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Chronicle AM: Supreme Court Nixes Roadside Waits for Drug Dogs, DEA Head to Resign, More (4/21/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 22:53

The DEA head is on her way out, the Supreme Court rules on making motorists wait for drug dogs to arrive, Indiana's governor extends an emergency needle exchange, a new report on asset forfeiture abuses in California is out, and more.

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

Washington State Legal Pot Price Declines to $12 a Gram. Pot prices averaged nearly $30 a gram—well above black market prices—when the state's first marijuana retail outlets opened, but that has changed dramatically, according to the State Liquor Control Board. Now, the average retail price of a gram is about $12, as supply expands to meet demand. That's still $336 an ounce, though.

Medical Marijuana

Wyoming Medical Marijuana Initiative Getting Underway. Activists with Wyoming NORML submitted their initiative application with the secretary of state's office Monday. If and when the application is approved, organizers will have until next February to gather 25,673 valid voter signatures to place it on the 2016 general election ballot. A recent poll had support for marijuana at 72% in the Cowboy State.

Asset Forfeiture

New Report Details California Asset Forfeiture Abuses. The Drug Policy Alliance today released a new report, Above the Law: An Investigation of Civil Asset Forfeiture Abuses in California, a multi-year, comprehensive look at asset forfeiture abuses in the state that reveals the troubling extent to which law enforcement agencies have violated state and federal law. The report finds that a handful of LA County cities lead the state in per capita seizures, that some departments rely on asset forfeiture for funding themselves, and that some departments were providing false or incomplete reports to the Justice Department.

Drug Testing

Indiana Welfare Drug Testing Bill Dead. The legislator who unexpectedly proposed adding a welfare drug testing proposal to a social services spending bill has withdrawn it after learning how few people would be tested and how little support there is for it. Rep. Terry Goodin (D-Crawfordsville) said today he would instead seek a study committee to examine how best to fight drug abuse.

Florida Governor Settles on State Employee Drug Testing. Gov. Rick Scott (R) has formally given up on his effort to subject state employees to random, suspicionless drug testing. He reached an agreement Monday with the employees' union that will only allow drug testing in a relative handful of safety-sensitive positions. Of the 1,400 job classifications Scott originally wanted covered, only 267 will be covered.

Harm Reduction

Indiana Governor Extends Emergency Needle Exchange Program. Gov. Mike Pence (R) Monday extended an emergency needle exchange program in Scott County for another 30 days in a bid to get a handle on an injection drug-related HIV outbreak there. The move comes as the legislature heard testimony supporting a bill that would allow similar exchanges elsewhere in the state.

Law Enforcement

DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart Set to Resign. DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart is expected to resign soon, a unnamed "senior administration official" told CBS News this morning. The embattled DEA head has been under fire for years over her leadership of the scandal-ridden agency, but it was her performance at a Capitol Hill hearing last week that sealed her fate. Click on the link to read our feature story on this.

Supreme Court Says Detaining Motorists to Wait for Drug Dogs to Arrive is Not OK. In a 6-3 decision today, the US Supreme Court held that detaining motorists on the side of the highway to await the arrival of a drug dog violates the Fourth Amendment's proscription against unlawful searches and seizures. Writing for the majority, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted that police may request drivers licenses, vehicle registrations, proof of insurance, and check for outstanding warrants because all those investigatory actions are aimed at enforcing traffic laws and ensuring that vehicles are operating safely—the ostensible reason for the stops. "A dog sniff, unlike those stock inquiries, lacks the same tie to roadway safety," she said. Prolonging the stop, even for a few minutes, to allow for the arrival of a drug dog was improper, Ginsburg wrote. "A traffic stop becomes unlawful if prolonged beyond the time in fact needed to complete all traffic-based inquiries," Ginsburg said. Click on the link to read our newsbrief and view the ruling itself.

