Hundreds of D.C. Residents Now Have MJ Seeds Posted by on March 27, 2015 at 19:40:49 PT By Perry Stein Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Matt Skarbeck handed out free marijuana seeds from his personal collection at the D.C. Cannabis Campaign’s seed share Thursday evening. Skarbeck, who said he’s been a professional grower since 1992, had a variety of marijuana strains on hand, some of which he said were worth $40 per seed.
“It grows very oddball weed that no one’s ever seen before,” he said of one of the strains. Read More... Colorado Asks Supreme Court To Toss MJ Lawsuit Posted by on March 27, 2015 at 18:49:16 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- The Colorado Attorney General's Office on Friday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out a lawsuit filed by Nebraska and Oklahoma that contends Colorado's legalization of marijuana is causing an increase in drug crimes in their states.
Attorney General Cynthia Coffman wrote in a brief filed with the high court that the lawsuit's aim to stop Colorado from regulating its recreational marijuana industry is a "dangerous" move that would leave "legalization intact" while neutering the state's ability to police businesses. The court should dismiss the lawsuit, Coffman said. Read More... Officials Defend Legalization at US Supreme Court Posted by on March 27, 2015 at 16:25:26 PT By John Ingold, The Denver Post Source: Denver Post Washington, D.C. -- Arguing that two neighboring states are dangerously meddling with Colorado's marijuana laws, state Attorney General Cynthia Coffman on Friday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a landmark lawsuit filed by Nebraska and Oklahoma over marijuana legalization.
In a brief submitted in response to the lawsuit, Coffman wrote that Nebraska and Oklahoma "filed this case in an attempt to reach across their borders and selectively invalidate state laws with which they disagree." Read More... Feds May Spend Nearly $70 Million On Marijuana Posted by on March 26, 2015 at 15:23:11 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- The federal government announced Monday that it is prepared to spend tens of millions of dollars on marijuana research through the University of Mississippi, which houses the only federally legal cannabis garden in the United States.
The new contract, worth a maximum of $68.7 million over five years, was awarded by the National Institutes of Health Monday and posted to the Federal Business Opportunities website. The award is a renewal of a contract with the university that the federal government has held for more than 40 years. Read More... D.C. is About To Host Nations Marijuana Giveaway Posted by on March 26, 2015 at 12:33:47 PT By Aaron C. Davis Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- The District is about to witness a massive, public drug deal on Thursday — and for those involved, it will be quite a bargain.
Over 800 people have confirmed attendance at a giveaway of marijuana seeds Thursday night at an Adams Morgan restaurant. The event appears unprecedented and likely to scatter the makings of more than 16,000 marijuana plants across the nation’s capital. Read More... Marijuana Charges Have Plummeted In Colorado Posted by on March 26, 2015 at 07:28:19 PT By Matt Ferner, The Huffington Post Source: Huffington Post Colorado -- It should come as no surprise that when Colorado legalized marijuana, criminal charges connected to the plant would be reduced. But a comprehensive new report released Wednesday reveals just how dramatically the new drug policy has reformed criminal justice in the state.
The report by the Drug Policy Alliance reveals that, overall, the total number of charges filed in state courts for marijuana possession, distribution and cultivation fell by nearly 95 percent across the state -- from 38,878 total charges in 2010 to just 2,036 in 2014. Read More... Racial Disparities Arrests Persist With Legal Pot Posted by CN Staff on March 25, 2015 at 07:41:22 PT By Kristen Wyatt, Associated Press Source: Associated Press Denver -- Not surprisingly, the legalization of marijuana in Colorado has reduced pot arrests, but a newly released study says it doesn't solve one of the central goals of drug-policy reformers: ending racial disparities in enforcement.
A report from the pro-legalization Drug Policy Alliance released Wednesday showed that marijuana arrests in Colorado all but stopped after voters made the drug legal in small amounts for adults over 21. The report examined drug-related arrests in all 64 Colorado counties for two years before and two years after legalization in 2012. Read More... Historic Medical Marijuana Bill Gains Momentum Posted by on March 25, 2015 at 05:14:30 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- A comprehensive bill introduced in the House of Representatives Tuesday aims to deal a significant blow to the federal government's long-running war on medical marijuana.
