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Marijuana

US CO: Column: What's The Deal With Colorado's Home Growing

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 10/02/2014 - 07:00
Westword, 02 Oct 2014 - Dear Stoner: Hey, can you explain what the laws are in Colorado for home cultivation of cannabis for personal consumption? Thanks. MM From Aol.com Dear MM: We've addressed this in bits and pieces over the past few years, but considering you're still on an AOL account, we'll assume you don't keep up with current events. So in a nutshell, here are the state's cultivation laws:
Categories: Marijuana

US CO: Column: Eric Holder's Mixed Record on Cannabis Reform

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 10/02/2014 - 07:00
Boulder Weekly, 02 Oct 2014 - Eric Holder tendered his resignation last week, though he will stay in office until a successor is chosen for the attorney general position. Given congressional inertia on presidential nominees, he could still fill out Obama's term, so I'm not holding my breath. I'll leave his ultimate legacy to others, but on the subject of cannabis, Holder has a mixed record. While he has never advocated for legalization or decriminalization, he is the first attorney general to publicly question whether the federal government should reevaluate its cannabis laws.
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Hamilton Pot Activists Open Vapour Lounge

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 10/02/2014 - 07:00
Hamilton Spectator, 02 Oct 2014 - Facility Offers Safe Place for Medical and Recreational Users Hamilton's pot lovers and cannabis crusaders may have found a new home - Melan-Headz Hamilton Vape, a just-opened "vapour lounge" on Barton Street East that advertises itself as "420 friendly."
Categories: Marijuana

US NJ: Column: Shaneen Allen Case Illustrates Discrepancies in Gun Laws

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 10/02/2014 - 07:00
The Trentonian, 02 Oct 2014 - The Shaneen Allen case has made a lot of people look at New Jersey Gun laws, many are happy she's not going to trial. Not me. I had hoped she would have. I previously wrote I thought a jury wouldn't convict her. Instead, thanks to the scrutiny the Ray Rice case brought to her case, the Atlantic County Prosecutors office begrudgingly accepted her into the (PTI) Pre-Trial Intervention program. I don't think this a victory; a victory would have been a "not guilty" verdict. She will soon plead "guilty" and lose her right to vote and own a gun. She will now experience what millions of other citizens (especially black citizens) suffer, "second amendment-less citizenship" for trying to protect herself.
Categories: Marijuana

CN BC: Council Mulls E-Cigarette Ban

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 10/02/2014 - 07:00
Metro, 02 Oct 2014 - Health. Uncertainty Over Possible Effects on Marijuana Users Pushes Vote Back Vancouver councillors are huffing and puffing over the proposal to ban e-cigarettes from wherever smoking is banned.
Categories: Marijuana

US OR: Travel Sage Rick Steves To Speak In Support Of

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 10/02/2014 - 07:00
Eugene Weekly, 02 Oct 2014 - With a disarming smile and a lilting baritone made for public radio, Rick Steves has been making traveling the world less frightening for the past 30 years. Through his European travel guidebooks and public radio and television programs, he has introduced Americans to a kinder, more accessible world outside of our own. This October, Steves is taking a different kind of trip - a six-day tour around Oregon to calm our nerves in regards to November's Measure 91, which would legalize, tax and regulate recreational marijuana.
Categories: Marijuana

US DE: An Anti-Pot Tirade Goes Up in Smoke

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 10/02/2014 - 07:00
Daily Times, 02 Oct 2014 - Immigration lawyer and columnist Christine Flowers calls cannabis consumers the "lowest common denominator" in a recent piece. The truth is quite the opposite. The last three U.S. presidents admitted to an experience with the devil's lettuce along with scientists like Carl Sagan and possibly half of the NBA. In fact, 100 million Americans have tried cannabis.
Categories: Marijuana

Jamaica: Jamaica Drafts Law to Lift Century-Long Ban on Use of

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 10/02/2014 - 07:00
Scotsman, 02 Oct 2014 - JAMAICA'S justice minister has said legislation has been drafted to decriminalise marijuana on the Caribbean island where the drug has been pervasive but prohibited for a century. Mark Golding told reporters that parliament should make possession of two ounces or less a petty offence before the end of 2014.
Categories: Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Update

