9-Year-Old Girl's Death Shines Light On Debate Posted by on July 24, 2014 at 04:54:35 PT By Cathy Schwartz Source: Huffington Post New York -- Drug reform advocates across New York state are demanding emergency access to medical marijuana for critically ill patients after a 9-year-old girl who suffered from debilitating seizures died last week due to complications with her disorder.
Anna Conte, the child whose family has been at the center of New York's medical marijuana debate for months, had a rare condition called Dravet Syndrome that caused her to experience as many as hundreds of crippling seizures every day. Children with similar conditions have successfully treated their symptoms with cannabis in states that have legalized the drug for medicinal use. Read More... Oregon Marijuana Legalization Measure Makes Ballot Posted by on July 23, 2014 at 13:19:06 PT By Maya Srikrishnan Source: Los Angeles Times Oregonians will be able to vote in November on whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use. The initiative submitted by the marijuana reform group New Approach Oregon received at least 88,500 valid signatures to qualify for placement on the ballot, election workers announced Wednesday.
“Treating marijuana use as a crime has failed,” Peter Zuckerman, spokesman for New Approach Oregon, told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday. “We can’t afford to wait -- more lives are being ruined, more money is being blown into the black market and police are more distracted from issues like violent crime. Oregonians are open to a new approach to marijuana and we are going to fight for every vote.” Read More... Oregon Will Vote On Legalizing Marijuana In 2014 Posted by on July 23, 2014 at 04:50:49 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Oregon -- This November, Oregon voters will get to decide whether they want to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana. "Initiative Petition 53 has qualified for the November ballot," Tony Green, communications director for Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown, confirmed to The Huffington Post Tuesday.
The petition was submitted by New Approach Oregon, a Portland-based marijuana policy reform group, earlier this month. More than 87,000 signatures have been verified by Brown's office. Read More... Colorado Voters Are Cool With Members Only Clubs Posted by on July 22, 2014 at 09:54:57 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Colorado -- When it comes to marijuana use, Colorado voters want it legal but they want it kept private. In a Quinnipiac poll released Monday, state voters strongly support cannabis use in members-only clubs, but are against consumption in traditional bars, clubs and entertainment venues.
Members-only style clubs specifically created for smoking marijuana are supported by 66 percent of state voters surveyed on the issue, but 65 percent are against use in traditional bars where alcohol is served. Additionally, 63 percent are against marijuana use at entertainment venues where admission is charged for entry. Read More... High Taxes May Slow Marijuana Revenue Posted by CN Staff on July 21, 2014 at 19:50:59 PT By Robin Respaut Source: Reuters Washington State -- High state and local taxes and a paucity of storefront licenses mean revenue from legalized marijuana sales in Washington state could be minimal this year, according to Moody's Investor Service.
Stores opened this month in Washington, where the second state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana forecast it will collect $51.2 million in revenues during the upcoming 2015-17 biennial budget. But Moody's said on Monday that marketplace competition and supply challenges could mean lower than anticipated sales. Read More... Hospital Sales of MMJ Fraught with Questions Posted by on July 21, 2014 at 04:45:50 PT By Becky Schlikerman Source: Chicago Sun-Times Chicago -- A dangerous neighborhood. The threat of arrest, or worse. An unreliable product, sold by criminals. For seriously ill patients who rely on medical marijuana to ease their pain, paying for their treatment can be a “risky operation,” according to multiple sclerosis patient Julie Falco.
But if officials at Swedish Covenant Hospital get their way, medical marijuana users like Falco could one day purchase their cannabis at a hospital dispensary — just like a patient buying a dosed antibiotic or a powerful pain reliever at the hospital’s pharmacy. Read More... Backers of MMJ in Florida Seek To Assuage Concerns Posted by CN Staff on July 19, 2014 at 18:04:52 PT By Barbara Liston Source: Reuters Orlando, Fla. -- Backers of a ballot initiative that would legalize wider use of medical marijuana in Florida are working to assuage some voters’ concerns before the November election about how the drug would be regulated.
A newly formed group called Florida For Care is planning to draft proposed rules for how medical marijuana will be managed if voters approve a constitutional amendment making it legal in the state. Read More... Legal Marijuana Feeds Entrepreneurs’ Dreams Posted by on July 19, 2014 at 06:12:43 PT By Jack Healy and Kirk Johnson Source: New York Times Denver -- Like the glint of gold or rumors of oil in ages past, the advent of legal, recreational marijuana is beginning to reshape economies in Colorado and Washington State.
