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Chronicle AM: CA ACLU Endorses AUMA, Nadelmann Testifies at Senate Hearing, More... (6/15/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 06/15/2016 - 21:06

Summer is here, and the initiative campaigns are heating up, DPA head Ethan Nadelmann slams drug prohibition at the Capitol, New York legislators announce agreement on a heroin and prescription opioids package, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

Arizona Anti-Legalization Group Gets Big Donation From Electric Utility. A group organized to defeat the Arizona Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol's legalization initiative has received a $10,000 donation from the state's largest electric utility. Arizona Public Services made the donation to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy because the company is concerned about employment law language in the measure, "especially considering the public safety aspects involved in providing reliable electric service to APS customers. But the initiative's language says "[it] does not affect the ability of employers to enact and enforce workplace policies restricting the consumption of marijuana and marijuana products by employees."

California ACLU Formally Endorses AUMA Legalization Initiative.The ACLU of California Tuesday endorsed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA). "The disastrous war on marijuana in California continues to ensnare thousands of people -- particularly young people of color -- in the criminal justice system every year," said Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, criminal justice and drug policy director with the ACLU of California. "It is time to move from prohibition to regulation. AUMA will establish a controlled and regulated market for adults, significantly reduce the harm done to young people under current marijuana laws, and generate substantial revenue for drug education and for the communities most devastated by the war on drugs."

Medical Marijuana

Arkansas Initiative Campaigns Face Ticking Clock. Two separate medical marijuana initiative campaigns have until July 8 to get enoughvoter signatures to qualify for the November ballot. The Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act of 2016 campaign says it has gathered some 70,000 signatures so far. It needs 67,000 valid ones to qualify. The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016 says it has 40,000 signatures; because it is a constitutional amendment, it needs 85,000 valid signatures to qualify.

Washington Lawsuit Challenges New State Medical Marijuana Law. Seattle attorney and marijuana activist Douglas Hiatt has filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction to block the July1 implementation of the Cannabis Patient Protection Act, arguing that the law's folding of medical marijuana into the recreational marijuana market will cause harm to patients.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

New York Leaders Reach Agreement on Heroin, Opioids Bill Package. Legislative leaders announced Tuesday they had agreed on a package of bills aimed at growing heroin and prescription opioid use in the state. The bills would mandate insurance coverage for overdose reversal drugs, ease getting insurance coverage for drug treatment, and reduce prescription limits for opioids from 30 days to seven days, among other provisions.

Drug Policy

Ethan Nadelmann Testifies at US Senate Committee Hearing. The Drug Policy Alliance head testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee as part of a round table on drug policy. "The war on drugs in this country and around the world has been a monumental disaster," Nadelmann said. "We developed an addiction. It was an addiction to drug war thinking, drug war ideology, and drug war policies." Nadelmann wasn't alone in criticizing drug prohibition; Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) also criticized it, saying prohibition now fuels drug cartels, just as alcohol prohibiton fueled gangsters.

International

Dutch Justice Minister Rejects Study Calling for Legal Marijuana Production. Justice Minister Ard van der Steur told members of parliament that last week's study finding legalizing pot production would have public health and human rights benefits would have no impact on his government's policies regarding cannabis cafes. The conservative government has moved to restrict them and refused to countenance creating a legal supply system for them.

Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: Road Trippin'

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/15/2016 - 07:00
East Bay Express, 15 Jun 2016 - A Getaway to Weed's Heartland, Mendocino County - Which Still Lacks Licensed Dispensaries. About three hours north of the Bay Area, tucked behind curtains of redwoods, the rugged Lost Coast of Mendocino County is as primal as the north shores of Kauai. Time moves slower, and this region has yet to catch up to the cannabis movement it helped start.
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US CO: Column: Canna Activists to Obama: Deschedule Now

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/15/2016 - 07:00
Colorado Springs Independent, 15 Jun 2016 - Advocates call for descheduling. Last week, CannaBiz covered local activists' demonstration outside the Air Force Academy before President Barack Obama's widely watched commencement address. As cars from all over the country poured in, the loosely affiliated Cannabis Patient Rights Coalition spoke out - asking the mayor to stop tightening local regulations and the president to stop classifying cannabis as an illegal narcotic.
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Chronicle AM: Report Scorches NY MedMJ Program, OH "Bad" Good Samaritan Bill Signed, More... (6/14/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 06/14/2016 - 20:57

The Drug Policy Alliance has some unkind words for New York's medical marijuana program, fentanyl is killing more Kentuckians than last year, Canada won't decriminalize marijuana ahead of legalization, Indonesia prepares a new round of drug executions, and more.

