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Organizational Bulletin: Action Alerts, #GivingTuesday Follow-Up, Issue 1000, Remembering Rep. Hinchey

Drug War Chronicle - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 20:10

I hope that those of you who mark Thanksgiving had a good holiday. I'm writing today with some time-sensitive action alerts for those of us in the US, with some updates related to our organization, and some observations on recent news.

1. Medical Marijuana Is Under Threat: As you may have read on our web site and from other sources, medical marijuana in the US is facing its greatest threat in years. Since late 2014, legislation currently known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, a clause of the "Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies" (CJS) budget, has protected medical marijuana providers, by forbidding the US Dept. of Justice from spending taxpayer funds to interfere with state medical marijuana laws.

Unfortunately, like other laws related to the budget, the amendment needs to be reauthorized by Congress each year to stay in effect. And while it's passed in the Senate already, Republican leaders in the House of Representatives prevented the well-supported bipartisan measure from getting a vote. This situation means that the fate of the amendment, and perhaps of medical marijuana itself, will be decided by a House-Senate "conference committee" charged with reconciling the two chambers' CJS bills. If that fails to happen, there's no telling what the Jeff Sessions Justice Department under the Trump administration will do.

Our request is for you to call your US Representative's office in Washington, DC and ask them to support medical marijuana by insisting the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment be included in the final version of the Commerce Justice Science appropriations bill. You can reach your rep's office through the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Please email us at drcnet@drcnet.org to let us know, especially if the office tells you anything about what your congressman plans to do. I also hope you'll fill our our write-to-Congress form on this issue here -- that will enable us to let you know if you're in a state or district represented on the conference committee.

There is likely to a Continuing Resolution on the budget by Friday, December 8th, when the current resolution expires. Please take action on this before then.

[image:1 align:left]2. We Still Need Your Help to Stop the Philippines Drug War Bloodbath: Last week I emailed and posted about S. 1055, the "Philippines Human Rights Accountability and Counternarcotics Act of 2017," which would impose human rights conditions on law enforcement assistance to the Philippines, while funding good programs there that provide alternatives to the drug war. This week Pres. Duterte signaled that he plans to ramp up his drug war killing campaign again.

President Trump has contributed to the slaughter, first by praising Duterte's anti-drug campaign two times while the killings continued, and then through his silence or near-silence on the matter at the ASEAN Summit earlier this month. That means Congress needs to take action. Please write to Congress in support of S. 1055, and when you're done please ask your two US Senators to pass the bill, and your US Representative to support companion legislation in the House.

We especially need your help if your Representative is on the House Appropriations Committee, or if either of your Senators is on the Senate Appropriations Committee. We need your help triply more even than that, if you live in Tennessee, or in Rep. Ed Royce's Congressional district in the LA/Orange County area.

Here again we are asking you to act before December 8th before the new budget resolution gets done. And please check out our sign-on statement and press coverage to see what else we're doing about this.

3. #GivingTuesday: Last Tuesday, November 28th, was #GivingTuesday, a global campaign by many individuals and organizations to encourage giving to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Thank you to those of you who donated to our organization and other good groups.

I'm going to be honest and say that it has gotten harder to raise money for this kind of work, despite the great progress that we're making. We could use your help. If you've given in the past but not lately, or if you've been thinking of starting to support us financially, maybe now is the time! Our About page and other pages it links to have lots more information on our programs to help you decide.

The online donation forms for our 501(c)(3) nonprofit, DRCNet Foundation, and our 501(c)(4) lobbying nonprofit Drug Reform Coordination Network, support making donations by credit card or PayPal; and you can make a donation on a one-time basis, or for a recurring donation monthly, quarterly or annually. Our mailing address to donate that way instead is P.O. Box 9853, Washington, DC 20016. You can find info on donating stocks in the donations section of our About page.

4. Issue 1000 of the Drug War Chronicle newsletter: You may have noticed that the latest issue of our Drug War Chronicle newsletter, sent out Wednesday, was #998. In less than two weeks we are publishing issue #1000!

