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Marijuana

US IL: Rahm Wants State To Ease Drug Penalties

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 09/24/2014 - 07:00
Chicago Sun-Times, 24 Sep 2014 - Mayor Rahm Emanuel asked state lawmakers Tuesday to soften Illinois' war on drugs, but the political response was lukewarm. Emanuel wants the General Assembly to go beyond what he did in Chicago by decriminalizing possession of 15 grams or less of marijuana and reducing from a felony to a misdemeanor the penalty for possession 1 gram or less of any controlled substance.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Rahm Says Defelonize, Mex Prez Says Don't Legalize, Florida MedMJ Poll, More (9/23/14)

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 20:58

Thar's gold in them thar marijuana legalization laws, Seattle's prosecutor throws out pot possession tickets, Massachusetts medical marijuana advocates chastise the slow-moving state government, Rahm Emanuel wants to defelonize drug possession, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Legal Marijuana Sales in DC Could Net Nearly $9 Million in Tax Revenues. A report from NerdWallet estimates that the District of Columbia could net nearly $9 million a year from taxes on the sales of marijuana -- if taxation and regulation is approved in the District. The DC marijuana initiative, Measure 71, does not include provisions for taxation and regulation because DC law precludes it from doing so, but a tax and regulate legalization bill is already before the city council. The NerdWallet report also includes marijuana tax revenue projections for all 50 states.

DC Council Advances Effort to Seal Marijuana Possession Records. The DC Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety voted unanimously last week to approve B20-467, a bill that would allow people to file motions to seal records for offenses that have since been legalized or decriminalized. DC decriminalized marijuana possession earlier this year and could legalize it in November if Measure 71 passes, which means many DC residents would be able to take advantage of the law if it passes.

Seattle Prosecutor Will Drop All Pot Possession Charges. City Attorney Pete Holmes said Monday will dismiss about a hundred pot possession tickets issued by the Seattle Police Department in the first half of this year -- because most of them were written by a single police officer who disagrees with the state's marijuana legalization law. That officer, Randy Jokela, has been temporarily reassigned.

Medical Marijuana

Massachusetts Advocates Press State Leaders on Slow Implementation. Patients and advocates rallied Monday at the state house to put pressure on the Department of Health to speed up access to medical marijuana under the state's nearly two-year-old law. The rally was sponsored by the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance, whose leader, Matthew Allen, told reporters that Gov. Deval Patrick (D) had not lived up to his responsibility to implement the will of the voters.

Florida Campaign Internal Poll Has Initiative at 69%. The United for Care campaign, the people behind the Measure 2 medical marijuana initiative, released an internal poll Monday that showed support for the initiative at 69%. Because the initiative is a constitutional amendment, it needs 60% to pass. The internal poll release came after several recent polls showed the initiative hovering at the edge of defeat.

Harm Reduction

Drug Czar to Open Next Month's National Harm Reduction Conference. Michael Botticelli, the acting director of the White House's Office on National Drug Control Policy, better known as the drug czar's office, will provide the opening remarks for the 10th National Harm Reduction Conference set for Baltimore a month from now. Click on the title link or the conference link to learn more.

Sentencing

Chicago Mayor Calls for Statewide Defelonization of Drug Possession Offenses. Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) today proposed before a General Assembly panel in Chicago that possession of up to a gram of any controlled substance be treated as a misdemeanor, not a felony, as is currently the case. Emanuel also proposed decriminalizing marijuana possession statewide. "It doesn't make sense that one arrest for a very small amount of a controlled substance can lead to a lifetime of struggles," Emanuel said. "It is time to put our sentencing policies in line with our values, reduce penalties for nonviolent, misdemeanor drug offenses so we don't put people in prison who need drug treatment."

International

Mexican President Opposes Marijuana Legalization. In an interview with Bloomberg News, President Enrique Pena Nieto said he opposes legalizing marijuana because that would be "opening the door to a large intrusion of drugs that is very damaging to the population." But he added that he was open to discussion on the issue. "I'm in agreement that we need to have a large debate in the hemisphere about the policies for this area, whether it's to tolerate or to legalize or to simply take a hemispherical definition," Pena Nieto said.

Peru Dynamiting Cocaine Plane Landing Strips, To No Avail. The Peruvian armed forces have been dynamiting clandestine airstrips in the world's number one coca growing region, the Valleys of the Apurimac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers (VRAEM). But even though soldiers "cratered" 54 airstrips, Peru's counternarcotics chief, Gen. Vicente Romero, said that they were quickly repaired, with traffickers paying villagers up to $100 each to fill in the holes. Sometimes, he said, they get fixed overnight.

