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Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM--April 14, 2014

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Mon, 04/14/2014 - 19:43

Maryland decriminalizes and becomes a medical marijuana state, a Tennessee hemp bill awaits the governor's signature, a Kentucky omnibus heroin bill appears dead for the session, a campaign is underway to free a Missouri marijuana lifer, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Maryland Governor Signs Decriminalization Bill. Gov. Martin O'Malley today signed into law Senate Bill 364, making Maryland the 18th decriminalization state. The new law makes possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana a civil offense punishable by a fine of up to $100 for a first offense, up to $250 for a second offense, and up to $500 for subsequent offenses. Third-time offenders and individuals under 21 years of age will be required to undergo a clinical assessment for substance abuse disorder and a drug education program. The measure will officially go into effect on October 1.

Medical Marijuana

Maryland Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Bill. Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) today signed into law House Bill 881, making Maryland the 21st state with a full-fledged medical marijuana law. The bill allows Maryland residents suffering from qualifying conditions to use medical marijuana upon a doctor's recommendation. Possession limits and regulations governing cultivation and dispensary facilities will be determined by a state-sanctioned commission prior to implementation. The measure will officially go into effect on June 1.

Kentucky Governor Signs CBD Medical Marijuana Bill. Gov. Steve Beshear (D) last Thursday signed into law Senate Bill 124, which will allow the limited use of CBD cannabis oil. Physicians at state research hospitals will be able to recommend use of the drug. 

Colorado Bill Would Add PTSD to List of Qualifying Medical Conditions.  Even though marijuana is legal in Colorado, one lawmaker, Rep. Jonathan Signer (D-Longmont) has introduced a bill, House Bill 1364, to add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the state medical marijuana program's list of qualifying conditions.  Because PTSD affects many veterans, who receive federal benefits, Singer said  it's important to provide them with the ability to qualify under the state's medical marijuana law.

Arkansas Attorney General Reject Medical Marijuana Initiative Again.Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has again rejected the popular name and ballot title for the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act. These are the same folks that put the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act on the ballot in 2012, but this year, another group, Arkansans for Responsible Medicine has claimed that initiative title. The 2014 Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act is now in the signature-gathering phase.  

Vermont Lawmakers Advance Dispensary Bill, But Reject Adding PTSD to List of Qualifying Conditions. A bill that would create dispensaries in Vermont has passed out of the House Human Services Committee, but the committee rejected an effort to add PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions. The measure is Senate Bill 247. It has already passed the Senate.

Hemp

Tennessee Hemp Bills Awaits Governor's Signature. Senate Bill 2495 and House Bill 2445, which would reclassify and regulate industrial hemp, have passed the legislature and await the signature of Gov. Bill Haslam (R). The bills would allow Tennessee farmers to grow hemp for research and development purposes. Earlier this year Congress approved language in a federal farm bill that would allow the cultivation of industrial hemp in the agricultural pilot programs in states that have already passed hemp measures.

Heroin

Kentucky Omnibus Heroin Bill Appears Dead. A bill that sought to deal with heroin use and sales in the Bluegrass State through a combination of increased treatment, overdose prevention, and harsher criminal penalties will not pass this session, a key legislator said. "There's basically no time left to pass it," Sen. Jared Carpenter (R-Berea), cosponsor of Senate Bill 5, said Friday. It had passed the state Senate, but got stalled in the Judiciary Committee in the Democrat-controlled House. The session ends tomorrow.

Law Enforcement

DEA in Illinois Spying on Indoor Garden Stores. The DEA in Illinois has investigated and raided at least two people after watching them make purchases at a legal local gardening center. Both had shopped at Midwest Hydroganics in Crest Hill. One, Angela Kirking, said she and her pet terrier woke to find four flak-jacketed DEA agents and five Shorewood cops in the bedroom of her Ranchwood Drive home at 5 a.m. Oct. 11. At least one of the agents held her at gunpoint before 9 grams were allegedly found. A second person, a man from Channahon, was raided and charged with growing marijuana after shopping at Midwest Hydroganics. In both cases, the DEA took interest after it spotted them shopping at the store. Federal investigators then rooted through garbage and compared utility bills to get search warrants. Kirking's attorney said he is challenging the warrants and that he has heard of more cases linked to DEA spying on a legal business since the story broke.

