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Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: CO Gov Says Sessions Chat Eases Pot Crackdown Fears, More... (4/28/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 20:43

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper says a meeting with AG Sessions has eased his fears of a pot crackdown, but the state legislature is moving ahead anyway with a bill to block cops from helping the feds; Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan orders a study of racial disadvantage in the state's medical marijuana system, and more.

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

Colorado Governor Less Concerned About Pot Crackdown After Meeting With Sessions. After meeting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions this week, Gov. John Hickenlooper is less worried about a federal crackdown on legal marijuana. The governor said Sessions reiterated his dislike for marijuana, but hinted the department is more interested in going after more dangerous drugs."He’s got his hands full with things — heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine — other things are even more significant. But doesn’t mean that he feels in any way that he should be cutting any slack to marijuana," Hickenlooper said. "And he certainly was very direct and clearly said they’ve got a lot of priorities," the governor continued. "And, at one point, he said, ‘Well you haven’t seen us cracking down, have you?’ I interpreted that as he’s got his hands full," Hickenlooper added.

Colorado House Approves Bill to Bar Cops From Helping With Fed Pot Crackdown. The House voted 56-7 on Wednesday to approve a bill that would prohibit law enforcement officers from aiding in a potential federal marijuana crackdown. The bill doesn't specifically mention marijuana, but bars public employees from "arresting a Colorado citizen for committing an act that is a Colorado constitutional right." The bill now goes to the Senate.

Maryland Governor Orders Study on Minority Participation in Marijuana Industry. Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Thursday ordered a study of whether minorities face a disadvantage when trying to participate in the state's nascent marijuana industry. Such a study would be a prerequisite for giving preferences to blacks and other minorities when awarding licenses to grow, process, or sell the herb. 

Washington Governor Signs Marijuana, Hemp Bills. Gov. Jay Inslee (D) on Thursday signed into three bills having to do with marijuana. One bill subjects marijuana edibles to the same oversight as other food products, a second bill gives pot shops the ability to give away "lock boxes" for people to keep their stashes safe from kids, and the third bill legalizes industrial hemp in the state.

Medical Marijuana

Arkansas Regulators Give Final Approval for Proposed Medical Marijuana Rules. The state Board of Health on Thursday gave final approval for rules governing who gets to grow and sell medical marijuana. But the rules must still survive a review by lawmakers, which will study them in a special session beginning next Monday. The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment requires the rules to be in place by May 8, or the state will be violating the state constitution.

Vermont Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill Heads for House Floor. The House Human Services Committee on Thursday approved a medical marijuana expansion bill, Senate Bill 16, which adds Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, and PTSD to the list of qualifying condition. The bill has already passed the Senate and now awaits a House floor vote, but differences between what the Senate approved and what the House approved mean a conference committee is likely to reconcile the two measures.

Asset Forfeiture

Pennsylvania Senate Approves Asset Forfeiture Reforms. The Senate voted 39-10 on Wednesday to approve Senate Bill 8, which makes only moderate reforms to the state's asset forfeiture laws. All 10 no votes were cast by Democrats, who said they bill didn't go far enough to fix an abusive system. After lobbying by state prosecutors, lawmakers had removed a provision ending civil asset forfeiture. But the bill does raise the evidentiary standard for forfeiture from "a preponderance of the evidence" to "clear and convincing evidence." The bill now goes to the House.

International

Tunisian Parliament Approves Minor Reform of Harsh Drug Laws. The parliament on Tuesday approved an amendment to the country's harsh drug laws that would give judges discretion when sentencing someone for a first drug offense. Under existing law, anyone caught in possession of any amount of any drug faced a mandatory minimum one-year prison sentence. The government says this move is only temporary, while comprehensive reforms of the drug laws are being studied. 

