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Chronicle AM: FL MedMJ Init Qualifies for Ballot, VT Gov Endorses Pot Legalization Bill, More... (1/28/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 22:16

Busy, busy. State legislatures are in full swing, and the bills just keep coming. Meanwhile, Florida's medical marijuana initiative has qualified for the ballot, Vermont's governor endorses legalization, and more.

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

Federal Judge Throws Out Lawsuit Against Colorado's Legalization. A Colorado US District Court judge has rejected a lawsuit challenging the legality of marijuana legalization in the state. The lawsuit was filed by a Washington, DC-based anti-marijuana group, the Safe Streets Alliance, and asked the court to find the state and Pueblo County guilty of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. The judge in the case rejected the claims, concluding that private parties have no standing to seek recourse for alleged violations of the Supremacy Clause, which makes federal law the supreme law of the land. Another lawsuit, filed by the states of Nebraska and Oklahoma, is still being decided.

New Mexico Poll Finds Strong Support for Legalization. Three out five (61%) adult New Mexicans support legalizing and regulating marijuana, according to a new poll from Research & Polling. The poll comes as the legislature ponders two bills, one that would amend the state constitution to let voters decide the issue, and one that is a straightforward legalization bill. The bills are Senate Joint Resolution 5 and House Bill 75, respectively.

Vermont Governor Endorses Legalization Bill. Gov. Peter Shumlin has endorsed the Senate Judiciary Committee's legalization bill, Senate Bill 137. "The War on Drugs has failed when it comes to marijuana prohibition," Gov. Shumlin said. "Under the status quo, marijuana use is widespread, Vermonters have little difficulty procuring it for personal use, and the shadows of prohibition make it nearly impossible to address key issues like prevention, keeping marijuana out of the hands of minors, and dealing with those driving under the influence who are already on Vermont's roads. The system has failed. The question for us is how do we deal with that failure. Vermont can take a smarter approach that regulates marijuana in a thoughtful way, and this bill provides a framework for us to do that."

DC Poll Finds Residents Want District to Move Ahead With Regulation -- Despite Congress. A substantial majority of District residents believe Mayor Bowser should move forward with taxation and regulation of marijuana despite Congressional prohibition, according to a survey conducted over the weekend by Public Policy Polling (PPP) for the Drug Policy Alliance, DC Vote, DC Working Families and the Washington City Paper. Two-thirds (66%) of respondents believe the mayor should pursue a legal method (such as use of reserve funds) to implement taxation and regulation of marijuana in the District. In light of congressional interference attempting to prevent such regulation, 63% of residents view marijuana legalization as a statehood issue for the District.

Medical Marijuana

Americans for Safe Access Releases Report on State Medical Marijuana Programs. The patient advocacy group graded each state and graded harshly. No state earned an "A" and only 12 earned a "B." Read the report here.

California Bill to Halt Medical Marijuana Bans Heads to Governor's Desk. After passing the Senate earlier this week, Assembly Bill 21, has now passed the Assembly and awaits a signature from Gov. Jerry Brown (D). The bill lifts a March 1 deadline for localities to regulate medical marijuana or lose control to the state. The deadline has prompted more than a hundred localtities to enact bans on various sorts in a bid to retain local control.

Florida Medical Marijuana Initiative Qualifies for the November Ballot. The group behind the effort, United for Care, said Wednesday the Division of Elections has recorded 692,981 verified voter signatures, nearly 10,000 more than needed to qualify. A similar effort won 58% of the vote in 2014, but failed to pass because constitutional amendments require 60% of the vote to pass in Florida.

Heroin and Prescription Opiates

Injection Drug Use Driving Appalachian Hepatitis B Infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that acute Hepatitis B was up 114% in Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia between 2009 and 2013. The report found that injection drug was tied to 75% of the new cases. Unlike Hep C, Hep B can be prevented with a vaccine, but vaccine coverage is low among adults nationwide.

Maine Governor Wants Gunowners to Shoot Drug Dealers. Just days after saying Maine should revive the guillotine to execute drug dealers, Gov. Paul LePage suggested just shooting them instead. "I tell ya, everybody in Maine, we have constitutional carry," LePage said in an on-camera interview in Lewiston. "Load up and get rid of the drug dealers. Because, folks, they're killing our kids," the governor said. He then denied that he was encouraging vigilantism.

New York Assembly Minority Task Force Releases Report on Heroin Addiction. The task force has come out with suggestions for combating heroin and opiate addiction. The recommendations include earlier drug education, involuntary "emergency medical" detention of addicts, and a felony "death by dealer" statute. Now, the task force must work with Assembly Democrats to create legislation.

