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Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Bush AG Criticizes Sessions' War on Weed, Scary AZ Pot Poll, More... (11/22/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 21:56

Former GOP Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has no use for Jeff Sessions' would-be war on weed, a new poll has disheartening findings for Arizona legalizers, the Detroit city council wants to undo the will of the voters on medical marijuana dispensaries, and more.

[image:1 align:left]Marijuana Policy

GW Bush Attorney General Says Sessions' War on Weed is a Waste of Time. "With respect to everything else going on in the US, this is pretty low priority," Alberto Gonzales, a Republican who was attorney general under President George W. Bush, told Newsweek, referring to Attorney General Jeff Sessions' desire to prosecute marijuana businesses in states where it is legal. "To prosecute an act that is otherwise lawful under state law, one could make the argument [that] as a matter of policy, we've got other priorities we ought to be spending our resources on."

Arizona Poll Has Bad News for Legalizers, But… A new statewide poll from OH Predictive Strategies has support for legalization at only 35%, with 48% opposed. The poll was an automated phone survey of 600 state residents. Those polls send calls only to people with landline phones, which could skew the results because older people are more likely to have landlines. Arizona's 2016 legalization initiative lost, but garnered a respectable 48.68% of the vote. A group called Safer Arizona is already out gathering signatures for its legalization initiative aimed at the 2018 ballot.

Medical Marijuana

Florida Lawsuit Filed Over Medical Marijuana Implementation. A Miami-Dade nursery and a man suffering from epilepsy have sued the administration of Gov. Rick Scott (R) over the slow implementation of the state's medical marijuana law. The nursery wants a judge to order the Health Department to hand out new licenses for treatment centers, while the patient said the department is blocking patients from getting access to their medicine.

Detroit City Council Wants to Undo Will of Voters on Dispensaries. The city council is asking the city's legal department to challenge two voter-approved medical marijuana ordinances that ease rules on dispensaries in the city. The voters acted in November after the council passed an ordinance last March that made it more difficult for dispensaries to operate. The council approved a resolution on a 7-1 vote asking the legal department to challenge the results in court.

International

Indian Bill to Legalize Marijuana Heads to Parliament. A private member's bill to legalize marijuana will be introduced in parliament during this year's winter session. The bill is sponsored by MP Dharamyira Gandhi, who has long supported the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: US Bombs Taliban Drug Hubs, MI Campaign Turns in Signatures, More... (11/20/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 21:54

Michigan could vote to legalize marijuana next November, Wyoming moves to definitively criminalize marijuana edibles and infusions, the US bombs Taliban heroin production facilities in Afghanistan, and more.

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

House Republicans Block Bill to Address Marijuana Banking Issues. House Republicans have blocked an attempt by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) to consider a bill that would prevent the federal government from punishing banks that do business with marijuana companies. Republicans in the House Banking Committee shot it down because they said it wasn't relevant to the issue under consideration, stress tests for banks.

Michigan Marijuana Legalization Campaign Turns in 360,000 Signatures to Place Issue on 2018 Ballot. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol turned in more than 360,000 signatures Monday today calling for its marijuana legalization initiative to be placed on Michigan's November 2018 ballot. The initiative needs 252,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the ballot. The campaign says it has already vetted many of its signatures, so it should qualify by a comfortable margin, but stay tuned.

Wyoming Moves to Crack Down on Marijuana Edibles, Infused Liquids. Seeking to address a lacuna in the state's marijuana laws, the legislature's Joint Judiciary Committee voted last Thursday to advance two bills that would specifically criminalize marijuana edibles and products infused with marijuana. State courts have declared themselves unable to prosecute people for possessing edibles or infused products because current law does not specifically address them.

Medical Marijuana

Guam Medical Marijuana Regulations Being Drafted. Hearings have been set for the legislature's Rules Committee early next month in a bid to get medical marijuana regulations in final form before Christmas. A public hearing is set for December 5, with the final draft to be marked up in committee on December 14.