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Update

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 04/26/2017 - 21:01

Open enrollment is now underway for Maryland patients, regulatory bills are advancing in Florida and Montana, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Florida

On Monday, a medical marijuana regulation bill won a House committee vote. The House Health and Human Services Committee approved House Bill 1397, which aims to regulate the state's voter-approved medical marijuana system. Critics call the House bill too restrictive and are calling on legislators to instead support a rival bill in the Senate.

Iowa

Last Saturday, the legislature approved a last-minute CBD expansion bill. In the space of four hours early last Saturday, the legislature saw a CBD cannabis oil bill introduced, considered, and approved by both houses. The bill would allow a sunsetted CBD law to continue to be in effect.

Maryland

On Monday, the state began open enrollment for patients. People who want to register as medical marijuana patients can now do so, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission has announced. The commission has further information at its website, mmcc.maryland.gov.

Montana

On Monday, the House approved a medical marijuana regulatory bill. The House on Monday approved Senate Bill 333, which will set up a tax and regulatory structure for medical marijuana in the state. The Senate approved the bill, with amendments, last week, but the House now has to hold one more vote before sending the bill to the governor.

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

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Nevada MJ Bills Moving, NY Safe Consumption Campaign Underway, More... (4/26/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 04/26/2017 - 20:46

A group of DAs have published a report critical of marijuana legalization, Nevada marijuana bills are moving, a New York campaign for the establishment of safe drug consumption rooms gets underway, and more.

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

In New Report, Prosecutors Slam Marijuana Legalization. The National District Attorneys' Association has released a report, Marijuana Policy: The State and Local Prosecutors' Perspective, that criticizes legalization as leading to greater access by children and creating challenges for impaired driving enforcement. The DAs also criticized state-level legalization and decriminalization as "an obstacle to the comprehensive federal framework." The report will be used by the Trump administration to help fashion its marijuana policy.

Massachusetts House Passes Bill Barring Use of Cash Welfare Benefits to Buy Pot. The House on Tuesday passed House Bill 3194, which would bar the use of cash welfare benefits to purchase marijuana. State law already prohibits cash benefits from being used to purchase alcohol, lottery tickets, cigarettes, and pornography. The measure now goes to the Senate.

Nevada Marijuana Bills Advance. In a frenzy of last-minute activity, legislators approved a series of marijuana bills on Tuesday. Senate Bill 375, which advocates for tribes' right to establish marijuana facilities; Senate Bill 344, which establishes packaging standards; Senate Bill 236, which would allow for on-site consumption; and Senate Bill 374, which would allow the use of medical marijuana for opioid addiction, all passed the Senate and head for the Assembly. Meanwhile, the Assembly passed Assembly Bill 259, which would allow courts to seal the records of people charged with possessing an ounce or less. That bill now heads for the Senate.

Medical Marijuana

Florida Medical Marijuana Regulation Bill Wins Committee Vote. The House Health and Human Services Committee on Monday approved House Bill 1397, which aims to regulate the state's voter-approved medical marijuana system. Critics call the House bill too restrictive and are calling on legislators to instead support a rival bill in the Senate.

Drug Policy

Ted Cruz Files Bill to Make El Chapo Pay for the Border Wall. US Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has filed Senate Bill 939, "to reserve any amounts forfeited to the US government as a result of the criminal prosecution of Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Loera (commonly known as "El Chapo"), or of other felony convictions involving the transportation of controlled substances into the United States, for security measures along the Southern border, including the completion of a border wall.

Harm Reduction

Safe Shape Tour across New York State Calls for "Safer Consumption Spaces" to Combat Skyrocketing Overdoses. In response to New York State's overdose and opioid epidemic, a coalition of healthcare professionals, public health experts, advocates, and people with a history of drug use are launching a statewide campaign calling for the creation of safer consumption spaces (SCS) supervised injection facilities (SIF) where people can legally consume previously-purchased illicit drugs with supervision from peers and healthcare professionals who help make their use safer and connect them with medical care, drug treatment, and social services. Click on the link for much more information and how to register for events.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: CBS Poll: 61% Say Legalize It, Philly Mayor Says Legalize It, More... (4/25/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 21:01

Support for marijuana legalization is at an all-time high in the CBS poll, Philadelphia's mayor joins the legalization chorus, Massachusetts drops more than 20,000 tainted drug convictions, and more.