Marijuana is beckoning thousands of entrepreneurs and workers, investors and hucksters from across the country, each looking to cash in on a rapidly changing industry that offers hefty portions of both promise and peril. Read More... Washington State Says Marijuana Brownies OK Posted by CN Staff on July 19, 2014 at 04:43:07 PT By Victoria Cavaliere Source: Reuters Seattle -- Marijuana stores in Washington state can sell marijuana in cookies, brownies and other approved baked goods but cannot put the drug in candies, lollipops or food items that might appeal to children, according to newly released rules.
Washington became the second U.S. state to allow recreational sales of marijuana to adults on July 8 when its first retail stores opened under a heavily regulated and taxed system approved by voters in 2012. Read More... Marijuana Was Supposed To Cause More Crime Posted by on July 18, 2014 at 13:22:58 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Colorado -- When Colorado legalized weed more than a year ago, opponents of the move warned that crime would rise. But half a year after the first sales of recreational marijuana began, the state's biggest city has yet to see an increase in criminal activity.
During the first six months of 2014, violent crime in the city and county of Denver was down 3 percent from the same period in 2013, according to the most recent available data. Three of the four main categories of violent crime that are tracked in the data -- homicide, sexual assault and robbery -- are all down from the same six-month stretch last year. Aggravated assault, the fourth category, is up 2.2 percent. Read More... $25 Penalties for Marijuana Go Into Effect Posted by on July 18, 2014 at 05:51:33 PT By Emmarie Huetteman Source: New York Times Washington, D.C. -- One of the least restrictive marijuana laws in the country went into effect in the shadow of the White House on Thursday, eliciting stern warnings from the local police but good cheer from many Washingtonians.
“A ticket when you just have a jay or something?” said Clifford Gray, a lifelong District of Columbia resident who is in his 20s, using a slang term for a marijuana cigarette. “I’m good with that.” Read More... GOP-Led House Gives Marijuana Businesses Boost Posted by on July 17, 2014 at 06:35:25 PT By Evan Halper Source: Los Angeles Times Washington, D.C. -- When it comes to liberalizing marijuana policy, Congress has once again shown that it is not always the liberals taking the lead.
The GOP-dominated House on Wednesday delighted cannabis advocates by voting to prohibit law enforcement from going after banks for doing business with state-licensed marijuana growers and sellers. Read More... Decriminalization Arrives, D.C. Police Prepare Posted by on July 16, 2014 at 12:35:10 PT By Mike DeBonis Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- On Wednesday, a D.C. cop who catches someone carrying a small amount of marijuana is required to launch his suspect on an onerous journey through the criminal justice system — one likely to involve handcuffs, fingerprinting and forensic analysis.
On Thursday, that same cop will face the simpler task of pulling out a ticket book and checking a box: Littering, or possession of marijuana? Read More... Marijuana Farmers Market Ordered to Shut Down Posted by on July 16, 2014 at 04:35:32 PT By Veronica Rocha Source: Los Angeles Times Los Angeles -- A Farmers market for medical marijuana users has been temporarily shut down after an L.A. County Superior Court judge agreed to halt operation of the Boyle Heights cannabis marketplace.
The judge’s ruling Tuesday grants a temporary restraining order filed by Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer, who sought to stop the California Heritage Market operations because he said it didn’t comply with the city's law for marijuana dispensaries. Read More... WH: Marijuana is an Issue of ‘States’ Rights’ Posted by on July 15, 2014 at 11:29:55 PT By Mike DeBonis Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- In its bid to fend off congressional interference with a pending marijuana decriminalization law, the District might have prompted President Obama to make an interesting declaration.
The White House on Monday said it “strongly opposes” the amendment attached last month to the House spending bill that includes the D.C. budget. The amendment, offered by Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), would bar the District government from spending any money on provisions that weaken its drug laws. Read More... Marijuana Is at Center of Feud in Capital Posted by on July 14, 2014 at 12:42:31 PT By Trip Gabriel Source: New York Times Washington, D.C. -- A law to make marijuana possession in the District of Columbia punishable by only a $25 ticket, one of the laxest drug laws in the nation, has ignited a feud between Washington’s mayor and a Republican House member days before it is to take effect.
