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Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: OR Pot Tax Battle, MA Mandatory Minimums Under Fire, More (11/19/14)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 21:34

Oregon cities will fight to be allowed to tax marijuana, the CRS says state-level legalization leaves the US vulnerable to criticism on international drug treaties, federal reform bills pick up more sponsors, Hawaii medical marijuana patients get some rental protections, Iran is fine with executing drug traffickers, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Congressional Research Service Says Legalization Leaves US Vulnerable to Charges It Violates International Drug Treaties. In a report released this week, the Congressional Research Service said state-level marijuana legalization challenges the international drug treaties, but that legalization in the District of Columbia would be the most direct affront because Congress has oversight over DC laws and the ability to void them. "This line of reasoning suggests that if Initiative 71 is permitted to take effect, this inaction by the federal government may strengthen the [International Narcotics Control] Board's argument that the United States has not fulfilled its commitments under the Single Convention," the report said. Congress could challenge DC legalization, but it appears there is little interest in doing so.

Oregon Cities Seek to Tax Marijuana. The League of Oregon Cities says it will ask the legislature to amend the voter-approved Measure 91 legalization initiative to explicitly allow local taxes imposed before the measure was approved earlier this month. Measure 91 sponsors say they will oppose the move because it could drive prices up high enough to encourage users to continue to resort to the black market. The legislature is considering forming a joint committee to consider this and regulatory issues in the wake of Measure 91's passage. Measure 91 allows for the state to tax marijuana, but not localities. Some 70 Oregon localities passed tax measures before Measure 91 was approved.

Medical Marijuana

Federal Charlotte's Web Medical Hemp Act Picks Up New Cosponsors. The bill, HR 5526, would amend the Controlled Substance Act to remove cannabidiol (CBD) and "therapeutic hemp" from the definition of marijuana. "Therapuetic hemp" is defined as marijuana plants containing less than 0.3% THC. The bill was introduced by Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) and now has 36 cosponsors -- 20 Democrats and 16 Republicans. The latest are Reps. Jimmy Duncan (R-TN), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Austin Scott (R-GA). The bill has been assigned to subcommittees of the House Judiciary and House Energy and Commerce committees.

Hawaii Law Protecting Medical Marijuana Patient Housing Rights Goes Into Effect. As of this month, a new law voids provisions in state rental agreements that previously allowed for tenants to be evicted based on their status as registered medical marijuana patients. The Medical Cannabis Coalition of Hawaii fought for and now applauds this step toward protecting patient rights. The law does not, however, protect people living in government-subsidized housing.

Asset Forfeiture

Federal Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act Picks Up New Cosponsor. The bill, HR 5212, would strengthen protections against asset forfeiture and require that seizures be proportional to the offense. It was sponsored by Rep. Tim Walhberg (R-MI) and now has 20 cosponsors -- 15 Republicans and five Democrats. The latest is Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA). The bill is before the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.

Drug Treatment

Federal Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act Picks Up New Cosponsors. The bill, S 2389, was introduced by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). It would provide grants to community-based anti-drug coalitions, create treatment instead of incarceration programs, and provide for evidence-based opioid treatment interventions, among other provisions. It now has six cosponsors -- four Democrats and two Republicans. The latest are Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Al Franken (D-MN). It is before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Sentencing

Federal Smarter Sentencing Act Picks Up New Cosponsors. The bill, HR 3383, was introduced by Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) and would allow federal judges to sentence most drug offenders without regard to mandatory minimum sentences. It would also allow crack cocaine offenders sentenced before 2010 to seek sentence reductions. It now has 55 cosponsors -- 36 Democrats and 19 Republicans, and is before the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.

Federal Second Chance Reauthorization Act Picks Up New Cosponsor. The bill, HR 3465, was introduced by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and would expand federal grants to aid former prisoners reentering society. It has 45 cosponsors -- 37 Democrats and eight Republicans. The latest is Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY). It is before the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.

Massachusetts Chief Justice Renews Call for End to Mandatory Minimums for Drug Offenders. After a visit to Worcester Trial Court to meet with local court officials and employees, Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants reiterated an earlier call to abolish mandatory minimums for drug offenders. He said he wants "individualized, evidence-based" sentencing. "Everybody sort of feels that the drug problem is not getting any better. I think everybody recognizes that we're not going to incarcerate ourselves out of the problem," he said.

