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CN NS: OPED: The Bullshit Cultural Milieu Of Medical Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 07:00
The Coast, 20 Aug 2015 - It's sad to see The Coast contributing to this. There is a bullshit cultural milieu surrounding the use of cannabis. The general perception seems to be that marijuana is not only a completely harmless substance, but actually a panacea capable of alleviating/curing a vast array of medical conditions. However, its use is hindered by mean, moralistic politicians who are kept in the back pockets of nefarious pharmaceutical interests. This perception would be fine if cannabis was a completely harmless substance with a wide array of medicinal uses, as has been intimated in The Coast's recent story about the PEACE EAST festival (August 13), but it is not. It is sad to see an article pandering to these poorly formed ideas rather than engaging in substantive journalism.
Categories: Marijuana

US AZ: Series: Tribes Wait To Jump Into Weed Rush

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 07:00
Tucson Weekly, 20 Aug 2015 - Most Native American tribes are opting not to legalize marijuana, though at least two are poised to try it just six months after a U.J. Justice Department memo indicated federal authorities likely would not interfere with growing marijuana on tribal lands if other federal crimes were not committed. Many tribes exploring their options said that as U.S. citizens and sovereign nations, they deserve the right to choose to legalize as states have done. However, tribes continue to balk at the vague language of the Justice Department's so-called "Cole Memorandum" and the fear of federal prosecution.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: Superman Falls

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 07:00
SF Weekly, 20 Aug 2015 - His indictment is barely a week old, but many of his former friends in organized labor and the cannabis industry have already buried Dan Rush. Rush, 54, was once the gregarious director of the United Food and Commercial Workers' national medical cannabis and hemp division; on Aug. 10, he was indicted in federal court on two felony counts of violating labor law.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: Claims of Bribery Get Activist Dan Rush Busted

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 07:00
Sacramento News & Review, 20 Aug 2015 - So did some big marijuana person get arrested or something? What's going on? - -Connie Phused Yup. United Food and Commercial Workers honcho and cannabis activist Dan Rush has been indicted on a variety of bribery and corruption charges. The FBI alleges that Rush solicited bribes in exchange for him influencing the dispensary permitting process in Oakland, as well as taking bribes to teach dispensary operators how to avoid becoming a union-run shop. (Read more at http://weedactivist.com/wp-content/uploads/rush_indictment.pdf.) This allegation, if true, is heartbreaking. The idea that a union organizer would give advice on how to break unions is stunning.
Categories: Marijuana

US CO: Column: What Makes A Boutique Dispensary?

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 07:00
Westword, 20 Aug 2015 - Dear Stoner: I've seen a lot of pot shops advertising themselves as "boutique dispensaries." Sounds like a lame marketing ploy to me. Jake 'n' Bake Dear Jake: You might already have the Man beat if words like "superfood" and "artisanal" don't lure you in to pay more, but just because you don't trust marijuana marketing doesn't mean everyone is out to hose you. The traditional definition of a boutique is a small, stylish shop that sells specialized products at slightly higher prices.Plenty of Denver and mountain-town dispensaries try to fit that mold - yet the steep prices are the only boutique aspect they achieve. Yes, local art and comfortable furniture is nice, but don't let trendy interior decorating block your senses.Check out the buds and concentrates, and fire off some questions to the staff. Do they grow in-house? If so, how big is the grow? Do they send trim or nugs to hash companies for concentrates, or do they make their own? If the budtenders are eagerly telling you about strain genetics before you even ask, there's a good chance you're at a stand-up shop.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: Registration Day

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 07:00
North Coast Journal, 20 Aug 2015 - First-of-their-kind regulations for marijuana grows were approved last week by the northern section of California's water board. At a somewhat tumultuous Santa Rosa meeting on Aug. 13, the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted a registration program that it originally released in draft form in May.
Categories: Marijuana

