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Ballot Initiatives

US OH: Ohio's Marijuana Controversy: Big-Stakes Ballot Battle

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 08/23/2015 - 07:00
Dayton Daily News, 23 Aug 2015 - State Voters Consider Tax Revenues, Addiction Issues and Monopolies. COLUMBUS- University of Dayton junior George Cleary said he didn't vote in the last presidential election or last year's election but will vote this year because marijuana legalization is on the ballot.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US OH: Editorial: Fighting The Drug Cartel

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 08/23/2015 - 07:00
Columbus Dispatch, 23 Aug 2015 - Coalition Has Gathered Strong Allies to Oppose Pot Monopoly There are many reasons for Ohioans to vote in November against Issue 3, which would enshrine a marijuana-selling monopoly in the Ohio Constitution.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Support For Pot Excise Tax

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 08/23/2015 - 07:00
Appeal-Democrat, 23 Aug 2015 - Yuba-Sutter's representative on the state Board of Equalization said last week he supports imposing an excise tax on medical marijuana in connection with any state legislation regulating cannabis. "I'm the first to admit that government is too bloated and that Californians are overtaxed," said 1st District Board of Equalization member George Runner, a Republican. "But the fundamental question here is who should pay the steep costs of marijuana-related activities that include trespass on public lands, water theft and unregulated use of pesticides."
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US OH: Column: Choosing the Right Words in Fight Over Marijuana

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 08/23/2015 - 07:00
Columbus Dispatch, 23 Aug 2015 - Words matter. As fast as we're moving in the news room to hit minute-to-minute deadlines in this digital age, we still seek precision in language. We take word choice very seriously. Words have specific meaning, and we strive to choose the best ones. Such is the case now with the battle heating up over marijuana and whether it should be legalized in Ohio.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM: First Las Vegas MedMJ Shop, Peru Restarting Drug Plane Shootdowns, More (8/21/2015)

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 19:23

A Wisconsin tribe moves toward legal marijuana, Oakland's effort to back the Harborside dispensary gets shot down in federal court, Peru wants to shoot down drug planes again, both major Kentucky governor candidates want to drug test welfare recipients, and more.

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

California NAACP Files Legalization Initiative. The civil rights group has filed the Community Act to Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis, the latest addition to the growing list of legalization initiatives filed in the state. Reports are that the initiative is not designed to compete with the still long-awaited proposal from ReformCA, of which the California NAACP is a member, but to submit model language in support of the broader effort. The initiative would legalize up to an ounce and allow personal grows of up to 25 square feet, as well as allow marijuana commerce.

Wisconsin's Menominee Tribe Votes to Legalize Marijuana on Reservation. Tribal members overwhelmingly approved two advisory questions on whether the tribe should legalize marijuana on its reservation. Recreational marijuana was approved 677 to 499, while medical marijuana was approved 899 to 275. The matter now goes to the tribal legislature, which, given the vote, will likely approve ordinances allowing for marijuana.

Medical Marijuana

Federal Appeals Court Rejects City of Oakland Lawsuit Backing Harborside Dispensary. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling dismissing Oakland's lawsuit against the Justice Department and the Northern California US Attorney's office. The city had argued that closing the dispensary would deprive it of tax revenues and increase crime by creating a black market for marijuana. Then-US Attorney Melinda Haag moved in 2012 to seize Harborside, claiming it violated federal law by selling medical marijuana. The case continues even though the Justice Department has since said it generally wouldn't interfere with state marijuana laws.

First Las Vegas Dispensary Set to Open Monday. A spokesman for Euphoria Wellness said Thursday the dispensary had won final state and county approvals this week and would open for business Monday. It will be the first dispensary in Clark County. The first dispensary in the state opened last month in the Reno suburb of Sparks.

Drug Testing

Both Major Kentucky Gubernatorial Candidates Want to Do Welfare Drug Testing. Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway has joined Republican gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin in calling for drug testing of some welfare recipients. "I don't want to see our tax dollars going to support drug addiction," Conway, the Democratic front-runner, said Thursday. But Conway called for suspicion-based drug testing, while Bevins called for random testing, and Conway rejects drug testing Medicare recipients, while Bevins is for it.

