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US OR: Column: California's Pot Initiative

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 07:00
Portland Mercury, 14 Jul 2016 - Is That State's Brand-New Cannabis Initiative Any Good? What do you think of California's brand new pot initiative? IT'S A MIXED BAG, but I'm getting on board. Last week, California announced that the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) officially has a home on the state's November ballot. Over the past year, the concept of legalization among California voters has been polling very well. It seems almost certain the AUMA will pass.
Categories: Marijuana

US OR: Column: The Banks Hate The Dank

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 07:00
Portland Mercury, 14 Jul 2016 - It's Still Impossible for Cannabis Businesses to Open Bank Accounts AT A RECENT cannabis event I went to, the crowd was made up of cannabis professionals: dispensary owners and staff, growers, edible makers, processors, and wholesalers. Among the speakers was the head of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission's (OLCC) cannabis program. During the Q&A, a grower brought up how that very week, his bank account had been shut down-the third time in the past year.
Categories: Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Update

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 07/13/2016 - 21:08

The Republican platform committee rejects medical marijuana, medical marijuana research issues get a hearing in the Senate, Arkansas will vote on at least one medical marijuana initiative this fall -- maybe two -- and more.

[image:1 align:left]National

On Monday, the GOP rejected a medical marijuana platform plank. Republican delegates meeting Monday in Cleveland ahead of the party's national convention voted against endorsing medical marijuana in their party platform. The vote came after contentious debate, with some delegates making claims about marijuana reminiscent of Reefer Madness. One delegate claimed people who commit mass murders are "young boys from divorced families, and they're all smoking pot," another compared medical marijuana to physically addictive and potentially lethal prescription opiates. Still, it took two voice votes for the measure to be voted down.

On Tuesday, a Senate subcommittee held a hearing on medical marijuana research. The US Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism held the hearing on "Researching the Potential Medical Benefits and Risks of Marijuana." Testimony was heard from Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), who are original co-sponsors of medical marijuana legislation introduced last year in the Senate known as the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act (S 683). Other scheduled included officials from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), among others.

Also on Tuesday, Senators Feinstein and Grassley called for expedited evaluation of the medical uses of CBD. The two Senate octogenarians have asked Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Health and Human Services Director Sylvia Burwell for the two agencies to work together to remove barriers to the scientific and medical evaluation of cannabidiol (CBD). The pair, who are, respectively, the co-chair and chair of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, made their request in a letter to the two agency heads.

Arkansas

Last Tuesday, the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act qualified for the November ballot. Arkansans for Compassionate Care (ACC) has collected enough valid voter signatures to qualify its medical marijuana initiative for the November ballot, Secretary of State Mack Martin confirmed. A second initiative, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, has yet to qualify for the ballot, and ACC is calling on its organizers to end their campaign and join forces.

Last Friday, supporters of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment handed in signatures. Backers of a proposed constitutional amendment to allow medical marijuana turned in more than 106,000 signatures to state officials, the last day for turn-ins. They need nearly 85,000 valid voter signatures, so this is going to be a nail-biter. Earlier this week, a competing medical marijuana initiative from Arkansans for Compassionate Care qualified for the ballot.

On Tuesday, the Health Department came out against the medical marijuana initiatives. The state Department of Health said in a statement that it opposed such initiatives because marijuana is not approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration and its legalization by popular vote is not grounded in "rigorous" science. A medical marijuana initiative from Arkansans for Compassionate Care has already qualified for the ballot, and the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment has handed in some 106,000 signatures. It needs 85,000 valid ones to qualify.

California

Last Tuesday, the San Bernardino city council voted to put a dispensary regulatory system before the voters. The city council voted to put the measure on the November ballot even though a majority disapproves of it. Their hand was forced by a petition campaign that gathered more than 6,000 voter signatures. A second, competing proposal may also make the ballot.

Also last Tuesday, a Long Beach dispensary initiative qualified for the November ballot. City Clerk Maria de la Luz Garcia announced that an initiative to allow dispensaries has qualified for the November ballot. A city council member may try to add another ballot measure that would allow dispensaries, but with more restrictions.