Massachusetts Criminal Justice Panel Recommends Eliminating Mandatory Minimums for Drug Offenders. The Special Commission to Study the Commonwealth's Criminal Justice System has recommended ending mandatory minimum sentences for all drug offenses in the state. It is also calling for parole eligibility for all inmates who have served at least two-thirds of the lower end of their sentences, except for those convicted of murder or manslaughter. The commission is working on a report for incoming Gov. Charlie Baker (R). Baker signaled support for ending mandatory minimums for drug offenders during the campaign.

International

Iran Rejects Criticism of Its Resort to the Death Penalty for Drug Traffickers. Iranian Justice Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi Tuesday rejected criticism from human rights campaigners and UN human rights bodies over its frequent executions of drug traffickers. "We do not accept the statements made by the UN human rights bodies that drug-related convicts should not be executed," he said. He added that anyone who smuggles or deals drugs deserves to be executed.

Report on Drug Policy Progress in Asia. The Open Society Foundations Global Drug Policy Program has published "Moving the Needle on Drug Policy in Asia," which examines innovations in drug policy in an area that boasts some of the world's harshest drug policies. The report looks at harm reduction programs in Taiwan and drug treatment programs in Malaysia. Click on the title link to read it.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN BC: Province Initiates Country's First Clinical Cannabis

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
Metro, 19 Nov 2014 - 'Looking for Answers'. Producer Hopes to Begin Next Spring British Columbia researchers and a medical marijuana producer have joined forces to conduct Canada's first-ever clinical trial to back up anecdotal evidence in using cannabis to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with hard facts.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US FL: Column: Marijuana Vote Not The Defeat Some Claim

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
The Ledger, 19 Nov 2014 - One big story to come out of the recent elections was the medical marijuana effort failing to reach the 60 percent needed for passage. To hear the pundits, opponents and media tell it, the defeat was devastating for an effort that looked certain to pass early on.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US PA: Column: When Criminal Vices Become Legal, Savvy

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
The Citizens' Voice, 19 Nov 2014 - Big-time investors hoping to profit from America's emerging business in legalized marijuana might see a bit of themselves in the historic example of Joseph P. Kennedy - the father of President John F. Kennedy. Back in 1933, the Kennedy patriarch made sure his liquor firm would be the first to make millions as Prohibition's decade-long ban on alcohol sales ended. He did so with a blend of politics, cash and timely maneuvers.
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US CA: Column: Green Lit: California Legalization Measure Is a

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
East Bay Express, 19 Nov 2014 - After the historic marijuana midterms, a seven-hundred-day battle for the Golden State begins. As the dust settles from the historic marijuana midterm election of 2014, a few things have become clear: Namely, Californians will vote on ending cannabis prohibition in 2016. But change is far from inevitable.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MI: Column: The Pot Racket

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
Metro Times, 19 Nov 2014 - Crunching the Numbers in Marijuana's March to Legalization Let's play a little numbers game today. This is not the kind of numbers they played in an illegal lottery that flourished for decades before states started taking over the gambling business.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US: Marley-Branded Marijuana To Go On Sale In 2015

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
Washington Post, 19 Nov 2014 - It's fair to say that Bob Marley probably could not have imagined that 33 years after his death, his name would be lent to what is about to be the newest entrant to the burgeoning legal marijuana market. The reggae icon was perhaps the most prominent and outspoken advocate of the drug throughout his life and at the height of his fame. He viewed it as a spiritual and creative force that was probably more likely to be legalized by "Christ's government" than governments here on Earth.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Marley Marijuana, New Player in Maine, DC OKs Forfeiture Reform, More (11/18/14)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 21:30

Get ready for "Marley Natural" weed, there are now competing legalization efforts in Maine, a high-CBD medical marijuana bill is the first one pre-filed for next year in Georgia, the DC city council approves civil asset forfeiture reform, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left]Marijuana Policy

