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D.C. Panels Weigh Legalizing Marijuana Sales Posted by CN Staff on October 31, 2014 at 16:39:43 PT By Lacey Johnson Source: Reuters D.C. -- Washington lawmakers took a step toward legalizing the sale of marijuana in the U.S. capital on Thursday, holding a hearing on rules and taxes ahead of a referendum next week. The proposed legislation to regulate marijuana sales in the District of Columbia is part of a sharp shift in U.S. public opinion in the past several years that has pushed legalized pot toward the mainstream.

Advocates at the hearing said the legal sale of marijuana was a top civil rights issue since blacks were far more likely to be arrested for pot possession than people of other races. Read More... Marijuana Legalization is The Only Option Posted by on October 30, 2014 at 13:53:06 PT By Daniel Takash Source: Baltimore Sun Maryland -- Earlier this month, marijuana was partially decriminalized in Maryland, making possession under 10 grams (about a third of an ounce) subject to a citation, a fine and no jail time..

Despite some problems with the language of the law, taking jail time off the table and ensuring no criminal records for owners of small quantities of marijuana are positive first steps in changing the state's drug policy. That said, the Maryland legislature has been far too timid in its approach and should instead adopt a Colorado-like model for legalization. Read More... Why Four MJ Initiatives Might Face Trouble Posted by on October 30, 2014 at 11:52:59 PT By Daniel Wood, Staff Writer Source: Christian Science Monitor Los Angeles -- In an effort to build on the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Colorado and Washington in 2012, pot proponents have placed legalization initiatives on next Tuesday’s ballot in Alaska; Oregon; Washington, D.C.; and Florida. Win or lose, they say, legalization has become a mainstream issue across the country in part because of what happened last election.

It’s way too early to draw any broad conclusions, but the early indicators are good and the sky hasn’t fallen” in Colorado and Washington, says Steven Gutwillig, deputy executive director of Drug Policy Alliance, a pro-legalization advocacy group. Read More... Scrutiny on Sweets With Ascent of MJ in Colorado Posted by on October 30, 2014 at 05:15:28 PT By Jack Healy Source: New York Times Denver -- As Halloween approached, the Denver Police Department and a marijuana-store owner teamed up to film a public service video that could exist only in this weird new world of legalized pot.

Marijuana, they cautioned parents of trick-or-treaters, does not always look like marijuana. More and more these days, it can mimic Sour Patch Kids, Jolly Ranchers and gummy bears, and the police urged parents to double-check their children’s Halloween haul for any suspicious-looking candies that might be infused with marijuana. Read More... Oregon, Alaska, D.C. Voters To Weigh Legal MJ Posted by CN Staff on October 29, 2014 at 07:14:00 PT By Andy Sullivan Source: Reuters USA -- Voters in the U.S. capital and two West Coast states will decide in the Nov. 4 elections whether to legalize marijuana, pushing closer to the mainstream a notion that was once consigned to the political fringe.

Ballot initiatives in Oregon and Alaska would set up a network of regulated pot stores, similar to those already operating in Colorado and Washington state. A measure in the District of Columbia would allow possession but not retail sales. Read More... For Marijuana, a Second Wave of Votes to Legalize Posted by on October 28, 2014 at 19:49:12 PT By Kirk Johnson Source: New York Times Keitzer, Ore. -- Two years after voters in Colorado and Washington State broke the ice as the first states to legalize sales of recreational marijuana to adults, residents of Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., will vote next week on ballot measures patterned on those of the two pioneers. People on both sides of the issue say these initiatives could determine whether there will be a national tide of legalization.

A changing political landscape has weakened anti-marijuana efforts. As the libertarian movement in the Republican Party has gained force, with leaders like Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, supporting decriminalization of marijuana and others going even further, an anchor of the conservative opposition to legalization has eroded. Read More... Medical Marijuana Rules Delayed Posted by on October 28, 2014 at 16:31:21 PT By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun Source: Baltimore Sun Maryland -- A state commission charged with launching Maryland's lagging medical marijuana program hit the pause button Tuesday, postponing a final vote on already tardy regulations to tweak licensing fees and make cannabis available to patients in liquid as well as smoke-able form..

Dr. Paul W. Davies, chairman of the 15-member panel, said officials needed more time to craft rules, particularly to allow for the production and sale of extracts containing concentrated doses of marijuana's therapeutic ingredients. "We realized that our regulations didn't cover extracts," said Davies, a pain management specialist, "and for medical use that's incredibly important." Read More... Alaska MJ Legalization Would Generate Millions Posted by on October 28, 2014 at 05:32:59 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Alaska -- If Alaska voters decide in next week's election to legalize marijuana, sales to adults will generate millions in state tax revenue. That's according to a comprehensive report released Monday by the Marijuana Policy Group, an organization of Colorado researchers and economic consultants.

