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Medical Marijuana

US: Marijuana Legalization Gets A Boost On Capitol Hill

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 03/11/2015 - 07:00
Spokesman-Review, 11 Mar 2015 - WASHINGTON - Marijuana legalization got a boost Tuesday on Capitol Hill as a trio of rising stars in the Senate launched an effort to rewrite federal drug laws. The push to decriminalize at least the medical use of marijuana came from Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Democratic Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US: Lawmakers Seek To Ease, Clarify Use Of Medical Pot

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 03/11/2015 - 07:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 11 Mar 2015 - WASHINGTON (AP) - Two Democratic senators and a possible Republican presidential candidate joined forces Tuesday to push a bill to remove federal prohibitions on medical marijuana in 23 states where it's already legal. Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Democrats Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Cory Booker of New Jersey said their unusual coalition is a sign of growing acceptance of medical marijuana.
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US: Medical Pot Bill Could Ease Constraints

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 03/11/2015 - 07:00
Washington Post, 11 Mar 2015 - 3 Senators Propose Ending Prohibition to Expand Access, Research A historic Senate medical marijuana bill unveiled Tuesday would dramatically reshape the landscape for the plant, nearly 80 years after it was effectively criminalized.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US NY: Editorial: A Sensible Bill On Medical Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 03/11/2015 - 07:00
New York Times, 11 Mar 2015 - Three senators, two Democrats and a Republican, introduced a bill on Tuesday that would allow patients to use marijuana for medical purposes in states where it is legal, without fear of federal prosecution for violating narcotics laws. The bill makes a number of important changes to federal marijuana policies - and it deserves to be passed by Congress and enacted into law. Though this legislation would not repeal the broad and destructive federal ban on marijuana, it is a big step in the right direction.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

New Zealand: Medical Cannabis Probed

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 03/11/2015 - 07:00
New Zealand Herald, 11 Mar 2015 - Dunne Underwhelmed by Officials' Evidence but Drug Foundation Fears Advice Outdated. An investigation into the use of cannabis for medical purposes has been carried out by the Ministry of Health.
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Chronicle AM: Historic Fed MedMJ Bill Filed, Coca Boom Falters, Wichita Weed Wars, More (3/10/15)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 03/10/2015 - 23:10

A bipartisan trio of US senators roll out a historic medical marijuana bill, American Indian tribes form a cannabis coalition, medical marijuana loses by one vote in Utah, South America's coca boom may be ending, and more.

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

Kansas Attorney General Says Wichita Decriminalization Initiative Unlawful. Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a letter to city officials that the pending initiative "may not be lawfully adopted" and shouldn't be put before voters. But residents are still likely to have a chance to vote on it. Then it will be up to the attorney general to file a lawsuit to block it. The measure would "conflict with uniform state law in numerous ways and would be void," the attorney general says.

National Indian Cannabis Coalition Forms. The country's first Native American-focused marijuana trade group launched today at a reservation economic summit in Las Vegas. The group's mission is "to inform and educate tribal leaders on the emerging regulated cannabis markets from an entrepreneurial and operations perspective," says its website.

Medical Marijuana

Historic Federal Bill to Legalize Medical Marijuana Rolled Out Today. A bipartisan trio of senators today introduced historic legislation to legalize medical marijuana at the federal level. Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Rand Paul (R-KY) filed the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act, which would end the federal prohibition on medical marijuana and allow states to set their own policies. The bill is not yet available on the congressional website. Click the link for more details.

Revised Idaho CBD Cannabis Oil Bill Would Allow Affirmative Defense. The bill, Senate Bill 1169, has been revised to address concerns from law enforcement. It would no longer legalize the use of CBD cannabis oil, but would provide for an affirmative defense in case of arrest.The original bill would have removed CBD cannabis oil from the state's law banning marijuana.

Tennessee CBD Cannabis Oil Bill Wins House Panel Vote. The measure, House Bill 109, was approved by the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. It now moves to the House Criminal Committee, where chairman William Lamberth (R-Cottontown) says it has his support.