International

Peruvian Congress Approves Shooting Down Suspected Drug Planes. The Congress voted unanimously Thursday to allow military planes to shoot down suspected drug flights. Drug-fighting President Ollanta Humala is expected to sign the bill. Peru claims a ton of cocaine a day is flown to Bolivia. Peru used to shoot down drug planes, but stopped after one of its pilots in a CIA-run program shot down a small plane carrying US missionaries, killing US citizen Roni Bowers and her infant daughter, Charity.

Russia Threatens to Ban Wikipedia Over Drug "How To" Entry. Russia's online censor, Roskomnadzor, says it will ban the entire website from Russia unless it removes or blocks access to an article about how to make a marijuana preparation. The censor has also recently gone after Reddit and YouTube over similar postings. Click on the link for more.

Canada's NDP Would Decriminalize Marijuana "Right Away." New Democratic Party leader Thomas Mulcair said Thursday that "the NDP's position is decriminalization the moment we form a government" and that "it's something we can do right away." The NDP is leading most polls in the elections set for October. The Liberals under Justin Trudeau have called for outright legalization, but they're polling third, behind the Conservatives, who have taken a hard line opposing any moves at drug liberalization.

Dusseldorf Moves Forward on Legal Marijuana Sales Plan. Councilors in the German city Wednesday approved a pilot project to sell marijuana to adults. The move was a joint effort by the three parties that form the city's governing coalition, the Social Democrats, the Free Democrats, and the Greens. A similar move is afoot in Berlin, Germany's largest city, where councilors in the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district applied for a marijuana license in June.

(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.)

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US OH: Editorial: Yes On Issue 1

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 07:00
The Blade, 21 Aug 2015 - A Proposal That Would Reduce Marijuana Penalties in Toledo Deserves Voters' Support Next Month At the Sept. 15 primary election in Toledo, voters will have the opportunity to decrease penalties for marijuana use in the city. Whatever their feelings about November's ballot initiative to legalize marijuana across Ohio, this move to strike the city's outdated and unproductive penalties deserves a YES vote.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Column: Superman Falls

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 07:00
SF Weekly, 20 Aug 2015 - His indictment is barely a week old, but many of his former friends in organized labor and the cannabis industry have already buried Dan Rush. Rush, 54, was once the gregarious director of the United Food and Commercial Workers' national medical cannabis and hemp division; on Aug. 10, he was indicted in federal court on two felony counts of violating labor law.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Medical Marijuana Update

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 19:07

There's a union corruption scandal brewing in California, medical marijuana faces awkward transitions in Oregon and Washington, and more.

[image:1 align:left]California

Last Thursday, Oakland was once again considering licensing medical marijuana gardens. The city is in the process of crafting regulations and issuing licenses for medical marijuana grows, as well as other marijuana-related businesses. The city had proposed something similar in 2011, but retreated after federal prosecutors criticized the plan. But now the federal position has changed, and Oakland is ready to try again.

Also last Thursday, a UFCW Official was accused of taking bribes from dispensaries. Dan Rush, the executive director of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) cannabis division, has been charged in federal court with taking bribes or kickbacks to endorse potential dispensary operators. The feds accuse Rush of taking a $600,000 loan from one dispensary operator, and when he was unable to repay it, then working with an attorney to "[propose] and [take] steps to provide various labor benefits to the (dispensary operator), including union support for opening dispensaries and reducing or eliminating pressure to unionize dispensary workers," the complaint says.

On Tuesday, Humboldt County supervisors approved a land use ordinance that would allow for up to 15 dispensaries in unincorporated areas of the county. The ordinance was approved unanimously. There was spirited dissent from one dispensary owner; click on the link to get the low down.

Also on Tuesday, Yuba County officials approved for circulation a ballot measure to overturn the county's medical marijuana cultivation ordinance. The initiative proposed by the Progressive Business Alliance needs 2,483 valid voter signatures by January 19 to force a special election. This is the third set of petitions okayed by county election officials in recent months, meaning the county could see three separate special elections. The current ordinance bans outdoor cultivation in unincorporated areas of the county and limits indoor grows to 12 plants. The latest initiative would allow up to 12 plants indoors or out on parcels of less than an acre, with larger plant counts on larger parcels.