If you're a Chronicle regular, please help us mark the occasion by sending a testimonial about how you use the newsletter to further reform. And be sure to check your email or our web site for Phil Smith' review of what's changed during the 20 years since the Chronicle was launched.

Donations to DRCNet Foundation, as linked above, can support the Chronicle, or our other educational and non-lobbying programs.

[image:2 align:right]5. Remembering Maurice Hinchey: The Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment that I wrote about above, which protects medical marijuana, originally was called the Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment. It was named after its first lead Democratic sponsor, Rep. Maurice Hinchey of New York state. We were saddened to read news of his passing at age 79.

Another issue Rep. Hinchey worked on was one we played a role in for many years, repealing a provision of the Higher Education Act passed in 1998 that delays or denies financial aid for college to students because of drug convictions. Thanks in part to Rep. Hinchey's support, the law got scaled back in 2006, and legislation to further scale it back passed the House in 2010.

Rep. Hinchey spoke at a press conference we organized outside the US Capitol in May 2002, and at other events for the issue, along with all his other good work. We've missed him in Congress since he retired in 2013, and he will be even more missed now, by us and many others.

Categories: Latest News

US HI: HPD Reviewing Policy On Marijuana And Guns

Treatment (MAP) - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 08:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 01 Dec 2017 - The Honolulu Police Department is reviewing a controversial policy that requires legal marijuana patients to turn in their firearms. The reconsideration follows community backlash since the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported earlier this week that HPD has sent letters to at least 30 medical cannabis users who are permitted gun owners telling them to surrender their firearms.
Categories: Treatment

US OH: Lawsuit Threatens Medical Marijuana Timeline

Treatment (MAP) - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 08:00
The Blade, 01 Dec 2017 - COLUMBUS - One day after Ohio announced its choices for larger growing sites that would fuel a fledgling medical marijuana industry, a legal challenge was announced that could throw a wrench into the works. Ironically, such a lawsuit would be filed by some of the chief players behind 2015's failed ResponsibleOhio ballot initiative that would have legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational use.
Categories: Treatment

US TX: Editorial: Get The Ball Rolling To Expand Medical Marijuana In

Treatment (MAP) - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 08:00
Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, 01 Dec 2017 - Within weeks an estimated 150,000 Texas patients suffering from untreatable epilepsy will have a new means of relief. Cannabidiol (CBD), a form of medical marijuana, will finally be delivered to patients who qualify under the state's very strict guidelines. The CBD reduces or halts convulsive epileptic seizures but doesn't get the patients stoned.
Categories: Treatment

US FL: What Is Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa)?

Treatment (MAP) - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 08:00
Sun-Sentinel, 01 Dec 2017 - Kratom is an herb from Southeast Asia related to the coffee family. For centuries, people have used the kratom plant as a traditional medicine for energy, alertness and pain relief. It's typically either chewed or dried, ground and ingested in capsule, smoked or served as tea.
Categories: Treatment

CN AB: Column: Slap-Dash Approach To Pot Legalization

Canada (MAP) - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 08:00
Lethbridge Herald, 01 Dec 2017 - On Monday, Nov. 27, The Cannabis Act passed third reading. This was the last vote in the House of Commons before the legislation goes to the Senate for review and approval. The government's plan is to have marijuana on the market for recreational use starting July 1, 2018. I voted "no" to this legislation. Here's why:
Categories: Canada

US OH: Lawsuit Threatens Medical Marijuana Timeline

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 08:00
The Blade, 01 Dec 2017 - COLUMBUS - One day after Ohio announced its choices for larger growing sites that would fuel a fledgling medical marijuana industry, a legal challenge was announced that could throw a wrench into the works. Ironically, such a lawsuit would be filed by some of the chief players behind 2015's failed ResponsibleOhio ballot initiative that would have legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational use.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US HI: HPD Reviewing Policy On Marijuana And Guns

