Skip to Content

Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Update

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 22:40

California continues to see dispensary battles, Rhode Island's third dispensary opens, medical marijuana is moving in the South, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left]Federal

As of Wednesday, the Charlotte's Web Medical Hemp had picked up three more cosponsors. The bill, HR 5526, would amend the Controlled Substance Act to remove cannabidiol (CBD) and "therapeutic hemp" from the definition of marijuana. "Therapeutic hemp" is defined as marijuana plants containing less than 0.3% THC. The bill was introduced by Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) and now has 36 cosponsors -- 20 Democrats and 16 Republicans. The latest are Reps. Jimmy Duncan (R-TN), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Austin Scott (R-GA). The bill has been assigned to subcommittees of the House Judiciary and House Energy and Commerce committees.

California

Last Wednesday, the city of La Mesa was moving to shut down three dispensaries. The move comes after voters there failed to pass a municipal initiative to authorize and regulate the dispensaries. The dispensaries have until November 22 to close their doors, city officials said.

Last Thursday, San Diego moved ahead on shutting down unpermitted dispensaries. San Diego officials forced yet another unpermitted dispensary to shut down Thursday after shutting down four others three weeks ago. About 50 unpermitted dispensaries still operate in the city, which is going to allow permitted dispensaries to begin operating early next year.

Connecticut

Last Friday, state officials announced a hearing on adding new qualifying conditions. The state Department of Consumer Protection is considering whether to expand the state's quite restrictive list of qualifying medical conditions to include sickle cell anemia, Tourette's syndrome, "failed back syndrome," severe psoriasis, and psoriatic arthritis. The Board of Physicians will hold a public hearing on the matter on November 26. Click on the title link for more information.

Florida

Last Friday, a state judge rejected the Health Department's medical marijuana grower lottery plan. The state legislature this year approved the use of low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oils, but now an administrative law judge has ruled that the Department of Health's plan to use a lottery to choose growers is not the way to go. "I knew that the lottery became strictly a chance-based scenario and it wasn't merit-based or experience-based. And to me, I had to object to it," said Judge W. David Watkins in his order last Friday. The ruling should result in a better system of distributing licenses, but it could also delay when the cannabis oil actually becomes available to patients.

Georgia

On Monday, a state legislator prefiled a low-THC, high-CBD medical marijuana bill. State Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) has pre-filed a bill that would legalize a form of medical marijuana in the state. At this point, House Bill 1 is little more than a mission statement, with details to be filled in later, Peake said. Peake tried to do the same thing in the just finished legislative session, but that bill died on the last day of the session.

Iowa

On Monday, a Board of Pharmacy committee heard debate on reclassifying marijuana. The board met Monday in Des Moines to hear debate on whether marijuana should be moved from Schedule I to Schedule II under state law. Such a move would be a step toward allowing medical marijuana in the state. The board is responding to a petition from long-time Iowa medical marijuana activist Carl Olsen. The committee is expected to make a recommendation on the matter to the full Board of Pharmacy on Wednesday.

Maryland

Last Thursday, a state commission approved medical marijuana regulations. The commission charged with drafting the regulations approved them Thursday, but they still need to be approved by a legislative panel and the state's health secretary. The approval came after a delay last month, when some critics said fees for growers and dispensaries were too high. They still ain't cheap: Fifteen licensed growers will have to pay $250,000 every two years, while dispensaries will have to pay $80,000 every two years. The program isn't expected to be operational until 2016.

Rhode Island

On Wednesday, the state's third and final dispensary opened. The Summit Medical Compassion Center is set to open in Warwick tomorrow. There are two others in the state, one in Portsmouth and one in Providence. Three is all the state's medical marijuana law allows.

South Carolina

Last Thursday, a state senator said he will introduce a medical marijuana bill. State Sen. Tom Davis (R-Beaufort), who sponsored a successful low-THC, high-CBD medical marijuana bill this year, said Thursday he will sponsor a full-fledged medical marijuana bill next year. He made the announcement at a meeting of the state Medical Marijuana Study Committee at Clemson University.

