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US DC: Congressional Deal Upends D.C. Pot Legalization

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 08:00
The Day, 11 Dec 2014 - Washington - Elected officials and drug-policy advocates hoped to make the nation's capital the first place on the East Coast with legal pot. They wanted to use the District of Columbia as further encouragement for states to make their own marijuana laws, and they were optimistic that Congress wouldn't intervene, pointing to a Republican caucus that's far from unified against pot. Those hopes were crushed late Tuesday when Congress reached a $1.1 trillion spending deal that bars the District from legalizing marijuana. Rather than trying to vote down the pot initiative - which Congress has the power to do - opponents placed language in an essential spending bill that would prevent the city from spending any money to enact it. - --- MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom
Categories: Marijuana

US: Deal Upends Pot Legalization in DC

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 08:00
The News-Item, 11 Dec 2014 - WASHINGTON (AP)- Elected officials and drug-policy advocates hoped to make the nation's capital the first place on the East Coast with legal pot. They wanted to use the District of Columbia as further encouragement for states to make their own marijuana laws, and they were optimistic that Congress wouldn't intervene, pointing to a Republican caucus that's far from unified against pot. Those hopes were crushed late Tuesday when Congress reached a $1.1 trillion spending deal that bars the District from legalizing marijuana. The move by Congress followed a familiar playbook when District leaders try to enact social policies that conservatives on Capitol Hill disagree with. Rather than trying to vote down the pot initiative-which Congress has the power to do-opponents placed language in an essential spending bill that would prevent the city from spending any money to enact it.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: Tea Party

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 08:00
North Coast Journal, 11 Dec 2014 - Libertarian boy wonder Rand Paul, a U.S. Senator from Kentucky, recently told a Louisville news outlet he smoked pot in his youth. "Let's just say I wasn't a choir boy when I was in college and that I can recognize that kids make mistakes," Paul said. "And I can say I made mistakes when I was a kid."
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US CO: Column: Can I Brew My Own Pot Beer?

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 08:00
Westword, 11 Dec 2014 - Dear Stoner: I'm a committed home brewer, and I was wondering how to make pot beer. I was thinking of adding oil to my beer, but I didn't know if that wouldn't dissolve in beer. I also thought about putting flower in the beer, like a hop, and boiling it for an hour - but I didn't know if that would extract the THC. If you have any ideas, I would love to hear them. Mark in Mayfair
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US AZ: Column: Educated Choices

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 08:00
Tucson Weekly, 11 Dec 2014 - How to make the best cannabis choices for you and how dispensaries can help you make those choices The cannabis movement is subject to a lot of stigma in the world today and one of the biggest hurdles we have to overcome to gain acceptance is the idea that medical marijuana must be smoked to be effective. This is simply untrue.
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US CA: Pot 'O Money

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 08:00
The Chico News & Review, 11 Dec 2014 - Board of Supervisors Allocates a Half-Million to Marijuana Measure On Tuesday (Dec. 9), the Butte County Board of Supervisors unanimously authorized spending nearly a half-million dollars toward the added costs of code enforcement anticipated with the recent passage of Measure A, a stricter medical marijuana cultivation ordinance than the county formerly had in place.
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US CA: Column: Fresno's A No-Go For Those Who Grow

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 08:00
Sacramento News & Review, 11 Dec 2014 - Hey, I hear Fresno is going to repeal their growing ban. What have you heard? - -Ray Zin Hey yourself. The Fresno County Board of supervisors had a meeting last week to discuss changing their ridiculous and overbearing ban on outdoor cultivation. The way the law stands now, no one can grow any cannabis at all and those that do are subject to a fine of $1,000 per plant, plus interest. If growers would like to appeal the fines, they have to appear in front of the Board of Supervisors. As it turns out, dang near everyone would like to appeal their fines, especially landlords from out of town, seeing as there is no grace period allowed for removing plants, and the BoS is having a hard time keeping up. So they had a meeting, and surprise surprise, nothing changed. It is still illegal to grow medical cannabis, indoors or outdoors, in Fresno County. This sort of zero-tolerance policy toward medical marijuana seems to be contagious. Some supervisors in El Dorado County are looking to repeal their current growing ordinance and replace it with a total ban on cannabis growing. Last week, they decided to form a committee to look into the best way to change the law.
Categories: Marijuana