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 08:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 01 Dec 2017 - The Honolulu Police Department is reviewing a controversial policy that requires legal marijuana patients to turn in their firearms. The reconsideration follows community backlash since the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported earlier this week that HPD has sent letters to at least 30 medical cannabis users who are permitted gun owners telling them to surrender their firearms.
Categories: Latest News

US OH: Lawsuit Threatens Medical Marijuana Timeline

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 08:00
The Blade, 01 Dec 2017 - COLUMBUS - One day after Ohio announced its choices for larger growing sites that would fuel a fledgling medical marijuana industry, a legal challenge was announced that could throw a wrench into the works. Ironically, such a lawsuit would be filed by some of the chief players behind 2015's failed ResponsibleOhio ballot initiative that would have legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational use.
Categories: Latest News

US TX: Editorial: Get The Ball Rolling To Expand Medical Marijuana In

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 08:00
Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, 01 Dec 2017 - Within weeks an estimated 150,000 Texas patients suffering from untreatable epilepsy will have a new means of relief. Cannabidiol (CBD), a form of medical marijuana, will finally be delivered to patients who qualify under the state's very strict guidelines. The CBD reduces or halts convulsive epileptic seizures but doesn't get the patients stoned.
Categories: Latest News

US FL: What Is Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa)?

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 08:00
Sun-Sentinel, 01 Dec 2017 - Kratom is an herb from Southeast Asia related to the coffee family. For centuries, people have used the kratom plant as a traditional medicine for energy, alertness and pain relief. It's typically either chewed or dried, ground and ingested in capsule, smoked or served as tea.
Categories: Latest News

CN MB: LTE: Weigh Health Risks Of Cannabis

Canada (MAP) - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 08:00
Winnipeg Free Press, 01 Dec 2017 - Re: Marijuana in workplace focus of chamber panel (Nov. 29) There is a high incidence of marijuana use among fatally injured B.C. forestry workers (20 to 30 per cent), and Manitoba employers would be well advised to educate their workers on the harms posed by marijuana use.
Categories: Canada

Chronicle AM: Move to Save Farr-Rohracher, Canada Pot Jitters, More... (11/30/17)

Drug War Chronicle - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 21:53

Canadians are getting a bit nervous as marijuana legalization looms, members of Congress make a move to ensure that protection for medical marijuana states remains, Honolulu cops decide to review their no guns for patients policy after it gets some attention, and more.

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

Congressmembers Seek Extension of Protection for Medical Marijuana States. Led by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), 66 members of Congress have sent a letter to the House and Senate leadership urging them to extend the Rohrabacher-Farr provision in place for the last three years that blocks the Justice Department from spending taxpayer funds to go after medical marijuana in states where it is legal. The provision is set to expire December 8. It was included in the Senate version of the Justice funding bill, but not the House version, so it will be up to a conference committee to decide whether it remains.

Hawaii Cops Back Off on Telling Patients to Hand in Their Guns. The Honolulu Police policy of sending letters to registered medical marijuana patients telling them they must turn in their firearms is now under review by the department. While police said the letters have been going out all year, the practice only broke into the open last week, raising controversy. The department said it will continue to deny future gun permits to medical marijuana card holders, a practice upheld by the state court of appeals.

Minnesota Adds Autism and Apnea to List of Qualifying Conditions. The state Health Department announced Thursday that autism spectrum disorders and obstructive sleep apnea will be added to the list of qualifying conditions for the use of medical marijuana. The change will take effect in July. Petitioners had sought qualifying condition status for ten disorders, including anxiety, dementia, liver disease, and Parkinson's Disease, but only autism and apnea made the cut.

International

Poll: Canadians Split on Whether Country Will Be Ready for Legal Pot on July 1. A new Angus Reid poll finds Canadians almost evenly split on whether the country should delay the advent of marijuana legalization beyond its scheduled July 1 rollout. Some 53% say the timeline should remain the same, while 47% want it pushed back. The poll also found that more than half of Canadians aren't sure their province will be ready in time. The marijuana legalization bill has passed the House of Commons and is now before the Senate, which could try to delay it.