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

Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: OR Pot Tax Battle, MA Mandatory Minimums Under Fire, More (11/19/14)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 21:34

Oregon cities will fight to be allowed to tax marijuana, the CRS says state-level legalization leaves the US vulnerable to criticism on international drug treaties, federal reform bills pick up more sponsors, Hawaii medical marijuana patients get some rental protections, Iran is fine with executing drug traffickers, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Congressional Research Service Says Legalization Leaves US Vulnerable to Charges It Violates International Drug Treaties. In a report released this week, the Congressional Research Service said state-level marijuana legalization challenges the international drug treaties, but that legalization in the District of Columbia would be the most direct affront because Congress has oversight over DC laws and the ability to void them. "This line of reasoning suggests that if Initiative 71 is permitted to take effect, this inaction by the federal government may strengthen the [International Narcotics Control] Board's argument that the United States has not fulfilled its commitments under the Single Convention," the report said. Congress could challenge DC legalization, but it appears there is little interest in doing so.

Oregon Cities Seek to Tax Marijuana. The League of Oregon Cities says it will ask the legislature to amend the voter-approved Measure 91 legalization initiative to explicitly allow local taxes imposed before the measure was approved earlier this month. Measure 91 sponsors say they will oppose the move because it could drive prices up high enough to encourage users to continue to resort to the black market. The legislature is considering forming a joint committee to consider this and regulatory issues in the wake of Measure 91's passage. Measure 91 allows for the state to tax marijuana, but not localities. Some 70 Oregon localities passed tax measures before Measure 91 was approved.

Medical Marijuana

Federal Charlotte's Web Medical Hemp Act Picks Up New Cosponsors. The bill, HR 5526, would amend the Controlled Substance Act to remove cannabidiol (CBD) and "therapeutic hemp" from the definition of marijuana. "Therapuetic hemp" is defined as marijuana plants containing less than 0.3% THC. The bill was introduced by Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) and now has 36 cosponsors -- 20 Democrats and 16 Republicans. The latest are Reps. Jimmy Duncan (R-TN), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Austin Scott (R-GA). The bill has been assigned to subcommittees of the House Judiciary and House Energy and Commerce committees.

Hawaii Law Protecting Medical Marijuana Patient Housing Rights Goes Into Effect. As of this month, a new law voids provisions in state rental agreements that previously allowed for tenants to be evicted based on their status as registered medical marijuana patients. The Medical Cannabis Coalition of Hawaii fought for and now applauds this step toward protecting patient rights. The law does not, however, protect people living in government-subsidized housing.

Asset Forfeiture

Federal Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act Picks Up New Cosponsor. The bill, HR 5212, would strengthen protections against asset forfeiture and require that seizures be proportional to the offense. It was sponsored by Rep. Tim Walhberg (R-MI) and now has 20 cosponsors -- 15 Republicans and five Democrats. The latest is Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA). The bill is before the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.

Drug Treatment

Federal Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act Picks Up New Cosponsors. The bill, S 2389, was introduced by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). It would provide grants to community-based anti-drug coalitions, create treatment instead of incarceration programs, and provide for evidence-based opioid treatment interventions, among other provisions. It now has six cosponsors -- four Democrats and two Republicans. The latest are Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Al Franken (D-MN). It is before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Sentencing

Federal Smarter Sentencing Act Picks Up New Cosponsors. The bill, HR 3383, was introduced by Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) and would allow federal judges to sentence most drug offenders without regard to mandatory minimum sentences. It would also allow crack cocaine offenders sentenced before 2010 to seek sentence reductions. It now has 55 cosponsors -- 36 Democrats and 19 Republicans, and is before the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.

Federal Second Chance Reauthorization Act Picks Up New Cosponsor. The bill, HR 3465, was introduced by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and would expand federal grants to aid former prisoners reentering society. It has 45 cosponsors -- 37 Democrats and eight Republicans. The latest is Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY). It is before the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.

