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Chronicle AM: Canada Legalization mid-2018?, Christie Named "Drug Commissioner," More... (3/27/17)

Canada (STDW) - Mon, 03/27/2017 - 20:52

Canada says it will legalize marijuana by July 1, 2018; Chris Christie will be named White House "drug commissioner," Illinoisans are ready to legalize weed, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

Illinois Poll Has Strong Support for Marijuana Legalization. A new Paul Simon Public Policy Institute poll has support for marijuana legalization at 66% if it is taxed and regulated like alcohol. The poll comes days after legislators filed a marijuana legalization bill, House Bill 2353.

Michigan Legalizers Release 2018 Initiative Draft. Backed by the Marijuana Policy Project, the Michigan Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has released the latest draft of the cannabis legalization initiative the group hopes to put to voters in November 2018. Under the draft, adults would be able to possess up to 2.5 ounces of pot and grow up to 12 plants, and marijuana commerce would be taxed and regulated. An initiative campaign last year came up just short in signature gathering.

Nevada Bill Would Allow Medical Marijuana Dispensaries to Sell Recreational Weed. State Sen. Tick Segerblom (D-Las Vegas) and Assemblyman Steve Yeager (D-Las Vegas) rolled out Senate Bill 302 last Friday. The bill would allow for an early start to recreational marijuana sales by allowing existing dispensaries to sell to non-patients before the January 1, 2018 deadline set in last fall's voter-approved ballot initiative. The move is aimed at stamping out the black market and allowing the state to get tax revenues. A similar move is afoot at the state Department of Taxation.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Maryland Democrats File Pair of Heroin Bills. Some three dozen Democratic General Assembly members gathered last Friday to announce a pair of bills aimed at fighting rising heroin overdoses in the state. Senate Bill 1060, the Start Talking Maryland Act, would require drug education programs to address the high lethality of fentanyl and colleges that teach medical providers to include addiction treatment education. Senate Bill 967, the Heroin and Opiate Prevention Effort (HOPE) and Treatment Act, would require the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to establish 10 heroin crisis centers around the state, as well as easing access to buprenorphine and naloxone.

Asset Forfeiture

Idaho Legislature Gives Final Approval to Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill. The House last Friday gave final approval to House Bill 172, which would limit civil asset forfeiture to cases involving drug trafficking -- not simple possession -- and would clarify that simply being in possession of large amounts of cash is not evidence drug trafficking. The House had approved the bill earlier, but had to have a final concurrence vote after amendments were added in the Senate. The bill now goes to the governor's desk.

New Mexico Bill That Would Have Directed Seized Funds to Cops Dies. A bill that would have diverted seized assets from the state general fund and given them to law enforcement agencies handling the cases has died in the House, and the cops are unhappy. Senate Bill 202 had passed the Senate unanimously, but couldn't get out of the House Judiciary Committee. "I'm utterly disgusted," said Pecos Valley Drug Task Force Commander James McCormick. "That's just takes away another avenue we have to thwart drug dealing. The money we used to get, we don't have any more."

Drug Policy

Jared Kushner's White House "SWAT Team" Will Include Chris Christie as Drug Commission Chair. The White House "SWAT team" to be led by presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner and aimed at streamlining policy-making will include an official drug commission to be chaired by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R). The commission will emphasis combating opioid abuse, a favorite theme for Trump.

Law Enforcement

New Hampshire Senate Approves Funding More Troopers to Fight Cross-Border Drugs. The state Senate voted overwhelmingly last Thursday to spend nearly $4.5 million over the next two years to hire five new state troopers to wage war on the state's opioid epidemic by targeting traffic from Massachusetts, expand the "Granite Hammer" program counts to local law enforcement, and pay for overtime for specialized enforcement units such as the State Police and Narcotics Investigation Unit. The measure, Senate Bill 131, is now headed for the House, where it is expected to pass.