[image:1 align:left]Marijuana Policy

New CBS Poll Has Legalization Support at All-Time High. A New CBS poll has support for marijuana legalization at 61%, up an impressive five points over the same poll last year. Even more people -- 71% -- want the federal government to butt out of marijuana policy in states where it is legal.

DC Activists Arrested for 4/20 Capitol Hill Joint Giveaway. Eight DC-based marijuana reform activists were arrested last Thursday on the capitol grounds after police raided their "joint session" where the planned to give away joints to anyone with a valid congressional ID. Only two of the activists, including lead gadfly Adam Eidinger, were actually charged, but those charged now face local marijuana charges in DC. Police had recommended federal charges.

Philadelphia Mayor Calls for Legalization. Mayor Jim Kenney (D) has come out in favor of freeing the weed. "The real solution to this is legalizing it in the state of Pennsylvania as they did in Colorado," said Mayor Kenney. "We won't have to use police resources in these kinds of activities and actions." The mayor's comments came as he responded to questions about a Saturday raid on a marijuana "smokeasy" where 22 people were arrested.

Medical Marijuana

Iowa Legislature Approves Last-Minute CBD Expansion Bill. In the space of four hours early last Saturday, the legislature saw a CBD cannabis oil bill introduced, considered, and approved by both houses. The bill would allow a sunsetted CBD law to continue to be in effect.

Maryland Begins Open Enrollment for Patients. People who want to register as medical marijuana patients can now do so, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission has announced. The commission has further information at its website, mmcc.maryland.gov.

Montana House Approves Medical Marijuana Regulatory Bill. The House on Monday approved Senate Bill 333, which will set up a tax and regulatory structure for medical marijuana in the state. The Senate approved the bill, with amendments, last week, but the House now has to hold one more vote before sending the bill to the governor.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

New York Allocates $200 Million to Fight Heroin and Opioid Abuse. Budget legislation just signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) devotes some $200 million to fighting the state's opioid crisis. About $145 million will go to in- and out-patient treatment services, $6 million will fund the use of the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone, and the balance will go to prevention.

Drug Policy

Drug Policy Researchers and Advocates Join March for Science. Dozens of drug and public health policy researchers and advocates took part in last Saturday's March for Science in downtown Los Angeles. "I can't believe I have to march for objective reality," one sign at the march read. The scientists of all stripes marched to demand that policy be made on empirical evidence, a demand increasingly fraught as science faces the Trump administration.

Drug Testing

Maine GOP Lawmakers Are Back With Another Welfare Drug Testing Bill. Packaged as part of a campaign against welfare fraud, a new welfare drug testing bill has been filed in Augusta. The bill would require screening of welfare applicants, with those who have drug felonies or who are suspected of drug use being required to undergo drug testing.

Law Enforcement

Massachusetts Drops 21,000 Tainted Drug Convictions. The Supreme Judicial Court last Thursday vacated some 21,587 drug convictions after prosecuting attorneys said they would be unable or unwilling to prosecute them. The convictions are all tainted by links to a disgraced state chemist who admitted faking test results in 2013.

International

US Offers to Help Fund Mexico Opium Eradication. US Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs ("drugs and thugs") William Brownfield said in an interview last Friday that the US has offered Mexico help in eradicating opium poppies. "We would be prepared to support (opium eradication efforts) should we reach a basic agreement in terms of how they would do more and better eradication in the future," Brownfield said. "That is on the table, but I don't want you to conclude that it's a done deal, because we still have to work through the details," he added. Mexico supplies the vast majority of heroin consumed in the US.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Canada: Dispensaries Count Down To Legalization