US CO: Column: A Sane, Sensible Approach to Public Cannabis

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 07:00
Boulder Weekly, 20 Aug 2015 - One of the conundrums surrounding the implementation of Amendment 64 is that while you can buy marijuana in Colorado, there aren't many places where you can legally use it in a social setting. Citizens are pretty much limited to their homes or a friend's house or backyard. For a tourist, it's even more vexing: you're often stuck with using it in your hotel room, not the most attractive place to enjoy the benefits of either cannabis or Colorado. Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project and attorney Brian Vicente are spearheading a proposal that would allow marijuana usage in public places in Denver. It adheres strictly to the spirit of Amendment 64, which makes the Campaign for Limited Social Use a measure that other municipalities and cannabis users should be watching closely.
Categories: Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Update

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 19:07

There's a union corruption scandal brewing in California, medical marijuana faces awkward transitions in Oregon and Washington, and more.

[image:1 align:left]California

Last Thursday, Oakland was once again considering licensing medical marijuana gardens. The city is in the process of crafting regulations and issuing licenses for medical marijuana grows, as well as other marijuana-related businesses. The city had proposed something similar in 2011, but retreated after federal prosecutors criticized the plan. But now the federal position has changed, and Oakland is ready to try again.

Also last Thursday, a UFCW Official was accused of taking bribes from dispensaries. Dan Rush, the executive director of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) cannabis division, has been charged in federal court with taking bribes or kickbacks to endorse potential dispensary operators. The feds accuse Rush of taking a $600,000 loan from one dispensary operator, and when he was unable to repay it, then working with an attorney to "[propose] and [take] steps to provide various labor benefits to the (dispensary operator), including union support for opening dispensaries and reducing or eliminating pressure to unionize dispensary workers," the complaint says.

On Tuesday, Humboldt County supervisors approved a land use ordinance that would allow for up to 15 dispensaries in unincorporated areas of the county. The ordinance was approved unanimously. There was spirited dissent from one dispensary owner; click on the link to get the low down.

Also on Tuesday, Yuba County officials approved for circulation a ballot measure to overturn the county's medical marijuana cultivation ordinance. The initiative proposed by the Progressive Business Alliance needs 2,483 valid voter signatures by January 19 to force a special election. This is the third set of petitions okayed by county election officials in recent months, meaning the county could see three separate special elections. The current ordinance bans outdoor cultivation in unincorporated areas of the county and limits indoor grows to 12 plants. The latest initiative would allow up to 12 plants indoors or out on parcels of less than an acre, with larger plant counts on larger parcels.

Florida

Last Thursday, a CBD expansion bill was filed. Sarasota state Rep. Greg Steube (R) filed a bill Thursday that would expand the state's CBC cannabis oil program. The measure, House Bill 63, would lower barriers to entry for would-be medical marijuana growers and manufacturers, particularly by removing limits on the number of manufacturers.

North Dakota

North Dakota Medical Marijuana Initiative Trying to Get Going. A Fargo man has formed a committee to advance a medical marijuana initiative and is getting ready to submit initiative language to the Secretary of State's Office. Rilie Ray Morgan said the legislature's refusal to pass a medical marijuana bill showed it is out of touch with popular feeling and that the GOP-dominated House and Senate are "awfully conservative."

Oregon

Last Thursday, Oregon's governor signed a medical marijuana task force bill. Gov. Kate Brown (D) has signed into law Senate Bill 844, which establishes a task force to research the medical and public health properties of marijuana. The task force will make a report with recommendations to the legislature on developing a medical marijuana industry that supplies patients with products that will meet their needs.

Washington

On Tuesday, the Tacoma city council ordered most dispensaries to be shut down. The city council decided to shut down most of the city's 60 unregulated medical marijuana dispensaries. The dispensaries have 45 days to close. After passage of Senate Bill 5052, which essentially folds the medical marijuana system into the recreational marijuana system, dispensaries and collective gardens will have to get licenses from the state beginning next July 1 or shut their doors.

Wyoming

Last Friday, Wyoming initiative supporters announced their signature-gathering campaign would get underway over the weekend. An initiative campaign led by Wyoming NORML is getting underway this weekend. The group is set to unveil the initiative this weekend. They will need to come up with 25,000 valid voter signatures by February to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.

