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Marijuana

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.
Categories: Marijuana

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.
Categories: Marijuana

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."
Categories: Marijuana

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.
Categories: Marijuana

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.
Categories: Marijuana

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.
Categories: Marijuana

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. 

Categories: Marijuana

US FL: OPED: Not For This Doctor's Patients

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 07:00
Tallahassee Democrat, 29 Oct 2014 - A popular notion is that marijuana is a harmless pleasure, access to which should not be regulated or considered illegal. Actually, marijuana is currently an illicit drug of which 12 percent of people over the age of 12 have a high rate of use. As a practicing physician specializing in internal medicine, and as a member of the Florida Medical Association, I see Amendment 2 as both a danger to "patients" and a hindrance to the ability of quality physicians to provide quality care. I never would recommend marijuana to any of my patients. With more than 400 chemical compounds at varying strengths, it is impossible to have standardization from one patient to the next, and any potential side effects or drug interactions could do far more harm than good. Pharmaceutical companies are required to disclose any potential side effects or drug interactions; Amendment 2 has no such provision.
Categories: Marijuana

US WI: No Charges For Couple Found With Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 07:00
Baraboo News Republic, 29 Oct 2014 - A Madison couple investigated for possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia in Baraboo will not be charged with a crime for possessing the controlled substance. The Baraboo Police Department and City Attorney Mark Reitz declined to prosecute the offenses and found the couple provided authorities with valid Wisconsin medical marijuana prescriptions.
Categories: Marijuana

US FL: OPED: After Accidental Start, Medical Marijuana Becomes

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 07:00
Orlando Sentinel, 29 Oct 2014 - Floridians have been bombarded with press coverage of Amendment 2. Yet, for all the noise, there are important aspects of this discussion that have barely been touched upon, including the beginning of the medical-marijuana movement. How many Floridians are aware that a native son of the Sunshine State is the father of this movement? His name was Robert C. Randall - my late husband. Robert was born and raised in Sarasota. He was diagnosed with glaucoma at a young age. In the early 1970s, he accidentally discovered that his vision improved when he used cannabis. In those days, not many people knew about the medical uses of cannabis. We were convinced Robert had made a singular discovery. Imagine our surprise when, just a few weeks after our arrest in August 1975, we obtained a document from the National Institute on Drug Abuse titled "Marihuana[sic] and Health." It was an annual report that was sent to Congress, and inside we found a small section called "Therapeutic Uses." Glaucoma was prominently featured.
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US NM: Advisory Pot Question Fans Political Flames

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 29 Oct 2014 - Critics Say Question Is Misleading; Supporters Say It Lets Voters Speak Voters in Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties have a chance this fall to offer their advice to policy-makers on state and local efforts to decriminalize possession of an ounce or less of marijuana.
Categories: Marijuana

US MD: Medical Marijuana Rules Delayed

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 29 Oct 2014 - Commission Decides More Time Needed to Tweak Fees, Allow for Cannabis Extracts A state commission charged with launching Maryland's lagging medical marijuana program hit the pause button Tuesday, postponing a final vote on already tardy regulations to tweak licensing fees and make cannabis available to patients in liquid as well as smokeable form.
Categories: Marijuana

US AK: OPED: Too Many Questions On Measure 2

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 07:00
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 29 Oct 2014 - On Nov. 4, Alaskans will make a decision on Ballot Measure 2: whether to legalize the use of marijuana. As we make this decision, it is important we base it on complete information rather than the propaganda that is being slung.
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US: For Marijuana, A Second Wave Of Votes To Legalize

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 07:00
New York Times, 29 Oct 2014 - KEIZER, Ore. - Two years after voters in Colorado and Washington State broke the ice as the first states to legalize sales of recreational marijuana to adults, residents of Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., will vote next week on ballot measures patterned on those of the two pioneers. People on both sides of the issue say these initiatives could determine whether there will be a national tide of legalization. A changing political landscape has weakened anti-marijuana efforts. As the libertarian movement in the Republican Party has gained force, with leaders like Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, supporting decriminalization of marijuana and others going even further, an anchor of the conservative opposition to legalization has eroded.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: After The Crackdown

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 07:00
SF Weekly, 29 Oct 2014 - AFTER THE CRACKDOWN With its organic nurseries and converted auto body shops selling artisanal barbecue, Berkeley's San Pablo Avenue hardly resembles a war zone. But step into a clean and well-lit former mechanic's space, where a bubbling fountain placed just inside the door offers a hint of peace, and you're on the front lines of the war on drugs.
Categories: Marijuana

US FL: Researcher: Veterans With PTSD Need Med Pot Study

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 07:00
Orlando Sentinel, 29 Oct 2014 - Arizona doctor says veterans need research with medical marijuana and PTSD but study is stymied. Are people waiting for controlled, scientific research to determine whether marijuana has legitimate medical effects for various illnesses, notably post traumatic stress disorder suffered by countless military veterans?
Categories: Marijuana

Marijuana Reform on Local Ballots in Five States Next Week: The Rundown [FEATURE]

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 06:58

Election Day is less than a week away, and it's not just statewide marijuana, medical marijuana, sentencing reform, and drug testing initiatives that we're watching. In five states, voters in some cities or counties will have opportunities to cast ballots for local marijuana reform measures.