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 04/22/2017 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 22 Apr 2017 - A siege-like atmosphere pervades cannabis shops still in operation as they contend with threats from armed thieves, and the city After the battering ram smashed through the front door, the officers quickly rounded up everyone and handcuffed them inside the small shop at Yonge and Wellesley.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Canada: Column: Stirring The Pot Legislation

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 04/22/2017 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 22 Apr 2017 - It seems there is no task in Canada as thankless as legalizing marijuana. Last week, the Liberals announced their plans to fulfill their campaign promise and do just that - by July 1, 2018, at the latest - and a chorus of complaints went round the country. People opposed to legalization of any kind, public policy-failure aficionados, were of course displeased. Those convinced that anything short of the government passing Bill 420 on the left-hand side, printed on small white papers, mandating that their local MP spark up a doobie for them when they get home from work is an infringement of their fundamental rights were also put out. No one seems happy.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN AB: Column: Welcome To The Pot Party

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 04/22/2017 - 07:00
Edmonton Sun, 22 Apr 2017 - Marijuana legalization is coming whether you like it or not - but don't worry, the sky won't fall Marijuana is rushing out of the closet, what with the federal government's plan to legalize marijuana use across Canada as of July 2018.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Medical Marijuana Users Push For Change

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 04/22/2017 - 07:00
The Record, 22 Apr 2017 - The Record speaks to a wide range of people who shun normal painkillers KITCHENER - William Campbell and his wife were on their way to a friend's 25th wedding anniversary one night in 2008 when a drunk driver pulled out in front of them. They didn't have time to stop.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN MB: Lighting Up At The Legislature

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 07:00
Winnipeg Free Press, 21 Apr 2017 - Marijuana enthusiasts gather to celebrate annual holiday in haze of smoke THE rain may have thinned the crowds - and clouds of smoke - at the Winnipeg 4/20 celebration Thursday, but cannabis supporters still kept their spirits high and their joints lit.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Column: Pot Laws Looked Like They'd Never Change. Then, Wham

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 21 Apr 2017 - People celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, though they're inevitable. Since you never know the precise moment of a WHAM, it should be worth a cheer Deep social change happens so slowly it looks like nothing is happening. Not just over years, but decades, maybe longer. Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing. Then, WHAM. The imminent legalization of (non-medical) marijuana is a perfect example. Its perfectness even has a generational, father to son, symmetry.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN AB: Legalization Gets Spirits High At City Rally

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 07:00
Lethbridge Herald, 21 Apr 2017 - There was a cloud of smoke at Galt Gardens Thursday as hundreds gathered to smoke marijuana during the annual 4/20 celebration. Every year on April 20, Canadians gather for pro-pot events, but it seems that cannabis activists may soon be getting what they want as the Government of Canada has proposed the Cannabis Act, which would legalize and regulate cannabis use.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN MB: From Protest To Party

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 07:00
Winnipeg Free Press, 20 Apr 2017 - With legalization on the horizon, today's 4/20 gathering will be a celebration For as long as anyone can remember, the annual 4/20 gathering at the Manitoba legislature grounds was about protesting the country's harsh marijuana laws. Police would be out in force to keep an eye on a rag-tag group of stoners, rarely arresting anyone unless things got out of hand.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN AB: Pot Law Draws Mixed Reaction

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 07:00
Cochrane Eagle, 20 Apr 2017 - Last week the federal government announced it will move forward with its highly-anticipated and contentious pledge to legalize recreational marijuana. What might possibly be the most memorable piece of legislation undertaken by the Justin Trudeau Liberals will most certainly result in polarizing political and personal stances.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US: Marijuana Advocates Vow To Smoke On Steps Of U.S. Capitol

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 07:00
Washington Post, 20 Apr 2017 - Dozens of activists, including some military veterans, plan to light joints Monday on the steps of the U.S. Capitol - federal land where committing the offense could draw a sentence of up to a year in jail - as part of an effort to urge a reluctant Congress to support marijuana legalization. "Monday @ High Noon" reads a flier for the event, calling on Congress to also remove marijuana from the nation's list of most-dangerous drugs. "Mass Civil Disobedience @ 4:20p - East Side of the US Capitol."
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Update

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 19:36

Arkansas and North Dakota lurch toward enacting their voter-approved medical marijuana laws, Oklahoma and Wisconsin see CBD cannabis oil bills signed into law, and more.

