Poll: D.C. Voters Poised To Legalize Pot Posted by on September 19, 2014 at 15:19:18 PT By Aaron Davis Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Voters in the District of Columbia are poised to follow Colorado and Washington state into a closely watched experiment to legalize marijuana, according to a new NBC4/Washington Post/Marist poll.
By an almost 2-to-1 margin, likely voters in the city’s Nov. 4 election say they support Initiative 71, a ballot measure that would legalize possession, home cultivation and the sale of paraphernalia to smoke marijuana in the nation’s capital. Read More... Medical Marijuana Advocates’ Growing Impatience Posted by on September 19, 2014 at 08:31:38 PT By Scot Lehigh, Globe Columnist Source: Boston Globe Massachusetts -- Matt Allen, the man behind the state’s medical marijuana law, is all done holding his tongue. Almost two years after voters passed that ballot question, Allen notes, this state isn’t even close to having, in his felicitously turned phrase, “seeds in the ground.”
The law envisioned up to 35 nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries, with at least one in each county, ready to go — or grow — by the end of 2013. Almost nine months into 2014, after a process full of, um, potholes, 11 marijuana dispensaries have been provisionally certified, with half the counties uncovered. Even by the administration’s estimate, the first of those won’t make it through the final review and start operating until early next year. Read More... A Crucial Election Season for Legalizing Marijuana Posted by on September 18, 2014 at 14:23:47 PT By Stephen Gutwillig Source: Huffington Post USA -- It may be an off-year election, but it's a big one for drug policy reform. In seven weeks, voters across the country will have a chance to accelerate the unprecedented momentum to legalize marijuana and end the wider drug war. In fact, there are more drug policy reform questions on the ballot this November than ever in American history. Voter initiatives -- primarily reforming or repealing marijuana laws -- appear on the ballots in seven states, at least 17 municipalities and one U.S. territory. To help you keep score at home, here's an overview, starting with the highest-profile measures. Read More... Difference Between Smoking and Eating Marijuana Posted by on September 17, 2014 at 12:57:00 PT By David Pierson Source: Los Angeles Times Washington, D.C. -- There’s a difference between downing a beer and a round of tequila shots. And the Marijuana Policy Project wants you to know there’s also a difference between smoking a joint and eating a cannabis chocolate bar..
The Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group launched an ad campaign Wednesday aimed at educating people how to consume marijuana responsibly -- especially pot tourists headed for Colorado. Read More... Rauner Says He Wouldn't Have Signed MMJ Bill Posted by on September 16, 2014 at 14:23:18 PT By Natasha Korecki Source: Chicago Sun-Times Illinois -- Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner on Tuesday said he wouldn't have signed a medical marijuana pilot project now underway in Illinois. When specifically asked if he wouldn't have signed the medical marijuana law, Rauner said: "That's correct. And Pat Quinn shouldn't have supported this law, because it created a secret process."
Rauner's position is significant because the pilot project in Illinois would be up for renewal in 2017. The next governor would be key to allowing medical marijuana to move forward in the state. Read More... Snowbirds Potential Partakers of Medical Marijuana Posted by on September 16, 2014 at 07:04:30 PT By Mary Wozniak Source: News-Press Florida -- Sunshine and beaches are great attractions, but there could be another reason snowbirds flock to Florida if Amendment 2 passes: The availability of medical marijuana. Whether that happens depends on several unknowns as Florida heads into the last seven weeks before people vote on the question of legalizing medical pot.
State and local tourism officials don't believe the amendment will have an effect on tourism if it passes. They say the impact on snowbird residents would be miniscule. They also say they have no intention of using medical marijuana as a marketing tool. Read More... New York Could Legalize Marijuana In 2015 Posted by on September 15, 2014 at 19:52:50 PT By Matt Ferner, The Huffington Post Source: Huffington Post New York -- The state of New York could legalize marijuana for recreational use as early as 2015. State Sen. Liz Krueger (D) will reintroduce the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act during the next legislative session, which begins in January, her office confirmed to The Huffington Post on Monday.
"We're definitely introducing the bill next session," Brad Usher, Krueger's chief of staff, told HuffPost. "We've received a variety of feedback since we first introduced it last December and we're working on amending it, so we're looking to see what we can learn from Colorado and Washington when we reintroduce it." Read More... Campaign To Legalize Marijuana in D.C. Posted by on September 15, 2014 at 05:44:56 PT By Aaron Davis Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- The campaign to legalize marijuana in the nation’s capital has settled on its slogans for D.C. voters. The two lines were not tested with focus groups or polled for impact, but campaign chairman Adam Eidinger said he is confident that organizers have nailed it.
