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Medical Marijuana

CN AB: Editorial: Eliminate Medical Marijuana Stigma

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 04/02/2014 - 07:00
Airdrie Echo, 02 Apr 2014 - Every child should have what is needed for a healthy, happy life, even if that requires changing the laws. That's the case for Mia Wilkinson, an eight-year-old Airdrie girl who has suffered from debilitating seizures her whole life.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN AB: Marijuana Gives Girl Second Chance

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 04/02/2014 - 07:00
Airdrie Echo, 02 Apr 2014 - Like many eight year olds, Airdrie's Mia Wilkinson likes chocolate, Lady Gaga and the cartoon Phineas and Ferb. But Mia is anything but average. The little girl has never walked, never attended school and just recently started saying "mom."
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MI: State Lawmakers May Legalize Dispensaries, Edible Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 04/02/2014 - 07:00
Tri-County Times, 02 Apr 2014 - Bills Aim to Expand Medical Marihuana Act Lawmakers in Michigan are attempting to re-open dispensaries and legalize medical marijuana use in edible form. Both house bills 5104 and 4271 have passed through the House and are being deliberated in the Senate.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM -- April 1, 2014

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 17:53

No April Fools' stories here -- the mayor of Washington really did sign a decriminalization bill, the Kentucky legislature really did pass a CBD medical marijuana bill, the US government really won't help Honduras shoot down drug planes, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left]Marijuana Policy

DC Mayor Signs Decriminalization Bill. District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray signed the marijuana decriminalization bill already passed by the city council Monday. It's still not quite a done deal, though; it must still get past the Congress, which has 60 days to stop it. We will have a feature story on the signing later today.

California Cannabis Hemp Initiative is Back and Seeking Signatures Again. The California Cannabis Hemp Initiative, which failed to meet a signature-gathering deadline earlier this year, has been re-filed and is again seeking to come up with enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot. The followers of legendary activist Jack Herer have tried each election cycle for years to qualify, but have never managed to do it. They need slightly more than half a million signatures by August.

Medical Marijuana

The Eighth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics to be Held May 8-10; Registration Now in Progress. The medical marijuana organization Patients Out of Time and the University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine are sponsoring the conference on the state of the art (and science) on medical marijuana in Portland, Oregon. Click on the link for all the details.

Arizona State Senator Blocks Funding for Long-Sought Medical Marijuana Research. Supporters of medical marijuana research are trying to put state Sen. Kimberly Yee in the hot seat because the Senate Education Committee chairwoman is blocking a bill that would allow monies collected under the state's medical marijuana program to be used to help fund an approved trial of medical marijuana for treating PTSD in veterans. The bill is House Bill 2333, which has already passed the House. A demonstration is set for tomorrow in Phoenix. Click on the title link for more details.

Kentucky Legislature Passes CBD Medical Marijuana Bill. The state Senate Monday gave final approval to a bill that would allow research hospitals to prescribe CBD cannabis oil to children with seizures. Senate Bill 124 now goes to the desk of Gov. Steve Beshear (D).

Medical Marijuana Dropped from New York State Budget. On Saturday, Governor Cuomo, Speaker Sheldon Silver, and Senate Co-Presidents Dean Skelos and Jeffrey Klein announced that they had reached a budget agreement, but the deal excluded a medical marijuana bill, the Compassionate Care Act. The Assembly had included the proposal as part of their one-house budget bill, but the Senate and governor refused to include the bill in the final budget. The Compassionate Care Act has passed the Assembly four times, has bipartisan support in the Senate, and is supported by a super-majority of New York voters. But Senate leaders have refused to let the bill come up for a vote.

Oregon Health Authority Rethinks, Revises Rules to Allow Edibles, But. The Oregon Health Authority on Monday issued revised rules for marijuana-infused products, allowing the sale of baked goods and other sweets but banning marijuana-laced sweets "attractive to minors." The authority had recently issued draft rules banning edibles, but backed off in the face of strong opposition.

Puerto Rico Senate Debating Medical Marijuana. The Puerto Rican Senate is currently discussing the legalization of marjhuana for medical use and its cultivation. Advocates of the move argue legalization will dramatically cut crime and legal costs on the Caribbean Island. Click on the link for more details.

