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Marijuana

US CA: Column: What's Your Brand?

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 07:00
Sacramento News & Review, 02 Apr 2015 - I thoroughly enjoy your column. It's the first page I read. You are a well of information. I like the sativas. Could you suggest some strains that have the highest percentage of this and what dispensaries have them? Thanks. - -CM
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US CA: Column: Save The Date

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 07:00
North Coast Journal, 02 Apr 2015 - Arcata has backed down from its 4/20 crackdown, granting a picnic permit to the Humboldt Center for Constitutional Rights, which had raised a stink over the police department's shutdown of Redwood Park on the lofty counterculture holiday. In the late 2000s, pipe-bearing revelers converged at the grassy entrance to Arcata's Community Forest, forming an unofficial celebration that vexed cops and groundskeepers.
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US PA: Shakedown From 19th Floor Alleged

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 07:00
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 02 Apr 2015 - At Drug Officers' Trial, a Dealer Tells of Some Scary Moments on His Penthouse Balcony. With a burly police officer on each of his handcuffed arms and a 19-story drop below him from his penthouse apartment balcony, drug dealer Michael Cascioli was asked a troubling question.
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US CO: In Colorado, Marijuana Taxes May Have to Be Passed Back

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 07:00
New York Times, 02 Apr 2015 - DENVER - In the State Capitol, they are calling it Refund Madness. A year after Colorado became the first state to allow recreational marijuana sales, millions of tax dollars are rolling in, dedicated to funding school construction, marijuana education campaigns and armies of marijuana inspectors and regulators. But a legal snarl may force the state to hand that money back to marijuana consumers, growers and the public - and lawmakers do not want to.
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US NY: Editorial: President Obama's Letter To 22 Prisoners

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 07:00
New York Times, 02 Apr 2015 - On Tuesday, 22 people serving sentences of decades or life for nonviolent drug crimes in federal prisons across the country received a personal letter from President Obama, commuting their sentences and ordering their release in late July. Each had applied to Mr. Obama for clemency - a power the Constitution unreservedly grants the president as a way to correct injustices or offer forgiveness, but which has fallen into near-total disuse in recent decades. Before Tuesday, Mr. Obama ranked as the least merciful president in modern history.
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US: Republicans On Edge Of Campaigns Waver On Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 07:00
Washington Times, 02 Apr 2015 - Stay United Against Obama's Policy Republican presidential hopefuls are united in blasting President Obama for his chaotic enforcement of marijuana laws, but the unity quickly breaks down when they are asked how they would handle things if they were in the White House.
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Medical Marijuana Update

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 04/01/2015 - 21:39

A federal CBD bill is filed, the federal medical marijuana bill picks up more sponsors, and bills are moving (or dying) in a number of state. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]National

Last Thursday, a federal CBD bill was filed. Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) filed HR 1635, which would amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude cannabidiol (CDB) and CBD-rich marijuana plants from the definition of marijuana under the act.

As of Tuesday, the House CARERS Act had eight cosponsors. The House version of the federal bill to allow states to move forward on medical marijuana without federal interference is accumulating cosponsors. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) introduced it a week ago today, and it now has seven more cosponsors. Click on the link to see who they are.

California

Last Thursday, the Fresno city council voted to allow residents to grow up to four plants. The move would be a step forward for the city, which last year banned all cultivation within the city limits. The council will take a second and final vote on the measure in coming weeks.

Also last Thursday, four Yuba county medical marijuana growers sued the county over its new, restrictive medical marijuana cultivation ordinance. The ordinance allows only for up to 12 plants to be grown inside a structure -- but not a residence -- and no outdoor grows.

Last Friday, a raided El Dorado County dispensary operator sued the county to recover marijuana and financial and medical records seized during a sheriff's department raid last November. The Pure Life Cannabis Collective has been closed since the raid. The lawsuit charges that the dispensary was legitimate and the raid was not.

