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Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Outdoor Pot Ban Fails In Nevada County

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 06/09/2016 - 07:00
Appeal-Democrat, 09 Jun 2016 - Measure W, the contentious Nevada County outdoor marijuana ban initiative that dominated the primary election, appears headed for defeat. The measure was losing 15,845 to 11,585 votes, or 58 to 42 percent, with 80 of 80 precincts reporting on Tuesday night. More votes remain to be counted.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Editorial: Election Thoughts: Measures a and B;

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 06/09/2016 - 07:00
Appeal-Democrat, 09 Jun 2016 - Congratulations to the winners and compliments to the losers. It takes a lot to campaign and we appreciate it. Some post-election thoughts: Marijuana cultivation and dispensary measures. We're not convinced either way, at this point, that marijuana cultivation and sales medicinal or not should someday be legalized.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US MA: Pot Shots Taken At Ballot Question

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 06/09/2016 - 07:00
Boston Herald, 09 Jun 2016 - State Supreme Court Mulls Marijuana Bill The state's highest court is mulling whether the proposal to legalize marijuana for recreational use should go up in smoke after a group of concerned voters said the language of the ballot measure is too vague to be constitutional - and opens the door to all kinds of hyper-potent pot products.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US OH: Kasich Signs Medical Marijuana Bill

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 06/09/2016 - 07:00
Morning Journal, 09 Jun 2016 - Ohio became the latest state in the nation to legalize medical marijuana after Republican Gov. John Kasich signed legislation Wednesday. The law allows people to use the drug in vapor form for certain chronic health conditions, while barring patients from smoking marijuana or growing it at home.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Watch Out, Measure A

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 06/09/2016 - 07:00
The Chico News & Review, 09 Jun 2016 - Medical Marijuana Advocates Push for New Rules Regarding Cultivation, Commerce The Inland Cannabis Farmers' Association has again held a petition drive to put pot on the local ballot. The group turned in signatures Monday (June 6)-they are currently being counted-for the Medical Cannabis Cultivation & Commerce Initiative 2016 (aka MC3).
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Medical Marijuana Update

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 20:39

The California legislature gets down to business, medical marijuana expansion bills become law in Colorado and Vermont, a "poison pill" California initiative fails to make the ballot, and more.

[image:1 align:left]California

Last Wednesday, the Senate approved a medical marijuana sales tax. The Senate Wednesday approved a bill imposing a 15% sales tax on medical marijuana on a 27-9 vote. The measure, Senate bill 987, now goes to the Assembly. Critics have charged it will hurt poor patients, but bill sponsor Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) says he will amend the bill in the Assembly to ensure that low income people don't have to pay the tax.

Also last Wednesday, the Assembly approved medical marijuana research. The Assembly Wednesday approved Assembly Bill 1575, an omnibus medical marijuana bill that includes provisions easing the way for research on the plant's medicinal properties. The bill specifies that it is "not a violation of state law or local ordinance or regulation for a business or research institution with state authorization to engage in the research of medical cannabis used for the medical purposes." The bill now heads for the Senate.

Also last Wednesday, the Assembly approved "cottage" medical marijuana farms. The Assembly Wednesday approved Assembly Bill 2516, which would create a new category of cultivator license for outdoor grows under 2,500 square feet and indoor grows under 500 square feet. "We are trying to ensure small medical cannabis growers on the North Coast can continue to do business as this industry moves forward," said sponsor Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-North Coast). "It is not fair to require the small farmers to adhere to the same standards as larger operations." The bill now heads for the Senate.

On Tuesday, an initiative to create a state medical marijuana monopoly failed to qualify for the ballot. An initiative filed by a leading state anti-medical marijuana activist that would have banned all private cultivation sites and dispensaries has failed to qualify for the ballot. The California Safe and Drug-Free Community Act was filed by Roger Morgan, with the Take Back American campaign, which brandishes a #stoppot hashtag.

Colorado

On Tuesday, the governor signed a medical marijuana in schools bill. Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) Tuesday signed into law "Jack's Law," which allows for the use of medical marijuana in schools under strict conditions. The measure is House Bill 1373.

