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Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Santa Rosa Invites Marijuana Businesses to Step Out of

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 08/14/2016 - 07:00
The Press Democrat, 14 Aug 2016 - Larry Schaeffer has grown marijuana in Sonoma County for more than a decade. His Cherry Kola Farms outside Penngrove supplies award-winning strains of pungent pot to one of Sonoma County's largest medical cannabis collectives, as well as discerning dispensaries around the state.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Two North Coast Legislators' Medical Pot Tax Bills Go

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 07:00
The Press Democrat, 13 Aug 2016 - Two North Coast Legislators' Medical Pot Tax Bills Go Down to Defeat Two medical marijuana tax proposals submitted by North Coast lawmakers have failed in Sacramento, leaving California voters to decide on higher taxes incorporated in a pot legalization measure on the November ballot.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US NY: Editorial: Stop Treating Marijuana Like Heroin

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 07:00
New York Times, 13 Aug 2016 - Supporters of a saner marijuana policy scored a small victory this week when the Obama administration said it would authorize more institutions to grow marijuana for medical research. But the government passed up an opportunity to make a more significant change. The Drug Enforcement Administration on Thursday turned down two petitions - one from the governors of Rhode Island and Washington and the other from a resident of New Mexico - requesting that marijuana be removed from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act. Drugs on that list, which include heroin and LSD, are deemed to have no medical use; possession is illegal under federal law, and researchers have to jump through many hoops to obtain permission to study them and obtain samples to study. Having marijuana on that list is deeply misguided since many scientists and President Obama have said that it is no more dangerous than alcohol.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US: Federal, State Laws Clash On Marijuana

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 07:00
The Dominion Post, 13 Aug 2016 - The United States Drug Enforcement Administration yesterday denied requests to stop classifying marijuana as a dangerous drug with no medical use, leaving users and businesses in limbo after many states have legalised it for medical or recreational purposes. The DEA though did relax certain restrictions on growing marijuana for research purposes.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Medical Marijuana Update

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Thu, 08/11/2016 - 21:31

The DEA again rejects marijuana rescheduling, a North Dakota initiative makes the ballot, a South Dakota one doesn't, a Missouri one hangs on by a thread, and more.

[image:1 align:right]National

On Thursday, DEA again refused to reschedule marijuana. The DEA today again refused to reschedule marijuana, arguing that its therapeutic value has not been scientifically proven. The move rejecting a rescheduling petition from two governors comes despite medical marijuana being legal in half the states and in the face of an ever-increasing mountain of evidence of marijuana's medicinal utility. Today's action marks at least the fourth time the DEA has rejected petitions seeking to reschedule marijuana. The effort to get the DEA to move marijuana off the same schedule as heroin has been going on since 1972, and once again has garnered the same result. The agency did announce one policy change that could make it easier to conduct marijuana research. It said it would end the University of Mississippi's monopoly on the production of marijuana for research purposes by granting growing licenses to a limited number of other universities.

Missouri

On Monday, a medical marijuana initiative campaign vowed to go to court to try to overturn invalidated signatures. New Approach Missouri announced that it will go to court this month to overturn invalidated signatures so that its medical marijuana initiative can appear on the November ballot. The campaign has enough valid signatures to qualify in every congressional district except the state's second, where local election officials invalidated more than 10,000 signatures, leaving the campaign roughly 2,200 short of the 32,337 required in that district.

Ohio

On Tuesday, Ohio took the first step toward getting medical marijuana up and running. The state Medical Marijuana Control Program has unveiled a website with the first information on how it plans to implement the state's new medical marijuana law. Medical marijuana will not be available before September 2018, as the state works to develop rules and regulations.

North Dakota

On Tuesday, a medical marijuana initiative qualified for the November ballot. The secretary of state's office has confirmed that Compassionate Care Act initiative has submitted enough valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot. The initiative would allow patients suffering from a list of specified medical conditions to possess up to three ounces of marijuana and grow their own if they are more than 40 miles away from a licensed dispensary. Dispensaries would be nonprofits.

South Dakota

On Tuesday, a state court judge rejected a medical marijuana initiative campaign's appeal. The state will not be voting on the issue this November after a state court judge denied a request from the campaign to overturn Secretary of State Shantel Krebs' finding that the group did not hand in enough valid voter signatures to qualify for the ballot. South Dakota has twice previously rejected medical marijuana at the polls -- the only state to do so.