Foreign Policy

US Launches Airstrikes in First Operation Targeting Afghan Opium. The US launched its first counternarcotics military offensive of the Trump era this past weekend with air strikes aimed at "Taliban narcotics production facilities" in restive Helmand province. "We hit the labs where they turn poppy into heroin. We hit their storage facilities where they keep their final product, where they stockpile their money and their command and control. Our estimates indicate that more than $200 million from this illegal economy was going into the pockets of the Taliban," General John Nicholson, commander of US troops and NATO's Resolute Support military mission, said at a Monday news conference in Kabul. Afghanistan accounts for about 90% of global opium production and produced a record crop this year.

International

Peru President Signs Medical Marijuana Bill into Law. President Pedro Kuczynski has signed into law a bill legalizing marijuana and its derivatives, such as CBD cannabis oil, to be used in the treatment of specified diseases, including Parkinson's Disease, cancer, and epilepsy. Peru now joins Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico in having medical marijuana laws, while Uruguay has legalized it for any adults.

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US FL: Sarasota Medical Marijuana Company Poised To Plant First Crop

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 08:00
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 20 Nov 2017 - Sarasota-based medical marijuana company AltMed Florida is poised to begin growing its first crop of marijuana at a facility in Apollo Beach. The Florida Department of Health authorized Plants of Ruskin -- the nursery that is partnering with AltMed -- to begin operating the cultivation facility.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MT: Montana Drafts Medical Marijuana Regulations

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 08:00
Kansas City Star, 19 Nov 2017 - The state health department has drafted proposed regulations for the medical marijuana industry, setting rules for quality testing, tracking and increasing fees. The Billings Gazette reports the Department of Public Health and Human Services plans a public hearing in Helena on Nov. 30.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Canada: OPED: Cannabis Is Canada's Moment To Lead

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 11/18/2017 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 18 Nov 2017 - Sometimes it takes someone from outside Canada to make us realize what a great thing we have going. A few years ago, a Brazilian investment firm, 3G Capital, bought Canadian coffee icon Tim Hortons. In 1995, Labatt Brewery was swallowed up by Interbrew from Belgium, which was in turn merged with AmBev, also from Brazil. Richard Baker, an American, saw the potential in Hudson's Bay Co., which was struggling at the time, and paid more than $1.1-billion in 2008 for the 80 per cent of the chain that he didn't own (although his stake has since been reduced). While much has been written about the varying degrees of success each of these deals has had, one thing is clear: The buyers saw Canada and Canadian companies as worth investing in.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Canada: Clearing The Air On Cannabis

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 11/18/2017 - 08:00
Winnipeg Free Press, 18 Nov 2017 - THE flurry of news articles on the upcoming legalization of cannabis is everywhere, and seems to be creating substantial fear among most employers. Much of this fear, of course, is about having to deal with the unknown. For instance, will recreational cannabis use increase among employees and how will this impact the workplace? What about medical marijuana? Are employers ready for this new challenge? Will current policies stand the test against cannabis?
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: First Marijuana Overdose Death Reports are Bogus, Canada Legalization Plans, More... (11/17/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 22:52

The reports of the first marijuana overdose death are unscientific hype, Canada's provinces try varying paths toward dealing with legal marijuana, and more.

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

First Marijuana Overdose Death? Not So Fast. A case report about a Colorado infant who died after being exposed to marijuana generated numerous headlines about "the first marijuana overdose death" this week, but those headlines misstated the findings. "We are absolutely not saying that marijuana killed that child," St. Luke's University Director of Medical Toxicology Thomas Nappe, an author of the report, told the Washington Post. Instead, said Nappe, the doctors in the case noted the presence of marijuana in the child's system and warned the medical community that it may be worth studying whether there is a relationship between the presence of marijuana and the child's cause of death, myocarditis.

Medical Marijuana

Michigan Announces New Fees for Medical Marijuana Businesses. The state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs announced Friday that medical marijuana businesses must pay a $6,000 one-time application fee to the state. That's in addition to any municipal fees, which could run as high as $5,000. The fee announcement comes as the state attempts to overhaul its medical marijuana regulations, with "emergency" regulations set to be issued next month.

International

Alberta Will Allow Marijuana Sales in Private Shops and on Government Web Site. The provincial government filed a bill Thursday to deal with looming pot legalization. The bill would allow marijuana to be sold online on a government web site as well as through privately-operated stores. The bill also sets a minimum age of 18 for marijuana consumption. If passed, the proposals would go into effect on July 1, 2018, when marijuana becomes legal in Canada.

