Why Is Marijuana Banned? Posted by on February 11, 2016 at 13:38:03 PT By Johann Hari Source: Huffington Post USA -- Across the world, more and more people are asking: Why is marijuana banned? Why are people still sent to prison for using or selling it?
Most of us assume it's because someone, somewhere sat down with the scientific evidence, and figured out that cannabis is more harmful than other drugs we use all the time -- like alcohol and cigarettes. Somebody worked it all out, in our best interest. Read More... Bill Would Legalize Marijuana In Connecticut Posted by on February 11, 2016 at 13:28:37 PT By Russell Blair, Reporter Source: Hartford Courant Hartford -- Legislation has been introduced that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana for people 21 and older. Rep. Juan Candelaria, a Democrat from New Haven, introduced the bill on Thursday. It would make it legal for adults to grow, sell and use marijuana, subject to some restrictions.
"Iím going to be pushing very hard," Candelaria told Capitol Watch. "Iím going to be engaging my leadership in conversation to at least allow a public hearing." Read More... Pot Fans, Foes Fume as Washington DC Tests Limits Posted by CN Staff on February 08, 2016 at 17:18:51 PT By Ian Simpson, Reuters Source: Reuters Washington, D.C. -- Almost a year has passed since it became legal to smoke, but not sell, marijuana in Washington, D.C., and pot enthusiasts and opponents alike are chafing under a compromise that leaves smokers in a haze over how to obtain their weed.
Sales of equipment to grow the plants indoors are booming, bartenders are getting joints as tips and the city council is deliberating whether to license cannabis clubs. Read More... Obama Should Take Marijuana Off The Forbidden List Posted by on February 07, 2016 at 05:34:57 PT By Ilya Shapiro Source: Newsweek USA -- Iíve been quite hard on President Barack Obama for his abuse of executive poweróand will soon file another brief in the 26-state challenge to his immigration actionóbut there are certainly things that he or any president can do to protect and secure our liberty without violating the Constitution.
One such executive action would be to ďdeclassifyĒ marijuana: remove it from the list of controlled substances (or at least move it further down the list, which would have significant positive legal effects). Read More... Legal Marijuana Sales Hit $5.4 Billion in 2015 Posted by on February 05, 2016 at 05:12:30 PT By Christine Hauser Source: New York Times USA -- Itís not just heat lamps in closets and nickel bags anymore: Marijuana is getting some respect as legal sales take off.
This week two marijuana analysis and investment firms released a summary of a report that appeared to confirm that the industry has become a gold rush. National legal sales of cannabis grew to $5.4 billion in 2015, up from $4.6 billion in 2014, according to the firms, the ArcView Group, based in San Francisco, and New Frontier, based in Washington. Read More... D.C. Council Rethinks Ban on Private MJ Clubs Posted by on February 03, 2016 at 05:36:19 PT By Ryan M. McDermott, The Washington Times Source: Washington Times Washington, D.C. -- In a surprising turnaround, the D.C. Council is rethinking a ban on private marijuana-smoking clubs, as pot advocates press for places for residents to light up outside of their homes. The council on Tuesday approved the formation of a task force to examine the feasibility of clubs for marijuana smokers, and postponed action on a bill that would permanently ban such establishments.
ďDemocracy and common sense prevailed in the District today,Ē said Kaitlyn Boecker, a policy analyst for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). ďTodayís withdrawal of the permanent ban shows that elected officials have finally begun to heed their constituentsí wishes, but the fight for the creation of regulated places where adults can legally consume marijuana is far from over.Ē Read More... U.S. Legal Adult-Use Marijuana Sales Grow 184% Posted by on February 01, 2016 at 12:44:03 PT By Debra Borchardt, Contributor Source: Forbes USA -- U.S. adult-use marijuana sales rose 184% in the past year, according to a new report from New Frontier and ArcView Market Research.
ArcViewĀ's estimate for the legal cannabis industry is $5.4 billion for 2015, a big jump from 2014Ā $4.6 billion. Most of that increase is due to the incredible growth of recreational marijuana sales which grew from $351 million in 2014 to $998 million in 2015, a 184% increase. Read More... Obama Says MJ Reform is Not on Agenda for 2016 Posted by on January 29, 2016 at 17:36:59 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Marijuana advocates hoping for a substantial shift in federal marijuana policy in the last year of the Obama administration are likely to be disappointed.
