District 1 on the west side.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Column: The Legalization Quagmire

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 01/14/2015 - 08:00
East Bay Express, 14 Jan 2015 - Proponents of Legalizing Cannabis in California in 2016 Remain Deeply Divided. The prospect of marijuana legalization in California looks anything but certain after a major meeting late last week in Oakland in which leading activists showed how divided they remain. In fact, the possibility of ending the 78-year-old prohibition on cannabis appears to have increased factionalism within the reform movement.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Feinstein Adamantly Against Pot

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 01/14/2015 - 08:00
Los Angeles Times, 14 Jan 2015 - A Harsh Critic of Leniency at the Federal Level, She Has Not Been Swayed by Shifting Public Views. WASHINGTON - As the majority of California voters grow comfortable with the idea of pot legalization, their senior senator in Washington is making it clear that she most certainly is not.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US DC: D.C. Defies Hill on Pot

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 01/14/2015 - 08:00
Washington Post, 14 Jan 2015 - The District of Columbia defied the new Republican Congress on Tuesday, challenging the House and Senate to either block or let stand a voter-approved ballot measure to legalize marijuana in the nation's capital. D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) sent the measure to Capitol Hill, starting the clock on a 30-day review window that Congress has used only three times in 40 years to quash a local D.C. law.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM: CA Tribe Will Grow Pot, Call for Asset Forfeiture Reform, KY Heroin Bill Moves, More (1/12/15)

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 22:04

A California tribe looks to be the first to grow marijuana, DC councilmembers move ahead with plans to tax and regulate pot, key congressional committee chairs call for asset forfeiture reform, an omnibus heroin bill is on the move in Kentucky, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Milwaukee Aldermen Want to Make Pot Ticket A $5 Fine or Less. If you get caught with marijuana in Milwaukee right now, you face a fine of between $250 and $500 -- and a trip to jail if you don't pay the fine. Two Aldermen think that's too much. Nik Kovac and Ashanti Hamilton are proposing lowering the fine to $5 or less. "We are effectively trying to eliminate any of these tickets," Kovac said, citing racial disparities in marijuana arrests. Although the city's black and white populations are roughly equal, five times as many black people were arrested for possession of marijuana last year as white people.

Half of Michiganders Support Marijuana Legalization. Michigan is evenly divided on marijuana legalization, with 50% saying they would support an initiative allowing possession by adults and taxable sales at state-regulated stores, and 46% saying they opposed such an idea. The figures come from a new poll conducted by EPIC-MRA of Lansing. A similar poll last year had support at 47%. The trend is upward, but the numbers aren't high enough to excite deep-pocketed potential initiative backers; the conventional wisdom is that initiatives should be polling at 60% or more when the campaign begins.

DC Councilmembers File Bill to Tax and Regulate Marijuana. In a pointed message to the Congress, DC councilmembers last week introduced a bill that would tax and regulate marijuana sales in the nation's capital. The move comes despite passage of a federal spending bill that included an amendment barring the District from spending local or federal funds to implement such a law. Councilmember David Grosso and three colleagues have introduced the Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2015 (B21-0023), which would create a framework for a legal marijuana industry, complete with licensed cultivators, product manufacturers, retail stores, and testing labs.

Washington State Legislators Face Plethora of Pot Bills. Voting to legalize marijuana in 2012 was not the end for marijuana policy at the state legislature, but a new beginning. This week, at least seven marijuana-related bills have been filed as the session gets underway. A pair of bills seeks to resolve the problems with the fit between recreational and medical marijuana, another bill would raise the excise tax, yet another addresses organ transplant eligibility, while another would bar open containers in moving vehicles. Click on the link for more details and all the bill numbers.

A Second Ohio Legalization Initiative Campaign Emerges. Ohioans to End Prohibition has become the second group to plan a 2016 legalization initiative in the Buckeye State. The group is finalizing language for its Cannabis Control Amendment within the next few weeks. Already out of the gate is Responsible Ohio, whose End Ohio Cannabis Prohibition Act (EOCPA) would set up 10 authorized marijuana growing locations around the state.

Northern California Tribe Could Be First to Grow Pot. The Pinoleville Pomo Nation in Mendocino County, California, said last Thursday it had signed a contract to grow thousands of marijuana plants on its 99-acre rancheria (reservation) north of Ukiah. The Justice Department recently gave the okay for marijuana operations on tribal lands, and it looks like the Pomos are first off the blocks.

Medical Marijuana

Florida Medical Marijuana Initiative is Back. Proponents of last year's failed medical marijuana initiative have filed a rewritten ballot measure aimed at 2016. "The language and the essence of the amendment is essentially the same," said John Morgan, the Orlando attorney who chairs People United for Medical Marijuana, and the chief financer of the legalization drive. "What I would say is that we have tweaked or clarified positions that were constantly brought up by our opposition to help us talk more freely about the real issue, which is the legalization of medical marijuana."

Poll Finds Georgians Back Allowing CBD Cannabis Oil. Some 84% of Georgians support the legalization of low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oils to treat medical conditions, according to a new Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll. The poll also found that when it came to legalizing marijuana for recreational use, Georgians were split almost evenly, with 49% saying legalize it and 48% saying don't.

Heroin

Kentucky Omnibus Heroin Bill Passes Senate. A multi-pronged bill designed to address the state's heroin problem passed the Senate in three days. The measure would increase treatment, prevention, and overdose prevention measures, but would also increase penalties for some heroin offenses. Democrats in the House said they will pass a similar measure, but probably without the mandatory minimum prison sentences approved in the Senate version.

International

Geneva Wants to Legalize the Marijuana Business. A year after Switzerland decriminalized pot possession, the canton on Geneva is thinking about legalizing the pot trade in a bid to undermine the black market. The canton's multi-party Advisory Commission on Addiction has urged the regional government to seek federal government approval of a pilot legalization program. The commission is recommending something akin to the Spanish model, where home cultivation is tolerated and private cannabis clubs offer smoking space and weed for sale to members.

Brazil Justice Minister Says No Marijuana Legalization. Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo said Sunday that Brazil has no intention of following neighboring Uruguay down the path of pot legalization. "Legalization of drugs is not a part of the government's plans," he said. While reform advocates have cited prison overcrowding as a reason to legalize pot, Cardozo said the answer to overcrowding is not to stop arresting marijuana offenders, but to build more prisons.

Chile Authorizes Second Medical Marijuana Grow. Government officials have given the okay to a Chilean concern to grow a medical marijuana crop, the second time such a crop has been approved in the country. Agrofuturo will begin industrial production at its facility in the city of Los Angeles, south of Santiago. In September, the government granted approval to the Daya Foundation to grow the country's -- and the continent's -- first legal medical marijuana crop.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives
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