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

Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: OH Ballot Language Fight, Brit MPs Say Drug Use a Human Right, More (8/19/2015)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 18:17

Another controversy over the ResponsibleOhio legalization initiative, medical marijuana could be coming to the northern prairie, a British parliamentary panel calls drug use a human right, and more.

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

Ohio Legalization Initiative Ballot Language Approved, ResponsibleOhio Will Challenge as "Misleading." The state Ballot Board Tuesday approved the language voters will see when they vote on the ResponsibleOhio legalization initiative, but the group is unhappy with some of it and says it will challenge it in court. Don McTigue, an attorney for the group, said "It's not balanced language, and we believe that language does not fairly inform the voters on what they're being asked to vote upon." Click the story link for more details.

Medical Marijuana

North Dakota Medical Marijuana Initiative Trying to Get Going. A Fargo man has formed a committee to advance a medical marijuana initiative and is getting ready to submit initiative language to the Secretary of State's Office. Rilie Ray Morgan said the legislature's refusal to pass a medical marijuana bill showed it is out of touch with popular feeling and that the GOP-dominated House and Senate are "awfully conservative."

Drug Policy

Maine Governor's Drug Summit Features Mostly Cops. Tea Party Republican Gov. Paul LePage has set a drug summit for next week, but is being criticized for inviting mainly law enforcement and criminal justice officials. Of the 23 invited attendees, only three represent the treatment and recovery community, and none represent actual drug users. LePage says the drug problem is a public safety issue, but critics disagree. "Drug addiction and the drug crisis we are facing is fundamentally a public health issue, not a public safety issue," said Oamshri Amarasingham, policy counsel at the ACLU of Maine. "What we have seen over the last four years is a concerted effort to try and address the drug crisis with law enforcement and that clearly has not worked."

International

British MPs Say Drug Taking Is a Human Right. The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform has issued a report saying the European Convention on Human Rights overrides national laws that criminalize drugs. The panel had earlier called for marijuana legalization and for drugs such as cocaine and heroin to be decriminalized. "For European countries the European Convention on Human Rights, in particular Article 8, could be invoked in support of the argument that possession or purchase or cultivation of drugs for personal use, particularly in small quantities, do not injure other people's rights either directly or indirectly and therefore should not be criminalized," the report said. Click on the link for more.

Categories: Marijuana

US MA: Column: Legal Pot? Don't Make It So Complicated

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 07:00
Valley Advocate, 19 Aug 2015 - Maybe it's marijuana's cultural baggage of Deadheads, dreadlocked Rastafarians, and psychedelic paraphernalia that does it, but there's something about cannabis that brings out the school marm in certain segments of the population. It just makes the members of the more conservative contingent feel like their neckties are too tight, like their worldview is still endangered by the cultural descendants of the hippies who hoisted a green, smoke-wreathed flag in the turmoil of the '60s. But that's a cartoonish, puritanical view of a plant that's been around for millennia. Evidence from tombs in Asia reveals cannabis' use as a psychoactive substance at least as far back as 3,000 B.C., and conjecture places its cultivation as far back as 12,000 years. American views were mostly formed in the past century, in the wake of Mexican immigration during the Mexican Revolution. Whether the resulting fear of psychoactive marijuana was about the plant or about the ethnicity of its then-primary smokers is a matter for debate, but regardless, it became illegal in 1937.
Categories: Marijuana

US MA: A New Push For Marijuana Legalization

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 07:00
Valley Advocate, 19 Aug 2015 - On Aug. 5, the marijuana legalization group Bay State Repeal filed three versions of a new ballot question with the state Attorney General's office, all of which would allow persons 21 years of age or older to legally grow, acquire, and possess marijuana for personal consumption. The purpose of the initiative is to establish moderate taxes and regulations on marijuana so that, over time, legal sales would drive out illegal sales, said Steven Epstein, the group's press secretary. The proposed legislation, he said, "treats farmers like farmers, treats private producers like processors of food - subject to local and state zoning and health rules - and sets the same rules for dealers that apply to tobacconists."
Categories: Marijuana

