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Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: House Blocks Pot Banking Measure, No Hookers for DEA Agents, Thai Meth Policy Moves, More... (6/23/16)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 20:32

House Republicans blocked an effort to open up banking for pot businesses, an Oregon worker fired for medical marijuana use wins his job back, DEA agents get new marching orders on hookers, the Thai government grapples with methamphetamine policy, and more.

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

House Turns Back Effort to Give Pot Businesses Access to Banks. The Republican-led House Wednesday voted down an amendment to the FY 2017 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act that would have blocked federal regulators from punishing financial institutions for working with state-legal marijuana businesses. A similar amendment had passed the Senate last week.

Nevada Legalization Effort Has Raised Nearly $300,000 This Year. The Nevada Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has raised $285,000 so far this year, with more than half coming in a two-day period earlier this month when local marijuana companies made significant donations. The campaign's legalization initiative has qualified for the November ballot. Opposition groups made no reports of donations this reporting period.

Oregon Takes in Nearly $15 Million in Pot Taxes So Far This Year. As of May 30, the state Department of Revenue had processed $14.9 million in marijuana tax payments this year, the agency said Wednesday. Medical marijuana dispensaries authorized to sell to any adult 21 or over began collecting the tax in January.

Medical Marijuana

New Mexico Auditor Bemoans Delays in Processing ID Cards. The state auditor and the attorney general are investigating a backlog of medical marijuana ID card applications as requests for the cards surge. The state has 30 days to issue the issue the cards, but the Department of Health said it is taking 45-50 days, and the auditor's office said it had complaints of wait times of up to 90 days.

Oregon Worker Fired for Medical Marijuana Wins Jobs Back. An arbitrator has ordered Lane County to reinstate a worker it fired because he used medical marijuana to deal with the side effects of cancer treatment and it has ordered the county to give him nearly $22,000 in back pay. Michael Hirsh had been employed as a senior programmer for the county before he was fired in December after two employees reported smelling pot smoke on his clothing.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

New York Governor Signs Heroin Bill Package. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) Wednesday signed into law a package of bills aimed at the state's heroin and prescription opioid problems. The bills, which address prevention, treatment, and insurance coverage, should produce an additional 270 treatment beds and more than 2,000 slots for drug treatment programs. The bills also require insurance companies to wait 14 days before denying coverage to drug users deemed in need of drug treatment, and it limits initial prescriptions for opioids for severe pain to seven days. 

Law Enforcement

No Hookers for DEA Agents. In the wake of scandalous behavior by DEA agents in Colombia during the 2012 Summit of the Americas, the DEA has instituted a one-strike policy for agents caught patronizing prostitutes. "Solicitation of prostitution on duty or off duty, whether you’re in a jurisdiction where it is legal or illegal, first time offense — removal," DEA administrator Chuck Rosenberg told a Senate panel Wednesday.

International

UN Releases Annual Global Drug Report—250 Million Adults Used a Drug Last Year. The UN Office of Drugs and Crime has released the World Drug Report 2016, and notes that 5% of the adult population has used at least one drug in the past year.  The UN also reported that the number of people classified as suffering from a dependency disorder climbed to more than 29 million, up from 27 million the previous year.

Thailand Won't Legalize Meth, But Will Remove it From List of Dangerous Drugs. Thai Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya has walked back talk about legalizing the amphetamine, but now says the country will work to reform its drug laws by removing meth from its list of hard drugs like heroin and recognizing a distinction between traffickers and users, workers, and addicts. 

Categories: Medical Marijuana

US OH: Minority Goals For Pot Market Raise Legal Questions

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 07:00
Morning Journal, 23 Jun 2016 - Part of Ohio's new medical marijuana law that sets aside a piece of the state's budding pot business for minorities appears to be unconstitutional, legal experts told The Associated Press. The provisions were inserted into the fast-tracked bill at the request of Democrats, whose votes were key to its passage in both Republican-controlled legislative chambers. The law made Ohio the 25th state to legalize medicinal cannabis. It takes effect Sept. 8.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CT: Medical Marijuana Program Touted As A Success

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 07:00
New Haven Register, 23 Jun 2016 - The number of patients in the state of Connecticut receiving medical marijuana treatment has grown from 2,000 a few years ago to 11,000, according to Department of Consumer Protection Deputy Commissioner Michelle Seagull. Connecticut legalized medical marijuana for adults in 2012. There are nine dispensaries in the state serving the more than 11,000 registered patients.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CA: Pot Start-Up Hooks A Giant

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 23 Jun 2016 - When David Dinenberg decided to get into the marijuana industry, his business plan was based on fear. In 2014, he founded Kind Financial with the aim of making loans and providing other services to marijuana growers and sellers - customers banks were scared to work with.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US NV: Column: Not Him, Again!