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

New York's Medical Marijuana Program Pretty Lame, DPA Report Finds. In a new report, Assessing New York's Medical Marijuana Program: Problems of Patient Access and Affordability, the Drug Policy Alliance finds severe problems with patient and caregiver access under the program. The report, which relied on patient surveys, finds that more than half of patients and caregivers had not yet found a doctor to certify them and 60% of those had been looking for three to four months for a physicians. Also, more than three-quarters (77%) said they could not afford their medicine. DPA recommends further legislation to improve the program and urges the Health Department to provide more information about the implementation and performance of the program.

Industrial Hemp

Petition to Deschedule Hemp Launched. A Portland attorney and a Southern Oregon environmentalist have filed a petition asking the DEA to remove industrial hemp from the federal governments list of controlled substances. The petition was filed Monday. The petition asks DEA to declare that a cannabis plant is hemp, not marijuana, it its THC level does not exceed 1%. The Oregon petition is the second hemp petition this month. The Kentucky Hemp Industries Council earlier filed a similar petition.

Heroin and Prescription Opiates

Kentucky Report Sees Fentanyl Deaths More Than Tripling. The Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy has issued a 2015 overdose report that finds fentanyl was a factor in 420 fatal overdoses last year, up from 121 in the previous year. Fentanyl is implicated in 34% of all overdose deaths in the state. State officials said it is often consumed unwittingly by users because it is mixed with heroin.

Harm Reduction

Ohio Governor Signs "Bad" 911 Good Samaritan Law. Gov. John Kasich (R) has signed into law House Bill 110, which grants immunity from prosecution to overdose victims and people who seek help for them. But the bill contains a pair of provisions added by the Senate that critics say will discourage people from seeking help. One limits immunity to two occasions and makes it unavailable for people on parole, and the second allows medical professionals to share overdose information with law enforcement.

International

Canada's Liberals Reject NDP Call for Decriminalization Ahead of Legalization. Liberal Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould said Monday the government would not support the New Democrat's proposal to quickly decriminalize marijuana while awaiting the arrival of legalization. Decriminalizing now would "give a green light to dealers and organizations to continue to sell unregulated and unsafe marijuana to Canadians," she said.

Low-THC Marijuana Based Medicines Now Legal in Macedonia. Medicines containing less than 0.2% THC can now be prescribed by doctors and purchased in pharmacies, Macedonia's agency for medicines announced Monday.

Indonesia Set to Execute 16 Drug Offenders After Ramadan. The convicts will be "immediately executed" after next month's Eid holiday, a spokesman for the attorney general's office said Tuesday. The country has not seen an execution since April 2015, but it executed 14 people that year, mostly foreigners, stoking international outrage.

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Canada: 'Easier to Buy Pot Than Coffee': MP

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 06/14/2016 - 07:00
Metro, 14 Jun 2016 - Decriminalizing would profit gangs, Liberals argue A lone Liberal MP from Toronto broke ranks with his party during a pot debate Monday, lending his support to a New Democrat motion to decriminalize the drug until it becomes legal next year.
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Canada: North America's Cannabis Capital Could Soon Be Canada

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 06/14/2016 - 07:00
Orlando Sentinel, 14 Jun 2016 - Pot of Gold Seen If Full Legalization Wins OK in 2017 OTTAWA, Ontario - Colorado and Washington state may have jumped ahead in the race to become North America's marijuana kings, but Canada is now positioned to take a lead in the multibillion-dollar industry.
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Canada: North American Cannabis Capital Soon Will Be Canada

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 06/14/2016 - 07:00
Sun-Sentinel, 14 Jun 2016 - Pot of Gold Seen If Full Legalization Wins OK in 2017 OTTAWA, Ontario- Colorado and Washington state may have jumped ahead in the race to become North America's marijuana kings, but Canada is now positioned to take a lead in the multibillion-dollar industry.
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US PA: Pa. Medical Marijuana Catch-22

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 06/14/2016 - 07:00
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 14 Jun 2016 - It Can't Be Bought Here Legally, and Federal Law Bars Bringing It In. Parents hoping to treat seriously ill children with medical marijuana cheered when Pennsylvania's new law included a "safe harbor" provision allowing them to import the medicines right away, rather than waiting for the law to take full effect in two years.
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US OH: Lawyer Questions Hamilton Pot Law