Drug Testing

South Dakota Welfare Drug Testing Bill Killed in Committee. The Health and Human Services voted to kill a bill that would have required welfare applicants to undergo mandatory, suspicionless drug testing. Even the Republican governor had opposed the bill.

International

Producers of Prohibited Plants Issue Declaration Ahead of UNGASS. The Global Forum of Producers of Prohibited Plants (coca, opium, marijuana) is demanding that growers be heard at the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs in April. In a joint declaration from producers in 14 countries, the group urged an end to forced eradication of drug crops, the removal of the three plants from international drug control treaties, and sustainable rural economic development. Click the title link for a full list of participants and recommendations.

Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: The Cannabis Legalizers Opposing Legalization

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 08:00
SF Weekly, 28 Jan 2016 - "They didn't even call me," says Dennis Peron, perched on one of the fold-up chairs arranged around his Castro District kitchen table on a recent evening. "Why not even call?" "They" are the people who are continuing Peron's work, his life's mission: to make marijuana legal. At 70, his hair white and his speech still rapid but softened by a stroke, Peron has been at it for almost 40 years - ever since he arrived in San Francisco fresh from Vietnam, his Air Force duffel bag stuffed with southeast Asian ganja. And his body bears the scars.
Categories: Marijuana

US CO: Column: Safety First - and Ethical Considerations of

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 08:00
Boulder Weekly, 28 Jan 2016 - No matter how you feel about the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, medically or recreationally, the legal change in status effectively enhanced the freedoms of adults in Colorado. It allowed individuals a choice where before they had none, at least within a lawful context. The conversation about whether or not that freedom should be extended nationally is largely an abstract and subjective consideration of right and wrong. But the question for states like Colorado is how that freedom is best managed amid all the practical considerations.
Categories: Marijuana

US AZ: Column: The Struggle Continues

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 08:00
Tucson Weekly, 28 Jan 2016 - Continuing the State's Anti-Marijuana Trend, Several Proposals by GOP Lawmakers Want to Make It Make It Harder for Patients to Access Medical Weed As it's been the tradition for several years, the 2016 legislative session began with nearly a handful of proposals hoping to burn down the state's medical marijuana industry. Whether any of them will see the light of day is still up for debate, but the bills still fired up medical weed advocates, who are sick and tired of state lawmakers continuously attacking the 2010 voter-approved Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.
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US CA: Column: Thirst

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 08:00
North Coast Journal, 28 Jan 2016 - Cheers and applause from a standing-room-only audience filled the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors chambers on Jan. 22 when the board voted unanimously to adopt an outdoor medical marijuana land use ordinance. The ordinance - the culmination of a fast-paced review process by the board, county staff and the planning commission begun in September - will go into effect 30 days after adoption, just in time to avoid ceding control to state guidelines that haven't yet been fully developed. (Though the state deadline, imposed when Gov. Jerry Brown signed sweeping medical marijuana reforms last year, is poised to disappear, as North Coast Assemblyman Jim Wood's bill striking the date has already passed the Senate.)
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US OR: Column: Stoners, Meet Drinkers

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 08:00
Portland Mercury, 28 Jan 2016 - I'M NOT ANTI-ALCOHOL. I swear. Although I'm basically a teetotaler, I have no issues with those who enjoy the water of fire. As with most intoxicants, I'm cool with what you do, as long as you aren't impacting the vibe of those around you. That said, I've had a few experiences lately that have made me question if cannabis consumers do well in the company of drinkers.
Categories: Marijuana

US CO: Column: Dear Stoner: What If You're Allergic to

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 08:00
Westword, 28 Jan 2016 - Dear Stoner: Do marijuana allergies exist? If so, what happens if you're allergic to marijuana and smoke it? Mick Dear Mick: Marijuana can cure many ills, but like pollen, peanuts or grass, it's also capable of making some people swell up and turn red. According to a story in U.S. News & World Report, one woman required two EpiPens and hospitalization after just coming in contact with marijuana (she didn't smoke it or otherwise ingest it). And according to a study featured in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, she's not the only one with a severe marijuana allergy. "As expected with most plant aeroallergens, cannabis pollen inhalation has been noted to cause symptoms of allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis, and asthma," the publication reports. Don't be scared, though: That study also indicated that cannabis allergies are relatively uncommon.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: Dissed By The Dispensary

