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Chronicle AM: MT Asset Forfeiture Reform Passes Legislature, IL Pot Decrim Passes House, More (4/24/15)

Canada (STDW) - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 22:17

Decrim advances in Illinois, an Ohio legalization initiative is rolling along, asset forfeiture reform passes in Montana and is now under consideration in Michigan, Vancouver will regulate its dispensaries, and more.

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

Illinois House Passes Decriminalization Bill. The House Thursday approved House Bill 218, sponsored by Rep. Kathy Cassidy (D-Chicago). The bill would make possession of 15 grams or less an infraction punishable only by a fine of no more than $125. Under current law, people face up to a year in jail for simple possession. The bill now goes to the state Senate.

Ohio Legalization Initiative Making Progress on Signature-Gathering. The Responsible Ohio legalization initiative campaign has gathered more than 180,000 signatures in its effort to put its initiative before voters in November. Buckeye State initiatives need 305,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the ballot, so the group probably needs to gather something like 400,000 signatures to ensure that disqualifications don't knock it off the ballot. Responsible Ohio says it is aiming even higher—for 700,000 signatures. They have until July to gather them. A second legalization initiative, aiming at 2016, Ohioans To End Prohibition, is just in the initial phase of its campaign, while a third effort, led by the Ohio Rights Group, says it will not manage to qualify this year and has filed Election Commission complaints claiming that people associated with Responsible Ohio have interfered with its efforts.

Heroin

Heroin Use Up Sharply in Past Decade, SAMSHA Says. The number of heroin users in the country was stable at around 400,000 between 2002 and 2007, but began increasing in 2008 and reached 681,000 by 2013, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA). But that's still less than one-third of 1% of the population. Another 11 million people, or 4% of the population, used prescription pills for off-label reasons.

Asset Forfeiture

Michigan Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Package Filed. A bipartisan package of eight asset forfeiture reform bills was filed Wednesday with support from the legislature's Republican leadership. One bill would create uniform, mandatory reporting requirements and raise the standard of evidence needed for a seizure from "a preponderance" to "clear and convincing." Another bill would bar seizures of vehicles used by someone buying an ounce of pot or less. The package doesn't include a bill to ban civil asset forfeiture outright, but it's a start.

Montana Legislature Passes Bill Ending Civil Asset Forfeiture. A bill that would end civil asset forfeiture passed the House Thursday. House Bill 463 had already passed the Senate and now heads for the governor's desk. New Mexico and Wyoming have both passed similar laws this year; the New Mexico governor signed hers, but the Wyoming governor vetoed his.

Drug Testing

Florida ACLU Targets Police Field Drug Tests. The ACLU of Florida is investigating the presumptive field test kits police use to make drug arrests. The move comes just a day after Hillsborough County Public Defender called them "faulty" and "inaccurate." Scientists have reported that kits like the Nark 2 are unreliable, but thousands of people have been arrested on the basis of their field test results.

Louisiana Bill Would Let Employers Drug Test Hair. The House Health Committee Wednesday approved House Bill 379, which would allow employers to use hair drug tests on potential hires. Hair drug tests can detect use going back as far as three months. The bill now heads for a House floor vote.

Law Enforcement

Seattle Doing Mass Arrests to Clean Up Downtown Drug Dealing. Police in Seattle have arrested more than a hundred people in two days in a push to clean up open-air drug dealing downtown. The arrests involved undercover officers making pot, heroin, meth, and cocaine buys. Prosecutors said they would seek judicial orders barring those people from returning to the area, but that they would seek diversion programs in other cases.

International

Vancouver Moves to Regulate Marijuana Stores; Ottawa Not Happy. Vancouver has announced plans to regulate the more than 80 unlicensed medical marijuana dispensaries operating in the city, making it the first city in Canada to do so. But the federal Health Minister is warning the city not to do it, saying it would "normalize" marijuana sales.