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 06/14/2016 - 07:00
Journal-News, 14 Jun 2016 - Medical Marijuana Ban Now Appears to Conflict With State Law HAMILTON - Hamilton City Council voted 5-1 last year to effectively ban in the city the sale of medical marijuana through its zoning codes, and Cincinnati attorney Mike Allen said it may have a legal issue since it will soon be legal in Ohio to prescribe medical marijuana in limited forms.
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Chronicle AM: OH Becomes Latest MedMJ State, Survey Says Teen Pot Use Down, More... (6/13/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 06/13/2016 - 21:27

Marijuana legalization in the states isn't pushing youth use up, April sets a pot sales record for Colorado, Ohio becomes the newest medical marijuana state, Canada's NDP wants decriminalization now, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

National Survey Finds Dip in Teen Marijuana Use, Dispels Anti-Legalization Myth. The results of a federal survey released Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control once again casts doubt on the idea that rolling back marijuana prohibition laws will lead to an increase in teen marijuana use. According to the biennial National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), 21.7% of U.S. high school students reported using marijuana in the past 30 days, down from 23.4% in 2013 and 26.2% in 1997, the year California implemented the first state medical marijuana law. From 1996-2015, four states and DC adopted laws making marijuana legal for adult use and 23 states adopted laws making marijuana legal for medical use. The 2015 YRBS results are available online here.

Alaska Marijuana Regulators Approve First Licenses. The Marijuana Control Board last Thursday approved the first licenses for legal marijuana cultivation and testing operations. The first retail licenses are expected to be issued later this year.

Colorado Saw a Record Month for Weed Sales in April. According to the state Department of Revenue, April was the biggest month yet for legal weed, with sales of $117.4 million of buds, concentrates, and edibles sold. Of that, $76.6 million was for recreational sales.

Medical Marijuana

Ohio is the Newest Medical Marijuana State, But You Can't Smoke It. Gov. John Kasich (R) last Wednesday signed into law a medical marijuana bill that allows use of full plant material, but not in smokeable form. Under the new law, it should take up to two years for Ohioans to see the first medical marijuana dispensaries.

Asset Forfeiture

Federal Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Filed. Last Thursday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) and ranking member Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced the "Deterring Undue Enforcement by Protecting Rights of Citizens from Excessive Searches and Seizures Act," or DUE PROCESS Act. The bill would raise the standard of proof from a "preponderance of the evidence" to the much higher "clear and convincing" standard, shift the burden of proof from innocent owners to the government, and guarantee indigent defense for property owners. The bill has not yet been assigned a bill number.

New Jersey Asset Forfeiture Reporting Bill Advances. A bill that would require county prosecutors to produce annual reports on assets seized through civil forfeiture was approved unanimously by a Senate committee last Thursday and awaits a Senate floor vote. The bill would require prosecutors to report the nature of the crime involved and the status of money or property seized.

Drug Testing

Michigan Governor Signs Roadside Drug Testing Pilot Program Bill. Gov. Rick Snyder (R) has signed into law a bill that will allow state police to conduct a one-year pilot program to conduct roadside saliva drug testing on suspected drugged drivers. The program will be conducted in five counties by officers who have completed specialized training. The bill has been criticized by some lawmakers, who said the science is lacking when it comes to the impact of marijuana on driving.

International

Canada New Democrats Call for Pot Decriminalization Ahead of Legalization. The New Democrats have introduced a motion calling on the House of Commons to recognize the contradiction in continuing to give people criminal records for something the Liberal government should not be a crime. The motion calls for the immediate decriminalization of marijuana.

Dutch Cities Call Again for Regulated Marijuana Cultivation. In a vote at the meeting of the Association of Dutch Municipalities last week, nearly 90% supported a call on the government to allow experiments with regulated marijuana production. Under Dutch law, coffee shops call sell small amounts of marijuana to consumers, but there is no provision for legally supplying the coffee shops.

Israel Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Pulled… for Now. Member of the Knesset Sharren Haskel (Likud) has pulled her decriminalization bill after Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan agreed to form a special committee to examine marijuana policy. Erdan had opposed Haskel's bill, but the two agreed to form the committee to "examine enforcement policy towards personal use of cannabis without changing the existing social norms about cannabis and general drug use."

Moroccan Party Leaders Calls for Legalization of Hash Cafes. Ilyass El Omari, secretary general of the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) said he supports allowing people in hash-growing regions "to be able to open cafes where they can legally sell cannabis to consumers in reasonable and specific amounts on a weekly basis." The PAM had previously called for decriminalization and regulated cultivation for medical uses, but El Omari is now taking it a step further.