Categories: Latest News

Chronicle AM: Move to Save Farr-Rohracher, Canada Pot Jitters, More... (11/30/17)

Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 21:53

Canadians are getting a bit nervous as marijuana legalization looms, members of Congress make a move to ensure that protection for medical marijuana states remains, Honolulu cops decide to review their no guns for patients policy after it gets some attention, and more.

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

Congressmembers Seek Extension of Protection for Medical Marijuana States. Led by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), 66 members of Congress have sent a letter to the House and Senate leadership urging them to extend the Rohrabacher-Farr provision in place for the last three years that blocks the Justice Department from spending taxpayer funds to go after medical marijuana in states where it is legal. The provision is set to expire December 8. It was included in the Senate version of the Justice funding bill, but not the House version, so it will be up to a conference committee to decide whether it remains.

Hawaii Cops Back Off on Telling Patients to Hand in Their Guns. The Honolulu Police policy of sending letters to registered medical marijuana patients telling them they must turn in their firearms is now under review by the department. While police said the letters have been going out all year, the practice only broke into the open last week, raising controversy. The department said it will continue to deny future gun permits to medical marijuana card holders, a practice upheld by the state court of appeals.

Minnesota Adds Autism and Apnea to List of Qualifying Conditions. The state Health Department announced Thursday that autism spectrum disorders and obstructive sleep apnea will be added to the list of qualifying conditions for the use of medical marijuana. The change will take effect in July. Petitioners had sought qualifying condition status for ten disorders, including anxiety, dementia, liver disease, and Parkinson's Disease, but only autism and apnea made the cut.

International

Poll: Canadians Split on Whether Country Will Be Ready for Legal Pot on July 1. A new Angus Reid poll finds Canadians almost evenly split on whether the country should delay the advent of marijuana legalization beyond its scheduled July 1 rollout. Some 53% say the timeline should remain the same, while 47% want it pushed back. The poll also found that more than half of Canadians aren't sure their province will be ready in time. The marijuana legalization bill has passed the House of Commons and is now before the Senate, which could try to delay it.

Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Move to Save Farr-Rohracher, Canada Pot Jitters, More... (11/30/17)

Canada (STDW) - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 21:53

Canadians are getting a bit nervous as marijuana legalization looms, members of Congress make a move to ensure that protection for medical marijuana states remains, Honolulu cops decide to review their no guns for patients policy after it gets some attention, and more.

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

Congressmembers Seek Extension of Protection for Medical Marijuana States. Led by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), 66 members of Congress have sent a letter to the House and Senate leadership urging them to extend the Rohrabacher-Farr provision in place for the last three years that blocks the Justice Department from spending taxpayer funds to go after medical marijuana in states where it is legal. The provision is set to expire December 8. It was included in the Senate version of the Justice funding bill, but not the House version, so it will be up to a conference committee to decide whether it remains.

Hawaii Cops Back Off on Telling Patients to Hand in Their Guns. The Honolulu Police policy of sending letters to registered medical marijuana patients telling them they must turn in their firearms is now under review by the department. While police said the letters have been going out all year, the practice only broke into the open last week, raising controversy. The department said it will continue to deny future gun permits to medical marijuana card holders, a practice upheld by the state court of appeals.

Minnesota Adds Autism and Apnea to List of Qualifying Conditions. The state Health Department announced Thursday that autism spectrum disorders and obstructive sleep apnea will be added to the list of qualifying conditions for the use of medical marijuana. The change will take effect in July. Petitioners had sought qualifying condition status for ten disorders, including anxiety, dementia, liver disease, and Parkinson's Disease, but only autism and apnea made the cut.

International

Poll: Canadians Split on Whether Country Will Be Ready for Legal Pot on July 1. A new Angus Reid poll finds Canadians almost evenly split on whether the country should delay the advent of marijuana legalization beyond its scheduled July 1 rollout. Some 53% say the timeline should remain the same, while 47% want it pushed back. The poll also found that more than half of Canadians aren't sure their province will be ready in time. The marijuana legalization bill has passed the House of Commons and is now before the Senate, which could try to delay it.