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 10/01/2014 - 23:17

A new study punctures some myths about medical marijuana in California, Connecticut's dispensaries finally open for business, the Illinois program is moving along, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]California

On Monday, a survey found that 5% of adult Californians have used medical marijuana. The survey from the Public Health Institute in Sacramento, which will appear in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review, also found that, contrary to popular belief, it mostly is sick people using medical marijuana: "It is clear that (California law) is helping people who are sick and use medical marijuana to treat serious medical conditions… Our study contradicts commonly held beliefs that medical marijuana is being overused by healthy individuals… under the pretense that they have a serious medical condition and that they 'need' marijuana to treat it."

Colorado

On Tuesday, the state Supreme Court heard a patient's wrongful firing lawsuit. The state Supreme Court is hearing arguments in the case of Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic who worked for the Dish Network until he was fired four years ago for testing positive for marijuana. Dish Network argues that even though medical marijuana is legal under state law, it is still illegal under federal law, and the firing was thus justified.

Connecticut

Last week, dispensaries finally opened for business. The state's first licensed grower sent its first shipment this week to dispensaries, which promptly began selling it to qualified patients. All six dispensaries in the state should be open this week.

Florida

Last Thursday, a SurveyUSA Poll had Amendment 2 at 53%. The latest SurveyUSA poll has the Amendment 2 medical marijuana initiative with 53% of the vote, but since the initiative is a constitutional amendment, it needs 60% to pass. That's a slight drop from the last SurveyUSA poll, which had support at 56%. Importantly, while only 53% said they would vote for it, only 31% said they would vote against and 15% were undecided. If the undecideds split evenly, the initiative will squeak out a victory.

Guam

On Monday, a Guam attorney sought to block the pending medical marijuana initiative. Voters in Guam are set to vote on a medical marijuana initiative submitted by the territorial legislature next month, but a Guam attorney asked the US District Court there to block the vote. Howard Trapp argues that the legislature can't legally "pass the buck" to voters, even though the island's Supreme Court said it could in an August ruling. The election commission has until October 7 to respond to the filing.

Illinois

Last Wednesday, state officials said more than 350 people had applied for medical marijuana business permits. Some 158 people applied as potential cultivation centers, while 211 applied to operate dispensaries. The state will grant 21 grow center permits and 60 dispensary permits by year's end, with the first legally obtainable medical marijuana available by spring 2015.

Last week, the first Illinois patients got their registration cards. Jim Champion, an Army vet who suffers from multiple sclerosis, was apparently the first Illinois patient to get his medical marijuana card. His came last week. He is the first of more than 2,000 Illinois residents who have applied under the state's new law.

New York

Last Friday, the governor asked the Justice Department to allow the state to obtain medical marijuana from other states. Last Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) sent a letter to Deputy Attorney General David Cole asking the Justice Department to extend a narrow, time-limited exception to federal law to allow the importation of certain strains of medical marijuana from other states for use by children in New York with severe forms of epilepsy. The letter follows a similar letter sent last month by the Cuomo administration to Attorney General Eric Holder.

On Monday, the state's two US senators joined the call. US Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) and Charles Schumer (D) Monday sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder in support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's (D) request for the Justice Department to allow the state to import high-CBD cannabis oil from out of state. "As members of Congress whose constituents suffer from these illnesses, we feel that the federal government ought to do what it can to help these children," the senators wrote. "Therefore, we are requesting that you provide the state of New York with a waiver that would prohibit federal prosecution for the importation of cannabidol in the rare cases where medical marijuana is imported between two states with legalized medical marijuana, and the amount is small, finite and prescription-based."

Pennsylvania

Last Wednesday, the state Senate approved a restrictive medical marijuana bill. The state Senate approved Senate Bill 1182, after amending it to remove the ability to vaporize the plant and removing a large number of qualifying medical conditions. The bill now goes to the House.