Bob Marley Will Become a Marijuana Brand. The family of legendary Jamaican reggae singer and ganja lover Bob Marley has inked a deal with an American private equity group to sell marijuana under the "Marley Natural" name. The deal is with Privateer Holdings, which says on its web site that "Marley Natural is born of Bob Marley's deep respect for the power of nature to heal and inspire us. True to his ideals, we will cultivate fine cannabis, blend infused topicals, and craft accessories that celebrate life, awaken well-being and nurture a positive connection with the world." The Marley-branded weed is expected to show up next year in places where it is legal.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Supports Putting Marijuana on the Ballot in 2016. In an editorial last week, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch came out in support of the Show Me Cannabis petition drive to put a pot legalization constitutional amendment initiative on the 2016 ballot. "The time for a statewide debate over marijuana legalization is ripe," the newspaper editorialized. "Let the great pot debate of 2016 begin." The Post-Dispatch is Missouri's second largest daily circulation newspaper.

Second Legalization Effort Emerges in Maine. A new group has emerged seeking to free the weed in Maine. Legalize Maine says it will take "a homegrown approach" to legalization and will include the legalization of marijuana social clubs. It has registered the LegalizeMaine.org and LegalizeMaine.com web sites, but there's nothing on them yet. The Marijuana Policy Project has been working Maine for the past several years and plans to run a 2016 legalization initiative there. This could complicate matters.

Medical Marijuana

Georgia Legislator Pre-Files Low-THC, High-CBD Medical Marijuana Bill. State Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) has pre-filed a bill that would legalize a form of medical marijuana in the state. At this point, House Bill 1 is little more than a mission statement, with details to be filled in later, Peake said. Peake tried to do the same thing in the just finished legislative session, but that bill died on the last day of the session.

Iowa Board of Pharmacy Committee Hears Debate on Reclassifying Marijuana. The board met Monday in Des Moines to hear debate on whether marijuana should be moved from Schedule I to Schedule II under state law. Such a move would be a step toward allowing medical marijuana in the state. The board is responding to a petition from long-time Iowa medical marijuana activist Carl Olsen. The committee is expected to make a recommendation on the matter to the full Board of Pharmacy on Wednesday.

Rhode Island's Third and Final Dispensary Opens Tomorrow. The Summit Medical Compassion Center is set to open in Warwick tomorrow. There are two others in the state, one in Portsmouth and one in Providence. Three is all the state's medical marijuana law allows.

Asset Forfeiture

DC City Council Votes Unanimously for Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform. The council voted unanimously today to reform the way the nation's capital handles asset forfeiture. The measure would direct seized funds to the city's general fund instead of the police department and it establishes more protections for citizens in the asset forfeiture process.

International

Marijuana Legalization Debated in Frankfort. For the first time, a German city has officially debated changing its marijuana laws. Officials heard from police, economists, doctors, and drug counselors. A city health department official, Rosemarie Heilig, called for a pragmatic approach to dealing with marijuana that stresses counseling and therapy instead of punishment.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Congress Unlikely to Mess With DC Marijuana Legalization, Guatemala Could Legalize Next Year, More (11/17/14)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 04:36

Congress may "just say meh" to DC legalization, Washington state's first pot auction was a success, it's back to the drawing board for Florida Charlotte's Web regulators, Lebanese hash farmers have an unusual problem, Guatemala's president said pot legalization could be coming soon, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Congressional Republicans Not Too Interested in Blocking DC Legalization. Congressional Republicans, eager to wage battle against President Obama and the Democrats on immigration reform and the Affordable Care Act, don't appear that interested in trying to block the District of Columbia from implementing the marijuana legalization initiative voters approved on Election Day. The Washington Post quoted several senators who said they had other things on their minds. "That's pretty far down my list of priorities," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-NC). "I haven't given it one thought," said Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH). The Post also quoted a Heritage Foundation analyst as saying trying to block DC legalization could cost valuable political capital and expose a rift between GOP social conservatives and libertarians.

Washington State's First Pot Auction Brings in $600,000. In the first auction of legally licensed and produced marijuana in the state, Fireweed Farms sold more than 300 pounds of pot Saturday at an average price of $2,000 a pound. That's a $600,000 payday for the growers.

Pot Smoking Tickets Up Nearly Five-Fold in Denver. Through the first three quarters of this year, Denver police have cited 668 people for public pot smoking, compared to just 117 during the same period last year. That's a 471% increase. Even under legalization, public display and consumption of marijuana remains a no-no. Some advocates said public consumption will be an issue until the city allows for it to be consumed in bars or pot clubs.