Prescription Drugs

Congressman Wants to Ban Zohydro. Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Stephen Lynch has filed a bill that would ban Zohydro, the powerful opioid pain reliever recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The bill is House Resolution 4241. Similar legislation has been filed in the Senate by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-VA).

Law Enforcement

Portland, Oregon, Commissioner Wants to Slash Dope Squad Funding. Portland Commissioner Steve Novick is working to convince his colleagues to cut half of the money budgeted for Portland Police Bureau's Drugs and Vice Division, arguing that other city services demand higher priority -- such as disaster preparedness and pedestrian safety. He argues that the division is engaged in a "failed 40-year effort to interrupt the supply of drugs." He makes his case before the commission today.

International

US Won't Help Honduras Shoot Down Suspected Drug Planes. The US will no longer provide radar information that could help the Honduran government shoot down suspected drug planes, US embassy officials in Tegucigalpa confirmed Monday. Honduras passed a law in January that allows military force against suspected drug planes if approved by the Honduran defense secretary.

Britain to Set Drugged Driving Per Se Standards. The British government is about to set drugged driving standards for a number of substances, some legal and some not. These are not "zero tolerance" standards, but will allow drivers to have small amounts of the substances in their blood without triggering drugged driving charges. Click on the link to see the limits for various substances.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN BC: Grow-Ops Legal, For Now

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 07:00
Parksville Qualicum Beach News, 01 Apr 2014 - Coombs Resident's Licence Allows Him to Grow 100 Plants A licensed medical marijuana grower and user in Coombs said he's "relieved" Health Canada's ban on home-grown pot slated to take place today has been halted by a federal court decision.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN MB: Legal Weed

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 07:00
Winnipeg Sun, 01 Apr 2014 - Marijuana to be legalized in Manitoba; following Colorado footsteps In the wake of a court decision that allows medical marijuana users to continue to grow their own pot, Manitoba will become the first Canadian jurisdiction to follow in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington, the Sun has learned.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US VA: Poll: 84% Back Legal Medical Pot

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 07:00
Richmond Times-Dispatch, 01 Apr 2014 - But Recreational Marijuana Is Still Opposed In Virginia A new poll finds that Virginia voters support legalizing medical marijuana by an overwhelming 84 percent to 13 percent, but support for recreational marijuana is divided with 46 percent in favor and 48 percent opposed.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US PA: Pro-Marijuana Supporters Rally For Change In Pa.

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 07:00
The Citizens' Voice, 01 Apr 2014 - HARRISBURG (AP) - A few hundred people who want the state to change its marijuana laws - for a variety of reasons - took their campaign to the Pennsylvania Capitol on Monday with a two-hour rally. Speakers at the Keystone Cannabis Reform Rally urged lawmakers to permit use of the drug for medical purposes, to allow for the production of industrial hemp and to decriminalize recreational marijuana.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US PA: Marijuana Backers Rally In Harrisburg

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 07:00
Standard-Speaker, 01 Apr 2014 - HARRISBURG (AP) - A few hundred people who want the state to change its marijuana laws - for a variety of reasons - took their campaign to the Pennsylvania Capitol on Monday with a two-hour rally. Speakers at the Keystone Cannabis Reform Rally urged lawmakers to permit use of the drug for medical purposes, to allow for the production of industrial hemp and to decriminalize recreational marijuana.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US AZ: Wilmot Loses Supreme Court Pot Case

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 07:00
The Sun, 01 Apr 2014 - PHOENIX - Cops take your pot? They've got to give it back if you've got a medical marijuana card - even one from another state. Without comment the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to disturb state court rulings that said medical marijuana patients whose drugs are taken by police are entitled to get them back.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MN: Group Backling Medical Marijuana Meets Saturday

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 07:00
Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 01 Apr 2014 - MN NORML will meet in the Brainerd Public library at 10 a.m. Saturday. The Brainerd public library is located at 416 South Fifth St. MN NORML is the Minnesota chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). NORML supports medical marijuana legislation and legalizing everyday use by responsible adults. NORML advocates regulating and taxing marijuana.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MN: Edu: Column: The Gateway Drug Label Is Dangerous

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 07:00
Minnesota Daily, 01 Apr 2014 - The Notion That Pot Is a Gateway Drug Limits Children's Grasp of Safer Substance Use. Lawmakers who are critical of marijuana often point to the drug's status as a "gateway" to harder substances. However, recent studies suggest that alcohol consumption and tobacco use are more likely to lead to hard drugs than marijuana. With these results in mind, Minnesotans should question their view of pot while lawmakers are on the verge of considering medical marijuana.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM -- March 31, 2014

