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Chronicle AM: Bad Cops in CO, CT MedMJ, VA Pot Decrim Bill, WA Drug Defelonization Bill, More (11/26/14)

Canada (STDW) - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 22:00

We have a couple of disturbing Colorado police stories, a pot decrim bill will be filed in Virginia, and a drug decrim one in Washington state, Connecticut patients seek to expand the list of conditions, Florida will try again on medical marijuana, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left]Marijuana Policy

New Idaho Group Forms to Fight for Pot Law Reform. A new group has formed to push for marijuana legalization in a most pot-unfriendly place: Idaho. Although it now borders two legal marijuana states—Oregon and Washington—Idaho continues its last-century approach to marijuana. Now, New Approach Idaho wants to change that with a new initiative effort. It has its work cut out for it: The last time activists tried to get an initiative on the ballot there, they were only able to come up with 11,000 of the necessary 60,000 voter signatures.

Virginia Legislator Will File Decriminalization Bill in January. State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) has said he will fill a bill to decriminalization the possession of small amounts for the next session of the legislature. "This is not going to legalize marijuana. It is going to make it no longer have a criminal penalty," he said. Under current law, a first possession offense is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. Ebbin's bill would make possession a civil offense, with a maximum $100 fine.

Medical Marijuana

Connecticut Doctors' Panel Hears Request to Add More Conditions. The state Medical Marijuana Program's Board of Physicians heard today from patients and advocates pleading with them to expand the state's medical marijuana law to include more medical conditions. The board has received petitions seeking to add severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis; sickle cell disease; Tourette's disorder; and post-laminectomy syndrome with chronic radiculopathy — chronic pain after back surgery — to the list of qualifying maladies. The program is accepting written submissions, petitions, and testimony from the public until December 12 and will deliberate on the issue in January. If it approves adding new conditions, that's just the first step. Click on the link for all the bureaucratic details.

Florida Advocates Announce Plans for a 2016 Initiative. United for Care, the group behind this year's medical marijuana initiative that came up just short, has announced it will try again in 2016. "We are swiftly mobilizing a new petition push to get medical marijuana'' on the 2016 ballot, United for Care director Ben Pollara told supporters this week in a fund raising announcement. This year's Measure 2 won 57% of the vote, but it needed 60% because it was a constitutional amendment. It looks like the group is going to go the constitutional amendment route again, despite the higher bar it creates.

Law Enforcement                                                                      

Citizen Video Captures Denver Police Beating Drug Suspect, Knocking Down Pregnant Wife; Cops Tried to Destroy Evidence. Denver resident Levi Frasier happened upon two police officers attacking a man on the ground and began recording with his tablet computer. Police were repeatedly punching the man in the head, and when his seven-month pregnant wife approached the scene, one of the officers swept her legs out from under her, dropping her to the ground. When police noticed Frasier recording the scene, they seized his tablet without his consent or a warrant and erased the video. But Frazier had software that automatically uploaded his videos to the cloud, and now he has made it available to a local TV station, which is raising many questions about the incident. Click on the link to see the video and the TV station's investigative report.

One Colorado Town's Horribly Out of Control Snitch-Driven Drug Busts. The Denver alternative weekly Westword has a lengthy investigative report on a series of drug busts in the town of Trinidad that repeatedly wrapped up innocent people based on the word of confidential informants who stood to benefit from snitching out others. Most of the cases have now been dismissed, but not without severe damage to the innocent. Local police and prosecutors seem not to care much. Click on the link to read the whole damning piece.

Sentencing

Drug Defelonization Bill to Be Filed in Washington State.  State Reps. Sherry Appleton (D-Bainbridge Island) and Jessyn Farrell (D-Seattle) will reintroduce legislation to make drug possession a misdemeanor instead of a felony. The bill will be identical to House Bill 2116, which didn't pass this year. The effort is being supported by Sensible Washington.

International

Cannabis Cafe Quietly Operating in Halifax, Nova Scotia. A members-only marijuana consumption club, the High Life Social Club, has been open for business since early September. The club doesn’t allow pot smoking, just vaporizing, nor does it actually sell marijuana—it's a BYOB (bring your own buds) operation, and local police seem to be okay with it. The only requirement for membership is a payment of $5 and an ID showing you are over 18. 

