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Marijuana

US HI: Column: It Won't Be Easy to Reform Overly Harsh Penal

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 02/28/2015 - 08:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 28 Feb 2015 - Last week the newly created Coalition for Public Safety, a bipartisan, transideological campaign to reform the criminal justice system, made a big splash by bringing together political adversaries such as Koch Industries and the Center for American Progress. Notably absent from celebrations of this strange-bedfellows alliance: any mention of actual policy changes the coalition plans to pursue.
Categories: Marijuana

US HI: Editorial: World Won't End If Pot Decriminalized

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 02/28/2015 - 08:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 28 Feb 2015 - According to the national group NORML, 18 states have decriminalized marijuana, at a minimum. Typically, according to its website, that means "no prison time or criminal record for first-time possession of a small amount for personal consumption" - essentially treating offenses like a minor traffic violation.
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US WA: Marijuana Conference Draws Tribes From 25 States to

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 02/28/2015 - 08:00
Seattle Times, 28 Feb 2015 - First Such Gathering Event Offered Debate and Education on Merits of Legalization Hundreds of tribal leaders, lawyers and marijuana-industry representatives gathered in Tulalip on Friday for the nation's first tribal marijuana conference, an event that served as much as a policy debate on the merits of legalization as it did an educational session.
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Chronicle AM: Ted Cruz Flip-Flops on Pot, Mexico Captures "La Tuta," Asset Forfeiture Action, More (2/27/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 23:18

Ted Cruz sees the light (or at least, which way the wind is blowing), a new poll has a majority for legalization in Maryland, asset forfeiture reform gets killed in two states, The Washington Post rethinks drug testing, and more. 

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

Ted Cruz Changes His Mind on Marijuana Legalization. A year ago, the Texas Republican senator and possible GOP presidential candidate criticized President Obama for allowing Colorado and Washington to legalize marijuana, but now he's singing a different tune. "If the citizens of Colorado decide they want to go down that road, that’s their prerogative," he told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). "I personally don’t agree with it, but that’s their right."

Iowa Bill to Reduce Marijuana Possession Passes Senate. Earlier this week, the Senate approved Senate File 219, which would reduce the maximum sentence for possessing up to five grams from up to six months in jail to up to 30 days. The bill now goes to the House.

Maryland Poll Has Narrow Majority for Legalization.A new Goucher College poll has support for legalization at 52%, with 44% opposed. The poll comes as the legislature considers a legalization bill.

Pennsylvania Legalization Bill Filed. State Sens. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery County) and Larry Farnese (D-Philadelphia) have filed Senate Bill 528, the "Regulate Marijuana Act." But they don't expect it to go anywhere this year.

Medical Marijuana

Missouri Issues Licenses for CBD Cannabis Oil Production. The Department of Agriculture this week issued two licenses for the cultivation of low-THC marijuana to be used to make CBD cannabis oil for patients. The licenses went to two St. Louis-area non-profits.

Asset Forfeiture

Colorado Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Killed in Committee. A bill that would have required a criminal conviction before civil asset forfeiture in the case of joint state and federal asset forfeiture proceedings has been killed in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill was Senate Bill 006.

Florida Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Filed. State Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) Thursday filed Senate Bill 1534, which would bar civil asset forfeiture without a criminal conviction.

Wyoming Attempt to Override Governor's Asset Forfeiture Reform Veto Fails. The state Senate voted today not to override Gov. Matt Mead's (R) veto of bill that would have required a criminal conviction before civil asset forfeiture reform could take place. The Senate voted 23-7 to uphold the veto. The bill had passed both houses with veto-proof majorities, but some senators changed their minds after the gubernatorial veto.

Drug Courts

Under Federal Pressure, Kentucky Drug Courts Consider Allowing Opiate Maintenance. After federal drug czar Michael Botticelli said earlier this month that drug court programs that do not allow opiate maintenance therapy could lose federal funding, Kentucky drug courts are considering getting with the program. A court spokesperson confirmed the courts are looking into it, but that they haven't reached a firm decision.

Drug Testing

Arkansas Welfare Drug Testing Bill Filed. State Sen. Blake Johnson (R-Corning) has filed Senate Bill 600, which would require people seeking government assistance to be screened for drug use. Those deemed at suspicion of using drugs after screening would have to be tested for drugs.