A Quarter Million Immigrants Have Been Deported For Non-Violent Drug Crimes, Report Finds. The report, an analysis of federal immigration data conducted by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, details how roughly 40,000 people have been deported for drug law violations every year since 2008. That means that nearly 250,000 -- one-quarter of a million -- people were deported for nonviolent drug offenses in just the past six years. A nonviolent drug offense was the cause of deportation for more than one in ten (11%) people deported in 2013 for any reason -- and nearly one in five (19%) of those who were deported because of a criminal conviction. The report reveals that simple marijuana possession was the fourth most common cause of deportation for any crime, and the most common cause of deportation for crimes involving drugs. On average, more than 6,600 people were deported in each of the last two years just for personal marijuana possession, and overall, nearly 20,000 people were deported last year for simple possession of any drug or drug paraphernalia.

Florida Bill to Raise Drug Possession Thresholds Passes House. The House has passed a bill increasing the weight threshold for trafficking in oxycodone and hydrocodone in a move to ease what have been called overly harsh sentencing guidelines.  Senate Bill 360 moves the current threshold of four grams of either drug to seven grams of oxycodone and 14 grams of hydrocodone.

Sentencing

Campaign On to Free Missouri Marijuana Lifer. The ongoing campaign to win the release of Jeff Mizansky, the only man in Missouri serving a life-without-parole sentence for a nonviolent marijuana charge, are continuing this month with help from Show-Me Cannabis and Change.org. Show-Me Cannabis has bought billboard space on I-70 near Kansas City (and near Sedalia, where Mizanskey was arrested) to bring attention to his case, and a Change.org petition calling for his release now has more than 360,000 signatures.  Mizansky has three convictions, all for marijuana.  Campaigners will hold a press conference at the state capitol on April 28.

International

New WOLA Report on Colombia's Peace Prospects Released. As negotiations between the leftist FARC guerrillas and the Colombian government continue, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) has released a new report, Ending 50 Years of Conflict in Colombia, that analyzes the prospects for a peace accord and that challenges that will follow. Click on the title link to read the report.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US MI: Editorial: America Should Slow Down Rush To Legalize Pot

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 04/13/2014 - 07:00
Holland Sentinel, 13 Apr 2014 - The legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington has stirred optimism among advocates that they can end prohibitions against cannabis across the country. For the first time, a national poll this year showed a majority of Americans in favor of legalization. Seventeen states, including Michigan, allow medical marijuana, and 12 communities in Michigan are facing ballot proposals to legalize or decriminalize marijuana.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US OK: Vote On Medical Marijuana Sought

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sat, 04/12/2014 - 07:00
Tulsa World, 12 Apr 2014 - OKLAHOMA CITY - Supporters of legalizing medical marijuana on Friday filed notice with the Secretary of State's Office that they are trying to get it on the Nov. 4 ballot. Supporters have 90 days after filing the petition, or a determination by the Oklahoma Supreme Court to its sufficiency, whichever is later, to submit the signatures. They are required to obtain 155,216 signatures.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US MI: Group Pushes For Legal Marijuana

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sat, 04/12/2014 - 07:00
The Times Herald, 12 Apr 2014 - Local activists are collecting signatures to allow adults in Port Huron to possess small amounts of marijuana. The Coalition for a Safer Port Huron needs more than 1,000 signatures from city voters to get the proposal to change the city charter on the Nov. 4 ballot. If passed by voters, it would erase any ordinance prohibiting the possession and use of less than one ounce of marijuana by anyone 21 or older.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM -- April 11, 2014

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 18:20

A DC marijuana legalization initiative is about to start signature-gathering, we have a trio of state pot polls, the US Sentencing Commission moves to cut drug sentences, German criminal law professors call for marijuana legalization, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

DC Legalization Initiative Signature Gathering to Get Underway. Signature gathering for the District of Columbia marijuana legalization initiative will begin April 23, the DC Cannabis Campaign said this week. The campaign needs 25,000 valid signatures by July 7 to qualify for the November ballot. An Alaska legalization initiative has already qualified for the ballot there; DC and Oregon now look like the best chances for more legalization initiatives qualifying for the ballot this year.

