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Medical Marijuana

US: The Great Pot Experiment

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 05/25/2015 - 07:00
Time Magazine, 25 May 2015 - Yasmin Hurd raises rats on the Upper East Side of Manhattan that will blow your mind. Though they look normal, their lives are anything but, and not just because of the pricey real estate they call home on the 10th floor of a research building near Mount Sinai Hospital. For skeptics of the movement to legalize marijuana, the rodents are canaries in the drug-policy coal mine. For defenders of legalization, they are curiosities. But no one doubts that something is happening in the creatures' trippy little brains.
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Senate Commitee Clears Way for Medical Marijuana for Veterans [FEATURE]

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 20:36

The Senate Appropriations Committee today approved an amendment that would allow doctors with Veterans Affairs to recommend medical marijuana to veterans suffering from PTSD, serious injuries, and other debilitating conditions. The amendment was approved on a vote of 18-12.

[image:1 align:right]The vote marked the first time any Senate body has approved a marijuana reform measure.

The vote came on an amendment to the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. The amendment was offered by Sens. Steve Daines (R-MT) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and would undo a 2009 directive barring VA doctors from recommendin g medical marijuana even in states where it is legal.

Currently, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) specifically prohibits its medical providers from completing forms brought by their patients seeking recommendations or opinions regarding participation in a state medical marijuana program. The Daines/Merkley amendment authorizes VA physicians and other health care providers to provide recommendations and opinions regarding the use of medical marijuana to veterans who live in medical marijuana states.

[image:2 align:left]The House narrowly defeated a similar amendment to its version of the appropriations bill. Now, the two versions of the bill must be reconciled.

Even if the move is killed in conference committee, a legislative version of the amendment is still alive in Congress. That is the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act, sponsored by Sens. Corey Booker (D-NJ) and Rand Paul (R-KY).

The vote was lauded by drug reform advocates.

"Veterans in medical marijuana states should be treated the same as any other resident, and should be able to discuss marijuana with their doctor and use it if it’s medically necessary," said Michael Collins, policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance. "They have served this country valiantly, so the least we can do is allow them to have full and open discussions with their doctors."

"A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers came together and passed broadly supported marijuana policy reform. This is exactly how most Americans want Congress to handle this issue. Hopefully we are reaching a point at which it is becoming the norm, rather than the exception. The pace at which support appears to be growing in the Senate is particularly encouraging," said Dan Riffle, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project.

[image:3 align:right caption:true]"Doctors should never be prohibited from helping their patients obtain the best possible medical treatment. Many veterans are finding that medical marijuana is the most effective treatment for PTSD and other service-related medical conditions. Finally, Congress is working to remove barriers to accessing it rather than building them," Riffle continued.

"While we won five votes in a row on the House floor last year, this is the first time we've ever won a vote on a positive marijuana reform measure in the Senate," said Tom Angell, director of Marijuana Majority. "And with polls showing that a growing majority of voters supports ending prohibition, it's safe to say it won't be the last. Elected officials are finally starting to wake up to the fact that endorsing marijuana reform is good politics instead of the dangerous third-rail they've long viewed it as, and that means a lot more victories are on the way soon," he predicted. 

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Chronicle AM: Bernie Sanders on Pot, LA Pot Reform Bill Advances, New DEA Head Nominated, More (5/21/15)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 19:33

Marijuana continues to dominate the drug policy news, plus public benefits drug testing bills move in Maine and Wisconsin, the NYPD decides not to bust middle-aged dopers, and more. 

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

Bernie Sanders Mellow on Marijuana. The Vermont senator seeking the Democratic presidential nomination hinted at support for marijuana legalization during a Reddit question and answer session Tuesday, although he did not explicitly call for it. "I can tell you very few people were arrested for smoking marijuana [when I was mayor]," Sanders said. "Our police had more important things to do." He said he supported decriminalization in Vermont and was watching Colorado closely. "Colorado has led the effort toward legalizing marijuana and I’m going to watch very closely to see the pluses and minuses of what they have done,"Sanders said. "I will have more to say about this issue within the coming months."

