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US MI: 2 Medical Marijuana Bills Stall In Michigan Senate

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 02/03/2015 - 08:00
Detroit Free Press, 03 Feb 2015 - LANSING -- Supporters of medical marijuana were thrilled last year when two bills making it easier for people to buy a variety of medicinal cannabis -- including edibles -- passed the House of Representative with large bipartisan majorities. But those cheers may turn to frustration as the two bills have stalled in the state Senate with no visible sign that they'll move anytime soon.
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US: Federal Marijuana Crops Get A Boost

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 08/31/2014 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 31 Aug 2014 - The U.S. government has increased the quantity of marijuana it's growing this year to more than 1,400 pounds from the originally planned 46. The federal government classifies marijuana as a substance that has no medical use and is more dangerous than cocaine. But it's willing to let researchers have access - under a few conditions.
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US: Study: Medical Pot May Help Opiate Abuse

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 08/31/2014 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 31 Aug 2014 - Painkiller Overdoses Fell in States With Legal Marijuana, Study Finds Could medical marijuana be an antidote for the nation's scourge of fatal overdoses caused by prescription pain medication? A new study suggests the answer is yes, and it's set off a flurry of medical debate over the risks and benefits of making cannabis more widely available to patients.
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US NY: OPED: Of Pot And Percocet

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 08/31/2014 - 07:00
New York Times, 31 Aug 2014 - PRESCRIPTION opioid painkillers like Percocet, Vicodin and OxyContin have come under intense scrutiny in recent years because of the drastic rise in overdose deaths associated with their prolonged use. Meanwhile, access to medical marijuana has been expanding - 23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized its broad medical use - and chronic or severe pain is by far the most common condition reported among people using it. Could the availability of medical marijuana reduce the hazards of prescription painkillers? If enough people opt to treat pain with medical marijuana instead of prescription painkillers in states where this is legal, it stands to reason that states with medical marijuana laws might experience an overall decrease in opioid painkiller overdoses and deaths.
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US CT: Stonington Police Efforts To Make Drug Arrests

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 07:00
The Day, 30 Aug 2014 - Town Resident Who Is Also a Detective in Westerly Outlines Concerns in an Email to the First Selectman Stonington - A veteran Westerly Police Department detective who lives in Pawcatuck has criticized the Stonington police department's drug enforcement efforts in an email to First Selectman Ed Haberek.
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CN ON: Focus On Medical Use

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 07:00
The Daily Press, 30 Aug 2014 - Hempfest Lands in Moonbeam This Weekend MOONBEAM - The organizer of a pro-marijuana festival believes the drug should remain out of politician hands. Organizers for Hempfest Canada announced that the 16th annual celebration would not be held in Sault Ste. Marie, where it has called home for the past few years, but instead in Moonbeam. The main goal of Hempfest, which takes place this weekend, is to educate the public on the proper use of medical marijuana.
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US: Drug Courts Now A Battlefield Of Pot Politics

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 07:00
Richmond Times-Dispatch, 30 Aug 2014 - Casual Marijuana Users Go to Treatment As Hard- Core Drug Abusers Are Rejected. WASHINGTON - Attorney David West can't pinpoint precisely when he started to sour on the rapid expansion of drug courts - but the karate episode stands out.
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US WA: City's Ban On Marijuana Sales Upheld

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 07:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 30 Aug 2014 - (AP) - A state judge said Friday that a small city can continue to ban state-licensed marijuana businesses, in a case with big implications for Washington's experiment in legal pot. Pierce County Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper issued the ruling after extensive arguments over whether Initiative 502, the voter-approved state law that legalizes adults' recreational use of marijuana, left any room for such local bans.
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US NM: Berry Veto Quashes Pot, Tax Proposals

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 30 Aug 2014 - It's Unlikely Council Can Override Mayor Mayor Richard Berry on Friday vetoed an election resolution that would have asked Albuquerque voters to reduce marijuana penalties and to raise taxes for social services.
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US: New Drug Czar Expected To Continue Public Health Focus

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 30 Aug 2014 - The White House officially nominated Michael Botticelli on Thursday to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which is charged with overseeing and administering federal drug policy. The White House has been moving toward dealing with drug use as a public health issue, rather than a criminal justice one. And the nomination of Botticelli, a recovering alcoholic, might be the most significant sign of that shift to date.
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Chronicle AM: Santa Fe Decriminalizes, New Drug Czar Nominated, NYC Heroin Deaths Rise, More (8/29/14)

Drug War Chronicle - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 19:53

Santa Fe decriminalizes, no medical marijuana for Alzheimer's in New Mexico, NYC heroin deaths at 10-year high, new drug czar nominated, another drug war death, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Santa Fe Decriminalizes Marijuana Possession. In a surprise move, the Santa Fe city council voted Wednesday night to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The move came after the Drug Policy Alliance and Progress Now New Mexico undertook a successful signature drive to put a decriminalization initiative on the ballot. Rather than have it go to a vote, the city council simply approved the ordinance instead.