Medical Marijuana

Florida Judge Rejects Medical Marijuana Growers Lottery Plan, Sends Health Department Back to Drawing Board. The state legislature this year approved the use of low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oils, but now an administrative law judge has ruled that the Department of Health's plan to use a lottery to choose growers is not the way to go. "I knew that the lottery became strictly a chance-based scenario and it wasn't merit-based or experience-based. And to me, I had to object to it," said Judge W. David Watkins in his order last Friday. The ruling should result in a better system of distributing licenses, but it could also delay when the cannabis oil actually becomes available to patients.

Asset Forfeiture

Scranton Times-Tribune Calls for Asset Forfeiture Reform. One of Pennsylvania's mid-level newspapers has jumped on the asset forfeiture reform bandwagon. In a Monday editorial, The Scranton Times-Tribune called for federal civil asset forfeiture reform. Citing "pervasive abuses" by state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies, the newspaper called on the Congress to pass pending asset forfeiture reform legislation, and for Pennsylvania officials to examine whether the state's asset forfeiture law needs reform as well.

Prescription Drugs

DEA Pays Visit to NFL Teams Over Use of Pain Relievers. Spurred by reports of widespread use of prescription pain relievers in a recent lawsuit filed against the NFL, DEA agents Sunday visited several NFL teams to question medical staff members about their prescribing practices for drugs used to energize players before games and relieve their pain afterward. The DEA characterized the visits as "administrative," and nothing was seized and no one detained. "Our role is law enforcement, and we have the regulatory authority to make sure anyone who has a license operates within the law," said DEA spokesman Rusty Payne.

Harm Reduction

Chicago Recovery Alliance's Harm Reduction Gets Work Some Notice. The DePaul University newspaper The DePaulia has profiled the Windy City's Chicago Recovery Alliance and the harm reduction work in which it is engaged. The newspaper calls harm reduction "a small movement in the United States meant not to stigmatize drug users, but to safely educate and assist drug users with the ultimate purpose of reducing risk and eliminating drug-related complications and deaths." It's actually a pretty good overview of the harm reduction field.

International

With Lebanese Army Busy with Syrian Civil War, Hash Farmers Are Cursed By Oversupply. For the second year in a row, the Lebanese Army has been too concerned with the fighting on its borders to get around to eradicating marijuana crops in the Bekaa Valley, but the hash farmers can't win for losing. Now they face a flooded market and falling prices. Before the Syrian civil war and the glut, farmers were getting $1,500 for 1.2 kilos of hash; now that price has fallen to $500. Not only is the glut the problem, but political and military insecurity have made smuggling more difficult as well, feeding further downward price pressures.

Guatemala President Says County Could Legalize Marijuana Next Year. In an interview with TeleSur TV on Saturday, President Otto Perez Molina said Guatemala would decide early next year whether to follow Uruguay on the path to marijuana legalization. Perez Molina has also made similar noises about legalizing opium poppy production. Stay tuned.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN BC: Pot A Possible Salvation For PTSD Sufferers

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 17 Nov 2014 - Marijuana producer and UBC are pitching a clinical trial on the impact of the drug on people with post-traumatic stress disorder After developing post-traumatic stress disorder during his second deployment in Afghanistan in 2007, Canadian army veteran Fabian Henry tried numerous anti-depressants to quell his suicidal thoughts and violent rages. For three years, he was on as many as nine pills a day. But only one drug worked for him: marijuana.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US GA: GA. Lawmakers Press Forward on Medical Cannabis

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 08:00
Rome News-Tribune, 17 Nov 2014 - Atlanta (AP) - While an effort to bring a form of medical marijuana to Georgia garnered bipartisan support during the most recent legislative session, hurdles remain as lawmakers prepare to make another attempt at passing the legislation next year. A bill is being drafted after a series of committee hearings and included testimony from leaders within the law enforcement and medical communities who raised concerns about the use of medical cannabis even under narrow circumstances. Meanwhile, progress is being made in terms of bringing clinical trials to Georgia, but advocates warn that will not be enough to help all those who see the drug as their best hope to manage debilitating conditions.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MA: Hope That a Prescription Can Mimic Marijuana's Benefits

