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Chronicle AM: MI Rejects MedMJ for Autistic Kids, US Rejects Afghanistan Opium Eradication...For Now, More (8/28/2015)

Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 19:56

California could still see a medical marijuana regulation bill this year, a Michigan official ignores his own advisory panel and bars medical marijuana for autistic kids, California counties strike out in an effort to make Big Pharma pay for damages related to prescription opiates, and more.

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

California Medical Marijuana Regulation Bill Gutted, But Still Alive. A measure aimed at bringing the state's medical marijuana industry into an era of statewide regulation passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday, but there was nothing in the version of the bill approved by the committee. Assembly Bill 266 was gutted and now simply reads: "It is the intention of the state legislature to regulate medical marijuana." It appears the move is designed to make room for input from the office of Gov. Jerry Brown (D), which has now submitted its language. The governor's language largely mirrors earlier language and would set up a tightly regulated system. The legislature has until next month to get the bill passed.

Michigan Rejects Medical Marijuana for Autism. Although an advisory panel recommended allowing medical marijuana for autism, Mike Zimmer, the director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, said Thursday he was rejecting that recommendation. Zimmer said there was not sufficient research and he questioned whether cannabis oil is even allowed under the state's medical marijuana law. Advocates said he was mistaken in his reading of the law, and said they were frustrated with the decision.

Drug Policy

Feeling Political Pressure, Los Angeles County Promoter Cancels Rave After Deaths at Earlier Event. Organizers of HARD Presents… A Night at Fairplex have canceled the September 10 rave in the face of threats from county commissioners to ban raves on county properties after two teens died at the HARD Summer festival at the same venue in early August. The promoter is also scaling back its annual Day of the Dead party set for October 31 and November 1. But some county commissioners say they are still moving forward with plans for a ban.

California Judge Throws Out Counties' Lawsuit Against Prescription Opiate Manufacturers. An Orange County Superior Court judge Thursday dismissed a lawsuit filed against five of the world's biggest pharmaceutical companies by Southern California counties seeking to make them pay for damages related to prescription drug abuse. The suit accused the companies of fraudulently marketing the pain relievers to undercut the warning labels required by the FDA. The pharmaceutical companies, including PurduePharma, the makers of Oxycontin, argued that the FDA had exclusive jurisdiction. The judge agreed, dismissing the case, but leaving an opening for it to be re-filed after an FDA evaluation.

International

US Rules Out Opium Eradication in Afghanistan, At Least For Now. The US will not support eradication programs in the world's largest opium producer until and unless there is a comprehensive alternative development program that will provide a stable source of income for poppy farmers, State Department spokesman John Kirby said Thursday. "This is a tough problem to get at, but to simply, you know, work towards some eradication program -- to burn them to the ground, while that may have an immediate effect, it doesn't necessarily do anything for long-term stability and security for Afghan farmers," he said. "You have to be able to work on supplementing it for something else, and we have worked with Afghan authorities for many years about trying to find other crops that farmers can grow to make a good living, and there's been some success in that," he said.

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US MA: Column: Could Medical Marijuana Alleviate the State's

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 28 Aug 2015 - Consider this counterintuitive fact: One reason overdose deaths in Massachusetts have shot up 50 percent in the past few years is that the crackdown on prescription opioids has worked extremely well. It has become a lot harder for users to get those drugs but that doesn't mean they all sought treatment or were suddenly freed of their addiction. Rather, the evidence suggests that many turned to heroin, which is even deadlier.
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US OR: With Bans, Pot Tax Revenue Will Be Left on the Table

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 07:00
The Bulletin, 28 Aug 2015 - Crook County's Share Would Have Been Minimal for First Year Five Oregon counties and 11 cities have opted to ban marijuana businesses and by doing so have been cut off from state tax revenue that will be collected from recreational pot sales.
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US OK: Pot Petition Signatures To Be Sought Soon

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 07:00
Tulsa World, 28 Aug 2015 - Efforts to Legalize Medical Marijuana Move Ahead in State. OKLAHOMA CITY - Supporters of an effort to legalize medical marijuana hope to begin gathering signatures in early September. Last week, members of Green the Vote filed paperwork with the Oklahoma Secretary of State's office indicating their intent.
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US OH: Pot Backers Heading To Court