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

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM: DEA Rejects MJ Rescheduling, AZ Legalization Init Makes Ballot, More... (8/11/16)

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Thu, 08/11/2016 - 21:04

The DEA is up to the same old same old, Arizona joins the list of states voting on marijuana legalization this fall, heroin overdoses jump in recent years in New York, and more.

[image:1 align:left]Marijuana Policy

DEA Again Refuses to Reschedule Marijuana. The DEA today again refused to reschedule marijuana, arguing that its therapeutic value has not been scientifically proven. The move rejecting a rescheduling petition from two governors comes despite medical marijuana being legal in half the states and in the face of an ever-increasing mountain of evidence of marijuana's medicinal utility. Today's action marks at least the fourth time the DEA has rejected petitions seeking to reschedule marijuana. The effort to get the DEA to move marijuana off the same schedule as heroin has been going on since 1972, and once again has garnered the same result. The agency did announce one policy change that could make it easier to conduct marijuana research. It said it would end the University of Mississippi's monopoly on the production of marijuana for research purposes by granting growing licenses to a limited number of other universities.

Arizona Legalization Initiative Qualifies for November Ballot. It's official: State officials have confirmed that the initiative from the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has gathered enough valid voter signatures to qualify for the November ballot. The initiative will appear on the ballot as Proposition 205.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Fatal Overdoses Have Jumped in New York City in Recent Years. Fatal drug overdoses have jumped 66% in the city between 2010 and 2015, the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Reported Tuesday. Last year, 937 New Yorkers died of overdoses, compared to 541 in 2010. Heroin was involved in 59% of the deaths.

International

Vietnam Sentences Nine to Death for Smuggling Heroin to China. A court in Lang Son has handed out death sentences to nine men for smuggling about 500 pounds of heroin to China. Two others were sentenced to life in prison. Under Vietnamese law, possession or sale of more than 100 grams of heroin is punishable by death.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

DEA Once Again Refuses to Reschedule Marijuana, But Does Offer One Sop [FEATURE]

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Thu, 08/11/2016 - 19:14

The DEA today again refused to reschedule marijuana, arguing that its therapeutic value has not been scientifically proven. The move rejecting a rescheduling petition from two governors comes despite medical marijuana being legal in half the states and in the face of an ever-increasing mountain of evidence of marijuana's medicinal utility.

[image:1 align:left]"DEA has denied two petitions to reschedule marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA)," the agency said in a press release. "In response to the petitions, DEA requested a scientific and medical evaluation and scheduling recommendation from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which was conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in consultation with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Based on the legal standards in the CSA, marijuana remains a schedule I controlled substance because it does not meet the criteria for currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, there is a lack of accepted safety for its use under medical supervision, and it has a high potential for abuse."

Today's action marks at least the fourth time the DEA has rejected petitions seeking to reschedule marijuana. The effort to get the DEA to move marijuana off the same schedule as heroin has been going on since 1972, and once again has garnered the same result.

The move comes despite the expansion of state medical marijuana laws at least three more states will vote on it this year -- and a growing clamor for change, including from members of Congress. Just yesterday, the National Conference of State Legislatures adopted a resolution calling on the federal government to move marijuana off Schedule I.

The agency did announce one policy change that could make it easier to conduct marijuana research. It said it would end the University of Mississippi's monopoly on the production of marijuana for research purposes by granting growing licenses to a limited number of other universities.

But that was not nearly enough for marijuana reform advocates, who scorched the agency for its continuing refusal to move the drug off of Schedule I, if not outside the purview of the Controlled Substances Act altogether.

"This decision is further evidence that the DEA doesn't get it. Keeping marijuana at Schedule I continues an outdated, failed approach -- leaving patients and marijuana businesses trapped between state and federal laws," said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).

[image:2 align:right caption:true]"The DEA's refusal to remove marijuana from Schedule I is, quite frankly, mind-boggling. It is intellectually dishonest and completely indefensible. Not everyone agrees marijuana should be legal, but few will deny that it is less harmful than alcohol and many prescription drugs. It is less toxic, less addictive, and less damaging to the body," said Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project.