Rhode Island

This coming Saturday, it's the second annual Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Festival. The Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition is hosting the festival to celebrate the eighth year of the state's medical marijuana program. Click on the link for more details.

Wisconsin

On Monday, activists targeted obstructionist lawmakers with billboards. Sick and tired of seeing bills blocked in the state legislature, medical marijuana activists are targeting two key opponents, Republican state Sens. Mary Lazich and Leah Vukmir, in a newly unveiled billboard campaign. The billboards urge readers to call the two senators and ask them why Wisconsin patients have no access to medical marijuana. Click on the link to see the billboard.

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

Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Decrim in Jamaica/MD/Philly, Chris Christie Talks Drugs, PA ODs Bill, More (10/1/14)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 10/01/2014 - 20:50

Decrim comes to Maryland and Philadelphia, and Jamaica is working on it, too; the Oregon initiative campaign heats up, Chris Christie talks drugs, a SWAT reporting bill in Michigan gets a hearing, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Oregon Legalization Campaign Unveils First TV Ad. The Measure 91 legalization initiative campaign has unveiled the first of its TV spot ads, featuring a former veteran Oregon law enforcement officer explaining why he supports legalization. The campaign has about $2 million budgeted for TV ads in the final weeks of the campaign. Click on the title link to view the ad.

Leading Legalization Foe to Make Oregon Campaign Appearances. The man who is arguably the leading public opponent of marijuana legalization, Dr. Kevin Sabet of Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), will make seven appearances in Oregon this week to campaign against the Measure 91 legalization initiative. He had planned a 13-stop "Oregon Marijuana Education Tour" partly funded with federal grant dollars, but that was scrapped after the Measure 91 campaign cried foul. Now, Sabet's crusade is privately funded.

Philadelphia Mayor Signs Decriminalization Bill. Mayor Michael Nutter (D) today signed into law a bill that decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Up to an ounce will be considered a civil offense, punishable by a $25 fine or a $100 fine for public consumption. The new law will go into effect October 20.

Decriminalization Now in Effect in Maryland. As of today, the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana is no longer a crime, but a civil infraction punishable by a fine of up to $100. The move comes after the legislature earlier this year passed and Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) signed into law SB 364. Now, 17 states and the District of Columbia have decriminalized small-time pot possession.

Louisiana Poll Shows Little Support for Harsh Marijuana Sentences. A new Public Policy Polling survey released by the ACLU of Louisiana found that 78% opposed sentences of longer than six months for pot possession, 71% opposed life sentences for felons caught with marijuana, and 68% support medical marijuana. Louisiana has some of the nation's harshest marijuana laws, including a sentence of up to life in prison for marijuana possession by a felon and a prison sentence of up to 20 years for repeat pot possession offenders. Simple possession first offense is punishable by up to six months in jail, but 60% of respondents said it should be decriminalized. Click on the poll link for demographics and methodologies.

Medical Marijuana

Georgia Lawmakers to Hear High CBD Cannabis Oil Testimony Today. A legislative panel is meeting today in Lawrenceville to hear testimony from law enforcement, health care professionals, and others about medical marijuana extracts and cannabis oils. This could lay the groundwork for new legislation to be filed next year.

New Mexico Credit Unions Will Close Medical Marijuana Producer Accounts. Some credit unions have sent letters to nearly half the state's licensed medical marijuana producers saying they no longer accept their business and are closing their accounts. The credit unions said they could not comply with federal guidelines. Medical marijuana supporters are demanding to know why.

Drug Policy

Chris Christie Talks Drug Treatment, Ending Mandatory Minimums. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a possible 2016 GOP presidential contender, called Tuesday for making drug and alcohol treatment "more available for everybody" and criticized mandatory minimum sentencing for drug offenses. "With 23 million folks addicted, it's not working," Christie said of the war on drugs. "There's gotta be a separation between the criminal act [of using illegal drugs] and the disease." Click on the link for more details.