At a briefing Friday, White House press secretary John Earnest said any progress on marijuana reform would need to come through Congress. President Obama had signaled his position a day earlier at the House Democratic retreat in Baltimore, saying marijuana reform is not on his list of end-of-term priorities, according to Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.). Read More... MMJ Will Be on Floridaís Ballot in November Posted by on January 28, 2016 at 05:30:17 PT By Michael Auslen Source: Miami Herald Tallahassee -- Floridians will decide this November whether to allow medical marijuana in the state.
On Wednesday, a constitutional amendment to legalize the drug gained enough signed petitions to qualify for the ballot next November. If passed, the amendment would allow doctors to describe marijuana for people with ďdebilitating conditionsĒ such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy or multiple sclerosis. Read More... Where The State Senators Stand on Marijuana Posted by on January 24, 2016 at 17:15:19 PT By Joshua Miller, Globe Staff Source: Boston Globe Massachusetts -- Eight state senators traveled to Denver this month to study the highs and lows of marijuana in Colorado, one of four states where voters have legalized the drugís recreational use. With Massachusetts voters likely to vote on a legalization ballot question in November, the senators quizzed top officials about how legal pot impacts everything from public health to drugged driving to taxes. They aimed to gain an understanding of how to regulate the new industry, should Massachusetts give it the green light. Read More... Marijuana Does Not Make You Stupid After All Posted by on January 18, 2016 at 14:57:20 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- You might have heard that smoking marijuana makes you stupid.
If you grew up in the '80s or '90s, that was more or less the take-home message of countless anti-drug PSAs. In more recent years, it's a message we've heard ó albeit in more nuanced form ó from Republican candidates on the campaign trail and from marijuana opponents at the state-level. Read More... Dem Debate: Sanders Blasts Mass Incarceration Posted by on January 18, 2016 at 13:21:54 PT By Ben Norton Source: Salon.com USA -- ďWho is satisfied that millions of people have police records for possessing marijuana when the CEOs of Wall Street companies who destroyed our economy have no police records?Ē Bernie Sanders declared Sunday night in the fourth Democratic presidential debate.
The Vermont senator blasted mass incarceration and the prison-industrial complex. Read More... Yes, Pot is Stronger Today Posted by on January 14, 2016 at 17:46:32 PT By Johann Hari Source: Los Angeles Times USA -- Taboos about drugs are lying shattered across the U.S., like broken debris after a party. But even as some states have begun to decriminalize or legalize marijuana, there is an argument that is making some Americans hesitate.
They ask: Aren't many drugs, even pot, much more potent today than they were in the 1960s, when the boomers formed their views on drug use? Hasn't cannabis morphed into super skunk? Aren't people who used legal painkillers like OxyContin and Percocet sliding into heroin addiction ó suggesting that legally accessible drugs are a slippery slope toward the abuse of harder drugs? Read More... Do I Roll It? Lawmakers on Colo. MJ Mission Posted by on January 13, 2016 at 07:22:33 PT By Joshua Miller, Globe Staff Source: Boston Globe Denver -- Standing in a retail marijuana dispensary Tuesday, amid cannabis-infused candy and big jars of ďSour DieselĒ and ďBazooka Joe,Ē eight Massachusetts senators had some questions.
ďIf I were to buy this, what would I do with it? Do I crush it? Roll it? Do I óĒ asked Senator John F. Keenan, pointing to a jar with a potent-smelling strain, his voice trailing off as if he werenít sure of the other options. Read More... MJ Dispensary Among State Senatorsí Stops in Colo. Posted by on January 11, 2016 at 08:02:25 PT By Joshua Miller, Globe Staff Source: Boston Globe Denver -- Eight state senators are flying into Colorado this week for a primer on life in a state that has already legalized marijuana, in case Massachusetts voters follow suit this November and lawmakers have to decide quickly how to respond.
Theyíre poised to see a cultivation facility, tour a marijuana dispensary, and pepper top state, municipal, and law-enforcement officials with questions about the implementation of the voter-approved law. The four-day trip is being arranged and paid for by the New York-based Milbank Memorial Fund, which describes itself as a nonpartisan health policy foundation. Read More... Vermontís Governor Wants To Legalize Marijuana Posted by on January 08, 2016 at 15:47:09 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Vermont -- Legal marijuana is coming to Vermont this year ó at least, if Gov. Peter Shumlin has anything to say about it. Shumlin (D) offered the broad outlines of a legalization plan Thursday during his annual State of the State address. "The outdated War on Drugs has also failed," he said, "and there is no greater example than our nationís marijuana laws."