Florida

Last Thursday, a CBD expansion bill was filed. Sarasota state Rep. Greg Steube (R) filed a bill Thursday that would expand the state's CBC cannabis oil program. The measure, House Bill 63, would lower barriers to entry for would-be medical marijuana growers and manufacturers, particularly by removing limits on the number of manufacturers.

North Dakota

North Dakota Medical Marijuana Initiative Trying to Get Going. A Fargo man has formed a committee to advance a medical marijuana initiative and is getting ready to submit initiative language to the Secretary of State's Office. Rilie Ray Morgan said the legislature's refusal to pass a medical marijuana bill showed it is out of touch with popular feeling and that the GOP-dominated House and Senate are "awfully conservative."

Oregon

Last Thursday, Oregon's governor signed a medical marijuana task force bill. Gov. Kate Brown (D) has signed into law Senate Bill 844, which establishes a task force to research the medical and public health properties of marijuana. The task force will make a report with recommendations to the legislature on developing a medical marijuana industry that supplies patients with products that will meet their needs.

Washington

On Tuesday, the Tacoma city council ordered most dispensaries to be shut down. The city council decided to shut down most of the city's 60 unregulated medical marijuana dispensaries. The dispensaries have 45 days to close. After passage of Senate Bill 5052, which essentially folds the medical marijuana system into the recreational marijuana system, dispensaries and collective gardens will have to get licenses from the state beginning next July 1 or shut their doors.

Wyoming

Last Friday, Wyoming initiative supporters announced their signature-gathering campaign would get underway over the weekend. An initiative campaign led by Wyoming NORML is getting underway this weekend. The group is set to unveil the initiative this weekend. They will need to come up with 25,000 valid voter signatures by February to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.

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

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM: OH Ballot Language Fight, Brit MPs Say Drug Use a Human Right, More (8/19/2015)

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 18:17

Another controversy over the ResponsibleOhio legalization initiative, medical marijuana could be coming to the northern prairie, a British parliamentary panel calls drug use a human right, and more.

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

Ohio Legalization Initiative Ballot Language Approved, ResponsibleOhio Will Challenge as "Misleading." The state Ballot Board Tuesday approved the language voters will see when they vote on the ResponsibleOhio legalization initiative, but the group is unhappy with some of it and says it will challenge it in court. Don McTigue, an attorney for the group, said "It's not balanced language, and we believe that language does not fairly inform the voters on what they're being asked to vote upon." Click the story link for more details.

Medical Marijuana

North Dakota Medical Marijuana Initiative Trying to Get Going. A Fargo man has formed a committee to advance a medical marijuana initiative and is getting ready to submit initiative language to the Secretary of State's Office. Rilie Ray Morgan said the legislature's refusal to pass a medical marijuana bill showed it is out of touch with popular feeling and that the GOP-dominated House and Senate are "awfully conservative."

Drug Policy

Maine Governor's Drug Summit Features Mostly Cops. Tea Party Republican Gov. Paul LePage has set a drug summit for next week, but is being criticized for inviting mainly law enforcement and criminal justice officials. Of the 23 invited attendees, only three represent the treatment and recovery community, and none represent actual drug users. LePage says the drug problem is a public safety issue, but critics disagree. "Drug addiction and the drug crisis we are facing is fundamentally a public health issue, not a public safety issue," said Oamshri Amarasingham, policy counsel at the ACLU of Maine. "What we have seen over the last four years is a concerted effort to try and address the drug crisis with law enforcement and that clearly has not worked."

International

British MPs Say Drug Taking Is a Human Right. The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform has issued a report saying the European Convention on Human Rights overrides national laws that criminalize drugs. The panel had earlier called for marijuana legalization and for drugs such as cocaine and heroin to be decriminalized. "For European countries the European Convention on Human Rights, in particular Article 8, could be invoked in support of the argument that possession or purchase or cultivation of drugs for personal use, particularly in small quantities, do not injure other people's rights either directly or indirectly and therefore should not be criminalized," the report said. Click on the link for more.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US MA: Column: Legal Pot? Don't Make It So Complicated