Montana

On Monday, a medical marijuana initiative reported having 30,000 raw signatures. Backers of Initiative 182, which seeks to restore the state's medical marijuana program demolished by the legislature in 2011, say they have some 30,000 raw signatures as a June 17 deadline draws near. They need 24,000 valid signatures to qualify. Initiative watchers generally assume as many as 30% of gathered signatures could be invalidated. If that were the case right now in Montana, the initiative would not make the ballot.

New Jersey

Last Wednesday, a bill to add PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions won a committee vote. A bill that would add PTSD to the list of qualifying medical marijuana conditions advanced out of the Assembly Oversight Committee on a 3-0 vote Wednesday. The measure now heads for an Assembly floor vote. A similar bill was approved by the Assembly last year, but died in Senate committee.

Vermont

On Tuesday, the governor signed a medical marijuana expansion bill. Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) Tuesday signed into law Senate Bill 14, which will expand the state's medical marijuana system. Shumlin used the occasion to emphasize medical marijuana as an alternative to opioid pain relievers: "At a time when opiate addiction is ravaging our state and drug companies continue to urge our doctors to pass out painkillers like candy, we need to find a more practical solution to pain management. This bill ensures that Vermonters who are suffering will have access to medicine that is high quality, laboratory tested, and most importantly non-addictive," he said.

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

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM: Mass MJ Init Sees Court Challenge, Governors Sign MedMJ Bills, More... (6/8/16)

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 20:12

Foes of marijuana legalization are in court today in Boston to try to block a pending initiative, medical marijuana expansion bills become law in Colorado and Vermont, a public summit on new psychoactive substances is coming to New York, and more.

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

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Hears Challenge to Legalization Initiative. Opponents of the legalization initiative from the Maine Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol sought to block it Wednesday by arguing that it is fatally flawed because it doesn't explicitly say it would allow the use of marijuana edibles. Attorney John Scheft argued that voters were "significantly misled" when they were told the measure would legalize marijuana because it would legalize "marijuana, hashish, marijuana concentrates, and also food products." The summary language does refer to "marijuana products." But at least one justice expressed skepticism: "Having read your summary I would have no idea that the measure allows the infusion of a hallucinogen into food and drink at all," said Justice Robert Cordry.

Sheldon Adelson Buys Nevada Newspaper; Newspaper Reverses Support for Legalization. Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a large contributor to conservative politicians and anti-marijuana efforts, bought the Las Vegas Review Journal last December. The paper had supported marijuana legalization, but no longer after Adelson "and his wife Miriam pressured editorial board members to visit a drug treatment center and reconsider the publication's support for legalization." A legalization initiative from the Nevada Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol will be on the ballot in November.

Medical Marijuana

Colorado Governor Signs Medical Marijuana in Schools Bill. Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) Tuesday signed into law "Jack's Law," which allows for the use of medical marijuana in schools under strict conditions. The measure is House Bill 1373.

Vermont Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill. Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) Tuesday signed into law Senate Bill 14, which will expand the state's medical marijuana system. Shumlin used the occasion to emphasize medical marijuana as an alternative to opioid pain relievers: "At a time when opiate addiction is ravaging our state and drug companies continue to urge our doctors to pass out painkillers like candy, we need to find a more practical solution to pain management. This bill ensures that Vermonters who are suffering will have access to medicine that is high quality, laboratory tested, and most importantly non-addictive," he said.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Illinois Legislature Overrides Veto, Passes Opioid Overdose Access Reversal Drug Bill. Both the House and the Senate have voted to override a partial veto by Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) of House Bill 1, which will allow access to naloxone (Narcan) without a prescription, require private insurers to provide coverage for anti-overdose drugs, and expand drug courts.

New Psychoactive Substances

Senate Committee Holds Hearing on New Psychoactive Substances. The Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday held a hearing on new psychoactive substances (NPSs) weighted heavily toward pushing for giving the DEA and the Justice Department greater latitude to prosecute people for selling and distributing NPSs. The hearing devoted little attention to policy approaches that could reduce demand for NPSs or harms associated with their use.

New York City Summit on New Psychoactive Substances Tomorrow and Friday. "New Strategies for New Psychoactive Substances: A Public Health Approach" is going on Thursday and Friday at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Click the link to get more info and to register.

