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Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Update

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 20:18

Medical marijuana for vets hits a bump in the House, a federal medical marijuana research bill is introduced, a bid to expand medical marijuana in the Lone Star State gets stymied, and more.

[image:1 align:right]National

On Monday, a federal bill to facilitate medical marijuana research was filed. A bipartisan group of representatives led by marijuana reformer Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and anti-legalization Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) has filed House Resolution 3391, the Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2017. The bill would remove barriers inhibiting medical marijuana research.

On Tuesday, the House Rules committee blocked an effort to let VA docs recommend medical marijuana. A proposed amendment to the Veterans Administration appropriations bill to allow VA doctors to recommend medical marijuana has been bottled up in the House Rules Committee. The same amendment actually passed the House last year, but committee Chair Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) refused to even allow a vote on it. The Senate version of the amendment is still alive, though, and if the Senate approves it again this year, it could still make it into the final appropriations bill.

Texas

Last Wednesday, a bid to expand medical marijuana was defeated. An effort to expand medical marijuana in the state was stopped by the House State Affairs Committee Wednesday. Rep. David Knoll (R) had tried to add an amendment to a special session bill authorizing the Texas Medical Board and other agencies, but the amendment never got enough support to come up for a vote.

US Virgin Islands

On Monday, a bill to legalize medical marijuana was reintroduced. Territorial Sen. Positive Nelson has refiled his Virgin Islands Medical Cannabis Patient Care Act. A similar bill died in committee last year, and Nelson wants to avoid a similar fate this year. "I'm requesting that this measure be heard by the committee of the whole, and not the Health Committee, whose chair has exhibited an obvious bias against cannabis legalization in any form," Nelson said.

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

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Duterte Vows More Drug War, House Panel Blocks VA MedMJ, More... (7/26/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 20:08

Maine legislators recommend a 20% tax on legal pot, a House committee blocks an amendment that would let VA doctors recommend medical marijuana, Philippines President Duterte is ready for another year of drug war, and more.

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

Maine Legislative Panel Proposes 20% Marijuana Tax. The committee charged with drawing up regulations for the state's legal marijuana industry is proposing that recreational marijuana be taxed at a rate of 20%, with 5% paid to localities that allow cultivation or retail businesses. There would be a 10% wholesale excise tax and a 10% sales tax on retail sales. The proposed tax is double what voters approved when they passed a legalization initiative last fall.

Medical Marijuana

Federal Bill to Facilitate Medical Marijuana Research Filed. A bipartisan group of representatives led by marijuana reformer Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and anti-legalization Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) has filed House Resolution 3391, the Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2017. The bill would remove barriers inhibiting medical marijuana research.

House Rules Committee Blocks Effort to Let VA Docs Recommend Medical Marijuana. A proposed amendment to the Veterans Administration appropriations bill to allow VA doctors to recommend medical marijuana has been bottled up in the House Rules Committee. The same amendment actually passed the House last year, but committee Chair Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) refused to even allow a vote on it. The Senate version of the amendment is still alive, though, and if the Senate approves it again this year, it could still make it into the final appropriations bill.

International

Philippines President Duterte Vows to Continue Drug War. In his second state of the nation speech Monday, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to continue his bloody war on drugs, warning that offenders will end up "in jail or hell." He also exhibited bravado as he brushed off international criticism, saying that he wasn't scared of the International Criminal Court and was "willing to go to prison for the rest of my life." He also called on Congress to reinstate the death penalty for drug offenses.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Congress Takes Up MJ This Week, Colombia Coca Violence Flares, More... (7/25/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 07/25/2017 - 20:53

Congress will take up several amendments relating to marijuana policy this week, Maine is getting closer to agreement on how to implement legalization, fighting in Colombia's coca country is generating refugee flows, and more.

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

Congress Takes Up Marijuana Issues This Week. The Congress will take up several marijuana-related amendments this week. The House will take up amendments seeking to allow veterans to get medical marijuana recommendations through the Department of Veterans Affairs. A similar measure has already passed the Senate Appropriations Committee. The Senate Appropriations Committee will take up renewing a federal ban on spending to interfere with state marijuana laws. The House version of the amendment has already passed the House Appropriations Committee. And the House Rules Committee will take up an amendment protecting water rights for state-legal marijuana growers.