The first year of legal recreational marijuana sales would mean about $7 million in state taxes, according to Marijuana Policy Group, which previously analyzed the marijuana market in Colorado, one of two states where recreational sales are legal. Alaska's legal recreational marijuana sales would account for about 22 percent of total demand in that first year -- or about four metric tons, according to the research. Read More... Should The Feds Reclassify Marijuana? Posted by on October 27, 2014 at 17:05:38 PT By Daniel Wood, Staff Writer Source: Christian Science Monitor Los Angeles -- In a case that some say could change the relationship between the states and the federal government regarding marijuana, a US district judge in Sacramento, Calif., has granted a three-day hearing starting Monday that challenges the federal ban on the substance.

At issue is the classification of marijuana by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a Schedule I drug, established in the early 1970s. That is the same classification given to heroin, LSD, and Ecstasy. The status was reaffirmed in 2011 and upheld in a federal appeals court last year. Read More... Pot Dilemma: Where to Get The First Seeds? Posted by CN Staff on October 27, 2014 at 13:19:13 PT By Carla K. Johnson, Associated Press Source: Associated Press Chicago -- As more states legalize medical marijuana, there's one stage in the process nobody wants to talk about: the part where people still have to break the law.

After growers obtain licenses, plan for security and build facilities, they then must obtain their first seeds or cuttings — while regulators turn a blind eye. Read More... Mark Kleiman Endorses MJ Legalization In Oregon Posted by on October 27, 2014 at 05:23:31 PT By Sam Levine Source: Huffington Post Washington -- Mark Kleiman, the Washington state “pot czar” and a leading drug policy expert who has criticized a state-by-state approach to marijuana legalization, came out on Thursday in favor of Oregon’s ballot measure to legalize the drug for recreational purposes.

In a blog post, Kleiman wrote that he supported the measure, despite concerns that legalization would lead to lower prices and higher usage. Read More... Medical Pot Users Can Get Unemployment Posted by on October 26, 2014 at 17:52:00 PT By Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press Staff Writer Source: Detroit Free Press Michigan -- In a breakthrough decision for those who say marijuana is medicine and not a dangerous drug, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled Friday that workers who are state-approved users of medical marijuana should get unemployment compensation if fired solely for testing positive for drugs.

"It's a very favorable decision for the civil rights of employees in Michigan," said Matt Abel, a Detroit lawyer and senior partner of Cannabis Counsel, a law firm that focuses on marijuana cases. Read More... 3 Reasons Why Oregon Should Be Next to Legalize Posted by on October 26, 2014 at 07:25:59 PT By Adam Stites Source: Huffington Post Oregon -- I've got my fingers crossed for our neighbors to the south to join us in a legal weed wonderland, and it's not for the reasons you might think. I'm a licensed recreational marijuana processor in Washington state, so I do want what's good for the industry, but I also want what's good for Oregon (since I spent the first 27 years of my life there). I think Measure 91 can be both. Here's why:

1. The timing is right. This could not be a better year for Oregon to take the plunge into legalization. The industry may be young, but it's rife with opportunity -- for innovation, for creativity, and for putting a stake in the ground as one of the first states to brave new territory. The Northwest has already fostered a supportive environment for entrepreneurs in the recreational market, so the stage is set for Oregon to step up. Plus, the launch of recreational marijuana markets in Washington and Colorado has taught us a lot about how to move forward. Read More... No Progress on Marijuana Arrests Posted by on October 25, 2014 at 06:55:47 PT New York Times Editorial Source: New York Times New York -- When he ran for mayor, Bill de Blasio condemned police practices under which young black and Latino men were unfairly — sometimes illegally — charged with possessing tiny amounts of marijuana, placing them at risk of losing jobs, access to housing or eligibility for military service even though such charges are often dismissed.

His promise to address this problem was supported in minority communities that bear the brunt of this destructive policy. But a new analysis of state data shows that low-level marijuana arrests during the de Blasio administration have continued at roughly the same level as under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. That’s not what the voters signed up for. Read More... DEA Raids 2 Los Angeles MMJ Dispensaries Posted by on October 24, 2014 at 15:41:17 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Los Angeles -- Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration raided two legal medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles on Thursday that, according to multiple staff members, were fully compliant with state laws.