Asset Forfeiture

Delaware House Approves Asset Forfeiture Reform With Big Loophole. The House Tuesday approved House Bill 309, which claims to bring public disclosure to the state's civil asset forfeiture fund. But the bill also allows law enforcement to apply for money from the fund in secret. Law enforcement said the language was necessary to not jeopardize ongoing investigations. The bill is now before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US MI: Column: Fighting For A Vote On Legalized Marijuana

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 07:00
Metro Times, 08 Jun 2016 - MILegalize is still kicking. The effort to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan turned in more than 350,000 signatures in its attempt to put the question on the fall ballot. It was the only group out of a number of petition efforts to actually turn in their petitions with the qualifying 252,523 signatures. To the organizers, activists, petition circulators, and petition signers, I say: "Well done." But the main question being asked now is: Was it done quickly enough?
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM: States Failing on Drug Treatment Insurance, MI Initiative Soldiers On, More... (6/7/16)

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Tue, 06/07/2016 - 21:30

Michigan legalizers suffered a double blow today but vow to fight on, a California medical marijuana initiative from anti-marijuana activists dies on the vine, a new report says the states need to step up on addiction treatment coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and more.

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

Rick Steves Is Matching Donations to Maine Legalization Initiative. Travel show host and marijuana legalization advocate Rick Steves has announced he will match any donations to the Maine Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. The initiative has already qualified for the November ballot, and Steves has $50,000 set aside for matching donations.

Michigan Pot Legalization Initiative Takes Double Blow, But Vows to Fight On. Efforts to let Michiganders vote on legalizing marijuana this year suffered a one-two punch from the state's political establishment today, but organizers are unbowed and are vowing to keep up the fight to get their initiative on the ballot. First, the state election board ruled Tuesday that the initiative was at least 106,000 signatures short of qualifying after throwing out 137,000 signatures that were gathered more than 180 days before the signatures were handed in. Then, Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed into law Senate Bill 776, which limits signature gathering to a strict 180-day window. But Mi Legalize says it is fighting on. "We're alive and well," said MI Legalize spokesman Jeffrey Hank. "We expected this, and in the next few days, we'll be filing a lawsuit. We will continue to run our campaign as we go through litigation." The campaign says it needs financial help, too.

Medical Marijuana

California Initiative to Create State Medical Marijuana Monopoly Fails to Qualify. An initiative filed by a leading state anti-medical marijuana activist that would have banned all private cultivation sites and dispensaries has failed to qualify for the ballot. The California Safe and Drug-Free Community Act was filed by Roger Morgan, with the Take Back American campaign, which brandishes a #stoppot hashtag.

Drug Treatment

Report: States Are Failing to Provide Sufficient Insurance Coverage for Addiction Treatment. A new report from the National Center of Addiction and Substance Abuse reviewed Essential Health Benefits (EHB) benchmark plans under the Affordable Care Act and called its findings "disheartening." None of the plans provided comprehensive coverage for addiction treatment without harmful treatment limitations, two-thirds of the plans had ACA violations, and nearly one in five didn't comply with parity requirements.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Michigan Marijuana Legalization Initiative Takes Double Blow, But Vows to Fight On

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Tue, 06/07/2016 - 20:48

Efforts to let Michiganders vote on legalizing marijuana this year suffered a one-two punch from the state's political establishment today, but organizers are unbowed and are vowing to keep up the fight to get their initiative on the ballot.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]The campaign is led by the Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Committee, also known as MI Legalize.

First, the state election board ruled Tuesday that the initiative was at least 106,000 signatures short of qualifying after throwing out 137,000 signatures that were gathered more than 180 days before the signatures were handed in. Last week, the campaign handed in more than 345,000 raw signatures. It needed 252,000 valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

The campaign hopes to take advantage in ambiguities in the state's initiative and referendum laws that left an opening for getting older signatures validated, but that hope took another hit later on Tuesday when Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed into law Senate Bill 776, which limits signature gathering to a strict 180-day window.

"Establishing reasonable time limits on when signatures can be collected helps ensure the issues that make the ballot are the ones that matter most to Michiganders," Snyder said in a statement.

The law passed both the House and Senate with only Republican support, and opponents have said the law will impede the ability of the people to have a voice in government and challenge laws passed by the legislature.

MI Legalize said it is considering legal challenges.

"We're alive and well," MI Legalize spokesman Jeffrey Hank told the Chronicle Tuesday afternoon. "We expected this, and in the next few days, we'll be filing a lawsuit. We will continue to run our campaign as we go through litigation."

But the upstart campaign needs some help, Hank said.