Maine Lawmakers Near Agreement on Legal Pot Rules. The special legislative panel overseeing implementation of the state's voter-approved pot legalization law has nearly finished its work. It has already agreed to remove the cultivation cap in the initiative and to block regulators from setting limits on cultivators, while adding a six-month state residency requirement for growers and sellers aimed at limiting out-of-state companies from dominating the market. The panel is leaving local control alone, meaning localities could ban pot businesses. And while it hasn't agreed on a final tax rate yet, it looks like it will be relatively low compared to other legalization states, coming in at between 10% and 20%.

Drug Testing

Maine Labor Department Tells Employers Not to Test for Pot Pending Changes in State Law. The Labor Department said most businesses should not test workers and job applicants for marijuana because the state does not have laws on the books. The Labor Department urged the legislative panel charged with implementing legalization to write laws that would clearly spell out what testing regimes would be allowed.

International

Fighting in Colombian Coca Zones Displaces Hundreds. Colombian security forces and an "unidentified illegal armed group" have been engaged in armed clashes in the municipality of Hacari in Norte de Santander state for several days, according to the United Nations. As a result, more than 200 locals have fled. The area is near Catatumbo, where there is more coca than government presence, and where dissident leftish guerillas and rightist paramilitary forces have been active.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Ominous DOJ MJ Report, Indonesia Prez Says Shoot Dealers, More.... (7/24/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 20:37

A key Justice Deparatment report is slated to drop this week, so is a federal hemp bill, Indonesia's leader seems to be following in Duterte's footsteps, and more.

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

Justice Department Report to Be Released This Week Could Include Crackdown on Marijuana. A Justice Department Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is set to release its report this, and reformers and industry insiders worry the report will try to link marijuana to violent crime, laying the basis for a crackdown on marijuana users and purveyors.

Massachusetts Local Control Compromise Could Face Legal Challenge. A legislative compromise that would let elected leaders in some communities ban marijuana businesses without a popular vote could be challenged as unconstitutional under state law. Under the compromise, if a majority of a local jurisdiction opposed the 2016 legalization initiative, local leaders could ban without a popular vote, but if the majority voted for the initiative, a ban would require a popular vote. The initiative itself called for no bans without a popular vote. Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Essex) warned that the compromise language could be challenged on the basis it violates equal protection laws.

Medical Marijuana

Virgin Islands Medical Marijuana Bill Reintroduced. Territorial Sen. Positive Nelson has refiled his Virgin Islands Medical Cannabis Patient Care Act. A similar bill died in committee last year, and Nelson wants to avoid a similar fate this year. "I'm requesting that this measure be heard by the committee of the whole, and not the Health Committee, whose chair has exhibited an obvious bias against cannabis legalization in any form," Nelson said.

Hemp

Federal Hemp Bill to Be Filed This Week. US Rep. James Comer (R-KY) is expected to introduce the Industrial Hemp Farming Act this week. The bill, versions of which have been introduced in each Congress since 2009, would remove industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act and would allow research on hemp with up to 0.6% THC -- up from 0.3% in earlier bills.

Immigration

Permanent Resident Set to Be Deported for Marijuana Wins in Federal Appeals Court. The US 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago has ruled in favor of permanent resident Ming Wei Chen, who had been ordered deported from the country after a marijuana conviction. The court ruled that the Board of Immigration Appeals misapplied Supreme Court rulings when it held his conviction constituted an "aggravated felony."

International

Indonesia's President Tells Police to Shoot Drug Dealers. President Joko Widodo has told police to shoot drug traffickers as part of his efforts to fight a "narcotics emergency" in the country. "Be firm, especially to foreign drug dealers who enter the country and resist arrest. Shoot them because we indeed are in a narcotics emergency position now," Widodo said in a speech last Friday. The remarks drew comparisons with statements from Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, who has overseen a drug crackdown that has left thousands dead there.

Amidst Violent Gun Battles, Mexico City Sees First Narco-Blockade. Mexican marines engaged in a gun battle with drug gangsters in the capital's Tlahuac neighborhood, leaving eight gunmen, including Tlahuac Cartel leader Jesus Perez Luna dead. During the shoot-out, dozens of people blocked streets in the area, setting on fire a truck and two stolen minibuses in a "narco-blockade" aimed at preventing the arrival of police and military reinforcements. That's a first for Mexico City.