Iran Hangs 13 on Drug Charges. Iran has executed 13 people for drug crimes in the past week, including eight hanged in Shahab Prison in Kerman on September 18 and five, including two Pakistani women, hanged in Central Prison in Zahedan. Along with China and Saudi Arabia, Iran is one of the world's most prolific drug war executioners.

Categories: Marijuana

US WA: City Hitting 'Reset Button' In Move to Dismiss Public

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 23 Sep 2014 - As the city moves to dismiss 100 tickets tainted by one police officer's political agenda, Seattle police said Monday they plan new steps to better teach the department's officers and citizens about the ban on smoking marijuana in public. "It's not really about writing tickets. We're trying to educate people," Deputy Chief Carmen Best told the City Council during a briefing prompted by the disclosure that bicycle Officer Randy Jokelaissued the vast majority of public-use tickets the first half of the year for personal reasons.
Categories: Marijuana

US WA: Washington: Marijuana-Use Tickets Are Nullified

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 07:00
New York Times, 23 Sep 2014 - (AP) - City Attorney Pete Holmes of Seattle is dropping all tickets issued for the public use of marijuana through the first seven months of this year, because most of them were issued by a single police officer who disagrees with the law allowing marijuana use. In a briefing to the City Council on Monday, Mr. Holmes said he is moving to dismiss about 100 tickets and would seek a refund for those who have already paid their $27 ticket. Through the first six months of 2014, the officer, Randy Jokela, wrote about 80 percent of the tickets, addressing some to "Petey Holmes" or writing that he considered the law silly. The officer was temporarily reassigned, and the department's Office of Professional Accountability is investigating. The police chief, Kathleen O'Toole, asked Mr. Holmes to drop the tickets Officer Jokela issued, but he said it would be easier procedurally to drop them all and would make for cleaner data as the city tracks enforcement of the law. - --- MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom
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Chronicle AM: Joe McNamara Passes, Rand Paul Speech, OAS Drug Resolution, More (9/22/14)

Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 19:54

Oregon's Measure 91 picks up a nice endorsement, a marijuana legalization vote in York, Maine, is snuffed out, decrim advances in the US Virgin Islands, Rand Paul tells the GOP to reach out on drug policy, Joe McNamara dies, the OAS passes a drug policy resolution, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Oregon Legalization Initiative Endorsed By Former US Attorney. Former Oregon US Attorney Kris Olson today endorsed Measure 91, the Oregon marijuana legalization initiative. "I enforced our marijuana laws, and they don't work," she said. "Filling our courts and jails has failed to reduce marijuana use, and drug cartels are pocketing all the profits." Olson was US Attorney for Oregon from 1994 to 2001. Meanwhile, the Oregon State Sheriff's Association has made a $100,000 donation to the No on 91 campaign.

York, Maine, Effort to Get Marijuana Vote on Ballot Thwarted. A state court judge last Friday rejected an effort to put a local marijuana possession legalization on the ballot in York. York County Superior Court Judge Paul Fritzsche sided with town councilmen, who had rejected two citizen petitions seeking the vote. Fritzsche ruled that York cannot regulate marijuana because it is governed by state and federal law. Two other Maine towns, Lewiston and South Portland, will vote in November. The state's largest city, Portland, approved a similar initiative last year.

US Virgin Islands Decriminalization Bill Wins Committee Vote. A bill that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana was approved by the Virgin Islands Senate Committee on Homeland Security, Public Safety, and Justice last Thursday. The measure is Bill 30-0018. It would make possession of an ounce or less of weed a civil offense punishable by a fine of between $100 and $200, with the possible forfeiture of the contraband.

Medical Marijuana

Today is Deadline Day for Illinois Medical Marijuana Business Applicants. People who want to operate medical marijuana businesses have until 3 pm CDT to hand in their applications to state agencies. The Illinois Medical Marijuana Pilot Program has more information.

Drug Policy

Rand Paul Calls on Republicans to Embrace Drug Reform, Other Non-Traditional GOP Planks. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) used a speech Saturday to the California GOP convention to call on the party to reach beyond its base by embracing issues such as drug reform, privacy in personal communications, voting rights, and an anti-interventionist foreign policy. Republicans need to "show compassion for people," especially young black and brown people disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. "If you look at surveys, it's not that they're using drugs more than your kids are using drugs, it's because they're getting caught because they live in an urban environment with more patrols, they have less good attorneys, they don't have the resources, and some of the laws are still frankly wrong," he said.

Law Enforcement

Pentagon Surplus Arms Program Let Military Weapons Go to Police Forces That Abused Civil Rights. The Pentagon's program to distribute surplus military equipment to US civilian police forces allows even agencies that have been censured by the Justice Department for civil rights violations to receive lethal weaponry. The Defense and Justice Departments have apparently not been coordinating on the program, the Associated Press reports.