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 03/31/2014 - 19:30

Garden State municipal prosecutors say legalize it, an Arizona sheriff has to give back medical marijuana seized rom a patient, Colorado wants to crack down on high plant-count patients, Louisiana takes a resolutely last century approach to heroin, Uruguay is going to seriously track its legal weed, and more. Let's get to it:

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

New Jersey Prosecutors Say Legalize It. The New Jersey State Municipal Prosecutors Association has come out in favor of legalizing marijuana possession. The support of the prosecutors association comes as two bills were introduced this month in the legislature. The board of trustees of the municipal prosecutors association on February 21 voted to endorse legalization, said its president, Jon-Henry Barr, who is municipal prosecutor in Kenilworth and Clark.

Poll Shows Virginians Split on Legalization, Strongly Favor Medical Marijuana. A new Quinnipiac poll has Virginians narrowly opposed to legalization, with 46% in favor and 48% opposed. Medical marijuana fares much better, with support at 84%.

Wisconsin Decriminalization Bill Filed. Rep. Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee) and 10 Democratic cosponsors have introduced a decriminalization bill, Assembly Bill 891. It has been referred to the Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice, but is not expected to go anywhere.

Wisconsin's Dane County (Madison) Votes Tomorrow on Legalization Advisory Referendum. Voters in Dane County, Wisconsin, will vote tomorrow on whether to approve an advisory referendum calling for marijuana legalization. The question was put on the ballot by County Board member Leland Pan.

Vermont Legislature Legalization Debate Killed. An effort to debate a proposal to study the impact of legalization on state revenues died in the state House. The effort came in an amendment to a miscellaneous tax bill from Rep. Kristina Michelsen (D-Hardwick), but was blocked when Rep. Thomas Koch (R-Barre Town) asked House Speaker Shap Smith to rule on whether it was germane. He ruled it wasn't.

Hundreds Rally for Marijuana Reform in Harrisburg. Supporters of medical marijuana, hemp, and decriminalization rallied by the hundreds at the Pennsylvania state capitol in Harrisburg Monday. They called it the Keystone Cannabis Reform Rally.

Medical Marijuana

US Supreme Court Denies Arizona County's Appeal; Sheriff Must Give Back Seized Medical Marijuana. The Supreme Court has refused to overturn Arizona court rulings ordering the Yuma County sheriff to return marijuana that was seized from a woman with a California medical marijuana authorization honored by Arizona.

Oregon Has Now Approved 22 Dispensaries. The Oregon Health Authority reported 14 more dispensaries had been approved by late Friday, on top of the eight approved the previous week.The agency has processed 102 of 301 applications submitted since March 3. A total of 41 applicants have been granted provisional licenses until their security systems are in place, and 39 applications have been denied. Reasons for denial include incomplete information or locations within 1,000 feet of a school or another dispensary.

Nevada Dispensary Rules Finalized. The Legislative Commission approved rules for growing, processing, and selling medical marijuana Friday. Nevada voters approved medical marijuana in 2000 but patients have had no legal way to acquire it other than to grow it. A law approved by the 2013 legislature and signed by Gov. Brian Sandoval set up a taxing and distribution system to make it accessible to patients. It could be late this year or early 2015 before medical pot is available for purchase.

California Federal Court Judge to Hear Motion on Declaring Unconstitutional Marijuana's Schedule I Classification. For the first time, a federal judge has granted a hearing on a motion to declare unconstitutional the continued classification of marijuana in Schedule I. The evidentiary hearing is currently set for June 2 before Federal District Court Judge Kimberly Mueller in Sacramento.

Colorado Health Officials Warn of Crackdown on High Plant-Count Patients. Beginning today, the state Health Department will send out letters to doctors who recommended that patients be allowed to grow elevated plant counts and the patients who benefit, requiring them to provide more documentation on the need for the extra plants. The department also unveiled a proposed bill that would strictly limit medical-marijuana caregivers -- people who grow cannabis for patients who can't grow for themselves -- to serving only five patients and growing no more than six plants per patient. Caregivers can currently apply for a waiver to serve more than five patients. The proposals did not go over well with medical marijuana supporters, with Health Department spokesmen being cursed at and called "fascists" in response.