US CT: Column: Marijuana Prohibition Has Run Its Course

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 07:00
Bristol Press, 19 Aug 2015 - Half a year ago, Colorado and Washington voters approved ballot measures to make marijuana legal in their states. But ending the pot prohibition can't happen overnight, even after electoral wins like that. Just ask Gil Kerlikowske, the nation's "drug czar." "Neither a state nor the executive branch can nullify a statute passed by Congress," Kerlikowske declared in a mid-April appearance at the National Press Club. That makes it sound pretty improbable that Colorado and Washington voters will see the change they supported at the ballot box anytime soon, doesn't it?
Categories: Marijuana

US CO: Column: Pueblo County Is Prime Pot-Growing Territory

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 07:00
Colorado Springs Independent, 19 Aug 2015 - Prospering in Pueblo Former Westword reporter Joel Warner dropped a compelling look at marijuana in Pueblo County these days in the Aug. 17 issue of High Country News. You can read the whole thing at bit.ly/1K2HMpK, but here are some highlights:
Categories: Marijuana

US MI: Column: What's So Bad About Being High?

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 07:00
Metro Times, 19 Aug 2015 - Back when I was in college, I walked into a friend's dorm room one night to find a bunch of weed scattered on a table with a bunch of ripped up papers. I could tell these guys were buggin' because their eyes were all bugged out as they stared at me. "Can you roll a joint?" one of them implored.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Utah SWAT Raids Almost All Drugs, Bolivia Reduces Coca Growing (Again), More (8/18/2015)

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 21:06

A Wisconsin tribe may legalize marijuana, Ohio foes line up against the legalization initiative there, more Washington state dispensaries will be forced to close, a Utah SWAT reporting law shows what those squads are up to -- and it isn't hostage situations or "active shooters" -- Bolivia coca growing down, and more.

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

Ohio Legalization Initiative Foes Get Organized. Business, children's advocacy, parents, religious groups, and other groups organizing to defeat the ResponsibleOhio marijuana legalization initiative have formed an opposition organization, No on 3. Some are opposing it because of its limitations on who could grow commercial marijuana; others, like the Ohio Children's Hospital Association, have more traditional plaints: "The legalization of marijuana in Ohio at this time and the way issue three proposes would set too dangerous of a precedent and put at risk the other three million kids in the state," said Nick Lashutka, president of the association.

Wisconsin's Menominee Tribe to Vote on Legalizing Marijuana. The Menominee, one of the poorest tribes in the country, are set to vote this week on whether to legalize and sell marijuana. The move comes after the state rejected the tribe's plan to build a casino in Kenosha. The Menominee say they are interested in marijuana to "Explore all opportunities to diversify the tribe's economy, create jobs, and provide revenue to the tribe necessary to fund health, education, social, law enforcement and and other important services."

Medical Marijuana

Most Tacoma Dispensaries to Be Shut Down. The city council this week decided to shut down most of the city's 60 unregulated medical marijuana dispensaries. The dispensaries have 45 days to close. After passage of Senate Bill 5052, which essentially folds the medical marijuana system into the recreational marijuana system, dispensaries and collective gardens will have to get licenses from the state beginning next July 1 or shut their doors.

Heroin and Opioids

Massachusetts Officials Want to Jack Up Penalties for Fentanyl. State Attorney General Martha Healey joined legislators and law enforcement officials at a press conference Tuesday to press for legislation that would double prison sentences for people caught in possession of more than 10 grams of the synthetic opioid fentanyl. People caught with large amounts of heroin face up to 30 years, but under a lacuna in state law, people caught with large amounts of synthetic opioids can only be charged with possession with intent to distribute, with a maximum sentence of 10 years. "By criminalizing the trafficking of fentanyl, we will give police and law enforcement the tools they need to get this deadly drug off the streets and out of the hands of those struggling with addiction," Healey said. Some 1,200 people died of drug overdoses in the state last year, and another 312 in the first quarter of this year. [Ed: Why 10 years isn't more than enough for almost any law enforcement purpose, especially in a time of mass incarceration when that type of sentencing is coming under increasing criticism from across the political aisle, is not clear. How sad that a Democrat and former civil rights official in a liberal state is campaigning for longer sentences.]