Illinois

On Monday, officials reported climbing medical marijuana sales. The state saw $2.57 million in medical marijuana sales in June, up from $2.3 million in May, according to figures from the state Department of Agriculture. Sales total $13.8 million since the first dispensaries started operating last November. The numbers should increase even further once two new qualifying conditions -- PTSD and terminal illness -- come on line. They've already been approved, but the Department of Health is in the midst of preparing new rules and application forms.

Maine

On Tuesday, Mthe state rejected including opiate addiction as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana. The administration of Tea Party Gov. Paul LePage (R) has rejected a petition seeking to include opiate addiction on the state's list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. State officials said the case for inclusion was "compelling," but they also said human studies hadn't been done and more research was needed.

North Dakota

On Monday, a medical marijuana initiative campaign handed in signatures. The North Dakotans for Compassionate Care campaign handed in some 15,500 raw signatures for its medical marijuana initiative Monday, the last day for handing them in. The campaign needs 13,452 valid voter signatures to qualify, so there is very little cushion for invalidated signatures. Stay tuned.

On Wednesday, word came that the initiative campaign actually handed in 17,000 signatures. The North Dakotans for Compassionate Care campaign actually handed in some 17,000 raw signatures for its medical marijuana initiative Monday. Earlier reports had the number at 15,500. It's still going to a nail-biter to see if it qualifies for the ballot; it needs 13,452 valid voter signatures.

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

Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: NYC K2 Panic, Sen. Feinstein Rejects Marijuana Initiative, More... (7/13/2016)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 07/13/2016 - 20:23

Feinstein comes out against California's Prop 64, the Arkansas Health Department comes out against medical marijuana initiatives, an outbreak of synthetic cannabinoid overdoses in New York City raises alarms and more reasoned responses, and more.

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

Senator Dianne Feinstein Opposes California Legalization Initiative. US Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has formally opposed the Prop 64 legalization initiative. In remarks Tuesday, she said the measure lacked protections for children and motorists and would clash with the state's medical marijuana system. "I am not really for recreational use of marijuana," she said. "Medical use, yes."

Medical Marijuana

Arkansas Health Department Opposes Medical Marijuana Initiatives. The state Department of Health said in a statement Tuesday that it opposed such initiatives because marijuana is not approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration and its legalization by popular vote is not grounded in "rigorous" science. A medical marijuana initiative from Arkansans for Compassionate Care has already qualified for the ballot, and the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment has handed in some 106,000 signatures. It needs 85,000 valid ones to qualify.

North Dakota Activists Actually Handed in 17,000 Signatures. The North Dakotans for Compassionate Care campaign actually handed in some 17,000 raw signatures for its medical marijuana initiative Monday. Earlier reports had the number at 15,500. It's still going to a nail biter to see if it qualifies for the ballot; it needs 13,452 valid voter signatures.

New Psychoactive Substances

Outbreak of "Synthetic Marijuana" Overdoses in New York City. On Tuesday, emergency workers had to transport 33 people suspected of overdosing on synthetic cannabinoids commonly referred to as K2 to local hospitals. Locals and press reports refer to the victims as "zombies." The outbreak occurred at the border of the Bedford-Stuyvesant and Bushwick neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

Drug Policy Alliance Responds to K2 Outbreak, Media Coverage. The piece by DPA Director of Academic Engagement Dr. Julie Netherland notes that the synthetic cannabinoid market is completely unregulated and people who use those substances do not know what they are getting. She also points out that one of the primary factors driving the use of such substances is marijuana prohibition. And more.

Categories: Marijuana

US: Column: MJ Saves Medicare Money

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 07/13/2016 - 07:00
Anderson Valley Advertiser, 13 Jul 2016 - Researchers at the University of Georgia have published a study in the July issue of Health Affairs showing that Medicare's prescription drug benefit program saves money in states that have legalized marijuana for medical use. Authors Ashley Bradford and Dr. David Bradford - daughter and father, BTW - calculate that in 2013, patients using medical marijuana in 17 states enabled Medicare Part D to save US taxpayers $165.2 million that would have been spent on prescription drugs. As reported by the university's media office, the Bradfords- . combed through data on all prescriptions filled by Medicare Part D enrollees from 2010 to 2013, a total of over 87 million physician-drug-year observations.
Categories: Marijuana

US: Cash-Only Pot Joints A Target

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 07/13/2016 - 07:00
Chicago Tribune, 13 Jul 2016 - After Dispensary Shootings, Industry Urges Bank Access LOS ANGELES - The recent killing of a marijuana store security guard in Colorado and the wounding of another guard in San Bernardino are the latest examples of the crime lure posed by cash-only pot dispensaries, industry observers say.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: GOP Rejects MedMJ, Colombia & FARC Collaborate on Coca Substitution, More... (7/12/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 07/12/2016 - 20:48

Medical marijuana is getting some attention on Capitol Hill, Arizona legalization foes go to court to try to block the initiative, Maine rejects medical marijuana for opiate addiction, Colombia and the FARC rebels partner on a coca crop substitution pilot program, and more.