The Washington Post is Rethinking Its Employee Drug Testing Policy. "The Washington Post is reviewing its policy in light of the changes to DC law," the newspaper said Thursday without elaborating any further. It also ran an opinion piece by Gina Tron arguing that employers in general should quit such screening.

International

Mexico Captures "La Tuta," Most Wanted Drug Lord. Mexican authorities said today they had captured Servando "La Tuta" Gomez, head of the Michoacan-based Knights Templar cartel. The capture is a boon to the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, which has been under fire for months for the disappearance and apparent murder of 43 teachers' college students by corrupt police in league with drug gangs. 

This article was published by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares 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: Marijuana

CN BC: Port Moody to Weigh Dispensary's Request

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 08:00
The Tri-Cities Now, 27 Feb 2015 - In the next few weeks, the group hoping to open the first medical marijuana dispensary in Port Moody will learn the fate of its plan. Representatives of CannaLifeMD were in front of council Tuesday formally requesting a bylaw amendment that would allow them to open what they call a "medical wellness centre" at 3131 St. Johns St.
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US AK: Fairbanks North Star Borough Says Pot OK Outdoors on

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 08:00
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 27 Feb 2015 - FAIRBANKS - Borough residents may use marijuana anywhere on private property under an ordinance approved unanimously by the assembly Thursday. "I am strongly of the opinion that if you can drink a beer on your front lawn, you should be able to use cannabis on your front lawn," Fairbanks North Star Borough Assemblyman Christopher Quist said.
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US DC: DC Leaders Legalize Pot Despite Threats From Congress

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 08:00
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 27 Feb 2015 - WASHINGTON (AP) - Defying threats from Congress, the District of Columbia legalized possession of marijuana for recreational purposes on Thursday, becoming the first place east of the Mississippi River with legal pot. The new law took effect at 12:01 a.m., despite last-minute maneuvers by Republican leaders in Congress and threats that city leaders could face prison time. Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser, who took office in January, said it was her duty to implement the initiative city voters approved overwhelmingly in November.
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US AK: Alaska Regulators Propose Permanent Definition of

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 08:00
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 27 Feb 2015 - JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A state board wants to make permanent the emergency regulation passed this week defining public places where marijuana can't be smoked. When voters approved legalizing recreational marijuana in November, they prohibited smoking in public but did not define what a public place was.
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Chronicle AM: Paul v. Bush on Drug Policy, Russians Warn of DC Pot Addicts; New Report on Global Drug War, More (2/26/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 02/26/2015 - 22:55

The Russians go all Reefer Madness on DC, Rand Paul takes on Jeb Bush's drug policy "hypocrisy," a second Ohio legalization initiative hits a road block, a new report examines the harms of global drug prohibition, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Russia Warns DC About to Become City of Marijuana Addicts. The chief drug specialist for the Russian Health Ministry, Yengeny Bryun, has warned that, after legalization, the entire city is set to become addicted to weed. "When the authorities take their cue from the sinister interests of the population, what happens is everyone becomes a drug addict," Bryun said."The path from marijuana use does not always lead to hard drugs in 100% of the cases," he said. "But there is a pattern. The use of marijuana is a gateway to more serious drug addiction, and people who have genetic and inherent risk factors will definitely become drug addicts."

Rand Paul Criticizes Jeb Bush for "Hypocrisy" on Marijuana. The Kentucky senator criticized the former Florida governor for "hypocrisy" on drug policy Wednesday. Bush has admitted to using marijuana in his student days, but opposed medical marijuana. "When Jeb was a very wealthy kid at a very elite school, he used marijuana but didn’t get caught, didn’t have to go to prison."Paul said. "I think it shows some hypocrisy that’s going to be very difficult for young people to understand why we’d put a 65-year-old guy in jail for medical marijuana. What I’m talking about is not the hypocrisy of wealth, it’s the hypocrisy of evading the law, because the law seems to target and seems to go after poor people, often people of color,"Paul continued. "What’s hypocritical is if you’re very wealthy, [if] you’re able to escape the long arm of the law is then to really want to throw long sentences, 15 years, 20 years, 50 years in prison for marijuana at people, so I think that’s where the hypocrisy comes in."

Ohio Attorney General Rejects Second Legalization Initiative. Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Wednesday that he had rejected the End Ohio Cannabis Prohibition Act because it didn't come up with the 1,000 initial signatures required to get a ballot summary. Responsible Ohioans for Cannabis are the sponsors of this initiative. They're not to be confused with ResponsibleOhio, whose own initiative was recently rejected because of ambiguities in its ballot language.   