Harm Reduction

Pennsylvania Governor Signs Overdose Prevention Bill. Gov. Tom Corbett (R) Tuesday signed into law SB 1164, which has two harm reduction measures aimed at reducing drug overdoses. The bill creates a "Good Samaritan" immunity from prosecution for people helping overdose victims and it makes the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone (Narcan) more available to police and the public. The new law will go into effect on October 20.

Law Enforcement

Michigan House Committee Hears Testimony on SWAT Reporting Bill. The state House Criminal Justice Committee is hearing testimony today on a bill that would require SWAT teams in the state to report on their activities. The SWAT Team Reporting ACT, HB 4914, would require agencies with SWAT teams to n the number, location, reason, authorization and outcome of all deployments, and to file reports with the Attorney General's office twice a year.

International

Jamaica on the Way to Marijuana Decriminalization. Justice Minister Mark Golding said today that a bill to decriminalize marijuana has been drafted and should be passed into law before the end of the year. The bill would make possession of up to two ounces a petty offense and would also allow decriminalization for religious purposes, allowing the island nation's Rastafarians to smoke "Jah herb" without fear of arrest.

Categories: Marijuana

US NJ: Family To Leave N.J. Over Cannabis Law

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 10/01/2014 - 07:00
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 01 Oct 2014 - Jennie Stormes Said Her Son Has Life-Threatening and Frequent Seizures. She's Held Weekly Protests. A nurse who has staged weekly protests about New Jersey's troubled medical marijuana program is joining an exodus of families with ill children for Colorado. Courtesy of Jim Miller Jennie Stormes organized weekly protests against medical marijuana rules she says are too restrictive.
Categories: Marijuana

US NJ: Christie Talks Compassion For Addiction

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 10/01/2014 - 07:00
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 01 Oct 2014 - CHRISTIE TALKS COMPASSION FOR ADDICTION Every one of these lives is an individual gift from God and has to be treated that way. Gov. Christie NEWARK, N.J. - Gov. Christie joined with the pastor of a church here Tuesday to call for lessening the stigma of drug addiction, invoking a friend's death as he sought to frame the issue as a universal problem.
Categories: Marijuana

US MI: Chief Pego Declares War On Substance Abuse

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 10/01/2014 - 07:00
Morning Sun, 01 Oct 2014 - Chief Steve Pego of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe declared war on substance abuse to an at-capacity audience at the Celebration of Healing, Recovery and Hope event last week at the Eagle's Nest Tribal Gym on the reservation. In a historic move, Steve Pego signed a birch bark document of community standards declaring war, something he said the tribe hasn't done since 1763, during the Sept. 24 community meeting.
Categories: Marijuana

US FL: Sides Fire Up Ad War On Medical Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 10/01/2014 - 07:00
Orlando Sentinel, 01 Oct 2014 - Twenty-three states have adopted similar measures, but the Florida campaign has drawn national attention because it would be the first Southern state to legalize medical marijuana. TV viewers in Florida this week are seeing the first attack in an ad war over medical marijuana, as polls point to a close contest on a constitutional amendment to legalize the illicit weed.
Categories: Marijuana

US MS: Group Proposes Legal Pot In Miss.

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 10/01/2014 - 07:00
Commercial Appeal, 01 Oct 2014 - JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A group has filed a petition seeking a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in Mississippi. Petition organizer Kelly Jacobs said Mississippi for Cannabis hopes to place an initiative on the November 2016 election ballot. Jacobs says the ballot initiative proposal would legalize cannabis for adults to own as much as they wish, to use as they wish, but keep it from minors. - --- MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom
Categories: Marijuana

US CO: Column: Manitou Forms Marijuana Council, Aurora Opens

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 10/01/2014 - 07:00
Colorado Springs Independent, 01 Oct 2014 - It's hard to match Manitou Springs' marijuana detractors for showmanship - Facebook pictures reveal the awesome presence of a donkey accompanying neighborhood canvassers. But the plant's supporters have something up their sleeve, as well, prior to the November vote: the formation of the Manitou Springs Marijuana Council and an inaugural launch event, co-organizer Mike Olson tells the Indy. "Basically, what we're doing the weekend of the Emma Crawford Races, which there'll be thousands of people here, we'll have a festival," says Olson, who otherwise works as a private investigator. "We've got, like, 36 vendors; inside the building, we're going to have dispensaries and informational booths, different things like that. And we'll have a vape lounge setup in the back, where people can test all the different products from all the different vendors that will be there."
Categories: Marijuana