Categories: Canada

Chronicle AM: DC Pot Bill Moves, Seattle MedMJ Plan, BC Prescription Heroin, Malta Drug Decrim, More (11/25/14)

Canada (STDW) - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 21:40

A marijuana tax and regulate bill advances in DC, a legalization bill gets filed in Georgia, Seattle's mayor has a plan to regulate medical marijuana, prescription heroin is coming to Vancouver, Malta is ready to decriminalize drug possession, and more. Let's get to it:

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

DC City Council Committee Approves Tax and Regulate Bill. The council's Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs today voted in favor of legislation to tax, regulate, and license the production, distribution, and sale of marijuana in the nation's capital. The bill is B20-466, the Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act. Movement on the bill comes just three weeks after DC voters overwhelmingly approved the Measure 71 marijuana possession and cultivation legalization initiative. That initiative didn't address taxation and regulation because it could not do so under DC law, which leaves such moves to the council. And the council is moving.

Georgia State Senator Files Legalization, Medical Marijuana Bills. State Sen. Curt Thompson (D-Norcross) Monday pre-filed bills to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana. SR 6 is a resolution calling for a state constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana, while SB 7 is a full-fledged medical marijuana bill that would allow patients to grow their own and possess up to two ounces, allow registered caregivers to grow for patients, and allow for dispensaries.

New Mexico State Representative Talks Pot Legalization. A marijuana legalization bill died in the legislature this year, and prospects for passage in the incoming, even more heavily Republican legislature next year are not good. But that's not stopping Rep. Bill McCamley (D-Las Cruces). He says the state needs to have the legalization conversation, and he's making his case today during a meeting of the interim Health and Human Services Committee. Click on the link for some McCamley quotes.

Medical Marijuana

Seattle Mayor Releases Medical Marijuana Plan. Mayor Ed Murray's office Monday unveiled its plan for regulating medical marijuana collective gardens and dispensaries. The plan would create two classes of collective gardens. Class 1 would operate dispensaries, while Class 2 would not and is subject to fewer regulatory restrictions. Under state law, recreational marijuana is regulated at the state level, but medical marijuana is not. While efforts to regulate medical are likely in the state legislature next year, Murray said even if they pass, they wouldn't go into effect until 2016, so the city is moving to regulate now.

International

Australia's Queensland to Toughen Penalties for Drug Dealers in Fatal Overdoses. The Queensland state government is set to introduce a bill today that would compel courts to consider the death of a drug user an aggravating factor in sentencing of drug dealers. Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie said the bill was inspired by a case last year in which a man was sentenced only to probation after supplying a shot of morphine to a minor who died of an overdose.

Prescription Heroin Coming to Vancouver. Doctors in Vancouver have received the first shipment of prescription heroin to be used by former participants in a clinical heroin maintenance trial. In all, 120 severely addicted people have been approved by Health Canada to receive the drugs. The first shipment will begin to be administered this week to the first 26 participants. The patients will go to a clinic two or three times a day to receive and inject the drug. They must then wait at the clinic for at least 20 minutes to nurses can monitor them. The project is an outgrowth of the North American Opiate Medication Initiative (NAOMI) and the follow-up Study to Assess Longer-term Opioid Medication Effectiveness (SALOME).

Chile Celebrates Fourth Legalize Festival. Thousands of people attended the fourth annual Legalize festival in Santiago Monday. Part pot party, part political protest, the festival includes expositions, panels, and live music. Ancient British rockers Deep Purple were among the bands playing yesterday.

Malta Ponders Bill to Decriminalize Drug Possession. A major drug reform bill, the Drug Dependence Bill, which would decriminalize the first-time possession of drugs, went to parliament Monday. First offenders would face only fines, but repeat offenders would have to appear before a Drug Offender Rehabilitation Board and could be ordered to drug treatment if appropriate. People could grow one marijuana plant without being subject to mandatory jail time, and the bill would also allow for the use of medical marijuana. 