Shumlin noted that, although Vermont decriminalized marijuana in 2013, the 80,000 Vermonters who used marijuana last year ó more than one in 10 residents ó still had to purchase their weed through the black market. Read More... Mayor at Risk of Watching MJ Policy Go Up in Smoke Posted by on January 07, 2016 at 07:59:09 PT By Aaron Davis Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- D.C. Council member Charles Allen had just voted his conscience Tuesday. It didnít matter anymore, he thought, if pot clubs formed in the nationís capital. The freshman lawmaker decided at the council meeting that nearly a year after the city legalized marijuana, there was good reason to give D.C. residents discreet places to smoke away from home, where it wouldnít happen around kids.
Then his cellphone vibrated on the council dais. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) was on the line, and she pleaded with him to change his vote, he said. ďShe said in very clear terms that the city and the police department were not ready for this,Ē Allen said. Read More... Legalization Works! Posted by on January 07, 2016 at 07:48:22 PT By Art Way Source: Salon.com Colorado -- More than three years have passed since Colorado residents voted to legalize marijuana, which immediately allowed adults to possess and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana. This past New Yearís Day marked the two-year anniversary of adults being able to legally buy marijuana in Colorado. The policy is still in its formative stage, but the first year after marijuana sales started in Colorado went very well and we continue to see the good shape of things to come.
The destruction imagined by opponents of legalization in 2012 never came true and is unlikely to materialize. Public safety benchmarks are under scrutiny in a manner never seen under prohibition and there is no real cause for panic in the foreseeable future. In short, the current state of legalization is more reflective of the world imagined by proponents Ė legalization works! Read More... What Is Shatter Weed and Is It the Future of MJ Posted by on January 06, 2016 at 17:59:31 PT By Yasmin Tayag Source: Huffington Post USA -- Pot smokers looking for a heavier-hitting high are turning to "Shatter," a weed concentrate that packs up to 80 percent cannabinoid content. Drug officials aren't sure how to deal with the drug, a smooth, glassy substance that's significantly more potent when smoked but is still, ultimately, a marijuana derivative and thus not particularly unsafe.
Shatter is just one form of dabs, the catch-all term for marijuana concentrates produced by extracting cannabinoids like THC and CBD, the plant's psychoactive chemicals. Other well-known forms include "budder," which has a creamier, wax-like consistency, and oils, which are golden and honey-like. For all dabs, extraction involves running a solvent -- usually butane, carbon dioxide, or propane -- through marijuana buds to pull out the cannabinoids, then evaporating the solvent and gathering the resins left behind. Read More... Mexican Marijuana Farmers See Profits Tumble Posted by on December 30, 2015 at 06:22:25 PT By Deborah Bonello Source: Los Angeles Times Mexico -- He started growing marijuana as a teenager and for four decades earned a modest living from his tiny plot tucked at the base of these rugged mountains of western Mexico.
He proudly shows off his illegal plants, waist-high and fragrant, strategically hidden from view by rows of corn and nearly ready to be harvested. "I've always liked this business, producing marijuana," the 50-year-old farmer said wistfully. He had decided that this season's crop would be his last. Read More... How Many People Fatally Overdosed On Marijuana Posted by on December 29, 2015 at 07:08:00 PT By Kim Bellware, The Huffington Post Source: Huffington Post USA -- With marijuana now legal in some form throughout 23 states, the number of Americans who fatally overdosed on the drug last year was significant:
The rate of absolutely zero deaths from a marijuana overdose remained steady from last year, according to figures released this month by the Centers for Disease Control. But while Americans aren't dying as a result of marijuana overdoses, the same can't be said for a range of other substances, both legal and illicit. Read More... 2016 Will Be Marijuana's Big Year Posted by on December 28, 2015 at 05:40:08 PT By Debra Borchardt, Contributor Source: Forbes USA -- 2015 was a pretty amazing year for the progress in the legalization of marijuana. Four states and the District of Columbia legalized recreational marijuana, many states decriminalized it and several more states approved of medical marijuana. But for all the advances made in 2015, the year was seen as a run up to 2016, where the presidential election is expected to ramp up the legalization landscape.
In Congress, there are expectations for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the CARERS Act (S. 683 or H.R. 1538). This bill, sponsored by Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Dean Heller and presidential candidate Rand Paul is a comprehensive medical marijuana piece of legislation. It would allow states to legalize medical marijuana without federal interference and reschedule marijuana to a schedule II drug. It would eliminate barriers to research and allow banks to work with marijuana companies. Chuck Grassley is the head of the committee and until he schedules a hearing, it is dead in the water. Many hope this year he will buckle under pressure and set up a hearing. Read More... Partners in Pot Posted by on December 27, 2015 at 09:41:23 PT By Fenit Nirappil Source: Washington Post Maryland -- At least two Maryland state universities are jumping at the chance to work with marijuana growers to research the medicinal application and cultivation of cannabis. A tiny Western Maryland town says it would happily accept a 5 percent share of profits from a company that hopes to operate there.