US MI: Column: Marijuana Prohibition, an Alchemy That Turns a

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 10/01/2014 - 07:00
Metro Times, 01 Oct 2014 - "Michigan State Police bust marijuana growing operation" reads the headline in the Freep. "Marijuana smell on Michigan kindergartener leads cops to dad's homegrown pot" announces another. And from The Washington Post's editorial board recently: "D.C. voters should reject the rush to legalize marijuana."
Categories: Marijuana

US MD: Marijuana Possession Is Reduced To Fine

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 10/01/2014 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 01 Oct 2014 - Having Under 10 Grams Can Result in $100 Ticket, Not Jail Starting today, you can no longer be arrested in Maryland for possessing a small amount of marijuana. But how the rest of that interaction with police plays out might depend on what jurisdiction you are in.
Categories: Marijuana

Colorado and Washington Help Make the Case for Oregon's Measure 91 [FEATURE]

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 22:57

As Oregon voters consider Measure 91, an initiative on the November ballot that would regulate, legalize and tax marijuana for adults 21 and older, many are looking to how similar laws are affecting Colorado and Washington. Measure 91 supporters Tuesday brought together a panel of experts from those two pioneering states to make the case that marijuana legalization is a winner, with more positives than negatives for states that have taken the step.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]Admittedly, we have not had a lot of time to judge -- Colorado began allowing legal, regulated sales only this January and the first marijuana stores in Washington didn't open until July -- but early results have been promising.

In Colorado, the state has already taken in more than $27 million in taxes and fees, with more than $5 million already allocated to building schools. At the same time, violent crime in Denver has declined by 5.2%, even as the state is set to save somewhere between $12 million and $40 million in annual criminal justice system costs, according to the Colorado Center on Law and Policy.

Both a Drug Policy Alliance six-month status report and a Brookings Center report on Colorado's situation have also found that legalization there is proceeding relatively smoothly, with few bumps.

In Washington state, the reviews are fewer since retail stores just began operating in July (although Brookings has issued a report), but customers bought $3.2 million worth of legal weed that first month, with sales doubling to more than $6.9 million in August. More than another $6 million worth had been sold in the first three weeks of September. Tax revenues from legal marijuana sales are estimated to reach $636 million over the next five years.

But while Washington retail sales have just gotten underway, the legalization of personal possession has been the law since the beginning of 2013, and the results on that front are remarkable. According to official state court data, the number of misdemeanor marijuana charges against adults dropped dramatically, from more than 5,500 in 2012 to only 120 last year.

The experiences of Colorado and Washington show that -- if done correctly -- marijuana legalization can be a big winner for other states as well, experts and officials from the two pioneer states said Tuesday.

"People call this an experiment, but it's time to treat marijuana like the drug it is, not the drug we fear it to be," said Colorado state Rep. Jonathan Singer, who was one of only two state representatives to endorse Amendment 64. "We have to thank the people for leading; the legislature has been following," he said.

Issues remain, Singer said, but the state is dealing with them.

"Lawmakers have to ensure that we responsibly regulate edibles and concentrates, so consumers are well aware of what they're putting in their bodies. We want consumers educated," he said. The legislature has passed a bill dealing with edibles.

"The biggest issue is banking, and a bill I sponsored created first-of-a-kind cannabis credit co-ops," Singer said. "We will soon be petitioning the Federal Reserve for services with members of the industry who have formed their own co-ops. When dispensaries get robbed, it's for the cash, not the marijuana."

[image:2 align:right caption:true]"When voters decided to support Amendment 64, they did so to bring marijuana above ground in the hope that it wouldn't detrimentally impact public health and safety, and so far, it hasn't," said Art Way, Colorado state director for the Drug Policy Alliance. "The most important impact we've seen is that thousands of people are no longer being arrested for simple possession of marijuana in our state," he said.