Categories: Marijuana

CN AB: Group Calls For Harm Reduction

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 06/13/2016 - 07:00
Metro, 13 Jun 2016 - Policies to Help Addicts Fights Stigma Faced by Drug Users We all wear seat belts when we get in a car - just in case the worst should happen. That's the philosophy behind harm reduction, according to Stasha Huntingford.
Categories: Marijuana

Canada: NDP Motion Calls On Feds To Decriminalize Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 06/13/2016 - 07:00
Hamilton Spectator, 13 Jun 2016 - OTTAWA - The New Democrats are urging the Liberal government to decriminalize pot before they legalize it. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau campaigned on a promise to legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana, and his government plans to get started next spring.
Categories: Marijuana

Canada: Pot Shot From NDP

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 06/13/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Sun, 13 Jun 2016 - Motion Today to Have Marijuana Decriminalized OTTAWA - The New Democrats are urging the Liberal government to decriminalize pot before they legalize it. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau campaigned on a promise to legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana, and his government plans to get started next spring.
Categories: Marijuana

South Africa: Column: The War On Drugs Has Clearly Failed

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 06/13/2016 - 07:00
The New Age, 13 Jun 2016 - Decriminalising Drugs Is Straightforward; People Are Empowered With Choice ONE of the key traits of humanity is the ability to implement laws and change them as new evidence, facts and data become available, thus creating greater awareness.
Categories: Marijuana

US HI: 'Not A Perfect Bill'

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 06/12/2016 - 07:00
West Hawaii Today, 12 Jun 2016 - Legislators Field Marijuana Questions at Meeting in Pahoa Hawaii's medical marijuana dispensary law isn't perfect - far from it - - but it's a start, and the state needs to begin somewhere. That's how lawmakers characterized the up-and-coming dispensary system Thursday evening to a fired up crowd in Pahoa, many who pointed out what they called flaws in the way the law was written.
Categories: Marijuana

US IL: Column: A Marijuana Reporter Walks into a Pot Shop ...

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 06/12/2016 - 07:00
Chicago Sun-Times, 12 Jun 2016 - As someone who writes about marijuana for a living, it recently started to seem a little strange I hadn't actually been to the promised land of legal cannabis that Colorado has become over the past couple of years. So on Memorial Day weekend, I flew to Denver on a mission to buy weed legally.
Categories: Marijuana

Canada: Will Canada Be The New Cannabis Capital?

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 06/12/2016 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 12 Jun 2016 - The Move to Legalize Marijuana Represents a Huge Market for U.S. Investors. OTTAWA - Colorado and Washington may have jumped ahead in the race to become North America's marijuana kings, but Canada is now positioned to take a lead in the booming multibillion-dollar industry.
Categories: Marijuana

US OR: OPED: Take It Slow On Edible Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 06/11/2016 - 07:00
The Mail Tribune, 11 Jun 2016 - We've reached another green-letter day in the state of Oregon's continuing experiment with legalizing recreational marijuana: Beginning Thursday, edible pot products are available for retail sale in registered medical marijuana dispensaries across the state. Not in Linn County, though: At this writing, no medical marijuana dispensary in the county legally can sell recreational marijuana, and that includes edibles intended for recreational users. Local governments throughout the county (including Linn County) have barred medical dispensaries from selling recreational pot. Voters in each of those jurisdictions will get a chance in November to decide the fate of those restrictions.
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Pot Law Could Spark More Change

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 06/11/2016 - 07:00
London Free Press, 11 Jun 2016 - The Trudeau government's plans to change the legal status of marijuana may have some unintended consequences, including making more potent drugs harder to find. That's according to one former dealer in London who, like the other small-time operators who make up the bulk of the city's underground sales force, sold mostly marijuana for about a year before moving on to legitimate pursuits.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Lawsuit Seeking Protected Pot Use for Kenwood's

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 06/11/2016 - 07:00
The Press Democrat, 11 Jun 2016 - A Sonoma County-related lawsuit that attempted to establish the use of marijuana as a protected sacrament for use in religious ceremonies was tossed out in federal court this week. The claim that Sonoma County sheriff's officers destroyed sacramental marijuana plants belonging to a Kenwood church was dismissed after the attorney for the church failed to show up in federal court.
Categories: Marijuana
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