"We've raised over $1.1 million without any big national money," he said. "If we win, this would be the second or third largest marijuana market in the county (after California), but we need people to continue to support us financially."

People can make donations through the MI Legalize website.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US MT: OPED: A Responsible Medical Marijuana Program For

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Tue, 06/07/2016 - 07:00
Missoulian, 07 Jun 2016 - Someday you or someone you love may need safe, legal access to medical marijuana. You, or they, may have cancer, epilepsy, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, or Crohn's disease, Parkinson's, breast cancer, a recent heart attack, or may be a veteran or emergency worker with post-traumatic stress disorder. In 2004, 64 percent of Montana voters passed a law creating a medical marijuana program, but access for patients seeking relief will soon disappear because of political nonsense in the 2011 Legislature. With these draconian, nonsensical laws, you and your loved ones aren't going to get what you need for pain, symptom relief or a cure. In my town, there is a courageous 33-year old mom of two who is fighting a battle with cancer. You might have seen her, bald, on TV or in a newspaper photo, asking you to sign the petition to get Initiative 182 on the ballot and vote for the measure come November. Medical marijuana makes her daily struggle with chemotherapy possible, and allows her some quality of life. I-182 will ensure patients like her have access to the medicine they need, while putting new sideboards and accountability in place.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM: Obama Commutes More Drug Sentences, Majority for Legalization in New Poll, More... (6/6/16)

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Mon, 06/06/2016 - 21:52

President Obama keeps chipping away at the federal drug prisoner population, Weldon Angelos finally goes free, yet another poll has a national majority for marijuana legalization, the new Filipino president encourages vigilante violence against drug dealers, and more.

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

Another National Poll Has Majority Support for Legalization, Near Unanimous Support for Medical Marijuana. A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday has support for marijuana legalization at 54%, with 41% opposed. That's in line with a bevy of polls in the past couple of years showing majority support for legalization. The new Quinnipiac poll also had support for medical marijuana at 89%, with only 9% opposed, and 87% support for allowed Veterans Administration doctors to recommend it to vets with PTSD.

Anti-Legalization Forces Seek Backing of Rightist Casino Billionaire. The anti-reform group Smart Approaches to Marijuana, led by Kevin Sabet, is seeking funding from Nevada casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who contributed millions of dollars to defeat a medical marijuana initiative in Florida in 2014. Adelson is also a major funder of Republican presidential candidates, having spent $15 million supporting Newt Gingrich in 2012.

Massachusetts Supreme Court to Hear Challenges to Legalization Initiative. The high court is set to hear two challenges Wednesday to the legalization initiative from the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. One challenge alleges that organizers have misled voters about its ramifications and claims it would allow for the sale of GMO marijuana, while the other challenge says the words "marijuana legalization" in the initiative's title are misleading because it doesn't legalize it for people under 21.

Medical Marijuana

Montana Initiative Coming Up on Signature Deadline. Backers of Initiative 182, which seeks to restore the state's medical marijuana program demolished by the legislature in 2011, say they have some 30,000 raw signatures as a June 17 deadline draws near. They need 24,000 valid signatures to qualify. Initiative watchers generally assume as many as 30% of gathered signatures could be invalidated. If that were the case right now in Montana, the initiative would not make the ballot.

Drug Testing

Michigan Supreme Court to Hear Case of Mother Jailed for Refusing Drug Test in Son's Juvenile Case. The state's high court will hear the case of Kelly Michelle Dorsey, who was jailed for contempt of court in 2012 for refusing to take a drug test in a case involving her minor son, because the son was under the court's jurisdiction, not Dorsey. An appeals court held that forcing mothers to submit to drug tests in such cases was unconstitutional, but upheld a finding a contempt of court for her refusal. Now, the state Supreme Court is set to weigh in.

Sentencing

Obama Commutes Sentences for 42 More Drug Offenders, Including 20 Lifers. President Obama last Friday added another 42 names to the ever growing list of federal drug prisoners whose sentences he has commuted. That brings to 348 the number of commutations Obama has handed out, more than the last seven presidents combined. For a list of names of the newly commuted, go here.

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Poster Child Weldon Angelos Freed After 12 Years. The Salt Lake City rap and hip hop label owner and small-time pot dealer was sentenced to 55 years in federal prison because he carried a pistol strapped to his ankle during marijuana deals. Now he is a free man after prosecutors moved to cut his sentence.