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 07:00
Valley Advocate, 19 Aug 2015 - Maybe it's marijuana's cultural baggage of Deadheads, dreadlocked Rastafarians, and psychedelic paraphernalia that does it, but there's something about cannabis that brings out the school marm in certain segments of the population. It just makes the members of the more conservative contingent feel like their neckties are too tight, like their worldview is still endangered by the cultural descendants of the hippies who hoisted a green, smoke-wreathed flag in the turmoil of the '60s. But that's a cartoonish, puritanical view of a plant that's been around for millennia. Evidence from tombs in Asia reveals cannabis' use as a psychoactive substance at least as far back as 3,000 B.C., and conjecture places its cultivation as far back as 12,000 years. American views were mostly formed in the past century, in the wake of Mexican immigration during the Mexican Revolution. Whether the resulting fear of psychoactive marijuana was about the plant or about the ethnicity of its then-primary smokers is a matter for debate, but regardless, it became illegal in 1937.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US MA: A New Push For Marijuana Legalization

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 07:00
Valley Advocate, 19 Aug 2015 - On Aug. 5, the marijuana legalization group Bay State Repeal filed three versions of a new ballot question with the state Attorney General's office, all of which would allow persons 21 years of age or older to legally grow, acquire, and possess marijuana for personal consumption. The purpose of the initiative is to establish moderate taxes and regulations on marijuana so that, over time, legal sales would drive out illegal sales, said Steven Epstein, the group's press secretary. The proposed legislation, he said, "treats farmers like farmers, treats private producers like processors of food - subject to local and state zoning and health rules - and sets the same rules for dealers that apply to tobacconists."
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CT: Column: Marijuana Prohibition Has Run Its Course

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 07:00
Bristol Press, 19 Aug 2015 - Half a year ago, Colorado and Washington voters approved ballot measures to make marijuana legal in their states. But ending the pot prohibition can't happen overnight, even after electoral wins like that. Just ask Gil Kerlikowske, the nation's "drug czar." "Neither a state nor the executive branch can nullify a statute passed by Congress," Kerlikowske declared in a mid-April appearance at the National Press Club. That makes it sound pretty improbable that Colorado and Washington voters will see the change they supported at the ballot box anytime soon, doesn't it?
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Pot Measure Ok To Circulate

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 07:00
Appeal-Democrat, 19 Aug 2015 - Petitions supporting a ballot measure to overturn Yuba County's medical marijuana cultivation ordinance have been cleared by election officials for circulation. Supporters of the initiative proposed by the Progressive Business Alliance have until Jan. 19 to gather 2,483 signatures of registered voters in the county to force a special election. That amount represents 20 percent of county votes cast in the November 2014 election.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM: Utah SWAT Raids Almost All Drugs, Bolivia Reduces Coca Growing (Again), More (8/18/2015)

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 21:06

A Wisconsin tribe may legalize marijuana, Ohio foes line up against the legalization initiative there, more Washington state dispensaries will be forced to close, a Utah SWAT reporting law shows what those squads are up to -- and it isn't hostage situations or "active shooters" -- Bolivia coca growing down, and more.

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

Ohio Legalization Initiative Foes Get Organized. Business, children's advocacy, parents, religious groups, and other groups organizing to defeat the ResponsibleOhio marijuana legalization initiative have formed an opposition organization, No on 3. Some are opposing it because of its limitations on who could grow commercial marijuana; others, like the Ohio Children's Hospital Association, have more traditional plaints: "The legalization of marijuana in Ohio at this time and the way issue three proposes would set too dangerous of a precedent and put at risk the other three million kids in the state," said Nick Lashutka, president of the association.

Wisconsin's Menominee Tribe to Vote on Legalizing Marijuana. The Menominee, one of the poorest tribes in the country, are set to vote this week on whether to legalize and sell marijuana. The move comes after the state rejected the tribe's plan to build a casino in Kenosha. The Menominee say they are interested in marijuana to "Explore all opportunities to diversify the tribe's economy, create jobs, and provide revenue to the tribe necessary to fund health, education, social, law enforcement and and other important services."

Medical Marijuana

Most Tacoma Dispensaries to Be Shut Down. The city council this week decided to shut down most of the city's 60 unregulated medical marijuana dispensaries. The dispensaries have 45 days to close. After passage of Senate Bill 5052, which essentially folds the medical marijuana system into the recreational marijuana system, dispensaries and collective gardens will have to get licenses from the state beginning next July 1 or shut their doors.

