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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 MI: Edu: Student-Backed Marijuana Decriminalization

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 07:00
Central Michigan Life, 30 Jul 2014 - Mount Pleasant voters could see a student-backed proposition calling for the citywide decriminalization of marijuana on the November ballot. Student Advocates for Medical/Recreational Cannabis have procured enough petition signatures to get the initiative on the ballot. The registered student organization at Central Michigan University got all the necessary signatures a week shy of their deadline.
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New York Times: End Federal Marijuana Prohibition

Drug War Chronicle - Sun, 07/27/2014 - 18:10

What is arguably the most influential and respected newspaper in the United States is ready to free the weed. In a Sunday editorial, the New York Times called forthrightly for the end of federal marijuana prohibition.

[image:1 align:left]"The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana," the newspaper proclaimed. "We reached that conclusion after a great deal of discussion among the members of The Times’s Editorial Board, inspired by a rapidly growing movement among the states to reform marijuana laws."

The Times's Editorial Board pondered whether to maintain federal pot prohibition while allowing the states to experiment with legalization, but decided that was not the best option.

"We considered whether it would be best for Washington to hold back while the states continued experimenting with legalizing medicinal uses of marijuana, reducing penalties, or even simply legalizing all use. Nearly three-quarters of the states have done one of these," the Times said. "But that would leave their citizens vulnerable to the whims of whoever happens to be in the White House and chooses to enforce or not enforce the federal law."

The social consequences of marijuana prohibition are "vast" and its result is "racist, falling disproportionately on young black men, ruining their lives and creating new generations of career criminals," the Times said.

Meanwhile, "the evidence is overwhelming that addiction and dependence are relatively minor problems, especially compared with alcohol and tobacco. Moderate use of marijuana does not appear to pose a risk for otherwise healthy adults. Claims that marijuana is a gateway to more dangerous drugs are as fanciful as the 'Reefer Madness' images of murder, rape and suicide."

Coming up with systems to regulate marijuana sales, production, and distribution is a "complex" task, "but those problems are solvable, and would have long been dealt with had we as a nation not clung to the decision to make marijuana production and use a federal crime," the Times said.

Bottom line? "We recognize that this Congress is as unlikely to take action on marijuana as it has been on other big issues. But it is long past time to repeal this version of Prohibition."

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US MI: Medical Marijuana Caregivers Want To Open Shop In Ferndale

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 07/26/2014 - 07:00
The Daily Tribune, 26 Jul 2014 - A group of medical marijuana caregivers wants to open up a shop to dispense marijuana to their patients in Ferndale at a former party store on East Nine Mile. The company, called Meridian Wellness, is seeking approval to operate from the Ferndale City Council on Monday.
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Florida Man Killed in Drug Bust Gun Battle

Drug War Chronicle - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 21:56

A Belle Isle, Florida, man died Wednesday during a gun battle with undercover deputies trying to seize a package from his home. Giles Harrison Carter, 29, becomes the 26th person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.

[image:1 align:right]According to WOFL Fox 35 Orlando, citing police sources, undercover Orange County sheriff's deputies belonging to the department's narcotics unit were attempting to intercept a package from a home when Carter opened fire, then retreated inside his house. Deputies said he barricaded himself inside and continued to exchange gunfire with them.

"During the shooting, the deputies had some conversation with him [Carter]. They were identified," said Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings during a news conference held on Wednesday afternoon. "He [Carter] had a handgun. At that point, the gun was pointed directly at them, is what I'm being told at this time. They fired at him, he retreated into the home and came back and fired another volley of rounds at the deputies."

Sheriff Demings did not say whether the undercover deputies "were identified" as such by Carter before that point.

An Orange County SWAT team was called in to rescue the deputies, who were "pinned down by the gun fire." After a brief conversation between Carter and the SWAT team, the team entered the home and reported finding him dead.

It's not clear whether Carter was shot by police or died at his own hand. Nor is it clear whether he was the intended recipient of the package or what was actually in it.

Carter, an Army veteran, had been arrested for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia last Friday. But other than that, he had no criminal record, his attorney in that case said.

"Mr. Carter is fairly new to the area, and he had previously been in the US military. He told me he was a veteran, and we were approaching the State Attorney's Office about avoiding prosecution completely and looking into a pre-trial diversion program to keep his record clean, so that he could obtain and maintain security clearances with the federal government," said attorney John Gihon. "Mr. Carter, he was a smart guy. He was intelligent and educated, and it really came across in the short time that I knew him. To find out now that he's dead; that's really a shock to me."