Utah Medical Marijuana Bill Dies by One Vote. A bill that would have made Utah a medical marijuana state was defeated last night. Senate Bill 259, filed by Sen. Mark Madsen (R-Saratoga Springs) lost on a vote of 15-14 in the Senate.

International

Coca Boom Over? Coca and cocaine production in South America appears to be stalling, with all three major coca-producing countries—Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru—seeing declines in acreage planted and overall cocaine production. Click on the link for more details.

Patients from 13 Countries Form International Medical Marijuana Coalition. They have formed the International Medical Cannabis Patients Coalition (IMCPC) this past week gathered at a medical marijuana conference in Prague. Member countries include Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The US delegation is led by Americans for Safe Access.

Conservative Dutch Justice Minister Forced Out in Drug Dealer Cash Payment Scandal. Marijuana foe Ivo Opstelten and his deputy, Fred Treeven, resigned yesterday rather than face parliamentary questioning over revelations they authorized the repayment of millions of dollars to the drug dealer from whom it had been seized. Teeven actually authorized the 2001 payment, but Opstelten misled parliament about it. Now, they're both gone. 

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Historic Federal Bill to Legalize Medical Marijuana Rolled Out Today [FEATURE]

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 03/10/2015 - 21:37

A bipartisan trio of senators today introduced historic legislation to legalize medical marijuana at the federal level. Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Rand Paul (R-KY) filed the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act, which would end the federal prohibition on medical marijuana and allow states to set their own policies.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]"We need policies that empower states to legalize medical marijuana if they so choose-recognizing that there are Americans who can realize real medical benefits if this treatment option is brought out of the shadows," said Sen. Booker. "Doctors and patients deserve federal laws that are fair and compassionate, and states should be able to set their own medical marijuana policies without federal interference. I am thankful to Senators Gillibrand and Paul as well as the Drug Policy Alliance for their hard work on this common-sense bill to make medical marijuana accessible to the millions of Americans who could benefit from it." 

The bill would reclassify marijuana for medical use, allow veterans to have access to medical marijuana, overhaul banking laws to allow licensed medical marijuana businesses to use financial services, and open up more research possibilities for medical marijuana.

In addition to the Drug Policy Alliance, the senators also consulted with the Marijuana Policy Project, Americans for Safe Access, and other voices for patients in drafting the bill. Although nearly half the states have passed medical marijuana laws (and a dozen more have passed limited CBD cannabis oil laws), marijuana remains illegal under federal law. That means patients and providers in medical marijuana states are still at risk of federal prosecution and families and patients in non-medical marijuana states must relocate or travel long distances to get treatment, facing the risk of prosecution in non-medical marijuana states along the way.

"I am so happy to support this bill. As the mother of a child with a severe seizure disorder, anxiously waiting to get access to a medication that is already helping thousands of others is unbearable," said Kate Hintz, a New York resident who has advocated for CBD to treat her daughter and others to treat epilepsy and seizures. "After persistent advocacy in my home state of New York, we finally saw a medical marijuana law passed last summer.  Yet individual state's laws, including New York's, will not succeed until we lift the current federal restrictions surrounding this plant," she added.

"I applaud Sens. Gillibrand, Booker and Paul for taking this bold step forward and insisting the federal government take action.  Let's end the fear and stigma associated with marijuana, and instead allow this bill to provide research, medicine, and long needed relief to so many. It cannot come fast enough, especially for my daughter," Hintz concluded.

[image:2 align:right caption:true]"For far too long, the government has enforced unnecessary laws that have restricted the ability of the medical community to determine the medicinal value of marijuana and have prohibited Americans from receiving essential care that would alleviate their chronic pain and suffering. I am proud today to stand with Sens. Gillibrand and Booker to introduce a bill that will fundamentally change our nation's drug policies and have a positive impact on the lives of our Veterans and children," said Sen. Paul.