"We are pleased the DEA is finally going to end NIDA's monopoly on the cultivation of marijuana for research purposes. For decades it has been preventing researchers from exploring the medical benefits of marijuana. It has also stood in the way of any scientific inquiries that might contradict the DEA's exaggerated claims about the potential harms of marijuana or raise questions about its classification under Schedule I," Tvert continued.

"The DEA's announcement is a little sweet but mostly bitter. Praising them for it would be like rewarding a student who failed an exam and agreed to cheat less on the next one. Removing barriers to research is a step forward, but the decision does not go nearly far enough. Marijuana should be completely removed from the CSA drug schedules and regulated similarly to alcohol," he concluded.

"For far too long, federal regulations have made clinical investigations involving cannabis needlessly onerous and have placed unnecessary and arbitrary restrictions on marijuana that do not exist for other controlled substances, including some other schedule I controlled substances," said Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML.

"While this announcement is a significant step toward better facilitating and expanding clinical investigations into cannabis' therapeutic efficacy, ample scientific evidence already exists to remove cannabis from its schedule I classification and to acknowledge its relative safety compared to other scheduled substances, like opioids, and unscheduled substances, such as alcohol," he continued. "Ultimately, the federal government ought to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act altogether in a manner similar to alcohol and tobacco, thus providing states the power to establish their own marijuana regulatory policies free from federal intrusion.

It is time for Congress to step up, Armentano said.

[image:3 align:left caption:true]"Since the DEA has failed to take such action, then it is incumbent that members of Congress act swiftly to amend cannabis' criminal status in a way that comports with both public and scientific opinion. Failure to do so continues the federal government's 'Flat Earth' position; it willfully ignores the well-established therapeutic properties associated with the plant and it ignores the laws in 26 states recognizing marijuana's therapeutic efficacy," he said.

He wasn't the only one.

"It's really sad that DEA has chosen to continue decades of ignoring the voices of patients who benefit from medical marijuana," said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority. "President Obama always said he would let science -- and not ideology -- dictate policy, but in this case his administration is upholding a failed drug war approach instead of looking at real, existing evidence that marijuana has medical value. This unfortunate decision only further highlights the need for Congress to pass legislation curtailing the ability of DEA and other federal agencies to interfere with the effective implementation of state marijuana laws. A clear and growing majority of American voters support legalizing marijuana outright and the very least our representatives should do is let states implement their own policies, unencumbered by an outdated 'Reefer Madness' mentality that some in law enforcement still choose to cling to."

Given that the DEA and the executive branch have proven -- once again! -- unwilling to remove the ideological blinders from their eyes, it is now indeed up to Congress. Perhaps after this coming election cycle, in which we are likely to see more states vote to approve medical marijuana and even more vote to just legalize it, Congress will see the writing on the wall.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US IL: Pot Industry Lights Up

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 08/11/2016 - 07:00
Chicago Tribune, 11 Aug 2016 - Illinois Medical Marijuana Use Has Increased Under Strict Regulation As Business Expands In a warehouse in Joliet, hundreds of marijuana plants sway under high-intensity lights, taking in carbon dioxide-rich air, sucking up a constant feed of nutrients and bristling with buds.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US: Is the Pro-Pot Movement's Quest for Marijuana Legalization

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 08/11/2016 - 07:00
The Mail Tribune, 11 Aug 2016 - Four in 10 Americans now hold mixed views on illegal substances, believing hard drugs should stay illegal, but recreational drugs, like marijuana, should be allowed, according to a newly released Barna Group study. Despite changes in public perception, an additional 32 percent still believe all drugs should be illegal, but it doesn't end there. Beyond those paradigms, 13 percent believe all drugs should be legal but regulated, with only 3 percent saying that all drugs should be legal with no regulation.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM: CA Pot Foes Sue Over Prop 64 Language, ND MedMJ Init Qualifies, More... (8/10/16)

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Wed, 08/10/2016 - 20:37

It grows quiet in the dog days of summer, but there is still some news: North Dakotans will vote on medical marijuana in November, California pot legalization foes sue over ballot argument language, and more.

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

California Legalization Foes Sue Over Prop 64 Ballot Language. Opponents of the Prop 64 legalization initiative organized as No on 64 have sued the California secretary of state, alleging that Prop 64 ballot arguments could deceive voters. The group claims the ballot arguments are false and misleading in regard to TV advertising and marijuana delivery services. Last week, Prop 64 supporters also sued, alleging opposition arguments were false and misleading.