Florida

Last Friday, more delays came for the state's CBD medical marijuana program. A Central Florida grower and a South Florida trade association are the latest to file legal challenges to the state Health Department's rules for the program. The program envisions only five growers, and the competition is vicious. Now, there are three active legal challenges, which means the department cannot proceed with the program until they are resolved. This is after an earlier delay caused by an earlier legal challenge.

On Tuesday, an expanded CBD medical marijuana bill won a committee vote. The Senate Health Policy Committee approved a bill that would expand the list of qualifying conditions for the use of CBD cannabis oil, quadruple the number of dispensing organizations to 20, and establish a time frame for issuing licenses.

Georgia

Last Wednesday, a CBD medical marijuana bill passed the legislature. The House gave final approval to House Bill 1, which would allow patients with eight specified diseases to use CBD cannabis oil. Gov. Nathan Deal (R) said today he will sign the bill.

Last Friday, Gov. Deal signed an executive order to speed expedite the new law. Gov. Nathan Deal (R) signed the order to speed up the enactment of House Bill 1, which has passed both houses of the legislature. The bill provides immunity from prosecution for CBD patients who register with the state. Deal said he would sign the bill at the end of the legislative session.

Hawaii

Last Wednesday, a dispensary bill won a pair of committee votes. The Senate Public Health and Public Safety committees have approved House Bill 321, which would create dispensaries and production centers in each county in the state. They also amended the bill to speed up the opening of dispensaries, which would now be set for next year.

Idaho

On Monday, the governor's office pushed back against a CBD cannabis oil bill. Gov. "Butch" Otter (R) sent his drug policy point-man to the capitol today to speak out against Senate Bill 1146, which would provide an affirmative defense for parents of children using low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oil to treat severe seizures. Elisha Figueroa, head of the Idaho Office of Drug Policy, warned that "Idaho will be violating federal law if this bill passes." Fourteen other Republican-controlled legislatures have passed similar laws, but they're all violating federal law, too, he said. Figueroa is pushing for a different bill, Senate Bill 1156, which would set up a special program to run trials on a GW Pharma CBD product called Epidiolex.

On Tuesday, the bill was killed in committee. The House State Affairs Committee listened to hours of tearful testimony from supporters of Senate Bill 1146, which would allow for the use of CBD cannabis oil to treat epileptic seizures in children, then voted to kill it Monday.

Iowa

Last Wednesday, a medical marijuana bill won a committee vote. The Senate Ways and Means Committee approved Senate Study Bill 1243, which would allow patients with a number of specified medical conditions to use medical marijuana -- but not to smoke it.

Missouri

On Monday, a medical marijuana bill won a committee vote. The House Select Committee on General Laws approved House Bill 800, which would allow for the use of medical marijuana for a handful of specified diseases. It would also allow for up to 30 dispensaries.

New Jersey

Last Thursday, the Assembly approved a trio of medical marijuana bills. Legislators in Trenton Thursday approved adding PTSD to the list of qualifying diseases, and then some. They also approved ACR 224, which would undo the Christie rule that doctors who recommend medical marijuana must be publicly listed and A 4286, which allows dispensaries to share surpluses. The bills now go to the state Senate.

New York

On Wednesday, the state issued final regulations for the medical marijuana program and advocates were not happy. The state has issued final regulations for the program, and they are very similar to the heavily-criticized draft regulations it started out with several months ago. The regs limit the number of dispensaries to 20 and don't add any new qualifying conditions. Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan), the law's sponsor, said the final regs are needlessly restrictive and "gratuitously cruel."

North Carolina

Last Wednesday, a medical marijuana bill was killed in committee. After an intense hour-long hearing, the House Judiciary Committee voted to kill a medical marijuana bill, House Bill 78. Some supporters of the bill vowed to move to other states, while one Republican foe of the bill, Rep. Dan Arp, complained he was struck in the back by an angry supporter. The man was detained by police, but later released without charges.

Tennessee

On Tuesday, a medical marijuana bill won a committee vote. The House Health Subcommittee unanimously approved a bill sponsored by Rep. Ryan Williams (R-Cookville). The measure, which would not allow for the smoking of marijuana, now goes to the full House Health Committee.