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) will conduct the deputy involved shooting investigation and the Orange County Sheriff's Office Professional Standards section will conduct an administrative review.

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Chronicle AM -- July 25, 2014

Drug War Chronicle - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 20:47

Wichita looks set to vote on decriminalization this fall, Rand Paul (busy, busy) files a federal asset forfeiture reform bill, drug users finally get a voice at the International AIDS Conference, and more. Let's get to it:

Marijuana Policy

Wichita Decriminalization Initiative Campaign Turns in Twice the Necessary Signatures. Organizers of a decriminalization initiative signature-gathering campaign yesterday turned in 5,800 signatures to get the initiative on the November ballot. Kansas for Change needs 2,928 valid voter signatures to qualify. They turned in the signatures at 4:20pm.

Five People Ticketed for Marijuana Possession in First Week of DC Decriminalization Law. DC police have cited five people for marijuana possession in the week since the DC decrim law went into effect. Four of the five citations came in predominantly black areas of the city east of the Anacostia River. Last year, before decrim, police made about 11 marijuana possession arrests a day.

Poll: California Latinos Strongly Oppose Deportation for Marijuana Possession. A new poll from Latino Decisions and Presente.org finds that nearly two-thirds (64%) of California Latinos strongly oppose deporting non-citizens for marijuana possession. Marijuana possession is the fourth most common criminal offense leading to deportation, according to a 2012-2013 study by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University.

Asset Forfeiture

Rand Paul Files Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has filed a bill to reform federal asset forfeiture laws. Yesterday, he introduced the FAIR (Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration) ACT, Senate Bill 2644, which would require the government to prove with clear and convincing evidence that the property it wishes to forfeit is connected with a crime. The FAIR Act would also require that state law enforcement agencies abide by state law when seizing property. It would also remove the profit incentive for forfeiture by redirecting forfeitures assets from the Attorney General's Asset Forfeiture Fund to the Treasury's General Fund.

International

Drug Users Get a Voice at Global AIDS Conference. For the first time, a group of drug users has been allowed space at the International AIDS Conference, taking place this year in Melbourne, Australia. The International Network of People Who Use Drugs (INPUD) had a booth at the conference and also held a movie premiere event at the conference for the film, "We are Drug Users."

British National Survey Finds Slight Overall Increase in Drug Use. The number of drug users in Britain increased by 0.7% last year, according to the 2013 to 2014 Crime Survey for England and Wales. Some 8.8% of adults used drugs in the past year; 6.6% used marijuana. Cocaine was the second most commonly used drug, at 2.4%.

Guatemalan President Still Mulling Marijuana Legalization. President Otto Pérez Molina said in an interview in Washington yesterday that he hadn't ruled out the possibility of legalizing marijuana. "Right now we have a commission that's following what's been happening in Uruguay, Portugal, Holland, Colorado, and the state of Washington," he said. "I expect to receive the studies, analysis and recommendations at the end of the year and from there we will make the decisions that would best fit our country." Pérez Molina will be hosting an international conference on drug policy in Guatemala in September.

WOLA Releases Analysis of Ecuador Drug Policy Trends and Contradictions. The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) has published "Reforma y contradicciones en la politica de drogas de Ecuador." The report identified advances and blockages in Ecuador's path to a more progressive drug policy. Click on the link to read it in Spanish or use your translate button or wait a few days for WOLA's English version to read it in English.

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Rand Paul Files Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill

Drug War Chronicle - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 18:56

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has filed a bill to reform federal asset forfeiture laws. Yesterday, he introduced the FAIR (Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration) ACT, Senate Bill 2644, which would require the government to prove with clear and convincing evidence that the property it wishes to forfeit is connected with a crime.

[image:1 align:right caption:true]It also takes aim at state and local law enforcement agencies who evade state laws requiring that seized assets go into state general funds or other specified destinations by instead turning their seizures over to a federal agency, which delivers back 80% of the value of the seized goods to the local or state law enforcement agency involved.

The FAIR Act would require that state law enforcement agencies abide by state law when seizing property. It would also remove the profit incentive for forfeiture by redirecting forfeitures' assets from the Attorney General's Asset Forfeiture Fund to the Treasury's General Fund.

"The federal government has made it far too easy for government agencies to take and profit from the property of those who have not been convicted of a crime. The FAIR Act will ensure that government agencies no longer profit from taking the property of U.S. citizens without due process, while maintaining the ability of courts to order the surrender of proceeds of crime," Sen. Paul said.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. As of today, it has no cosponsors.