Medical Marijuana

North Dakota Initiative Qualifies for November Ballot. The secretary of state's office has confirmed that Compassionate Care Act initiative has submitted enough valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot. The initiative would allow patients suffering from a list of specified medical conditions to possess up to three ounces of marijuana and grow their own if they are more than 40 miles away from a licensed dispensary. Dispensaries would be nonprofits.

International

Philippines' Deadly Anti-Drug Policies Spark Protests. With the death toll from police an vigilante killings of alleged drug users and sellers already climbing into the hundreds just weeks after President Rodrigo "Death Squad" Duterte took office, the public backlash is beginning. On Wednesday, protestors gathered at the Redemptorist Church in Paranaque City to demand an end to the killings.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US PA: Will Pot Activist's A.G. Candidacy Go Up in Smoke?

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 08/10/2016 - 07:00
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 10 Aug 2016 - The Libertarian Party's N.A. Poe Was Keeping a Sense of Humor Amid Challenges From Both Major Parties. The State Requires the Attorney General to Hold a License to Practice Law. Poe Doesn't. For N.A. Poe, a marijuana-legalization activist from Philadelphia, running for state attorney general was a lark to draw attention to the issue.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM: NYC MJ Arrests Rising Again, Dark Web Drug Sales Up Dramatically, More... (8/9/16)

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Tue, 08/09/2016 - 20:47

Marijuana arrest numbers are headed in the wrong direction in New York City, Ohio makes a first move toward implementing medical marijuana, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer declares war on new psychoactive substances, and more.

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

New York City Marijuana Arrests on the Rise Again. After declining during the first two years of Mayor Bill de Blasio's (D) administration, pot arrests are on the rise again in the Big Apple. The 9,331 people arrested on possession charges in the first half of this year is a 30% increase over the same period last year. That's not good news, but it's still nowhere near as bad as it was under Michael Bloomberg. In 2010, more than 50,000 were arrested for pot; this year, if current trends keep up, it will still be under 20,000.

Medical Marijuana

Ohio Takes First Step Toward Getting Medical Marijuana Up and Running. The state Medical Marijuana Control Program has unveiled a website with the first information on how it plans to implement the state's new medical marijuana law. Medical marijuana will not be available before September 2018, as the state works to develop rules and regulations.

South Dakota Judge Rejects Medical Marijuana Initiative Campaign's Appeal. The state will not be voting on the issue this November after a state court judge denied a request from the campaign to overturn Secretary of State Shantel Krebs' finding that the group did not hand in enough valid voter signatures to qualify for the ballot. South Dakota has twice previously rejected medical marijuana at the polls -- the only state to do so.

New Psychoactive Substances

Sen. Schumer Responds to New Drugs With Old Prohibitionist "Whack-A-Mole" Strategy. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) announced today that he is filing a new bill that would criminalize the chemicals used to make new psychoactive substances such as synthetic cannabinoids ("Spice," "K2"), synthetic stimulants ("bath salts"), and synthetic opioids. "We need a federal hammer to nail these toxic concoctions of synthetic drugs to reverse this troubling trend… This federal legislation will ban 22 synthetic drugs, including powerful forms of fentanyl, crippling the unlawful chemists cooking up these drugs and the cartels that push them to our local stores and streets. Banning these drugs quickly will help the feds step up their game of whack-a-mole so that we can help stem the tide of synthetic drug use here in New York State and across the country."

International

Dark Web Drug Sales Triple Since End of Silk Road. It's been three years since federal authorities shut down the Silk Road dark web drug sales website, but online illicit drug sales have never been higher. Drug sales have tripled since then to somewhere between $12 million and $20 million a month, while revenues have doubled, according to a study published by Rand Corporation Europe. While dark web drugs sales make up only a small fraction of all illicit drug sales, many of the transactions are for more than $1,000, suggesting that drugs are being purchased online for resale on the streets.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US NV: Is Big Marijuana Calling the Shots in Nevada? Hardly

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Tue, 08/09/2016 - 07:00
Las Vegas Sun, 09 Aug 2016 - As Nevada voters prepare to vote this fall on whether to decriminalize recreational marijuana use, they're going to hear a sinister-sounding warning that the push for legalization is being fueled by out-of-state money. Former Assemblyman Pat Hickey, a prominent opponent of legalization, already sounded the alarm in a June 21 post on his blog, Soup to Nuts. He wrote that "the term oligarchy ('a business interest controlled by a small group of people') applies to the mostly out-of-state special interests who are responsible and largely paid for the pot legalization question on this November's ballot."
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM: Gallup Finds MJ Users Nearly Double in Three Years, MO MedMJ Fights On, More... (8/8/16)

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Mon, 08/08/2016 - 20:53

A Gallup poll shows a dramatic increase in admitted marijuana use by adults, a Barna poll shows little support for drug prohibition, Garden State needle exchanges are scrambling for money after their funding was vetoed, and more.