Categories: Canada

Chronicle AM: Move to Save Farr-Rohracher, Canada Pot Jitters, More... (11/30/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 21:53

Canadians are getting a bit nervous as marijuana legalization looms, members of Congress make a move to ensure that protection for medical marijuana states remains, Honolulu cops decide to review their no guns for patients policy after it gets some attention, and more.

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

Congressmembers Seek Extension of Protection for Medical Marijuana States. Led by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), 66 members of Congress have sent a letter to the House and Senate leadership urging them to extend the Rohrabacher-Farr provision in place for the last three years that blocks the Justice Department from spending taxpayer funds to go after medical marijuana in states where it is legal. The provision is set to expire December 8. It was included in the Senate version of the Justice funding bill, but not the House version, so it will be up to a conference committee to decide whether it remains.

Hawaii Cops Back Off on Telling Patients to Hand in Their Guns. The Honolulu Police policy of sending letters to registered medical marijuana patients telling them they must turn in their firearms is now under review by the department. While police said the letters have been going out all year, the practice only broke into the open last week, raising controversy. The department said it will continue to deny future gun permits to medical marijuana card holders, a practice upheld by the state court of appeals.

Minnesota Adds Autism and Apnea to List of Qualifying Conditions. The state Health Department announced Thursday that autism spectrum disorders and obstructive sleep apnea will be added to the list of qualifying conditions for the use of medical marijuana. The change will take effect in July. Petitioners had sought qualifying condition status for ten disorders, including anxiety, dementia, liver disease, and Parkinson's Disease, but only autism and apnea made the cut.

International

Poll: Canadians Split on Whether Country Will Be Ready for Legal Pot on July 1. A new Angus Reid poll finds Canadians almost evenly split on whether the country should delay the advent of marijuana legalization beyond its scheduled July 1 rollout. Some 53% say the timeline should remain the same, while 47% want it pushed back. The poll also found that more than half of Canadians aren't sure their province will be ready in time. The marijuana legalization bill has passed the House of Commons and is now before the Senate, which could try to delay it.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Jailed for Smoking Cigarettes? A Tennessee Judge's Outrageous Abuse of the Drug Court System

Drug War Chronicle - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 00:15

A Tennessee judge has taken the questionable logic of drug courts to a ridiculous and punitive extreme by jailing drug court participants for having smoked cigarettes.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]That's right, Hamilton County Drug Court Judge Tom Greenholtz has taken it upon himself to punish people under his supervision for using a legal substance because he thinks doing so would give them "a better chance at life."

Earlier this month, he jailed "a handful" of drug court participants who came up positive for nicotine in court-mandated drug tests.

"We routinely test for nicotine as we do for other controlled substances," Greenholtz told Chattanooga TV station Newschannel 9, blithely ignoring the fact that nicotine is not a controlled substance under either state or federal law and that cigarette smoking is not a crime.

As for throwing hapless drug court victims in jail for violating his arbitrary edict: "It shows how serious we are about combatting this," he said.

Drug courts first appeared in the 1990s as a response to the overflowing jails and prisons generated by the war on drugs and were designed to keep drug users out of prison by subjecting them to intense judicial oversight replete with jail cell punishments for people who relapsed while under supervision.

But from the beginning, while prosecutors and drug court judges give lip service to the widely accepted idea that drug addiction is a chronic, relapsing medical condition, the drug court model punishes people for suffering that medical condition. And now, Judge Greenholtz has taken that paradox to a whole new level.

Now he is punishing people who may indeed be physically addicted to nicotine even though using or possessing nicotine is not a crime. That's what can happen when you let judges pretend they are doctors.

As a means of dealing with drug-addicted people, drug courts are humane only in comparison with imprisonment. The vast majority of drug court participants are there solely because they got caught using or possessing drugs. In an enlightened society, we would either offer them assistance if they desire it or just leave them alone (not arrest them in the first place) absent harm to themselves or others. Instead, with drug courts, we subject them to intense judicial scrutiny and punish them for relapsing.