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 07:00
Reno News & Review, 23 Jun 2016 - Nevada billionaire and Sands Las Vegas CEO Sheldon Adelson once proposed the U.S. nuke Iran, and donates to Republican Party candidates who share his uncritical and unwavering support for Israel. He has lobbied to expand the Interstate Wire Act to outlaw all online gambling instead of just sports betting. He is currently lobbying for a special session of the Nevada Legislature this summer to approve his scheme to bring the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas by an increase in the hotel room tax. If the new Las Vegas football stadium is such a great idea, why doesn't Mr. Adelson use some more of his own considerable fortune to build it? Mr. Adelson does not want marijuana to be legalized, even medical marijuana. He spent millions to defeat medical marijuana legalization in Florida in 2014. His views contradict the views of his beloved Israel, which has long championed medical marijuana research. In fact, the Sheldon Adelson Medical Research Foundation funded a study by the Weizmann Institute of Science that found medical marijuana eased the swelling in the spinal cords and brains of lab mice and could help multiple sclerosis sufferers.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Update

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 20:57

A bipartisan federal effort to open up research on medical marijuana is underway, it looks likely that Arkansas will be voting on medical marijuana in November, a New Jersey PTSD bill advances, and more.

[image:1 align:right]National

On Monday, congressional marijuana reform fans and foes said they were working together on a new research bill. Legalization opponent Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) is joining forces with Congress's "top legal pot advocate," Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) to file a bill to overhaul federal policies on marijuana research. The bill would make it easier for scientists to conduct research on the medical use of marijuana. It hasn't been filed yet, but is expected this week.

On Wednesday, versions of the research bill were filed in the House and Senate. The bills announced earlier this week have been filed and given bill numbers. The House version, sponsored by Reps. Andy Harris (R-MD) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is HR 5549, while the Senate version, sponsored by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) is S 3077.

Arkansas

On Monday, a medical marijuana initiative campaign handed in signatures. Supporters of the Arkansans for Compassionate Care medical marijuana initiative handed in more than 110,000 raw signatures to state officials in Little Rock Monday. The initiative only needs some 67,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November ballot. If as many as 30% of the signatures are found invalid, organizers would still have enough signatures to qualify.

California

As of Tuesday, a Northern California cannabis oil company was back in business after a misbegotten raid. Sonoma County's Care By Design (CBD) is already back in business after a massive raid including a hundred police officers and DEA agents last week. Business operator Dennis Franklin Hunter was released without charges after initially being held on a $5 million bond. Police raided the business thinking it was using a dangerous and illegal butane extraction process to make cannabis oil, but it was actually using a non-flammable CO2 extraction process. CBD is blaming the botched raid on a disgruntled former employee involved in a competing business.

New Jersey

Last Thursday, the Assembly passed a PTSD bill. The Assembly approved the bill, and a Senate committee approved a similar measure the same day. The bills would allow patients suffering from PTSD to use medical marijuana with a doctor's recommendation.

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

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: MA Init Hands in Signatures, Uruguay's First Legal MJ Harvest, More... (6/22/16)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 20:45

Marijuana legalization efforts advance in California and Massachusetts, Iowa Democrats blow minds with a platform plank, Michigan's welfare drug testing pilot program scores a big fat zero, and more.

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

Gavin Newsom Warns California Pot People That Legalization Isn't a Done Deal. The state's pro-legalization lieutenant governor told attendees at the National Cannabis Industry Association conference in Oakland Tuesday that they need to get involved in passing the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) this November. "It's not a done deal by any stretch of the imagination," he said. "We need your help on the campaign." Newsom added that while tech billionaire Sean Parker is helping, "He's not going to fund the whole thing. If it is defeated, it will set back this movement in California… and nationally for years and years."

Massachusetts Legalization Backers Hand in Final Signatures. The Massachusetts Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Wednesday handed in some 25,000 raw signatures as the campaign moved toward the final step in placing its legalization initiative on the November ballot. The campaign only needs 10,792 valid voter signatures in this second round of signature gathering after the legislature failed to act when the campaign turned in more than 60,000 signatures last year.

