Marijuana Bank Suing Feds for 'Equal Access' Posted by on July 31, 2015 at 10:55:08 PT By Tim Devaney, Contributor Source: Hill Colorado -- A Colorado financial institution is suing the federal government to be allowed to serve the state’s growing marijuana industry, according to a report in The New York Times.
The Federal Reserve earlier this month rejected the application from The Fourth Corner Credit Union in Denver, because it intends to provide banking services to state-licensed marijuana businesses. Read More... DARE Published an Op-ed Calling for Legalization Posted by on July 31, 2015 at 07:25:29 PT By Claire Landsbaum Source: New Yorker Magazine USA -- The war on drugs is over, and weed won. D.A.R.E., the organization designed to plant a deep-seated fear of drugs in the minds of every late-20th-century middle schooler, published an op-ed calling for marijuana legalization.
Written by former deputy sheriff Carlis McDerment in response to a letter in the Columbus Dispatch, the op-ed explains that it's impossible for law enforcement to control the sale of marijuana to minors. "People like me, and other advocates of marijuana legalization, are not totally blind to the harms that drugs pose to children," McDerment writes. "We just happen to know that legalizing and regulating marijuana will actually make everyone safer." Read More... Oregon To Begin Recreational Marijuana Sales Early Posted by on July 29, 2015 at 06:16:28 PT By Matt Ferner, National Reporter Source: Huffington Post Oregon adults will be able to legally purchase recreational marijuana beginning Oct. 1, about a year earlier than had been expected.
Gov. Kate Brown (D) signed a law on Tuesday allowing the sale of recreational marijuana in existing medical marijuana dispensaries, starting just three months after Oregon's reformed marijuana law went into effect. Read More... Federal Laws Have Banks Turning Away Posted by CN Staff on July 27, 2015 at 16:25:15 PT By The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Anchorage, Alaska -- Federal laws tying marijuana money with money laundering has banks turning away marijuana businesses.
While marijuana businesses will be able to get licenses and make sales starting May 2016 in Alaska, the cash involved is still taboo for banks, the Alaska Journal of Commerce reported. Read More... Senate Committee Passes Crucial Marijuana Reform Posted by on July 23, 2015 at 15:56:54 PT By Bill Piper Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- A key Senate committee passed a bill today allowing the nation's capital to establish regulated marijuana stores and let banks provide financial services to state-legalized marijuana dispensaries. These are just two of several marijuana reforms advancing in Congress. Meanwhile sentencing reform is gaining steam, and the U.S. is shifting towards treating drug use as a health issue instead of a criminal justice issue. Read More... Seniors Are Seeking Out States Where MJ is Legal Posted by on July 23, 2015 at 04:16:02 PT By Chris Taylor Source: Time Oregon -- When choosing retirement locales, a few factors pop to mind: climate, amenities, proximity to grandchildren, access to quality healthcare. Chris Cooper had something else to consider – marijuana laws.
The investment adviser from Toledo had long struggled with back pain due to a fractured vertebra and crushed disc from a fall. He hated powerful prescription drugs like Vicodin, but one thing did help ease the pain and spasms: marijuana. Read More... Marijuana Ingredient Can Help Heal Broken Bones Posted by on July 21, 2015 at 12:08:11 PT By Matt Ferner, National Reporter Source: Huffington Post Israel -- Scientists in Israel are exploring another medical use for marijuana: Their research indicates that a compound in the plant helps heal bone fractures.
The new study, published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, found that broken bones healed faster and stronger when the patient received the non-psychoactive compound cannabidiol, or CBD. Read More... How ‘Medical’ Is Marijuana? Posted by on July 20, 2015 at 17:43:37 PT By Aaron E. Carroll Source: New York Times USA -- It is becoming easier to get marijuana, legally. In the last 20 years or so, 23 states, as well as the District of Columbia, have passed laws that make it legal to use marijuana for medical treatments. So have some countries, like Austria, Canada, Finland, Germany, Israel and Spain.
Advocates believe that this has allowed many with intractable medical problems to receive a safe and effective therapy. Opponents argue that these benefits are overblown, and that advocates ignore the harms of marijuana. Mostly, opponents say that the real objective of medical marijuana is to make it easier for people to obtain it for recreational purposes. Read More... Who’s Right on Marijuana? Justice Or the IRS? Posted by on July 20, 2015 at 04:37:22 PT By John Hudak Source: Newsweek Washington, D.C. -- In downtown Washington, D.C., the Department of Justice asserts that marijuana enterprises are free to exist, while immediately across 10th Street, the IRS tells those businesses they are illegal drug-trafficking operations ineligible for the benefits other corporate entities enjoy.
