Baby Boomers Increasingly Behind Legalizing MJ Posted by on April 24, 2015 at 17:34:37 PT By Buck Wargo Source: Huffington Post USA -- The support for legalizing marijuana has grown rapidly over the last decade but the oldest Americans aren't ready to sign off on it yet. Four states and Washington, D.C. have passed measures legalizing marijuana, and today 53 percent of Americans favor legalization and 44 are opposed. In 2006, those numbers stood at 32 percent in favor of legalization and 60 percent opposed, according to a survey from Pew Research Center.
The numbers have grown because of support among Baby Boomers, the group that came after them, Generation Xers, and the most recent generation, Millennials (those 18 to 34). Read More... Illinois House Moves Toward Decriminalizing MJ Posted by CN Staff on April 24, 2015 at 06:54:10 PT By Jessie Hellmann, Chicago Tribune Source: Chicago Tribune Springfield -- Getting caught with a small amount of marijuana would result in a fine instead of arrest under a measure the Illinois House approved Thursday. Low-level cannabis possession would go from a crime with fines of up to $2,500 and up to a year in jail to be more like a traffic ticket: no court time and a fine of up to $125. The measure would apply to people caught with 15 grams or less, the equivalent of about 25 cigarette-size joints.
Sponsoring Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, said the measure wouldn't override laws in cities like Chicago that already have fines in place for marijuana possession but is aimed at creating a uniform penalty throughout the state and eliminating the option for police to arrest people carrying small amounts of pot. Read More... MJ Reform Activists Push for Change with DEA Head Posted by on April 22, 2015 at 13:11:39 PT By Maya Rhodan Source: Time Washington, D.C. -- Marijuana legalization advocates are excited about the departure of Michele Leonhart, the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, whom they long considered an obstruction in their goal of reforming the nation’s drug laws.
“We are happy to see her go,” says Dan Riffle, the director of federal policies at the Marijuana Policy Project. “She’s a career drug warrior at a time when we’ve decided the ‘War on Drugs’ is an abject failure.” Read More... MJ Advocates Push for New Pot-Friendly DEA Chief Posted by on April 21, 2015 at 14:46:45 PT By Tim Devaney Source: The Hill Washington, D.C. -- Marijuana advocates hope the departure of the longtime chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will pave the way for more relaxed drug policies from the Obama administration.
Michele Leonhart, who has served atop the DEA since 2007, will resign following an alleged sex scandal by some agents under her watch, according to reports. Pot lobbyists are hoping to capitalize on Leonhart’s resignation by pressuring the Obama administration to replace her with a more weed-friendly chief. Read More... Embattled DEA Chief To Resign Posted by on April 21, 2015 at 14:29:31 PT By Ellen Nakashima Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- The head of the Drug Enforcement Administration is expected to resign soon, according to U.S. officials, following revelations about “sex parties” involving prostitutes overseas and other misconduct among its agents.
Michele Leonhart, who has served at the helm of the DEA since 2007, has come under heavy criticism on Capitol Hill since an inspector general report last month documented a series of episodes in which agents hired prostitutes. Agents were also found to have had sex parties with some women hired by Colombian drug cartels. Read More... High Court Limits Drug-Sniffing Dog Searches Posted by on April 21, 2015 at 09:58:02 PT By David G. Savage Source: Los Angeles Times Washington, D.C. -- The Supreme Court told the police Tuesday they may not turn routine traffic stops into drug searches using trained dogs. The 6-3 decision ends the increasingly common practice whereby officers stop a car for a traffic violation and then call for a drug-sniffing dog to inspect the vehicle.
The justices, both liberal and conservative, agreed that it was an unconstitutional "search and seizure" to hold a motorist in such cases. Read More... Support For Legalization Reaches All-Time High Posted by on April 20, 2015 at 20:22:28 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post USA -- A majority of Americans support the legalization of recreational marijuana, according to a new poll from CBS News -- and it's the highest percentage in support since the news organization began asking the question in 1979.
Just in time for 4/20, the annual marijuana holiday, CBS News released a poll showing 53 percent of Americans are in favor of marijuana legalization. Read More... Police in Colorado Issue Dozens of Citations Posted by CN Staff on April 20, 2015 at 06:08:34 PT By The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Colorado -- Denver police said there were no major problems as marijuana celebrations continued for a second day on Sunday, but police tweeted a reminder that while recreational use of marijuana is legal in Colorado, people still can't use it in public.