Medical Marijuana

Congressional Medical Marijuana Research Bills Filed. The bills announced earlier this week have been filed and given bill numbers. The House version, sponsored by Reps. Andy Harris (R-MD) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), is HR 5549, while the Senate version, sponsored by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), is S 3077.

Drug Policy

Iowa Democrats' Platform Includes "Legalize All Drugs" Plank. Hawkeye Democrats included the five-word item ("We support legalizing all drugs") as plank No. 293 in their platform, and that's raising eyebrows. But activists involved in the debate said that was shorthand for a policy that aims to treat and mitigate drug addiction instead of criminalizing it. "The brevity of the document doesn't encompass the true meaning,"said Shelly Van Winkle, a registered nurse from Muscatine and newly elected member of the party's state central committee who was active in the platform debate. Another delegate described it as a "divestment strategy in the drug war."

Drug Testing

Michigan Welfare Drug Test Program Generates Zero Positives. The state of Michigan has ordered 303 people seeking welfare benefits to undergo drug testing under a pilot program, and not a single one of them has tested positive for illicit drugs. Gov. Rick Snyder (R), who signed the program into law, declined to comment. Similar programs in other states have produced similar results, although not as dramatic as Michigan's In Tennessee, 65 out of 40,000 applicants tested positive; in Mississippi, two out of 3,656. In Michigan, the people tested were flagged as likely to be using drugs during an initial screening.

International

First Legal Pot Crop Being Harvested in Uruguay. Two companies responsible for marijuana production have begun their first legal harvest, and their product should be hitting the country's pharmacies "soon," said Juan Andres Roballo, head of the National Drug Board, which has oversight over the fledgling industry. By August, Uruguayans should be able to buy weed in five- or 10-gram packets, with the price set at $1.20 per gram.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Smoking Ban A Budget Burner

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 07:00
Packet & Times, 22 Jun 2016 - By this time next year, it may be a lot harder to smoke just about anywhere in Orillia, but first a significant budgetary hurdle needs to be cleared. Council committee recommended to council Monday night to support, in principle, banning smoking on city-owned and -leased property. That would include all of the property, both indoors and outdoors.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US OH: Lawyers Share Questions Concerning Drug-Law Ethics

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 07:00
Columbus Dispatch, 22 Jun 2016 - Ohio lawyers are inquiring about the legal ethics accompanying medical marijuana. A committee of the Board of Professional Conduct is examining the issue and expects to make a recommendation on an advisory opinion in August.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US: Could Next President Be Pot Shop Buzzkiller?

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 07:00
Spokesman-Review, 22 Jun 2016 - WASHINGTON - Mark Kleiman, who served as Washington state's top pot consultant after voters legalized the drug in 2012, says it would be easy for the next president to get rid of the nation's marijuana shops. "Look, a President Trump could shut down the legal cannabis industry everywhere in the country with the stroke of a pen," said Kleiman, who's now a professor of public policy at New York University's Marron Institute of Urban Management. "All you have to do is take a list of the state-licensed cannabis growers and sellers into federal district court and say, 'Your Honor, here are the people who have applied for and been given licenses to commit federal felonies.' "
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MI: Column: Marijuana: The Painkiller Alternative

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 07:00
Metro Times, 22 Jun 2016 - "I had a run-in with Vicodin; that turned into a habit that I had to kick," said Laurent. "Opiate withdrawal - I never want to deal with that again." Laurent isn't this Detroiter's real name. He didn't want to use it because he uses marijuana both medically and recreationally, and because he's young and hopes to become a social worker - maybe a substance abuse counselor - and doesn't want this column to pop up in some employer's search.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CO: Column: Challenging Retail Pot In Pueblo

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 07:00
Colorado Springs Independent, 22 Jun 2016 - The initiative against pot in both the city and county of Pueblo supposedly leaves the medical side alone. Indeed, the language of the submitted ballot question specifies "retail" marijuana facilities and the campaign for its passage focuses on the ills of legalizing recreational use. But, in effect, the two sides of the industry are so intertwined that banning one could pose a serious threat to the other. According to the state Marijuana Enforcement Division's records, 17 of Pueblo County's 22 licensed retail marijuana dispensaries have a corresponding medical center - nearly all in the same location.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US OR: Marijuana: Bad Fences Make Mad Neighbors