New Hampshire GOP Senator Wants to Jack Up Mandatory Minimums for Fentanyl. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) is planning to offer an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act this week that would vastly increase mandatory minimums for fentanyl. Currently, it takes 100 grams of a mixture containing fentanyl to garner a five-year mandatory minimum; under Ayotte's proposal, it would only take half a gram. The Drug Policy Alliance and Families Against Mandatory Minimums are among those opposing the move.

International

Israeli Security Minister Opposes Marijuana Decriminalization. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Sunday he opposes such a move because it could increase traffic accidents and police have no way of preventing drugged drivers from getting behind the wheel. He also said that policies were already lax and the decriminalization would amount to legalization. Opposition from Erdan and Health Minister Yaakov Litzman has delayed a vote on a decriminalization bill that was supposed to take place Sunday.

Philippines President Encourages People to Kill Drug Dealers. President Rodrigo Duterte used a televised speech Saturday night to encourage citizens to shoot and kill drug dealers who resist arrest. "Please feel free to call us, the police, or do it yourself if you have the gun -- you have my support," adding, "Shoot him and I'll give you a medal." He also threatened to kill drug addicts. Duterte, the former mayor of Davao City, was reputed to have been involved with death squad killings. Apparently some Filipino voters wanted to hear that or didn't mind, since they just elected him president.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US OH: Editorial: Leap Of Faith

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Mon, 06/06/2016 - 07:00
The Courier, 06 Jun 2016 - Lawmakers weren't bluffing when they pledged they would consider medical marijuana after an outside group's effort to legalize pot failed last November. Much of that push, of course, came from polls suggesting Ohioans favor medical marijuana, and from concerns that outsiders would again try for a more liberal marijuana law by amending the state constitution.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US NM: Medical Cannabis A Growing Business

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Mon, 06/06/2016 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 06 Jun 2016 - ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Rachael Speegle, 34, left a full-time job as a critical care nurse last year to work at an Albuquerque medical marijuana dispensary and growing operation started by her husband. Speegle quickly discovered that people who came to the Verdes Foundation dispensary in Albuquerque had lots of questions that called for her nursing skills.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: OPED: Legalizing Marijuana Is A Hazy Question

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 06/05/2016 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 05 Jun 2016 - "I've spilt more than you've smoked," my brother-in-law, let's call him Marty, bragged to my husband in the throes of his addiction. A measure to legalize recreational marijuana is heading toward the California ballot in November. Marty would have been thrilled - but then, he didn't bother much with voting. My vote, too, would have been a no-brainer some years ago. Legalize it, tax it, make it safer, I would have said then, back when I felt more certain about everything, when I viewed addiction as a lack of self-discipline and personal weakness. I never dreamed it could take down an entire family.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: OPED: Questioning Legalization

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 06/05/2016 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 05 Jun 2016 - "I've spilt more than you've smoked," my brother-in-law, let's call him Marty, bragged to my husband in the throes of his addiction. A measure to legalize recreational marijuana is heading toward the California ballot in November. Marty would have been thrilled - but then, he didn't bother much with voting. My vote, too, would have been a no-brainer some years ago. Legalize it, tax it, make it safer, I would have said then, back when I felt more certain about everything, when I viewed addiction as a lack of self-discipline and personal weakness. I never dreamed it could take down an entire family.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Wood, Mcguire State Bills To Regulate Medical Pot

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Fri, 06/03/2016 - 07:00
The Press Democrat, 03 Jun 2016 - Bills from North Coast lawmakers to tax and regulate medical marijuana advanced this week in the state capitol with bi-partisan support of the legislature. Two proposals -- tax measures from state Sen. Mike McGuire and Assemblyman Jim Wood, both Healdsburg Democrats -- won the required two-thirds majorities in their respective houses and move on for further consideration.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM: MI Legalizers Hand in Signatures, CA Legislature Acts on MedMJ, More... (6/2/16)

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Thu, 06/02/2016 - 21:33

Edibles come to Oregon, California legislators move on medical marijuana bills, NYC pot busts are on the increase again, Michigan legalizers hand in lots of signatures, and more.