Alabama Per Se Marijuana Drugged Driving Bill Advances. The state Senate last Friday approved Senate Bill 162, which would declare anyone driving with five nanograms of THC per milliliter guilty of drugged driving—whether he is actually impaired or not.

Louisiana Marijuana Sentencing Reform Bill Wins Committee Vote. The Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday approved a bill that would reduce the state's draconian marijuana possession sentencing. The measure is Senate Bill 241.

Maine Legalization Bills Get Hearing. The Criminal Justice Committee Wednesday heard testimony on a pair of marijuana legalization bills. Sponsored by Rep. Diane Russell (D-Portland), LD 1380 and its companion bill in the Senate would craft a regulatory structure for pot commerce and then put it before voters. If the legislature fails to act, the state could see two legalization initiatives next year.

Second Ohio Pot Legalization Initiative Certified for Signature-Gathering. The secretary of state's office has certified a legalization initiative from Better for Ohio, which means the group can now commence trying to gather the 306,000 signatures needed to qualify for this year's November ballot. Another group, ResponsibleOhio, is already in the signature-gathering phase.

No Decriminalization Initiative for Nashville. An effort by TN-NORML to put a marijuana decriminalization on the municipal ballot this year has apparently fallen short. Monday was the deadline day for handing in signatures, and TN-NORML didn't hand any in. Earlier, the group said it had only 4,000 signatures; it needed nearly 7,000 to qualify.

Medical Marijuana

Colorado Governor Signs Bill Limiting Medical Marijuana Growers. Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) Monday signed into law a bill that will limit medical marijuana caregivers to growing no more than 99 plants. The bill is Senate Bill 15-014. The bill also allows parents to have someone other than themselves grow medical marijuana for child patients and allows school districts to consider allowing medical marijuana use on campus.

Drug Policy

Obama Nominates Chuck Rosenberg to Head DEA. FBI senior official and former US Attorney Chuck Rosenberg has been nominated to replace Michelle Leonhart as head of the DEA. For the last 18 months, Rosenberg has served as chief of staff to FBI Director James Comey. He previously served as US Attorney for Southern Texas and US Attorney for Eastern Virginia and has won support from Democrats and Republicans alike.

Drug Testing

Wisconsin Public Benefits Drug Testing Bill Advances. A bill that would require applicants for welfare benefits, unemployment benefits, job training programs, and health coverage through the state-sponsored program to be assessed for drug use passed the Senate Budget Committee Wednesday. People whose assessments suggest they may be using drugs would have to take and pass a drug test to win benefits. A provision to include food stamp recipients was stripped out because it would likely be challenged by the federal government. The measure is Assembly Bill 192.

Maine Bill to Drug Test Food Stamp Recipients Gets Hearing. The Health and Human Services Committee heard Monday from the administration of Gov. Paul LePage (R) about its bill that would require people on the food stamp program to take a written screening test to see if they are using drugs. If the assessment suggested they may be using drugs, they would have to submit to a drug test. People who tested positive could keep their benefits as long as they sought and completed drug treatment. The bill would also bar people with drug felonies from getting food stamps.

Law Enforcement

NYPD To Not Bust Middle-Aged Drug Offenders. The NYPD last week issued a memo instructing its narcs not to bust drug offenders over age 40 and instead concentrate on younger dealers. The department considers younger drug suspects to be more dangerous.

 (This article was prepared by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, 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.)

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US CA: Sonoma County Fairgrounds Takes New Tack on Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 07:00
The Press Democrat, 20 May 2015 - Sonoma County Fairgrounds officials have scaled back the marijuana trade show events to be held at the Santa Rosa event center in 2015, bringing back an event with North Coast origins but passing over the Cannabis Cup run by international event powerhouse High Times magazine. The homegrown Emerald Cup will return to the fairgrounds event center in December for its third run in Santa Rosa as a fair celebrating organic marijuana grown outdoors. Organizers are expecting bigger crowds but are also restricting it to adults for the first time.
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US CA: County Concerned With Marijuana Bills