Louisiana Poll Has Support for Legalization at 44%. The 2014 Louisiana Survey has support for marijuana legalization at 44%, with 54% opposed. Support for medical marijuana was much higher, at 79%. The survey is conducted annually by the Public Policy Research Lab, or PPRL, and sponsored by the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs in the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication.

New Hampshire Poll Has Support for Legalization at 55%. There is solid majority support for legalization in the Granite State. A new WMUR Granite State Poll found found 55% of adults in the state support legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal recreational use. Only 38% oppose legalization. Support for legalization is up seven points in the last 14 months.

Rhode Island Poll Has Support for Legalization at 48%. More Rhode Islanders support legalization than oppose, but it doesn't quite have majority support just yet, according to a new Brown University poll. The survey has 47.6% supporting legalization, with 39.3% opposed.

Rhode Island Report Says State Could Generate Tens of Millions in Legal Marijuana Tax Revenue. Maybe this will get those poll numbers up. A new report from Open Doors, a local criminal justice reform group, estimates that if the state were to pass a tax and regulate legalization bill, it could gain between $21.5 and $82 million in annual tax revenues. A legal marijuana industry would also create hundreds of new jobs in the state, the report found.

Medical Marijuana

Minnesota Medical Marijuana Bill Gets Senate Committee Hearing, No Action Taken. The Senate Committee on Health, Human Services and Housing held a hearing Thursday on a bill that would allow qualified patients to possess up to 2 ½ ounces of marijuana and buy it from a dispensary. But the committee took no action on Senate File 1641, tabling it until legislators return from the Easter/Passover break.

Tennessee Senate Passes CBD Medical Marijuana Study Bill. The Senate Wednesday approved a CBD medical marijuana study bill. The measure would authorize a limited, four-year study of the effectiveness of cannabis oil on certain types of intractable seizures. A vote is pending in the House.

Drug Policy

Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network Convention To Address Drug War. The largest civil rights convention of the year has the war on drugs on its agenda. A panel called "Up in Smoke: Banning of Menthol, Legalization of Marijuana & Criminalization of African Americans" will address racial justice and the war on drugs Saturday. The convention started Wednesday and continues through Monday. Click on the link for all the details.

Salvia Divinorum

Rhode Island Bill to Ban Salvia Divinorum, Jimson Weed Advances. A bill that would ban the hallucinogenic drugs salvia divinorum and jimson weed has passed the House. House Bill 7191, sponsored by Rep. Arthur Corvese (D-Providence) seeks to target unregulated substances by prohibiting them. It now goes to the state Senate.

Law Enforcement

Maine Drug War Enhancement Bill Passes House. The House approved an amended version of Gov. Paul LePage's (R) bill to respond to drug problems in the state by increasing drug law enforcement. Legislative Document 1811 was amended by the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee to add funding for drug treatment and reduce the number of new drug agents, prosecutors and judges to be hired, but is still opposed by groups like the ACLU of Maine. The bill now moves to the Senate.

NYPD's Most Sued Narc Is Off the Streets. Detective Peter Valentin of Bronx Narcotics is off the streets. Valentin, who has been sued at least 28 times since 2006, and three of his colleagues have been placed on modified duty after an Internal Affair Bureau investigation for taking part in drug raids "of dubious merit." The city has already paid out at least $884,000 to settle lawsuits sparked by Valentin's misbehavior, including a case where a nursing mother spent a week on Rikers Island after Valentin arrested her for drug possession even though she truthfully stated that the powder he found in her home was powdered eggshells, not drugs. Dozens of cases in which Valentin and his crew were involved are now in jeopardy.

