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Marijuana

US CA: Editorial: Pot Growers Take Slate Mail To A New Low

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 07:00
Chico Enterprise-Record, 31 Oct 2014 - It's the silly season of the election. It's the season of the slate mailers, which we're still amazed is an industry that survives. They're so close to fraud, but those rules are set aside when politics are in play. Slate mailers are mass mailings, sent out by for-profit companies, that seem to link local candidates and issues to better known candidates and on-paper institutions that seem to be established political organizations
Categories: Marijuana

US OR: OPED: Decriminalizing Marijuana Would Protect

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 07:00
Capital Press, 31 Oct 2014 - Illegal marijuana grows are damaging our national forests. Legalizing marijuana will help stop that from happening. In 32 years working for the U.S. Forest Service, I have seen the Northwest's national forests face various threats, from the eruption of Mount St. Helens to the drought of 1977. Today, our forests face a threat that generates wildfires, deforestation, pollution and wildlife poisoning: illegal marijuana grow operations tied to international drug cartels. In both 2010 and 2011, law enforcement found over 90,000 of their marijuana plants in Oregon's national forests, and thousands more doubtless escaped detection. Our national forests face an epidemic of marijuana cultivation from the Siskiyou to the Wallowa-Whitman.
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UK: Cameron Slaps Down Clegg Over Calls to Relax the Drug Laws

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 07:00
Daily Express, 31 Oct 2014 - DAVID Cameron ruled out relaxing Britain's drug laws yesterday, despite Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Tory MPs calling for a review. The Prime Minister said the current approach was working and decriminalising "recreational" drugs use would send out the wrong message to the nation's children.
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UK: I Don't Want My Children to Think Drugs Are OK, Says

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 07:00
Daily Telegraph, 31 Oct 2014 - DAVID CAMERON is refusing Liberal Democrat calls to review the Government's drugs policy, warning that as a parent he does not want to send out the message that taking illegal substances is "OK or safe". The Prime Minister insisted that the current approach to drugs was having an impact as abuse was falling, following a major Coalition row sparked by a Home Office report backed by the Lib Dems that suggested easing laws on hard drugs would not increase the number of users. Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, yesterday attacked the Tory party's "facile" and "frightened" approach to drugs after Downing Street distanced itself from the report. Mr Cameron said yesterday that changing Britain's drugs policy would be "dangerous".
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UK: What Happens If You Decriminalise Drugs

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 07:00
Daily Telegraph, 31 Oct 2014 - You'd Expect Drug Use to Go Up - But, Surprisingly, a Major Report Has Found That Sometimes It Actually Drops. A man lies on the floor in a squalid bedsit, a rubber rope tied around one arm, a needle in his hand. The door bursts open and two armed police officers run in. They take in the scene and swiftly find a bag of powder. What should they do next? The answer depends on the country they're in.
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US HI: Housing Law Aids Marijuana Patient Renters

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 07:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 31 Oct 2014 - Medical marijuana advocates are applauding a new law that aims to improve housing protection by voiding provisions in state rental agreements that had allowed a tenant's eviction based on their status as a registered medical marijuana patient. Act 60, enacted by the Legislature and signed by the governor earlier this year, takes effect Saturday.
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Chronicle AM: Cops for Pot Legalization, British Drug Policy Squabble, Afghan Opium Warning, More (10/30/14)

Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 20:52

Cops raise their voices in support of marijuana legalization initiatives, the US government's Afghanistan watchdog slams our drug policies there, Louisiana bans a synthetic cannabinoid and Russia wants to do the same, Britain's Lib Dems and Tories are going at each other over drug policy, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Cops Come Out in Support of Oregon Measure 91. Some 30 former police officers, sheriffs, prosecutors, and judges have come out in support of the Measure 91 legalization initiative. The campaign held a press conference with some of them yesterday and released a letter from them. "Treating marijuana as a crime has failed,"they said. "Arresting and citing thousands of people in Oregon and elsewhere for marijuana-related crimes is a distraction to law enforcement and a misuse of taxpayer resources. The time and money spent should go to make our communities safer. Police resources should be focused on violent criminals, thieves and criminal cartels."