Mayor Vincent C. Gray urged district residents to boycott the beaches and resort towns of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, after its congressman moved to block the city’s marijuana-friendly law, claiming more teenagers will take up drug use. Read More... Legalizing MJ Should Be a Top Security Objective Posted by on July 14, 2014 at 09:00:24 PT By H. A. Goodman Source: Huffington Post USA -- The national security goals of our country have been implemented in recent years by waging two decade-long insurgent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, nation building in those countries, and increased surveillance on our citizens. While 3,459 U.S. soldiers have died in the ongoing Afghanistan War, a total of 4,804 soldiers have given their lives in Iraq. Both wars have totaled one million injured soldiers according to Forbes, including traumatic brain injuries and PTSD that led directly to the recent VA Crisis. With the latest chaos in Iraq (and potentially in the near future in Afghanistan), the flood of border children fleeing cartels and political mayhem, and the over $4 trillion borrowed for wars and occupying foreign lands, it's time we reevaluate our national security objectives. Read More... Patients Could Start Using MMJ in Early 2015 Posted by on July 14, 2014 at 08:45:02 PT By Becky Schlikerman Source: Chicago Sun-Times Chicago -- There’s a medical marijuana law on the books in Illinois, but patients can’t yet use the drug here legally. That’s going to change soon.
On Tuesday, lawmakers who make up the obscure but powerful Joint Committee on Administrative Rules are meeting in Chicago to discuss the rules that would implement the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program. Read More... What Oregon Can Learn from WA MJ Legalization Posted by on July 13, 2014 at 09:46:09 PT By Anna Staver, Statesman Journal Source: Statesman Journal Oregon -- Soaring prices, supply shortages and overwhelmed regulators are three takeaways from Washington’s roll out of its retail marijuana system that Oregon advocates hope to improve upon should the state legalize the drug in November.
“You are starting a brand new industry from scratch, so there are definitely hurdles to get over and lessons to be learned,” said Anthony Johnson, the chief petitioner for the campaign to legalize marijuana in Oregon. Read More... Seattle's First Pot Shop Runs Out of Marijuana Posted by CN Staff on July 12, 2014 at 16:31:55 PT By Bryan Cohen Source: Reuters Washington State -- Seattle's first and only recreational marijuana store had to close on Friday after running out of stock in just three days since Washington became the second U.S. state to allow pot sales to adults.
Cannabis City opened in Seattle on Tuesday with at least 10 pounds of marijuana for sale, and by close of business Thursday it was all gone. A message on the store's phone line said it would re-open on July 21. Read More... DEA May Be Losing The War on Marijuana Politics Posted by on July 12, 2014 at 06:21:51 PT By Evan Halper Source: Los Angeles Times Washington, D.C. -- For narcotics agents, who often confront hostile situations, Capitol Hill has been a refuge where lawmakers stand ready to salute efforts in the nation's war on drugs.
Lately, however, the Drug Enforcement Administration has found itself under attack in Congress as it holds its ground against marijuana legalization while the resolve of longtime political allies — and the White House and Justice Department to which it reports — rapidly fades. Read More... MJ Demand in Colorado Nearly a Third Higher Posted by on July 11, 2014 at 10:16:47 PT By Niraj Chokshi Source: Washington Post Colorado -- Adult Coloradans consume roughly 121 metric tons of marijuana a year, according to a new Colorado Department of Revenue study that estimates demand at 31 percent more than a recent projection and virtually double some outside estimates.
The study, released this week, sought to ascertain how often and how much pot is consumed by the state’s adult residents and visitors. What they found was that there are 485,000 regular adult users of marijuana, a group that accounts for roughly 9 percent of the state’s forecast 2014 population. Toss in adult residents who have used the drug in the past year and estimates of those under 21 years old who have used in the past year and that share rises to more than 15 percent of the population. Read More... Berkeley Plans To Give Free Marijuana To The Poor Posted by on July 11, 2014 at 08:00:59 PT By Josh Barro Source: New York Times Berkeley, CA -- Earlier this month, Berkeley’s City Council voted unanimously for an ordinance that would provide free medical marijuana to patients with low incomes. If the ordinance passes its second reading in August, marijuana dispensaries will have to set aside 2 percent of their product — which must be of equivalent quality to the marijuana they’re selling at market prices — and give it free to city residents with incomes below $32,000.