Collateral Sanctions

Missouri Could End Lifetime Food Stamp Ban for Drug Offenders. Missouri is one of only 10 states that have not opted out of a lifetime federal ban on food stamps for people with drug felonies, but that could change this year. A bill to end the ban, Senate Bill 680, passed the Senate last week and appears to have bipartisan support in the House. Bill sponsor Sen. Kiki Curls (D-Kansas City) said she accepted amendments imposing some restrictions -- retaining the ban for three-time drug felons, requiring a one-year wait for eligibility -- as necessary to move the bill forward.

Sentencing

US Sentencing Commission Votes to Reduce Guidelines for Drug Sentences. The US Sentencing Commission voted Thursday to reduce sentencing guidelines for certain people convicted of nonviolent drug offenses. The amendment would reduce the average sentence for drug traffickers by 11 months, by lowering the drug sentencing guidelines two levels. Attorney General Eric Holder endorsed the change during testimony before the commission last month. The amendment will go to Congress for its approval on May 1. Congress has six months to introduce and pass legislation to stop the proposed changes before they become law on November 1.

International

German Criminal Law Professors Call for Marijuana Legalization. Over 120 German professors of criminal law are supporting an initiative to legalize cannabis. They have called on the Bundestag to discuss the issue. The professors are part of the "Schildow Circle," founded two years ago by Lorenz Bollinger, professor emeritus of criminal law at Bremen University. Prime Minister Angela Merkel's coalition is skeptical.

Denmark Opens More Safe Injection Sites. Denmark's first safe injection site for hard drug users opened in October 2012. Now there are three in Copenhagen and at least one in each of Denmark's main cities. They have never had a fatal drug overdose on site.

Mexico Intra-Cartel Clashes Leave 28 Dead. At least 28 people have been killed in clashes between rival factions of the Gulf Cartel in northeastern Tamaulipas state since last weekend. Authorities described the fighting as "clashes or score-settling between criminal groups." The fighting comes after the February arrest of local Gulf Cartel leader Javier Garza, "El comandante 14."

Drug Bill in Australia's Capital Territory Will Ban New Drugs, Adjust Quantities That Trigger Dealing Charges. Under legislation proposed yesterday, Australia's Capital Territory (greater Canberra) will increase the quantity of drugs needed to trigger trafficking charges in a bid to separate out users from dealers. The amount of Ecstasy needed to trigger such charges would double, while the amount of cocaine would triple. The bill would also deal with new synthetic drugs by banning them, instead of regulating them, as neighboring New Zealand has done.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US MI: Onaway Petition Seeks To Decriminalize Small Amounts Of Marijuana

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 07:00
The Alpena News, 11 Apr 2014 - ONAWAY - A petition drive to ask Onaway voters to change city ordinances to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana for adults is under way. The Committee to Reform Onaway is seeking signatures to put a question on the November ballot. It would ask voters to amend city ordinances to state "nothing in the Code of Ordinances shall apply" to the use, possesion or transfer of less than one ounce of marijuana on private property, or transportation of the same amount, by anyone 21 or older. In a release, committee Treasurer Ron Langworthy said the drive is about rolling back intrusive drug laws that can ruin a person's future.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US MI: Column: Push To Legalize Marijuana Is Gaining Important Momentum

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 07:00
The Times Herald, 11 Apr 2014 - It has been 80 years since the movie "Reefer Madness" hit the big screen. It now appears the film could play out here in River City. Any discussion of "pot" always takes me back to my days of basic training in San Antonio, Texas. Before we were allowed our first leave into town, we were required to sit through a video. The topic wasn't the perils of getting loaded on booze, spending time at gambling dens or houses of ill-repute. The video warned us about the perils of pot.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US AZ: Column: Still Suppressing

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 07:00
Tucson Weekly, 10 Apr 2014 - In a Truly Sad Turn of Events, Our Marijuana Guy's Last Moments Included Thoughts of Kimberly Yee Editor's note (again, not really, but it's a premise): Mr. Smith continues to drift in and out of consciousness and blink out orders to Dick Cheney. Mostly Mr. Smith is tasking the former vice president with flipping the television between Duck Dynasty and pay-per-view porn. But at times he is requesting the bizarre, such as foot massages using oil from the blubber of slain baby seals and ground rhino horn to treat his gout and impotence. God save Dick Cheney ... and Mr. Smith.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US OR: Albany Council Votes Against Dispensary Moratorium