US CO: Column: Could There Be An Agency More Inept Than

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 08:00
Boulder Weekly, 11 Dec 2014 - Do you remember Acapulco Gold? Panama Red? If you do, you can probably appreciate the latest twist in the war on cannabis. NPR reported recently that cannabis grown in the United States is being smuggled into Mexico and places beyond. Yes, you read that right. Let it settle in for a minute. Most of the cannabis used in the United States over the last decades has come from south of the border. Anyone who has used cannabis over the years remembers Mexican marijuana: Seedy, not a lot of buds or very strong, but plentiful and cheap. Not anymore. Today, Americans prefer U.S.- grown cannabis, and apparently, so do many Mexicans, who are willing to spend more for American pot than for their own homegrown. Acapulco Gold, make way for Sour Diesel.
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US NJ: Column: Tamir Rice Killing Sadly Reminiscent of 1994

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 08:00
The Trentonian, 11 Dec 2014 - I'm proud of the Ferguson protesters in most communities, people of color say nothing. A bunch of my white weed-smoking activist friends on Facebook are upset with me for talking about Ferguson and the national race issue it inspired. They're unfriending me in droves, and I myself have unfriended childhood friends.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: 'The Revolution Starts Here'

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 08:00
North Coast Journal, 11 Dec 2014 - A Fledgling Political Action Committee's Push to Regulate Weed in Humboldt It's Dec. 8, and three members of California Cannabis Voice Humboldt are sitting in the Journal's Old Town office. There's a sense of urgency - and even a little desperation - as they explain how the group has grown from its inaugural meeting less than six months ago to push itself to the forefront of the 18-year-old conversation about how Humboldt County should regulate its largest industry.
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US DC: Pot Proponents March, Hold Sit-in

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 08:00
Washington Post, 11 Dec 2014 - Let City Govern Itself, Activists Say D.C. officials and activists for marijuana legalization launched a long-shot bid Wednesday to halt a federal budget deal that appeared poised to upend the city's successful ballot measure last month to legalize the drug.
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US DC: Editorial: Congress's Hypocrisy

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 08:00
Washington Post, 11 Dec 2014 - It Allows State Marijuana Laws to Stand but Stirs to Action Against the District. THE FEDERAL spending bill now pending before Congress includes a provision that bars the Justice Department from spending any money to undermine state medical marijuana laws. It also includes an amendment that prohibits the Drug Enforcement Administration from interfering with a federal law that allows industrial hemp research in states that have approved it.
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US DC: D.C. Scrambles to Preserve Pot Laws

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 08:00
Washington Times, 11 Dec 2014 - Federal Budget Rider Blocks Voter Referendum The congressional architect of an amendment in a massive federal spending bill that rolled back new D.C. marijuana laws says the bill will block the city's voter-approved referendum legalizing recreational use of the drug, despite assertions from local leaders that the initiative could stand.
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US MD: Harris Takes On Anti-Pot Mantle

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 08:00
Baltimore Sun, 11 Dec 2014 - Spending Bill Contains Provision That Would Block D.C.'S Legalization Effort WASHINGTON - Rep. Andy Harris re-emerged Wednesday as a leading opponent of legalizing marijuana after lawmakers included a provision in the $1 trillion federal funding bill that appeared to block the District of Columbia from loosening its pot laws.
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Medical Marijuana Update

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 22:28

Big news from DC on Tuesday as congressional budget negotiators included language barring the use of federal funds to go after medical marijuana where it is legal, and a whole lot of news from California, too. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left]National

On Tuesday, a congressional budget deal blocked federal interference in medical marijuana states. In a deal hammered out Tuesday evening, the leaders of the House and Senate appropriations committees agreed on a budget bill that includes a measure curbing Justice Department enforcement efforts in states where medical marijuana is legal. The measure, in the form of an amendment offered by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), passed the House back in May. The relevant section of the bill, Section 538, lists all the states that have some form of legalized medical marijuana and says, "None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used… to prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana"

California

Last Tuesday, El Dorado County supervisors voted not to repeal the county's cultivation ordinance. Instead, supervisors decided to appoint a task force consisting of county counsel, the sheriff, DA and activists to come up with a solution that will protect patients' rights.

Also last Tuesday, Kern County supervisors approved civil lawsuits against collectives and cooperatives. The supervisors are going after 19 co-ops or collectives located in unincorporated areas of the county. The county previously sued other collectives and most of those have closed up shop.

Last Thursday, legislators filed statewide medical marijuana regulation bills. Legislators will try again next year to bring statewide regulation to the state's medical marijuana industry. Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) has filed Assembly Bill 26, which largely revives Tom Ammiano's failed AB 1894 from this year, while Rep. Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) has filed Assembly Bill 34, which is a one-sentence placeholder bill saying it is intended to regulate medical marijuana.

Last Saturday, California doctors rejected denying organ transplants to medical marijuana patients. The California Medical Association (CMA) voted unanimously this past weekend to urge transplant clinics in the state against removing patients from organ transplant lists based on their medical marijuana status or use. The CMA House of Delegates was in San Diego for its annual meeting, and voted Saturday on Resolution 116-14 in support of patients' ability to remain on transplant lists despite their medical marijuana use.