Obituaries

Drug Reforming Police Chief Joe McNamara Dies at 79. One of the earliest law enforcement voices for drug reform is no longer with us. Former San Jose Police Chief Joseph McNamara died last Friday at his home in Monterey, California. He is credited with bringing progressive reforms to the San Jose Police Department in the 1970s. After retiring as police chief in 1992, he went to work at the Hoover Institution, where he continued and sharpened his criticism of the war on drugs. "He was the police chief who became the most deeply involved in the drug policy reform movement," said Ethan Nadelmann, founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, who had worked with McNamara on issues for the past 25 years. "He was convinced the drug war was a total disaster and he needed to speak out about that."

International

OAS Issues Resolution on Drug Policy. At its 46th Special Session in Guatemala City last Friday, the Organization of American States passed a resolution calling for states to "regularly review the drug policies adopted, ensure that they are comprehensive and focused on the well-being of the individual, in order to address their national challenges and assess their impact and effectiveness." The resolution also called on states to develop drug policies "that prevent social costs or contribute to their reduction; and, when appropriate, reviewing traditional approaches and considering the development of new approaches, based on scientific evidence and knowledge." And it calls for states to develop comprehensive approaches that examine "the structural causes, triggers, and the multiple factors that contribute to violence and crime" with a view to taking them into account when drafting the 2016-2020 Hemispheric Plan of Action on Drugs. Click on the link to read the OAS press release.

Categories: Marijuana

US CO: Group Gives Free Pakalolo To Veterans

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 07:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 22 Sep 2014 - Hundreds of military veterans received free marijuana during a special giveaway in Denver designed to show that pot can help ease their pain. Members of Operation Grow4Vets said the Saturday event aimed to offer veterans an alternative to prescription drugs to help with anxiety, pain and other problems. The organization also says it gave out 400 bags of marijuana-infused products at the Denver Cannabis Giveaway.
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US: 'Buzzed' A Primer On Abused Drugs

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 22 Sep 2014 - 'BUZZED' A PRIMER ON ABUSED DRUGS Just perusing the table of contents in "Buzzed: The Straight Facts About the Most Used and Abused Drugs From Alcohol to Ecstasy" is a sharp reminder of the huge role drugs play in American culture. Twelve hefty chapters present the pharmacopeia in nonjudgmental alphabetical order - alcohol, caffeine, ecstasy, hallucinogens, herbal drugs, inhalants, marijuana, nicotine, opiates, sedatives, steroids, stimulants - each followed by a lively list of slang and street names.
Categories: Marijuana

US PA: Editorial: Weed Law Is Right Step

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 07:00
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 22 Sep 2014 - Too many people have seen their lives upended after being arrested with small amounts of marijuana. The time it took to reach a compromise on marijuana arrests in Philadelphia was worth it. It should lead to a dramatic reduction in the thousands saddled with debilitating criminal records for possessing small amounts of the drug for recreational use.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Hash- Oil Lab Raids Yield Nine Arrests

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 22 Sep 2014 - Crackdown Reflects a Growing Offshoot of the Illicit Drug Trade. SAN DIEGO - Seven men and two women are facing felony charges here stemming from what authorities say is a new and highly dangerous offshoot of the illicit drug trade: extracting hash oil from marijuana.
Categories: Marijuana

US OR: Oregon Starts Laying Groundwork Before State Votes on

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 22 Sep 2014 - PORTLAND - In the months before a marijuana-legalization measure goes before voters, the leadership of Oregon's largest agencies quietly convened high-level meetings to discuss how to deal with it. The legalization measure would touch every corner of state government, from the Oregon State Police, who would no longer make minor marijuana arrests, to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which would administer the program.
Categories: Marijuana

US HI: The Pot Problem

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 09/21/2014 - 07:00
Garden Island, 21 Sep 2014 - Legal Medically, but Difficult to Obtain, Lawmakers to See If Loophole Can Be Fixed This is the first in a two-part series looking at a loophole in the medical marijuana industry that allows patients to possess and use the substance, but not obtain it unless they grow it themselves. Part two will be published in Monday's TGI.
Categories: Marijuana