The simple message that voters will continue to see on bright-red posters for Initiative 71 remains the same: “Legalize.” In smaller text, there will now be two more ideas: “Vote to refocus police priorities” and “legalization ends discrimination.” Read More... Police Chief: Legalize Marijuana Posted by on September 14, 2014 at 09:29:45 PT By Nico Savidge, Wisconsin State Journal Source: Wisconsin State Journal Wisconsin -- Madison Police Chief Mike Koval endorsed the legalization of marijuana last week, saying the drug should be regulated and taxed, with revenues used to fund treatment programs for harder drugs.
The comments came during an interview with the State Journal Wednesday about data showing African-Americans in Madison were arrested or cited for marijuana offenses at about 12 times the rate of whites in the city. Read More... Marijuana Legalization Takes Center Stage in Salem Posted by on September 13, 2014 at 06:41:23 PT By Anna Staver, Statesman Journal Source: Statesman Journal Oregon -- The supporters and opponents of legalizing recreational marijuana in Oregon exchanged barbs but changed few minds Friday during a Salem City Club debate.
The hour long event featured U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Portland, who supports legalization, and Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis, who opposes it. "Prohibition doesn't work," Bluemenauer said. Read More... Philadelphia Nears Deal to Ease Marijuana Laws Posted by on September 12, 2014 at 05:22:37 PT By Trip Gabriel Source: New York Times Pennsylvania -- People in Philadelphia caught with small amounts of marijuana or smoking it in public may soon face no more than a written citation and a modest fine as the City Council moved Thursday to decriminalize the drug after a reversal by Mayor Michael A. Nutter.
The mayor, who had scoffed at arguments that black men are unfairly targeted in arrests involving marijuana, announced his support of decriminalization this week. He had declined to sign a bill the Council passed in June, saying it needed more study. Read More... Nutter, Kenney Reach Deal on Decriminalizing Pot Posted by on September 10, 2014 at 15:38:38 PT By Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer Source: Philadelphia Inquirer Philadelphia -- The Nutter administration and City Councilman James Kenney have reached a compromise on a bill that will reduce penalties for possession of marijuana in Philadelphia.
The compromise calls for a separate offense - and penalty - for public use of the drug. Those who are caught using marijuana in public would be charged with a noncriminal summary offense, and would face a $100 fine or up to nine hours of community service, according to Kenney. People caught possessing fewer than 30 grams of marijuana, or just over an ounce, would be issued a citation and fined $25. Read More... CO Retail Marijuana Sales Finally Beat Medical Posted by on September 10, 2014 at 14:01:54 PT By Katy Steinmetz Source: Time Colorado -- Sales of legal retail marijuana have topped sales of medical marijuana in Colorado for the first time since the state’s recreational pot shops opened their doors on Jan. 1, according to tax figures released by the Colorado Department of Revenue.
During the month of July, the state received $838,711 from a 2.9% tax on medical marijuana, meaning that patients spent an estimated $28.9 million at dispensaries. The state meanwhile raked in $2.97 million from a 10% sales tax on retail marijuana, putting those sales at about $29.7 million, according to calculations by the Cannabist. Read More... MMJ Panel Moves Toward Final Proposed Rules Posted by on September 10, 2014 at 10:08:23 PT By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun Source: Baltimore Sun Maryland -- A state panel on Tuesday hashed out more of the nitty-gritty details to create a medical marijuana industry from scratch, but some key points remained unresolved as the commission nears a deadline next week.
Maryland's Medical Marijuana Commission plans to release Wednesday a second draft of regulations to create the program. Those 81-pages of rules have been reshaped after the first draft came under fire at a public hearing last month. Among the many changes in the new draft: removing a provision that would have effectively outlawed a grower or dispensary operation within Baltimore city limits. Read More... Dispensaries Need Access To Banking System Posted by on September 09, 2014 at 14:06:20 PT Editorial Source: Boston Globe Massachusetts -- Nearly two years after Massachusetts voters approved medical marijuana, nine distribution centers are to open next year in places like Brookline, Lowell, Salem, and Quincy. The state licensing process for these dispensaries has been convoluted. And yet that path seems easy to navigate compared with the latest obstacle: the banking system. Because the drug remains illegal under federal law, marijuana-related businesses nationwide have struggled to find banks that will accept their deposits. This is creating a bizarre and dangerous cash management situation for businesses that Massachusetts and other states treat as legal. Federal lawmakers and regulators should acknowledge this and allow marijuana dispensaries to use the banking system safely. Read More... Philadelphia To Decriminalize Marijuana Posted by on September 09, 2014 at 04:52:32 PT By Andy Campbell, The Huffington Post Source: Huffington Post Philadelphia -- Pretty soon, you won't be considered a criminal for carrying around a little weed in Philadelphia.