NORML Endorses Alaska, DC, Oregon Legalization Initiatives. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has officially endorsed all three marijuana legalization initiatives on statewide (or District-wide) ballots this fall. "NORML's board of directors endorses these cannabis legalization measures. All three support basic tenets of reform. They differ slightly in scope and implementation based on local considerations of law, customs and polled public sentiment," the group said. Both the Oregon and Alaska initiatives envision a legalize, tax, and regulate scheme, while, because of peculiarities in local law, the DC initiative only legalizes the possession and cultivation -- but not the sale and taxation of -- small amounts of marijuana.

Alaska Conference of Mayors Opposes Legalization Initiative. The Alaska Conference of Mayors announced Thursday it had voted to oppose Measure 2, the state's marijuana legalization initiative. The mayors' group is also kicking in $5,000 to the opposition campaign. The group expressed concerns over public safety, increased enforcement costs (?), and possible effects on youth.

Medical Marijuana

New Mexico Overrides Advisory Board, Denies Medical Marijuana for Alzeimer's. The Secretary of Health yesterday denied a petition to add Alzheimer's disease to the list of qualifying medical conditions for medical marijuana. The Medical Cannabis Advisory Board had unanimously recommended that Alzheimer's be added. Click on the link to read some reactions.

Georgia Medical Marijuana Study Committee Holds First Hearing. The Georgia Medical Cannabis Joint Study Committee held the first of five scheduled public hearings at the state capitol yesterday. The hearings are aimed at drafting legislation to allow for the use of medical marijuana for epilepsy and other conditions. Click on the link for more details.

Drug Policy

White House Nominates Acting Drug Czar to Head ONDCP. The White House has nominated acting drug czar Michael Botticelli to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Botticelli, a recovering alcoholic, has been acting drug czar since March, when his predecessor, Gil Kerlikowske, left to take over Customs and Border Protection. Prior to coming to ONDCP in 2012 to serve as Kerlikowske's deputy, he headed the Massachusetts Bureau of Substance Abuse Services.

Heroin

New York City Heroin Overdose Deaths at Ten Year High. Some 420 people in New York City died of heroin overdoses, the highest figure since the 438 recorded in 2003, according to data released Thursday by the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. After peaking in 2003, the number of heroin deaths declined steadily, bottoming out at 209 in 2010. Since then, they have been steadily increasing.

Law Enforcement

Armed Orlando Man Killed in SWAT Drug Raid is Year's 31st Drug War Death. Members of Orlando SWAT team serving a drug search warrant shot and killed an armed man this morning. The man, who is as yet unnamed, becomes the 31st person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year. According to the Orlando Sentinel, citing police sources, the SWAT team hit an apartment on Orange Blossom Trail about 8:00am. At least two members of the SWAT team opened fire on the man as he pointed his weapon at them.

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Orlando SWAT Team Kills Armed Man in Drug Raid

Drug War Chronicle - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 19:39

[image:1 align:left]Members of an Orlando, Florida SWAT team serving a drug search warrant shot and killed an armed man this morning. The man, who is as yet unnamed, becomes the 31st person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, citing police sources, the SWAT team hit an apartment on Orange Blossom Trail about 8:00am. At least two members of the SWAT team opened fire on the man as he pointed his weapon at them, according to Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings.

"In these situations, they have to make a split-second decision to protect themselves," Demings said.

While police have not released the man's name, they described him as having "a violent past" and said he was a convicted felon.

Demings said the man did not fire his weapon, but did point it at officers.

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US CT: Column: No, One-Third of a 'Sweet Grass' Cookie Does

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 07:00
New Haven Register, 29 Aug 2014 - Good news, people: I survived ingesting a "brain poison," easily operated a Hertz rental car an hour or two afterward without killing anybody and lived to tell the tale. Dr. Arthur Taub, a retired clinical professor at the Yale School of Medicine, wrote a hysterical letter to the New Haven Register after I reported in my column last week that I ate one-third of a 10-milligram marijuana cookie outside a legal cannabis shop in Boulder, Colorado. "Marijuana is a brain poison," the good doctor began. "It is an uncontrolled mixture of long acting brain-destructive neurotoxins and carcinogens."
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US WA: Suit Against Fife's Ban on Pot Challenges State's

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 29 Aug 2014 - Pierce County Arguments in Case Will Be Heard Friday To Tedd Wetherbee, the vacant storefront seems a suitable spot for selling pot. It's in a strip mall across from BJ's Bingo parlor, in a long commercial stretch occupied by fast-food joints, dry cleaners and massage parlors.
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US NM: AG Has No Plans To Challenge New Pot Law

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 29 Aug 2014 - King: City Has Authority to Enact Own Ordinance SANTA FE - Attorney General Gary King supports decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana and his office has no plans to challenge Santa Fe's brand new ordinance that does just that.
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US MD: OPED: Overdose Deaths Are Preventable