NYPD Cop Who Killed Ramarley Graham Quits. Graham, 18, was shot and killed in 2012 by Officer Richard Haste after he fled into his own apartment bathroom and was trying to flush a small amount of marijuana down a toilet. Haste avoided criminal charges for the killing, but a departmental trial found him guilty of violating department policies and he was facing firing when he decided to turn in his badge and gun.

International

Canada Will Legalize Marijuana By July 1, 2018. The governing Liberals will announce legislation next month to legalize marijuana, with the new law set to go into effect on Canada Day -- July1 -- next year. The legislation will set 18 as the age limit for legal use and set up a legal, regulated, and taxed system of marijuana commerce. People who want to grow their own will be limited to four plants. [Update: The government's point man on legalization has called this date "highly speculative." Hat tip: Marijuana Moment.]

Categories: Canada

CN BC: Pot Shop Giving Up Battle

Canada (MAP) - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 07:00
Penticton Herald, 23 Mar 2017 - Jukka Laurio says he is closing Herbal Green medical marijuana dispensary effective immediately He assured (city) staff that he was not selling cannabis. Staff were deceived by Mr. Laurio - clearly the products he's selling have cannabis in them.
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CN ON: Oped: Law Not The Top Drug Use Issue

Canada (MAP) - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 07:00
The Sun Times, 23 Mar 2017 - Ronald Reagan once quipped that the government's view of the economy could be summed up as follows: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it. For better or for worse, the Canadian government seems to have decided that marijuana has been on the move long enough to start taxing and regulating it.
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CN ON: Cops Raid Pot Shop Again

Canada (MAP) - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 07:00
Toronto Sun, 23 Mar 2017 - Marijuana, cash seized from Cannabis Culture stores Cannabis Culture has been clipped again. The Broadview Ave. and Queen St. E. pot shop was raided just after noon Wednesday by uniformed and undercover Toronto Police officers.
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CN BC: City Set To Crack Down On Pot Shops

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 03/22/2017 - 07:00
Victoria News, 22 Mar 2017 - The time is up for marijuana dispensaries that have yet to apply for a business license or rezoning in order to continue operating in Victoria. The city will now be launching legal proceedings for cannabis retailers who've failed to comply with the marijuana dispensary regulations that took effect in November and require businesses to obtain a $5,000 license and pass a $7,500 rezoning process to operate legally.
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CN BC: Editorial: Tougher Sentences For Selling Fentanyl Welcomed

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 03/22/2017 - 07:00
Abbotsford News, 22 Mar 2017 - A judge at B.C.'s top court is calling for stronger sentences for people who sell fentanyl. We couldn't agree more. In a ruling posted online Friday, the B.C. Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal to increase the six-month sentence of a 59-year-old man who was caught with drugs, including 2.6 grams of the deadly opioid.
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CN ON: Police Still Probing Marijuana Dispensary

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 03/22/2017 - 07:00
The Record, 22 Mar 2017 - While Green Tree workers face charges, not much is known about operator KITCHENER - While four employees arrested at a Kitchener marijuana dispensary face ongoing criminal charges, the owner who actually pocketed the proceeds from the illegal sales is nowhere to be found.
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CN AB: Pot Regs Coming

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 03/22/2017 - 07:00
Edmonton Sun, 22 Mar 2017 - Sales rules in place next year: justice minister Alberta should have regulations in place to allow recreational marijuana sales next year, Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley said Tuesday. The federal government has vowed to introduce legislation this spring to legalize pot, but Ganley said packaging, distribution, zoning, building codes and other details must be worked out before people can smoke and eat cannabis in the province without breaking the law.
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CN BC: Victoria At Centre Of New Pot-Shop Ambiguity