The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act, introduced by Reps. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and Don Young (R-Alaska), is a House companion bill to identical Senate legislation from Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) introduced earlier this month. Each bill seeks to drastically reduce the federal government's ability to crack down on state-legal medical marijuana programs and aims to encourage more research into the plant. Read More... One Downside of MJ Legalization: Major Energy Use Posted by on March 23, 2015 at 12:43:36 PT By Chris Mooney Source: Washington Post USA -- Across the country, there’s a growing trend toward the legalization of marijuana. Four states — Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Alaska — have voted to allow people to possess limited amounts of marijuana use for personal use and also to let producers apply for licenses to produce and sell it. D.C. also just voted to allow personal possession. All of this is on top of the 23 states that allow it for medical reasons.
In some states, where businesses are also now legally cultivating and producing marijuana, a mainstream industry is emerging. Marijuana sales totaled $700 million in Colorado last year, for instance. But there’s a surprising catch. It turns out that indoor marijuana growth in particular — a cultivation method often favored in the industry for many reasons — uses a surprising amount of energy. Read More... State Pushes Forward To Legalize Marijuana Posted by on March 23, 2015 at 10:44:42 PT By Joshua Miller, Boston Globe Source: Boston Globe Massachusetts -- Beacon Hill legislators are working on a marijuana legalization proposal, in part as an effort to short-circuit an expected 2016 ballot push.
Advocates have long planned an initiative petition to legalize the recreational use of the drug for adults, and political analysts have expected that measure to pass in the next presidential election year. Read More... 2016 Will Be the Marijuana Election Posted by on March 22, 2015 at 19:04:49 PT By John Hudak Source: Newsweek USA -- Late last month, Republicans converged on D.C. to meet for CPAC—the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. Decades old and sponsored by the American Conservative Union, this event is a requirement for top Republican politicians. It is no surprise that the leading Republican presidential contenders made their way to the big stage.
This year, something odd happened on the way to the podium. Speakers were sprayed with an array of questions on a topic that was somewhat new to the conservative agenda: marijuana policy. Read More... Infighting on Maine Marijuana Law Posted by CN Staff on March 22, 2015 at 07:51:27 PT By Patrick Whittle, Associated Press Source: Associated Press Portland, Maine -- The marijuana wars are on in Maine.
Two sparring pro-marijuana groups are gearing up for spring petition drives that would ask residents whether to make pot legal for recreational use. Veterans of other states' legalization drives — both failed and successful — said the conflict underscores one of the growing pains of the pro-marijuana movement: Divergent pro-pot forces don't always get along. Read More... Can Washington’s Gift Economy in Marijuana Work? Posted by on March 20, 2015 at 16:29:13 PT By Josh Barro Source: New York Times Washington, D.C. -- It sounds like an idea a stoner might come up with.
In Washington, D.C., it’s now legal to possess marijuana, to grow it, to smoke it and to give it away. But you’re not allowed to trade in it. You can give your neighbor up to an ounce, but if he gives you money or even bakes you a pie in exchange, that’s illegal. Read More... Marijuana Gears Up for Production High in US Labs Posted by on March 19, 2015 at 07:05:49 PT By Sara Reardon and Nature Magazine Source: Scientific American USA -- Residents of 23 US states can buy medical marijuana to treat everything from cancer pain to anxiety, but US scientists must wade through onerous paperwork to score the drug for study. Their sole dealer is the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which has a contract with the University of Mississippi in Oxford to produce marijuana for research purposes.
The agency has long faced complaints that its marijuana is too weak to represent what is sold on the street, and contains low levels of the non-psychedelic chemicals that show therapeutic promise for conditions such as epilepsy and chronic pain. Now, with legal marijuana increasingly available to the US public, NIDA is quietly changing course—working to expand the amount and variety of the drug available for study. Read More... Ruling Clears Way for MJ Convictions To Be Erased Posted by CN Staff on March 19, 2015 at 05:17:33 PT By Dave Collins, Associated Press Source: Associated Press Hartford, Conn. -- Thousands of people busted in Connecticut for marijuana possession now have the right to get their convictions erased after the state Supreme Court ruled Monday that the violation had been downgraded to the same legal level as a parking ticket.
The 7-0 ruling came in the case of former Manchester and Bolton resident Nicholas Menditto, who had asked for his convictions to be overturned after the Legislature decriminalized possession of small amounts of pot in 2011. Read More... Survey Finds Strong Support MJ Legalization Posted by on March 18, 2015 at 19:32:57 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post USA -- A new national survey of American voters has found a strong majority in support of marijuana legalization and an even larger majority in support of decriminalization of the drug.