Categories: Canada

CN NF: Column: For Addicts Trying to Get Help, the Waiting Can

Canada (MAP) - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 08:00
The Telegram, 24 Nov 2014 - Derek Montague could have ruined himself. In the three months he's been waiting for gambling addiction treatment, he could have dug a financial hole of which there'd be no way out. "In that span of time, I've done more damage to myself," he admits.
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CN BC: Column: PTSD Victims Deserve Science Not Censure

Canada (MAP) - Sun, 11/23/2014 - 08:00
The Daily Courier, 23 Nov 2014 - Early last month, veteran RCMP officer Ron Francis committed suicide. Francis claimed smoking marijuana helped him cope with post-traumatic stress disorder. The RCMP ordered him to turn in his uniform, and put him on sick leave. Obviously, marijuana wasn't enough to save him.
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Canada: Column: If Anti-Drug PSAs Don't Actually Work, Why Are

Canada (MAP) - Sat, 11/22/2014 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 22 Nov 2014 - The history of anti-drug public-service ads is so long and illustrious that it's hard to pick a favourite from the lot. I have a particular affection for the New Zealand commercial that features a man in a club bathroom literally removing a piece of his brain, chopping it in a tiny bloody line and hoovering it up his nose. But then there is also the anti-methamphetamine ad from the United States, in which a doleful voice warns would-be tweekers, "This is where she used to be a cheerleader. This is the sink where she started pulling out her eyebrows." Is there a teenager alive who would respond to this Reefer Madness 2014 with anything other than snorts of derision? Research has shown that anti-drug PSAs are useless at achieving their stated aim - namely, keeping Kayden and Jaden off the bong or the pipe. So why do they continue to get made?
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CN BC: Heroin Addicts Authorized To Get Drug

Canada (MAP) - Sat, 11/22/2014 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 22 Nov 2014 - North American first comes after more than a year of battles between doctors and federal Health Minister In a North American first, heroin addicts in Vancouver will soon receive prescription heroin outside of a clinical trial.
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CN AB: PUB LTE: Grow Ops Seized

Canada (MAP) - Sat, 11/22/2014 - 08:00
Calgary Herald, 22 Nov 2014 - Re: "Razing houses," Letter, Nov. 21. I agree with Christopher Bennett that the Canadian government should be outraged regarding Israel's bulldozing of the family homes of Palestinian criminals who murdered their citizens, leaving the innocent occupants without shelter. I see no difference in Canada where the homes of convicted marijuana grow operators are seized by provincial governments under the pretext of financing law enforcement, leaving the innocent occupants and children without shelter. Here, also, we endorse a policy where the sins of one family member are carried by all of the family. In Israel, murder carries this punishment; in Canada, the growing of marijuana has the same result. Where is the outrage here?
Categories: Canada

Canada: Ads Based on Science: Minister

Canada (MAP) - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 08:00
Kingston Whig-Standard, 21 Nov 2014 - OTTAWA: Liberal MP tells health committee the Tories are 'scaring people to death' OTTAWA - The Conservative government is "going around scaring people to death" with "panicky" and politically motivated anti-marijuana commercials, Liberal MP Hedy Fry told the Commons health committee Thursday.
Categories: Canada

Canada: Ads Based on Science: Minister

Canada (MAP) - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 08:00
The Expositor, 21 Nov 2014 - OTTAWA: Liberal MP tells health committee the Tories are 'scaring people to death' OTTAWA - The Conservative government is "going around scaring people to death" with "panicky" and politically motivated anti-marijuana commercials, Liberal MP Hedy Fry told the Commons health committee Thursday.
Categories: Canada

Canada: Ads Based on Science: Minister

Canada (MAP) - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 08:00
North Bay Nugget, 21 Nov 2014 - OTTAWA: Liberal MP tells health committee the Tories are 'scaring people to death' OTTAWA - The Conservative government is "going around scaring people to death" with "panicky" and politically motivated anti-marijuana commercials, Liberal MP Hedy Fry told the Commons health committee Thursday.
Categories: Canada