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US DC: Pot Opponent Not Ready To Roll Over

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 07:00
Chicago Tribune, 25 Jul 2014 - But D.C. Man Finds It's A Lonely Fight As Drug Gains Ground WASHINGTON - As pro-marijuana forces deployed their sidewalk soldiers to gather signatures to put pot legalization on the District of Columbia's November ballot, Aaron McCormick, a 47-year-old city native and father of three, watched with growing alarm.
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US CA: Cleaning Up After Pot Growers Challenges North Coast

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 07:00
The Press Democrat, 25 Jul 2014 - ELK - Deep in a private Mendocino Coast forest, trees and brush give way to terraced clearings, miles of crisscrossing black irrigation tubing and campsites littered with cooking pans, empty food and beer cans, sleeping bags and toxic pesticides. They are the remnants of a marijuana garden where a multi-agency law enforcement effort last year seized more than 8,000 plants. The environmental damage here is a microcosm of what's happening nationwide as illegal pot cultivation continues to thrive despite decades of eradication efforts. Marijuana operations claiming to be medicinal, and thus legal in California, also are expanding exponentially, largely without regulation.
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US: Legal Marijuana Debated At National Press Club

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 07:00
The Virgin Islands Daily News, 25 Jul 2014 - WASHINGTON- For Bill Piper, there's no doubt that the nation's war on drugs has failed, with 666,000 Americans arrested on marijuana charges last year alone. "Should they be arrested or should they not? That is the key question," said Piper, director of national affairs for the pro-legalization advocacy organization Drug Policy Alliance.
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US CO: Editorial: Marijuana Clubs Belong In Aspen

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 07:00
The Aspen Times, 25 Jul 2014 - Just what is the Aspen brand? It's a question that often arises when city leaders, image-conscious because of the high stakes involved, wrestle with Aspen's latest dilemma of the day. For sure, super wealth and world-class skiing are the hallmarks of today's Aspen brand. That '60s and '70s funky, creative Aspen brand? Those days are long gone, but Aspen leaders and observers sometimes cling to the notion that they still are reflected here in the longtime locals, older homes and lodges, and the long-standing business establishments that have managed to survive over the decades.
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US NY: Safer Era Tests Wisdom Of 'Broken Windows' Focus On Minor

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 07:00
New York Times, 25 Jul 2014 - Even as violent crime has receded across New York City, arrests are near historic highs, driven by an increasingly controversial imperative that no offense is too minor for police officers to pursue. Now, the death of a Staten Island man after officers tried to arrest him for peddling cigarettes is intensifying scrutiny of the Police Department's unflagging push to arrest people over the most minor offenses.
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Chronicle AM -- July 24, 2014

Drug War Chronicle - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 20:01

There's dollar signs coming with marijuana legalization laws, Rand Paul moves to protect medical marijuana, but it's too late for one New York girl, there's a new opiate pain reliever out there (with a twist), and more. Let's get to it:

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

Oregon Marijuana Legalization Could Generate $38.5 Million in Taxes in First Year, Report Says. An economic study commissioned by New Approach Oregon, the people behind the marijuana legalization initiative just approved for the November ballot, finds that legalization would produce $38.5 million in tax revenues in its first year.

Medical Marijuana

Rand Paul Files Medical Marijuana Amendment. US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) today filed an amendment to Senate Bill 2569, the "Bring Jobs Home Act," that would explicitly allow states to pass medical marijuana laws despite the provisions of the federal Controlled Substances Act. The amendment would also bar prosecutions of patients and doctors for engaging in medical marijuana activities in states where it is legal.

New York Poster Child for Medical Marijuana Dies Without Her Medicine. Nine-year-old Anna Conte, whose family has been at the center of the Empire State medical marijuana debate, has died without ever gaining access to marijuana medicines that may have alleviated her condition. Conte suffered from Dravet Syndrome, which caused her to suffer hundreds of crippling seizures every day. The state passed a medical marijuana law last month, but it won't go into effect for another year and a half.

Minnesota Names Medical Marijuana Director. The state Department of Health has named department employee Michelle Larson the first-ever director of the Office of Medical Cannabis. She is charged with managing the office's staff and creating and implementing administrative policies for things like an application process for a manufacturer and a patient registry. The state's law limits medical marijuana to eight specified diseases or conditions and does not allow for the use of smoked marijuana.