Police spokeswoman Raquel Lopez said there was no estimate on the number of people who turned out on Saturday and Sunday, including many tourists who flocked to Colorado to take advantage of legal marijuana. Read More... Campaign Begins in Arizona to Make Marijuana Legal Posted by CN Staff on April 19, 2015 at 17:40:20 PT By David Schwartz Source: Reuters Phoenix -- Advocates for legalizing marijuana launched a petition campaign in Phoenix on Friday seeking a ballot measure that could make Arizona the fifth U.S. state to allow possession, cultivation and consumption of small amounts of pot for recreational use.
Supporters have until July of next year to obtain the signatures of 150,642 registered voters in the politically conservative state in order to get their initiative placed on the November 2016 ballot, election officials said. Read More... Colorado Law Enforcement Switches Message Posted by CN Staff on April 19, 2015 at 09:56:58 PT By Kristen Wyatt, Associated Press Source: Associated Press Denver -- Breaking from decades of "Just Say No"-type messaging about marijuana use, Colorado law enforcement officials are starting a new campaign designed to promote safe marijuana use.
The revised campaign starts this weekend, when tens of thousands are expected at public rallies and concerts in observation of the 4/20 marijuana holiday. A few things to know about the new effort, along with some backstory: Read More... Why Lawmakers Are Losing Faith in Top Drug Cop Posted by on April 18, 2015 at 09:48:20 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- The nation's lawmakers are increasingly losing confidence in America's top drug cop.
Yesterday, 13 Democrats and 9 Republicans on the House Oversight Committee voted to issue a statement of "no confidence" in the ability of Michele Leonhart, the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, to carry out the duties of her job. The statement followed a day of withering criticism from lawmakers during Leonhart's testimony about a scandal involving DEA agents who attended lavish drug cartel-funded "sex parties" in Colombia. Read More... Obama Signals Support For Changing Course Posted by on April 17, 2015 at 20:14:11 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post USA -- In an interview that will air for the first time this weekend as part of CNN's latest installment of its medical marijuana documentary series "WEED 3," President Barack Obama signals support for medical marijuana and for rolling back the federal government's war on drugs.
CNN's chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, a vocal supporter of the legalization of medical marijuana, asks Obama in the documentary if he supports the goals of a historic Senate bill introduced in March that seeks to make several major changes in federal law, including drastically reducing the federal government's ability to crack down on state-legal medical marijuana programs, encouraging more research into the plant and reclassifying marijuana as a less dangerous drug. Read More... Judge Keeps Marijuana on List of Harmful Drugs Posted by on April 15, 2015 at 20:45:27 PT By Alan Schwarz Source: New York Times California -- A federal judge declined on Wednesday to order the removal of marijuana from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s list of the most harmful and addictive drugs, disappointing those who had hoped the courts might help settle growing conflicts between federal and state laws.
Judge Kimberly J. Mueller of United States District Court in Sacramento heard testimony on whether marijuana belonged alongside heroin and LSD on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Schedule I list: substances classified as having no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Read More... Foes Of Legalization Can't Like These Numbers Posted by on April 15, 2015 at 06:20:37 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post USA -- Opponents of legalizing marijuana can't be happy about several new polls released Tuesday. Majority support for making cannabis legal is holding steady, while young adults are legalization's biggest fans. And that's true both nationally and in several swing states.
Nationally, 53 percent of Americans support legalization, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Pew found essentially the same result, 54 percent in favor, in a similar poll last year. Read More... Marijuana Extract Tames Brain Seizures Posted by on April 14, 2015 at 06:34:46 PT By Melissa Healy Source: Los Angeles Times USA -- In a group of children and young adults with the most intractable forms of epilepsy, a liquid form of marijuana called cannabidiol reduced seizures by more than 50% without causing the drug's usual "high," researchers said.
In an open-label study that enrolled 213 people with a dozen types of severe epilepsy, researchers found that cannabidiol, which is taken by mouth, was relatively well tolerated. In all, 12 subjects, or 6%, ceased taking the drug, also known as CBD, because of side effects, which included drowsiness, tiredness, diarrhea and decreased appetite. In a open-label study, patients and researchers know what drug is being tested. Read More... Smoking Marijuana for 50 Years Posted by on April 13, 2015 at 05:06:13 PT By David Gonzalez Source: New York Times New York -- As much as Catherine Hiller refuses to admit it, marijuana is a gateway drug. Seriously, after smoking more or less every day for the past 50 years, there had to be some consequences. Yet, she did not go to jail after a random police stop. She did not end up strung out on heroin, sprawled in an alley. She didn’t even binge-munch herself into obesity.
