Legalization Backers Anxious as Donors Waver Posted by on November 26, 2014 at 19:44:03 PT By Evan Halper Source: Los Angeles Times USA -- After decades helping lead the fight against the national war on drugs, Ethan Nadelmann recently joined thousands of marijuana entrepreneurs here celebrating legalization — and found the scene kind of irritating.
The rapidly expanding legal pot industry has started to make some people rich, but the new pot capitalists are stingy about keeping the momentum for legalization building, Nadelmann said. Read More... Lawmaker: Marijuana Needs Debate in New Mexico Posted by CN Staff on November 25, 2014 at 17:10:08 PT By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press Source: Associated Press Albuquerque, N.M. -- The conversation about whether New Mexico should join other Western states in legalizing marijuana is cranking up as state lawmakers prepare for the 2015 legislative session.
Rep. Bill McCamley, a Democrat from southern New Mexico, took his case for legalization to fellow lawmakers Tuesday during a meeting of the interim health and human services committee. McCamley dismissed the stoner humor of 1970s comics Cheech and Chong and said this should be a serious debate. Read More... Bills Would Legalize Marijuana in Georgia Posted by on November 25, 2014 at 11:08:04 PT By Hunter Schwarz Source: Washington Post Georgia -- A Georgia state senator has introduced two pieces of legislation Monday that would legalize both medical and recreational marijuana in the state. SB 6 would allow those at least 21-years-old to purchase a “limited” amount of marijuana and taxes and fees from the sale would be split equally between education and transportation infrastructure.
SB 7 would authorize marijuana for medical use for those with a “debilitating medical condition,” which includes but isn’t limited to cancer, glaucoma, HIV, Alzheimer’s disease, and any “chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition.” Read More... Mayor Releases Plan for Marijuana in Seattle Posted by on November 24, 2014 at 16:58:04 PT By Evan Bush, Seattle Times Staff Reporter Source: Seattle Times Seattle -- Mayor Ed Murray’s office outlined its plan for the medical-marijuana industry this afternoon. The plan calls for licensing of recreational and medical-marijuana businesses and creates regulations for medical-marijuana providers.
The mayor’s plan would establish a regulatory system for medical similar to that of the state’s recreational system in that it sets standards for testing, packaging and advertising. It would require criminal background checks for business owners and require businesses to allow inspections by the city. Read More... Marijuana Advocates Hope Maine Goes Legal Next Posted by CN Staff on November 23, 2014 at 15:11:56 PT By Patrick Whittle, Associated Press Writer Source: Associated Press South Portland, Maine -- Marijuana advocates want to finally take their legalization drive — thus far the province of western states — to the Northeast, and they say the first state to do it here might be Maine.
The Pine Tree State has a long history with cannabis — Maine voters approved medical marijuana legalization 15 years ago, becoming the first state to do so in New England. Now, national marijuana advocates say, the state represents a chance for pro-marijuana forces to get a toe-hold in the northeastern states they have long coveted. Read More... Pay-To-Play Allegations Hold Lessons for Advocates Posted by on November 20, 2014 at 10:36:12 PT Boston Globe Editorial Source: Boston Globe Massachusetts -- There's an important lesson for states and marijuana legalization advocates in the pay-to-play allegations now rippling through the Massachusetts beer industry. After Prohibition, the Commonwealth and other states legalized alcohol in the wrong way, setting up a complicated distribution system that places sharp limits on where and from whom consumers can buy alcohol. These rules practically invited mischief by brewers, restaurants, wholesalers, and liquor stores. If states legalize marijuana — as Colorado has done, and others, including Massachusetts, are considering — legalization should happen in a way that avoids the stifled market like the one that now exists for beer. Read More... All The Progress Made On Marijuana Could Vanish Posted by on November 19, 2014 at 20:01:34 PT By Matt Ferner, The Huffington Post Source: Huffington Post USA -- The movement to end marijuana prohibition has made significant progress recently, but it could all be undone when the next president takes office in 2017. Harvard economist Jeff Miron, a vocal supporter of marijuana policy reform, highlighted the precarious nature of state marijuana laws in a Wednesday op-ed for CNN on why Congress needs to act now on federal marijuana policy.