US PA: Editorial: Pa. Should Approve Overdose Antidote

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 09/21/2014 - 07:00
Standard-Speaker, 21 Sep 2014 - Like every state in the Northeast, Pennsylvania has been in the throes of an opiate drug epidemic for several years. But unlike those other states, the commonwealth has not yet allowed emergency personnel a key tool that they could use to prevent overdose deaths. Overdoses on heroin or prescription opiates often are deadly because they stop the user's breathing. An inexpensive, non-addictive, easily administered antidote called naloxone, or Narcan, is readily available. But in Pennsylvania, most first responders who initially handle an overdose patient - police, firefighters and emergency medical technicians - are not authorized by law to carry or administer the drug.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Former Principal Promotes Marijuana for Ailing Seniors

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 09/21/2014 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 21 Sep 2014 - ANTIOCH, Calif. - Sue Taylor stands before her Rotary Club audience in her "principal's suit" - matching black blazer and pants, heels, pearls, and a pocketbook holding a secret. At 67, Taylor has made a giant leap. The retired principal of two Catholic schools today calls herself America's only full-time senior cannabis advocate.
Categories: Marijuana

US GA: Real Families Suffer As States Defer On Medical

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 09/21/2014 - 07:00
Sun-Sentinel, 21 Sep 2014 - ATLANTA - The question hovers over Kelli Hopkins every day. It rises with her each morning as she feeds her two remaining sick children their seizure medicine five pills for Mary Elizabeth, seven for Michala. It follows as she packs them and their wheelchairs into the van for another hospital visit, another brain scan, another trip to the emergency room. It wakes her at 2 a.m. each night when she rolls over on the couch she's slept on for years only to see carpet where there used to be a cot.
Categories: Marijuana

US: Selling Pot Can Be A Shady, Crazy, Confusing Business

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 09/21/2014 - 07:00
The Day, 21 Sep 2014 - New York (AP) - Legal or not, the business of selling weed in the U.S. is as wacky as ever. The tangle of rules and regulations that govern whether and how it can be grown, bought and sold create complexity and ambiguity that cause major headaches for marijuana businesses - and enticing opportunities for those who want to exploit it.
Categories: Marijuana

US GA: OPED: If You Think Big Tobacco Was Bad, Wait Till You

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 09/21/2014 - 07:00
Rome News-Tribune, 21 Sep 2014 - Proponents of legalization and other drug policy reforms make some important points. It is true that most people who try drugs do not get addicted - they stop after using a few times. It is also true - and regrettable - that America's incarceration rate is embarrassingly high and that blacks and Latinos bear the brunt of harsh arrest policies. And, finally, despite our best efforts, fully eradicating drug use and its consequences remains a distant dream.
Categories: Marijuana

US GA: OPED: Why Research Is Biased Against Pot to Focus on

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 09/21/2014 - 07:00
Rome News-Tribune, 21 Sep 2014 - Is America's scientific research biased to focus on the harmful effects of drugs? That was one of the questions at the heart of a congressional hearing this summer seeking to understand more comprehensively the scientific evidence related to marijuana. And it was how Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, found herself being grilled by Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va. "Dr. Volkow, your testimony seems to completely disregard lots of other data," he accused.
Categories: Marijuana

US WA: Editorial: What Are the Next Steps for Marijuana Reform?

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 09/21/2014 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 21 Sep 2014 - THE recreational marijuana market authorized by voters in 2012 is heavily taxed to fund prevention efforts, and is strictly regulated to ensure quality and security. Yet, the state Legislature has failed to rein in the larger, completely unregulated and mostly untaxed marijuana industry that serves medical patients. Seattle currently has just one recreational store, but dozens of medical dispensaries. These two markets should be merged. Lawmakers must ensure legitimately suffering patients get a break from the steep so-called sin taxes of the recreational market, and should continue to allow home grows for them. Ensuring that patients are legitimate also requires a much tighter rein on medical professionals who glibly hand out "green card" medical-marijuana authorizations to otherwise healthy young men. The recreational market needs tweaking too - to entice more cities and counties to open their borders to state-licensed marijuana stores. Without broader access, black-market marijuana sales, which voters directly targeted in passing Initiative 502, would continue to flourish. - --- MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom
Categories: Marijuana

US WA: City Attorney Holmes to Seek Broad Dismissal of Pot-Use

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 09/21/2014 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 21 Sep 2014 - In Municipal Court Not Just Those Issued by Police Officer Facing Discipline Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, reacting to one police officer's personal campaign to write citations for public marijuana use, will announce Monday that he will seek dismissal of more than 85 tickets issued during the first seven months of the year, according to two City Hall sources.
Categories: Marijuana

US MD: The Drug That Turned A Heroin User's Life Around

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 09/21/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 21 Sep 2014 - MD. Woman Says Officer Saved Her With Overdose Antidote Danielle Hall injected a quarter of her normal heroin dose the afternoon of June 29, but that day's particularly potent batch was strong enough to shut her body down.
Categories: Marijuana
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