Poland Legalizes Medical Marijuana. Polish President Andrzej Duda has signed a bill legalizing medical marijuana in the country. Patients will not be able to grow their own, but will be able to obtain imported marijuana products at pharmacies. The law allows people with severe illnesses to use medical marijuana if approved by a physician, but has no list of qualifying conditions. The law will go into effect in October.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

US OH: Toledo Residents Ambivalent On Marijuana Greenhouse Near Their

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 07/23/2017 - 07:00
The Blade, 23 Jul 2017 - Kevin Jones lives at 700 Spencer St. He says he sees pros and cons to using the dilapidated factory across the street to grow marijuana: jobs and crime. In 1910, Toledo businessman William Bunting opened a cavernous brass factory on Spencer Street, just a short distance from the zoo.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MA: Legislators Send Pot Overhaul To Governor

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 07/23/2017 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 23 Jul 2017 - The Democrat-controlled Massachusetts Legislature sent an overhaul of the voter-passed marijuana legalization law to Governor Charlie Baker's desk Thursday - but not before a top Republican lit into the legislation. The Senate enacted the measure on a 32-6 vote. On Wednesday, the House voted 136-11 to move the bill forward.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CA: Editorial: L.A. Voters Want To Legalize Marijuana, So Why

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 07/22/2017 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 22 Jul 2017 - IT? Los Angeles voters want to legalize marijuana, and they don't seem particularly concerned that it remains illegal under federal law. In November nearly two out of three voters in the city of L.A. supported Proposition 64, a statewide initiative to let adults grow, buy and use recreational marijuana. A few months later, voters overwhelmingly backed Measure M to create a city permitting system for marijuana businesses.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US As Trump Wages War On Legal Marijuana, Military Veterans Side With

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 07/22/2017 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 22 Jul 2017 - POT U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions is pressing Congress to allow federal law enforcement to target medical marijuana operations in states where they are legal. (July 21, 2017) U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions is pressing Congress to allow federal law enforcement to target medical marijuana operations in states where they are legal. (July 21, 2017)
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN MB: Province's Stance On Legalization Frustrates Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 07/22/2017 - 07:00
Brandon Sun, 22 Jul 2017 - While Brandon's political representatives encourage the delay of the legalization of marijuana, local advocates of the plant are saying the day couldn't come soon enough. Picking up related paraphernalia at Growers N' Smokers on Friday, veteran Michael Gibson said that his "disrespect" for Premier Brian Pallister is "huge, right now."
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Pot Couple's 'Offence Of Compassion'

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 07/22/2017 - 07:00
The Record, 22 Jul 2017 - In potentially precedent-setting case, operators of marijuana dispensary get an absolute discharge KITCHENER - A provincial court judge granted an absolute discharge to a young Kitchener couple who were running an illegal marijuana dispensary in Waterloo.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: MA Legal MJ Bill Heads to Gov, DOJ Restarts Forfeiture Sharing, More .... (7/20/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 20:01

Massachusetts lawmakers approve the legal marijuana bill, the Justice Department officially resurrects "adoptive sharing" for asset forfeitures, Gallup says more Americans have smoked pot than ever, and more.

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

Gallup Poll Has Number Who Say They've Used Marijuana at All-Time High. Some 45% of American adults have tried marijuana, according to Gallup. That's an all-time high, and it's more than ten times the number (4%) who admitted smoking pot in 1969, the first year Gallup asked the question. About 12% said they currently use marijuana.

Massachusetts Legislature Approves Compromise Legalization Bill. The House and Senate both approved a compromise measure to implement marijuana legalization Wednesday. House Bill 3818 now heads to the desk of Gov. Charlie Baker (R), who is expected to sign it. The bill increases taxes from 12% to up to 20%, and would allow authorities in localities that didn't vote in favor of the legalization initiative to ban pot businesses without a popular vote.