Quebec Bill Would Bar Home Marijuana Cultivation, Set Government Sales Monopoly. The provincial government's draft marijuana legislation, filed Thursday, would see marijuana sold only by a series of province-owned pot shops and a government web site. The measure also bars home cultivation and attempts to crack down on marijuana-impaired driving.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN AB: High Hopes

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 08:00
The Calgary Sun, 17 Nov 2017 - Alberta won't limit the number of private cannabis stores once retail sales are legalized next July, according to new details released Thursday by the NDP government. The province confirmed that it will look to private retailers to sell legal weed from brick-and-mortar storefronts, instead of government-run outlets chosen by several other provinces, such as Ontario and Quebec.
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CN ON: Pot Dispensary Employee Gets $10 Fine

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 08:00
The Record, 17 Nov 2017 - KITCHENER - A judge who granted an absolute discharge to a Kitchener couple running an illegal marijuana dispensary has handed out a tiny fine to one of them for careless storage of a loaded handgun. Nour Louka, 30, owned and operated the Waterloo Dispensary, which sold marijuana out of a second-floor business on King Street in uptown Waterloo. Her husband, Shady Louka, 32, was a part-time, temporary employee.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Update

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 22:18

A leading Kentucky politican creates a panel to draft a medical marijuana bill, New York approves medical marijuana for PTSD, Montana released new proposed rules for the industry, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Arizona

On Monday, the state was sued over patient fees. A Phoenix attorney has asked the state Court of Appeals to force health officials to cut the $150 fee patients need to get a state-issued permit to use medical marijuana. Attorney Sean Berberian said the fee is illegally high, is far more than needed to finance the administration of the medical marijuana law, and is designed to divert patients away from applying to use medical marijuana.

Kentucky

On Wednesday, the secretary of state formed a panel to write a medical marijuana bill. Secretary of State Alison Grimes (D) said that she is putting together a panel to write a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in the state. The panel will include doctors, nurses, military veterans, medical marijuana advocates, and law enforcement. The aim is to have a bill ready for the 2018 legislative session.

Montana

On Thursday, the state released new proposed rules for the medical marijuana industry. The state Health Department Thursday released a pack of of proposed rules for the medical marijuana industry, which will be the subject of a public hearing later this month. The rules cover regulation of areas such as employment, product testing and tracking, security, and fees.

New York

Last Saturday, the state approved medical marijuana for PTSD. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed into law Saturday a bill that adds PTSD to the state's list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. "Our veterans risked their lives in order to defend the ideals and principles that this nation was founded upon," Cuomo said in a signing statement, "and it is our duty to do everything we can to support them when they return home. PTSD is a serious problem facing our state, and now we have one more tool available to alleviate suffering."

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

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Chronicle AM: GA County Pays Big Time for School Drug Raid, Afghan Opium Crop Up, More... (11/16/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 21:51

California gets ready for legal marijuana, Michigan gets ready to put a legalization initiative on the ballot, a Georgia county pays bigtime for a raid on school students, Afghan opium production nearly doubles, and more.

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

California Announces Emergency Licensing Regs for Legal Marijuana Commerce. The state's three marijuana licensing authorities announced Thursday that they have posted online proposed emergency licensing regulations for the era of legal marijuana commerce beginning January 1. The Bureau of Cannabis Control regulations are available here; the Department of Food and Agriculture regulations are available here; and the Department of Public Health regulations are available here.

Michigan Initiative Campaign Has Signatures, Needs to Pay for Them. The campaign to put a legalization initiative on the November 2018 ballot said Wednesday it had gathered more than 360,000 raw signatures, well more than the 252,000 required by law, but that it needed to raise $30,000 to pay off a signature-collection firm before it can turn in the signatures. The campaign said it expected to be able to hand in signatures before Thanksgiving.

San Francisco Won't Be Ready for Legal Pot Sales on January 1. Oh, irony of ironies, the city that was ground zero for the marijuana reform movement won't be ready to allow marijuana sales on January 1, when legal sales begin statewide. In a Tuesday meeting, the Board of Supervisors failed to agree on regulations governing sales, postponing further discussion of the rules until November 28, and virtually ensuring that rules will not be in place by January 1.