Massachusetts Municipal Association Releases Report on State Medical Marijuana Law. The Massachusetts Municipal Association has released a report on the state's medical marijuana law, offering several suggestions for local officials trying to navigate it. The report, written by MMA legislative analyst J. Catherine Rollins, touches on the legal right cities and towns have to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries and grow centers. Municipalities, Rollins said, have the power to create zoning bylaws, ordinances, special permits or host community agreements.

Drug Testing

West Virginia Governor Signs Mining Industry Drug Test Reporting Bill. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) has approved a bill requiring employers in West Virginia's mining industry to report all positive drug and alcohol tests to the Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training. Prior to this law, which takes effect immediately, mine industry employers were only required to submit test results to the state if a miner was fired. Employers must notify the administration within seven days if an employee tests positive, refuses a urine sample, or has submitted an adulterated sample. Suspect employees will be suspended from work until they appear before a board of appeals. New hires must submit to a pre-employment urine test.

Alabama's Jefferson County (Birmingham) Suspends Employee Drug Testing Program. Mandatory, suspicionless drug testing of all new hires in Jefferson County has been suspended pending an inquiry into whether the program is unconstitutional. Ronald Sims, the court appointed receiver in charge of the county's Human Resources Department, this month halted across-the-board drug tests and medical examinations for new county workers because, Sims said, the drug tests "likely violate individuals' rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution."

Law Enforcement

Friends, Family of Unarmed Man Killed in Drug Raid Rally in Tulsa. Deandre Starks was shot and killed last week by Tulsa police serving a drug search warrant. On Friday, friends and family members rallied at city hall demanding answers. Starks' mother said she believed her son was murdered. Police said they fired at him after he made a threatening movement, but Vanesta Starks wasn't buying that. "But to know that my son was shot when his hands was up in the air, surrendered. He tripped over a rail and that was the body movement. I know the story. I just want to know if somebody will come tell me why," she said.

Lawsuit Charges "License Plate Profiling" by Idaho Troopers. A 70-year-old Washington man who was arrested and his car searched by an Idaho Highway Patrol trooper solely because he had Colorado plates has filed a federal lawsuit charging "license plate profiling." Both Colorado and Washington are legal marijuana states, while Idaho is one of the most reactionary on marijuana policy. Click on the link for all the tawdry details.

Sentencing

Louisiana Bill Would Jack Up Sentences for Heroin Possession, Sales. A bill moving in the legislature in Baton Rouge would drastically increase prison time for heroin users and dealers, including a mandatory minimum two-year sentence for simple possession. House Bill 332 easily passed out of the House Criminal Justice Committee last week and is attracting bipartisan support, even among lawmakers otherwise skeptical of the "tough-on-crime" policies that have been blamed for Louisiana's nation-leading incarceration rate. The bill would also double the mandatory minimum sentence for heroin distribution from five years to ten.

International

Colombia's FARC Calls for "Humanized" Approach to Drug Policy. Colombia's counterdrug policies must have "a humanized approach in the context of integral agrarian reform" negotiators for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) said in Havana Friday. Forced crop eradication and aerial fumigation are repressive and ineffective, the guerrillas said during ongoing peace talks with the Colombian government. The FARC supports crop substation programs as long as they are "participatory, concerted, gradual, [and] environmentally sustainable."

Uruguay to Track Marijuana from Seed to Stash With Genetic Markers, RTF Tags. Uruguay's drug czar says every legal marijuana plant in Uruguay will be registered and tracked using radio frequency tags, and that state-grown marijuana will be cloned to include genetic markers, making sure that what's grown there stays there. That's a much tougher tracking system than those imposed in Colorado and Washington, which recently legalized marijuana use. Unlike those US states, Uruguay wants authorities to be able to test the pot in any drug user's possession to determine if it came from a registered, legal source.