Drug Cartel Violence Flares in Mexican Border State. Gun battles and arson attacks flared for the second time in a week in Tamaulipas, just across the Rio Grande River from Texas border towns such as Harlingen and Brownsville. The brouhaha broke out after police captured four alleged Gulf Cartel members and included blockades in the town of Altamira. At least two people were killed. Earlier this month, major violence broke out in Reynosa after the arrest of a Gulf Cartel leader. More than 100,000 people are estimated to have been killed in prohibition-related violence since 2006. 

Categories: Canada

CN BC: Column: City Too Lenient On Pot Lawbreakers

Canada (MAP) - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 07:00
Vancouver 24hours, 23 Apr 2015 - Imagine someone held a convention for lawbreakers and city hall blocked off some streets to give the convention goers more room. It sounds pretty ridiculous, right? But that's what happened on Monday. It was 420, the "celebration" of pot and cannabis culture which has become an annual traditional rivalling Earth Day.
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CN BC: PUB LTE: Legalize, Regulate Marijuana

Canada (MAP) - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 07:00
Vancouver Sun, 23 Apr 2015 - Re: Put a lid on pot, Letters, April 17 Minister of Health Rona Ambrose wrote, "We continue to oppose Justin Trudeau's deeply irresponsible scheme to make it easier for our children to access marijuana by selling it in stores, just like cigarettes."
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Canada: Former Top Public Servant Smokes Out Local Opportunity

Canada (MAP) - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 07:00
Ottawa Sun, 23 Apr 2015 - A former senior manager at Health Canada's Medical Marijuana Program has been named CEO of a private medical marijuana education centre opening two Ottawa locations in the coming months. Gulwant Bajwawas announced as the new CEO for National Access Cannabis (NAC), a private company helping clients obtain medical marijuana legally on Wednesday.
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CN BC: PUB LTE: Demon Weed's Deplorable Culture

Canada (MAP) - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 07:00
Parksville Qualicum Beach News, 23 Apr 2015 - I share some of recent letter writer Rose Stacey's concerns regarding the demon weed and grieve with her the anguish of a parent whose child has become enmeshed in that deplorable culture. However, nothing has destroyed our own culture more than the evils of the drug laws. Yes, marijuana is not a harmless substance, but then neither are alcohol and nicotine, both readily available legally.
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CN BC: LTE: Make Pot Pedlars Pay

Canada (MAP) - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 07:00
Vancouver Sun, 23 Apr 2015 - 'Celebration' is now a trade show; need to protest is long past Re: Pot protest evolves into cannabis craft fair, April 21 Now that the 4/20 "celebration" has evolved from a protest into a trade show, it is time Vancouver police and city council treat it like any other event of that nature. Enforce city bylaws and require the organizers to obtain necessary permits and foot the bills for policing and all other associated costs.
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CN BC: Legal Hurdles Push Pot Patients To Black Market, Study Says

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 22 Apr 2015 - Many medical marijuana patients in Canada are struggling to buy pot under current laws and are turning to the black market, a University of British Columbia study has found. About one-third of 450 patients reported in a national survey that they could not access marijuana legally under federal rules, said PhD student Rielle Capler.
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CN BC: LTE: 4/20 Coverage Bad For Kids

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 07:00
The Province, 22 Apr 2015 - I get that 4/20 is a popular event and I get that you want to report it. What I don't get is putting it on the front page, advertising it to the young people. Why not the article on how pot lowers your IQ? How can I be an effective parent with my granddaughter when she sees the front page? She won't catch the article inside.
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CN BC: Ex-Olympian Rebagliati Calls For Marijuana Legalization

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 07:00
Prince George Citizen, 22 Apr 2015 - VANCOUVER - On his average day, athlete Ross Rebagliati rises about 4:30 a.m., brews himself a cup of coffee and then stirs in the ingredient he considers most crucial: honey infused with cannabis. "I just wake up feeling great, looking forward to my workout. And it takes care of any aches and pains from the days before," he said Tuesday, before adding the medical-grade marijuana extract doesn't make him high.
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CN BC: Rebagliati Says Pot Hot This Election

Canada (MAP) - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 07:00
Penticton Herald, 22 Apr 2015 - Olympic medallist who champions medical marijuana says politicians must address issue VANCOUVER - On his average day, athlete Ross Rebagliati rises about 4:30 a.m., brews himself a cup of coffee and then stirs in the ingredient he considers most crucial: honey infused with cannabis.
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CN BC: Annual 4/20 Event Adopts Political Tone