The Department of Justice confirmed to The Huffington Post after the raid that it was executing a search warrant on The Farmacy dispensary in Los Angeles, but said the warrant was under seal and it could not comment further. Read More... Marijuana Industry Could Be Worth $35 Billion Posted by on October 24, 2014 at 09:21:31 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post USA -- If all 50 states legalized marijuana and the federal government ended prohibition of the plant, the marijuana industry in the United States would be worth $35 billion just six years from now.

That's according to a new report from GreenWave Advisors, a research and advisory firm that serves the emerging marijuana industry in the U.S., which found that if all 50 states and the federal government legalized cannabis, combined sales for both medical and retail marijuana could balloon to $35 billion a year by 2020. Read More... Seattle Sends Warning Letters To Pot Shops Posted by CN Staff on October 24, 2014 at 05:49:53 PT By Evan Bush, Associated Press Source: Associated Press Seattle -- The city of Seattle is warning more than 300 medical marijuana businesses that their days could be numbered. Officials have sent letters to medical marijuana growers, processors and dispensaries reminding them they need to either shut down or be licensed by the state by next summer.

The problem is that the Legislature hasn’t yet created a licensing system to allow sales of medical marijuana. Read More... MJ Legalization Pitch for People Who Don't Smoke Posted by on October 23, 2014 at 10:11:26 PT By Emily Badger Source: Washington Post Portland -- The Yes on 91 office here, a rented suite on the second floor of a drab professional building by the convention center, is full of moms. They're staging a press conference in favor of Oregon's ballot measure to legalize marijuana — a dueling production to the moms across town who are holding their own event railing against it.

To clarify, the Yes on 91 moms don't want to legally buy marijuana. Nor do they want their kids to have access to it. In fact, that's their argument. Read More... Appeals Court: Medical Marijuana No Bar to DUI Posted by on October 22, 2014 at 09:00:53 PT By Howard Fischer, Capitol News Services Source: Arizona Daily Sun Phoenix -- A medical marijuana card is not a get-out-of-jail-free card for motorists found with active components of the drug in their system, no matter how little, the state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.

The judges rejected arguments by the attorney for Travis Darrah that the positive drug test, by itself, cannot be used to convict him of driving under the influence of drugs. The judges said prosecutors need not prove actual impairment. Read More... A Surprise and a Reversal on Edible Marijuana Posted by on October 22, 2014 at 07:36:42 PT By Lawrence Downes Source: New York Times Colorado legalized the growing, selling, smoking and eating of recreational marijuana more than 10 months ago, but it still hasn’t resolved some major questions about how this new market is supposed to work.

The Associated Press reported on Monday that the state Health Department was proposing to ban nearly all forms of edible marijuana, to make it easier to keep children from overdosing. The proposal was one of several ideas presented to a state-sponsored working group considering safety regulations for the marijuana industry. Read More... Fix Pot Law Conflicts So Industry Can Grow Posted by on October 21, 2014 at 06:35:27 PT Editorial Source: Chicago Sun-Times Illinois -- Here’s what’s clear: A marijuana gold rush is coming to Illinois. Here’s what’s not so clear: How will fundamental conflicts between state and federal laws governing marijuana be resolved? Because until those conflicts are worked out, too much of this lucrative industry will be a cash business, ripe for fraud and organized crime, and nobody — consumers or suppliers — can feel completely safe from federal snooping and sanctions.

About half the states, including Illinois, have enacted laws authorizing marijuana for medical use, and two — Washington and Colorado — have legalized it for recreational use. In Los Angeles, a new smart phone app lets medical marijuana users get deliveries right to their doorsteps. Read More... Colorado Health Officials Want To Ban Edibles Posted by on October 20, 2014 at 14:59:02 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Colorado -- Health officials in Colorado are calling for what is nearly a full ban on retail marijuana edibles in the state, just 10 months after the first recreational sales of marijuana began.

The Associated Press' Kristen Wyatt first reported Monday on the Colorado Department of Health and Environment's request for a ban on the majority of marijuana-infused food products in the state. Read More... After California Decriminalized Marijuana Posted by on October 18, 2014 at 11:18:47 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- A new report from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice adds to the growing body of evidence that legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana does not lead to any number of doomsday scenarios envisioned by legalization opponents. Looking specifically at California, where full marijuana decriminalization went into effect on Jan. 1, 2011, the report finds that "marijuana decriminalization in California has not resulted in harmful consequences for teenagers, such as increased crime, drug overdose, driving under the influence, or school dropout. In fact, California teenagers showed improvements in all risk areas after reform." Read More... MJ Legalization is Making The World a Better Place Posted by on October 17, 2014 at 11:48:01 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- No pressure, Colorado and Washington, but the world is scrutinizing your every move.