Philly Mayor Michael Nutter confirmed Monday that he will sign a bill into law that will make his city the largest in America to decriminalize marijuana possession, Philly Mag reports. Essentially it softens the penalty for such an offense from possible jail time to a $25 fine. Read More... Coalition Urges Nations to Decriminalize Drugs Posted by on September 08, 2014 at 19:42:51 PT By Somini Sengupta Source: New York Times World News -- A coalition of political figures from around the world, including Kofi Annan, the former United Nations secretary general, and several former European and Latin American presidents, is urging governments to decriminalize a variety of illegal drugs and set up regulated drug markets within their own countries.
The proposal by the group, the Global Commission on Drug Policy, goes beyond its previous call to abandon the nearly half-century-old American-led war on drugs. As part of a report scheduled to be released on Tuesday, the group goes much further than its 2011 recommendation to legalize cannabis. Read More... Legal Use of Marijuana Clashes With Job Rules Posted by on September 08, 2014 at 05:30:34 PT By Jack Healy Source: New York Times Denver -- Brandon Coats knew he was going to fail his drug test. Paralyzed in a car crash when he was 16, he had been using medical marijuana since 2009 to relieve the painful spasms that jolted his body. But he smoked mostly at night, and said marijuana had never hurt his performance answering customer calls for a Colorado satellite-television provider.
So when his employer, Dish Network, asked Mr. Coats to take a random drug screen, he was not surprised when the test came back positive for marijuana. He told his bosses why, but when he got to work the following week, he said, “my card wouldn’t open up the door.” He was fired for violating the company’s drug-free workplace rules, despite having a medical marijuana card. Read More... Marijuana Legalization Vote Erupts in Name-Calling Posted by CN Staff on September 05, 2014 at 16:32:55 PT By Jeff Barnard, Associated Press Source: Associated Press Grants Pass, Ore. -- Oregon’s upcoming vote on whether to legalize marijuana has generated a name-calling dispute between a congressman who wants to overhaul federal marijuana policy and a prominent district attorney who has been speaking out about the dangers of pot.
The spat between U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis erupted over whether upcoming events featuring national anti-drug activist Kevin Sabet shortly before mail ballots go out to voters amounts to political activity, and whether federal funds can be used to finance the events. Read More... Marijuana Laws Put Workers in Tough Spot Posted by on September 04, 2014 at 15:28:06 PT By Trevor Hughes Source: USA Today Denver -- Every time he goes to work, Harvard-trained lawyer Andrew Freedman faces federal prosecution thanks to the source of his paycheck: Colorado's burgeoning marijuana industry.
Freedman, the governor's chief marijuana adviser, faces prison time if federal prosecutors decide to step in. That's because federal law still considers marijuana as dangerous as heroin or cocaine, and prosecutors could easily bring drug-trafficking charges if they choose. Freedman's salary is paid by the taxes collected on legal marijuana sales. Read More... Finally, Some Hard Science on MMJ for Epilepsy Posted by on September 04, 2014 at 04:55:09 PT By Kate Pickert Source: Time Colorado -- For years, some parents have turned to medical marijuana to treat their children’s debilitating epilepsy, crediting the drug with dramatically reducing seizure activity. A groundbreaking clinical trial about to begin recruiting test subjects may finally provide some science to back their claims.
In what is believed to be the first study of its kind, researchers at the University of Colorado, Denver will study the genes of those with a kind of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome who have been treated with a strain of medical marijuana known as Charlotte’s Web. The study will attempt to determine if specific genetic components can explain why some epilepsy patients see positive results from ingesting Charlotte’s Web, while others do not. Read More... What Getting Medical Marijuana is Like Today Posted by on September 03, 2014 at 16:29:23 PT By Hunter Schwarz Source: Washington Post USA -- During Prohibition, people were able to legally consume alcohol if they received a prescription from a doctor, similar to how residents of some states are able to legally consume marijuana. Here’s how that worked.
In what states was medical liquor legal?
In all 48 states (Alaska and Hawaii were not granted statehood until 1959, 26 years after Prohibition was repealed). Read More... Berkeley Pushes New Boundary With Free Marijuana Posted by on September 02, 2014 at 18:32:11 PT By Ian Lovett Source: New York Times Berkeley, Calif. -- Since the birth of the Free Speech Movement half a century ago, this city has prided itself on its liberal values and policies, be they generous benefits for the needy or a look-the-other-way attitude toward marijuana use. Now, the city is bringing those policies together with a new amenity for the poor here: free pot.