The "Beyond the Beltway" report released Wednesday by Democratic-affiliated Benenson Strategy Group and SKDKnickerbocker found 61 percent of Americans in favor of marijuana legalization and 72 percent in favor of decriminalization. The drug remains illegal under federal law. Read More... Sen. Boxer Quietly Backs Bipartisan MMJ Bill Posted by on March 18, 2015 at 19:08:06 PT By Niraj Chokshi Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- With little fanfare, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) has thrown her support behind a historic Senate bill to comprehensively reform medical marijuana at the federal level.
The bill, unveiled last week by Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), would end the federal prohibition on medical marijuana and offer clarity to states that have approved the drug for medical use. Among its many features, the bill would reclassify marijuana in the federal government’s eyes, moving it from the Schedule 1 category of drugs deemed to have no accepted medical use to Schedule 2. Read More... Medical Marijuana Lost In Smoke Posted by on March 17, 2015 at 18:02:34 PT By Debra J. Saunders Source: American Spectator Washington, D.C. -- Last year, Congress passed an amendment that barred the Department of Justice from using federal dollars to prosecute medical marijuana dispensaries in states that have legalized them. Last week, three senators proposed a measure to clean up the federal-state medical marijuana mess once and for all.
Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., introduced their Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act, which should draw support from the right and left. Why? First, it would reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II, granting recognition that marijuana has legitimate medical uses, a sop to the left. Read More... Obama: Congress May Change Federal Law Posted by on March 16, 2015 at 20:50:50 PT By Matt Ferner, The Huffington Post Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- President Barack Obama said if enough states reform their marijuana laws, Congress may change federal law that continues to make the drug illegal.
Obama, during an interview with Vice Media co-founder Shane Smith released in full on Monday, said he's encouraged that liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans seem to agree that current U.S. marijuana laws don't make sense. "We may be able to make some progress on the decriminalization side," Obama said. "At a certain point, if enough states end up decriminalizing, then Congress may then reschedule marijuana." Read More... Alcohol or Marijuana? Pediatrician Faces Question Posted by on March 16, 2015 at 06:53:07 PT By Aaron E. Carroll Source: New York Times USA -- As my children, and my friends’ children, are getting older, a question that comes up again and again from friends is this: Which would I rather my children use — alcohol or marijuana?
The immediate answer, of course, is “neither.” But no parent accepts that. It’s assumed, and not incorrectly, that the vast majority of adolescents will try one or the other, especially when they go to college. So they press me further. Read More... First MJ Legalization Ballot Measure Set for 2016 Posted by on March 14, 2015 at 05:58:21 PT By Niraj Chokshi Source: Washington Post Nevada -- Hoping to build on consecutive electoral victories, advocates say they have secured the first state marijuana legalization ballot measure for 2016.
Nevada state lawmakers had until Saturday to take action on the ballot measure, which would legalize marijuana for recreational use, but adjourned on Friday without voting on it, the Marijuana Policy Project notes in a statement. As a result, the initiative, for which the group collected nearly twice the necessary signatures, is destined for the 2016 ballot, they say. Read More... D.C. Cannabis Campaign To Host MJ Seed Exchange Posted by on March 13, 2015 at 12:11:03 PT By Andrea Noble, The Washington Times Source: Washington Times Washington, D.C. -- It’s only natural the District would see an increased interest in horticulture after it became legal last month to grow marijuana plants. But with the sale of marijuana still illegal, those budding green thumbs have a problem: where to get marijuana seeds?
By hosting two seed exchanges this month, the D.C. Cannabis Campaign hopes to help. Read More... Petition Language for MJ Legalization Approved Posted by on March 13, 2015 at 11:48:37 PT By Alan Johnson, The Columbus Dispatch Source: Columbus Dispatch Ohio -- A group pushing a for-profit marijuana legalization ballot issue is a step closer today following Attorney General Mike DeWine’s approval of the petition summary of the proposed constitutional amendment.