Her daily puffs led her to write a book, “Just Say Yes: A Marijuana Memoir.” Read More... Why Marijuana Taxes Won’t Save State Budgets Posted by on April 11, 2015 at 13:39:29 PT By Josh Barro Source: New York Times Colorado’s marijuana tax collections are not as high as expected.
In February 2014, Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office projected Colorado would take in $118 million in taxes on recreational marijuana in its first full year after legalization. With seven months of revenue data in, his office has cut that projection and believes it will collect just $69 million through the end of the fiscal year in June, a miss of 42 percent. Read More... Will Big Tobacco Become Big Marijuana? Posted by on April 11, 2015 at 04:46:34 PT By Trevor Hughes, USA Today Source: USA Today Denver -- While federal law makes their entire industry illegal, many marijuana store owners, growers and retailers fear something completely different: Big Tobacco.
Today, most legal recreational marijuana operations are small, limited to a single state and barred from ever getting large by regulators who want to keep a close eye on the fast-growing industry. But those small operators struggle to get bank loans for expansion, often produce an inconsistent product and sometimes have no idea how to balance supply and demand for their crops. Read More... Just Say Yes To Legalizing Recreational Marijuana Posted by on April 10, 2015 at 16:22:16 PT By Jim Braude Source: Boston Globe Massachusetts -- Just say no! Nancy Reagan first uttered her unforgettable anti-drug mantra in 1984. More than three decades later, most of our state leaders seem to be following the former first lady’s lead. But while high-level, bipartisan embrace of a hard line on, say, the deadly opioid epidemic makes obvious sense, top officials’ please-keep-off-the-grass consensus on marijuana is head-in-the-sand stuff.
This matters because Massachusetts is likely to be deciding whether to join the District of Columbia and four states (Colorado, Washington, Alaska, and Oregon) in legalizing recreational use. If the necessary signatures are collected, the question would be on the November 2016 ballot. A few legislators are even trying to leapfrog direct democracy by making it legal the old-fashioned way, on Beacon Hill. Read More... MJ Legalization Ballot Drive Launched in Michigan Posted by CN Staff on April 10, 2015 at 06:05:37 PT By David Eggert Source: Associated Press Lansing, Mich. -- Michigan would legalize the use of marijuana for recreational use under the wording of a proposed ballot initiative submitted Thursday, the first of what could be competing legalization efforts.
If authorized by the Board of State Canvassers, the Michigan Cannabis Coalition’s initiated law would require roughly 252,000 valid voter signatures before going to the Republican-led Legislature. If lawmakers rejected the bill or took no action, it would receive a statewide vote in November 2016. Read More... Marijuana Bills Get Day In Texas Legislature Posted by CN Staff on April 09, 2015 at 08:10:08 PT By The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Austin -- For now, legalizing marijuana remains out of the question in Texas. But decriminalizing it? That’s also unlikely this year in tough-on-crime Texas, which is among 22 states that prohibit both medicinal and recreational marijuana use. Bills that would relax criminal penalties in Texas for pot were relegated to a late-night hearing Wednesday with time running down in the legislative session.
Supporters still packed a Criminal Jurisprudence Committee meeting for what might have been marijuana’s only moment this session, since no other hearings have been scheduled. Aside from Republican opposition, law enforcement groups in Texas also still see changes as a threat to public safety. Read More... Pfizer, Eli Lilly Were The Original MMJ Sellers Posted by on April 08, 2015 at 14:47:19 PT By Debra Borchardt, Contributor Source: Forbes Magazine USA -- Today’s major pharmaceutical companies were the original medical marijuana sellers. Eli Lilly, Parke-Davis (now owned by Pfizer) and Squibb of Bristol-Myers Squibb all sold medical marijuana at the turn of the century. In a 1919 medical catalog, these companies listed several cannabis products.
Back then, most medicines were the same – the original generics. So it was up to good marketing and brand recognition to get people to buy one particular company’s drug over another. According to the Antique Cannabis Book, almost 6% of all manufactured drugs at the turn of the century contained cannabis in one form or another. For example, Squibb sold cannabis in powder form, tablets, fluid extracts and tinctures. However, Squibb wasn’t even the leader at the time with only 15 cannabis products in its lineup. Read More... MMJ in Texas: 'The Wind is Shifting' Posted by on April 07, 2015 at 16:52:07 PT By Claudia Kolker, for the Houston Chronicle Source: Houston Chronicle Texas -- What makes people change their minds about drugs? Specifically, what has prompted political leaders, voters, law enforcement officials, and even the medical establishment to so alter their views that marijuana is now decriminalized in more than 20 states and has been made legal for recreational use in Colorado?