Former Seattle Police Chief Campaigns for Alaska's Measure 2. Former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper is hitting the hustings up north to garner support for the Measure 2 legalization initiative. The Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) member has also been making the rounds in Anchorage, appearing on talk radio shows and other media in support of the measure. He is attempting to counter opposition to the measure from the likes of the Alaska Association of Police Chiefs.

Vermont Sets Public Hearing on Marijuana Policy. The state government has set a November 12 date for a public hearing that will "provide Vermonters with the ability to contribute comments for a legislatively-mandated study on the issues involved with possible legalization of marijuana production, distribution and possession in the State of Vermont." The hearing comes ahead of a mandated January report to the legislature on issues related to marijuana legalization from Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding. Click on the link for more event details.

New Synthetic Drugs

Louisiana Bans New Synthetic Cannabinoid. After more than 125 people got sick in Baton Rouge this month, state officials Wednesday announced an immediate ban on the synthetic cannabinoid MAB-CHMINACA. The state has twice before banned other synthetic cannabinoids, once in March and again in July. The compound has been sold in products with names like "Mojo," "Spice," and "Scooby Snax." Read the emergency rule here.

International

US Afghan Watchdog Warns on Opium. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), John Sopko, has warned that the country's opium economy is threatening reconstruction efforts and that the US is not adequately addressing the problem. Anti-drug efforts have "largely fallen off the Afghan agenda," he said in a quarterly report released today. Sopko also criticized the State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs for "wasting" more than $7 billion on failed drug control policies. "There is nothing that they have said to me or my staff that would indicate that there's any idea of how to improve the situation," he said in an interview ahead of the release of the report. "Has anyone had their job performance -- in the State Department, Department of Defense or [US]AID -- affected by the fact that they failed over the past 13 years to do anything on counternarcotics? No." The report itself is worth a read.

British Drug Policy Squabble. The junior and senior partners in Britain's governing coalition are going after each other in an increasingly nasty fight over drug policy occasioned by a new Home Office report on new synthetic drugs. The report found "there is a lack of clear correlation between tough drugs laws and levels of abuse." Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg hammered the Tories as being "frightened" of drug reform and having "a totally misplaced, outdated, backwards-looking view" on drug policy. Conservatives shot back that the Lib Dems were using the report for "naked political posturing" and accused the party of pursing "a dangerous and irresponsible" agenda of decriminalization. Get more details by clicking the links.

INCB Meets in Vienna. The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) began its 111th session today in Vienna. At the opening, board President Dr. Lochan Naidoo stressed his concerns about insufficient access to medicines containing narcotic or psychotropic drugs and noted the obligation of treaty parties to ensure access to such medicines to ensure treatment and prevent pain and suffering.

Russian Government Submits Bill to Ban Synthetic Cannabinoids. President Vladimir Putin today submitted to the State Duma a bill to ban the sale and use of synthetic cannabinoid products. The bill names the cannabinoids as dangerous substances, bans their use, and gives the Federal Drug Control Agency authority to create a registry of such banned substances. The agency reports that more than a thousand users of the drugs have been hospitalized in the last year and 40 have died.

Austrian Neos Party Supports Marijuana Legalization. A neoliberal political party that has just won its first seats in parliament has come out in support of legalization. The Neos (or New Austria) Party embraced the position at its party conference this past weekend.  "We support self- responsibility and liberty. Legalization makes sense", party leader Mat Strolz said Tuesday. The Neos are the first part to embrace legalization in the wake of a parliamentary citizens' initiative that has so far gathered more than 27,000 signatures, making it the third most popular in Austrian history. It's not just new fringe parties that are considering the issue. The leaders of the governing coalition, the Social Democrats, will vote on legalization at their party convention next month. 