While the Obama administration has, in recent years, largely taken a laissez-faire approach to medical marijuana in states that have approved it, that approach is both uneven and dependent on the whim of the administration in power. Just last week, federal prosecutors in Washington state took a family of five medical marijuana patients--the Kettle Falls Five--to trial, threatening them with lengthy, mandatory minimum prison sentences for growing medical marijuana legally under state law (in a state where even recreational marijuana is legal!).

Fortunately for the Kettle Falls Five, a federal jury acquitted them of most charges, including the most serious ones. But under the current state of federal marijuana prohibition, such prosecutions could continue.

Similarly, the Obama administration's recent restraint on medical marijuana is derived from Justice Department guidance to federal prosecutors about which cases raise the level of federal concern high enough to warrant prosecution. That guidance was crafted by a deputy attorney general answerable to Attorney General Holder and the president. Absent protections provided by this bill or similar legislation, a new administration could easily return to the bad old days of DEA raids and patients and providers being hauled off to federal prison.  

[image:3 align:left caption:true]"As the parents of severely ill children who could be helped by medical cannabis, we are dedicated to advancing safe, legal and viable access," said Maria De Gregorio, a parent leader of the Kentucky-based Parents Coalition for Rescheduling Medical Cannabis. "Rescheduling efforts must also guarantee access to whole plant extracts that have proven therapeutic benefits. We feel it is crucial to support state rights in all current and future medical marijuana programs. Thus, we strongly endorse this bill as it is written."
 
"Almost half the states have legalized marijuana for medical use; it's long past time to end the federal ban," said Michael Collins, Policy Manager for the Drug Policy Alliance. "This bipartisan legislation allows states to set their own medical marijuana policies and ends the criminalization of patients, their families, and the caregivers and dispensary owners and employees who provide them their medicine."

"With studies showing that medical cannabis access decreases suicide and addiction rates, the CARERS Act is absolutely necessary to help fix a broken healthcare system for veterans, which deals with suicides and addiction at catastrophic rates," said TJ Thompson, a retired U.S. Navy Third Class Petty Officer. "Now, I'm considered a criminal because of the medication that helps me. I take it illegally to treat my PTSD."

"This comprehensive proposal would effectively end the war on medical marijuana and let states compassionately provide care for seriously ill people without the federal government standing in the way," said Tom Angell, director of Marijuana Majority. "The fact that two young Democrats with likely long political futures have teamed up with a probable 2016 Republican presidential candidate shows how medical marijuana is a nonpartisan, noncontroversial issue that draws support from across the spectrum. With polls showing an overwhelming majority of American voters backing marijuana reform, you’d think taking up this proposal would be a no-brainer for legislative leaders who want to show that Congress can still get things done." 

We shall see. The bill text is not yet available on the congressional website, and it has not yet been assigned to a committee. That's the next step in a long process. 

Categories: Medical Marijuana

US: Investors See Potential Opportunity In Marijuana Reform Bill

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 03/10/2015 - 07:00
Wall Street Journal, 10 Mar 2015 - Proposed Carers Act would redefine cannabis as a Schedule II controlled substance When Sens. Cory Booker (D., N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) and Rand Paul (R., Ky.) announced a bill Tuesday to reform federal marijuana regulation, they pitched it not just as a health, military veteran and states' rights issue, but from a business angle. And they used words that investors in the developing marijuana industry have been waiting to hear for a long time.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Column: Going To Pot Here?