Law Enforcement

Utah SWAT Reporting Law Shows Overwhelming Majority of Deployments Were for Drug Raids. Utah passed a SWAT reporting law last year, and now the first numbers are in. They show that SWAT teams were deployed nearly twice a day (559 reported incidents, with 25% of agencies failing to report) and, most startlingly, 83% of all SWAT deployments were to serve search warrants for drug offenses. Two-thirds (65%) of the drug raid SWAT deployments either "no-knock" or "knock and announce" raids where police force entry into homes without giving residents a chance to just let them in. Much more at the link.

International

Bolivia Coca Production Falls for Fourth Straight Year. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime announced Monday that the amount of land devoted to coca production dropped by 11% last year, continuing a trend that has seen land devoted to coca drop by more than a third since 2010. President Evo Morales touted his government's approach as more effective than the US-led war on drugs. "Eradication and fighting a war on drugs with military bases is not the solution, as we've seen in some Andean countries, where there are US officials waging the war on drugs," he said. He was referring to the world's two largest coca and cocaine producers, Colombia and Peru, where eradication efforts have provoked sometimes bloody strife.

Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: 'The Cartel' Reads Like a Love Letter to Mexico

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 07:00
Chico Enterprise-Record, 18 Aug 2015 - Don Winslow's epic new novel, "The Cartel," about Mexican drug lord Adan Barrera's desperate moves to stay on top of a quickly changing political and competitive landscape, couldn't have been released at a better time. The book, which begins with a Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman-esque prison break, came out mere weeks before the real Guzman, the head of the Sinaloa cartel, disappeared from a Mexican prison cell through a tunnel.
Categories: Marijuana

US ME: Conflict Between Maine Pro-Pot Groups Spreads to the

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 07:00
Bangor Daily News, 18 Aug 2015 - PORTLAND, Maine - The conflict between two groups seeking to place recreational marijuana legalization questions on the 2016 state ballot continues to deepen as signature-gatherers take to the streets. After months of negotiations - which the leader of one of the groups characterized as a sham - failed to achieve a compromise, animosity between Legalize Maine and the Marijuana Policy Project made its way to the streets and storefronts of Portland, as the two organizations each work to gather more than 60,000 signatures required to place their questions on the November 2016 ballot.
Categories: Marijuana

US ME: OPED: 5 Myths About Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 07:00
Bangor Daily News, 18 Aug 2015 - By Jamie Comstock, Special to the BDN Posted Aug. 17, 2015, at 8:50 p.m. Let's break down some myths about marijuana: Myth 1: Marijuana use is harmless. Today's marijuana is far more potent than the plant of the past.
Categories: Marijuana

US OH: Marijuana Opponents Focus On Child Safety

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 07:00
Columbus Dispatch, 18 Aug 2015 - Two photos speak volumes about the fledgling campaign opposing marijuana legalization in Ohio. A picture of a child's hand reaching into a jar for a tempting gummy hints at the daunting possibility that kids might eat cookies and candy laced with marijuana, with resulting serious health effects.
Categories: Marijuana

US OH: Backers, Opponents of Ohio's Pot Issue Ready Fall

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 07:00
Morning Journal, 18 Aug 2015 - COLUMBUS (AP) - Those on both sides of a marijuana legalization proposal in Ohio were looking ahead to the fall election on Monday, with supporters announcing a statewide tour and opponents formally launching their campaign to defeat the issue. Passage of the proposed amendment on Nov. 3 would make Ohio a rare state to go from entirely outlawing marijuana to allowing it for all uses in a single vote.
Categories: Marijuana
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