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

Gallup: Number of American Adult Marijuana Users Nearly Doubles in Three Years. A new Gallup poll reports that the number of people who smoke pot has nearly doubled since 2013. That year, 7% of adults said they were current marijuana users; this year, the number jumped to 13%. It's not clear whether or to what degree the reported sharp increase is attributable to an actual increase in regular marijuana users or whether it's because people are more willing to admit their pot use in an era of growing acceptance of marijuana and spreading legalization of the herb.

Medical Marijuana

Missouri Initiative Campaign Asks Court to Overturn Invalidated Signatures. New Approach Missouri announced Monday that it will go to court this month to overturn invalidated signatures so that its medical marijuana initiative can appear on the November ballot. The campaign has enough valid signatures to qualify in every congressional district except the state's second, where local election officials invalidated more than 10,000 signatures, leaving the campaign roughly 2,200 short of the 32,337 required in that district.

Drug Policy

Poll: Only One-Third Thinks All Drugs Should Be Illegal. A new poll from Barna, a firm that surveys on religious issues, finds that only 32% of respondents think all drugs should be illegal. Some 40% think hard drugs should be illegal, but not marijuana, while another 13% think all drugs should be legal and regulated and another 3% believe all drugs should be legal and should not be regulated. If you add those all up, it's 56% for marijuana legalization and 16% for legalizing all drugs.

Harm Reduction

New Jersey Needle Exchanges Are Strapped for Cash. The operators of the state's five needle exchange programs have launched an online fundraising drive this week with a GoFundMe account after a one-time federal grant has run out. Lawmakers had allocated $95,000 to cover program costs, but Gov. Chris Christie (R) line item vetoed that funding in June. "Our governor claims to be fiscally conservative and pro-life. So, how is it that he refuses to fund a simple, inexpensive, effective intervention that saves lives at significantly lower cost than the cost of medical care after a person has been infected with HIV or Hepatitis C or both?" said Diana McCague, the founder of the first underground needle exchange program in the mid-90s called The Chai Project. "Can it be that he's willing to risk the lives of human beings because they use drugs? I think 'pro-life' means pro-all-life."

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Gallup: Number of Adult American Marijuana Users Nearly Doubles in Three Years (Or Does It?)

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Mon, 08/08/2016 - 19:31

A new Gallup poll reports that the number of people who use marijuana has nearly doubled since 2013. That year, 7% of adults said they were current marijuana users; this year, the number jumped to 13%.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]It's not clear whether or to what degree the reported sharp increase is attributable to an actual increase in regular marijuana users or whether it's because people are more willing to admit their pot use in an era of growing acceptance of marijuana and spreading legalization of the herb.

Gallup reports consistent majority support nationwide for marijuana legalization since 2013, and it found that residents in the West, where four states have already legalized marijuana, were significantly more likely to report being regular users.

Most of the increase occurred between 2013 and 2015, when regular use hit 11% before climbing another two points between then and now.

Colorado and Washington legalized weed in 2012, joined by Alaska, Oregon, and the District of Columbia two years later. This year, legalization will be on the ballot in five states, including California, and medical marijuana will be up for a vote in at least three more.

Now, some 43% of Americans say they have ever tried marijuana, similar to last year's 44% and up slightly from 38% in 2013. In 1969, when Gallup first asked the question, only 4% said they had ever tried it.

According to the survey, the key determinants of marijuana use are age and religiosity. Among adults under 30, nearly one out five (19%) report current use, double the rate seen in any of the older groups. But only 2% of weekly church goers are users and only 7% of less frequent worshippers are. Among people who seldom or never go to church, 14% reported current use.

While 12% of men claimed current use, only 7% of women did. And, as noted above, 14% of Westerners were current users, compared with 9% of Easterners and Midwesterners and only 6% of Southerners.