Categories: Marijuana

US FL: Marijuana Vote Is Kryptonite For Politicians

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 07:00
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 30 Oct 2014 - For many politicians in Florida, the medical marijuana issue has become election kryptonite. While Florida's two leading gubernatorial candidates have had little trouble discussing their vision for the Sunshine State, neither Charlie Crist nor Gov. Rick Scott has gushed over Amendment 2 - an issue that could have widespread ramifications for the state and influence a national debate on medical marijuana.
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Chile: First Marijuana Planted For Medical Use In Chile

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 07:00
The Virgin Islands Daily News, 30 Oct 2014 - SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) - A Chilean municipality planted the country's first medical marijuana on Wednesday as part of a pilot program aimed to help ease the pain of cancer patients. The 850 seeds were imported from the Netherlands, and oil extracted from about half of the plants will be given to 200 patients selected by a municipality in the capital of Santiago and by the Daya Foundation, a nonprofit group that sponsors pain-relieving therapies.
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US OR: Editorial: Here's Why Stakes Are So High for Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 07:00
Albany Democrat-Herald, 30 Oct 2014 - Will Tuesday's election prove to be a turning point for marijuana legalization efforts across the United States? Or will it mark a substantial setback for advocates of legalized pot? Three measures to legalize the use of recreational marijuana including Oregon's Measure 91 are on the ballot across the country. (The other measures are in the Alaska and Washington, D.C.; the D.C. measure hasn't drawn nearly the sort of publicity that has accompanied the Oregon and Alaska measures.)
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UK: Eleven Countries Studied, One Inescapable Conclusion - the

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 07:00
The Guardian, 30 Oct 2014 - Home Office Fact-Finders Reveal Long-Delayed Report Legalisation Policies Do Not Result in Wider Use The Home Office comparison of international drug laws, published today, represents the first official recognition since the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act that there is no direct link between being "tough on drugs" and tackling the problem.
Categories: Marijuana

UK: Editorial: Official: Tough or Tender, Drugs Policy Does

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 07:00
The Guardian, 30 Oct 2014 - No party ever won or lost an election because of its drug policy. Yet it is a subject that strikes fear in the hearts of most politicians and leaves them deaf to demands for a review or reform. They are locked in the old wisdom that if drug use is harmful the best way of tackling it is punishment, too timid to examine the facts or challenge conventional thinking - even though a significant number of ministers in both past and present cabinets, including the prime minister, admit that they have experimented with drugs themselves. Only the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has consistently argued that policy should be based on an examination of what works.
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UK: Punitive Drug Laws Are Failing, Says Minister

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 07:00
The Guardian, 30 Oct 2014 - Home Office Study Finds No Evidence That Harsh Sentencing Curbs Illegal Use There is no evidence that tough enforcement of the drug laws on personal possession leads to lower levels of drug use, according to the government's first evidence-based study.
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UK: Drug Abuse: Is Britain Ready To Grow Up?

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 07:00
Independent, 30 Oct 2014 - First Commons Debate for a Generation Offers Rare Chance for Honest Discussion Suppressed Home Office Report Casts Doubt on Current Punitive Approach A punitive approach to drug abuse including locking up addicts fails to curb levels of addiction, a Home Office study warns today, as MPs stage the first Commons debate on drugs legislation in a generation.
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UK: Column: This Opportunity For Reform Must Not Be Wasted

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 07:00
Independent, 30 Oct 2014 - The long-delayed report released by the Home Office highlights how its own approach to drugs is not based on evidence. In particular, the report which looks at the effectiveness of other countries' drug policies concludes that harsh penalties for drug users have no effect on levels of drug use. That punitive drug laws have a deterrent effect is a key assumption underpinning both the UK's approach and prohibitionist drug policy more broadly. The report says: "We did not in our fact-finding observe any obvious relationship between the toughness of a country's enforcement against drug possession, and levels of drug use in that country."
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US CA: Column: All The News That's Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 07:00
North Coast Journal, 30 Oct 2014 - High Times, the venerable marijuana magazine found in headshops and behind cardboard at your favorite corner liquor store, turned 40 recently. In celebration, the magazine released a coffee table book, which is generously reviewed in the New York Times by Dwight Garner. It sounds like a good read, chronicling the magazine's wild early days, the suicide of "crusading journalist" and founder Tom Forcade at 33, and the magazine's commercial bumps on its road to middle age. It's easy to forget that High Times has boasted genuine journalism, art and literature during its tenure.
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US CA: Column: Vote With Ngaio: On Marijuana and Next Week's

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 07:00
Sacramento News & Review, 30 Oct 2014 - Do you have a stance on Proposition 47 and, if it passes, how do you think it will impact marijuana in the state? Also, have any voting advice for marijuana-related issues? - -Reggie Stardvotar I am glad you asked. Of course I do. Voting is the most important thing you can do as an activist and as an American. Never let anyone tell you that voting doesn't work. We got medical marijuana through the vote. Voters legalized the recreational use of cannabis in Washington and Oregon because people showed up to vote. If elections didn't matter, the GOP wouldn't be trying to pass all these bullshit-ass voter ID laws. Vote, vote, vote, vote, vote, vote! I cannot stress this enough.
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US CO: Column: Will Kids Get Pot Candy On Halloween?

