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Marijuana

CN BC: Judge Rules Against Seizures By Civil Forfeiture Office

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 09/16/2016 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 16 Sep 2016 - A judge has ruled that British Columbia's Civil Forfeiture Office cannot seize assets unless they are tied to unlawful activity, a decision that a lawyer in the case says is an important precedent. The case began in November, 2015, when the forfeiture office began an attempt to seize property from several people charged in an RCMP investigation into a marijuana trafficking network one month earlier. The office - a government agency that has been criticized for its aggressive attempts to seize homes, vehicles and cash connected to criminal offences, even from people who have not been convicted or charged - named six of the men who were charged as defendants in the civil-forfeiture case.
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Chronicle AM: DOD Could Become More Flexible on Marijuana, MI MedMJ Regs Pass, More... (9/15/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 09/15/2016 - 19:58

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter seems pretty mellow about marijuana, more workers are testing positive for illegal drugs, medical marijuana advances in Massachusetts, Michigan, and New Jersey, and more.

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

Defense Secretary Hints Pentagon Could Relax When It Comes to Hiring Marijuana Users. Responding to a hypothetical question at TechCrunch's Disrupt SF event on Tuesday, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said the military should be more flexible when it comes to hiring people who have used marijuana or other illicit drugs. When asked if he would be willing to hire someone who "[partook] in some goodies" at Burning Man when looking for engineers, Carter replied: "It depends on what the goodies are. It's a very good question and we are changing that, in recognition of the fact that times change and generations change and by the way, laws change as respect to marijuana. In that and many other ways, we need to, while protecting ourselves and doing the appropriate things to make sure that it's safe to entrust information with people, we need to understand  -- and we do -- the way people [and] lives have changed, not hold against them things that they've done when they were younger. It's an important question and the answer is yes, we can be flexible in that regard, and we need to," he concluded.

Nebraska Marijuana Activists Begin Working on 2018. Two separate initiative campaigns, one aimed at decriminalization and one aimed at legalization, are getting underway with an eye toward making the 2018 ballot. The decriminalization proposal started signature gathering last month; the legalization campaign is awaiting approval from the secretary of state's office to begin signature gathering.

Medical Marijuana

Massachusetts Moves to Ease Medical Marijuana Access. State regulators Wednesday released draft rules that would make it easier for patients to gain access to medical marijuana. The rules would allow nurse practitioners to certify patients for medical marijuana, allow dispensaries to post prices on their websites, and allow dispensaries to deliver to patients in nursing homes, hospices, and other health care facilities. "Our goal is safety, transparency, and access for patients who need this," said Dr. Monica Bharel, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, which oversees the state's medical marijuana program. "This is an evolving process," Bharel said, "both in Massachusetts and nationally." The proposed rules were presented to the Public Health Council, which will give final approval, but not before a public hearing expected this fall.

Michigan House Gives Final Approval to Medical Marijuana Regulation Package. The House voted Wednesday in concurrence with last week's Senate vote approving a series of bills that would create a regulatory framework for medical marijuana that explicitly allows for dispensaries to operate. It also creates a licensing system for patients, growers, and dispensaries and establishes a 3% tax on retail sales. The package of bills now goes to the desk of Gov. Rick Snyder (R), who is expected to sign it into law.

New Jersey Governor Signs Bill Adding PTSD as Qualifying Condition. Gov. Chris Christie (R) Wednesday signed into law Assembly Bill 457, which will allow people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to use medical marijuana. The bill passed the legislature overwhelmingly a month and a half ago.

Drug Testing

Quest Diagnostics, one of the country's largest drug testing laboratories, reports that the percentage of workers testing positive for illegal drugs has been increasing for the past three years after decades of decline. Some 4% of all 11 million drug tests came back positive. Positive tests results for marijuana have increased 26% since 2011 and account for almost half (45%) of all positives. But heroin positives jumped 146% in the same period.