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 07:00
Dayton Daily News, 28 Aug 2015 - ResponsibleOhio Objects to Ballot Board Summary on Issue 3. COLUMBUS - The latest round in a high-stakes fight over marijuana legalization landed in the Ohio Supreme Court on Thursday when ResponsibleOhio accused the Ballot Board of deliberately crafting a summary of State Issue 3 to "mislead, deceive or defraud the voters."
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US: Series: Public Opinion Shifting As Drug Becomes Part of

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 07:00
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 28 Aug 2015 - DALY CITY, Calif. - The smell of cannabis impregnated the air. Hundreds of people crowded around a makeshift stage, where men in head-to-toe marijuana print threw cannabis caviar, joints, and dollar bills at onlookers. "Best weekend ever!" screamed a man dressed in a joint costume.
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Chronicle AM: FL Legalization Init to Roll Out, Dark Web's Largest Drug Market Shuts Down, More (8/27/2015)

Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 21:05

The controversial ResponsibleOhio legalization initiative continues to make news, a Florida legalization initiative kicks-off tomorrow, the Dark Web's biggest drug marketplace is shutting down -- at least temporarily -- and more.

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

Florida Legalization Initiative Rolls Out Tomorrow. An initiative campaign to legalize marijuana in the Sunshine State will begin with a news conference in Fort Lauderdale tomorrow morning. The Sensible Florida PAC will announce a signature-gathering drive for a constitutional amendment to regulate marijuana like alcohol. Some 683,000 valid voter signatures will be needed, and since this is a constitutional amendment, it will need 60% of the vote to pass.

Ohio Legalizers Roll Out "Buddie" Mascot, Get Flak From Child Advocates. The folks behind the ResponsibleOhio legalization initiative have introduced their mascot, "Buddie," a cape-wearing superhero with a green marijuana bud for a head and a "B" logo over a picture of a pot leaf. Some child advocates grumbled that the mascot would lead kids to believe that pot is OK.  ResponsibleOhio said Buddie will only visit college campuses filled with voting age college students.

Ohio Legalizers Go to State Supreme Court Over Ballot Language. ResponsibleOhio asked the Supreme Court today to reject the state Ballot Board's wording of its initiative. In a 40-page complaint, the group claimed the board used prejudicial language, deliberate omissions, and outright falsehoods by Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) and his staff, and that the resulting language is "fatal to the validity of the ballot."

Drug Policy

Maine Governor to Call Out National Guard to Fight Drugs. Tea Party Republican Gov. Paul LePage said Wednesday the state would ramp up police efforts to fight drugs in the state, including deploying the National Guard to support the struggle against drug trafficking. He also renewed his pleas for more funding for more cops and prosecutors, a stance that leaves him at odds with the state legislature. LePage's remarks come a day after drug czar Michael Botticelli told a Maine roundtable the state needs more drug treatment facilities.

International

Dark Web's Largest Drug Marketplace Closing Its Doors -- For Now. Agora, the reigning champion among Dark Web drug sellers, is shutting down at least temporarily to heighten its defenses against intruders who may be seeking to identify and bust the site's operators and servers. The site's anonymous administrators said they had detected "suspicious activity" they thought was aimed at breaking the anonymity software Tor browser, which could reveal not only administrators, but customers. "At this point, while we don't have a solution ready it would be unsafe to keep our users using the service, since they would be in jeopardy," Agora said. "Thus, and to our great sadness we have to take the market offline for a while, until we can develop a better solution. This is the best course of action for everyone involved."