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 07:00
Westword, 30 Oct 2014 - Dear Stoner: Do you think the Denver Police Department is right, and kids are going to get pot candy in their bags? Frank N. Stein Dear Frank: Not at all. This is just an updated version of the tired old story that fearmongering cops - and paranoid parents - have been pushing since the '70s. The idea is that some mythical Halloween Scrooge is out to hurt kids by giving away tainted candy.
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Medical Marijuana Update

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 20:59

A bad court ruling in Arizona, a good court ruling in Michigan, trouble for Florida's Measure 2, actions against dispensaries in California, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left]Arizona

Last Thursday, a state appeals court held that medical marijuana users can be charged with DUI even if they're not actually impaired. Arizona has a zero-tolerance drugged driving law, and the state Court of Appeals ruled last week that the state's medical marijuana law does not provide immunity from prosecution, even if they are not impaired and only test positive for the presence of marijuana metabolites. The case is Darrah v. City of Mesa.

California

Last Wednesday, four San Diego dispensaries were shut down by court order. San Diego authorities won court orders earlier in the week to close four dispensaries they said were operating illegally in the city. All four had closed their doors by Wednesday. The city has just adopted a permitting process for dispensaries and the first permit was handed out recently, but a number of dispensaries are operating in the city without permits. The city has shut down more than 200 unpermitted dispensaries since 2009, the city attorney's office said.

Last Thursday,the DEA raided two Los Angeles dispensaries. DEA agents raided two Los Angeles dispensaries that staffers claim were fully compliant with state laws. Raiders hit two locations of The Farmacy, one in West Hollywood and one in Westwood, seizing cash, computers, and medical marijuana. No arrests were made. The Farmacy's Venice Beach location wasn't hit, but staffers said they thought that was because it had recently moved and the DEA couldn't find it.

On Tuesday, Humboldt County supervisors approved a more restrictive cultivation ordinance. Saying they were trying to reduce neighborhood nuisances caused by excessive cultivation, supervisors voted unanimously to limit outdoor grows to 100 square feet on plots under five acres and 200 square feet on plots larger than that.

Also on Tuesday, Sonoma County supervisors directed planning officials to review the county's cultivation ordinance. Currently, people can grow up to 30 plants or up to 100 square feet. Supervisor Shirley Zane tried two years to tighten the rules, but had to back down in the face of loud opposition. Now, she wants to try again.

Florida

On Monday, another poll suggested that Measure 2 is in danger. A Gravis Marketing poll has support for the Measure 2 medical marijuana initiative at 50%, with 42% opposed and 8% undecided. Because it is a constitutional amendment, the initiative needs 60% to win. Gravis had the initiative with 62% in August and 55% early this month. On the other hand, the United for Care campaign sent an email to supporters last night claiming its internal polling had the initiative at 61%. Click on the poll link for methodological details.

Also on Monday, news came that Republican money man Sheldon Adelson had put up another $1 million to defeat Measure 2. Las Vegas casino magnate and Republican sugar daddy Sheldon Adelson has thrown another million dollars into the battle to defeat the Measure 2 medical marijuana initiative. Opponents of the initiative have raised $5.8 million to defeat it; Adelson is responsible for $5 million of that. Overall, opponents have spent $5.5 million, pretty much matching supporters, who have so far spent $6.5 million.

Michigan

Last Friday, the state court of appeals held that medical marijuana users are entitled to unemployment compensation. State-approved medical marijuana patients are eligible for unemployment compensation if the only reason they were fired is that they tested positive for the drug, the state Court of Appeals ruled Friday. The decision was based on the courts' reading of the state's medical marijuana law, which prohibits penalties for those who legally use medical marijuana. The series of consolidated cases in which the court ruled begins with Braska v. Challenge Manufacturing Company.