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 03/09/2015 - 07:00
Ottawa Sun, 09 Mar 2015 - Bob Cabana says he would welcome a marijuana store moving in across the street from him. He figures it would be good for all the businesses on Wellington Street. Bob Cabana says this while dressed as a character from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. So he may be a little biased. On the business benefits of marijuana.
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CN BC: Fire Chiefs Clash Over Grow-Op Risk

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 03/09/2015 - 07:00
Metro, 09 Mar 2015 - Court: Case challenging medical marijuana laws set to hear from two experts on whether residential grow-ops are more vulnerable to fire Surrey's fire chief has a "cultural confirmation bias" against licensed marijuana grow-ops, which is why he wrongly concludes they are more dangerous than regular residences, an expert witness will testify in a Vancouver court case.
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US OH: Pot Or Not? The Case For And Against Legalization

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 03/08/2015 - 08:00
Dayton Daily News, 08 Mar 2015 - Editor's note: A group called ResponsibleOhio is proposing a state constitutional amendment that would legalize marijuana and allow 10 Ohio sites owned and operated by investor groups to grow it. ResponsibleOhio is pushing to get their measure on the November ballot. Today, we hear from ResponsibleOhio as well as from Drug Free Action Alliance, an Ohio nonprofit whose mission is to help prevent substance abuse. We also hear from some of our readers about legalizing marijuana. - Connie Post
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US NM: Column: Employers Don't Need To Test For Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 03/08/2015 - 08:00
The New Mexican, 08 Mar 2015 - Privacy Arguments Aside This Testing Is Expensive and Does Not Effectively Screen for Good Employees. Legal barriers to marijuana are falling all over the United States. Pot, tried by nearly half of all Americans at some point in their lives, is already legal in some form in 23 states, and four states allow recreational use. Last month, two House bills were filed that could end the federal prohibition of marijuana, including one which would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act's schedules and regulate it similarly to alcohol.
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US VT: Police Debate Marijuana Legalization At Vt. Law School

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 03/07/2015 - 08:00
Times Argus, 07 Mar 2015 - SOUTH ROYALTON - A former New Jersey State Police lieutenant and a Vermont police chief have very different views on what to do about marijuana. One calls the drug wars a policy disaster that needs to be stopped. The other considers drug trafficking a violent crime and believes marijuana legalization will increase children's access to the drug.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: NH Decrim Bill Advances, Fallout from Florida SWAT Killing, Bolivia Top Narc Busted, More (3/6/15)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 03/06/2015 - 21:45

Decrim is moving in New Hampshire, Georgia families rally for medical marijuana, Louisianans will rally for Bernard Noble (13 years for two joints), roommates of a Florida man killed in a SWAT pot raid cry "murder," and more. 

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

Northern California Counties Seek Unified Position on Pot Policy. As the state legislature again grapples with regulating medical marijuana, and with an almost certain legalization initiative in 2016 looming on the horizon, policymakers from Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Sonoma, and Trinity counties gathered in Santa Rosa (Sonoma County) Thursday to begin trying to reach a unified position on possible reforms. Click on the link for more detail.

New Hampshire Decriminalization Bill Moves. The legislature's Committee on Criminal Justice voted overwhelmingly yesterday to approve a bill that would decriminalize the possession of a half-ounce of pot or less. The measure is House Bill 0618. Although recent polling shows 71% of Granite Staters want either decriminalization or full legalization, the bill still faces opposition as it heads for House and Senate floor votes.

Medical Marijuana

Georgia Families Swarm State Capitol in Support of Strong Medical Marijuana Bill. Dozens of Georgia families streamed into the state capitol in Atlanta yesterday to crank up the pressure on the Senate to pass a medical marijuana bill. House Bill 1has already passed the House, but the Senate is now considering an alternate bill, Senate Bill 185, which would only set up a limited trial program for children with epilepsy. The families want House Bill 1.

Sentencing

Rally Saturday in New Orleans for Bernard Noble, Doing 13 Years for Two Joints. Supporters of Bernard Noble, who is serving 13 years without parole in state prison, are holding a rally in New Orleans Saturday to call for clemency for the non-violent offender and family man. Click on the link for event details and more information.