Marijuana's decades-long move toward social acceptance continues.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM: WA Legal MJ Sales Top $1 Billion, AR Welfare Drug Testing Flop, More... (8/5/16)

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Fri, 08/05/2016 - 20:43

Arizona legalizers fight a lawsuit aimed at knocking them off the ballot, Washington rakes in the tax revenue from legal pot, asset forfeiture is in the news in California and New York, and more.

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

Arizona Legalization Campaign Wants Lawsuit Tossed. The group behind the state's legalization initiative has asked a judge to throw out a lawsuit filed by foes seeking to keep the measure off the November ballot. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol argued that the effort is more about politics and ideology than ensuring state law is followed. Foes argued that the ballot measure's summary language does not describe everything the initiative would do. Both sides will be in court a week from today.

In Face of Uproar, Oregon US Attorney Drops Federal Marijuana Charge Against Teen for One Gram of Weed. Rather than prosecute Devontre Thomas, 19, for possession of a gram of marijuana, federal prosecutors have agreed to enter him into a pretrial diversion program. The move comes after Oregon elected officials said the prosecution was overkill.

Washington State Sees Legal Marijuana Sales Push Past Billion Dollar Mark. After a sharp jump in adult sales last month as medical dispensaries were shut down, the state has now seen pot sales edge past a billion dollars, if revenue from processors and producers is included. The state has collected $273 million in excise taxes on the sales since they began two years ago.

Asset Forfeiture

California Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Set to Move After Compromise. After discussions with law enforcement groups, state Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) has amended her asset forfeiture reform bill, Senate Bill 443, so that only property seizures worth less than $40,000 would require a criminal conviction before permanent seizure. Seizures higher than that amount would not require that standard of proof. Mitchell said the compromise would allow police to preserve their ability to go after large criminal enterprises. The police groups have now dropped their opposition to the bill.

NYPD Sued for Failure to Release Asset Forfeiture Data. NYPD collected more than $6 million in asset forfeiture revenues in 2013, but is ignoring records requests for information on how it collects and distributes the cash it seizes, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday by a legal aid group representing low-income people. The group, Bronx Defenders, had submitted a public records request nearly two years, but NYPD has been unresponsive, the lawsuit alleges.

Drug Testing

Arkansas Welfare Drug Test Program Finds Hardly Any Drug Users. According to data released this week by the Department of Workforce Services, exactly one welfare applicant out of 800 has failed a drug test. Another four refused to take it, rendering them temporarily ineligible for benefits. All five taken together constitute 0.63% of welfare applicants. The one failed drug test means 0.125% of all applicants tested positive. Arkansas and other states that have enacted such laws have done so on the unspoken assumption that welfare applicants are using drugs at the taxpayers' expense, but, once again, that has proven not to be the case.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Pot Backers Sue Over Opposing Arguments

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Fri, 08/05/2016 - 07:00
Manteca Bulletin, 05 Aug 2016 - SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Supporters of a California initiative to legalize recreational marijuana filed a lawsuit Thursday accusing opponents of including false and misleading language in official ballot materials. The Yes on Proposition 64 committee sued in Sacramento County Superior Court, asking a judge to change or delete several arguments that opponents make against the measure on the November ballot.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US OR: Grants Pass Will Ask Voters To Ban All Pot Commerce

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Fri, 08/05/2016 - 07:00
The Mail Tribune, 05 Aug 2016 - Both Medical and Recreational Marijuana Commerce Would Be Outlawed If Measure Passes In a unanimous vote Wednesday night, Grants Pass City Council referred an ordinance to the November ballot that would ban virtually all forms of marijuana commerce in the city.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CO: Column: Reading the Entrails: The Latest Marijuana Polls

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 08/04/2016 - 07:00
Boulder Weekly, 04 Aug 2016 - The latest marijuana legalization polls are out, and they contain bad news and good news. First, the bad news. Recent polls in both Massachusetts and Arizona - two of the five states that will be voting on legalizing recreational marijuana this November - show the initiatives losing.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: A Mixed Bag

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 08/04/2016 - 07:00
The Chico News & Review, 04 Aug 2016 - Legalizing Recreational Cannabis May Have Varying Implications for Health of Kids and Teens Come November, California could join Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington by becoming a state where adults can legally buy, possess and use cannabis recreationally as well as medically.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives
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