[image:1 align:left]In four out of the five states—California being the exception—the local initiatives, some binding, some not, are chances to vote for decriminalizing or legalizing pot. In all of those states, these city- or county-level measures are just the latest steps in sometimes years-long campaigns laying the groundwork for state-level legalization, either through the ballot box or through the legislature.

California is a special case this year. With pot possession already decriminalized, its unique medical marijuana laws providing broad, if uneven, access, and the near certainty that statewide legalization is going to be on the ballot in 2016, nobody is bothering with local legalization measures in 2014 (although they had successful ones in a number of cities in the past).

In California, all the action is about medical marijuana. Let's start there.

California

With the state legislature unable or unwilling to pass statewide medical marijuana regulations, battles on the topic regularly devolve to the local level. This year is no exception. There are three broad areas of contention this year: cultivation, dispensaries, and taxes.

Four counties are dealing with cultivation issues. In Butte County, Measure B is a less restrictive ordinance than Measure A, which was passed by the board of supervisors. Both are on the ballot. In Lake County, Measure O and Measure P, both seek to overturn the restrictive Measure N, which was narrowly approved by voters last year. Measure O would allow more plants to be grown, while Measure P declares that personal—not commercial—grows  are a fundamental right and that people growing for their own use are exempt from county cultivation ordinances.

In Nevada County, Measure S would liberalize the county's restrictive cultivation ordinance by allowing indoor cultivation anywhere, eliminating some minimum distance and other restrictions, and allowing up to 60 plants to be grown on plots over 30 acres. In Shasta County, Measure A is a referendum on an ordinance banning outdoor grows and home cultivation. A "no" vote on Measure A would repeal the ordinance.

[image:2 align:right caption:true]Dispensaries are on the ballot in a number of cities and counties. In Orange County's Santa Ana, two competing measures are on the ballot. Measure CC would allow for a minimum of 22 dispensaries, while the more restrictive, city council-sponsored Measure BB has no minimum number of dispensaries, a higher tax rate, and more restrictions than Measure CC.

In San Diego County, two cities have dispensary measures on the ballot. In Encinitas, Measure F would allow dispensaries and tax them at a 2.5% rate, while in La Mesa, Measure J would do the same thing. In Riverside County, Blythe's Measure Z would authorize and regulate dispensaries, with a 15% business tax.

Straight taxation questions are also on the ballot in Santa Cruz County (Measure K), the city of Santa Cruz (Measure L), Shasta Lake City (Measure C), and two Riverside County communities, Cathedral City (Measure N) and Desert Hot Springs, which has both a cultivation tax measure (Measure HH) and a dispensary tax measure (Measure II) on the ballot.

[Thanks to the Drug Policy Forum of California and its November 2014 Election Guide for the information on California local initiatives.]

Maine

In Maine, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) and local allies are sponsoring possession legalization initiatives in two towns, Lewiston and South Portland. A similar effort in York was blocked by recalcitrant town leaders. This year's effort builds on last year's success in Portland, Maine's largest city, where a similar initiative was approved with 67% of the vote.

In Lewiston, the personal legalization initiative is Question 2; it South Portland, it is Citizen-Initiated Ordinance #5.

Lewiston is the state's second largest city, while South Portland is its fourth largest. Victories in those two cities next week, along with last year's victory in Portland, will lay the groundwork for a statewide legalization push in 2016, which MPP says is coming.

Massachusetts

For the last six election cycles, activists with the Drug Policy Forum of Massachusetts and MassCann/NORML have been laying the groundwork for marijuana law reform through the use of non-binding Public Policy Questions (PPQs), by which voters signal their reform desires to their elected representatives. The questions have been on medical marijuana, decriminalization, and legalization—and they have never lost.

[image:3 align:left caption:true]Public opinion in the form of successful public policy questions helped decriminalize marijuana in 2008 and legalize marijuana in 2012. This year, the questions are all about legalization, and the aim is clear: making Massachusetts a legal marijuana state within the next couple of years.

This year, the question asks: "Shall the State Representative from this district be instructed to vote in favor of legislation that would allow the state to regulate and tax marijuana in the same manner as alcohol?"

Voters will be answering that question in the following districts: 4th Barnstable, 4th Berkshire, 1st Essex, 2nd Franklin, 14th Middlesex, 15th Middlesex, 24th Middlesex, and 8th Norfolk.

But wait--there's more. Meanwhile, Bay State Repeal has an even less restrictive question on the ballot in five districts. That question asks whether voters would like to tell their representatives to "replace the state's restrictions on marijuana with a law that regulates the cultivation and commerce in marijuana by persons over the age of 21, in the same manner as laws that apply to the cultivation and sale of fruits, vegetables, and herbs."

That question will be asked the following districts: 4th Essex, 7th Essex, 8th Essex, 3rd Middlesex, and 6th Middlesex. A slightly different form of the question will be asked in the 2nd Hampshire district. 