Medical Marijuana

Texas Bid to Expand Medical Marijuana Defeated. An effort to expand medical marijuana in the state was stopped by the House State Affairs Committee Wednesday. Rep. David Knoll (R) had tried to add an amendment to a special session bill authorizing the Texas Medical Board and other agencies, but the amendment never got enough support to come up for a vote.

Asset Forfeiture

Justice Department Brings Back Aggressive Asset Forfeiture Policy. As Attorney General Sessions vowed earlier this week, the Justice Department on Wednesday formally unrolled a revamped "adoptive forfeiture" policy that will allow state and local law enforcement agencies to hand drug cases over to the feds to ensure that the cops get the great bulk -- 80% -- of the proceeds from seizures, in many cases doing an end-run around state asset forfeiture law. The program was halted by then-Attorney General Eric Holder in 2015 after a rising outcry over abuses. The move was praised by law enforcement but criticized by civil rights groups and even some members of Congress.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Rhode Island Governor Signs Package of Bills to Fight Opioid Epidemic. Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) Wednesday signed into law three bills aimed at the state's opioid problem. One allows law enforcement to access an electronic prescription database without a warrant, one requires doctors to discuss the risks of addiction with patients when prescribing opioids, and one expands the kind of drugs that can be electronically prescribed. "Every Rhode Island community has been touched by this crisis, and I'll take every step I can to fight back," Raimondo said in a signing statement.

Harm Reduction

California Safe Injection Site Bill Awaits Senate Floor Vote. A bill that would allow supervised injection sites in the state has already passed the Assembly and has now been approved by both the Senate Health Committee and the Public Safety Committee. Assembly Bill 186, sponsored by Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton) now awaits a Senate floor vote. If the bill passes, it will go back to the Assembly for concurrence, and then to Governor Jerry Brown's desk.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN NF: Column: Smoke Signals

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 07:00
Advertiser, 20 Jul 2017 - In my boyhood days it was not uncommon to see, in an American Western movie, a US Cavalry officer look concerned at the sight of smoke signals on the trail ahead. Smoke signals often meant a battle was about to happen with the usual loser being - the Indians, of course!
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Update

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 07/19/2017 - 21:10

A measure that would allow VA docs to issue medical marijuana recommendations advanced in the Senate, Massachusetts' highest court rules in favor of a worker fired for using medical marijuana, and more.

[image:1 align:left]National

Last Thursday, a Senate panel approved medical marijuana for veterans. The Senate Appropriations Committee voted to adopt an amendment that would allow military veterans to get medical marijuana recommendations through the Department of Veterans Affairs. The bipartisan measure picked up four more votes than last year, when it was approved by the full House, but killed in conference committee.

Massachusetts

On Monday, the state's high court ruled for a woman fired for using medical marijuana. The state Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a woman fired after testing positively for legally recommended medical marijuana can sue her former employer for handicap discrimination. The employer had argued that the use shouldn't be allowed because marijuana remains illegal under federal law, but the high court disagreed. If a doctor concludes medical marijuana is the most effective treatment for a debilitating condition, "an exception to an employer's drug policy to permit its use is a facially reasonable accommodation" and "the fact that the employee's possession of medical marijuana is in violation of federal law does not make it per se unreasonable as an accommodation."

Nevada

On Sunday, medical marijuana patients complained of higher prices after recreational sales began. Medical marijuana patients are complaining of "price gouging" in the wake of the advent of legal recreational marijuana sales in the state. "Our prices have almost doubled in some places," patient Emily Wilson said. Some patients are reportedly resorting to the black market because of high legal prices.

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

Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MA: Legislature Moves Forward On Marijuana Law Overhaul

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 07/19/2017 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 19 Jul 2017 - The legislation proposed in Massachusetts wouldn't change the basic marijuana rights of adults that the ballot question put in place. The Massachusetts Legislature is advancing an overhaul of the voter-passed marijuana legalization law Wednesday, when both chambers are expected to accept a House-Senate compromise bill in the afternoon.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Uruguay: Getting High In Uruguay Now Means Just A Stop At The