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 08:00
Sacramento News & Review, 28 Jan 2016 - I am wondering what recourse patients have if they feel that a collective has taken advantage of them? I recently made a purchase, and when I got home I noticed that several items were missing. I called the dispensary and they pretty much gave me the runaround. I tried to ask for a manager, but I have had no success resolving this issue. I am very upset. Cannabis is expensive and I need it for my various medical issues. Any advice? - -Holden D. Bag
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Editorial: Chico: Say No To A Ban

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 08:00
The Chico News & Review, 28 Jan 2016 - The City Council Must Act Wisely-Not Hastily-in Regard to Medical Marijuana While cities throughout California scramble to react to a deadline in a new state law, Chico will be better served if it sits back and takes a more thoughtful approach. The law is part of a package of three bills, collectively known as the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA), that went into effect Jan. 1 and creates a framework for licensing and taxing the drug for commercial sale. Unfortunately, the bills came with a deadline of March 1 for local governments to enact laws relating to cannabis cultivation in order to maintain local control. This has cities and towns-including every other municipality in Butte County-acting brashly and outright banning growing, selling and delivering medical marijuana.
Categories: Marijuana

CN BC: Column: This Is B.C. On Weed

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 08:00
Merritt Herald, 28 Jan 2016 - With unlicensed marijuana dispensaries popping up in urban areas and thousands of unregulated medical licences for home growing still in legal limbo, the Trudeau government is starting work on its promise to legalize recreational use. Marijuana was a media darling in the recent election, but meeting in Vancouver with provincial ministers last week, federal Health Minister Jane Philpott found herself preoccupied with issues deemed more urgent.
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Chronicle AM: DC MJ Club Ban Moving, Fed Lawmakers Want MedMJ Allowed for Vets, More... (1/27/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 22:56

State legislators are getting busy, the DC city council resorts to sneakery to try to kill pot clubs, federal representatives ask the VA to let doctors recommend medical marijuana for veterans, and more.

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

Arizonans Rally to Support Legalization Bill. Marijuana reform advocates rallied at the state capitol Wednesday to support a bill that would legalize marijuana. Carrying signs that red "Cannabis Reduces Opiate Overdose" and "Cannabis is a Natural Alternative to Harmful Pharma," the ralliers urged passage of House Bill 2006, introduced by Rep. Mark Cardenas (D).

Vermont Legalization Bill Sees Tussles Ahead of Vote Tomorrow. The powerful chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Dick Sears (D-Burlington) has said he won't vote for his own committee's legalization bill if it allows for home cultivation, and he's also asking the committee to make additional changes, including moving some of the tax proceeds to the general fund and increasing penalties for adults who sell pot to minors. The measure is Senate Bill 137.

Washington State Bill Would Allow Home Cultivation. A bill to allow for home cultivation of up to six plants has been introduced with bipartisan support in the legislature. Washington's version of legalization does not allow for home cultivation, but House Bill 2629 would change that, bringing Washington in line with other legalization states.

In Sneak Move, DC Council Moves to Ban Pot Social Clubs. With the public notified only moments before markup, the DC Council's Committee on the Judiciary voted today to permanently ban marijuana consumption in private clubs. A temporary ban was set to expire April 15, and advocates had hoped the Council would let it lapse. The bill approved by the committee bars entities from providing adults with private spaces other than a residence to consume marijuana, and requires the Mayor's office to revoke a business' license after only one instance of a patron consuming marijuana on the premises.

Medical Marijuana

Lawmakers Call on VA to Let Doctors Recommend Medical Marijuana. Twenty-one members of Congress have written to VA Secretary Robert McDonald urging him to allow VA doctors to discuss medical marijuana as a possible treatment in states where it is legal. A VA policy that does not allow doctors to recommend it expires at the end of this month, and the lawmakers are calling on McDonald to not extend it. "You are in a position to make this change when the current directive expires at the end of this month," Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sen. Steve Daines (D-MT), and others wrote Wednesday to McDonald. "We ask that you act to ensure that our veterans' access to care is not compromised and that doctors and patients are allowed to have honest discussions about treatment options."

Industrial Hemp

Hawaii Industrial Hemp Production Bill Filed. Reps. Kaniela Ing (D-South Maui) and Cynthia Thielen (R-Oahu) have introduced House Bill 2555, which would allow for industrial hemp production for research purposes. The bill is backed by the state Department of Agriculture.

Asset Forfeiture

Wisconsin Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Gets Committee Hearing. The Senate Committee on Labor and Government Reform Tuesday took up Senate Bill 521, which would end civil asset forfeiture in the state. Speaking in support were the Wisconsin ACLU and the Wisconsin Grandsons of Liberty; speaking against were -- you guessed it -- representatives of law enforcement. No vote was taken.