International

Mexicans Capture Gulf Cartel Leader. Mexican authorities confirmed over the weekend that they had captured Jose Tiburcio Hernandez Fuentes, who they described as a Gulf Cartel leader responsible for much of the recent violence in the border city of Reynosa. He was caught despite a shootout between Mexican soldiers and police and around 60 cartel gunmen who tried to rescue him. The Mexicans caught a key Juarez Cartel leader just a day earlier. 

Categories: Marijuana

CN BC: Olympic Star Rebagliati Calls For Pot To Be An Issue In Election

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 07:00
The Record, 21 Apr 2015 - VANCOUVER - On his average day, athlete Ross Rebagliati rises about 4:30 a.m., brews himself a cup of coffee and then stirs in the ingredient he considers most crucial: honey infused with cannabis. "I just wake up feeling great, looking forward to my workout. And it takes care of any aches and pains from the days before," he said Tuesday, before adding the medical-grade marijuana extract doesn't make him high.
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CN ON: Arrest Irks Pot Advocates

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 07:00
London Free Press, 21 Apr 2015 - London police get tongue lashing for enforcing law Activists jeered police officers as they arrested a man at a pro-marijuana demonstration Monday in Victoria Park. Around 75 people gathered at the park for the annual 420 rally, an international day celebrating cannabis culture and advocating for the drug to be legalized.
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CN BC: Editorial: Pot Gains Support On The Right

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 07:00
The Daily Courier, 21 Apr 2015 - Marijuana legalization isn't just an idea for potheads, dreamers and old hippies anymore. Respectable people are jumping on the legalization bandwagon, too, with the latest group creating waves in the nation's capital last week.
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CN ON: Demonstrators Hope Softened Stance On Marijuana Leads To Legalization

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 07:00
The Record, 21 Apr 2015 - KITCHENER - It's getting harder to justify any law criminalizing marijuana use given successful legalization efforts in certain U.S. states and private medical growers operating in Canada, demonstrators at a Kitchener 4/20 demonstration said Monday. "It should be like any other healthcare product," organizer Jeff Morrison said. "Most people agree now that we do need steps (to legalize marijuana)."
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: 420 Protest Turns Into Event

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 07:00
The Peterborough Examiner, 21 Apr 2015 - Information booths set up in Victoria Park to promote legalization of marijuana, medical marijuana awareness Peterborough's annual 420 Cannabis Awareness Event has come quite a ways since it started six years ago.
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CN BC: 420 Event High On Fed Liberal Vote

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 07:00
Vancouver 24hours, 21 Apr 2015 - Justin Trudeau's face featured prominently at Vancouver event Thousands of activists and enthusiasts gathered in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery for the annual 420 rally to protest prohibition against pot and celebrate their love for marijuana.
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CN ON: Marijuana-Smoking Marchers Rally At City Hall

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 07:00
Hamilton Spectator, 21 Apr 2015 - It's 420 =C2=85 time to smoke and protest country's pot laws Clouds covered both sky and ground at City Hall as hundreds turned out for Hamilton's 420 pot rally. A cold and wet Monday didn't stop supporters of legalization from voicing their displeasure with federal marijuana legislation.
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CN NS: Halifax Pot Lovers Celebrate 4/20 With Prohibition Party

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 07:00
Metro, 21 Apr 2015 - Club hopes pro-cannabis event will help legalization At High Life Social Club in Halifax, they "celebrate cannabis every day," said owner Chris Henderson. Pot enthusiasts helped take that celebration one step higher Monday at the club's inaugural prohibition party.
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Chronicle AM: Obama on MedMJ; Chicago, NYC Drug Policy Reform Moves, CA Legalization Funds Begin to Flow, More (4/20/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 22:33

The president suggests he could get behind congressional medical marijuana efforts, a second California legalization initiative has been filed, Weedmaps puts up $2 million for legalization, two of the nation's largest cities are moving toward drug reform, and more. 