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

Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Holder Takes on Forfeiture Again, NY Medical Marijuana Final Rules, More (4/1/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 04/01/2015 - 20:42

It's mainly medical marijuana news today, but there's also another move on asset forfeiture from Attorney General Holder.

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

Florida CBD Medical Marijuana Bill Wins Committee Vote. The Senate Health Policy Committee approved a bill that would expand the list of qualifying conditions for the use of CBD cannabis oil, quadruple the number of dispensing organizations to 20, and establishe a time frame for issuing licenses.

Idaho CBD Cannabis Oil Bill Killed in Committee. The House State Affairs Committee listened to hours of tearful testimony from supporters of Senate Bill 1146, which would allow for the use of CBD cannabis oil to treat epileptic seizures in children, then voted to kill it Monday.

Missouri Medical Marijuana Bill Moves. The House Select Committee on General Laws has approved House Bill 800, which would allow for the use of medical marijuana for a handful of specified diseases. It would also allow for up to 30 dispensaries.

New York Issues Final Regulations for Medical Marijuana Program; Advocates Upset. The state has issued final regulations for the program, and they are very similar to the heavily-criticized draft regulations it started out with several months ago. The regs limit the number of dispensaries to 20 and don't add any new qualifying conditions. Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan), the law's sponsor, said the final regs are needlessly restrictive and "gratuitously cruel."

Tennessee Medical Marijuana Bill Moves. The House Health Subcommittee unanimously approved Tuesday a medical marijuana bill sponsored by Rep. Ryan Williams (R-Cookville). The measure, which would not allow for the smoking of marijuana, now goes to the full House Health Committee.

Asset Forfeiture

Attorney General Holder Announces New Curbs on Civil Asset Forfeiture. Federal authorities will only seize bank accounts when serious illegalities have been documented, he said Tuesday. The guidance focuses on Justice Department and IRS agents who have made seizures related to "structuring," or intentionally limiting the size of deposits to avoid scrutiny. "With this new policy, the Department of Justice is taking action to ensure that we are allocating our resources to address the most serious offenses," Holder said in a statement. "Appropriate use of asset forfeiture law allows the Justice Department to safeguard the integrity, security and stability of our nation's financial system while protecting the civil liberties of all Americans."

Categories: Marijuana

CN BC: More B.C. Drivers Using Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 04/01/2015 - 07:00
Vancouver 24hours, 01 Apr 2015 - Research finds more drivers are under the influence of cannabis on B.C. roads More B.C. drivers are behind the wheel while under the influence of cannabis. An article in the April issue of the BC Medical Journal points to a recently-released 2012 study that found cannabis in 5.4% of drivers, compared to 4.6% in 2008.
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US PA: Witness: Officers Robbed Me

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 04/01/2015 - 07:00
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 01 Apr 2015 - Testimony Begins in Trial of Six Phila. Narcotics Cops Accused of Racketeering. A Main Line prep-school assistant basketball coach told a federal jury Tuesday that Philadelphia narcotics officers robbed him blind during a 2007 search of his City Avenue apartment.
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US CO: Column: New Study Shows Marijuana Arrests Unequal

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 04/01/2015 - 07:00
Colorado Springs Independent, 01 Apr 2015 - Arrests drop, favor whites Last week, the New York City-based Drug Policy Alliance released a 17-page report titled "Marijuana Arrests in Colorado After the Passage of Amendment 64" (tiny.cc/w6mbwx), which shows the amendment's implementation has predictably gutted the rate of marijuana arrests since 2010. Statewide, arrests for possession, cultivation and distribution have dropped almost 95 percent. However, arrests are still disproportionately high for black Coloradans, as they were before legalization.
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US WA: Column: Pot For Pets