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 07:00
Porterville Recorder, 20 May 2015 - Tulare County Supervisors Tuesday adopted what they termed "medical marijuana policy principles" in response to a slew of bills bouncing around Sacramento that could change the current laws governing the use and cultivation of marijuana in the state. Debbie Vaughn with the Chief Administrator's Office told the board a committee had recently surveyed all the bills being talked about in the state Legislature and noted, "the belief is there will be some ballot measures in the next election."
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US CT: Lack Of Research Clouds Medical Marijuana Debate

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 07:00
The Middletown Press, 20 May 2015 - Yale Professor: Safety, THC Content, Expanding Use at Issue MIDDLETOWN - Since the federal government historically has obstructed scientific research of marijuana, there's an absence of highquality evidence, just as many states, including Connecticut, already have rolled out the red carpet to the fast-growing medical marijuana industry.
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US DC: Legal Pot in the District Is a Boon for Illegal Dealers

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 07:00
Washington Post, 18 May 2015 - Not long ago, a man who had covertly dealt pot in the nation's capital for three decades approached a young political operative at a birthday party in a downtown Washington steakhouse. He was about to test a fresh marketing strategy to take advantage of the District's peculiar new marijuana law, which allows people to possess and privately consume the drug but provides them no way to legally buy it for recreational use. Those contradictions have created a surge in demand and new opportunities for illicit pot purveyors.
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CN ON: Where There's Smoke ...

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 07:00
Ottawa Sun, 18 May 2015 - .. there's confusion, at least as far as pot laws are concerned Two weeks have passed since Mayor Jim Watson took his well-publicized pot-shots at the BuzzOn lounge, the latest and most visible addition to the city's burgeoning marijuana industry.
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US FL: OPED: Clock's Ticking: 46 Years And Counting In Failed Drug

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 07:00
Orlando Sentinel, 18 May 2015 - War on Drugs needs a new strategy after 46 failed years, columnist says On Wednesday, March 4, Derek Cruice became the latest unarmed person to be shot to death in a U.S. drug raid staged to seize marijuana. This Volusia County Sheriff's raid succeeding in saving 217 grams (about half-a-pound) of that drug from being loosed on our streets and it only cost one human life. Apparently, law enforcement doesn't think statistics on incidents such as these are worth keeping, so it is very hard to tell how many folks have been killed in the manner of Cruice. However, the CATO Institute a=C2=80" one of the only entities that does keep any such statistics a=C2=80"shows that between 1985 and 2010, SWAT team raids in the U.S. accounted for the deaths of 46 innocent people, 25 nonviolent offenders, and 30 law enforcers.
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CN ON: The Buzz About The Bud

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 07:00
Ottawa Sun, 18 May 2015 - Whether you consider marijuana an illicit drug or a prescription medicine -- or something in between -- there's no denying the buzz the bud is creating. And while police and city officials play political hot potato with the presence of vape lounges operating on the outskirts of the law, some new major pot players are entering the fray.
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US OH: Editorial: What If Ohio Goes To Pot

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 07:00
Akron Beacon Journal, 18 May 2015 - A majority of Ohioans, 52 percent, now support legalizing marijuana. Approval is even higher for medical use, at 84 percent. Both numbers indicate a turnaround in public opinion. More, there are sound public policy reasons for moving forward with legalization, the state in a position to control quality and access, generate tax revenue and prevent users from facing criminal penalties. Still, legalization is a complex issue. Just four other states permit marijuana consumption for recreational purposes. Some moved forward after first allowing fairly widespread medical use. Once recreational use was approved, the actions of many medical consumers became something of an unintended consequence. They may have gamed the system to stick with the medical avenue, thus circumventing the tax structure and depriving the state of revenue.
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US: Pot Edibles in 'Dry' States Are a New Problem for Police

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 05/17/2015 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 17 May 2015 - After nearly 20 years on the job, Jim Jeffries, the police chief in LaFollette, Tenn., has seen his share of marijuana seizures - dry green buds stashed in trunks or beneath seats, often doublebagged to smother the distinctive scent. But these days, Jeffries is on the lookout for something unexpected: lollipops and marshmallows.
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US: New Challenge for Police: Finding Pot in Lollipops and