Medical Marijuana

Idaho Senate Committee Approves Introduction of CBD Cannabis Oil Bill. The Senate State Affairs Committee today approved introducing a bill that would "clarify" that CBD cannabis oil is not marijuana under the state's Controlled Substances Act. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Curt Mckenzie (R-Boise) is not yet available on the legislative web site.

Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Bill Gets Hearing. Doctors gave conflicting testimony Wednesday at a hearing on Senate Bill 3, a full-blown medical marijuana bill. Representatives of the Pennsylvania Medical Society balked, saying there weren't enough studies to show medical marijuana works, but other physicians disagreed. Click on the link for more detail.

Utah Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced. State Sen. Mark Madsen (R-Saratoga Springs) has introduced Senate Bill 259, which would allow for the use of "non-combustible" marijuana on a doctor's recommendation. He said he decided to file the bill after traveling to Colorado and trying it there to ease back pain. "Frankly, at a certain point they told me to wait and that the effects would come over time but after a couple of hours I asked myself, ‘Is this what all the fuss is about?’ I mean it helped, but, ‘Schedule 1′ The most dangerous drug there is? I’m not sure that’s true and the basis for good policy."

Virginia Governor Signs CBD Cannabis Oil Bills. Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has signed into law a pair of CBD cannabis oil bills, Senate Bill 1235 and House Bill 1445. The drug could now be available for Virginians as early as April.

Hemp

Minnesota Hemp Bill Advances. The House Agriculture Committee has unanimously approved House File 683, which would allow limited hemp growth in the state. Sponsored by Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria), the bill now goes to the House Government Operations and Election Policy Committee. A similar bill is moving in the state Senate.

International

Global Drug War Wreaking Havoc on Farmers, Women, Environment, Report Says. A new report from the Britain-based advocacy group Health Poverty Action, Casualties of War, says that wealthy countries are exacerbating poverty by pressuring governments to enforce prohibitionist policies that hurt farmers and waste billions of dollars each year on enforcement. The global drug war is also wreaking environmental damage, hurting health care systems, and eroding women's rights in drug producing countries such as Afghanistan, Colombia, and Guinea-Bisseau, the report says. 

This article was published by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares 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: Marijuana

CN NF: An Affront To The Court

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 02/26/2015 - 08:00
The Western Star, 26 Feb 2015 - Supreme Court Justice Admonishes RCMP for Handling of Roadside Drug Bust Four months after being involved in a court decision that took note of how the police had violated a man's Charter rights during a drug bust, one of the officers breached the rights of two more men in a similar roadside investigation.
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US NY: Republicans Warn Washington to Think Twice About

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 02/26/2015 - 08:00
New York Times, 26 Feb 2015 - WASHINGTON - Some Congressional Republicans said Thursday that they would increase their efforts to prevent residents here from possessing small amounts of marijuana, which became legal in Washington at midnight, and warned that the city would face numerous investigations and hearings should the mayor continue her practice of telling them to please find something else to worry about. "We say move forward at your own peril," said Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, echoing a letter he and Representative Mark Meadows, Republican of North Carolina, sent to city officials this week, warning of legal action and ordering the district to turn over documentation on any employees involved with putting the law into effect.
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US NJ: Column: The Butthurt Is High Over Being Snubbed by New

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 02/26/2015 - 08:00
The Trentonian, 26 Feb 2015 - Late last Wednesday night I was asked if I was "going to the press conference tomorrow, aren't you part of the new coalition to legalize marijuana?" I said "no" because I didn't know what they were talking about, and I went on Facebook and was shocked to learn of this new group New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform (NJUMR). They held a Press Conference at 11 a.m. on Thursday 2/18. Based on the video I watched, this new group is advocating Legalization in the Garden State and uniting activists. Well, in my opinion they started off wrong in the UNITING department because apparently they deliberately excluded some long-time green-collar-type activists, the "radical contingent" of the marijuana movement and no victims groups or medical groups were invited. Actions speak louder than words.
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US CO: Column: Is It Legal To Fly With Medical Pot?