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

Arizona Prohibitionists File Lawsuit to Block Legalization Initiative. Legalization opponents Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy have joined two county attorneys in filing a lawsuit to block the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol's legalization initiative from going before voters in November. The lawsuit claims the initiative is "misleading" and is not accurately summarized by its title and text. Legalization opponents in Massachusetts tried a similar tactic earlier this year. They failed.

Michigan Asks Judge to Throw Out Legalization Group's Ballot Access Challenge. The state is asking the Court of Claims to dismiss a lawsuit from MI Legalize, which is seeking to place its legalization initiative on the November ballot. The group gathered more than 350,000 signatures and only needed some 252,000 to qualify, but some of those signatures were obtained outside a 180-day window generally mandated by state law. In seeking dismissal, the state argues that there isn't enough time to get the measure on the ballot now, the lawsuit fails to identify constitutional claims and contradicts earlier state Supreme Court rulings.

Kansas City Marijuana Advocates Launch Decriminalization Initiative Campaign. The Kansas City, Missouri, NORML branch is collecting signatures to get a decriminalization initiative on the November ballot. The proposal would decriminalize up to 35 grams of pot, with a maximum fine of $25. The group needs 1,708 valid voter signatures by August 25, but says it plans to gather hundreds more than that and has 800 already.

Medical Marijuana

GOP Rejects Medical Marijuana Platform Plank. Republican delegates meeting Monday in Cleveland ahead of the party's national convention voted against endorsing medical marijuana in their party platform. The vote came after contentious debate, with some delegates making claims about marijuana reminiscent of Reefer Madness. One delegate claimed people who commit mass murders are "young boys from divorced families, and they're all smoking pot," another compared medical marijuana to physically addictive and potentially lethal prescription opiates. Still, it took two voice votes for the measure to be voted down.

Senate Subcommittee Hearing on Medical Marijuana Research Today. The US Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism is scheduled to hold a hearing today on "Researching the Potential Medical Benefits and Risks of Marijuana." Testimony will be heard from Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), who are original co-sponsors of medical marijuana legislation introduced last year in the Senate known as the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act (S 683). Other scheduled witnesses include officials from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), among others.

Senators Feinstein and Grassley Call for Expedited Evaluation of Medical Uses of CBDs. The two Senate octogenarians have asked Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Health and Human Services Director Sylvia Burwell for the two agencies to work together to remove barriers to the scientific and medical evaluation of cannabidiol (CBD). The pair, who are, respectively, the co-chair and chair of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, made their request in a letter to the two agency heads.

Maine Rejects Including Opiate Addiction as Qualifying Condition for Medical Marijuana. The administration of Tea Party Gov. Paul LePage (R) has rejected a petition seeking to include opiate addiction on the state's list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. State officials said the case for inclusion was "compelling," but they also said human studies hadn't been done and more research was needed.

International

Colombia and FARC Rebels Begin Coca Substitution Pilot Program. The government and the guerrillas Sunday began a pilot project to wean farmers off coca by offering them alternative crops. The move comes as the UN Office on Drugs and Crime reports that coca production is booming in what farmers see as a last opportunity to cash in before peace allows for a serious crop substitution effort. Some 500 small farmers are voluntarily participating in the program, which will be used as a model for the rest of the country after the FARC and the government reach final peace agreements.

Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Medical Marijuana Advocates Oppose Proposed Grow

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 07/12/2016 - 07:00
The Union, 12 Jul 2016 - New proposed rules for medical marijuana grows led to anger on Tuesday as some medicinal cannabis proponents said they couldn't support the new recommendations while urging supervisors to compromise. County officials, however, said they had to consider environmental concerns and secure four out of five supervisor votes on July 26 to pass interim grow rules and repeal the existing outdoor grow ban.
Categories: Marijuana

US FL: City Votes For Pause On Pot Dispensaries

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 07/12/2016 - 07:00
Orlando Sentinel, 12 Jul 2016 - Orlando commissioners voted to approve a temporary moratorium on marijuana dispensaries in the city Monday, months before Florida voters will again weigh in on medical uses for the drug. The City Council vote comes after three would-be sellers of either medicinal marijuana or the low-THC oil known as Charlotte's Web have recently expressed interest in Orlando storefronts where current zoning would allow them.
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US PA: Leach Paves Way For Medical Marijuana In Pa.

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 07/12/2016 - 07:00
Daily Times, 12 Jul 2016 - Proposals for Sites Starting to Bubble Up in Delco UPPER MERION - Passage of legislation that legalized medical marijuana in Pennsylvania marked the end of seven long, hard years of negotiation. Now that Gov. Tom Wolf has signed the measure into law, the push is on to explain the ramifications, including possible business opportunities tied to the medical marijuana field, including a couple that are being bandied about here in Delaware County.
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US AZ: Ariz. Court: Pot Smell Enough To Ok Search

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 07/12/2016 - 07:00
The Sun, 12 Jul 2016 - PHOENIX - Got marijuana? Not legally? Might want to keep the smell down. A pair of new court rulings Monday allows the police to pursue a search of your place or your vehicle solely based on the odor.
Categories: Marijuana

US MA: Column: Like Bill Clinton, I Didn't Inhale

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 07/12/2016 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 12 Jul 2016 - The Fight Against Marijuana Legalization When it comes to marijuana legalization, what do you trust? Studies that conclude cannabis is not a harmful gateway drug - or the memory of a glassy-eyed college roommate who stopped going to class?
Categories: Marijuana

US ME: Maine Receives Just Two Applications To Grow Hemp

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 07/12/2016 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 12 Jul 2016 - AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - So far, only the Passamaquoddy Tribe and a Portland resident have received permission to grow what would be the state's first licensed crops of industrial hemp. They are going into unknown territory in Maine at a time when federal law prohibits commercial hemp cultivation. Republican state Representative Deborah Sanderson, of Chelsea, who sponsored last summer's hemp legalization bill, said the state's been "very slow" in getting the crop going. Benedicta potato farmer Glenn Lane said the Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry has prolonged the rule-making process.
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US AZ: Anti-Marijuana Campaign Files Suit Vs. Legalization

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 07/12/2016 - 07:00
The Sun, 12 Jul 2016 - PHOENIX - Foes of legalizing marijuana for recreational use in Arizona are trying to block voters from getting their say on the measure. In a lawsuit filed Monday, challengers say the 38-page initiative is legally flawed, to the point where it would be illegal to put the question on the November ballot.
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Chronicle AM: House Passes Opioid Bill Without $$, CA Drug Felonies Plummet, More... (7/11/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 20:13

California felony drug arrests are down, Colombian coca production is up, the Arizona marijuana legalization initiative is trailing in a new poll, Congress moves toward final passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, but there's a fight over funding, and more.

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

Arizona Poll Has Legalization Initiative Trailing. A new poll from O.H. Predictive Insights has the legalization initiative sponsored by the Arizona Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol losing on election day. The poll found 52.5% opposed, with only 39% in favor. The initiative has not yet officially qualified for the ballot, but is expected to after supporters handed in 100,000 more signatures than needed, providing plenty of cushion for invalidated signatures. The campaign does have significant resources; it looks like it will need them to turn the numbers around.

Arizona Supreme Court Rules Mere Smell of Marijuana is Grounds for Search, Even Though It's a Medical Marijuana State. The state's high court ruled Monday that the mere smell of marijuana is sufficient grounds to obtain a search warrant, even though the state has legalized medical marijuana. But the court also held that the legal foundation for such a search can go up in smoke if police have evidence the suspected marijuana use or possession is legal under state law. The case is State v. Sisco.

North Dakota Legalization Initiative Campaign Comes Up Short. North Dakotans will not be voting on marijuana legalization this fall. Sponsors of the initiative conceded Monday they only had about 10,000 signatures, and they needed 13,452 valid signatures to qualify. Monday was the deadline for turning in signatures.