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 07:00
The Mail Tribune, 22 Jun 2016 - Law Requiring Fences Around Pot Grows Creates Some Eyesores MURPHY - They say good fences make good neighbors. Then there are the fences that enclose the growing number of Josephine County's marijuana grow sites.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: New Orleans "Decrim" in Effect, Philippine Drug Executions Accelerate, More... (6/21/16)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 20:57

The Big Easy goes easy on marijuana possession, a California medical marijuana business is back in operation after a misbegotten raid, Danish cops raid Christiania to little effect, suspected drug dealers are being killed in the Philippines, and more.

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

Maine Legalization Foes Unveil New Website. Anti-legalization forces operating as Mainers Protecting Our Youth and Communities have launched a new website aimed at doing in the legalization initiative from the Maine Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. A drop-down menu on the website provides an indication of their approach, with buttons for "Pot Shops on Main Street," "Marijuana Candy," and "Big Marijuana."

New Orleans "Decriminalization" Ordinance Goes Into Effect. A newly passed city ordinance allowing police to cite and fine instead of arrest people caught with small quantities of pot is now in effect in the Big Easy. But not everybody will get a ticket. Those caught with pot in a drug free zone, such as a city park, school, or church will still be charged and jailed.

Medical Marijuana

After Misbegotten Raid, California Medical Marijuana Company Open for Business Again. Sonoma County's Care By Design (CBD) is already back in business after a massive raid including a hundred police officers and DEA agents last week. Business operator Dennis Franklin Hunter was released without charges after initially being held on a $5 million bond. Police raided the business thinking it was using a dangerous and illegal butane extraction process to make cannabis oil, but it was actually using a non-flammable CO2 extraction process. CBD is blaming the botched raid on a disgruntled former employee involved in a competing business.

International

Danish Cops Raid Christiania's Pusher Street, To No Avail. Police last Friday marched into the Copenhagen hippy enclave, tore down 37 marijuana and hash sales stands, and arrested 18 people, but new stands went up and pot sales recommenced before police even left the scene. The raid is sparking new discussion on marijuana legalization, including from a senior prosecutor in the Copenhagen prosecutor's office. I personally believe we should legalize the sale of cannabis because this is a fight we cannot win," Anna Birgitt Sturup said.

Philippines in Drug Dealer Killing Frenzy. Under the new presidency of Rodrigo Duterte, who earned a reputation as a crime fighter and death squad organizer as the long-time mayor of Davao City, killings of alleged drug dealers are surging. Duterte has vowed to eradicate drugs and other crime within six months and even offered to give medals to citizens who kill them. Police reported killing 11 suspected drug dealers over the weekend, saying they resisted arrest, with more than 40 killed since Duterte was elected on May 9.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Column: Ontario Could Play Role In Pot Regulatory Vacuum

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 21 Jun 2016 - There is a hallucinatory quality to the way intoxicating substances are bought and sold in Ontario these days. Choose your alcoholic poison - beer, wine, spirits - mindful that robust government regulation (not to mention revenue) remains on tap.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MD: Harris Among Federal Lawmakers Pushing for Medical Pot

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 07:00
Star Democrat, 21 Jun 2016 - EASTON - U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, Rmd.-1st, is part of a group of bipartisan congressmen who want to loosen the federal barriers to medical marijuana research. Harris, a physician who has also conducted National Institute of Health-sponsored research, and several other federal lawmakers plan to introduce bills in both houses of Congress.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Supremes Open Door to More Lawless Searches, CA Dems Endorse AUMA, More... (6/20/16)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 23:02

The Supreme Court hands down a pair of rulings supporting law enforcement powers, the California and Arizona marijuana legalization efforts gain powerful endorsements, the feds give up on trying to bust Fedex for shipping prescription pills, and more.

[image:1 align:left]Marijuana Policy

Arizona Congressman Endorses Legalization Initiative. US Congressman Ruben Gallegos (D-Phoenix) announced Monday that he is endorsing the legalization initiative from the Arizona Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. "Forcing sales of this plant into the underground market has resulted in billions of dollars flowing into the hands of drug cartels and other criminals," Rep. Gallegos said. "We will be far better off if we shift the production and sale of marijuana to taxpaying Arizona businesses subject to strict regulations. It will also allow the state to direct law enforcement resources toward reducing violence and other more serious crimes."