[image:1 align:left]Arkansas

Last Tuesday, state regulators finalized the medical marijuana rules. The state Medical Marijuana Commission gave final approval to rules governing dispensaries and cultivation facilities. The rules must still be approved by the legislature, which has passed some legislation that appears to conflict with them. The legislature only has until May 8 to modify the rules or the state will be out of compliance with the Medical Marijuana Act, which is now part of the state constitution.

Iowa

On Tuesday, the Senate approved a bill to down-schedule marijuana. The state Senate voted to approve a bill that would reschedule marijuana under state law from Schedule I to Schedule II and allow the manufacture and distribution of medical marijuana products. The bill now heads to the House.

North Dakota

On Monday, the governor signed a medical marijuana regulation bill Governor Doug Burgum (R) signed into law Senate Bill 2344, which imposes sweeping legislative modifications on the state's new voter-approved medical marijuana law. With the governor's signature on the bill, the state now expects to have its system up and running within 12 to 18 months.

Oklahoma

On Monday, the governor signed a CBD cannabis oil bill into law. Gov. Mary Fallin (R) signed into law House Bill 1559, which exempts CBD cannabis oil products from the state's definition of marijuana if they are approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration. No such medicines have been approved by the FDA. The move is the latest baby step toward actually approving the use of CBD cannabis oil; last year, Fallin signed a bill that allowed clinical trials by researchers to take place.

Wisconsin

On Monday, the governor signed a CBD cannabis oil bill into law. Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed into law Senate Bill 10, which would make it easier to acquire CBD cannabis oil. Two years ago, Walker signed a bill to allow the use of CBD in extremely limited cases, but the limits it contains are so restrictive that families and patients haven't been able to actually use CBD. This bill will ease those limits, allowing patients to possess CBD for any medical condition with an annual physician's approval.

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

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: DHS Flip Flops on MJ, OR Bill to Protect MJ Users from Feds Passes, More... (4/19/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 19:14

Two top federal security officials say scary things about marijuana policy, at least two states are moving to protect pot people from any federal crackdown, San Francisco becomes the latest city to embrace LEAD, and more.

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

AG Sessions Says Marijuana Plays Role in International Criminal Enterprises. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday that marijuana is a significant part of international drug trafficking and that there is "a lot" of violence around "marijuana distribution networks" in this country. "We have quite a bit of marijuana being imported by the cartels from Mexico. This is definitely a cartel-sponsored event," he said. "So it is a financial money-maker for them," he said. "I returned from the border last week and they told me that quite a number of the people they arrest are hauling marijuana across the border."

Homeland Security Chief Says Marijuana Possession is Grounds for Deportation. What a difference a couple of days makes! Over the weekend, Homeland Security Chief John Kelly said that "marijuana is not a factor" in the administration's war on drugs, but by Tuesday, he had changed his tune, denouncing marijuana as a "gateway drug" and warning that DHS would use pot charges to deport people. "ICE will continue to use marijuana possession, distribution and convictions as essential elements as they build their deportation removal apprehension packages for targeted operations against illegal aliens living in the United States," he said.

California Bill to Protect Pot People from Feds Advances. A bill aimed at protecting marijuana users and the state's blossoming pot industry from any federal crackdown was approved by the Assembly Public Safety Committee on a 5-2 vote. The measure, Assembly Bill 1578, would prevent state and local police from helping federal law enforcement crack down on state-legal marijuana activity.