"Despite the compelling case for legalization, and progress toward legalization at the state level, ultimate success is not assured," Miron wrote. "Federal law still prohibits marijuana, and existing jurisprudence (Gonzales v. Raich 2005) holds that federal law trumps state law when it comes to marijuana prohibition. So far, the federal government has mostly taken a hands-off approach to state medicalizations and legalizations, but in January 2017, the country will have a new president. That person could order the attorney general to enforce federal prohibition regardless of state law." Read More... Marijuana Shrinks Aggressive Form Of Brain Cancer Posted by on November 19, 2014 at 05:29:46 PT By Carly Schwartz, The Huffington Post Source: Huffington Post World -- Over the past few years, research has revealed that marijuana can both destroy certain cancer cells and reduce the growth of others. Now, a new study in mice has found that when combined with radiation treatment, cannabis can effectively shrink one of the most aggressive types of brain tumors.
In a paper published Friday in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapies, a team of researchers from St. George's University of London outlined the "dramatic reductions" they observed in high-grade glioma masses, a deadly form of brain cancer, when treated with a combination of radiation and two different marijuana compounds, also known as cannabinoids. In many cases, those tumors shrunk to as low as one-tenth the sizes of those in the control group. Read More... Official Bob Marley Marijuana Is Coming Posted by on November 19, 2014 at 05:03:30 PT By Jacob Davidson Source: Time USA -- Bob Marley, the late reggae superstar whose name is virtually synonymous with pot, will soon have his own marijuana label.
Marley’s family has joined with Privateer Holdings, a private equity firm focused on marijuana products, to develop Marley Natural brand weed. Marley Natural will offer “heirloom Jamaican cannabis strains,” the very same pot Marley himself is said to have enjoyed. The company will also sell creams, lotions, and Marley-branded accessories. Read More... GOP Congress Shows Little Interest in Blocking Pot Posted by on November 17, 2014 at 19:47:10 PT By Aaron Davis Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Looming over the District’s historic decision this month to legalize marijuana has been another mandate that voters delivered on Election Day: A Republican majority on Capitol Hill with the power to interfere with the measure when it goes to Congress for review.
But congressional Republicans appear to have other things on their minds. “To be honest, that’s pretty far down my list of priorities,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), who was maneuvering late last week to force a vote on U.S.-Iran nuclear talks. Read More... MJ Doesn’t Have to Lead to Commercialization Posted by on November 17, 2014 at 19:13:17 PT By Mark A.R. Kleiman Source: New York Times Washington, D.C. -- The voters of Washington, D.C. have overwhelmingly approved the legalization of cannabis under a system known as “grow and give” – every resident will be allowed to grow cannabis at home and to give it away, but not to sell it. There’s a strong case for ending cannabis prohibition one way or another, and “grow and give” avoids a lot of the problems created by turning production over to a for-profit commercial sector, the way states like Washington, Colorado and now Oregon and Alaska have. Read More... Premarket Approval for Edible Marijuana Posted by on November 17, 2014 at 06:40:59 PT By The Associated Press Source: New York Times Denver -- Worried that edible marijuana sweets are too attractive to children, Colorado health authorities plan to ask on Monday for a new panel to decide which marijuana foods and drinks look too much like regular snacks.
A Health Department recommendation, obtained by The Associated Press in advance of a final meeting Monday on edible marijuana regulations, suggests a new state commission give “premarket approval” before food or drinks containing pot can be sold. Read More... More Veterans Press VA To Recognize Marijuana Posted by on November 16, 2014 at 05:41:06 PT By Emily Wax-Thibodeaux Source: Washington Post USA -- Every morning, former Air Force senior airman Amy Rising makes breakfast for her second-grader, drives him to school and returns home to prepare what she calls her medicine.
She suffers from severe anxiety after four years working in the frenetic global command center at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, coordinating bombings and other missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Rising says she has found a treatment that helps her cope. But her local Veterans Affairs hospital does not provide it — because her medicine is a joint. Read More... Shift on Marijuana Policy Was a Long Time Coming Posted by on November 15, 2014 at 05:38:30 PT By Jim Dwyer Source: New York Times New York City -- Anthony Welfare closely followed this week’s news that New York City no longer will bring criminal charges against people who are seen with small amounts of marijuana, as long as they are not smoking it in public. “I find that funny,” Mr. Welfare, 28, said. But not hah-hah funny. Not LOL funny.
After seven years of steady work, Mr. Welfare automatically lost his job as a school bus driver in August when a police officer swore under oath that he saw a pipe in the center console of a car in which Mr. Welfare was a passenger. The pipe had a residue of marijuana, the officer said. Read More... Big Changes Coming in Colorado's Marijuana Market Posted by on November 14, 2014 at 10:05:52 PT By Jeremy P. Meyer, The Denver Post Source: Denver Post Colorado -- Look around you. These are the good old days of marijuana in Colorado. Things are about to change. Prices for pot assuredly will fall, more pot will flood the market, and legislative changes are in the offing for how physicians can prescribe pot for severe pain.