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

Alaska Marijuana Control Board Bill Passes. The state Senate last Saturday approved House Bill 123, which would create a Marijuana Control Board. It had already passed the House, but now needs to go back for a concurrence vote after the Senate made changes in the bill. But House Bill 75, which would allow for municipal regulation got stalled on a tie vote. Senate Majority Leader John Coghill (R-North Pole) has asked that the bill be held for reconsideration, and the Senate will again take it up before the session ends.

Weedmaps Kicks In $2 Million for California Legalization Efforts. The marijuana store locator app company has donated $1 million to Californians for Sensible Reform, a campaign committee that says it will back the strongest legalization initiative next year. And it's matched that with another $1 million to Californians for Sensible Reform PAC, which says it will support marijuana-friendly candidates.

Second California Legalization Initiative Filed. Proponents of an open-source legalization initiative, the Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act of 2016 (MCLR), filed the effort with state officials in Sacramento today. The effort is being spearheaded by Americans for Policy Reform, which includes San Jose dispensary operator Dave Hodges and Sebastopol marijuana attorney Omar Figueroa, among others. Figueroa is also one of two proponents for another legalization initiative, the California Craft Cannabis Act, filed last week. More proposed initiatives are expected to follow. The recommended deadline for beginning signature-gathering is in early July. Stay tuned.

Medical Marijuana

Obama Suggests Support for Senate Medical Marijuana Bill. In an interview aired Sunday night on CNN's Weed 3 special with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Gupta asked the president if he would get behind the CARERS Act, which would reschedule marijuana and allow states with medical marijuana laws to proceed without threat of federal punishment. "You know, I think I’d have to take a look at the details," Obama replied, "but I’m on record as saying that not only do I think carefully prescribed medical use of marijuana may  in fact be appropriate and we should follow the science as opposed to ideology on this issue, but I’m also on record as saying that the more we treat some of these issues related to drug abuse from a public health model and not just from an incarceration model, the better off we’re going to be."

Asset Forfeiture

Wyoming Legislative Committee Studies Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform. Gov. Matt Mead (R) vetoed an asset forfeiture reform bill earlier this year, but the legislature isn't giving up. The Joint Judiciary Committee met in Riverton last week and has directed staff to draft bills for next year's legislative session.

Drug Policy

Chicago Prosecutor Will Stop Prosecuting Simple Drug Possession. Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said today she intends to quit prosecuting people arrested for simple drug possession and instead link them to social agencies "for treatment rather than pursuing criminal penalties." Those drug possession felonies accounted for one-quarter of all felonies in the county last year. She also said she is not going to bother to prosecute misdemeanor marijuana possession cases, either.

New York City Legislation Would Create New Office of Drug Strategy. A proposal just offered by New York City council members would create the new office to coordinate official, expert, and community responses to drug use. It would enhance evidence-based drug education and public health interventions and simplify access to medical, social, and psychological services to drug users seeking help. The idea is to reduce the morbidity, mortality, crime, and racial disparities in law enforcement created by a one-sided law enforcement approach to the issue.

Harm Reduction

Indiana Governor Signs Bill to Ease Access to Overdose Reversal Drug. Last Friday, Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed into law SEA 406, which allows family members and friends of drug users to obtain the opiate overdose reversal drug naloxone. Previously, only health professionals could administer the drug.

International

Two More Big Australian States Announce Medical Marijuana Trials. Victoria and Queensland have now joined New South Wales in a clinical trial for medical marijuana. The three most populous states will hold clinical trials of cannabis oil for the treatment of chemotherapy-related nausea, severe epilepsy, and in palliative care.

Mexico Captures Top Juarez Cartel Leader. Federal troops last Friday captured Juarez Cartel head Jesus Aguayo in the town of Villa Ahumada in Chihuahua state. Aguayo took over leadership of the organization after authorities captured his predecessor, Vicente Carillo in October. 