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 08:00
Boston Globe, 17 Nov 2014 - Haley Osborn lives at a crossroads. Down one path, her parents are searching for marijuana they hope might ease their daughter's relentless seizures. And down the other, researchers are hunting for ways to mine marijuana's potential medicinal properties for patients like Haley to create consistent, reliable prescription drugs. The 7-year-old Georgetown youngster is racked by seizures 15 to 20 times a day despite taking an experimental drug made from an active ingredient in marijuana, cannabidiol, or CBD, that has shown early promise for some children whose seizures were not quelled by traditional medicine.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US FL: OPED: Why Treat Pot Differently Than Alcohol?

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 11/16/2014 - 08:00
Orlando Sentinel, 16 Nov 2014 - Somehow the voting public confused medical marijuana with Disney tickets. That's right; many said, "No thanks," and "We have enough dopes already," and "The laws are best left as they are." At Disney, if you have no ticket, you don't get into the parks because there are boundaries that cannot be crossed. But the laws banning marijuana have no enforceable boundaries capable of stopping it from getting into our schools, our neighborhoods or even our homes. Marijuana is not a "yes" or "no" proposition, as prohibition has proved that regardless of the effort we make and the wars we fight, the demand for marijuana remains constant, and so does the supply.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US: Coming Out Of The 'Cannabis Closet'

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 11/16/2014 - 08:00
Washington Post, 16 Nov 2014 - Veterans Press VA to Recognize Medical Marijuana As Legitimate Treatment Option Every morning, former Air Force senior airman Amy Rising makes breakfast for her second-grader, drives him to school and returns home to prepare what she calls her medicine. Rising says that her tattoo, which depicts a camel and a bag of marijuana, is her way of showing how the drug has helped her to cope with her military service. "It's the story of my life," she says.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CA: Because It Helps

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 11/16/2014 - 08:00
The Times-Tribune, 16 Nov 2014 - Craving and Conflict Grow Over Medical Marijuana in a Retirement Village That's Big Enough to Be a City Inside Laguna Woods Village, retirees with stiff knees and failing eyesight make ready use of wellness centers and medical offices scattered throughout nearby strip malls.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US NM: Editorial: Legalizing Pot May Mean Less of Your Brain

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 08:00
Albuquerque Journal, 15 Nov 2014 - One of the major arguments often heard in favor of marijuana decriminalization and legalization is that the only thing smoking weed threatens is a bag of Doritos. Now a groundbreaking study that originated at the Mind Research Network on the campus of the University of New Mexico shows regularly getting high causes more damage than late-night munchies on a waistline.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US FL: 'Charlotte's Web' Rules Thrown Out

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 08:00
Orlando Sentinel, 15 Nov 2014 - Backers Must Wait for Medical-Pot Oil A judge on Friday tossed out the state's proposed rules for "Charlotte's Web" medical marijuana, which means families waiting for the drug to help epileptic children and others will have to wait even longer.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Australia: Medical Dope High On Victoria Poll Agenda

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 08:00
Cairns Post, 15 Nov 2014 - NO matter who wins the Victorian election, the state is heading into what was until recently a political no-go zone legal access to medical marijuana. No longer left to fringe parties or the Greens, the issue now has support from the major parties.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US HI: Column: Road to White House Goes Through Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 08:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 15 Nov 2014 - Of the three jurisdictions where voters approved marijuana legalization last week, Washington, D.C., is the smallest but the most symbolically potent. The prospect of legal marijuana in the nation's capital dramatically signals the ongoing collapse of the 77-yearold ban on a much-maligned plant.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CA: Column: Clear Thinking Needed On Pot

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 08:00
Los Angeles Times, 15 Nov 2014 - Four states out of 50 may not sound like much of a mandate, but the success of marijuana initiatives on the ballot last week suggests the nation is inching toward legalizing the once-demon weed. California started the ball rolling 16 years ago with a medical marijuana law so broad, it makes a gram of weed cheaper and easier to get than a prescription for Vicodin. Now dozens of states allow adults access to marijuana as medicine, and four - Oregon, Alaska, Colorado and Washington - allow the drug to be sold outright, without even the pretense of illness.
Categories: Medical Marijuana
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