It makes a lot more sense than it sounds at first. Read More... MJ Clubs Rise Out of Decades-Old Spanish Laws Posted by on July 11, 2014 at 05:50:42 PT By Suzanne Dailey Source: New York Times Barcelona, Spain -- On a recent evening, two vacationing German college students, armed with addresses they had gotten off the Internet, were trying to get into one of Barcelona’s new marijuana clubs.
They were not members. But no matter. They quickly found a club near the city’s central boulevard, La Rambla, that was willing to ignore the rules, helping them choose from a dozen strains of marijuana for sale in plastic bins before letting them settle into the cushy lounge area to light up. Read More... The Great Pot Experiment Posted by on July 10, 2014 at 12:05:07 PT From The Economist Source: Economist Seattle -- Since late 2012, two states have voted to legalise marijuana for recreational use; licensed shops in Colorado and Washington now sell it to anyone who wants it. Six states have legalised the drug for medicinal use, bringing the total to 23. Most Americans now say they favour legalisation. The House of Representatives has voted to defund federal raids of medical-marijuana facilities in states that allow them. Serious newspapers (though not, alas, this one) have appointed pot critics. And an Oklahoma state senator has campaigned to legalise the drug because in Genesis 1:29, “God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every herb-bearing seed...upon the face of all the earth’.” Read More... Marijuana: Brooklyn DA & New York Police at Odds Posted by on July 10, 2014 at 09:10:47 PT By Harry Bruinius, Staff Writer Source: Christian Science Monitor New York -- Brooklyn’s district attorney announced Tuesday that, starting immediately, his office will begin to dismiss most low-level pot possession crimes, simultaneously advancing the national acceptance of recreational marijuana use while creating a policy dissonance with the NYPD.
The district attorney, Kenneth Thompson, elected last fall after running a campaign critical of the New York Police Department’s controversial policy of stop-and-frisk, had already outlined in a confidential memo in April how he would use his power of prosecutorial discretion to dismiss such felony-level charges. These include those charged with carrying up to two ounces of pot, or about two full sandwich bags, and those displaying the drug “in open view.” Read More... Q&A: The Mother of Marijuana Legalization Posted by on July 10, 2014 at 08:47:07 PT By Maria L. La Ganga Source: Los Angeles Times Washington State -- Alison Holcomb, criminal justice director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington state, is known in these parts as the mother of marijuana legalization. She drafted Initiative 502, which voters passed overwhelmingly in 2012; the measure struck down prohibitions on recreational pot use and led to the creation of Washington’s marijuana market.
On Tuesday, she helped inaugurate Seattle’s first legal pot retailer, buying 4 grams of O.G.’s Pearl at Cannabis City in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood, after giving a rousing speech about the evils of prohibition and the benefits of decriminalization: Read More... Court MJ Ruling Can’t Pass Sniff Test, Police Say Posted by on July 10, 2014 at 05:48:40 PT By Owen Boss and Bob McGovern Source: Boston Herald Massachusetts -- Bay State lawmen are sounding off against a Supreme Judicial Court ruling yesterday that says an officer catching a whiff of unburnt weed doesn’t have cause to search a car, while legalization advocates are calling it a win for civil liberties.
“How is it any different from stopping somebody with an odor of alcohol on their breath?” asked Wayne Sampson, executive director of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association. “The same principle should apply.” Read More... Smell of Unburnt MJ Cannot Justify Search of Car Posted by on July 10, 2014 at 05:22:28 PT By Michael Levenson, Globe Staff Source: Boston Globe Massachusetts -- The Supreme Judicial Court Wednesday said that because voters decriminalized small amounts of marijuana in 2008, police officers in Massachusetts can no longer rely on the odor of unburnt marijuana to justify searching a person’s car.
In two unanimous rulings, the state’s highest court said they had already decided in 2011 that the odor of smoked marijuana by itself did not provide police with probable cause to stop people on the street or search the vehicles people are riding in. Read More... Arizona OKs MMJ for Patients with PTSD Posted by on July 10, 2014 at 04:40:33 PT By Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services Source: Arizona Daily Star Phoenix -- Thousands of Arizona veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder will soon be able to obtain marijuana legally.
State health director Will Humble decided Wednesday there is at least one study showing the drug can be helpful in treating the symptoms of PTSD. He said that, combined with some anecdotal evidence, provides what he needs under Arizona law to allow doctor with a qualifying patient to recommend the drug. Read More...
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