Canada (MAP) - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 21 Apr 2015 - Some cannabis enthusiasts took the opportunity to urge people to vote in the upcoming federal election An annual demonstration on Monday brought a haze of smoke and marijuana merchandise including pot-laced chocolates and marijuana mango slushies to downtown Vancouver, where police monitored an event that has grown steadily since its debut in 1995.
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CN BC: Olympic Star Rebagliati Calls For Pot To Be An Issue In Election

Canada (MAP) - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 07:00
The Record, 21 Apr 2015 - VANCOUVER - On his average day, athlete Ross Rebagliati rises about 4:30 a.m., brews himself a cup of coffee and then stirs in the ingredient he considers most crucial: honey infused with cannabis. "I just wake up feeling great, looking forward to my workout. And it takes care of any aches and pains from the days before," he said Tuesday, before adding the medical-grade marijuana extract doesn't make him high.
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CN ON: Arrest Irks Pot Advocates

Canada (MAP) - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 07:00
London Free Press, 21 Apr 2015 - London police get tongue lashing for enforcing law Activists jeered police officers as they arrested a man at a pro-marijuana demonstration Monday in Victoria Park. Around 75 people gathered at the park for the annual 420 rally, an international day celebrating cannabis culture and advocating for the drug to be legalized.
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CN BC: Editorial: Pot Gains Support On The Right

Canada (MAP) - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 07:00
The Daily Courier, 21 Apr 2015 - Marijuana legalization isn't just an idea for potheads, dreamers and old hippies anymore. Respectable people are jumping on the legalization bandwagon, too, with the latest group creating waves in the nation's capital last week.
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CN ON: Demonstrators Hope Softened Stance On Marijuana Leads To Legalization

Canada (MAP) - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 07:00
The Record, 21 Apr 2015 - KITCHENER - It's getting harder to justify any law criminalizing marijuana use given successful legalization efforts in certain U.S. states and private medical growers operating in Canada, demonstrators at a Kitchener 4/20 demonstration said Monday. "It should be like any other healthcare product," organizer Jeff Morrison said. "Most people agree now that we do need steps (to legalize marijuana)."
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CN ON: 420 Protest Turns Into Event

Canada (MAP) - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 07:00
The Peterborough Examiner, 21 Apr 2015 - Information booths set up in Victoria Park to promote legalization of marijuana, medical marijuana awareness Peterborough's annual 420 Cannabis Awareness Event has come quite a ways since it started six years ago.
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CN BC: 420 Event High On Fed Liberal Vote

Canada (MAP) - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 07:00
Vancouver 24hours, 21 Apr 2015 - Justin Trudeau's face featured prominently at Vancouver event Thousands of activists and enthusiasts gathered in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery for the annual 420 rally to protest prohibition against pot and celebrate their love for marijuana.
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CN ON: Marijuana-Smoking Marchers Rally At City Hall

Canada (MAP) - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 07:00
Hamilton Spectator, 21 Apr 2015 - It's 420 =C2=85 time to smoke and protest country's pot laws Clouds covered both sky and ground at City Hall as hundreds turned out for Hamilton's 420 pot rally. A cold and wet Monday didn't stop supporters of legalization from voicing their displeasure with federal marijuana legislation.
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CN NS: Halifax Pot Lovers Celebrate 4/20 With Prohibition Party

Canada (MAP) - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 07:00
Metro, 21 Apr 2015 - Club hopes pro-cannabis event will help legalization At High Life Social Club in Halifax, they "celebrate cannabis every day," said owner Chris Henderson. Pot enthusiasts helped take that celebration one step higher Monday at the club's inaugural prohibition party.
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CN ON: 'It's Simply A Plant'

Canada (MAP) - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 07:00
The Tribune, 20 Apr 2015 - Demonstrators call for legalization of marijuana Spirits were high Saturday as more than 100 people chanted "Free the Weed" as they marched from Highway 420 to the Niagara Parkway in Niagara Falls.
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