For sociologist William Martin, one of Texas' strongest advocates of drug-law reform, the answer lies in a compelling new mix of research, the experience of people who have used marijuana for medical purposes, and steady work by scholars and activists that has revealed the failures of drug prohibition. Read More... New Law Clarifies MMJ Insurance Requirements Posted by CN Staff on April 07, 2015 at 13:43:54 PT By Ryan Van Velzer, Associated Press Source: Associated Press Phoenix -- Workers' compensation carriers and self-insurers will not be required to pay for a patient's medical marijuana under a new bill Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law Monday.
The state's more than 63,000 holders of medical marijuana cards will still be allowed to purchase their own cannabis, but the law removes the requirement that workers' compensation carriers and self-insurers reimburse patients for medical marijuana. Read More... Florida Voters Want MMJ and Decriminalized Weed Posted by on April 06, 2015 at 17:11:39 PT By Daniel Kreps Source: Rolling Stone Florida -- Although Florida citizens narrowly voted against legalizing medical marijuana this past Election Day, a new poll of Sunshine State voters revealed that Floridians are in favor of both legalizing marijuana for medical use and decriminalizing weed for personal use. The new study also shows that the only reason that voters rejected the pro-pot Amendment 2 in November is because the prospective law's wording "troubled many voters," ABC Action News in Tampa Bay reports.
In a poll conducted by Quinnipiac University, a resounding 84 percent of Florida voters said they would vote in favor of a bill to legalize medical marijuana. However, when Amendment 2 was brought to voters, only 58 percent of citizens voted in favor of the bill, just 2 percent shy of the 60 percent needed to enact the law. According to Quinnipiac, it's likely Amendment 2's complex wording likely conspired against itself, as only 14 percent of Floridians polled said they would vote against a legalized medical marijuana bill. Read More... Ohio Voters Favor Legalizing Marijuana Posted by on April 06, 2015 at 06:17:36 PT By Robert Higgs Source: Plain Dealer Columbus, Ohio -- More than eight of every 10 Ohio voters support legalization of marijuana for medical use and a majority favor legalizing it for recreational use, a Quinnipiac University Poll found.
The poll, conducted simultaneously in three presidential swing states, found that 84 percent of registered voters in Ohio said a doctor should be able to prescribe marijuana to a patient for medical uses. Fourteen percent were opposed. Read More... A D.C. Doctor Makes Medical Marijuana a Specialty Posted by on April 04, 2015 at 16:49:16 PT By Steve Hendrix Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Twice a week at the office of Patrick Fasusi, District residents line up to ask the pain specialist to approve their use of medical marijuana. For most, the brief wait in the lobby is longer than their consultation.
As marijuana, which became legal for recreational use in the nation’s capital in February, continues to morph from contraband to commonplace, Fasusi’s clinic is a window into the ease with which some residents have been buying officially sanctioned pot for more than two years. Read More... DOJ's Interpretation Of MMMJ Amendment Wrong Posted by on April 03, 2015 at 16:22:00 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- The lawmakers behind a recent congressional amendment protecting medical marijuana operations in states where the drug is legal strongly rebuked the Department of Justice for trying to continue to crack down on some medical marijuana businesses.
The DOJ believes the law only stops it from "impeding the ability of states to carry out their medical marijuana laws," department spokesman Patrick Rodenbush said in a statement, portions of which were previously published in the Los Angeles Times. “Consistent with the Department’s stated enforcement priorities, we don’t expect that the amendment will impact our ability to prosecute private individuals or private entities who are violating the Controlled Substances Act.” Read More... A Year Later, No Reefer Madness in Colorado Posted by on April 02, 2015 at 06:50:48 PT By Trevor Hughes, USA Today Source: USA Today Aspen, Colo. -- More than a year after Colorado legalized marijuana sales, there's a pot shop just a few steps away from the Prada, Ralph Lauren, Sotheby's and Burberry stores in this toniest of tony ski towns.
Tourists from around the world step into the Green Dragon cannabis store to buy small amounts of legal — and heavily taxed — marijuana. It goes on day after day after day with virtually no muss or fuss. Welcome to my reality. Read More... Hash Bash 2015 a Call To Action for Michigan Posted by CN Staff on April 02, 2015 at 06:17:21 PT By Ryan Stanton, The Ann Arbor New Source: Ann Arbor News Michigan -- Ann Arbor's annual celebration of all things cannabis, known as the Hash Bash, returns this Saturday.
Thousands of marijuana advocates from throughout Michigan and beyond are expected to swarm the University of Michigan Diag at noon for a two-hour rally featuring speakers ranging from comedian Tommy Chong to Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, as well as activist John Sinclair, for whom the original rally was held in 1972. Read More...
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