That was the take-home message of an event today at the Brookings Institution, discussing the international impact of the move toward marijuana legalization at the state-level in the U.S. Laws passed in Colorado and Washington, with other states presumably to come, create a tension with the U.S. obligations toward three major international treaties governing drug control. Historically the U.S. has been a strong advocate of all three conventions, which "commit the United States to punish and even criminalize activity related to recreational marijuana," according to Brookings' Wells Bennet. Read More... New Civil Rights Chief More Evolved On Marijuana Posted by on October 16, 2014 at 05:50:38 PT By Ryan J. Reilly Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- The newly named acting head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division has called for the legalization and regulation of marijuana, putting her ahead of Attorney General Eric Holder on that issue.

Vanita Gupta, the senior American Civil Liberties Union attorney who will take over the Civil Rights Division next week, wrote a CNN column last month praising the legalization and taxation of marijuana in Washington and Colorado. Her column focused on the story of Jeff Mizanskey, a Missouri man sentenced to life in prison for buying a few pounds of marijuana. Gupta argued there was a much better option than incarceration. Read More... Nominee for DOJ Slot Said States Should Legalize Posted by on October 15, 2014 at 15:53:10 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- The Post's Sari Horwitz reports that Obama intends to nominate Vanita Gupta, currently director of the ACLU's Center for Justice, to lead the civil rights division of the Justice Department. Gupta also currently leads the ACLU's National Campaign to End Mass Incarceration. Horwitz writes:

Gupta, 39, who was born in the Philadelphia area to immigrant parents, has been praised by a wide array of political activists for her civil rights work, especially on prison reform, an issue on which liberals and conservatives have found common ground. Read More... Colorado Marijuana Revenues Hit a New High Posted by on October 15, 2014 at 06:03:17 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- New figures from the Colorado Department of Revenue show that recreational marijuana sales continued to climb in August, the most recent month for which data are available. Recreational sales totaled approximately $34.1 million in August, up from $29.3 million the previous month.

Medical marijuana also jumped sharply in August, after several months of flat or declining sales. Medical sales figures were just under the recreational total, at $33.4 million. One goal of creating Colorado's recreational marijuana market is to shift customers away from the medical market. Read More... Medical Marijuana Deserves Support Posted by CN Staff on October 15, 2014 at 05:43:15 PT By Sun Sentinel Editorial Board Source: Sun-Sentinel Florida -- Forget the politicians, self-styled experts and pollsters. Amendment 2 is about helping sick people.

The amendment would change the state constitution to legalize medical marijuana. It gives doctors a tool to help patients facing death or fighting to live another day. It allows the sickest patients to decide for themselves whether medical marijuana is right for them. And it gives the state ample room to regulate how marijuana dispensaries operate and to oversee who issues and receives a card identifying patients eligible to buy medical marijuana. Read More... Marijuana Legalization Could Be Drawn Out Posted by on October 13, 2014 at 05:40:24 PT By Mike DeBonis Source: Washington Post Washington -- D.C. voters are likely to legalize marijuana possession in the District next month. But it could be many more months, perhaps a year or more, before residents would be able to legally purchase non-medicinal marijuana.

And in the interim, the organizers of the ballot initiative — which is supported by nearly two-thirds of likely voters, according to recent polls — are warning lawmakers not to delay its basic provisions of the voter initiative, which would allow the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana and the home cultivation of as many as six cannabis plants. Read More... Our View: It's Time To Legalize Marijuana Posted by on October 12, 2014 at 05:53:41 PT Editorial Opinion Source: Mail Tribune Oregon -- In 2012, we recommended voters reject a ballot measure that would have legalized recreational marijuana because it was badly written and likely to create more problems than it solved. This year, a group of legalization advocates have put forward a very detailed, carefully worded initiative that has none of the drawbacks of the 2012 measure.

We think Ballot Measure 91 strikes the right balance between Colorado's overly permissive law and Washington state's excessively restrictive statute. Voters should approve it. Read More...

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NIDA - Common Drugs of Abuse lists commonly abused psychotropics. U.S. National Library of Medicine is an execellent resource for medical information. For recreational use of psychotropics one will find Hyperreal informative.

Drug Sense, Marijuana Policy Project, Drug Reform Coordination Network, and NORML are among the many organizations seeking to reform cannabis laws.

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