Heroin and Opioids

Massachusetts Officials Want to Jack Up Penalties for Fentanyl. State Attorney General Martha Healey joined legislators and law enforcement officials at a press conference Tuesday to press for legislation that would double prison sentences for people caught in possession of more than 10 grams of the synthetic opioid fentanyl. People caught with large amounts of heroin face up to 30 years, but under a lacuna in state law, people caught with large amounts of synthetic opioids can only be charged with possession with intent to distribute, with a maximum sentence of 10 years. "By criminalizing the trafficking of fentanyl, we will give police and law enforcement the tools they need to get this deadly drug off the streets and out of the hands of those struggling with addiction," Healey said. Some 1,200 people died of drug overdoses in the state last year, and another 312 in the first quarter of this year. [Ed: Why 10 years isn't more than enough for almost any law enforcement purpose, especially in a time of mass incarceration when that type of sentencing is coming under increasing criticism from across the political aisle, is not clear. How sad that a Democrat and former civil rights official in a liberal state is campaigning for longer sentences.]

Law Enforcement

Utah SWAT Reporting Law Shows Overwhelming Majority of Deployments Were for Drug Raids. Utah passed a SWAT reporting law last year, and now the first numbers are in. They show that SWAT teams were deployed nearly twice a day (559 reported incidents, with 25% of agencies failing to report) and, most startlingly, 83% of all SWAT deployments were to serve search warrants for drug offenses. Two-thirds (65%) of the drug raid SWAT deployments either "no-knock" or "knock and announce" raids where police force entry into homes without giving residents a chance to just let them in. Much more at the link.

International

Bolivia Coca Production Falls for Fourth Straight Year. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime announced Monday that the amount of land devoted to coca production dropped by 11% last year, continuing a trend that has seen land devoted to coca drop by more than a third since 2010. President Evo Morales touted his government's approach as more effective than the US-led war on drugs. "Eradication and fighting a war on drugs with military bases is not the solution, as we've seen in some Andean countries, where there are US officials waging the war on drugs," he said. He was referring to the world's two largest coca and cocaine producers, Colombia and Peru, where eradication efforts have provoked sometimes bloody strife.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US ME: Conflict Between Maine Pro-Pot Groups Spreads to the

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 07:00
Bangor Daily News, 18 Aug 2015 - PORTLAND, Maine - The conflict between two groups seeking to place recreational marijuana legalization questions on the 2016 state ballot continues to deepen as signature-gatherers take to the streets. After months of negotiations - which the leader of one of the groups characterized as a sham - failed to achieve a compromise, animosity between Legalize Maine and the Marijuana Policy Project made its way to the streets and storefronts of Portland, as the two organizations each work to gather more than 60,000 signatures required to place their questions on the November 2016 ballot.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US OH: Marijuana Opponents Focus On Child Safety

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 07:00
Columbus Dispatch, 18 Aug 2015 - Two photos speak volumes about the fledgling campaign opposing marijuana legalization in Ohio. A picture of a child's hand reaching into a jar for a tempting gummy hints at the daunting possibility that kids might eat cookies and candy laced with marijuana, with resulting serious health effects.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US OH: Backers, Opponents of Ohio's Pot Issue Ready Fall

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 07:00
Morning Journal, 18 Aug 2015 - COLUMBUS (AP) - Those on both sides of a marijuana legalization proposal in Ohio were looking ahead to the fall election on Monday, with supporters announcing a statewide tour and opponents formally launching their campaign to defeat the issue. Passage of the proposed amendment on Nov. 3 would make Ohio a rare state to go from entirely outlawing marijuana to allowing it for all uses in a single vote.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM: White House Focuses on Heroin, Peru Coca Tensions Rise, CO Pot Sales Hit Record, More (8/17/2015)

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Mon, 08/17/2015 - 21:46

It's big bucks for the Colorado marijuana industry (and the state's tax revenues), there's more initiative news, the White House takes on heroin, Peruvian coca farmers are feeling the pinch of eradication, and more.

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

Colorado Sold a Record $50 Million Worth of Recreational Marijuana in June. Recreational pot sales totaled $50.1 million in June, a record high, and up 7.6% over the previous month, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue. Medical marijuana sales also hit a record, with $35.2 million taken in. The state took in $10.9 million in combined marijuana taxes in June, putting the year's total tax haul to date at nearly $42 million. For all of last year, the total was $44 million.