As competition to join Marylandís burgeoning medical-marijuana industry intensifies, some out-of-state entrepreneurs are forging partnerships with local institutions even before securing a license to operate. Read More... Charity Gives Free Marijuana Joints to Homeless Posted by on December 26, 2015 at 13:08:34 PT By Kelly Riddell, The Washington Times Source: Washington Times Colorado -- A nonprofit in Denver, Colorado, gave away thousands of free, pre-rolled marijuana joints to the homeless and anyone else who wanted one on Christmas Eve, in an out-of-the box attempt to raise awareness about homelessness.
ďMerry Christmas and a puff puff New Yearís!Ē said one woman who accepted a joint from the Cannabis Can volunteers, a local ABC affiliate reported. Read More... Pittsburgh To Decriminalize Marijuana Posted by CN Staff on December 22, 2015 at 05:54:08 PT By Laila Kearney Source: Reuters Pennsylvania -- The Pittsburgh City Council on Monday voted to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, falling in line with a growing number of municipalities that have taken similar actions in recent years, city officials said.
Under the ordinance passed with a 7 to 2 vote, police in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's second-largest city, will begin to issue fines of $25 for possessing less than 30 grams of marijuana and $100 for smoking it in a public space instead of citing for misdemeanors, the city clerk's office said. Read More... Oregon Warm Springs Tribe Approves MJ Project Posted by CN Staff on December 18, 2015 at 14:19:45 PT By Gosia Wozniacka, Associated Press Source: Associated Press Portland, Ore. -- Members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs have approved a plan to build a facility to grow marijuana on their reservation in central Oregon and sell it at tribe-owned stores outside the reservation.
The vote comes a year after a U.S. Department of Justice policy indicated tribes could grow and sell pot under the same guidelines as states that opt to legalize. The tribe is one of the first in the country to enter the pot business. Read More... Congress Blocks DEA Interference in MMJ States Posted by on December 18, 2015 at 14:05:46 PT By Phillip Smith, Alternet Source: AlterNet Washington, D.C. -- The omnibus spending bill approved by Congress this morning includes several drug reform provisions, although reformers didn't get everything they wanted. The bill includes language blocking the Justice Department and DEA from spending money to interfere with state medical marijuana laws or hemp research projects and it also lifts a freeze on federal funding for needle exchange programs.
But Congress failed to approve amendments to allow banks to provide financial services to marijuana businesses or to allow veterans to have access to medical marijuana, despite the Senate having approved both. And the Congress again included provisions that block Washington, DC, from taxing and regulating marijuana. Read More... Case for Marijuana Legalization Just Got Stronger Posted by on December 16, 2015 at 08:17:40 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- America's high school students are using drugs and alcohol at or near the lowest levels on record, according to federal data released Wednesday. The 2015 Monitoring the Future Survey, conducted by the University of Michigan and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) since 1975, found that past-year use of alcohol and illicit drugs other than marijuana continued their two-decade-long decline among America's 8th- , 10th- and 12th-graders.
Teen marijuana use has fallen slightly over the past five years, at a time when four states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana and 23 others allow medical use. Read More... Smokers Get Bolder in a New Era for Marijuana Posted by on December 15, 2015 at 05:54:41 PT By Sarah Maslin Nir Source: New York Times New York -- It wafts down the pavement, an unmistakable odor more Haight-Ashbury than New York ó the tang of marijuana smoke in the cityís streets. If the smell (and the lightheadedness a passer-by may feel) is anything to judge by, lighting up and strolling around seems increasingly common in pockets of Brooklyn, on side streets in Manhattan and in other public spaces.
Street smokers say they are emboldened by laws that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana in other parts of the country and by the relatively low-key comments by New Yorkís leaders, including the police commissioner, about the drug. Read More... Legalization: Only Half The Answer Posted by on December 12, 2015 at 13:54:49 PT By Rafael Salazar Source: Huffington Post World -- Justin Trudeau, newly-minted Prime Minister of Canada and self-professed dabbler in pot, announced earlier this month that his Liberal Party would move ahead with plans to legalize marijuana as early as 2016. Ending prohibition was part of the party platform going into the October election and is a clear break from ex-PM Stephen Harper, who claimed (with a straight face) that marijuana was "infinitely worse" than tobacco. Once Canada goes through with full legalization, it will join a small but growing club in the Americas that includes Colorado, Washington (both the city and the state), Oregon, Alaska, and Uruguay in South America. Read More...
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