Massachusetts Chief Justice Renews Call for End to Mandatory Minimums for Drug Offenders. After a visit to Worcester Trial Court to meet with local court officials and employees, Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants reiterated an earlier call to abolish mandatory minimums for drug offenders. He said he wants "individualized, evidence-based" sentencing. "Everybody sort of feels that the drug problem is not getting any better. I think everybody recognizes that we're not going to incarcerate ourselves out of the problem," he said.

Massachusetts Criminal Justice Panel Recommends Eliminating Mandatory Minimums for Drug Offenders. The Special Commission to Study the Commonwealth's Criminal Justice System has recommended ending mandatory minimum sentences for all drug offenses in the state. It is also calling for parole eligibility for all inmates who have served at least two-thirds of the lower end of their sentences, except for those convicted of murder or manslaughter. The commission is working on a report for incoming Gov. Charlie Baker (R). Baker signaled support for ending mandatory minimums for drug offenders during the campaign.

International

Iran Rejects Criticism of Its Resort to the Death Penalty for Drug Traffickers. Iranian Justice Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi Tuesday rejected criticism from human rights campaigners and UN human rights bodies over its frequent executions of drug traffickers. "We do not accept the statements made by the UN human rights bodies that drug-related convicts should not be executed," he said. He added that anyone who smuggles or deals drugs deserves to be executed.

Report on Drug Policy Progress in Asia. The Open Society Foundations Global Drug Policy Program has published "Moving the Needle on Drug Policy in Asia," which examines innovations in drug policy in an area that boasts some of the world's harshest drug policies. The report looks at harm reduction programs in Taiwan and drug treatment programs in Malaysia. Click on the title link to read it.

Categories: Marijuana

CN BC: Province Initiates Country's First Clinical Cannabis

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
Metro, 19 Nov 2014 - 'Looking for Answers'. Producer Hopes to Begin Next Spring British Columbia researchers and a medical marijuana producer have joined forces to conduct Canada's first-ever clinical trial to back up anecdotal evidence in using cannabis to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with hard facts.
Categories: Marijuana

US FL: Column: Marijuana Vote Not The Defeat Some Claim

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
The Ledger, 19 Nov 2014 - One big story to come out of the recent elections was the medical marijuana effort failing to reach the 60 percent needed for passage. To hear the pundits, opponents and media tell it, the defeat was devastating for an effort that looked certain to pass early on.
Categories: Marijuana

CN BC: Column: Impressions From Nelson's Historic Mayor's Race

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
Nelson Star, 19 Nov 2014 - Stunning. Impressive. Historic. Those are just a few adjectives to describe Deb Kozak's upset win Saturday in knocking off three-time incumbent Nelson mayor John Dooley. I was among those guessing Dooley would be unstoppable, given a lack of polarizing issues in the campaign. The mayoral race was instead about "leadership style." While some on council were clearly dissatisfied with Dooley at the helm, I never got the same sense from the community at large.
Categories: Marijuana

US PA: Column: When Criminal Vices Become Legal, Savvy

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
The Citizens' Voice, 19 Nov 2014 - Big-time investors hoping to profit from America's emerging business in legalized marijuana might see a bit of themselves in the historic example of Joseph P. Kennedy - the father of President John F. Kennedy. Back in 1933, the Kennedy patriarch made sure his liquor firm would be the first to make millions as Prohibition's decade-long ban on alcohol sales ended. He did so with a blend of politics, cash and timely maneuvers.
Categories: Marijuana

US MI: Column: Justice, Congress Beg to Reform Marijuana Laws

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
The Daily Tribune, 19 Nov 2014 - Both Sides Look to Hand Off Responsibility The Controlled Substances Act, which set up the drug schedules in the early 1970s, explicitly places drug scheduling authority in the hands of the attorney general, and even instructs him or her to "remove any drug or other substance fromthe schedules if he finds that the drug or other substance does not meet the requirements for inclusion in any schedule."
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: Green Lit: California Legalization Measure Is a

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
East Bay Express, 19 Nov 2014 - After the historic marijuana midterms, a seven-hundred-day battle for the Golden State begins. As the dust settles from the historic marijuana midterm election of 2014, a few things have become clear: Namely, Californians will vote on ending cannabis prohibition in 2016. But change is far from inevitable.
Categories: Marijuana