Voters could eventually be asked to add a special tax onto medical marijuana, and there is even talk of repealing Amendment 20 to discontinue the medical marijuana model altogether, lumping all pot sales into the retail market. Read More... Republican Congressman Joins Democrats Posted by on November 13, 2014 at 17:14:47 PT By Ryan J. Reilly Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), one of the strongest conservative voices for reforming the government’s approach to cannabis, joined with a group of Democrats on Thursday in calling for Congress to stand aside and allow the legalization of marijuana to go into effect in the nation’s capital.
D.C. voters overwhelmingly backed Initiative 71, which legalizes possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana for adults aged 21 and over, as well as limited at-home cultivation, earlier this month. (Sales of the drug are still banned.) Congress has 60 days to review the legislation, but it is unlikely that it would pass a bill and get the president to sign it during that limited window. Read More... United Nations Says Marijuana Legalization Illegal Posted by CN Staff on November 13, 2014 at 06:32:33 PT By Reuters Source: Reuters Vienna -- Moves by some U.S. states to legalize marijuana are not in line with international drugs conventions, the U.N. anti-narcotics chief said on Wednesday, adding he would discuss the issue in Washington next week.
Residents of Oregon, Alaska, and the U.S. capital voted this month to allow the use of marijuana, boosting the legalization movement as cannabis usage is increasingly recognized by the American mainstream. Read More... The Federal Government Hasn’t Legalized Marijuana Posted by on November 13, 2014 at 06:12:04 PT By Hunter Schwarz Source: Washington Post USA -- Although the federal government hasn’t legalized marijuana, it owns millions of acres of land in places that have.
The federal government controls approximately 640 million acres of land throughout the country, much of it in the West where the four states that have legalized it — Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington — are. It also operates 21.6 percent of Washington, D.C., which voted to legalize marijuana last week. Read More... Pot Legalization: Gateway to What? Posted by CN Staff on November 12, 2014 at 12:55:42 PT By Steven Nelson Source: U.S. News & World Report USA -- Buying marijuana is now about as easy as shopping for liquor in Denver and Seattle. Soon, four states will regulate and tax sales of joints and pot brownies, and drug policy campaigners see deeper reforms on the horizon. Flush with new funding and optimistic that Americans have turned a page, the American Civil Liberties Union plans to lead the charge.
“What the marijuana legalization votes tell us is the door is open to reconsidering all of our drug laws,” says Alison Holcomb, national director of the ACLU's new nationwide campaign against "mass incarceration." A $50 million grant from billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundations will fund the effort. Read More... The Problem With New York’s Marijuana Policy Posted by on November 12, 2014 at 09:15:50 PT New York Times’s Editorial Board Source: New York Times New York City -- While running for office, Bill de Blasio promised that as mayor he would amend the practice of singling out young black and Latino men for unfair and, in some cases, illegal arrests for possessing minuscule amounts of marijuana. Though the charges are often dismissed, the arrests can cost people their jobs and access to housing or the prospect of joining the armed forces.
Mayor de Blasio tackled part of this problem on Monday when he announced a new policy under which people found with tiny amounts of marijuana would typically be issued a ticket akin to a traffic summons, instead of being arrested and charged with a crime. Read More... The Brains of Marijuana Users are Different Posted by on November 11, 2014 at 06:21:45 PT By Abby Phillip Source: Washington Post USA -- If you're confused about what marijuana use really does to people who use it, you're not alone. For years, the scientific research on health effects of the drug have been all over the map.
Earlier this year, one study suggested that even casual marijuana use could cause changes to the brain. Another found that marijuana use was also associated with poor sperm quality, which could lead to infertility in men. Read More... Concerns in Criminal Justice System Posted by on November 11, 2014 at 06:11:16 PT By Al Baker Source: New York Times New York City -- Mayor Bill de Blasio, who took office promising to reform the Police Department and repair relations with black and Latino communities, on Monday unveiled his plan to change the way the police enforce the law on marijuana possession.
Arrests for low-level marijuana possession have had an especially harsh impact on minority communities, and under the change announced on Monday, people found with small amounts of marijuana will typically be given a ticket and cited for a violation instead of being arrested and charged with a crime. Read More... Marijuana from Outlaw Status To Retail Shelves Posted by on November 10, 2014 at 16:08:47 PT By Jeff Mapes Source: Oregonian Oregon -- After voters in Washington and Colorado voted to legalize marijuana in 2012, Alison Holcomb would tell pot activists it was too early to say that the rest of America was ready to accept the drug.