As the Drug Policy Alliance noted in a damning 2014 report on drug courts:

Drug courts have spread across the country, yet available research does not support their continued expansion. Most drug courts do not reduce imprisonment, do not save money or improve public safety, and fail to help those struggling with drug problems. The drug court model must be corrected to play a more effective role in improving the well-being of people involved in the criminal justice system who suffer substance misuse problems -- while preserving scarce public safety resources.

Throwing people in jail for smoking does not appear to be "improving the well-being of people involved in the criminal justice system" or "preserving scarce public safety resources."

There is some scientific research suggesting that people who quit smoking cigarettes do better in recovering from drug dependency, but that research finds only small differences. That study found a mere 3% difference in recovery rates between people who had quit smoking and those who hadn't. And the people in the study who had quit smoking had done so voluntarily -- not under threat of imprisonment.

People who had actually participated in the Hamilton County Drug Court had a different take.

Paula Brazzell told Newschannel 9 she had been addicted to pain pills for years, it took her several attempts to get clean, and that cigarettes helped.

"I think so, yeah," she said. "It calmed me down."

One of Brazzell's friends was part of that group that Judge Greenholtz jailed for smoking this month. Brazzell couldn't believe it.

"You're taking up those cells, paid for by taxpayer dollars to put somebody in jail for failing a nicotine test? I mean come on," she said.

Drug courts are a very blunt tool with which to address drug dependency. They become even more questionable when used as social engineering to punish people who aren't committing any crime other than a social faux pas by smoking.

Categories: Latest News

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 22:57

A North Carolina cop's case of sticky fingers gets him in trouble, a former Seattle cop pleads to participating in a major marijuana smuggling ring, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]In Greenville, North Carolina, a Greenville police officer was arrested last Tuesday for allegedly stealing $60 from a car he searched. Officer Alec Smith, 23, had been called to a motel to investigate "potential drug activity," and received consent to search a room and the vehicle. No drugs were found, but later that night, the subject of the search called police to report the missing money. Police said a review of body cam footage led them to Smith, who is charged with misdemeanor larceny.

In Prince George, Virginia, a Prince George County probationary jail guard was arrested last Thursday for allegedly bringing drugs into the jail. Guard Allison Meadows went down after surveillance videos aroused suspicion and, when questioned by supervisors, she produced three grams of heroin from her pants pocket. She has been charged with delivery of narcotics to a prisoner and possession of narcotics with intent to sell or distribute.

In Marcy, New York, a state prison guard was arrested Saturday and accused of trying to bring drugs into the jail. Ryan Santos, 27, is charged with attempted promoting prison contraband. He's currently out on bail, and authorities are still pondering whether more charges will be filed.

In Seattle, a former Seattle police officer pleaded guilty Monday to participating in an operation that smuggled hundreds of pounds of marijuana from Washington state to Baltimore. Alex Chapackdee, 44, copped to receiving $10,000 a month to keep an eye on his partner's marijuana grow houses, as well as escorting loads while armed with his police service weapon. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and one count of conspiracy to launder money. He's looking at a mandatory minimum five-year federal prison sentence, but faces up to 40 years. Sentencing is set for March 1.

Categories: Latest News

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Police Corruption (STDW) - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 22:57

A North Carolina cop's case of sticky fingers gets him in trouble, a former Seattle cop pleads to participating in a major marijuana smuggling ring, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]In Greenville, North Carolina, a Greenville police officer was arrested last Tuesday for allegedly stealing $60 from a car he searched. Officer Alec Smith, 23, had been called to a motel to investigate "potential drug activity," and received consent to search a room and the vehicle. No drugs were found, but later that night, the subject of the search called police to report the missing money. Police said a review of body cam footage led them to Smith, who is charged with misdemeanor larceny.

In Prince George, Virginia, a Prince George County probationary jail guard was arrested last Thursday for allegedly bringing drugs into the jail. Guard Allison Meadows went down after surveillance videos aroused suspicion and, when questioned by supervisors, she produced three grams of heroin from her pants pocket. She has been charged with delivery of narcotics to a prisoner and possession of narcotics with intent to sell or distribute.