US DC: DC Pot Law Could Jeopardize Drug Treaty

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
Washington Times, 19 Nov 2014 - U.S. Pledged to Help Stop Spread Allowing marijuana legalization in the District leaves the United States vulnerable to charges it is violating international treaties aimed at stemming the drug trade, the nonpartisan research arm of Congress concluded in an analysis that could strengthen the resolve of lawmakers on Capitol Hill to overturn the measure.
Categories: Marijuana

US MI: Face Time: Dimitri Mugianis on Speed-Balling, Ibogaine

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
Metro Times, 19 Nov 2014 - In the underground world of heroin, there is a legend of an African root called iboga, or ibogaine, that can cure addiction. Those in the depths of heroin use, often as a last resort, seek out the root, which can be dangerous to use. Some go to Mexico or to Europe to take it, as it is illegal here in the United States. It can be an expensive trip for the user, and often one made in a moment of final desperation. Native Detroiter Dimitri Mugianis was one of those drug users, and, after taking the root, he turned to a life of service, committed to helping people, especially impoverished users here in the United States. He's well-known in the harm-reduction and drug-user communities, and has some astute observations on drug culture, drug use, and religion, including Islam.
Categories: Marijuana

US MI: Column: The Pot Racket

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
Metro Times, 19 Nov 2014 - Crunching the Numbers in Marijuana's March to Legalization Let's play a little numbers game today. This is not the kind of numbers they played in an illegal lottery that flourished for decades before states started taking over the gambling business.
Categories: Marijuana

US: Marley-Branded Marijuana To Go On Sale In 2015

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
Washington Post, 19 Nov 2014 - It's fair to say that Bob Marley probably could not have imagined that 33 years after his death, his name would be lent to what is about to be the newest entrant to the burgeoning legal marijuana market. The reggae icon was perhaps the most prominent and outspoken advocate of the drug throughout his life and at the height of his fame. He viewed it as a spiritual and creative force that was probably more likely to be legalized by "Christ's government" than governments here on Earth.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: End Of The Growhouse

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
SF Weekly, 19 Nov 2014 - END OF THE GROWHOUSE We're inside a former safe factory next to the freeway in a certain East Side neighborhood, and we are looking at It. "It" is a metal box at least six feet high, easily the biggest object in this otherwise empty rectangular room that, at one-quarter of the 18,000-square-foot warehouse's ground floor, is also huge.
Categories: Marijuana

US CO: Column: Edibles Uncertainty Continues, Pueblo Debates

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
Colorado Springs Independent, 19 Nov 2014 - Edible uncertainty The debate over cannabis edibles could've made headway Monday, when a Colorado task force met for the fourth time in an attempt to hammer out some rules differentiating edibles from regular food. But, as in the meetings before it, no clear direction emerged. Ultimately, the group of industry representatives, police, state regulators and lawmakers voted to send the Legislature several different bills in January, reported the Associated Press.
Categories: Marijuana

US NV: Pot Venture Capitalists See Green

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
Baltimore Sun, 19 Nov 2014 - Legalization Opens Paths for Investors HENDERSON, Nev. - The frenzy in the cavernous Green Valley Resort ballroom might have passed for any conference of entrepreneurs pitching their business plans to poker-faced angel investors - until an organizer took the podium for a public service announcement.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Marley Marijuana, New Player in Maine, DC OKs Forfeiture Reform, More (11/18/14)

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 21:30

Get ready for "Marley Natural" weed, there are now competing legalization efforts in Maine, a high-CBD medical marijuana bill is the first one pre-filed for next year in Georgia, the DC city council approves civil asset forfeiture reform, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left]Marijuana Policy