Medical Marijuana

Kentucky Secretary of State Forms Panel to Write Medical Marijuana Bill. Secretary of State Alison Grimes (D) said Wednesday that she is putting together a panel to write a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in the state. The panel will include doctors, nurses, military veterans, medical marijuana advocates, and law enforcement. The aim is to have a bill ready for the 2018 legislative session.

Montana Released New Proposed Rules for Medical Marijuana Industry. The state Health Department Thursday released a pack of of proposed rules for the medical marijuana industry, which will be the subject of a public hearing later this month. The rules cover regulation of areas such as employment, product testing and tracking, security, and fees.

Drug Testing

Department of Transportation Adds Opioids to Truck Driver Drug Testing Panel. The DOT issued a final rule Monday that will expand its drug testing panel for DOT-regulated industries to include hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone. The agency said the move was "a direct effort to enhance safety, prevent opioid abuse and combat the nation's growing opioid epidemic." The rule goes into effect on January 1.

Law Enforcement

Georgia County to Pay $3 Million to Students in School-Wide Drug Search. Worth County, Georgia, has agreed to pay $3 million to settle a lawsuit brought on behalf of students who were subjected to a school-wide lockdown during a drug sweep in April. Each Worth County High School Student will receive between $1,000 and $6,000, with the higher amounts going to students who suffered more invasive violations. "This settlement is a victory for the hundreds of Worth County students whose constitutional rights were violated," Mark Begnaud, an attorney for one of the students, told UPI.

International

Afghan Opium Output Nearly Doubled This Year. Opium production in Afghanistan hit a record level of nearly 10,000 tons this year, up 87% from last year. The area under poppy cultivation also increased, up 63% over last year. The figures are coming from the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. "It is high time for the international community and Afghanistan to reprioritize drug control, and to acknowledge that every nation has a shared responsibility for this global problem," UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said in a statement.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: NH Panel Votes Down Legalization Bill, Kratom Battle Heats Up, More... (11/15/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 21:48

Michigan Democratic gubernatorial candidates get behind legal weed, a New Hampshire House committee doesn't, Arizona gets sued over high medical marijuana permit fees, the kratom wars heat up, and more.

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

Michigan Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates Support Marijuana Legalization. Four leading Democratic contenders for the gubernatorial nomination are supporting marijuana legalization, and so is one little-known Republican candidate. "We've seen other states do it wrong. In Michigan, we've got a chance to do it right," said former state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday night in a candidate forum hosted by MI Legalize. That is the group behind the legalization initiative campaign set to hand in signatures next week. Other Democratic contenders including Abdul El-Sayed and Bill Cobb are also embracing legalization. Republican front runner Attorney General Bill Schuette, who has been an ardent foe of medical marijuana, has so far avoided commenting on legalization.

New Hampshire House Committee Rejects Marijuana Legalization Bill. The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted to kill House Bill 656, which would have legalized marijuana, after members expressed concerns about conflicts with federal law and the desirability of legalizing it in a state in the throes of an opioid crisis. But despite the committee vote, the bill is not necessarily dead: In recent years, the full House has repeatedly overturned the committee's recommendations and passed marijuana reform bills.

Vermont Marijuana Task Force Has Second Meeting. Gov. Phil Scott's Marijuana Advisory Commission met for the second time Wednesday, concentrating on the impact of legalization on highway safety. The commission heard a report from Department of Public Safety Commissioner Thomas Anderson. "When you have increased use of marijuana or legalization of marijuana, you're gonna see more fatalities on your roadways. I think the data does support that, and I know there are different views on that, but I would feel comfortable taking that to a jury and trying to convince them of that," said Anderson. The commission must finalize its recommendations by January 15.

Medical Marijuana

Arizona Sued Over Patient Fees. A Phoenix attorney has asked the state Court of Appeals to force health officials to cut the $150 fee patients need to get a state-issued permit to use medical marijuana. Attorney Sean Berberian said the fee is illegally high, is far more than needed to finance the administration of the medical marijuana law, and is designed to divert patients away from applying to use medical marijuana.