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 03/22/2017 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 22 Mar 2017 - The majority of Victoria's illegal pot shops have applied for the city's special new business licence, but more than a dozen not engaged in the process could soon face court-ordered injunctions aimed at shutting them down. At the same time, the local health authority says a recent anonymous complaint about the cleanliness of one of these dispensaries has led to it outlawing the controversial sale of baked goods and candies in these stores, an issue that a city bylaw created last year purposely did not address.
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CN ON: Smoke Alarm

Canada (MAP) - Thu, 03/16/2017 - 07:00
NOW Magazine, 16 Mar 2017 - Police crackdown on Cannabis Culture dispensaries clouds future of Prince of Pot The faint smell of marijuana smoke hung in the halls of Old City Hall on Friday, March 10; dozens had turned out for the bail hearing of Cannabis Culture dispensary owners Marc and Jodie Emery.
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CN ON: Film Festival Takes On Tough Topic

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 03/15/2017 - 07:00
Sentinel Review, 15 Mar 2017 - Young filmmakers in Oxford County will have the chance to take on a tough topic: The effects of drugs and substance abuse. The Oxford Drug Awareness Committee (ODAC) is asking young people between the ages of 14 to 24 across Oxford County to make and submit a short three-minute video that illustrates the effects of substance use relating to one of four topics: Overdose, alcohol, marijuana and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
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CN ON: Owner Of Busted Cannabis Dispensary Pleads Guilty To Two

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 03/15/2017 - 07:00
Northumberland Today, 15 Mar 2017 - COBOURG - The owner of a full service pot dispensary store that was busted last year pleaded guilty to two charges in February in Cobourg court. South Shore Wellness - Full Service Cannabis Dispensary, which was located at 8987 County Road 45 in Roseneath, was busted on Aug. 17, 2016 by members of the Ontario Provincial Police Central East Drug Unit, assisted by Northumberland OPP.
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CN ON: Marijuana Legislation In Spring - MP

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 03/15/2017 - 07:00
North Bay Nugget, 15 Mar 2017 - 'We'd rather take our time and do it right than rush into something and regret it later' Nipissing-Timiskaming MP Anthony Rota expects to see legislation this spring to legalize marijuana. The challenge, Rota says, is "making sure we get it right.
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CN AB: City Staff Have Pot On The Brain

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 03/15/2017 - 07:00
Metro, 15 Mar 2017 - Officials mull ground rules for looming legalization City staff are laying the ground rules for possible legal pot shops in Edmonton. Councillors discussed a city report Tuesday that provides an initial look on what legal pot could look like as the city waits for the federal government to release more details on plans to legalize the sale of cannabis for recreational use.
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CN ON: LTE: Move To Legalize Marijuana Questionable

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 03/15/2017 - 07:00
Kingston Whig-Standard, 15 Mar 2017 - "Six workers arrested in marijuana dispensaries raid," March 11 Just this week a report was released saying smoking marijuana can do the same serious damage to lungs as tobacco, which is common sense. The U.K. has done extensive studies showing young people who smoke marijuana have a greatly enhanced chance of suffering psychosis and other mental issues later in life. There is no easy roadside test for drivers in Canada believed to have smoked up. (In Colorado, traffic deaths have gone up substantially since it legalized pot).
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CN ON: Column: Selling marijuana: First, Do No Harm

Canada (MAP) - Tue, 03/14/2017 - 07:00
Ottawa Sun, 14 Mar 2017 - For those who believe there is no potential harm from illegal marijuana stores in the city, consider Shelley Marshall's story. Marshall is a suicide survivor who wrote and performs her story through her excellent, one-woman play: Hold Mommy's Cigarette.
Categories: Canada

CN ON: Column: Selling marijuana: First, Do No Harm

Canada (MAP) - Tue, 03/14/2017 - 07:00
Toronto Sun, 14 Mar 2017 - For those who believe there is no potential harm from illegal marijuana stores in the city, consider Shelley Marshall's story. Marshall is a suicide survivor who wrote and performs her story through her excellent, one-woman play: Hold Mommy's Cigarette.
Categories: Canada