Canada: Ads Based on Science: Minister

Canada (MAP) - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 08:00
The Tribune, 21 Nov 2014 - OTTAWA: Liberal MP tells health committee the Tories are 'scaring people to death' OTTAWA - The Conservative government is "going around scaring people to death" with "panicky" and politically motivated anti-marijuana commercials, Liberal MP Hedy Fry told the Commons health committee Thursday.
Categories: Canada

Canada: Ads Based On Science: Minister

Canada (MAP) - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 08:00
London Free Press, 21 Nov 2014 - OTTAWA: Liberal MP tells health committee the Tories are 'scaring people to death' OTTAWA - The Conservative government is "going around scaring people to death" with "panicky" and politically motivated anti-marijuana commercials, Liberal MP Hedy Fry told the Commons health committee Thursday.
Categories: Canada

CN BC: Meet The Next Mayor

Canada (MAP) - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 08:00
Nelson Star, 21 Nov 2014 - MEET THE NEXT MAYOR Just before 9 p.m. on November 15, Nelsonites received the news that Deb Kozak would serve for the next four years as the community's first female mayor. Having served on council since 2005, Kozak defeated both incumbent John Dooley and challenger Pat Severyn with a final tally of 1,756 votes.
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Canada: Grit MP: Tories Blowing Smoke

Canada (MAP) - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 08:00
Edmonton Sun, 21 Nov 2014 - OTTAWA-The Conservative government is "going around scaring people to death" with "panicky" and politically motivated anti-marijuana commercials, Liberal MP Hedy Fry told the Commons health committee Thursday. Health Minister Rona Ambrose replied that the TV ads are based on science and aren't partisan.
Categories: Canada

Canada: Grit MP: Tories Blowing Smoke

Canada (MAP) - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 08:00
Ottawa Sun, 21 Nov 2014 - OTTAWA-The Conservative government is "going around scaring people to death" with "panicky" and politically motivated anti-marijuana commercials, Liberal MP Hedy Fry told the Commons health committee Thursday. Health Minister Rona Ambrose replied that the TV ads are based on science and aren't partisan.
Categories: Canada

Canada: Grit MP: Tories Blowing Smoke

Canada (MAP) - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 08:00
Winnipeg Sun, 21 Nov 2014 - OTTAWA - The Conservative government is "going around scaring people to death" with "panicky" and politically motivated anti-marijuana commercials, Liberal MP Hedy Fry told the Commons health committee Thursday. Health Minister Rona Ambrose replied that the TV ads are based on science and aren't partisan.
Categories: Canada

CN BC: Vancouver's Pot Museum Set To Close Its Doors

Canada (MAP) - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 08:00
Vancouver 24hours, 20 Nov 2014 - Collection moving to Detroit, while organizer plans 'world-class dispensary' for Vancouver For the last decade, $2.50 would get you a 30-minute tour through the ins and outs of herbal medicine - from the story behind Absinthe to a brief history of magic mushrooms in Canada to ancient cannabis use.
Categories: Canada

CN BC: Edu: Pot and PTSD: Professor Studies The Beneficial Effects

Canada (MAP) - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 08:00
Ubyssey, 20 Nov 2014 - PROFESSOR STUDIES THE BENEFICIAL EFFECTS OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA Aside from being a common recreational drug, marijuana may be able to help with the side affects of anxiety and fear that are common with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Categories: Canada

CN BC: Province Initiates Country's First Clinical Cannabis

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
Metro, 19 Nov 2014 - 'Looking for Answers'. Producer Hopes to Begin Next Spring British Columbia researchers and a medical marijuana producer have joined forces to conduct Canada's first-ever clinical trial to back up anecdotal evidence in using cannabis to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with hard facts.
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CN BC: Column: Impressions From Nelson's Historic Mayor's Race

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:00
Nelson Star, 19 Nov 2014 - Stunning. Impressive. Historic. Those are just a few adjectives to describe Deb Kozak's upset win Saturday in knocking off three-time incumbent Nelson mayor John Dooley. I was among those guessing Dooley would be unstoppable, given a lack of polarizing issues in the campaign. The mayoral race was instead about "leadership style." While some on council were clearly dissatisfied with Dooley at the helm, I never got the same sense from the community at large.
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