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US: Drug Use Is On Rise Among Workers

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 09/15/2016 - 07:00
Wall Street Journal, 15 Sep 2016 - The share of U.S. workers testing positive for illicit drug use reached its highest level in a decade, according to data from millions of workplace drug tests administered by Quest Diagnostics Inc., one of the nation's largest medical-screening laboratories. Detection of illicit drugs-from marijuana to heroin to methamphetamine-increased slightly both for the general workforce and the "safety-sensitive" workforce, which includes millions of truck drivers, pilots, ship captains, subway engineers, and other transportation workers. Employers are required to test those individuals at random, as well as in specific situations such as after accidents occur.
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CN BC: OPED: Just Say No To City Pot Tax Grab

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 09/15/2016 - 07:00
Chilliwack Times, 15 Sep 2016 - City politicians, never shy about demanding more money from beleaguered taxpayers, are now trying to get a cut of future cannabis taxes. In last year's Liberal election platform, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to legalize marijuana, touting a "new system of strict marijuana sales and distribution, with appropriate federal and provincial excise taxes applied."
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CN ON: Warning Given To Pot Shop

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 09/15/2016 - 07:00
The Peterborough Examiner, 15 Sep 2016 - Lineups at city's first storefront marijuana store, even though police say it's illegal A new marijuana shop that has been swamped with customers since opening on George St. N. on Friday is operating illegally, say city police.
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CN ON: Ontario Urges Ottawa To Clear The Air On Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 09/15/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 15 Sep 2016 - Critics say slow approach to legalization is creating a Wild West atmosphere All three major provincial political party leaders agree that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau needs to clear the haze swirling around marijuana legalization.
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CN ON: Pot Shop Officer Gave Money To Team Run By Police Official

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 09/15/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 15 Sep 2016 - The Durham cop allowed by his force to co-own a controversial marijuana company gave thousands of dollars in sponsorship money to a soccer team run by the senior police official whose department vetted his pot shop ownership application. Chief administrative officer Stan MacLellan oversees Durham police's human resources unit, which handled the request from veteran Const. Phil Edgar to co-own Living On Inc., a medical weed shop located in Port Perry.
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CN ON: Days After Shutting Down, Oshawa Marijuana Dispensary Reopens

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 09/15/2016 - 07:00
Oshawa This Week, 15 Sep 2016 - DURHAM - Days after abruptly shuttering its doors, an Oshawa marijuana dispensary has reopened, in defiance of a warning from Durham police. The Emerald Triangle dispensary on Simcoe Street North has resumed operations because clients are in need and buying pot on the street isn't a safe alternative for them, said Irie Selkirk, a consultant who spoke on behalf of the dispensary's owners.
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Medical Marijuana Update

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 09/14/2016 - 20:51

As all eyes turn toward marijuana legalization initiatives looming in November, it's been pretty quiet on the medical marijuana front. At least there's good news from Michigan.

[image:1 align:left]Michigan

Last Thursday, the Senate passed an industry regulation bill allowing dispensaries. The state Senate Thursday passed a bill that would tax and regulate medical marijuana businesses and explicitly allow for dispensaries. The bill would set a 3% tax on dispensaries' gross retail income, require licensing to grow, process, transport, and sell medical marijuana, and explicitly allow for forms of medical marijuana that include infused, non-smokable forms of the herb. The House approved much of this package almost a year ago. Now, it goes to the desk of Gov. Rick Snyder (R).

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

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Chronicle AM: CA&MA Polls, Kratom Proponents Mobilize, Canada OKs Prescription Heroin; More... (9/14/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 09/14/2016 - 20:24

The polling is looking good in Massachusetts and better in California, there will be no initiative for Michigan this year, kratom proponents fight a proposed DEA ban, Canada gives the go-ahead for expanded heroin prescribing, and more.

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

Marijuana Could Be a $50 Billion a Year Industry Within a Decade. A new report from financial analysts Cowen & Company says the legal weed industry could grow to a $50 billion a year business by 2026. The report notes that legalizing pot in California alone could triple the size of the industry, currently around $6 billion a year.

California: LA Times Poll Has Prop 64 at 58%. The Prop 64 legalization initiative is supported by 58% of voters, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll. Only 34% said they would vote against the measure, with 8% undecided. "It's very clear that Californians' attitudes have changed dramatically on this issue over the last several years," said Dan Schnur, director of the poll and of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC. "The opposition is going to have to identify a fairly sizable source of campaign funding if this initiative is to be close," he added.

California: Eyewitness News/Southern California Newsgroup Poll Has Prop 64 at 52%. The Prop 64 legalization initiative has 52% in a new poll from Eyewitness News/Southern California Newsgroup. Some 40% said they would vote no, with 8% undecided.