Which is it? Right now, it is both. This dual status presents commercial challenges for marijuana businesses, carrying serious consequences for individuals, patients, investors, law enforcement, courts, accountants and others. Read More... Drug-Test Firms Brace for Fight Posted by on July 19, 2015 at 04:35:47 PT By Daniel Moore Source: Toledo Blade USA -- As attitudes toward marijuana become more lenient and states authorize its use for medicinal — or even recreational — purposes, a long-simmering debate over the efficacy of workplace drug testing has found a new flash point.
Marijuana accounts for more failed workplace drug tests than any other substance, and the new laws have the potential of decreasing or eliminating employer testing for it. Read More... Marijuana in Alaska Has Long Been Legal Posted by on July 18, 2015 at 05:00:51 PT By Emi Sasagawa Source: Washington Post Alaska -- Native Alaskan Leif Abel knew how to hunt, fish, trap and grow organically by the time he was eight. In the family greenhouse, marijuana plants grew among the tomatoes, cucumbers and garden flowers. “On the Yukon when I was a kid, it was as normal as anything else,” he recalled. “I probably was pretty old before I realized that it was a little bit of a societal taboo.”
Last November, Alaska legalized recreational marijuana use. The voter initiative passed 53 percent to 47 percent, but it was hardly unforeseen to people like Abel living in the state’s interior. Long ingrained in their culture, Alaskans have been growing and using marijuana in their homes for decades. Read More... Obama Takes Reform Message To Prison Block Posted by on July 17, 2015 at 05:05:25 PT By Peter Baker Source: New York Times Oklahoma -- They opened the door to Cell 123, and President Obama stared inside. In the space of 9 feet by 10 feet, he saw three bunks, a toilet with no seat, a night table with books, a small sink, prison clothes on a hook, some metal cabinets and the life he might have had.
In becoming the first occupant of his high office to visit a federal correctional facility, Mr. Obama could not help reflecting on what might have been. After all, as a young man, he smoked marijuana and tried cocaine. But he did not end up with a prison term lasting decades like some of the men who have occupied Cell 123. Read More... D.C.’s State Fair Will Have MJ Growing Competition Posted by on July 16, 2015 at 09:17:19 PT By Perry Stein Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- It’s been five months since marijuana was legalized in D.C., and now there’s a public opportunity to show off, if you’ve been letting that liberty take root.
The D.C. State Fair — a seemingly Pinterest-inspired event showcasing the culinary, artistic and agricultural talents of the District — is adding a marijuana-growing competition to its lineup of events this year. The “Best Bud” category now joins the fair’s growing list of competitions, which already includes the honey contest, the homebrew contest, the knit and crotchet contest, the funkiest-looking vegetable contest, the pickled food contest and more. The fair also added a pet parade for the first time this year. Read More... Obama Wants Our Criminal Justice System to Change Posted by on July 15, 2015 at 12:51:30 PT By Kristen Gwynne Source: Rolling Stone USA -- At the 106th annual NAACP convention in Philadelphia Tuesday evening, President Obama called for major changes to one of the country's most pressing and complex issues: mass incarceration. Noting the importance of preventing crime by ensuring opportunities for all Americans, and of reducing recidivism by making jails more humane, Obama stressed that reform is in the hands of not only prosecutors, judges and police, but of our country as a whole. He asked the audience to have the courage to confront criminal justice reform step-by-step, and made some salient remarks about the inefficiency of a criminal justice system that does not make us safer, but that does come with high costs, financial and otherwise. Read More... Elizabeth Warren Urges Feds To Support MJ Research Posted by on July 14, 2015 at 14:50:14 PT By Matt Ferner, National Reporter Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- The federal government has a "responsibility" to facilitate sensible research into marijuana's medical benefits, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and seven other senators urged in a letter issued last week to multiple federal drug and health officials.
"While the federal government has emphasized research on the potential harms associated with the use of marijuana, there is still very limited research on the potential health benefits of marijuana -- despite the fact that millions of Americans are now eligible by state law to use the drug for medical purposes," the letter reads. Read More... Obama’s Calling for Sentencing Reform Posted by on July 14, 2015 at 08:10:50 PT By Juliet Eilperin Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- As President Obama prepares to make the case Tuesday afternoon for overhauling the nation’s criminal justice system, bipartisan legislation in the House and initiatives on the state level have started to gain traction. But will that be enough to usher a sweeping change in federal sentencing rules into law? It depends on whom you ask.