Guam Governor Backs Away from Legalization Proposal, Citing Trump. Governor Eddie Baza Calvo has suspended his push to legalize marijuana on the American territory, citing a change of atmosphere in Washington. "US Attorney General Jeff Sessions' pronouncement that the federal government intends to crack down on jurisdictions where recreational marijuana is legal," a Calvo spokesman pointed out.

Oregon Bill to Protect Pot People from Feds Signed into Law Governor Kate Brown (D) on Monday signed into law Senate Bill 863. The bill would protect Oregon marijuana users from any federal crackdown by prohibiting the state's pot retailers from sharing or keeping information about their customers' purchases or identities.

Atlanta City Council Punts on Marijuana Decriminalization. The city council on Tuesday failed to pass a decriminalization ordinance, instead referring the measure to the Public Safety Committee for further review. The measure would have decriminalized the possession of up to an ounce, with a maximum fine of $75.

Medical Marijuana

Iowa Senate Approves Bill to Down-Schedule Marijuana. The state Senate voted Tuesday to approve a bill that would reschedule marijuana under state law from Schedule I to Schedule II and allow the manufacture and distribution of medical marijuana products. The bill now heads to the House.

North Dakota Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Regulation Bill. Governor Doug Burgum (R) on Monday signed into law Senate Bill 2344, which imposes sweeping legislative modifications on the state's new voter-approved medical marijuana law. With the governor's signature on the bill, the state now expects to have its system up and running within 12 to 18 months.

Law Enforcement

San Francisco Begins Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Program. As of the beginning of April, the city is now operating a Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program aimed at reducing the incarceration and criminalization of drug users and those with mental illnesses. LEAD is a pre-booking diversion program that refers low level offenders to treatment and community-based health and social services instead of prosecuting and jailing them. LEAD was pioneered in Seattle and is now in operation in a handful of cities across the country.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN SN: Editorial: It's Still A Clouded Issue

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 07:00
Estevan Mercury, 19 Apr 2017 - Canadians will be able to celebrate this country's 151st birthday by legally lighting up a joint. The federal government has introduced legislation to legalize marijuana by July 1, 2018, fulfilling one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's election campaign promises. But there are still a lot of questions regarding the details of a legal pot industry.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: OPED: Proposed Pot Legislation Prohibits And Punishes

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 07:00
London Free Press, 19 Apr 2017 - The Liberal government finally introduced its highly anticipated marijuana legalization legislation. But this proposal is not legalization - it is continued criminalization, with new harsher laws designed to punish even more people. Canadians want marijuana to be legal because they grew tired of seeing family and friends arrested and charged, then denied job opportunities and travel rights. They became frustrated seeing police spend their tax dollars every year going after people for pot, when they should be solving serious crimes.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN BC: Nelson Anticipates Cannabis Legalization

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 07:00
Nelson Star, 19 Apr 2017 - Cannabis is one step closer to being legal. According to the Cannabis Act introduced by the federal government last Thursday, legalization of the controversial plant will come into effect July 2018 - and now it's up to the provinces and territories to sort out distribution and regulation.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: LatAm Drug Prisoner Numbers Up, UNODC Sends Adviser to Philippines, More... (4/18/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 04/18/2017 - 20:15

They don't even want to think about legalization in Montana, Rhode Island's governor would rather think about it next year, two GOP governors sign CBD cannabis oil bills, Latin American drug incarceration is on the increase, the UNODC sends an advisor to the Philippines, and more.

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

Florida Decriminalization Bill Gets Hearing, Gets Killed. The state Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on a marijuana decriminalization bill Monday, then voted to "temporarily postpone" the bill, effectively killing it for the year. The bill, which would have made small-time pot possession a civil infraction, was Senate Bill 1682.

Montana Bill to Study Legalization Dies in House. A bill that would have created an interim legislative committee to study marijuana legalization died Monday in the House. House Joint Resolution 35 failed on a vote of 45-55. Nine Republicans voted to approve the bill, but five Democrats voted against it.