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 07:00
Corvallis Gazette-Times, 10 Apr 2014 - The Albany City Council on Wednesday voted 4-3 against enacting a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries, deciding instead to consider two separate ordinances that would restrict where dispensaries could be located. The council did a first reading of each of those zoning ordinances, but no second reading, meaning the matters are automatically carried forward two weeks. The council will have a work session April 21 and a regular meeting April 23; decisions can be reached at work sessions.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US DC: Column: Decriminalize, Don't Legalize

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 07:00
Washington Times, 09 Apr 2014 - The War on Drugs Shouldn't Bother With Marijuana In a world defined by a growing political divide, international terrorism and reduced economic confidence, it's surprising how many Americans are up in arms about recreational marijuana use. Two states, Colorado and Washington, started this recent trend. In the November 2012 election, voters supported separate ballot questions (Colorado Amendment 64 and Washington Initiative 502) to legalize cannabis. In particular, Colorado's marijuana experiment involves 40 Denver-based stores, all regulated by the state, that are open to consumers who are 21 years of age or older.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US MI: Ferndale Pot Decriminalization Organizer Sentenced To Probation

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 07:00
The Daily Tribune, 09 Apr 2014 - An Oak Park man who gathered enough signatures to get marijuana decriminalization on the ballot in Ferndale, where voters approved the proposal last year, was sentenced to probation Tuesday for violating election law. Andrew Cissell, 26, was found guilty of a misdemeanor for using a false address on the petitions he turned in to the Ferndale city clerk to get the proposal on last November's ballot.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US OH: Anti-Drug Coalition Addresses The Myths Of Marijuana Use

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 07:00
Times-Reporter, 09 Apr 2014 - DOVER - The Anti-Drug Coalition of Tuscarawas County wants the community to be informed about marijuana in light of a proposed ballot initiative that would legalize medicinal use of the drug in Ohio. About 15 people attended the coalition's The Blunt Truth About Marijuana presentation at the Dover Public Library on Monday night. The presentation addressed several common myths about the legalization of marijuana.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US WA: Growing Is Slow For Washington State's Marijuana

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 09 Apr 2014 - Stores Yet to Open, 16 Months After Vote Seattle - Drive down virtually any thoroughfare here and you are likely to pass several medical marijuana dispensaries. On Rainier Avenue, in southeast Seattle, the Northwest Cannabis Market sits between a fish store and an Italian bakery. A mile or so down the road, another dispensary occupies an old drive-in burger stand. There are about half as many medical marijuana dispensaries in Seattle - about 200 - as Starbucks locations.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM -- April 7, 2014

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 18:14

Talk about unintended consequences! Faced with a declining US market share, Mexican marijuana farmers are switching to opium poppies. Plus, AG Holder has some words about rescheduling, the Maryland decrim bill is back from the dead, it looks like 2016 for California legalization, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Holder Says Obama Administration "Willing to Work" With Congress to Reschedule Marijuana. Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday that the Obama administration would be willing to work with Congress if lawmakers want to reschedule marijuana. Holder did not mention that the administration, and he personally, already have the statutory authority to reschedule marijuana, without needing further permission from Congress. Either way, recategorizing marijuana would not legalize the drug under federal law, but it could ease restrictions on research into marijuana's medical benefits and allow marijuana businesses to take the usual tax deductions, e.g. not pay taxes on money that has been paid out for things like rent or payroll. "We'd be more than glad to work with Congress if there is a desire to look at and reexamine how the drug is scheduled, as I said there is a great degree of expertise that exists in Congress," Holder said during a House Appropriations Committee hearing. "It is something that ultimately Congress would have to change, and I think that our administration would be glad to work with Congress if such a proposal were made." 