Prescription Opiates

FDA Approves Oxycodone/Naloxone Combo Pain Reliever. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new opioid pain reliever that combines oxycodone and naloxone. Targiniq ER, produced by Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxycontin, included naloxone to block the euphoric effects of oxycodone, making it less likely to be misused.

International

Poll Finds Strong Australian Majority for Medical Marijuana. A new ReachTel survey finds that nearly two-thirds of respondents support legalizing medical marijuana. Support was highest among people between 51 and 65. The poll comes as New South Wales inches toward approving medical marijuana.

Chilean Senators Propose Legalizing Marijuana Possession, Cultivation. Four Chilean senators have introduced a bill that would legalize the possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana for personal use, as well as for "therapeutic and spiritual reasons." The legislators include Sen. Isabel Allende Bussi, daughter of Salvador Allende, who died in the midst of a rightist military coup to overthrow him in 1973, and Juan Pablo Letelier, the son of Orlando Letelier, a Chilean politician assassinated by the Pinochet government in Washington, DC, in 1976.

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Rand Paul Files Medical Marijuana Amendment

Drug War Chronicle - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 17:58

US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) today filed an amendment to Senate Bill 2569, the "Bring Jobs Home Act," that would explicitly allow states to pass medical marijuana laws despite the provisions of the federal Controlled Substances Act. The amendment would also bar prosecutions of patients and doctors for engaging in medical marijuana activities in states where it is legal.

[image:1 align:right caption:true]The amendment, No. 3630, is not yet available on the congressional web site, but a copy has been made available to the Chronicle.

"Notwithstanding section 708 of the Controlled Substances Act or any provisions of law (including regulations), a State may enact and implement a law that authorizes the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of marijuana for medical use," the amendment says.

"No prosecution may be commenced or maintained against any physician or patient for a violation of Federal law (including regulations) that prohibits the conduct described in subsection (b) [Ed.: The paragraph above.] if the State in which the violation occurred has in effect a law described in subsection (b) before, on, or after the date on which the violation occurred."

The amendment then lists the 32 states and the District of Columbia that have laws allowing for the use of medical marijuana, including some that only allow for the use of low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oils.

Senate Bill 2569 was introduced in the Senate earlier this month.

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CN ON: Cops Putting Drugged Driving To Test

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 07:00
The Barrie Advance, 24 Jul 2014 - Const. Chris Allport is quick to judge your footwork, balance and hand movements. But he's not a local dance instructor, he's a Barrie Police drug recognition evaluator. And he's watching your every move.
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US CA: Column: Can Any Law Actually Restrain Marijuana Use?

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 07:00
The Tribune, 24 Jul 2014 - Our City Council here in Paso Robles couldn't decide last week whether to ban the delivery of medical marijuana to people within the city. The vote was a 2-2 deadlock. One councilman was absent. The delivery ban failed, but the city may still refuse to grant business licenses for delivering medical marijuana. The city attorney was to check whether the city's license ordinance covers such services. Selling medical marijuana from fixed locations in Paso Robles was banned in 2007.
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CN ON: Column: The Inequity Of Medical Marijuana

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 07:00
Sudbury Star, 24 Jul 2014 - The use of medical marijuana is a subject many people don't want to weigh in on. Neither did I under I heard from Alexander Stewart. Stewart, 54, has embarked on a hunger strike to draw attention to the need for better access to medical marijuana for those who have a licence from Health Canada to purchase it.
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US AZ: Column: Planning Progress

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 07:00
Tucson Weekly, 24 Jul 2014 - By enacting changes suggested by the Planning Commission, Tucson could finally catch-up on cannabis biz Tucson last week took a step closer to allowing some big changes in the medical marijuana world, but some of the changes suggested by the advisory Planning Commission seem unlikely to make the cut.
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Australia: Premier Open To Pot Plan

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 07:00
Cairns Post, 24 Jul 2014 - THE Queensland Premier says he has an open mind about legalising marijuana for medical purposes but will rely on the advice of national health experts. Medical cannabis could soon be legalised in NSW with senior politicians indicating support, as long as concerns about how it would be regulated are dealt with.
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US CO: Column: Can Non-Residents Buy Edibles In Colorado?

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 07:00
Westword, 24 Jul 2014 - Dear Stoner: My dad lives in Aurora, and we're coming out for his 75th birthday party. My wife has never smoked pot (or anything, not even cigarettes) but suffers from chronic migraines. She wants to try a pot edible, but I heard that pot can only be purchased by non-residents in smokable form. Can non-residents buy edibles? Randy
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