Law Enforcement

Roommates of Unarmed Florida Man Killed By SWAT Team in Pot Raid Call it Murder. Roommates of Derek Cruice, the 26-year-old Deltona man shot in the face and killed by a Volusia County deputy during a drug raid, described his killing as "murder" and strongly challenged the police version of events. See them describe what happened here. Supporters of Cruice held a rally this morning to decry his killing. A memorial event for Cruice is set for tomorrow morning at a local park. Click the title link for event details.  

International

Bolivia's Former Top Narc Arrested for Drug Links. General Oscar Nina, head of the national police in 2010 and 2011, has been arrested by Bolivian authorities on suspicion of illegal enrichment and links to drug trafficking. His wife, daughter, and son were also arrested on similar charges. Another former Bolivian top narc, General Rene Sanabria, is doing a 15-year sentence in the US for drug trafficking. President Evo Morales has vowed to wipe out "the cancer of corruption," but it seems to be a perpetual problem. 

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Column: Free Speech Does Not Entitle You To Break Law

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 03/06/2015 - 08:00
Northern News, 06 Mar 2015 - I do strongly object if you openly disregard the values of this community and then expect the community to support your cause. On Monday we saw something in Kirkland Lake that we don't often see, a protest march.
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US CA: Editorial: Pismo's Reversal of Mobile Pot Dispensaries

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 03/06/2015 - 08:00
The Tribune, 06 Mar 2015 - Reversing an Earlier Vote, the City Council Will Permit Mobile Marijuana Dispensaries The Pismo Beach City Council did a 180 on mobile pot dispensaries this week after hearing from constituents who rely on medical marijuana for themselves and their loved ones.
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US: Survey: Pot Legalization Gains Favor, Reaching a Record

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 03/06/2015 - 08:00
Sun-Sentinel, 06 Mar 2015 - WASHINGTON - For the first time, the General Social Survey - a national survey conducted every two years and widely considered to represent the gold standard for public opinion research - shows a majority of Americans favors the legalization of marijuana. In interviews conducted between March and October of last year - when the legal marijuana markets in Colorado and Washington were ramping up - researchers asked 1,687 respondents the following question: "Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal or not?"
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US: Survey: Pot Legalization Gains Favor, Reaching a Record

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 03/06/2015 - 08:00
Chicago Tribune, 06 Mar 2015 - WASHINGTON - For the first time, the General Social Survey - a national survey conducted every two years and widely considered to represent the gold standard for public opinion research - shows a majority of Americans favors the legalization of marijuana. In interviews conducted between March and October of last year - when the legal marijuana markets in Colorado and Washington were ramping up - researchers asked 1,687 respondents the following question: "Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal or not?"
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Mississauga, Marijuana - a Perfect Pair

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 03/06/2015 - 08:00
Toronto Star, 06 Mar 2015 - After a false start as a 1970s bedroom community, Mississauga may have finally found its civic calling - industrial agriculture. It could well become the bread basket of the GTA. Where once the talk was all about call centres, today it's aquaponics. As for those branch plants former mayor Hazel McCallion bragged about for years, pretty soon they could all be medical marijuana farms, grow-ops by any other name.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN BC: Mounties' Medical Pot Affidavit Unfounded, Expert Says

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 03/06/2015 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 06 Mar 2015 - The RCMP had no data to back up their claims that medical marijuana grow operations under Canada's old licensing system were inherently dangerous to producers and magnets for violent thieves and organized criminals, an expert told the Federal Court Thursday. RCMP Corporal Shane Holmquist, a supervisor on the Federal Serious Organized Crime Section's marijuana enforcement team, made headlines last year when he filed his affidavit in this case stating there was an "overwhelming temptation" for growers licensed under the old federal medical marijuana system to divert extra pot to the black market. His affidavit also stated that such producers face risks from mould, fire and electrical hazards and also attract organized crime groups because, quoting a 2005 RCMP report, "marihuana cultivation and trafficking represents the single most common (and most lucrative) activity pursued by organized crime."
Categories: Medical Marijuana
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