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 02/26/2015 - 08:00
Westword, 26 Feb 2015 - Dear Stoner: Is it legal to fly from Denver to another medical state with medicine on you? Longmont Larry Dear Larry: I've addressed this question before, but it still gets asked at least once a month, so the answer is worth repeating.
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US CA: Column: It's A Sellers' Market

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 02/26/2015 - 08:00
SF Weekly, 26 Feb 2015 - Need Weed? Live in Texas? Come to a California In a past life growing up on the East Coast, I had two cities topping my list of places to visit: Montreal and Amsterdam. My reasons were as obvious as they were common. In Montreal, the drinking age is 18. In Amsterdam, you can buy marijuana in a coffee shop. For a thirsty and clear-minded kid in the Boston area, where else do you go to party?
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US CO: Column: Safe Streets Alliance Wants Cannabis Back With

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 02/26/2015 - 08:00
Boulder Weekly, 26 Feb 2015 - About the time you think things couldn't get any crazier in the American crazyquilt approach to cannabis: Last Thursday two lawsuits were filed against the state of Colorado to shut down legal marijuana, alleging that all legal marijuana businesses are illegal under the federal racketeering act. The next day, two U.S. congressmen introduced bills that would set up a regulatory approach to cannabis on a federal level.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: The Stoned Housewives Of Humboldt County

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 02/26/2015 - 08:00
North Coast Journal, 26 Feb 2015 - The Hoopa Valley Tribe will vote this year on whether to allow medical pot growing on tribal lands. Native American tribes around the nation are deciding how to react to the federal government's announcement last year that it will let tribes decide on their own marijuana laws, a hands-off approach similar to the U.S. Department of Justice's newfound attitude toward states that have legalized recreational pot.
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US CA: Column: Daytripping

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 02/26/2015 - 08:00
Sacramento News & Review, 26 Feb 2015 - I'm looking to experience Cali and would like your opinion on the finest this state has to offer. Any recommended strains or places to visit? - -B Rockk I am glad you asked. With springtime on the way, now is the perfect time to start planning daytrips through the cannabis countryside. You will need a letter of recommendation from a California doctor. Technically, you don't have to be a California resident to get a letter of recommendation, but some clubs will not let you inside if you don't live in Cali.
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US DC: Something Heady in the Air in D.C.

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 02/26/2015 - 08:00
Washington Post, 26 Feb 2015 - Marijuana Legalization Seen As a Breakthrough for the Nation's Capital and a National Movement As Thursday dawns on the nation's capital, marijuana will be a legal intoxicant, though Washington will not be Amsterdam, or even Denver. There will be no pot shops, no open-air smoking, but at least for the moment, the District - for once in its decades-long struggle for the right to govern itself - has gotten its way, and a green rush is on.
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US DC: Editorial: D.C.'s Legal Drama

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 02/26/2015 - 08:00
Washington Post, 26 Feb 2015 - House Republicans Threaten City Officials With Jail for Implementing the Marijuana Law. AMID ALL the uncertainties surrounding the legalization of marijuana in D.C., a few things are clear. Among them is that Congress has better things to do than meddle in the purely local affairs of the District. When it does interfere, it ends up making a mess of matters. Apparently, however, there are no bounds to the grandstanding of opportunistic politicians on Capitol Hill.
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Medical Marijuana Update

Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 02/26/2015 - 00:36

Whew! There are medical marijuana bills all over the place, a leading Democratic politician gets targeted for her anti-medical marijuana stance, and the Kettle Falls Five (now Four) trial gets underway. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right caption:true]National

Over the weekend, activists targeted Debbie Wasserman Schultz over her medical marijuana stance. Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz wants to move over to the US Senate, but she won't be getting any help from medical marijuana supporters. She opposed last year's medical marijuana initiative, and that has angered advocates. "She's voted repeatedly to send terminally ill patients to prison. And we're certainly going to make sure Floridians know that -- not to mince words," said Bill Piper, national affairs director with the Washington-based Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). DPA has been joined by People United for Medical Marijuana in Florida, the Marijuana Policy Project, and Americans for Safe Access in coming out against Wasserman Schultz. She opposed last year's medical marijuana initiative.

California

Last Friday, Butte County hired six code enforcement officers to begin enforcement of Measure A, the voter-approved measure that restricts medical marijuana grows in the county. Code enforcement officers and deputies will go door-to-door in selected rural areas of the county to inform residents about the new restrictions.

Colorado

Last Wednesday, a bill to regulate medical marijuana got stripped down. Senate Bill 115, which seeks to make the state's medical marijuana system more like its recreational system, won preliminary approval in the Senate, but only after some of its more controversial proposals were stripped out. Now absent from the bill are a move to crack down on medical caregiver growers and rules requiring marijuana edibles to be refrigerated. The measure now renews the medical marijuana regulations that were passed in 2010.