Medical Marijuana

Illinois Medical Marijuana Sales Continue Climbing. The state saw $2.57 million in medical marijuana sales in June, up from $2.3 million in May, according to figures from the state Department of Agriculture. Sales total $13.8 million since the first dispensaries started operating last November. The numbers should increase even further once two new qualifying conditions -- PTSD and terminal illness -- come on line. They've already been approved, but the Department of Health is in the midst of preparing new rules and application forms.

North Dakota Medical Marijuana Initiative Campaign Hands in Signatures. The North Dakotans for Compassionate Care campaign handed in some 15,500 raw signatures for its medical marijuana initiative Monday, the last day for handing them in. The campaign needs 13,452 valid voter signatures to qualify, so there is very little cushion for invalidated signatures. Stay tuned.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

House Approves Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, But Without Requested Funding. The House last Friday gave final approval to S. 524, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), but beat back Democratic efforts to provide additional funding for it. The Obama administration had asked for $1.1 billion, and House Democrats tried in vain last week to $925 million in funding. The White House has suggested it may veto the bill if no extra funding is attached. House Republicans said funding was available elsewhere. The measure is a conference committee compromise, with the Senate set to give final approval this week.

Sentencing

California Drug Felony Arrests Plummet in Wake of Prop 47. What happens when you change drug felonies to misdemeanors? Drug felonies plummet. Felony drug arrests in California dropped between 68% and 73% between 2014 and 2015 according to new data from the California Attorney General. Marijuana felonies followed a similar curve, dropping from 13,300 in 2014 to 8,856 last year. On the other hand, misdemeanor drug arrests nearly doubled, from 92,469 in 2014 to 163,073 last year.

International

Poll Finds Majority of British MPs Favor Medical Marijuana. Some 58% of British MPs back the use of medical marijuana, according to the polling firm Populus. Only 27% were opposed. Support was strongest among Scottish National Party MPs (88%), followed by Labor (60%), and even 55% of Tories were on board.

Colombia Coca Boom Underway. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime reported last Thursday that coca cultivation had increased by 39% last year and nearly doubled since 2013. Some observers speculate that it reflects coca growers' belief that this could be the last chance to grow the cash crop before a peace deal between the government and the leftist guerrillas of the FARC takes hold. Colombia government officials said the largest increases in cultivation are in areas controlled by the FARC.

Categories: Marijuana

Canada: Test To Nab High Drivers?

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Sun, 11 Jul 2016 - Roadside saliva collection needs to be in place: MADD Canadians suspected of driving while high could be required to submit to a roadside saliva test that identifies the use of marijuana, cocaine and opioids.
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Letter: Pot And Heroin

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Sun, 11 Jul 2016 - Re "T.O. health board OKs safe injection sites" (July 5): Isn't it funny how marijuana laws are still being enforced when the federal government has said it is going to be legalized, yet, safe injection sites are in the process of being approved in Toronto? What if a police officer stops two people near one of the safe injection sites, one with pot and the other heroin? Who is arrested and who isn't? I appreciate that the marijuana dispensaries were acting outside the law but heroin users will now get a pass if council approves the sites. But to my knowledge there are still laws against the use and trafficking of controlled substances, including heroin. The timing of these two moves by the City of Toronto couldn't be better.
Categories: Marijuana

Canada: Half Of Voters Say Tear Up Pot Rap Sheets, Poll Finds

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 07:00
London Free Press, 11 Jul 2016 - Half of Canadian voters believe people in jail for marijuana possession should be released and those with criminal records for pot possession pardoned, new polling shared with The Free Press suggests. That percentage rises among the young, the low-income, the highly educated, and, not surprisingly, the 47 per cent of survey respondents who've taken a few tokes themselves, the Forum Research survey found.
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Canada: Package Pot Like Cigarettes: Cancer Society

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Sun, 11 Jul 2016 - Object would be to discourage use by young people The federal government's task force on marijuana should look to restrictions for cigarettes when considering how legal pot should be packaged, the Canadian Cancer Society's Rob Cunningham says.
Categories: Marijuana

Canada: Test To Nab High Drivers?

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 07:00
Winnipeg Sun, 11 Jul 2016 - Roadside Saliva Collection Needs to Be in Place: MADD Canadians suspected of driving while high could be required to submit to a roadside saliva test that identifies the use of marijuana, cocaine and opioids.
Categories: Marijuana
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