Pennsylvania

On Monday, a state senator urged DAs to not prosecute medical marijuana cases. Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery), sponsor of a medical marijuana bill stalled in the House after passing the Senate, called on prosecutors to not go after patients. Leach made the call in a letter to the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association. "Given the likelihood that using lifesaving medical cannabis will not be a legal issue in Pennsylvania for much longer, I ask that you consider using your prosecutorial discretion," he wrote. "I ask that you perform an act of compassion."

Washington

Last Thursday,Seattle warned dispensaries they will need state licenses. The city of Seattle has sent letters to 330 dispensaries operating there that they will need to be licensed by the state. The only problem is there is no such license for medical marijuana businesses. The city council had placed the requirement on hold until the state legislature decides whether and how to license dispensaries, but the letter warns that as of January 1, 2015 (or January 1, 2016 if the legislature doesn't act before then), dispensaries must have state licenses or close their doors. Click on the title link to see the letter.

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

Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: OR Measure 91 Race Tightens, ACLU Petition on Police Militarization, Chile MedMJ, More (10/29/14)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 19:34

There's a scary poll out in Oregon, the Drug Policy Alliance grades the House of Representatives, the ACLU has a petition to stop the Pentagon sending surplus military equipment to police forces, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Latest Poll Has Oregon Measure 91 in Dead Heat. The latest poll from the Oregonian has the Measure 91 legalization initiative trailing in a tight race, but within the poll's margin of error. The poll of likely voters had 44% supporting the measure, with 46% opposed and 9% undecided or refusing to answer. The poll's margin of error is +/- 5%. An earlier survey by Oregon Public Broadcasting had the measure leading with 52%. One possible explanation for the difference in the polls is the age breakdown among the respondents. The OPB poll had a higher number of younger voters, who tend to support the measure, but who also tend to be less likely to vote than older voters.

Drug Policy

Drug Policy Alliance Voters' Guide Grades US Representatives. The Drug Policy Action Network, the lobbying and campaign arm of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), has released its 2014 Drug Policy Reform Congressional Voter Guide, which grades members of Congress on how they voted on seven key drug policy issues this year and last. The guide names 10 representatives as "champions of reform." They are Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Steven Cohen (D-TN), Sam Farr (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-TX), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Beto O'Rourke (D-TX), Jared Polis (D-CO), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), and Bobby Scott (D-VA).  DPA says the guide is not just to educate voters, "but also to send a firm message to elected officials that they will be held accountable for supporting draconian policies that exacerbate the worst harms of the drug war." It names 141 representatives who failed to get a passing grade. 

Law Enforcement

ACLU Petitions to End Program Giving Surplus Military Equipment to Police Agencies. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has begun a petition drive designed to "stop arming local and state law enforcement with military equipment" and "impose a moratorium on the 1033 program to temporarily halt equipment transfers and create transparency and safeguards within this program." 1033 is the program under which surplus US military equipment, such as Humvees, armored personnel carriers, and the like are given free of charge to local and state police. The program has come under increased fire in the wake of heavily militarized police deployments in Ferguson, Missouri, after the police shooting of Michael Brown. Go to the link to sign the petition, then spread the word on social media platforms.

International

Mexico Announces Arrest of Four Drug Gang Members in Case of Missing Student Teachers. Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam Tuesday announced the arrest of four Guerreros Unidos cartel members who allegedly confessed to participating in the disappearance of 43 student teachers a month ago after they were detained by police. Murillo said that two of those arrested had admitted receiving the students and were about to reveal their location. The case, which unveiled close ties between drug gangs and local authorities, has roiled Mexican politics ever since the students went missing.

Medical Marijuana Planted Today in Chile. After authorities in the La Florida district of Santiago, the Chilean capital, gave their permission, medical marijuana supporters today planted marijuana plants that will be harvested in April and turned into a cannabis oil to be used to treat pain in cancer patients. The project is being run by the Daya Foundation, and will also include a clinical study of marijuana's effectiveness as a pain reliever. 

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