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 29 Aug 2014 - Last year, 858 Maryland residents died due to alcohol or drug intoxication; that's enough to replace the entire University of Maryland football team more than eight times. This year is on track to be even more deadly, with a 33 percent increase in accidental opioid overdose deaths recorded in the first three months of 2014 alone. We do not want any more families, friends and communities to grieve their fallen loved ones. It is time for all of us to call this problem what is: an epidemic.
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Australia: Marijuana Trial Plan Panned As Nonsense

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 07:00
The Age, 29 Aug 2014 - Coalition Reform Will Do Little, Say Experts MARIJUANA TRIAL PLAN PANNED AS NONSENSE A Victorian government plan to make clinical trials of medicinal marijuana easier to conduct will do little to expand access to the drug, an expert on drug law reform says.
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New Zealand: Frustrating Wait

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 07:00
The Press, 29 Aug 2014 - Seed growers are fed up with continued delays limiting them from growing hemp for the 2014/15 season and developing a vibrant industry. Hemp can be grown and extracted oil sold, but no other products can be made from its seed such as milk or protein powder.
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Chronicle AM: NIDA Seeks Marijuana Grower, NC OD Awareness Events, LSD Lifer Seeks Freedom, More (8/28/14)

Drug War Chronicle - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 20:23

NIDA seeks a marijuana grower, South Dakota state fair medical marijuana protest, an LSD lifer seeks his freedom, Gambia to reduce marijuana penalties, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Nevada Legalization Initiative Effort Ongoing. The effort to legalize marijuana in Nevada continues. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Nevada has until November 11 to collect just over 100,000 valid voter signatures for its legalization initiative. If they succeed, the measure goes to the legislature next year, and if the legislature does not approve it, it goes to the voters in 2016. In addition to urging people to sign up now, the campaign is also looking for signature gatherers. Click on the title link for more information.

Brookings Institution Report Finds Washington Legalization Doing Well. The report is Washington's Marijuana Legalization Grows Knowledge, Not Just Pot. Author Philip Wallach likes the built-in funding for research, the coordination of efforts across state agencies, the mandated cost-benefit analysis, and more.

NIDA Seeking a Marijuana Farmer. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is preparing to solicit proposals from people who can "harvest, process, analyze, store and distribute" marijuana, the agency announced Tuesday night. The research agency is looking for someone who can produce between 400 and 700 kilograms of raw marijuana, rolled joints, and extracts.

Medical Marijuana

New Hampshire About to Enter Formal Rule-Making Phase for Dispensaries. Long-delayed dispensaries are about to get a bit closer. The Department of Health and Human Services has produced its first draft rules, and after public comment ends tomorrow, will enter its formal rule-making phase. Click on the link for more details, or visit the state's Therapeutic Cannabis Program.

Medical Marijuana, Hemp Protest at South Dakota State Fair Tomorrow. South Dakotans Against Prohibition is holding a march in support of medical marijuana and industrial hemp at the state fair in Huron tomorrow. The march starts at the fairgrounds and ends at Campbell Park in downtown Huron. This is the hometown of your correspondent. Go, neighbors!

Harm Reduction

North Carolina Overdose Awareness Day Events Planned. The North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition is organizing events statewide for International Overdose Awareness Day. There will be events in Fayetteville, Franklin, and Greensboro. Click on the title link for more details.

Sentencing

Petition Drive to Free LSD Lifer Roderick Walker. Deadhead Roderick "Rudd" Walker is more than a decade into a life sentence in what the federal government claimed was a major LSD trafficking conspiracy. But Walker was never caught with any LSD; instead he was convicted and sentenced to life based solely on the testimony of others, including federal agents. There is now a petition drive. Visit and like the Free Roderick "Rudd" Walker page on Facebook and sign the Change.org petition drive to free him, which has already garnered more than 79,000 signatures. If it gets more than 100,000 signatures, the White House will respond.

International

Medical Marijuana Clinical Trials Coming to Victoria, Australia. Victoria Health Minister David Davis has announced that he will amend state law to allow medical marijuana clinical trials. The move comes one day after the Labor opposition announced it would legalize medical marijuana if elected.

Guatemalan President Says US More Open to Discussing Drug Legalization. In an interview with the Spanish EFE news agency, President Otto Perez Molina reiterated his support for some drug legalization and said the US seemed more open to discussing the issue than in the past. "From totally rejecting and avoiding the topic (of drug legalization), the US has moved on to say that they are ready to discuss the issue even though they may not agree with it, which is a significant change," he said. "I am convinced that we have to do things differently from how they have been done over the last 50 years," he said, adding that "prohibition has not worked for us" in the battle against drug trafficking. Click on the link for additional comments.

Gambia Legislature Votes to Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalties. The National Assembly has voted to reduce penalties for possession of less than 150 grams of marijuana. Currently, offenders face a large fine and up to three years in jail, but under the new law, the fine would drop by 60% and the maximum jail sentence would be one year. Since the current tough law was introduced in 2010, the prison population has increased under the weight of marijuana offenders, putting pressure on prison authorities.

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