Kratom

FDA Issues Warning on Kratom, Advocates Reject It. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb issued a public health advisory on kratom Tuesday, saying the herb was linked to 36 deaths and calling its use as an opioid substitute "extremely concerning." But on Wednesday, the American Kratom Association pushed back, calling on the FDA to rescind the advisory because it relied on "discredited, incomplete, and mischaracterized scientific claims." The DEA moved to emergency ban kratom a year ago, but backed down in the face of loud opposition. The FDA alert could suggest that efforts to crackdown could be coming soon.

(This article was prepared by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also pays the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Canada: Editorial: Legal, But Not If You're At The Wheel

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 15 Nov 2017 - The busywork of readying the country for legalized cannabis continues apace, and Ottawa has gotten around to mapping out the murky territory that is stoned driving. Proposed legislative changes would create a two-tiered approach to setting the maximum amount of THC, cannabis's main psychoactive element, allowable in drivers' blood. Motorists measured with two to five nanograms of THC per millilitre of blood within two hours of being stopped would be subjected to a fine; those above would be treated criminally, mirroring the way many provinces deal with alcohol and driving.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Column: Weed Report: Julian Fantino Sings The Praises Of

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 08:00
Toronto 24hours, 15 Nov 2017 - One was the chief of police for Toronto, London, York Region and the OPP. The other spent 34 years putting away bad guys as a member of the RCMP, retiring as deputy commissioner of Federal and International Policing.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Column: Pro-Pot Cops All About The Money

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 08:00
Toronto Star, 15 Nov 2017 - If St. Paul, one of the most virulent and effective enemies of early Christians could pull off the greatest about face in history and become the religion's most prolific proponent, then who am I to argue with former Toronto police chief Julian Fantino as a shill for the marijuana industry. Fantino, the macho, no-nonsense, law-and-order tough guy from Vaughan stood at a podium in his city Tuesday singing the virtues of - pot.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Sessions on State-Legal Pot, Trump and Duterte Buddy Up, More... (11/14/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 11/14/2017 - 21:50

The US attorney general concedes that Obama-era pot policy is still in effect, New York approves medical marijuana for PTSD, the Bolivian high court upholds a coca expansion law, Trump buddies up with drug war criminal Duterte, and more.

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

Sessions Acknowledges that Obama's Laissez-Faire Marijuana Policy Remains in Effect. At a congressional hearing Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions conceded that Obama-era policies allowing states to go their own way on marijuana policy remain in effect. "Our policy is the same, really, fundamentally as the Holder-Lynch policy, which is that the federal law remains in effect and a state can legalize marijuana for its law enforcement purposes but it still remains illegal with regard to federal purposes," Sessions said, referring to his Obama administration predecessors.

Wisconsin Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Calls for Marijuana Legalization. Former state Democratic Party chairman and current contender for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination Matt Flynn has come out for marijuana legalization -- but only if state voters support it. He is calling for a non-binding referendum on the issue to guide policy makers. "Having reviewed the results of legalization in other states, I now believe Wisconsin should legalize marijuana," said Flynn. "I am concerned about the impact of mass incarceration on our society, including both the social and financial impact. Under present law, people can easily acquire a felony record that effectively bars them from most employment for the rest of their lives. The financial burden on the criminal justice system is also unacceptable."

Medical Marijuana

New York Approves Medical Marijuana for PTSD. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed into law Saturday a bill that adds PTSD to the state's list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. "Our veterans risked their lives in order to defend the ideals and principles that this nation was founded upon," Cuomo said in a signing statement, "and it is our duty to do everything we can to support them when they return home. PTSD is a serious problem facing our state, and now we have one more tool available to alleviate suffering."

Foreign Policy

Trump Celebrates "Great Relationship" With Philippines Drug War Criminal Duterte. During a visit to the Philippines Monday as part of his Asian trip, President Donald Trump said he had a "great relationship" with Philippines President Duterte, under whom thousands of alleged drug users and sellers have been killed by policy and shadowy death squads. According to a Duterte spokesman, when Duterte brought up "the drug menace" in his country, Trump did not mention the topic of human rights or express any concern about the bloody toll in Duterte's drug war.