Michigan

In an fight led by the Safer Michigan Coalition, marijuana decriminalization is on the ballot in 11 Michigan towns and cities this year. Like the efforts in Maine and Massachusetts, the effort in Michigan this year is part of an ongoing process whose ultimate end is legalization. Eleven other Michigan cities, including Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Lansing—the state's largest cities—have already passed similar measures. No city has ever defeated one.

This year, voters will have the chance to do the same in Berkley, Clare, Frankfort, Harrison, Huntington Woods, Lapeer, Mt. Pleasant, Onaway, Port Huron, Pleasant Ridge and Saginaw.

All will be voting on questions similar to this one, from Port Huron: "Shall the Charter of the City of Port Huron, Michigan be amended such that nothing in the Code of Ordinances shall apply to the use, possession or transfer of less than 1 ounce of marijuana, on private property, or transportation of 1 ounce or less of marijuana, by a person who has attained the age of 21 years?"

New Mexico

The state's most populous county, Bernalillo County, and its third most populous, Santa Fe County, will vote on advisory, non-binding questions designed to measure popular support for marijuana decriminalization.

In both counties, the question asks: "Are you in favor of the [...] County Commission supporting County, City, and Statewide efforts to decriminalize possession of one ounce or less of marijuana?"

There should also have been a pair of municipal decriminalization initiatives in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, but it didn't work out that way. The Drug Policy Alliance and Progress New Mexico worked through the summer and into the fall to put the initiatives before the voters in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, but neither actually happened.

In Santa Fe, the city council, when presented with the qualified initiative, just voted to accept it instead of putting it to a popular vote. In Albuquerque, the reason no vote is occurring is not so happy. Although the city council voted to put the initiative on the November ballot, Mayor Richard Berry (R) vetoed it.

----------

If the past is any indication, these building-block local initiatives should all fare very well at the polls and continue to build the number of American political jurisdictions that have gone on record for ending pot prohibition. Come back next week to see if we can confirm that. 

Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: FL MedMJ Init in Danger, CO Legalization Report, Russia Synthetics Ban, More (10/28/14)

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 20:19

The Florida medical marijuana initiative appears to be in trouble, thanks in part to a deep-pocketed GOP opposition donor, a federal court is hearing evidence on marijuana's scheduling, a new report on Colorado's legalization finds less than meets the eye, Russia bans some new synthetics, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Federal Court Hears Arguments on Proper Scheduling of Marijuana. In a federal court hearing in Sacramento that continues today, three medical experts testified that the scientific evidence does not support classifying marijuana as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. This is the first time in living memory that a federal court in a criminal case has allowed discussion of marijuana's proper placement in the drug schedules. Testifying for the defense in US v. Schweder, Gregory Carter, MD, and Carl Hart, PhD, told the court that marijuana is neither "very dangerous" nor "lacking medical use," both of which are required to support a Schedule I placement.

Cincinnati City Council Moves to Fix Its Pot Policy Misstep. Ohio is a state where the possession of marijuana is decriminalized, but in 2006, the Cincinnati city council tried to crack down on it, making possession of even small amounts a misdemeanor offense under city ordinance. The council later repealed that law, admitting it was a mistake. Now, it has moved to undo one of the nastier consequences of its actions, voting Monday to allow people arrested under that ordinance to have their criminal records expunged. More than 10,000 people were arrested under the ordinance, which was in effect until its repeal in 2010.

Cato Report on Colorado Legalization: No Big Deal. For all the sturm und drang surrounding the consequences of marijuana legalization in Colorado, a new report by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron for the Cato Institute finds it just wasn't that big a deal. Miron found little impact on crime, traffic accidents, or teen drug use -- the banes of the anti-legalization folks -- but neither did he find a big impact on the state's economy. And he found that tax revenues were lower than estimated. Miron's bottom line? "The evidence here indicates that strong claims about Colorado's legalization, whether by advocates or opponents, are so far devoid of empirical support."

Medical Marijuana

Florida's Measure 2 In Danger. A Gravis Marketing poll released Monday 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.

Republican Money Man Sheldon Adelson Contributes Another $1 Million to Defeat Florida's 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 it. Overall, opponents have spent $5.5 million, pretty much matching supporters, who have so far spent $6.5 million.

International

Russia Bans Ingredients for New Synthetic Drugs. Russia has expanded its list of banned drugs to include methoxetamine, NM-018, and methylphenidate -- all used to create new synthetic drugs. The move comes after Russian senators proposed earlier this month to ban new synthetics from the moment they are discovered instead of going through the lengthy process of listing them on the Federal Drug Control Services' list of banned drugs.

Categories: Marijuana

US MD: OPED: Marijuana Legalization Best Md. Path

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 28 Oct 2014 - Earlier this month, marijuana was partially decriminalized in Maryland, making possession under 10 grams (about a third of an ounce) subject to a citation, a fine and no jail time. Despite some problems with the language of the law, taking jail time off the table and ensuring no criminal records for owners of small quantities of marijuana are positive first steps in changing the state's drug policy. That said, the Maryland legislature has been far too timid in its approach and should instead adopt a Colorado-like model for legalization.
Categories: Marijuana
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