After holding nearly a year and-a-half of field hearings Reps. F. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Bobby Scott (D-Va.) introduced The Safe, Accountable, Fair, and Effective (SAFE) Justice Act late last month, a comprehensive measure that would impose mandatory minimum sentences on higher-level drug traffickers rather than low-level offenders; apply life sentences for drug trafficking only in extreme cases; and allow eligible offenders to petition for resentencing under new trafficking laws. Read More... How Medical Marijuana Could Literally Save Lives Posted by on July 14, 2015 at 07:38:07 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- Medical marijuana opponents recently pounced on a big new analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showing that there isn't good evidence that marijuana works for many of the conditions, like glaucoma, anxiety, or Parkinson's disease, that it's often prescribed for. The JAMA study was based on a meta-analysis of the findings of 79 previously-published studies.
Now, the study did not say pot isn't helpful for people suffering from those ailments; it said there was no evidence to that effect, as German Lopez noted at Vox. Importantly, however, the JAMA study found solid evidence that marijuana is effective at treating one big condition: chronic pain. The JAMA review found "30% or greater improvement in pain with cannabinoid compared with placebo," across the 79 studies it surveyed. Read More... Obama Grants Clemency to 46 Drug Offenders Posted by on July 14, 2015 at 04:33:49 PT By Timothy M. Phelps and Coln Diersing Source: Los Angeles Times Washington, D.C. -- President Obama commuted the sentences of 46 nonviolent drug offenders Monday, doubling the number of clemencies he has granted as the administration seeks to correct what many see as the wrongs inflicted by mandatory minimum prison sentences. The latest clemencies brought Obama’s total commutations to 89, the largest number since President Johnson’s 226.
Decades after the tough-on-crime era of the 1980s and 1990s, the Obama administration is hoping to combine the president’s commutation powers with Justice Department reforms and support from sympathetic Republicans in Congress to change sentencing policies that have had a disproportionate effect on African Americans and Latinos. Read More... Marijuana Opponents Using Racketeering Law Posted by CN Staff on July 13, 2015 at 12:34:49 PT By Kristen Wyatt, The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Denver -- A federal law crafted to fight the mob is giving marijuana opponents a new strategy in their battle to stop the expanding industry: racketeering lawsuits.
A Colorado pot shop recently closed after a Washington-based group opposed to legal marijuana sued not just the pot shop but a laundry list of firms doing business with it — from its landlord and accountant to the Iowa bonding company guaranteeing its tax payments. One by one, many of the plaintiffs agreed to stop doing business with Medical Marijuana of the Rockies, until the mountain shop closed its doors and had to sell off its pot at fire-sale prices. Read More... Indiana's Marijuana Church Sues State Posted by on July 11, 2015 at 09:05:03 PT By Matt Ferner, National Reporter Source: Huffington Post Indiana's First Church of Cannabis -- a religion that embraces marijuana as a holy sacrament, newly born under the state's recently enacted and controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act -- sued the state and the city of Indianapolis this week, claiming the state's marijuana prohibition laws infringe on the church's religious beliefs.
"Cannabis sativa also known as marijuana or Cannabis, 'the Healing Plant,' is the sacrament of the First Church of Cannabis," reads the lawsuit filed by the church Wednesday in Marion County Circuit Court. "Members of the Church believe cannabis 'brings us closer to ourselves and others, it is our fountain of health, our love, curing us from illness and depression. We embrace it with our whole heart and spirit, individually and as a group.'" Read More... Obama To Become First President to Visit a Prison Posted by on July 11, 2015 at 07:10:42 PT By Michael A. Memoli Source: Los Angeles Times Washington, D.C. -- President Obama will become the first sitting president to visit a federal prison, part of a push he plans next week for reforming the criminal justice system.
On Thursday, the president will visit with inmates and officials at the Federal Correctional Institution El Reno near Oklahoma City, the White House announced Friday, and will be interviewed for the HBO newsmagazine series “Vice” on the issue. Read More... New Bill Would Let Marijuana Shops Use Banks Posted by on July 09, 2015 at 16:46:27 PT By Tim Devaney, Contributor Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- Pot shops would have access to banks under new legislation in the Senate. The Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act, introduced Thursday in the Senate, would allow marijuana companies to store their money in banks.
Dispensaries are currently blocked from the banking system. Even though a number of states have legalized the use of medical and recreational marijuana, it is still illegal under federal law. Read More... House Republicans Say No To Federal Studies Posted by on July 09, 2015 at 16:34:39 PT By Aaron C. Davis Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Medical marijuana is now sold in nearly half of all states, and even one red state has legalized it for recreational use. Veterans of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are clamoring for access to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. Loosening pot laws polls better in three swing states than any 2016 presidential candidate.