International

Poll: Nearly Two-Thirds of Germans Oppose Marijuana Legalization. A new poll from Forsa has found support for marijuana legalization at only 34%, with 63% opposed.  Support for legalization centered in smaller parties on the left and right, with the Left Party (55%), the Green Party (46%), and the Alternative for Germany (41%) having the highest levels of support for legalization.

Bolivia High Court Approves Morales Coca Law. The country's Constitutional Tribunal has upheld a bill passed earlier this year that nearly doubles the amount of licit coca cultivation in the country from 30,000 acres to 55,000 acres. The law also allows the government to regulate the cultivation, sale, and distribution of the leaf.

(This article was prepared by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also pays the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MI: You Can Be Fired For Medical Marijuana. Advocates Want That To

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 08:00
Detroit Free Press, 13 Nov 2017 - Can you be fired in Michigan for using medical marijuana? Joseph Casias injured his knee at the Battle Creek Wal-Mart where he worked in 2009. Per company policy, he took a drug test. It came back positive.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

You Won't Believe Which Middle East Theocrat Has Okayed Psychedelics Treatment

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Sat, 11/11/2017 - 22:47

In a move barely noticed in the West, more than three years ago, Iran's Grand Ayatollah Rohani issued a formal legal ruling -- a "fatwa" -- declaring that the use of entheogens and psychedelics was permissible ("ḥalāl") for Shi'i Muslims for purposes of treatment and spiritual growth.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]Grand Ayatollah Rohani's fatwa specified that such use should be undertaken under the direction and supervision of qualified experts, but it did not specify which psychoactive substances were meant to be included. The fatwa, however, was delivered after long discussions with petitioners about the effects of DMT, ayahuasca, haoma (or soma), LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, ibogaine, and marijuana.

Sufi mystic, Islamic scholar and psychedelic practitioner Wahid Azal explained what happened in an interview with Reality Sandwich. Another Shi'i scholar approached him about opening a dialog with the Shi'i religious establishment in an effort to get some sort of formal legal opinion about the approach to the therapeutic and spiritual use of entheogens:

To make a long story short, after well over a year and a half of back and forth discussions and correspondences between my friend (and one other individual) with the office of Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Mohammad Sadeq Hussaini Rohani in Qom, Iran; in mid-March 2014, via email, the Grand Ayatollah issued a formal legal ruling (that is, a fatwa) determining the use of entheogens and psychoactive substances to be licit and thus permissible (ḥalāl) for Shi'i Muslims provided it be under the direction and supervision of qualified experts (ahl al-ikhtiṣāṣ), and that, moreover, such plant substances as a rule do not impair the mind. In the final missive before the decision, the questioner specifically underscored the issue of the visionary component of these plants, where people have reported visions of paradise and hell, and Grand Ayatollah Rohani's fatwa finds no objections here either. 

Rohani could have been open to mind-altering drugs because the psychedelics have a resemblance to Esfand, also known as Syrian rue (peganum harmala), which contains the psychoactive indole alkaloid harmaline, a central nervous system stimulant and MAO inhibitor used for thousands of years in the region. According to at least one Shi'i tradition, the Prophet Mohammed took esfand for 50 days.

Whatever the precise theological reasoning behind the Rohani's fatwa, with it, Iran could leapfrog Western nations when it comes to psychedelic research. Although psychedelics are seeing a research renaissance in the West, research here is limited by their criminalized legal status, as well as lack of funding. But the Islamic Republic has cleared the way.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

US NY: NY Governor Signs Bill To Allow Medical Marijuana For PTSD

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 11/11/2017 - 08:00
Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, 11 Nov 2017 - New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation to add post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of ailments that can legally be treated with medical marijuana. The PTSD bill was part of a package of legislation that Cuomo signed Saturday to mark Veterans Day.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Canada: Plan To Tax Medical Marijuana Spurs Outrage

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 11/11/2017 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 11 Nov 2017 - Advocates say Ottawa's proposed excise levy will simply penalize the sick The federal government has angered proponents of medical cannabis and the opposition by announcing that its planned excise tax on recreational products will also apply to marijuana that is used to treat various illnesses.
Categories: Medical Marijuana
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