California Democratic Party Endorses Legalization Initiative. Meeting in Long Beach over the weekend, the executive committee of the state Democratic Party voted to endorse the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA). The initiative would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of weed, allow limited personal cultivation, and allow regulated commercial cultivation and sales.

Colorado Health Department Reports No Increase in Youth Use. Marijuana use among high school students in the state has not increased since legalization, the Health Department reported Monday. The report was based on a statewide student survey. It found that 21% of students had reported using marijuana, in line with earlier figures from the state and below the national average of nearly 22%.

Medical Marijuana

Congressional Pot Fans, Foes Work Together on New Research Bill. Legalization opponent Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) is joining forces with Congress's "top legal pot advocate," Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) to file a bill to overhaul federal policies on marijuana research. The bill would make it easier for scientists to conduct research on the medical use of marijuana. It hasn't been filed yet, but is expected this week.

Arkansas Initiative Campaign Hands in Signatures. Supporters of the Arkansans for Compassionate Care medical marijuana initiative handed in more than 110,000 raw signatures to state officials in Little Rock Monday. The initiative only needs some 67,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November ballot. If as many as 30% of the signatures are found invalid, organizers would still have enough signatures to qualify.

Asset Forfeiture

Oklahoma Governor Delays Using Card Readers to Seize Money. In the wake of a furious outcry over the Highway Patrol's recent use of ERAD card-reading devices to seize money from debit and credit cards, Gov. Mary Fallin (R) last Friday directed the secretary of safety and secure to delay using the the card-readers until the state can develop a clear policy for their use.

Law Enforcement

Supreme Court Opens Door to More Lawless Police Searches. In a pair of decisions released Monday, the US Supreme Court again demonstrated its deference to law enforcement priorities, in one case by expanding an exception to the long-standing ruling requiring that unlawfully gathered evidence be discarded and in another by holding that drug dealers, even those engaged only in street-corner sales, are engaged in interstate commerce.The two decisions expand the ability of local police to skirt the law without effective punishment on the one hand, and allow prosecutors to use the weight of the federal criminal justice system to come down on small-time criminals whose cases would normally be the purview of local authorities on the other. Taken together, the decisions show a high court that once again give great deference to the demands of law enforcement.

Feds Drop Drug Trafficking Case Against Fedex. Federal prosecutors in San Francisco last Friday suddenly moved to drop all criminal charges against the delivery service, which they had accused of knowingly delivering illegal prescription drugs. In court, presiding Judge Charley Breyer said the company was "factually innocent" and that the DEA had failed to provide it with the names of customers who were shipping illegal drugs. "The dismissal is an act, in the court's view, entirely consistent with the government's overarching obligation to seek justice even at the expense of some embarrassment," Breyr said, according to a transcript of the hearing.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MD: Foe Of Legalized Marijuana Leads Push For Research

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 20 Jun 2016 - GOP Rep. Andy Harris Wants More Study of the Medicinal Use of Cannabis WASHINGTON - Two years after Rep. Andy Harris put himself in the center of a controversy over legalizing marijuana in the nation's capital, the conservative Republican is emerging as a leading voice advocating for more research into the drug's medicinal value.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US OR: Marijuana Growers, Processors Face Numerous and Complex

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 06/19/2016 - 07:00
The Register-Guard, 19 Jun 2016 - As recreational marijuana cultivation emerges from decades in the shadows in Oregon, residents face a vexing challenge: Where will new licensed farms, processing plants and retailers be allowed to locate? Banned outright in big chunks of the state, recreational marijuana facilities face a complicated patchwork of quickly drafted local land-use laws in areas, such as Lane County, that are allowing them.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US NV: Column: Here Come The Drug Legalizers - Again

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 06/19/2016 - 07:00
Nevada Appeal, 19 Jun 2016 - I'll say this for the drug legalizers: They're persistent. Once again, for the third time in the past 10 years, the usual suspects are back in Nevada with an initiative petition to legalize "recreational" marijuana in the Silver State. We defeated them twice before on 60-40 votes and I hope we hand them another well-deserved setback in November. Led by the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), and financed by people like left-wing radical George Soros, fast-talking potheads will try to convince Nevada voters recreational marijuana would be good for our state. Not satisfied with so-called "medical" marijuana, they want to push the legal drug boundaries even further.
Categories: Medical Marijuana
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