Jamaican Marijuana Growers Call on Government to Halt Crop Destruction. At a preparatory meeting of the Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association (GFGPA) in Kingston this weekend, some participants called for an immediate end to the destruction of marijuana crops. "Please, Mr. Government, ask you police and the army to stop digging down the world number one brand ganja," Ras Arthur Newland shouted out emphatically. "We believe the persecution and the lock-up for ganja must stop immediately." That's not the official position of the GFGPA, which said it is going to concentrate on winning decriminalization first.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN BC: New Crop Of Pot Producers Enters Market

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 03/31/2014 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 31 Mar 2014 - Hundreds Of Companies Have Applied To Become Suppliers Of Medical Marijuana Under New Health Canada Regulations VANCOUVER- From the outside, there's little to distinguish MediJean Distribution Inc.'s headquarters from the unremarkable office complexes and warehouses that surround it in a sprawling slice of industrial suburbia near Vancouver.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Canada: New Medicinal Pot Laws Divide Doctors

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 03/31/2014 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 31 Mar 2014 - Flood of prescription requests expected as physicians' groups caution members over uncertainties about the effects of cannabis "What about marijuana?" It's a question that likely will soon be posed by a growing number of patients in more and more doctors' offices across the country.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MI: Officer Trained To Detect Drug Use

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 03/31/2014 - 07:00
Morning Sun, 31 Mar 2014 - When Mt. Pleasant Police Officer Michael Covarrubias was in training in Arizona, he was talking to a drug addict who rather abruptly said, "I'm going to seize." Immediately after that proclamation, the man dropped to the floor and had a seizure, which was prompted by drug withdrawal.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US IL: Medical Marijuana Is Just What Doc Ordered

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 03/31/2014 - 07:00
The News-Gazette, 31 Mar 2014 - As executive director of the Illinois Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, I object to letter writer Ed Wilhite's comment that medical cannabis is a non-issue for most people. The prevalence for cancer rates in this country make medical cannabis an issue for just about everyone because many people know someone with cancer or will get cancer themselves someday. Cannabis can be very helpful for people undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment, and anyone who has witnessed what those treatments do will likely agree that any ease of suffering greatly improves a patient's quality of life.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US: In Drug Policy, A Turn For The Pragmatic

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 03/31/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 31 Mar 2014 - 'Samaritan' Laws Join Changes on Pot, Prison Someone was with Salvatore Marchese when he died of a heroin overdose, but no one called 911. So his mother, Patty DiRenzo, a legal aide, began a quest to help make sure that others wouldn't be afraid to make that call. She created a Facebook page, wrote New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie nearly every day and called all 120 members of the state legislature.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Column: My Trip To The Pot Shop

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 03/30/2014 - 07:00
Toronto Sun, 30 Mar 2014 - Medical Marijuana Effective for Many Patients PUEBLO WEST, Colo. - It's 9 a.m. on a weekday, and I'm at the Marisol Therapeutics pot shop. This is serious business. Security is tight. ID checks are frequent. Merchandise is strictly regulated, labeled, wrapped and controlled.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM -- March 28, 2014

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 03/28/2014 - 19:43

Medical marijuana and CBD bills continue moving in state legislatures, Northeastern governors respond to opiates, the Department of Agriculture wants to buy Ukrainian hemp seed, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Alaska Poll Has Legalization Initiative in Narrow Victory. A new Alaska House Majority Caucus poll suggests that the marijuana legalization initiative there should win at the polls in August, but it will be close. The poll had support for the initiative at 52%, with 44% opposed and only 4% undecided. Click on the poll link for cross-tabs and top lines.

New Jersey Governor Christie Rejects Legalization, Raises "Gateway" Specter. During Gov. Chris Christie's (R) "Ask the Governor" radio program Thursday, Christie rejected legalization in response to a listener's question. "Mike, I love you baby, but it ain't happening, not while I'm governor," Christie said to the caller. "I don't believe that legalizing an illegal drug for purposes of governmental profit is something that we should be doing. I believe that this is a gateway drug into other more serious drugs, I think it sends a wrong message to our kids and I don't think it makes anybody a better or more productive person," he said.

Vermont Lawmakers Want Marijuana Tax Revenue Study. Vermont lawmakers were expected to offer an amendment to a tax bill passed by the House Thursday to include a study on the revenue effects of legalizing marijuana. The proposed amendment would require the Joint Fiscal Office to report back to the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee on specific revenue projections. The amendment calls on the Joint Fiscal Office to use the Colorado tax model for purposes of the report.

Medical Marijuana

Study Finds Marijuana Medical Access Not Linked to Crime Increases. A new study from University of Texas-Dallas criminologist Robert Morris finds no link between violent crime and the legalization of medical marijuana. "We're cautious about saying, 'Medical marijuana laws definitely reduce homicide.' That's not what we're saying," said Morris. "The main finding is that we found no increase in crime rates resulting from medical marijuana legalization. In fact, we found some evidence of decreasing rates of some types of violent crime, namely homicide and assault."