On Monday, the Siskiyou County planning division released its draft cultivation ordinance. The ordinance would limit outdoor grows to four plants on properties an acre or smaller, six plants on properties up to 2.5 acres, eight plants on up to five acres, and 10 plants on properties greater than five acres. Comments can be submitted via email at MMCO@co.siskiyou.ca.us.

On Tuesday, Butte County supervisors approved spending $446,500 to enforce the county's cultivation ordinance. The ordinance limits the size of medical marijuana gardens to 50 square feet on property larger than a half-acre, 100 square feet on properties larger than five acres, and 150 square feet on properties larger than 10 acres. The ordinance also allows anonymous denunciations of alleged violations.

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

Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Budget Bill Would Block DC Legalization, Also Blocks Federal MedMJ Enforcement, More (12/10/14)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 21:31

With the budget bill, Congress moves to block DC's voter-approved pot legalization, but also to block federal enforcement actions against medical marijuana where it is legal, a DC protest on the legalization move is set for this afternoon, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

Congressional Budget Deal Seeks to Block DC Legalization. The leaders of the House and Senate appropriations committees agreed on a budget bill Tuesday night that includes language seeking to block the District of Columbia from implementing the Measure 71 legalization initiative overwhelmingly approved by District voters. A bill summary provided by the House Appropriations Committee says the bill, which will be considered by the House and Senate later this week, "prohibits both federal and local funds from being used to implement a referendum legalizing recreational marijuana use in the District." While reform advocates were disappointed with outcome, some are suggesting that the bill's language can be parsed in such a way to render the congressional ban moot. That remains to be seen.

DC Protest Against Congressional Interference Set For Tonight. The DC Cannabis Campaign, sponsors of the DC legalization initiative, has announced a march on the US Capitol tonight to protest Congress's move to override the voters' decision to legalize marijuana in the District. Marchers will gather at the Justice Department at 9th and Pennsylvania NW at 5:00pm, then march to the Capitol at 6:00pm.

Anti-Marijuana Speakers Heckled at DC Heritage Foundation Event. Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), author of the budget bill amendment attempting to block legalization in DC, along with Rep. John Fleming (R-LA), another strong opponent of letting the District set its own marijuana laws, were greeted by hecklers at a Heritage Foundation event Tuesday. "I don't want to listen to these lies," shouted one heckler as Harris took the podium. "The people voted," a second shouted. Harris laughed when asked about the heckler, then proceeded to claim that legalizing marijuana would lead to increased teen drug use -- a claim that has not been borne out so far in states that have legalized it.

Medical Marijuana

Congressional Budget Deal Blocks Federal Interference in Medical Marijuana States. In a deal hammered out Tuesday evening, the leaders of the House and Senate appropriations committees agreed on a budget bill that includes a measure curbing Justice Department enforcement efforts in states where medical marijuana is legal. The measure, in the form of an amendment offered by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), passed the House back in May. The relevant section of the bill, Section 538, lists all the states that have some form of legalized medical marijuana and says, "None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used… to prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana." The bill also includes similar language barring the use of Justice Department funds to interfere with hemp research authorized under the already approved Agricultural Act of 2014.

Drug Testing

Florida Governor's Drug Testing Crusade Costing State's Taxpayers. The state has racked up at least $307,000 in legal fees and court costs as it tried in vain to defend Gov. Rick Scott's (R) unconstitutional law mandating suspicionless drug testing of welfare applicants. And taxpayers are likely to shell out even more -- in legal fees to the ACLU of Florida, which took the state to federal court over the law. The bill could rise even higher if Scott decides to appeal the four federal court decisions that have found the law unconstitutional.

International

Isle of Jersey Rejects Islander's Requests to Use Medical Marijuana. Jersey's drug law allows the health minister to issue license for possess marijuana for "special purposes," but the island's parliament has voted against allowing three residents to use medical marijuana products. "It is unlikely that 'special purpose' was ever intended to cover medicinal use," said one senator. "While the law allows for the minister for health and social services to issue a licence for research and special purposes it does not provide for the minister to step into the shoes of a doctor and, in effect, take clinical decisions in respect of an individual case."

Indonesian President to Ban Clemency for Drug Offenders Facing Execution. President Joko Widodo said Tuesday that he plans to enforce the death penalty for people convicted of drug crimes. There are currently 64 drug offenders on death row, and he said he would reject clemency requests for them. "They are not on my table yet. But I guarantee that there will be no clemency for convicts who committed narcotics-related crimes," Jokowi said. The government's insistence on implementing the death penalty has drawn criticism from human rights defenders in the country.