Okay, There Will Be No California Legalization Initiative This Year. Proponents of the last two California marijuana legalization initiatives still alive this year have thrown in the towel. Dave Hodges, proponent of the Marijuana Control, Legalization & Revenue Act (MCLR) announced today that it will not meet an April 18 signature-gathering deadline, while Berton Duzy, proponent for the revived California Cannabis Hemp Initiative (CCHI), which has received a signature-gathering extension, conceded that "We're not going to make 2014." In California, it's now all eyes on 2016.

Maryland Decriminalization Returns from the Dead, Passes House. Defying a powerful committee chairman who tried to derail a decriminalization bill by turning it into a study bill, House delegates Saturday passed House Bill 879 by a vote of 78-55. Final procedural votes on both measures are expected today, the last day of the session.

Delaware Governor "Willing to Discuss" Softer Marijuana Penalties. Gov. Jack Markell (D) is "willing to discuss" changes that would reduce penalties for the possession of small amounts of marijuana, according to a spokesman for the governor. "The governor has supported making marijuana available for medical purposes and DHSS expects to license a dispensary that can open in Delaware this year," Markell spokesman Jonathon Dworkin said in a statement. "The governor is willing to discuss changing the penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana from jail sentences to just fines, but he would not support full legalization at this time without further studies and evidence of its consequences."

Thousands Rally at Annual Ann Arbor Hash Bash. An estimated 8,000 people gathered at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for the 42nd annual Hash Bash over the weekend. Police warned that people who toked up could get arrested, but that didn't seem to stop anybody. As The Detroit Free Press noted, "the event's usual plume of smoke hung over the crowd."

University of Colorado Will Close the Campus Again for 4/20. University of Colorado officials will close the Boulder campus on April 20 for the third straight year to prevent thousands of celebrants from marking the stoner holiday on campus. From noon to 6:00pm on April 20, CU faculty, students and staff will be required to show identification to enter campus. Officials brushed aside student complaints.

Medical Marijuana

Washington State Appeals Court Upholds Local Ban on Collective Gardens. The Washington Court of Appeals last week upheld the city of Kent's ban on medical marijuana collective gardens, ruling that the ordinance is not preempted by state law. The case is Cannabis Action Coalition et al. v. City of Kent et al.

Hemp

Nebraska Governor Signs Hemp Research Bill. Gov. Dave Heineman (R) last week signed into law Legislative Bill 100, which allows University of Nebraska campuses to grow hemp for research purposes. This is the first such bill to pass since Congress authorized search research when it accepted a hemp amendment to the omnibus agriculture bill this fiscal year.

Drug Testing

Michigan Suspicion-Based Welfare Drug Testing Bill Polls Well. Suspicion-based drug testing for welfare recipients has broad support across Michigan, a new poll shows. The poll, conducted by Marketing Resource Group, finds that 77% of respondents support legislation that would require the Department of Human Services to test welfare recipients suspected of using drugs, then send recipients with positive tests to rehab. House Bill 4118 has already passed the House and Senate, but was amended in the latter chamber, so it still needs another House floor vote.

Law Enforcement

California Bill Would Create Zero-Tolerance DUID Law. A bill that would make the presence of any detectable amount of any controlled substance, including prescription drugs, evidence of drugged driving has been filed in the Assembly. Assembly Bill 2500, sponsored by Assemblyman Jim Frazier (D-Solano) is before the Assembly Public Safety Committee.

Colorado Bill Would Make Mere Drug Possession Evidence of Child Endangerment. Under a bill introduced by state Sens. Andy Kerr (D-Lakewood) and Linda Newell (D-Littleton), the mere possession or use of illicit substances would be grounds for a claim of child endangerment. Senate Bill 178 was filed April Fools' Day, but it's no joke.

International

With Declining US Market Share, Mexican Farmers Switch from Marijuana to Opium. With the wholesale price of marijuana falling -- driven in part by decriminalization or legalization in sections of the United States -- Mexican drug farmers are turning away from cannabis and filling their fields with opium poppies, according to this lengthy article from The Washington Post. That means more, cheaper heroin for the US market. Pot farming "isn't worth it anymore," one farmer complained. "I wish the Americans would stop with this legalization." David Shirk, a Mexico researcher at the University of California at San Diego, told The Post, "When you have a product losing value, you diversify, and that's true of any farmer… The wave of opium poppies we're seeing is at least partially driven by changes we're making in marijuana drug policy."