Drug Testing

Virginia Welfare Drug Testing Bills Killed. The Health, Welfare and Institutions Subcommittee #1 narrowly defeated a combined pair of bills, House Bill 468 and House Bill 86, that would have required welfare applicants to undergo drug tests before receiving benefits. "VIEW recipients are no more likely statistically to be drug users than any other group and to target them would be unfair," Del. Marcia Price (D-Newport News) said. "I am proud to have agreed with my colleagues across the aisle that there was a lack of evidence to warrant this practice. We would be better served, instead of this practice, to continue to invest money into the tangible obstacles to employment. Rightly, partisan politics did not stand in the way of doing what is right for our Commonwealth."

Sentencing

Maine Bill to More Harshly Punish Outsiders Bringing Drugs to State Gets Hearing. The legislature's Criminal Justice Committee heard conflicting testimony Monday on LD 1541, which creates the crime of "aggravated importation of scheduled drugs." The bill doesn't specify, but the measure is clearly aimed at heroin traffickers bringing the drug into the state. Not everyone was gung-ho, though: Tougher sentences are "just not the most effective tool against this scourge," said John Pelletier, a member of the Maine Criminal Advisory Commission. The measure would double prison sentences for importing heroin into the state from five to 10 years, and up to 30 years in some cases.

International

Mexico's National Marijuana Legalization Debate is Underway. Lawmakers met in Cancun Tuesday to open the first batch of debates on marijuana legalization. President Enrique Pena Nieto is opposed, but called for national debate after court rulings appeared to open cracks in the country's prohibition.

Categories: Marijuana

CN BC: Editorial: Legal Limbo On Marijuana Laws

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 08:00
Penticton Western, 27 Jan 2016 - Though it was an election promise, Justin Trudeau's Liberals aren't going to be able to legalize marijuana overnight. In fact, the legalization of pot might take longer than the four years they are guaranteed before the next federal election in Oct. 2019.
Categories: Marijuana

CN BC: Editorial: Dispensing Pot Advice

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 08:00
Peninsula News Review, 27 Jan 2016 - Sidney and the local police force seem to be doing everything they can to nip a proposed medicinal marijuana dispensary in the bud. Better to try and prevent a retail pot shop up front, one would suppose, rather than have police conduct raids later on.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Marijuana Decrim Killed in VA, Ireland Ponders Pill Testing for Festivals, More (1/26/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 01/26/2016 - 22:12

Alaska's commercial marijuana regulations advance, so does a Kansas bill lowering pot penalties and a pair of Florida asset forfeiture reform bills, the Irish government ponders pill testing for nightclubs and festivals, a medical marijuana bill is filed in Mexico, and more.

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

Hillary Clinton Reiterates Support for Letting States Legalize Marijuana. In an interview Monday, the Democratic presidential contender restated her position that the federal government shouldn't interfere with state-level legalization. "I think that states are the laboratories of democracy, and four states have already taken action to legalize, and it will be important that other states and the federal government take account of how that's being done, what we learn from what they're doing,"said Clinton. "I think that the states moving forward is appropriate and I think the federal government has to move to make this more available for research that they can then distribute to interested people across our country."

Alaska Legal Marijuana Rules Advance, With Two Exceptions. The Marijuana Control Board's rules and regulations for commercial marijuana activity have been approved by the state Law Department, with two exceptions. The Law Department struck down a requirement for a national criminal history check, saying that authority must come from statute, not regulations, and it struck down marijuana testing requirements for rural growers. The Law Department said the Board's allowance of "alternative means of testing" for rural growers lacks standards. The Board said the legislature is already working on a fix for the background checks, but it doesn't yet have a fix for the rural grower issue.

Kansas Senate Panel Okays Lessening Pot Penalties, Legalizing CBC Cannabis Oil. The Senate Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee Tuesday approved bills lessening marijuana possession penalties and allowing for the use of CBD cannabis oil for people with epilepsy. The bills now head for the Senate floor.

Virginia Decriminalization Bills Killed By House Committee. The House Courts of Justice Committee's Subcommittee on Criminal Law Monday voted down a pair of bills that would decriminalize marijuana possession in the Commonwealth.

New Orleans Ordinance Would Give Police Discretion to Ticket Marijuana Possessors. Currently, only first-time pot possession offenders are eligible for a summons instead of an arrest, but Councilwoman Susan Guidry is offering a measure that would allow police to only ticket pot possessors no many how many offenses they had. The measure is on the council's agenda today.