Bob Marley Will Become a Marijuana Brand. The family of legendary Jamaican reggae singer and ganja lover Bob Marley has inked a deal with an American private equity group to sell marijuana under the "Marley Natural" name. The deal is with Privateer Holdings, which says on its web site that "Marley Natural is born of Bob Marley's deep respect for the power of nature to heal and inspire us. True to his ideals, we will cultivate fine cannabis, blend infused topicals, and craft accessories that celebrate life, awaken well-being and nurture a positive connection with the world." The Marley-branded weed is expected to show up next year in places where it is legal.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Supports Putting Marijuana on the Ballot in 2016. In an editorial last week, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch came out in support of the Show Me Cannabis petition drive to put a pot legalization constitutional amendment initiative on the 2016 ballot. "The time for a statewide debate over marijuana legalization is ripe," the newspaper editorialized. "Let the great pot debate of 2016 begin." The Post-Dispatch is Missouri's second largest daily circulation newspaper.

Second Legalization Effort Emerges in Maine. A new group has emerged seeking to free the weed in Maine. Legalize Maine says it will take "a homegrown approach" to legalization and will include the legalization of marijuana social clubs. It has registered the LegalizeMaine.org and LegalizeMaine.com web sites, but there's nothing on them yet. The Marijuana Policy Project has been working Maine for the past several years and plans to run a 2016 legalization initiative there. This could complicate matters.

Medical Marijuana

Georgia Legislator Pre-Files Low-THC, High-CBD Medical Marijuana Bill. State Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) has pre-filed a bill that would legalize a form of medical marijuana in the state. At this point, House Bill 1 is little more than a mission statement, with details to be filled in later, Peake said. Peake tried to do the same thing in the just finished legislative session, but that bill died on the last day of the session.

Iowa Board of Pharmacy Committee Hears Debate on Reclassifying Marijuana. The board met Monday in Des Moines to hear debate on whether marijuana should be moved from Schedule I to Schedule II under state law. Such a move would be a step toward allowing medical marijuana in the state. The board is responding to a petition from long-time Iowa medical marijuana activist Carl Olsen. The committee is expected to make a recommendation on the matter to the full Board of Pharmacy on Wednesday.

Rhode Island's Third and Final Dispensary Opens Tomorrow. The Summit Medical Compassion Center is set to open in Warwick tomorrow. There are two others in the state, one in Portsmouth and one in Providence. Three is all the state's medical marijuana law allows.

Asset Forfeiture

DC City Council Votes Unanimously for Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform. The council voted unanimously today to reform the way the nation's capital handles asset forfeiture. The measure would direct seized funds to the city's general fund instead of the police department and it establishes more protections for citizens in the asset forfeiture process.

International

Marijuana Legalization Debated in Frankfort. For the first time, a German city has officially debated changing its marijuana laws. Officials heard from police, economists, doctors, and drug counselors. A city health department official, Rosemarie Heilig, called for a pragmatic approach to dealing with marijuana that stresses counseling and therapy instead of punishment.

Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Column: Addiction Awareness Will Require All Of Us

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 08:00
The Expositor, 18 Nov 2014 - This is National Addictions Awareness Week. That itself marks progress in admitting there is a problem. It is up to all of us to help fight the battle. For the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, preventing and reducing harms associated with substance use and abuse by youth is a priority.
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Column: Addiction Awareness Will Require All Of Us

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 08:00
The Recorder & Times, 18 Nov 2014 - This is National Addictions Awareness Week. That itself marks progress in admitting there is a problem. It is up to all of us to help fight the battle. For the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, preventing and reducing harms associated with substance use and abuse by youth is a priority.
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Column: Addiction Awareness Will Require All Of Us

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 08:00
Kingston Whig-Standard, 18 Nov 2014 - This is National Addictions Awareness Week. That itself marks progress in admitting there is a problem. It is up to all of us to help fight the battle. For the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, preventing and reducing harms associated with substance use and abuse by youth is a priority.
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Column: Addiction Awareness Will Require All Of Us

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 08:00
North Bay Nugget, 18 Nov 2014 - This is National Addictions Awareness Week. That itself marks progress in admitting there is a problem. It is up to all of us to help fight the battle. For the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, preventing and reducing harms associated with substance use and abuse by youth is a priority.
Categories: Marijuana
Syndicate content