Beginning next August, medical marijuana dispensaries in this city will be required to donate at least 2 percent of their cannabis to low-income residents. The City Council approved the requirement this summer — unanimously no less — with the hope of making the drug, which can sell for up to $400 an ounce at dispensaries, affordable for all residents. Read More... Patterns: A Benefit of Legal Marijuana Posted by on September 02, 2014 at 05:36:26 PT By Nicholas Bakalar Source: New York Times USA -- Policy makers have suggested a variety of strategies to reduce injury and death from prescription opioid overdose, including drug-monitoring programs, scrutiny of doctors writing prescriptions and improved access to substance-abuse treatment.
Now a study has found evidence that legal access to marijuana is associated with fewer opioid overdose deaths. Researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs found that in states where medical marijuana was legally available, death rates from opioid overdose were on average 24.8 percent lower than in states without medical marijuana. Read More... Legalization Complicates How To Talk About Pot Posted by on September 01, 2014 at 14:30:19 PT By Maria L. La Ganga Source: Los Angeles Times USA -- Laurie Ritchie prides herself on being an open-minded parent. She voted in favor of legalizing marijuana two years ago. She started talking to her daughters about drug use around the same time. She hasn't stopped.
Now that recreational pot is legal in Colorado and Washington state for people 21 and older, "it's everywhere," the 53-year-old said. Even on her patio in this Denver suburb, where her husband sneaks an occasional smoke. Read More... Will Draffic Deaths Rise as States Legalize Pot? Posted by CN Staff on September 01, 2014 at 06:19:30 PT By Joan Lowy, Associated Press Source: Associated Press Washington, D.C. -- As states liberalize their marijuana laws, public officials and safety advocates worry that more drivers high on pot will lead to a big increase in traffic deaths. Researchers who have studied the issue, though, are divided on the question.
Studies of marijuana's effects show that the drug can slow decision-making, decrease peripheral vision and impede multitasking, all of which are critical driving skills. But unlike with alcohol, drivers high on pot tend to be aware that they are impaired and they try to compensate by driving slowly, avoiding risky actions such as passing other cars, and allowing extra room between vehicles. Read More... Alaska Marijuana Legalization Initiative Posted by on September 01, 2014 at 06:10:28 PT By Laurel Andrews Source: Anchorage Daily News Alaska -- With two months left to sway Alaska voters, the dueling groups in support and opposition of a ballot measure to legalize, tax and regulate recreational marijuana in Alaska are ramping up their campaigns, and Friday they offered glimpses of what’s to come in the weeks leading to the general election.
The group backing the initiative -- the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska -- gave insight into an upcoming advertising campaign and a new website to be unveiled in early September. Read More... Of Pot and Percocet Posted by on August 30, 2014 at 11:31:14 PT By Marcus Bachhuber Source: New York Times USA -- Prescription opioid painkillers like Percocet, Vicodin and OxyContin have come under intense scrutiny in recent years because of the drastic rise in overdose deaths associated with their prolonged use. Meanwhile, access to medical marijuana has been expanding — 23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized its broad medical use — and chronic or severe pain is by far the most common condition reported among people using it.
Could the availability of medical marijuana reduce the hazards of prescription painkillers? If enough people opt to treat pain with medical marijuana instead of prescription painkillers in states where this is legal, it stands to reason that states with medical marijuana laws might experience an overall decrease in opioid painkiller overdoses and deaths. Read More... CO MMJ Research Grants Face Federal Uncertainty Posted by on August 30, 2014 at 05:10:03 PT By John Ingold, The Denver Post Source: Denver Post Colorado will begin handing out money for a groundbreaking medical-marijuana research grant program early next year. But the first meeting of a group that will review applications for the grants shows there's doubt over who will be able to accept the funding.
Next week, Colorado's health department will release the program's official request for applications. Starting early next year, the state expects to distribute $9 million for research on the medical effects of cannabis, making it the largest state-funded effort to study medical marijuana. Read More... Santa Fe City Council Votes to Decriminalize MJ Posted by CN Staff on August 28, 2014 at 10:23:02 PT By Josepk Kolb Source: Reuters New Mexico -- Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the New Mexico capital voting to change local statutes rather than put the issue to a public ballot in November.
The Santa Fe City Council voted five to four in favor of revising a law classifying possession of less than one ounce (28 grams) of marijuana as a misdemeanor. Read More...
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