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 07/19/2017 - 07:00
New York Times, 19 Jul 2017 - MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay - The rules are a bit of a buzzkill. Drug users must officially register with the government. Machines will scan buyers' fingerprints at every purchase, and there are strict quotas to prevent overindulgence. But when Uruguay's marijuana legalization law takes full effect on Wednesday, getting high will take a simple visit to the pharmacy.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US FL: Oviedo To Soon Allow Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 07/19/2017 - 07:00
Orlando Sentinel, 19 Jul 2017 - Oviedo City Council members this week agreed to let the city's moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries expire Aug. 5, making it likely that Oviedo will become the first Seminole County municipality to allow such businesses. Council members also directed city staffers Monday to draft an ordinance that will treat medical marijuana dispensaries under the same zoning regulations as pharmacies.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN MB: Police Can Confirm Pot Licences 24-7

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 07/19/2017 - 07:00
Brandon Sun, 19 Jul 2017 - BRANDON COUPLE LAUNCHES LAWSUIT OVER GROW-OP RAID Health Canada says police officers can call them any time when it comes to confirming whether citizens have legal authority to produce and possess medicinal marijuana.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN BC: Council Votes Not To Extend Licences To Marijuana Dispensaries

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 07/19/2017 - 07:00
Penticton Western, 19 Jul 2017 - Penticton city council has decided the experiment with medical marijuana dispensaries is over. By a count of 4-2, council voted to not extend the temporary use permits granted to Okanagan Cannabinoid Therapy and Green Essence in December, and instead work with them on a consent order that would see the businesses operate as wellness centres.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Houston Cops Drop Faulty Field Drug Tests, AK Pot Clubs Coming, More... (7/17/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 20:45

Houston police will quit using faulty field drug tests that sent hundreds of innocents to jail, a Colorado appeals court rules a drug dog alert on marijuana in a vehicle is not sufficient grounds for a vehicle search, the Massachusetts high court sides with an employee fired for medical marijuana use, and more.

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

Alaska Regulators Advance Social Consumption Proposal. At its meeting last week, the state Marijuana Control Board voted 3-2 to approve draft rules for on-site marijuana consumption at retail outlets. Now there will be a 60-day public comment period before the rules come back to the board, most likely at its November meeting.

Colorado Appeals Court Rules Marijuana Scent Not Enough to Search Vehicle. An appeals court ruled last Thursday that a drug dog's detection of the scent of marijuana in a vehicle does not give police the authority to search the vehicle. "Because Amendment 64 legalized possession for personal use of one ounce or less of marijuana by persons 21 years of age or older in Colorado, it is no longer accurate to say, at least as a matter of state law, that an alert by a dog which can detect marijuana -- but not specific amounts -- can reveal only the presence of "contraband,'" he wrote.

Medical Marijuana

Massachusetts High Court Rules for Woman Fired for Using Medical Marijuana. The state Supreme Judicial Court ruled Monday that a woman fired after testing positively for legally recommended medical marijuana can sue her former employer for handicap discrimination. The employer had argued that the use shouldn't be allowed because marijuana remains illegal under federal law, but the high court disagreed. If a doctor concludes medical marijuana is the most effective treatment for a debilitating condition, "an exception to an employer's drug policy to permit its use is a facially reasonable accommodation" and "the fact that the employee's possession of medical marijuana is in violation of federal law does not make it per se unreasonable as an accommodation."

Nevada Medical Marijuana Patients Facing Higher Prices With Legalization. Medical marijuana patients are complaining of "price gouging" in the wake of the advent of legal recreational marijuana sales in the state. "Our prices have almost doubled in some places," patient Emily Wilson said. Some patients are reportedly resorting to the black market because of high legal prices.

Drug Testing

Houston Cops End Use of Field Drug Tests That Sent Innocent People to Jail. Police in the nation's fourth largest city have ended the use of $2 chemical field drug tests, whose use have led to hundreds of wrongful convictions in recent years. Police announced the move as an officer safety measure in the face of dangerous new drugs, but did not mention the faulty tests' role in the recent scandal over convictions based on false positives.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

US HI: Big Island Still Has Most Medical Marijuana Users

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 07:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 17 Jul 2017 - Thirty-eight percent of the 17,591 patients registered in Hawaii's medical marijuana program were located on the Big Island. Recently released data by the state Department of Health indicates the trend of medical marijuana patients in Hawaii is changing.
Categories: Medical Marijuana
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