Georgia

On Monday, a CBD cannabis oil bill won a committee vote. The House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee unanimously approved House Bill 1, sponsored by Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon). The bill was amended to restore a maximum 5% THC level (up from 3%) and to limit the personal information police can access when verifying a medical marijuana authorization, but an amendment that would have reinstated illnesses removed at the request of law enforcement failed.

On Wednesday, the House passed the CBD cannabis oil bill. The House approved House Bill 1, which allows for the use of low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oil to treat seizures and other major health conditions. The measure now goes to the Senate.

Kansas

On Monday, a CBD cannabis oil bill won a House committee vote. For the first time, a measure allowing some form of medical marijuana has won a vote in the state legislature. The House Health and Human Services Committee Monday approved House Bill 2282, which would allow for the use of low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oil for seizure disorders.

Minnesota

On Monday, medical marijuana workers unionized. Workers at Minnesota Medical Solutions, which will operate four medical marijuana dispensaries, have signed a labor agreement with the company under the auspices of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UCFW), Local 1189. The union is also in discussions about representing workers at the other four planned dispensaries in the state, which will be operated by LeafLine Labs. The UFCW has also organized marijuana workers in California, Colorado, and Washington.

Missouri

On Monday, a medical marijuana bill was set for a hearing. Rep. Dave Hinson's (R-St. Clair) House Bill 800 would allow for medical marijuana for eligible patients.

New York

On Monday, there was talk of kosher medical marijuana coming to the state. Orthodox Jews in New York may soon be able to get kosher medical marijuana. Rabbi Moshe Elefant, head of the Orthodox Union's kosher certification agency said he has held "preliminary discussions" with several companies seeking to obtain a kosher seal of approval for medical marijuana. Click on the link for more.

North Dakota

Last Wednesday, the House killed a medical marijuana bill. A bill that would have brought medical marijuana to the Northern Plains was on a vote of 26-67. The bill, House Bill 1430, was opposed by Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, who warned of public safety and regulatory concerns and called it a step backward in fighting impaired driving.

Tennessee

On Tuesday, a CBD cannabis oil bill was delayed. The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee is delaying a bill that would legalize low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oil. Lawmakers decided Tuesday to bump any action back by at least two weeks. The bill is House Bill 197.

Virginia

Last Wednesday, the legislature approved two CBD cannabis oil bills. The state Senate approved House Bill 1445, which would allow people suffering from epileptic seizures to use CBD and THC-A cannabis oils. It has already been approved by the House and now goes to the governor's desk. An identical companion bill introduced in the Senate, Senate Bill 1235, has also already passed both houses and is on the governor's desk.

Washington

Last Thursday, the Kettle Falls Five became the Kettle Falls Four. Federal prosecutors have dropped charges against 71-year-old Larry Harvey, elder member of the Kettle Falls Five, Washington state medical marijuana patients being prosecuted despite pot being legal in the state and despite Justice Department policy guidance that would appear to preclude such prosecutions. The charges against Harvey were dropped because he's about to die of pancreatic cancer, which has spread to his liver. But his family members still face decades in prison for growing their own medicine. "I'm thankful the charges against me have been dropped so that I can focus on my battle with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer," Harvey said in a statement. "However, if the Department of Justice truly has concerns for my well-being, it will dismiss the case against my entire family. I thought the law passed by Congress and signed by President Obama was supposed to stop the DOJ from prosecuting my family, but so far, there's been little relief."

On Wednesday, the Kettle Falls Four trial got underway in Spokane. The trial of an Eastern Washington family accused of violating federal marijuana laws by growing their own medical marijuana legally under state law began today. The family is known as the Kettle Falls Five, but it's now the Kettle Falls Four after charges were dismissed against terminally ill patriarch Larry Harvey. The prosecution of the Harveys runs counter to Obama administration policy and congressional desire, but continues anyway.

West Virginia

On Monday, a medical marijuana bill was filed. On the last day to file Senate bills in the legislative session, Sen. Mitch Carmichael (R-Ripley) introduced Senate Bill 546, the "Creating Compassionate Use Act for Medical Cannabis." The bill would allow for medical marijuana for designated debilitating medical conditions and would require patients and caregivers to be registered with the state. The bill now goes before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

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

This article was published by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares 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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