Medical Marijuana

California Senate Approves Bill to Slow Medical Marijuana Bans. The state Senate Monday approved Assembly Bill 21, designed to fix what lawmakers called a mistake in the state's comprehensive medical marijuana regulation laws. The bill had a paragraph that gave the state authority to license cultivation in localities that didn't have their own laws on the books by March 1, and many localities had responded by passing preemptive cultivation bans. The bill now goes to the Assembly.

Asset Forfeiture

Florida Asset Forfeiture Reform Bills Win Committee Vote. Two competing reform bills passed a Senate panel Tuesday. A bill from Sen. Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach) would leave civil asset forfeiture intact, but increase oversight, while a bill from Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) would require a criminal conviction before seizure of assets. Law enforcement supports the first bill, but not the second. The committee passed both measures.

Drug Policy

Poll: New Hampshire Voters Support Drug Decriminalization. Two-thirds of state voters supported not arresting small-time drug possessors, but instead offering them counseling and treatment. And nearly three-quarters (73%) supporting doing away with mandatory minimum sentences for drug possession offenses.

International

Ireland Considering Pill Testing for Nightclubs, Festivals. In the wake of the drug-related death of a teenage clubber last week, Health Minister Leo Varadkar said the government is considering allowing pill testing kits for music venues. But he said that prevention is the first pillar in the department's approach to the problem.

Mexico Medical Marijuana Bill Coming. A senator from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) has proposed a bill to legalize medical marijuana and says she thinks it can pass by May. Sen. Cristina Diaz said she hoped the national debate on marijuana, which began this week, would help the bill progress.

(This article was prepared by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also pays the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

Categories: Marijuana

CN NF: Column: Cha-Ching!

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 01/26/2016 - 08:00
The Telegram, 26 Jan 2016 - Colorado Raking in Taxes From Legalized Weed A pall hangs over Denver, Colorado. Lawlessness stalks its streets, while stupefied potheads loll on every corner, stoned senseless on legal weed. Well, actually, no, it's not really like that at all. Really, it's just another day.
Categories: Marijuana

CN NF: Column: Cha-Ching! Colorado Raking in Taxes From

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 01/26/2016 - 08:00
The Western Star, 26 Jan 2016 - A pall hangs over Denver, Colorado. Lawlessness stalks its streets, while stupefied potheads loll on every corner, stoned senseless on legal weed. Well, actually, no, it's not really like that at all. Really, it's just another day.
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Good Weeds Lounge Owners Charged

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 01/26/2016 - 08:00
Metro, 26 Jan 2016 - Toronto police have raided a marijuana dispensary on the Danforth, a little more than a week after its owners were featured in a media interview that touted their business as "totally illegal." Chris Goodwin and Erin Goodwin, owners of Good Weeds Lounge, are charged with two counts possession for the purpose of trafficking, relating to marijuana and cannabis resin, plus possession of the proceeds of crime. Erin Goodwin is also charged with simple possession. The investigation was sparked by "community complaints," Const. Caroline de Kloet told Metro. The raid happened Thursday.
Categories: Marijuana

CN BC: Pot Shops Not Far Enough Away From Children: School

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 01/26/2016 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 26 Jan 2016 - Vancouver's pot-shop bylaw doesn't keep storefront cannabis sales far enough away from students, a school board trustee says, and he's urging the city once again to toughen the licensing provisions. The board asked city council last June to force licensed dispensaries to keep 500 metres away from any school, but the new bylaw created a buffer zone of 300 metres.
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Column: Dealing With Drug-Abusing Teen Not For The

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 01/26/2016 - 08:00
Hamilton Spectator, 26 Jan 2016 - DEALING WITH DRUG-ABUSING TEEN NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART Q: Our son has a drug problem. He uses marijuana daily. He continues to bring it into our home even though we ask him not to. His grades have dropped drastically and we don't like the friends he hangs out with. He argues that marijuana is harmless and uses information from the Internet to support his point of view. Clearly our arguing is going nowhere, but we don't know what to do and we don't want to kick him out of our home. What more can we do?
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: Atascadero's Ban on Marijuana, Celebration of

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 01/26/2016 - 08:00
The Tribune, 26 Jan 2016 - Don't allow marijuana sales here. I see that the Atascadero City Council voted unanimously to ban all marijuana cultivation in the city and to continue its ban on both dispensaries and deliveries of the drug.
Categories: Marijuana
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