Colorado Health Department Wants to Restrict Caregiver, Patient Grows. The state Department of Public Health wants to limit the number of patients caregivers can serve and put a cap on the number of plants patients or caregivers can grow. The agency says it will ask legislators to craft new laws, but is still moving forward with its proposed rule change. Some patient activists are viewing this as a power grab by state regulators.

Maryland Senate Passes Medical Marijuana Bill. The state Senate approved a full-blown medical marijuana bill Thursday. Senate Bill 923 now goes to the House, where a similar bill has already been passed.

Mississippi House Approves CBD Medical Marijuana Bill. The House voted 112-6 Thursday to approve a measure that would allow the limited use of CBD cannabis oil as a medical treatment. House Bill 1231 is not quite done in the House yet, though. It was held over on a motion that could allow for more debate.

Florida Senate Committee Approves CBD Medical Marijuana Bill. A bill that would allow doctors to prescribe "non-euphoric" marijuana strains for seizure or cancer patienta passed a Senate committee Thursday. Senate Bill 1030 passed out of the Criminal Justice Committee and is now headed for the Appropriations Committee. A companion bill is also moving in the House.

Hemp

Ag Secretary Says US Seeking to Buy Ukraine Hemp Seed. US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said Thursday that the US is looking to buy hemp seed from Ukraine in a bid to bolster the East European country's economy. "We are now involved in trying to figure out ways in which we might be able to use the industrial hemp seeds that are created in the Ukraine in the US," Vilsack told reporters. Ukraine is one of the world's largest hemp seed producers, and Vilsack said its hemp seed doesn't contain any THC, "so it probably does not run afoul of any of our drug laws."

Drug Policy

Maine Governor's Anti-Drug Bill Gets Some Balance, But ACLU Still Opposes It. Maine Gov. Paul LePage's (R) law enforcement-heavy bill to deal with drug problems in the state has been amended to cut the number of new drug agents, prosecutors, and judges and increase funding or drug treatment programs. The changes to Legislative Document 1811 came in the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee and could generate enough Democratic support to pass them, but the ACLU of Maine still says the measure should be defeated.

Massachusetts Governor Declares Public Health Emergency on Opiates, Calls for All First Responders to Have Overdose Reversal Drug. Gov. Deval Patrick declared a public health emergency Thursday to combat the growing abuse of opiates, directing that all the state's police, firefighters, and other emergency personnel be equipped with a drug that can quickly reverse heroin overdoses. Using his emergency powers, Patrick told the Department of Public Health to make Narcan available immediately to all first responders, as well as more accessible to families and friends of drug abusers. Narcan, the brand name for naloxone, halts overdoses almost instantly. Unfortunately, however, the state will also prohibit the sale of Zohydro, an opioid pain reliever approved last year by the FDA.

International

"Women, Drug Policy, and Incarceration in the Americas" Events in DC, NYC Next Week. The Harm Reduction Coalition, the International Drug Policy Consortium, the Washington Office on Latin America, the Permanent Mission of Uruguay to the UN, and the Inter-American Commission of Women will be discussing women, drug policy, and imprisonment at meetings Monday in Washington, DC, and Thursday at the UN in New York City. Click on the links for details and/or to RSVP.

Canada's Alberta Arbitration Board Rejects Random Drug Testing. The Alberta Arbitration Board sided with union workers against Suncor Energy after the union filed a grievance over the company's random drug testing policies. The board ruled that the company failed to demonstrate "a significant problem or legitimate safety risk" to justify random alcohol testing and that its use of urinalysis to do drug testing "failed to identify current impairment." While the tests did find employees who had recently used drugs, "this did not meet the threshold of a legitimate business interest which would justify the significant intrusion into employees' privacy."

Clashes as Bolivians Protest New Anti-Drug Base in Coca-Growing Region. Coca growers blocked roads and hurled stones at police, who responded with volleys of tear gas, as protestors agitated against a new anti-drug military base being constructed near the Chapare, the country's main coca-growing region. Local leaders said people feared an increased law enforcement presence would lead to violence and abuses. The European Union is financing the base at a cost of $1.3 million.

Categories: Medical Marijuana
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