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Mexico: Mexico Lost Its War On Drugs 75 Years Ago, Author

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 07:00
Independent, 27 Aug 2015 - A US Ultimatum Demanding That Mexico Ban Previously Legal Narcotics 'Forced Addicts and Producers to Take Up Arms' Mexico's drug trade is synonymous with violence, corruption and cartel bosses battling for territory. But it could have been so different, it's claimed in a new book, had the US not issued an ultimatum 75years ago which ignited the war on drugs - leading to death and destruction on both sides of the border.
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CN BC: Column: Vancouver in a Sticky Icky Situation

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 07:00
Prince George Citizen, 27 Aug 2015 - To tax or not to tax - that is the unanswered question now that Vancouver City Council has decided to regulate its marijuana dispensaries. Various levels of government are finding themselves in an awkward situation as they determine whether to impose taxation on the businesses - and thereby confer further legitimacy on a commercial activity related to cannabis. According to Canada's Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, cannabis possession remains a federal offence unless it is for medicinal use and the user has a doctor's prescription.
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US CA: Column: Senatorial Showdown

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 07:00
Sacramento News & Review, 27 Aug 2015 - You failed to mention the devastating impact many cannabis grow-sites have on California's natural environment. Cultivation of cannabis on public or private land can and should be done with the utmost respect for the surrounding environment, and without harming the wildlife, native vegetation or limited water resources in the state. In the last year alone, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife found 340,000 pounds of trash and close to 70 gallons of chemicals and fertilizers dumped at cannabis grow-sites, along with more than 135 diversions in rivers and streams that equated to close to 5 million gallons in stolen water.
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US CA: Column: Paddleboards And Privilege

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 07:00
North Coast Journal, 27 Aug 2015 - In another portent of the gentrification of marijuana, cannabis activists have tapped into the fitness industrial complex to create the 420 Games, a series of sporting events that claims it is "destigmatizing millions of responsible, positive cannabis users through athletic achievement." In mid-August, several hundred runners lined up to run a 4.20 (yes, math whiz, that zero is unnecessary) course through San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.
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US CA: No Fix

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 07:00
SF Weekly, 27 Aug 2015 - The Drug Trade Is Entrenched in the Tenderloin, the Only Place in S.F. Where Drug Users Have Some Political Power They're outside on the corner when John Lorenz leaves his girlfriend's Tenderloin apartment in the morning; they're there when he returns. Sometimes he catches them on a shift change - like union workers clocking out after their eight hours, they're punctual. "Regular as clockwork," he told me recently.
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US CA: Column: U.S. Drug Cops Ease Up On Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 07:00
SF Weekly, 27 Aug 2015 - U.S. DRUG COPS EASE UP ON POT As America's multibillion dollar cannabis industry continues to expand, the nation's drug cops are seizing less weed. In 2009, the first summer of Barack Obama's presidency, a record 10.4 million marijuana plants were eliminated in America, according to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
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US MA: Column: Sex, Drugs, and Racist Policing in Rutland, VT.

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 27 Aug 2015 - Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders recently pledged that "no president will fight harder to end institutional racism." But he doesn't have to wait for the White House to do it. He could start right now, in his own backyard. Thanks to a lawsuit filed in Rutland, Vt., the world is about to get a rare, behind-the-dashcam look at police culture in a rural Vermont town. It ain't pretty.
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US CO: Colorado Cannabis Tax May Fund Scholarship

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 27 Aug 2015 - DENVER (AP) - A Colorado county may create the world's first public college scholarship program funded with marijuana money. Pueblo County, south of Colorado Springs, is considering a 5 percent excise tax on marijuana growers, with half the proceeds designated to a scholarship fund that boosters say would be the first of its kind.
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US AZ: News21: America's Weed Rush

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 07:00
Tucson Weekly, 27 Aug 2015 - With a federal ban on marijuana, states are left to craft their own medical pot rules-whether they work or not After waiting in line for hours at a booth during a medical marijuana convention in San Francisco, Jeff Harrington needed only a two-minute consultation and a written recommendation to become a medical marijuana patient in California. He now can legally purchase and possess marijuana from any one of thousands of marijuana businesses in the state.
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US: Series: Inconsistent Road Rules

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 07:00
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 27 Aug 2015 - INCONSISTENT ROAD RULES Marijuana Legalization Outpaces Changes in Driving Impairment Definitions. SEATTLE - As states have legalized medical and recreational marijuana, each has varying limits determining whether a driver is impaired by use of marijuana.
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US CO: Column: As It Turns Out, Marijuana Doesn't Like Cancer