Idaho Initiative Would Decriminalize, Allow Medical Marijuana and Hemp. Activists with New Approach Idaho have crafted a three-pronged initiative that would decriminalize up to three ounces, allow for medical marijuana, and allow for hemp. The group needs more than 47,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.

Illinois Governor Wants Changes in Marijuana Bills. Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) last Friday used his veto authority to alter two marijuana bills on his desk. A decriminalization bill would make possession of up to 15 grams punishable by a fine of between $55 and $125; Rauner wants to decrease the amount to 10 grams and increase the fines to between $100 and $200. A medical marijuana bill would extend the state's medical marijuana program; Rauner wants an extension of only four months. The bills now go back to the legislature.

With ResponsibleOhio on the Ballot, Organized Opposition Emerges. A coalition of business groups are organizing to defeat the ResponsibleOhio legalization initiative. The Greater Cleveland Partnership is one member, so are the Ohio Manufacturers Association and the Ohio Farm Bureau. The Cuyahoga County drug and alcohol abuse board is also opposing, as are all Republican state higher officeholders.

Wyoming Moves to Criminalize Marijuana Edibles. After rulings by state court judges that state felony marijuana laws only criminalize its possession in plant form, the legislature's Joint Justice Committee is pondering how to deal with edibles. One proposal is to make possession of more than three ounces of an edible a felony. The committee will hold further discussions on the issue in November.

Medical Marijuana

New Version of Michigan Dispensary Bill Could Throttle Medical Marijuana. The House Judiciary Committee will be presented with new versions of the Provisioning Centers Act and the Smoking Alternative Bills that failed to get through the legislature in the 2013-14 session. But advocates say the new versions are less patient-friendly than business-friendly. Click on the link to get the lowdown on the legislature's medical marijuana shenanigans.

Nebraska Medical Marijuana Initiative Could Be Coming. Families who don't trust the legislature to act are preparing to push for action through the initiative process. Nebraska Families 4 Medical Cannabis says it won't make a final decision until next month, but is exploring its options. Another, NORML-affiliated state group is already working on a medical marijuana initiative signature-gathering campaign, but said it could merge efforts.

Heroin

White House Focuses On Heroin. The White House announced today an initiative aimed at reducing heroin use by pairing public health and law enforcement in an effort to shift the focus from punishing addicts to treating them. The plan will pair drug intelligence officers with public health officials to increase epidemiological knowledge about heroin use. The plan is being criticized by some reform advocates. Look for a Chronicle feature story later this week about the initiative and the critique.

International

Peruvian Coca Farmers Take Financial Beating from Eradication, Start to Fight Back. Peru has eradicated more than 210 square miles of coca crops this year, winning kudos from the US, but impoverishing thousands of coca farmers and their families who have lost their livelihoods. Government eradicators are manually destroying the crops in the field. "This is what we live off," said one farmer, surveying what's left of her family plot after eradication. The Peruvian government says some 42,000 families received financial help or support with alternative crops last year, but another 53,000 affected families did not. Grower anger is rising, with a July protest by 5,000 people in Ciudad Constitution ending with one farmer killed by police and 23 wounded. It was the first violent cocalero protest since 2012.

South Australia Bans Synthetic Cannabinoids. State Attorney-General John Rau has added two new psychoactive substances, a pair of synthetic cannabinoids, sold as Full Moon and Sinsence, to the state's list of banned substances. The move comes after reports of deaths and other adverse effects.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US OH: Colorado Could Offer Ohio Insight On Legal Pot

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 08/16/2015 - 07:00
Columbus Dispatch, 16 Aug 2015 - DENVER - A 21st century version of the Colorado Gold Rush is underway. Three years ago, 55 percent of Colorado voters said yes to Amendment 64, a statewide ballot initiative that legalized the purchase and recreational use of marijuana by anyone 21 or older.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Column: Marijuana Harm Ignored in Push for Legalization

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 08/16/2015 - 07:00
Appeal-Democrat, 16 Aug 2015 - Four potential ballot initiatives completely legalizing marijuana are in the works for California's next general election, with pot advocates yet to choose the variation that will get their concerted push. But one thing for sure: Whichever one they send out for signature gathering will say nothing about the detrimental effects of the mind-altering weed, wellknown a proven demotivating factor for heavy users.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives
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