Massachusetts Poll Has Legalization Initiative Up By Five Points. A new poll from WBUR TV has support for the Question 4 legalization initiative at 50%, with 45% opposed. "There's some big demographic splits, particularly along age lines," pollster Steve Koczela said. "Younger people are very much in favor of legalization, and it declines steadily as you move up the age brackets to where you get to voters who are 60-plus, and they're opposed to it by a 17-point margin."

Federal Judge Puts Final Nail in Coffin of Michigan Legalization Initiative. A federal court judge rejected a last chance effort by MI Legalize to get its legalization initiative on the November ballot. Judge Linda Parker Tuesday denied a motion from the group to stop the printing of election ballots, saying there was not enough time to stop the election process. MI Legalize gathered enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, but some of them came outside a 180-day mandated by state law. MI Legalize challenged rulings by state officials that knocked those signatures off the tally, but lost in the state courts -- and now, in federal court.

Kratom

Kratom Supporters Fight Proposed DEA Ban. Proponents of the Southeast Asian plant with mild opium-like qualities have mobilized to block the DEA proposed emergency move to place the substance on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. Hundreds marched in front of the White House Tuesday and more than 120,000 have signed a Change.org petition opposing the ban, meaning the White House will have to publicly address the issue.

International

Canada Has Approved Prescription Heroin. The Canadian government last week quietly approved new regulations that will allow doctors to prescribe diacetylmorphine (heroin) to long-term users who have not responded to more conventional approaches to weaning them from the drug. The Crosstown clinic in Vancouver is currently the only place in the country with a heroin maintenance program, but that should now not be the case for long.

British MPs Call for Medical Marijuana. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Policy Reform has called for medical marijuana to be legalized in the United Kingdom. The call comes on the heels of a report by neurologist Dr. Mike Barnes urging that marijuana be moved from Schedule I to Schedule IV on the British drugs classification scheme. "Many hundreds of thousands of people in the UK are already taking cannabis for primarily medical reasons," said MP Caroline Lucas, who co-chairs the group. "It is totally unacceptable that they should face the added stress of having to break the law to access their medicine."

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CN ON: New Store Sells Marijuana In Downtown Store

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 09/14/2016 - 07:00
Peterborough This Week, 14 Sep 2016 - Owner seems unworried about police Your local marijuana dealer is now downtown. Owner Richard Standen is selling bud to both recreational and medical users out of his newly opened store, Cannabis Culture. The store opened on George Street on Friday (Sept. 9). Standen says business has been non-stop.
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CN ON: Local Chambers Want Piece Of Pot Action

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 09/14/2016 - 07:00
The Intelligencer, 14 Sep 2016 - Local chambers are urging the provincial government to begin a consultative process aimed at developing a regulatory framework for the distribution of medical marijuana. Both the Belleville and District and the Quinte West chambers of commerce are standing behind a letter, authored by Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) President and CEO Allan O'Dette and directed to Premier Kathleen Wynne. on the issue of recreational marijuana.
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CN NS: Editorial: Pot Laws Need A Revamping

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 09/14/2016 - 07:00
Truro Daily News, 14 Sep 2016 - Dealing with reaction from the United States was always going to be one of the trickiest aspects of moving toward legalization of marijuana across Canada. The case of Matthew Harvey, which came to light this past week, underscores just how tricky it may get. And it shows that the federal government must lose no time in making sure that individual Canadians are not penalized as a result of misunderstandings between the two countries.
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CN NF: Editorial: Canadian Travelers Should Not Be Penalized By

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 09/13/2016 - 07:00
The Western Star, 13 Sep 2016 - Dealing with reaction from the United States was always going to be one of the trickiest aspects of moving towards legalization of marijuana across Canada. The case of Matthew Harvey, which came to light this past week, underscores just how tricky it may get. And it shows that the federal government must lose no time in making sure that individual Canadians are not penalized as a result of misunderstandings between the two countries.
Categories: Marijuana

CN AB: Police Welcome New Breathalyzer

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 09/13/2016 - 07:00
Metro, 13 Sep 2016 - Marijuana test to be in force's hands by early 2017: Developer The Calgary Police Service said they're encouraged by companies working on solutions to impaired driving by drugs - including a marijuana breathalyzer.
Categories: Marijuana

Canada: Letters, Parcels And Dime Bags? Union Calls Postal Plan

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 09/13/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 13 Sep 2016 - Canada Post report says agency obvious choice to ship your weed Could legalizing pot save Canada Post? Canadians looking to use recreational marijuana could help boost the post office's revenues and be part of the answer to its financial woes, a new report suggests.
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CN ON: Task Force Chief Says Go Slow On Reform