Rhode Island Governor Wants to Study Legalization, Not Pass it This Year. The administration of Gov. Gina Raimundo (D) has sent a letter to the House Judiciary Committee saying it has "concerns" with legalization bills under consideration and would instead support creating a commission to study the issue. "The Governor's primary concerns are safety and proper regulation, and she will give strong consideration to legalization legislation that adequately addresses these concerns, whether a bill reaches her desk this year or in the future," she said, leaving the door just slightly open for this year.

Medical Marijuana

Oklahoma Governor Signs CBD Cannabis Oil Bill. Gov. Mary Fallin (R) on Monday signed into law House Bill 1559, which exempts CBD cannabis oil products from the state's definition of marijuana if they are approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration. No such medicines have been approved by the FDA. The move is the latest baby step toward actually approving the use of CBD cannabis oil; last year, Fallin signed a bill that allowed clinical trials by researchers to take place.

Wisconsin Governor Signs CBD Cannabis Oil Bill. Gov. Scott Walker (R) on Monday signed into law Senate Bill 10, which would make it easier to acquire CBD cannabis oil. Two years ago, Walker signed a bill to allow the use of CBD in extremely limited cases, but the limits it contains are so restrictive that families and patients haven't been able to actually use CBD. This bill will ease those limits, allowing patients to possess CBD for any medical condition with an annual physician's approval.

Sentencing

US Sentencing Commission Hearing Today on Ecstasy, New Psychoactives. The US Sentencing Commission will take up reconsideration of the federal sentencing guidelines for ecstasy (MDMA) and a handful of new psychoactive substances. This is the first step in a two-year review process that could result in sentencing reductions for people caught with those drugs. One factor driving the Sentencing Commission to take up the issue is two major federal court cases where judges ruled that they did not have to follow the current MDMA sentencing guidelines, since they were so out of touch with science and public health.

International

Canada Marijuana Legalization Won't Include Pardons, Amnesty, Liberals Say. The Trudeau government is not considering a blanket pardon for people who have criminal records for marijuana possession as part of its marijuana legalization plan, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said Monday. "That's not an item that's on the agenda at the moment," he said. The government is facing pressure both from people who want to move immediately to some sort of decriminalization and from people who want some sort of pardon scheme, but the Liberals are holding firm. "It is important to note that as the bill moves through the legislative process, existing laws prohibiting possession and use of cannabis remain in place, and they need to be respected," Goodale said. "This must be an orderly transition. It is not a free-for-all."

Study Reveals a Disproportionate Increase in Number of People Jailed for Low-Level Drug Offenses in Latin America. The Research Consortium on Drugs and the Law (CEDD), a network of drug policy experts from 10 countries in the Americas, has published a new report which reveals that despite the debate surrounding drug policy reform, the rate of incarceration for low-level, non-violent drug offenses continues to increase across Latin America. The CEDD Report, Irrational Punishment: Drug Laws and Incarceration in the Americas, includes research on ten countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, the United States, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay. In all of the Latin American countries studied, with the exception of Bolivia, the population imprisoned for drug offenses increased at a rate of 8 to 33 times faster than that of the general prison population over the last 15 years, with some variation depending on the country. In Brazil, while the prison population increased 55% between 2006 and 2014, the population incarcerated for drug offenses rose by 267%, a rate about five times greater. In Colombia, between 2000 and 2015, the prison population rose by 141%, but the population incarcerated for drug offenses increased by 289%.

UNODC to Send Adviser to Philippines, Promote Alternatives. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime announced Monday that it will soon send a drug policy advisor to the Philippines to work with the government there on alternatives to its bloody-handed crackdown on drug users. The UNODC adviser will press both the Dangerous Drugs Board and the Department of Health to adopt treatment-based approaches to combat substance abuse in the country. Those programs are likely to take the form of community-based models that will more effectively encourage users to minimize their substance dependencies. The advisor is expected to arrive in June and serve for two years.

Categories: Medical Marijuana
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