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 04/01/2015 - 07:00
Seattle Weekly, 01 Apr 2015 - Can weed give our furry companions happier lives and more peaceful deaths? Remember the right-wing homophobes who claimed that if we allowed gays to get married, pretty soon people would begin marrying their pets? Well, now, the damn hippies who voted to legalize the wacky weed are indeed trying to get their dogs and cats stoned! Hooked on the hound hemp! The kitty chronic!?
Categories: Marijuana

US VA: Column: How To Kill Someone And Get Away With It

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 04/01/2015 - 07:00
Richmond Times-Dispatch, 01 Apr 2015 - The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, once considered one of the most conservative in the country, has moved to the left in recent years. But if you think that means it is showing a greater regard for individual rights and civil liberties, think again. According to a ruling the court handed down on March 13, the appropriate range of punishments for possessing a small amount of marijuana includes summary execution. In 2005 (the wheels of justice can grind exceedingly slowly) the police in Cambridge, Md., acted on a tip and found a small amount of marijuana residue in a trash can. At 4:30 a.m. on May 6, a SWAT team executed a search warrant on the apartment of Andrew Cornish. A jury would later find the commandos failed to knock and announce themselves properly. As they rushed through the apartment, Cornish came out of the bedroom with a sheathed knife in his hand. The police say he advanced on them. One of the officers shot Cornish twice in the head, killing him.
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Australia: Mother of Medical Marijuana Crusader Slams

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 04/01/2015 - 07:00
Sydney Morning Herald, 01 Apr 2015 - Lucy Haslam, the mother of the late-medical marijuana campaigner, Dan, has criticised the state government for moving too slowly to provide access to the drug to the ill. Ms Haslam, whose son died in February, five years after being diagnosed with cancer, testified before a federal Senate inquiry held at the NSW parliament on Tuesday.
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US CA: Editorial: No More Half-Baked Pot Votes

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 04/01/2015 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 01 Apr 2015 - Californians are almost certainly going to vote in 2016 on a ballot measure to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use. And according to the most recent polls, a majority of voters now support that goal. But general, theoretical support may not be enough. If legalization proponents are serious about passing a ballot initiative, they'd better be sure they put forward a comprehensive, well-thought-out proposal that addresses the complex legal, societal and safety issues involved.
Categories: Marijuana

US NM: SF Police Use Tougher Pot Penalties

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 04/01/2015 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 01 Apr 2015 - City Ordinance to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession Is Ignored SANTA FE - Last summer, the Santa Fe City Council took action to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, making it a civil nuisance violation under city law as opposed to a criminal charge under a coexisting state statute.
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US DC: Obama Commutes Sentences Of 22 Drug Offenders

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 04/01/2015 - 07:00
Washington Post, 01 Apr 2015 - Prison Terms Were Set Under Guidelines Now Deemed Too Harsh President Obama on Tuesday commuted the sentences of 22 drug offenders, the largest batch of prisoners to be granted early release under his administration as it steps up an overhaul of the nation's criminal justice system.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: AK Pot Bill Advances, Obama Commutes Drug Sentences, Brit Drug Spat, More (3/31/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 03/31/2015 - 22:20

There will still be marijuana felonies under a bill moving in Alaska, North Dakota has a new hemp law, an Arkansas welfare drug test bill heads to the governor's desk, Obama commutes sentences, and more.

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

Alaska Senate Passes Marijuana Bill -- Without Ban on Concentrates. The Senate voted Monday night to approve SB 30, the bill designed to update the state's criminal code to reflect marijuana's legalized status. The bill was approved 17-3 after an amendment to make concentrates illegal in two years was defeated. It continues to list pot as a controlled substance and has provisions making it a felony to possess more than a pound or to grow more than 25 plants. It also bans pot businesses in unorganized boroughs.

Another Maine Legalization Bill Filed. Rep. Mark Dion (D-Portland) has filed a bill to allow adults 21 and over to use marijuana, regulate commercial sales, and tax them at 15%. The bill is still being drafted and is not yet available on the legislative web site. Rep. Diane Russell (D-Portland) has also filed a legalization bill, but its language isn't completed yet, either. There are also two separate legalization initiative campaigns brewing the in the state.