"All marijuana offenses have declined by about 50%, and law enforcement resources have been freed up to fight violent crime," Way continued. "The state is saving millions of dollars a year in criminal justice system expenses."

For retired Denver police officer Tony Ryan, marijuana law enforcement was a distraction from more serious business.

"Chasing marijuana smokers was not at the top of my list because I needed my officers to handle calls for service," Ryan said. "We didn't have enough officers to cover calls, in part because of the distraction of doing narcotics enforcement, and when you're enforcing narcotics laws, you're mostly enforcing marijuana laws. This frees up police officers to do what they're supposed to do -- answer calls for service and work on solving crimes."

Lewis Koski is director of Marijuana Enforcement for the state of Colorado, and he said officials are keeping on top of the situation.

"We've recently been focused on how to comprehensively and effectively regulate the edibles manufacturing process," he said. "We also do licensing and monitoring of the businesses that cultivate, manufacture, transport, and sell marijuana, and our licensing process is pretty robust."

The department also runs stings to check for age compliance, he said. Increased youth access to marijuana is one of the most often heard fears of legalization foes.

"We put undercover underage individuals into the retail stores to see if they could buy anything, but what we've seen is a 100% compliance rate," he said.

While Washington hasn't had as lengthy an experience with legalized, taxed, and regulated sales as Colorado, experts and officials from the Evergreen State also said legalization was working for them.

[image:3 align:left]"We've enjoyed a successful, albeit slow, launch," said Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes. "We did see the virtual elimination of marijuana possession arrests, which has resulted in a restoration of justice. We're no longer hounding people for the possession of marijuana in the state of Washington."

There are issues remaining, but they are soluble, Holmes said.

"One impediment is that our medical marijuana laws were in disarray after the former governor vetoed a regulation bill, and as a result, I-502 didn't touch medical at all," he noted. "The biggest unfinished business for us is how the legislature will address medical. Perhaps it will be folded into the I-502 system."

Holmes also pointed to the issue of revenue sharing, the problem of some localities opting out, and the lack -- so far -- of a legal supply adequate to put a sizeable dent in the black market.

Like his Colorado law enforcement colleague, former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper saw legalization as a smart move.

"It's no secret that relations between police officers and the communities they are required to serve are strained, especially with young and poor people, and marijuana enforcement is a big factor in this," Stamper argued. "A vast number of poor young people of color have been arrested over the years. With I-502, there is a major shift in law enforcement priorities. Now, police can focus on burglaries and robberies and the like, and by freeing up resources, we can also deal a serious if not fatal blow to major drug dealers. This is making a huge and positive difference."

I-502 chief proponent Alison Holcomb was brief and to the point.

"I-502 has preserved public safety, reduced the burden on police and prosecutors, and generated significant new tax resources," she said.

"We've learned a lot from Colorado and Washington, and we purposefully set up a very deliberative process," said Oregon Measure 91 campaign spokesman Anthony Johnson. "The state will have a full year to analyze what's going on there and implement what's best for Oregon. We will regulate marijuana very much like we regulate beer and wine."

But first, they have to win. Measure 91 is leading in the polls, but by no means comfortably. Getting the message out about how things have gone in Colorado and Washington should only help.

Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: UMass Snitch Policy Review, Baby Bou Bou SWAT Grand Jury, More (9/30/2014)

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 20:31

Medical marijuana news from several states today, the Baby Bou Bou SWAT raid case is before a grand jury, UMass examines its student snitch policy, DA candidates in Houston are fighting over drugs, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

Mississippi Group Wants Legalization Initiative. A group of activists filed a petition Monday with the secretary of state's office seeking a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana. This is the first step in putting a measure before the voters. The group is called Mississippi for Cannabis. We're not sure if these are the same folks, but there is a Legalize Marijuana in Mississippi Facebook page.