Categories: Marijuana

Australia: Family Backs Cannabis Trial

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 07:00
Geelong Advertiser, 20 Apr 2015 - THE family of a four-year-old boy has welcomed news the Victorian Government plans to fund a medicinal cannabis trial for people suffering terminal or life-threatening illnesses. Nationally recognised as one of the most controversial cases surrounding the use of the drug, epileptic Cooper Wallace's family stood tall during yesterday's announcement at Treasury Place.
Categories: Marijuana

Australia: Cannabis Trial Could Require New Laws

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 07:00
The Courier-Mail, 20 Apr 2015 - THE State Government is still determining whether a legislative change will be needed for Queensland to take part in medicinal cannabis trials. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday announced Queensland would work with the NSW Government in trialling the medicinal use of cannabis.
Categories: Marijuana

Australia: Let Us Be The First To Try

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 07:00
Cairns Post, 20 Apr 2015 - Premier swayed on cannabis trial by epileptics A CAIRNS mum whose two daughters suffer from a rare and painful disease wants them to be among the first patients involved in Queensland's medical cannabis trials
Categories: Marijuana

Australia: Joy At Medical Cannabis Move

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 07:00
Herald Sun, 20 Apr 2015 - THE family of a four-year-old boy has welcomed news that the State Government plans to fund the use of medicinal cannabis in a trial for people suffering terminal or life-threatening illnesses. Nationally recognised as one of the most controversial cases surrounding the use of the drug, young epileptic Cooper Wallace, with his family, stood tall in light of the announcement.
Categories: Marijuana

US IL: Low-level Pot Offenders In Rock River Valley Offered Treatment

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 07:00
The Journal Standard, 20 Apr 2015 - FREEPORT - While the Cook County state's attorney announced Monday that her office won't prosecute most misdemeanor marijuana cases, there's no such policy shift on the horizon for local prosecutors. State's attorneys in Winnebago, Boone and Stephenson counties said they will continue to offer programs already in place for low-level pot offenders.
Categories: Marijuana

US IL: A 'Good Day' For Lawyer Who Fought Against Drug War

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 07:00
Chicago Tribune, 20 Apr 2015 - Would Al Capone have loved drug prohibition? This man thinks so James Gierach sounded almost giddy when I telephoned him Monday to get his reaction to Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez's announcement that she would no longer prosecute misdemeanor marijuana cases and would refer non-violent felony drug offenders for treatment.
Categories: Marijuana

CN BC: Boost Access To Medical Pot: Study

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 07:00
Vancouver 24hours, 20 Apr 2015 - University of B.C. researcher wants to know how to make it easier for those who need medical marijuana to obtain their medicine Research out of the University of B.C. is examining new and old ways people are getting their hands on marijuana in an era loaded with legal and illegal ways to get the bud.
Categories: Marijuana

Australia: State Joins Medical Trials Of Cannabis

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 07:00
Fraser Coast Chronicle, 20 Apr 2015 - Medicinal marijuana to be tested AN ADVOCATE for the legalisation of medicinal cannabis has welcomed Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's announcement the state will be part of scientific trials of the treatment for cancer, epilepsy and end-of-life patients.
Categories: Marijuana

UK: They Won't Arrest Us All!

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 04/19/2015 - 07:00
The Mail on Sunday, 19 Apr 2015 - Astonishing claim of the arrogant cannabis campaigners who intend to light up in public THOUSANDS of illegal drug users plan to flout the law by smoking cannabis in public tomorrow. Activists who want the Class-B substance legalised will taunt police by lighting up at the 'Cannabis Celebration' in Glasgow's George Square - claiming 'they can't arrest us all'.
Categories: Marijuana

US OK: Legal Marijuana Could Be Coming To Oklahoma A On Tribal-Owned

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 04/19/2015 - 07:00
The Oklahoman, 19 Apr 2015 - While the picture is still blurry, legal marijuana could be coming to Indian country in Oklahoma. Such a possibility may seem far-fetched, but recent policy pronouncements by the U.S. Department of Justice are making the once unthinkable a real possibility. While marijuana is still illegal in all of its forms in Oklahoma, more than 20 states have legalized it for either medical or recreational use. Nonetheless, it is still illegal in all states under federal law to manufacture, distribute or dispense marijuana.
Categories: Marijuana
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