India Cops Do "Workarounds" to Bust Mephedrone Sellers. The synthetic psychedelic stimulant drug mephedrone is not illegal under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, and police are resorting to workarounds to "curb the menace." Mumbai police have instructed officers to arrest sellers under the penal code's offense of selling poison. And some police have even arrested sellers by charging them with selling methamphetamine, which mephedrone is not.

Categories: Marijuana

URGENT: Call Congress TODAY to Save DC Marijuana Legalization!

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 21:01

[image:1 align:left]Last month, 70% of voters in Washington, DC approved an initiative to legalization possession and home growing of marijuana. Later in the month, a committee of DC's city council advanced "tax and regulate" legislation that would authorize store sales too. Unfortunately, drug warriors in Congress led by Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) got language included in the pending "Continuing Resolution" omnibus bill to fund the government that would block tax and regulate legislation in the District, and which might block the initiative too. The rumor is that some (not all) Republicans wanted to stop DC from moving ahead, and that Democrats cut a deal.

There is only a little time left to influence this process. Please call your US Representative and your two US Senators and ask them to block the Harris Amendment to the omnibus spending bill that would block marijuana legalization in the Districut of Columbia. You can reach your legislators (or find out who they are) through the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, You can also look up that information on our web site's Congressional lookup tool here. When you're done, please send us a note to let us know what they said. (If you'd like a little help with what you're going to say on the phone, you can find a sample script from our friends at the "Just Say Now" campaign here.)

If you're in DC, there's a protest you can join today (Wednesday 12/10) -- a march from the Dept. of Justice at 950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, to the US Capitol, meeting at 5:00 with the march starting at 6:00pm.

Thank you for taking action -- time, and the truth are on our side!

Categories: Marijuana

Budget Bill Seeks to Block DC Pot Legalization, But…

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 08:36

The leaders of the House and Senate appropriations committees agreed on a budget bill Tuesday night that includes language seeking to block the District of Columbia from implementing the Measure 71 legalization initiative overwhelmingly approved by District voters. But there may be some wiggle room.

[image:1 align:left]A bill summary provided by the House Appropriations Committee says the bill, which will be considered by the House and Senate later this week, "prohibits both federal and local funds from being used to implement a referendum legalizing recreational marijuana use in the District."

The bill summary doesn't mention decriminalization, which was approved earlier this year by the DC city council and has already gone into effect.

Rumors had swirled throughout that day about what was being hammered out, with hopes raised at various points that some less onerous deal might be reached, perhaps one that would bar the DC city council from passing and implementing marijuana taxation and regulation. Such a DC bill is already in the works.

While reform advocates were disappointed with outcome, some are suggesting that the bill's language can be parsed in such a way to render the congressional ban moot. That remains to be seen.

This is not the first time Congress has acted to block the will of District voters on marijuana reform issues. In 1998, DC voters approved medical marijuana with 69% of the vote, but Congress blocked it for more than a decade. Now, DC voters, who approved legalization with 70% of the vote, are once again being given the back of the hand by the folks on Capitol Hill.

The omnibus budget bill is almost certain to pass Congress this week and be signed into law by President Obama. Then the legal battle to recognize the will of the people in Washington, DC, will commence.

Categories: Marijuana

CN BC: Column: Drug Use A Concern

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 08:00
The Morning Star, 10 Dec 2014 - I am always puzzled by the national media's focus on trivial issues and missing the more important challenges facing society and governments. Our society is being under-minded by substance abuse and very few people are talking about it. One in five Canadians (21.6 per cent ) has a substance or alcohol abuse problem. Substance abuse costs us $40 billion per year in Canada. Eighty per cent of federal offenders have a history of substance abuse issues. Six million Canadians are in recovery. Contrary to the solutions of the NDP and Liberals to legalize marijuana, because they say it is just a soft drug, studies found that 40 per cent of people that start using marijuana move on to harder drugs.
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US VA: Column: Eric Garner, Another Victim of the War on Drugs

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 08:00
Richmond Times-Dispatch, 10 Dec 2014 - When a grand jury refused last week to bring an indictment in the death of Eric Garner, the New Yorker who died from a policeman's chokehold, the outrage across the political spectrum was nearly universal. Left and right, libertarian and collectivist: Everybody was, for once, in agreement. For a moment or two. Then fissures began appearing. One of them concerned the role New York's cigarette taxes played - or didn't - in Garner's death. You can make a good argument, as several commentators did, that the city's outlandishly high taxes contributed to Garner's death. Those taxes have created a huge black market in cigarettes, and the cops were busting Garner for selling "loosies," or individual cigarettes, on the street. Not long ago, New York enhanced the penalty for selling loosies, and "an order to crack down on the illegal sale of 75-cent cigarettes in Staten Island came directly from police headquarters, setting off a chain of events that ended in Eric Garner's death," the Daily News reported.
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