Filipino Drug Warrior Mayor Issues Shoot-to-Kill Order for Cocaine Sellers. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, a man never known for letting human rights get in the way of his war on drugs, has issued a shoot-to-kill order against anyone selling cocaine from eight bricks of the drug still missing after police seized 64 of the one-pound packages. "Once they go out and use or sell them, they will become drug lords. I have a shoot-to-kill order, especially if they resist arrest -- if they do that, we can enforce the shoot-to-kill," Duterte said.

Jamaican Marijuana Growers Association Is Launched. A group of influential Jamaicans gathered Saturday to formally launch an association of supposed future marijuana cultivators as momentum builds toward loosening laws prohibiting pot on the Caribbean island. Some 300 people assembled at a conference center in downtown Kingston to officially launch the Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association. Among other things, the group will lobby for creation of a regulated cannabis industry on the tropical island famed for its marijuana cultivation. The government has been making some promising noises about medical marijuana and decriminalization, but there is nothing definite so far.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US OH: Pros And Cons Of Ohio Marijuana Constitutional

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 07:00
The Vindicator, 07 Apr 2014 - Rights Group, Hagan at Odds Over Approach YOUNGSTOWN - The Ohio Rights Group has collected about 15 percent of the 385,000 signatures it needs by July 2 to put the Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment to the Ohio Constitution on the November ballot.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US FL: Business Rush Now Beginning For Legal-Marijuana Money

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 07:00
Sun-Sentinel, 07 Apr 2014 - If medical marijuana becomes legal in Florida, someone is going to make money from it. Already, a crowd of would-be investors and entrepreneurs is forming on the ground floor. Since last summer, more than 60 businesses have incorporated in Florida with names suggesting the founders intend to get into the medical marijuana business, and the vast majority filed incorporation papers just in the past two months.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US FL: OPED: Medical Marijuana On The Ballot Fraught With

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 07:00
Orlando Sentinel, 06 Apr 2014 - In1939, Frank Capra made one of the most entertaining, important and enduring political movies of all time titled "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" starring James Stewart and Jean Arthur. An essential part of the plot involved an immensely powerful and corrupt businessman by the name of "Jim Taylor" from Mr. Smith's fictional home state. "The Taylor Machine" in the movie continually manipulated a politician it had bought and paid for years earlier. Sadly, 75 years after the film premiered, many hard-working and honest Americans look at our nation's capital and even the state of Florida and understandably wonder if much has really changed.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US MI: Thousands Turn Out In Ann Arbor To Hail Marijuana

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 07:00
Morning Sun, 06 Apr 2014 - ANN ARBOR - Smoke hung over the crowd as thousands of people attended an annual pro-marijuana rally at the University of Michigan. The event's emcee, Adam Brook, asked, "How many of you have weed?" Thousands raised arms Saturday at the 43rd Hash Bash.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US: Democratic Governors Resist Moves To Legalize Marijuana

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 07:00
The Day, 06 Apr 2014 - Los Angeles - California voters strongly favor legalizing marijuana. The state Democratic Party adopted a platform last month urging California to follow Colorado and Washington in ending marijuana prohibition. The state's lieutenant governor, Gavin Newsom, has called for legalizing the drug. But not Gov. Jerry Brown. "I think we ought to kind of watch and see how things go in Colorado," Brown, a Democrat, said curtly when asked the question as he was presenting his state budget this year.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US: Despite Support In Party, Democratic Governors Resist

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 07:00
New York Times, 06 Apr 2014 - LOS ANGELES - California voters strongly favor legalizing marijuana. The state Democratic Party adopted a platform last month urging California to follow Colorado and Washington in ending marijuana prohibition. The state's lieutenant governor, Gavin Newsom, has called for legalizing the drug. But not Gov. Jerry Brown. "I think we ought to kind of watch and see how things go in Colorado," Mr. Brown, a Democrat, said curtly when asked the question as he was presenting his state budget this year.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives
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