DeWine said the wording submitted contains a “fair and truthful” summary of the proposed amendment. He certified the petition “without passing upon the advisability of the approval or rejection of the measure.” Read More... Pot-Smoking Stockbroker has Steady Supplier: Feds Posted by on March 12, 2015 at 08:11:21 PT By Evan Halper Source: Los Angeles Times Florida -- The interior of Irvin Rosenfeld's Toyota 4Runner reeks of marijuana. A tin stuffed with hundreds of joints lies in the trunk, and a bag full of them is stored in the door pocket. On a recent weekday, the 62-year-old stockbroker stopped at a red light and took a drag. His exhale filled the cabin with smoke. It was his fourth joint that day. It wasn't yet lunchtime.
"This car has 80,000 miles on it," Rosenfeld announced between puffs, stray ash landing softly on the battered towel he drapes over his pleated brown trousers and red tie. "I haven't gotten into one accident." Read More... Senate Bill Would Give Military Vets Access To MMJ Posted by on March 12, 2015 at 07:55:54 PT By Tim Devaney Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- Military veterans would no longer be denied access to medical marijuana under sweeping new legislation before the Senate. The medical marijuana legislation introduced Tuesday would lift the threat of federal prosecution from people who use it in states where it has been legalized.
The bipartisan Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act is backed by Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and would partially legalize medical marijuana at the federal level, though it does not address recreational marijuana. “This bill seeks to right decades of wrong and end unnecessary marijuana laws,” Booker said. Read More... Marijuana Opponents Make a Hail Mary Pass Posted by on March 12, 2015 at 05:10:33 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Colorado -- After losing at the ballot box and in the court of public opinion, marijuana opponents are turning to the federal judiciary in an attempt to halt the momentum of marijuana legalization efforts happening at the state level. But legal experts say that plaintiffs in a series of lawsuits brought against the state of Colorado for its marijuana regulation regime face slim chances of succeeding -- if the courts agree to hear them at all.
The attorneys general of Nebraska and Oklahoma kicked off the legal attacks in December. They're arguing that Colorado's law violates the Controlled Substances Act, which dictates federal drug policy. Their lawsuit contends that "the State of Colorado has created a dangerous gap in the federal drug control system enacted by the United States Congress. Marijuana flows from this gap into neighboring states, undermining Plaintiff States’ own marijuana bans, draining their treasuries, and placing stress on their criminal justice systems." Read More... Companies Drug Test a Lot Less Than They Used To Posted by on March 11, 2015 at 07:27:26 PT By Lydia DePillis Source: Washington Post USA -- On Monday, we ran a story about how despite the fact that smoking marijuana is now essentially legal in Washington, D.C., employers are planning to keep making workers pee in a cup — both before someone is hired and intermittently on the job. In Colorado, which has also legalized pot, drug testing has actually ticked up a bit, with companies worried that the state’s burgeoning pot industry might start to infiltrate the workplace.
But that hides the longer-term trend: Employers drug test a lot less than they used to because there’s very little evidence that testing does much to improve safety or productivity. Read More... A Sensible Bill on Medical Marijuana Posted by on March 11, 2015 at 04:55:53 PT New York Times Editorial Source: New York Times Washington, D.C. -- Three senators, two Democrats and a Republican, introduced a bill on Tuesday that would allow patients to use marijuana for medical purposes in states where it is legal, without fear of federal prosecution for violating narcotics laws.
The bill makes a number of important changes to federal marijuana policies — and it deserves to be passed by Congress and enacted into law. Though this legislation would not repeal the broad and destructive federal ban on marijuana, it is a big step in the right direction. Read More... How The Federal MMJ Bill Could Affect Washington Posted by on March 10, 2015 at 18:21:23 PT By Evan Bush, Seattle Times Staff Reporter Source: Seattle Times Washington, D.C. -- A bipartisan trio of U.S. senators on Tuesday introduced the CARERS Act, a bill that overhauls how the federal government treats marijuana. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) outlined the bill in a press conference.
The legislation would: Read More... Bratton & de Blasio Offering Mixed Signals Over MJ Posted by on March 10, 2015 at 08:14:14 PT By J. David Goodman and Matt Flegenheimer Source: New York Times New York -- It was a leading initiative of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first year in office: policing the possession of small amounts of marijuana with summonses, not arrests.
At the news conference announcing the change in November, Police Commissioner William J. Bratton stood beside the mayor with an educational prop: He held up a bag of oregano measuring 25 grams, the summons threshold, inspiring tabloid front pages and a skit on “Saturday Night Live.” Read More...
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