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 05/17/2015 - 07:00
New York Times, 17 May 2015 - After nearly 20 years on the job, Jim Jeffries, the police chief in LaFollette, Tenn., has seen his share of marijuana seizures - dry green buds stashed in trunks or beneath seats, often double-bagged to smother the distinctive scent. But these days, Chief Jeffries is on the lookout for something unexpected: lollipops and marshmallows.
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US OH: Winds Of Change Blow In Pot Issue

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 05/17/2015 - 07:00
Dayton Daily News, 17 May 2015 - As Likely Vote Nears in Ohio, Support Comes From Unlikely Places. COLUMBUS - No matter what happens to a proposed constitutional amendment to make marijuana legal in Ohio, polls show a growing acceptance for legalization in this country - including a majority who think recreational use of marijuana should be legal.
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US: Pot Edibles' Rise Poses New Test For Cops

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 05/17/2015 - 07:00
The New Mexican, 17 May 2015 - Seemingly Innocent Items, Such As Cookies, Marshmallows Could Be Laced With Marijuana After nearly 20 years on the job, Jim Jeffries, the police chief in LaFollette, Tenn., has seen his share of marijuana seizures - dry green buds stashed in trunks or beneath seats, often double-bagged to smother the distinctive scent.
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US CA: Pot Legalization Across the Country May Hinge on

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 05/16/2015 - 07:00
Yakima Herald-Republic, 16 May 2015 - SAN FRANCISCO - A fight next year over whether to allow recreational marijuana use in California may serve as a tipping point as legalization proponents press their campaign in other states. "A lot of eyes are on California," said Gavin Newsom, the state's lieutenant governor and a legalization proponent. "It's very different than almost any other state because of the scale and the magnitude of the change and what it will represent across the country."
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US ME: Bill Would Allow Medical Marijuana In Schools

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 05/16/2015 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 16 May 2015 - A Maine legislative committee says schoolchildren should be allowed to take prescribed marijuana on school grounds if a parent or guardian administers it on campus. The Portland Press Herald reported that the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs approved the legislation on Thursday. The rule means school nurses and personnel will not be responsible for storing or administering marijuana. A parent, guardian, or caregiver would have to come to campus to administer it. The bill is going to the full state Legislature for consideration. The bill says the drug cannot be smoked and must be taken in some other form such as an oil, edible substance, or pill. (AP) - --- MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom
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US MA: State Overhauls Medical Marijuana Rules

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 05/16/2015 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 16 May 2015 - Massachusetts health authorities Friday dramatically overhauled the process for granting licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries, aiming to streamline the system and remove politics. Regulators from the administration of Governor Charlie Baker said the revamped licensing strips away the subjectivity and secrecy that had tainted the system under former governor Deval Patrick's tenure. Controversy surrounding the previous system sparked more than two dozen lawsuits, leaving patients without any dispensaries 21/2 years after voters approved marijuana for medical use.
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Canada: Column: In The Weeds

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 05/16/2015 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 16 May 2015 - With marijuana's legal status looming over the next federal election, Margaret Wente visits the Mile-High City for a taste of what the future may hold. One outcome: 'I feel like a much nicer person' Denver is magical at dawn. Along the western horizon, the snow-capped mountains are bathed in pink from the glow of the rising sun. The sky is turning purest blue. The air is crisp and clear, and you can see forever. What a great place to get stoned. Which I intend to do, as soon as possible. In Colorado, recreational marijuana was legalized on Jan. 1, 2014. Denver now has more pot stores than it has Starbucks. Anyone over the age of 21 can walk into a store and choose from hundreds of varieties of flowers, nibbles, marijuana-infused drinks, oils, ointments and pain patches, as well as a growing array of wax and other supercharged hard-core products. There's even a sex lube for women, which promises to deliver the most mind-blowing experience of your life.
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US OR: Oregon Readies For Pot Tourism

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 07:00
The Virgin Islands Daily News, 15 May 2015 - BEND, Ore.- As state lawmakers and government officials with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission create the rules regarding recreational marijuana use in Oregon, the state is readying itself for the beginning of pot tourism. Portland likely will be the primary destination for marijuana tourism in Oregon, but Bend and Central Oregon could also see an influx with visitors combining their trips to grow sites with other amenities the region has to offer, such as the Bend Ale Trail or a vineyard-style tour.
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