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 09/13/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 13 Sep 2016 - Anne McLellan says lessons from U.S. show changing laws will lead to some 'surprises' OTTAWA- Anne McLellan, leader of the federal task force on how to legalize pot, says it's critical that Canada "go slow" on reforming marijuana laws.
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Editorial: Take Another Look

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 09/13/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 13 Sep 2016 - With pot shops popping up across the country, you could forgive the public for being confused about the law governing them. But members of a police service should be clear on the law. That's especially true when their own force is distributing letters warning storefront pot dispensaries that what they're doing is illegal and police may take action against them if they don't shut down. That's because medical marijuana can be obtained only with a prescription via registered mail from one of 35 producers licensed by Health Canada, not from storefronts.
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Durham Board Keeps Mum On Pot Business

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 09/13/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 13 Sep 2016 - Civilian oversight panel goes behind closed doors to discuss how cop was allowed to own pot shop Durham police's civilian oversight board discussed how an active officer was allowed to co-own an unlicensed medical marijuana shop that offers customers drug products that are illegal to sell.
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Chronicle AM: MA Init Gets Big Bucks, Chicago's West Side is Heroin "Epicenter", More... (9/12/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 09/12/2016 - 20:50

The California legalization campaign heats up, the Massachusetts legalization campaign is sitting pretty with lots of cash, a North Carolina town becomes the first in the South to adopt Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) for drug users, and more.

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

California Legalization Supporters File Complaint Against Opposition Committee. Diane Goldstein, one of the proponents for the Prop 64 legalization initiative, filed a complaint last Friday against Smart Approaches to Marijuana Action, the lobbying and campaign arm of the prohibitionist Project SAM. The complaint claims the committee misreported donations, failed to file contribution reports, and left some contribution reports incomplete, including one for Pennsylvania millionaire Julie Schauer, who gave $1.3 million the opposition.

California Highway Patrol Says It Is Neutral on Legalization Initiative. The state Highway Patrol last Friday clarified that it has not taken a position on the Prop 64 legalization initiative. The move comes after the head of the California Association of Highway Patrolmen criticized the measure for not setting a legal driving limit for the amount of THC in drivers' blood. CHP provided technical assistance to the measure's authors and is involved in implementing medical marijuana regulations signed into law last year.

Massachusetts Legalization Initiative Getting Big Bucks Backing. Supporters of the Question 4 legalization initiative have taken in more than $2.4 million since January, most of it from the New Approach PAC, a group based in Washington, DC, that is led by Graham Boyd. Groups opposing Question 4 have only raised less than $400,000, giving supporters a six-to-one funding advantage.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Report Names Chicago's West Side as "Epicenter" of State's Heroin Crisis. A new report from Roosevelt University, Hidden in Plain Sight, examines heroin arrests, hospitalizations, and deaths on the city's West Side and finds that the area accounts for one out of four hospitalizations for overdoses in the entire state. The response to rising heroin use has focused on enforcement, not treatment, said report coauthor Kathy Kane Willis. "Incarceration or arrest is an extremely ineffective and expensive way to treat a health crisis like this. We cannot arrest our way out of this problem," she said. In response to the report, state Rep. La Shawn K. Ford (D-Chicago) has launched the West Side Heroin Task Force to help find evidence-based solutions to the problem.

Law Enforcement

Fayetteville, NC, Starts First Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Program in the South. This month the Fayetteville Police Department and a number of partners, including the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition (NCHRC), are launching a new program to divert low-level drug and sex work (prostitution) offenders to treatment instead of jail. Currently, Fayetteville faces one of the highest rates of opioid abuse in the nation. Last year alone over 500 people were arrested for drug possession in the city. Under the new law enforcement assisted diversion program (LEAD) launched this month, police officers will be able to divert eligible citizens (people with under 4 grams of drugs, no violent record, etc) to treatment providers and social services instead of funneling them through the criminal justice system, where often the cases are thrown out or people serve minimal jail time and wind up back on the streets.

International

Rampant Meth Use is Driving Asia's Drug War. The Philippines isn't the only country in the region waging a deadly "war on drugs." In Thailand and Myanmar, drug users are sentenced to long prison terms, while Indonesia has declared a "narcotics emergency" and resumed the execution of drug convicts. But that tough response is only likely to make things worse, experts said.

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