Hemp

North Dakota Governor Signs Hemp Bill Telling Feds to Butt Out. Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) last Friday signed House Bill 1436, which allows farmers to apply to grow the crop for either research or commercial purposes. The bill says that "license required by this section is not conditioned on or subject to review or approval by the United States drug enforcement agency," a direct jab at the DEA. Instead, licensing will be up to the state agriculture department.

Drug Testing

Arkansas Legislature Passes "Suspicion Based" Welfare Drug Testing Bill. The House Monday approved Senate Bill 600, which would set up a two-year pilot program for "suspicion based" drug screening and testing of public benefits applicants. The Senate, which had already approved it, gave it a final approval today, and the bill now heads to the governor's desk.

Harm Reduction

Indiana Needle Exchange Bill Wins House Committee Vote. The House Public Health Committee Monday approved a bill to allow needle exchanges in the 23 counties in the state with the highest rates of hepatitis C infections. The bill actually addresses an HIV outbreak in southeastern Scott County, where Gov. Mike Pence (R) days ago issued an executive order allowing for emergency needle exchanges. The bill now goes to the House floor.

Law Enforcement

Maine Governor Slams Foes As "Weak on Drugs." Faced with legislative skepticism over his proposals to beef up the state's drug enforcement apparatus, Tea Party Republican Gov. Paul LePage has come out swinging. "They are weak on drugs," LePage told reporters, describing the legislators. "They simply don't want to deal with the problem. Frankly, they shouldn't be in this hall, they shouldn't be in this building if they can't take care of our children. And the gloves are off now."

Sentencing

Obama Commutes Sentences of 22 Drug Offenders. The president today doubled the number of drug sentence commutations he has issued in one fell swoop by cutting sentences for 22 drug offenders, mostly crack cocaine offenders and mostly doing sentences of 20 years or more. Eight were doing life sentences for drug offenses, including one doing life for growing pot plants.

International

Spanish Cannabis Club Wins Acquittal. The provincial court in Vizcaya has acquitted five people accused of violating Spanish law by forming a club to grow and consume marijuana. The members of the Pannagh collective were charged with drug trafficking and "criminal organization," but in a victory for cannabis advocates, the court held that Pannagh acted within the limits of the concept of "collective cultivation."

British Labor Party Attacks Lib Dems as "Soft on Crime, Drugs, and Thugs." Labor has put out a leaflet attacking the Liberal Democrats on drug and crime policy ahead of looming parliamentary elections, but Labor is taking lots of flak for its efforts. One critic called the Labor approach "medieval," another accused it of underestimating the intelligence of the electorate, and yet another accused Labor of "turning their back on progressive, sensible, evidence-based reform."

Categories: Marijuana

US DC: Review: 'A Call to Action for the 46 States That Know

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 03/31/2015 - 07:00
Washington Times, 31 Mar 2015 - William Bennett, who served as secretary of education under Ronald Reagan and director of national drug control policy (or drug czar) under George H.W. Bush, has long been known for his strong and clear articulation of conservative principles in a number of best-selling books, among them "The Book of Virtues." In "Going to Pot," he and his co-author Robert White, a managing partner in an international law firm and former assistant U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey, examine the current trendy rush to legalize the drug. "Marijuana, once considered worthy of condemnation, has in recent years become a 'medicine' legalized fully in four states, with others expected to follow."
Categories: Marijuana

Australia: Act Medical Cannabis Plan A 'Trojan Horse'

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 03/31/2015 - 07:00
Canberra Times, 31 Mar 2015 - An anti-drugs lobby group has told the Legislative Assembly that medical marijuana could act as a "Trojan horse" for illegal drug use in the ACT and any change to current laws could prompt an increase in addiction. Drug Free Australia representatives Gary Christian and Ross Colquhoun are to give evidence on Tuesday to a public hearing considering a medical cannabis scheme proposed by Greens Minister Shane Rattenbury.
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