Medical Marijuana

Colorado Supreme Court Hearing Patient's Wrongful Firing Lawsuit Today. The state Supreme Court is hearing arguments in the case of Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic who worked for the Dish Network until he was fired four years ago for testing positive for marijuana. Dish Network argues that even though medical marijuana is legal under state law, it is still illegal under federal law, and the firing was thus justified.

New York US Senators Ask Feds to Approve State's Request to Transport Medical Marijuana Across State Lines. US Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) and Charles Schumer (D) Monday sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder in support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's (D) request for the Justice Department to allow the state to import high-CBD cannabis oil from out of state. "As members of Congress whose constituents suffer from these illnesses, we feel that the federal government ought to do what it can to help these children," the senators wrote. "Therefore, we are requesting that you provide the state of New York with a waiver that would prohibit federal prosecution for the importation of cannabidol in the rare cases where medical marijuana is imported between two states with legalized medical marijuana, and the amount is small, finite and prescription-based."

Second Annual Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Festival This Weekend. The Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition is hosting the festival to celebrate the eighth year of the state's medical marijuana program. Click on the link for more details.

Wisconsin Activists Target Recalcitrant Legislators With Billboards. Sick and tired of seeing bills blocked in the state legislature, medical marijuana activists are targeting two key opponents, Republican state Sens. Mary Lazich and Leah Vukmir, in a newly unveiled billboard campaign. The billboards urge readers to call the two senators and ask them why Wisconsin patients have no access to medical marijuana.

Drug Policy

Harris County, Texas, (Houston) DA Race All About Drugs. A debate over the weekend between Republican incumbent Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson and Democratic challenger Kim Ogg was all about drugs. The candidates both suggested that they would allow some low-level marijuana possession offenders to avoid permanent criminal records, although Ogg would go further than Anderson. They also tussled over whether or not to press felony charges for trace amounts of cocaine or crack pipes, with Anderson taking the harder line. Click on the link for more flavor.

Prescription Opiates

Doctors' Group Issues Pain Reliever Guidelines, Says Not Appropriate for Many Cases. The American Academy of Neurology has released a new position paper, Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain, that says the risks of opioid pain relievers outweigh their benefits in treating chronic headaches, low back pain, and fibromyalgia. "Whereas there is evidence for significant short-term pain relief, there is no substantial evidence for maintenance of pain relief or improved function over long periods of time without incurring serious risk of overdose, dependence, or addiction," the group concludes. The position paper calls for increased screening, monitoring, and drug testing of opioid-using pain patients, but has little to say about actually treating chronic pain.

Law Enforcement

UMass to Review Whether to Allow Students to Act as Drug Snitches. In the wake of the heroin overdose death of a student who had been arrested by campus police on drug charges, but who was allowed to become an informant for police, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst said Monday it would review the program that allows police to recruit students as snitches. Questions have been raised about whether the program gets students appropriate treatment for drug problems and whether the students' parents are notified of violations, as they are with alcohol violations.

Georgia Grand Jury Hearing Evidence on "Baby Bou Bou" SWAT Raid. A Habersham County grand jury Monday began reviewing evidence in the case of "Baby Bou Bou," the toddler who was seriously injured when a SWAT team member on a drug raid threw a flash bang grenade into his play pen. The SWAT team found neither drugs nor the individual they were seeking. The grand jury will review the evidence surrounding the drug raid and determine if criminal charges should be filed against authorities who executed it.

International

Eleven Killed in Mexico Cartel Clashes in Chihuahua. Mexican prosecutors said clashes last Friday between Sinaloa and Juarez cartel members in the town of Guachochi, Chihuahua, in the Tarahumara mountain range, left 11 people dead. No Mexican security forces were involved, they said. The isolated region, home to the Tarahumara Indians, has been the scene of repeated clashes between rival drug gangs.

Canadian Drug Reformers Rally in Ottawa. Drug reformers, health lobbyists, and the Liberal Party's health critic, Hedy Fry, gathered on Parliament Hill Tuesday to advocate for more enlightened drug policies. Current policies unfairly criminalize drug users and don't effectively treat addiction, they said. Click on the link for more detail.

This article was published by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares 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
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