Holcomb, an American Civil Liberties Union official who managed Washington's legalization campaign, recalled that nearly a dozen states – including Oregon – decriminalized possession of small amounts of the drug in the 1970s. Read More... In New York City, Marijuana May Mean Ticket Posted by on November 10, 2014 at 05:10:06 PT By Joseph Goldstein Source: New York Times New York -- The New York Police Department, which has been arresting tens of thousands of people a year for low-level marijuana possession, is poised to stop making such arrests and to issue tickets instead, according to law enforcement officials.
People found with small amounts of marijuana would be issued court summonses and be allowed to continue on their way without being handcuffed and taken to station houses for fingerprinting. Read More... Momentum To Legalize MJ in California is Growing Posted by on November 09, 2014 at 16:37:36 PT By Kurtis Alexander Source: San Francisco Chronicle California -- Tuesday’s election, just one piece of the West Coast remained unwelcoming to recreational pot: California.
But with voters in Oregon and Alaska legalizing the use and sale of marijuana — joining Washington and Colorado in inviting retail spreads of cannabis-infused teas and brownies and joints — advocates see fresh momentum behind the slow shift in how the public regards the green stuff and those who enjoy it. Read More... Pot Legalization Faces Uncertain Future in DC Posted by on November 08, 2014 at 16:05:30 PT By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun Source: Baltimore Sun Washington, D.C. -- Although residents of Washington voted overwhelmingly in favor of legalizing marijuana this week — a move that could put penalty-free pot within an hour's drive of Baltimore — the ballot initiative faces an uncertain future.
The measure, which would make it legal for people over 21 to possess 2 ounces of marijuana and grow up to three plants, has triggered some concern on Capitol Hill and among Maryland authorities. Read More... How Legal Marijuana is Reshaping State Economies Posted by on November 07, 2014 at 16:18:34 PT By Patrik Jonsson, Staff Writer Source: Christian Science Monitor USA -- Forget that postgraduation barista job. Given that four US states have legalized marijuana, “budtender” is now one of the hottest retail jobs in America.
The legalization movement, which began when California voters approved medical marijuana in 1996, has long argued that one big reason to legalize marijuana is to stop sending adults to jail for using a drug that basically doesn’t have fatal implications, unlike legal ones like alcohol and nicotine. Read More... Congress Should Allow D.C.’s MJ Legalization Posted by on November 07, 2014 at 11:43:20 PT Washington Post Editorial Boad Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- D.C. Voters, as expected, gave overwhelming approval to a ballot initiative that would legalize marijuana and, as expected, there were immediate rumblings from Capitol Hill of plans to block its implementation. We did not favor passage of Initiative 71, but we do believe in democracy and self-government. Congress should recognize how inappropriate it would be to interfere with the District on this local issue.
Within hours of Tuesday’s passage of a measure that would make it permissible for adults in the District to possess as much as 2 ounces of marijuana, Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) signaled his interest in preventing the law from going into effect. “I will consider using all resources available to a member of Congress to stop this action,” said Mr. Harris, who previously tried to upend the District’s decriminalization of marijuana. Mr. Harris said his interest stems from concerns about the possible impact of legalization on adolescent drug use, yet he has shown little interest in the welfare of teenagers who reside in states that have moved to legalize the drug. Read More... Shrinking Majority Of Americans Supports Marijuana Posted by on November 07, 2014 at 06:17:32 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post USA -- A new Gallup poll shows that while a majority of Americans still support legalization of marijuana, that majority has thinned out significantly in only a year's time. The poll comes as momentum for marijuana legalization appears to be stronger than ever, with residents of two states and the District of Columbia voting on Tuesday to legalize marijuana.
In a survey released Thursday, Gallup found that 51 percent of Americans support legalizing the drug -- and while that's still a majority, that majority is down 7 points from the 58 percent support the polling company found just a year ago when they asked the same question. The new result is closer to the range of support found by Gallup in 2011 and 2012. Read More... Medical Marijuana’s Hazy Status Posted by on November 07, 2014 at 06:07:24 PT By Evan Bush, Seattle Times Staff Reporter Source: Seattle Times Seattle -- As the recreational-pot market develops, a growing number of Seattle medical-marijuana businesses are operating in a legally gray, loosely regulated space. What regulations do exist often are ignored because a patchwork group of agencies involved relies mostly on complaints to take notice of bad actors and doesn’t shut down businesses breaking the law.
Just 45 of 300 medical-marijuana businesses on file with the city’s Finance and Administrative Services Department paid local business and occupation taxes in 2013, according to a recent policy memo from the mayor’s office. But the regulations are so lax it isn’t clear if all 300 of those businesses made enough money to have to pay taxes, or if they even exist. Read More...
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