In Marcy, New York, a state prison guard was arrested Saturday and accused of trying to bring drugs into the jail. Ryan Santos, 27, is charged with attempted promoting prison contraband. He's currently out on bail, and authorities are still pondering whether more charges will be filed.

In Seattle, a former Seattle police officer pleaded guilty Monday to participating in an operation that smuggled hundreds of pounds of marijuana from Washington state to Baltimore. Alex Chapackdee, 44, copped to receiving $10,000 a month to keep an eye on his partner's marijuana grow houses, as well as escorting loads while armed with his police service weapon. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and one count of conspiracy to launder money. He's looking at a mandatory minimum five-year federal prison sentence, but faces up to 40 years. Sentencing is set for March 1.

Categories: Corruption

Medical Marijuana Update

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 22:26

Honolulu Police tell medical marijuana patients to turn in their guns, Elizabeth Warren presses Trump's HHS nominee on medical marijuana and opioids, Iowa licenses its first CBD manufacturer, and more.

[image:1 align:left]National

On Tuesday, Elizabeth Warren sought marijuana answers from Trump's HHS nominee. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has sent a letter to Alex Azar, President Trump's nominee to lead the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) suggesting the administration study how marijuana legalization could reduce opioid addiction and overdose deaths. The letter also asks Azar to answer questions about what he would do to study marijuana as an alternative to opioids, whether he is committed to implementing evidence-based policies, and what steps he would take to "improve our knowledge of the potential therapeutic benefits of marijuana when used for medical purposes."

Florida

Last Wednesday, a lawsuit was filed over medical marijuana implementation. A Miami-Dade nursery and a man suffering from epilepsy have sued the administration of Gov. Rick Scott (R) over the slow implementation of the state's medical marijuana law. The nursery wants a judge to order the Health Department to hand out new licenses for treatment centers, while the patient said the department is blocking patients from getting access to their medicine.

Guam

Last Wednesday, medical marijuana regulations were being drafted. Hearings have been set for the legislature's Rules Committee early next month in a bid to get medical marijuana regulations in final form before Christmas. A public hearing is set for December 5, with the final draft to be marked up in committee on December 14.

Hawaii

Last Friday, Honolulu Police told medical marijuana patients to surrender their guns. The Honolulu Police Department has sent letters to medical marijuana patients in the area ordering them to "voluntarily surrender" their firearms because they use marijuana. The letters give patients 30 days to give their guns and ammo to the Honolulu Police. While federal law prohibits acknowledged marijuana users from owning firearms, this is believed to be the first instance of local law enforcement proactively seeking out patients and ordering them to surrender their weapons.

Indiana

On Monday, Ithe governor ordered stores to pull CBD products from their shelves. Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) has given stores 60 days to remove CBD cannabis oil products from their shelves after state Attorney General Curtis Hill (R) delivered an opinion that such substances are illegal under state and federal law. The only exception is for people with epilepsy who are on a state registry.

Iowa

On Tuesday, the state announced its first and only license for a medical marijuana manufacturer. The Department of Public Health announced it will issue a CBD manufacturing license to MedPharm Iowa. That is the first license to grow marijuana and create CBD products in the state and the only one that will be issued.

Michigan

Last Friday, the state announced new fees for medical marijuana businesses. The state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs announced that medical marijuana businesses must pay a $6,000 one-time application fee to the state. That's in addition to any municipal fees, which could run as high as $5,000. The fee announcement comes as the state attempts to overhaul its medical marijuana regulations, with "emergency" regulations set to be issued next month.

On Monday, the Detroit city council moved to undo the will of voters on dispensaries. The city council is asking the city's legal department to challenge two voter-approved medical marijuana ordinances that ease rules on dispensaries in the city. The voters acted in November after the council passed an ordinance last March that made it more difficult for dispensaries to operate. The council approved a resolution on a 7-1 vote asking the legal department to challenge the results in court.

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

Categories: Latest News
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