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 07:00
Boulder Weekly, 27 Aug 2015 - When first experimenting in the 1970s, I immediately began reading everything I could on the subject of marijuana. And right from the beginning, what I was finding, especially the material coming from the newly minted Drug Enforcement Agency, was not in sync with what I was experiencing with the product. My favorite from that period is the old saw about marijuana robbing you of incentive. While it might have been a familiar stereotype back in the "be sure to hide the roaches" days, it didn't correspond to anything that was happening to me. If anything, I was toking up and getting really motivated. Once you got past the "I got stoned, and I missed it" cliches and Cheech and Chong routines, cannabis was no hindrance to motivation, and I found it laughable - still do - that it was even part of the conversation. If a person wasn't naturally motivated, pot might not work positively, but it wasn't the drug's fault. As an artist told Sanjay Gupta on one of his "Weed" specials, "It's my favorite way to work."
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New Zealand: Drug Review Focuses On Compassion

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 07:00
New Zealand Herald, 27 Aug 2015 - How severely people are dealt with for possession of illegal drugs or drug utensils is to be reviewed. Officials will focus on whether action is proportionate to how much harm an offence causes. Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has released the 2015-20 National Drug Policy, which could significantly reform the treatment of drugs such as cannabis.
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Medical Marijuana Update

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 20:05

California still has some problems with the feds, dispensaries open in Nevada and get licensed in Illinois, an Oklahoma initiative campaign is gearing up, and more.

[image:1 align:left]California

Last Thursday, a federal appeals court rejected Oakland's lawsuit backing the Harborside dispensary. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling dismissing Oakland's lawsuit against the Justice Department and the Northern California US Attorney's office. The city had argued that closing the dispensary would deprive it of tax revenues and increase crime by creating a black market for marijuana. Then US Attorney Melinda Haag moved in 2012 to seize Harborside, claiming it violated federal law by selling medical marijuana. The case continues even though the Justice Department has since said it generally wouldn't interfere with state marijuana laws.

Last Friday, the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana sought relief in federal court from a permanent civil injunction barring it from operating. Dispensary founder Lynnette Shaw cited last December's passage of the Rorhabacher-Farr amendment, which bars the Justice Department from interfering with state medical marijuana laws, in filing the motion for relief.

Colorado

Last Thursday, Colorado patients sued over the state's refusal to include PTSD as a qualifying condition. Five PTSD patients filed suit against the state Board of Health over its decision not to include PTSD on the state's medical marijuana eligibility list. The board and the Department of Public Health and Environment, which is also named in the complaint, now have 21 days to respond.

Illinois

On Tuesday, the state issued its first dispensary license. The state Department of Financial and Professional Regulations has granted a dispensary license to the Harbory in Marion. Another dispensary is under construction in Milan, but has yet to be licensed. There will be more to come. "Illinois medical cannabis dispensaries will continue to be registered on a rolling basis," said the DFPR in a statement. "Illinois medical cannabis dispensaries will receive medical cannabis exclusively from Illinois' licensed growing facilities once it becomes available."

Michigan

On Monday, one group planning a legalization initiative said it would instead focus on medical marijuana. The Michigan Responsibility Council, which had been considering running a third legalization initiative campaign in the state, has decided to instead focus on an initiative aimed at improving the state's medical marijuana law. Two other groups are continuing with their marijuana legalization efforts.

Nevada

On Monday, the first Las Vegas dispensary opened for business. A spokesman for Euphoria Wellness said Thursday the dispensary had won final state and county approvals this week and would open for business Monday. It will be the first dispensary in Clark County. The first dispensary in the state opened last month in the Reno suburb of Sparks.

On Wednesday, Reno's first dispensary opened for business. Sierra Wellness Connections opened near downtown Reno. It is the first one in the city and the third one in the state. One in nearby Sparks opened earlier this month, and one in Las Vegas opened Monday.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Initiative Coming. Medical marijuana advocates filed papers with the state last Friday indicating they are preparing another initiative petition drive to put the issue before the voters. Once the initiative is approved for circulation, proponents will have 90 days to gather 123,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. A similar effort fell short in 2014. This one is being run by a group called Green the Vote.

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

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