CN ON: Tory Backs Police Raids To Weed Out Pot Dispensaries

Canada (MAP) - Mon, 03/13/2017 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 13 Mar 2017 - Mayor backs legalization, but says cannabis capitalism has jumped the gun in the city Mayor John Tory "strongly supports" the latest Toronto police crackdown on marijuana dispensaries even though the federal government will soon introduce legislation to legalize pot.
Categories: Canada

Chronicle AM: CO Senate Passes Pot Club Bill, Pentagon Expands Recruit Drug Testing, More... (3/10/17)

Canada (STDW) - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 21:40

The Pentagon adds a bunch of opioids and new synthetics to the drug panel it uses to test new recruits, a Colorado bill to allow social marijuana consumption advances, Canada doesn't take kindly to Marc and Jodie Emery's latest efforts, and more.

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

Colorado Senate Approves Bill to Allow Marijuana Social Clubs. The state Senate on Thursday voted to approve Senate Bill 184, which would allow local governments to permit BYOB cannabis clubs, as long as the businesses seeking them do not serve alcohol or food beyond light snacks. The bill doesn't specify whether indoor smoking would be allowed, which means a private club with no more than three employees could allow it under state smoking laws. The bill now goes to the House.

Medical Marijuana

West Virginia House Kills Surprise Bid to Reschedule Marijuana. Seeing that medical marijuana legislation was going nowhere in Charleston, Delegate Shawn Fluharty (D-Ohio) attempted to inset an amendment into a routine drug scheduling bill that would have moved marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule IV. The amendment excited several hours of debate, but was ultimately killed on a 35-64 vote. "Why are we so scared of helping people?" Fluharty argued in closing floor debate. "That's exactly what this does."

Asset Forfeiture

New Hampshire House Passes Bill to Close Federal Asset Forfeiture Loophole. The state House voted Thursday to approve House Bill 614, which would bar state law enforcement agencies or prosecutors from agreeing to transfer seized property to the federal government unless that seized property includes more than $100,000 in cash. That would end the loophole through which cops and prosecutors seek to end-run a 2016 law that barred civil forfeiture in most cases. The bill now heads to the Senate.

Drug Testing

Pentagon Announces Expanded Drug Testing of New Recruits. The Defense Department is expanding the drug testing of new recruits to include the same 26-drug panel used for active military members. The change will be effective April 3. Currently, recruits are only tested for four substances -- marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, and MDMA -- but the new drug test will also look for heroin, codeine, morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and a number of synthetic cannabinoids and benzodiazepine sedatives.

International

Canadian Cops Raid Marc and Jodie Emery's Cannabis Culture Stores. Police on Thursday morning raided Cannabis Culture stores in Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver, as owners Marc and Jodie Emery awaited bail hearings in Toronto. The well-known marijuana reform couple were arrested Wednesday night at the Toronto airport on their way to a cannabis expo in Spain. Police raided seven Cannabis Culture stores and two residences, Toronto police said. The Emerys have been selling marijuana at the shops without waiting for Canada to actually get around to legalizing it.

Filipino Lawmakers Approve Medical Marijuana. The Philippines House on Wednesday approved a bill to allow for the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The move comes as the government of President Rodrigo Duterte wages bloody war on other drug users and sellers. The legislation approved by the House would create a government-issued ID card for patients and designates certain qualifying diseases and conditions, as well as allowing for caregivers and dispensaries.

Categories: Canada

CN ON: Pot Crusaders Nabbed At Airport Before Police Raid Their Shops

Canada (MAP) - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 08:00
Toronto Star, 10 Mar 2017 - Stores and homes in Ontario, Vancouver hit in 'Project Gator' Prominent pot crusaders Marc and Jodie Emery will appear in a Toronto court for a bail hearing Friday after police raided the couple's seven marijuana dispensaries in Toronto, Vancouver and Hamilton.
Categories: Canada
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