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

Arizona Grassroots Legalization Effort Gives Up the Ghost. The group Arizonans for Mindful Regulation (AZMFR) has halted its signature gathering campaign after acknowledging it has failed to meet its goals. The group had positioned itself as an alternative to the Marijuana Policy Project-backed Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Arizona, which has already handed in signatures and awaits confirmation that its initiative has qualified for the November ballot. AZMFR says it is launching "vote no" campaign against the other initiative and will be back with another legalization effort in 2018.

Michigan Legalizers Turn in More Than 300,000 Signatures. Activists with MI Legalize Monday turned in some 345,000 signatures to state officials in a bid to get their legalization initiative on the November ballot. They only need 252,000 valid voter signatures, but some of the signatures handed in may not be counted because they were gathered more than 180 days before the turn in date. The legislature recently passed a bill limiting signature collection to 180 days, but the governor hasn't signed it yet.

Marijuana Edibles Are Now For Sale in Oregon. As of today, it is legal to purchase edibles from marijuana dispensaries. Up until now, edibles had only been available for medical marijuana patients. Under temporary rules established by the Oregon Health Authority, consumers can now purchase one edible containing up to 15 milligrams of THC per day.

New York City Marijuana Possession Arrests Creeping Up Again. Marijuana possession arrests rose by more than a third in the first quarter of 2016, even after the NYPD promised in 2014 that it was going to work to reduce them. Some 4,225 people were popped for pot in the first three months of this year, up from 2,960 during the same period last year. That's still well below the more than 7,000 arrested in the same period in 2014, but the trend is headed in the wrong direction.

Medical Marijuana

California Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Sales Tax. The Senate Wednesday approved a bill imposing a 15% sales tax on medical marijuana on a 27-9 vote. The measure, Senate bill 987, now goes to the Assembly. Critics have charged it will hurt poor patients, but bill sponsor Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) says he will amend the bill in the Assembly to ensure that low income people don't have to pay the tax.

California Assembly Approves Medical Marijuana Research. The Assembly Wednesday approved Assembly Bill 1575, an omnibus medical marijuana bill that includes provisions easing the way for research on the plant's medicinal properties. The bill specifies that it is "not a violation of state law or local ordinance or regulation for a business or research institution with state authorization to engage in the research of medical cannabis used for the medical purposes." The bill now heads for the Senate.

California Assembly Approves "Cottage" Medical Marijuana Farms. The Assembly Wednesday approved Assembly Bill 2516, which would create a new category of cultivator license for outdoor grows under 2,500 square feet and indoor grows under 500 square feet. "We are trying to ensure small medical cannabis growers on the North Coast can continue to do business as this industry moves forward," said sponsor Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-North Coast). "It is not fair to require the small farmers to adhere to the same standards as larger operations." The bill now heads for the Senate.

Drug Testing

Mississippi Welfare Drug Testing Program Screened 12,000, Got 10 Positive Drug Tests. The Mississippi law that requires drug screening for people seeking Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds subjected some 12,000 people to screening, but found only 175 were suspicious enough to require drug testing. Of the 175 who were tested, only 10 tested positive. The figure is less than one-tenth of 1% of the number of people screened.

International

Dutch Study Finds Legalizing Marijuana Production Beneficial for Public Health and Human Rights. A study conducted for Dutch municipalities seeking regulated marijuana production has found that legalizing it would have public health benefits by reducing violent crime, corruption, fires, and quality of life issues in residential areas. Regulating marijuana should be seen as a "positive obligation to protect human rights," the researchers said.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US AK: Anti-marijuana Efforts Surge In Borough

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 06/02/2016 - 07:00
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 02 Jun 2016 - FAIRBANKS - Efforts are underway to stop marijuana businesses from opening in the Fairbanks North Star Borough. A Salcha man is launching an initiative with hopes to keep legal marijuana trade out of the borough, while the president of a strip mall condominium association maintains pot shops are prohibited in the River Mall on College Road under condo association rules because marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Editorial: Butte Voters Should Approve Measures G, H

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 06/02/2016 - 07:00
Chico Enterprise-Record, 02 Jun 2016 - Marijuana is on the Butte County ballot again this month, and there are indications that most voters are growing weary of the issue. We certainly are. A voter referendum is a powerful tool in California politics, but it can also be overused. We think we're there with the marijuana issue in Butte County, where well-heeled marijuana supporters have challenged almost every decision they don't like.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives
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