But House Republicans have so far declined to keep pace with shifting public opinion. They did so again late Wednesday, when a rare bipartisan pot proposal died a quiet death in the House that would have reclassified marijuana so that national laboratories could conduct “credible research on its safety and efficacy as a medical treatment.” Read More... 115 Years of Marijuana Coverage Posted by on July 08, 2015 at 05:29:54 PT By Paige Cornwell, Seattle Times Staff Reporter Source: Seattle Times Seattle -- Cannabis made one of its first appearances in The Seattle Daily Times in 1911, in a recipe to cure corns. An extract of cannabis, along with sodium and collodion, would form a paste. Readers were instructed to “paint over the corn once or twice a day and scrape away superficial growth in three or four days.”
Later stories journeyed from a portrayal of marijuana as an illegal, dangerous drug used by dirty hippies to a legal drug purchased at a regulated store. Read More... Denver Activists Fight for Social Marijuana Use Posted by on July 07, 2015 at 10:35:08 PT By Katy Steinmetz Source: Time Colorado -- Denver residents are gearing up for another battle in the marijuana wars.
While activists in states like Nevada and Massachusetts are working on ballot measures to legalize recreational weed, a coalition in Colorado is collecting signatures to allow “limited social marijuana use.” As it stands, people in the state capital can consume marijuana only inside places like private homes or a rare “vape-friendly” hotel room. That, reformers say, can leave locals isolated and visitors not knowing where to turn. Read More... Washington State has Brought in $70 Million in Tax Posted by CN Staff on July 05, 2015 at 07:28:53 PT By Gene Johnson, The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Seattle -- Washington launched its second-in-the-nation legal marijuana market with just a handful of stores selling high-priced pot to long lines of customers. A year later, the state has about 160 shops open, tax revenues have soared past expectations and sales top $1.4 million per day.
And who knows — the industry might even start making some money. Read More... Ballot Campaign Launches To Allow Marijuana Bars Posted by on July 02, 2015 at 13:29:09 PT By Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times Source: Washington Times Denver -- The same pro-pot advocates who brought legalized recreational marijuana to Colorado launched Thursday a ballot campaign to allow adult “marijuana bars” in Denver.
Mason Tvert and Brian Vicente, who led the successful 2012 statewide initiative campaign for Amendment 64, announced they have formed the Campaign for Limited Social Use to “allow the use — but not sale — of marijuana at commercial establishments in areas restricted to individuals 21 or older.” Read More... Ohio Legislature Strikes Back Against Marijuana Posted by on July 02, 2015 at 05:00:06 PT By Liz Essley Whyte Source: Time Ohio -- A campaign to legalize marijuana in Ohio took a step closer to making November’s ballot Tuesday, after its promoters turned in more than twice the required number of signatures.
But the measure will face competition at the polls. Ohio legislators also approved their own ballot measure on Tuesday to undermine the pot plan, which lawmakers worried would amount to a “marijuana monopoly” because of its provision that only 10 growers would control the wholesale pot market. Read More... Gov. Inslee Signs Marijuana Reform Bill Posted by CN Staff on July 01, 2015 at 05:28:43 PT By Gene Johnson, The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Olympia -- Washington state's recreational marijuana law has a new tax structure under a measure signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Jay Inslee.
The new law eliminates the current three-tier tax structure and replaces it with a single excise tax of 37 percent at the point of sale — a change sought by the legal-pot industry. To encourage more cities and counties to allow marijuana businesses, the bill directs the state to share pot revenue with jurisdictions that do so. It also allows them to adopt more flexible zoning for where pot grows and stores can be located. Read More... State MJ Laws Complicate Federal Job Recruitment Posted by on June 29, 2015 at 05:04:57 PT By Matthew Rosenberg and Mark Mazzetti Source: New York Times Washington, D.C. -- For all the aspiring and current spies, diplomats and F.B.I. agents living in states that have liberalized marijuana laws, the federal government has a stern warning: Put down the bong, throw out the vaporizer and lose the rolling papers.
It may now be legal in Colorado, in Washington State and elsewhere to possess and smoke marijuana, but federal laws outlawing its use — and rules that make it a fireable offense for government workers — have remained rigid. As a result, recruiters for federal agencies are arriving on university campuses in those states with the sobering message that marijuana use will not be tolerated. Read More...
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