Industries Could See Boost from Legalized MJ Posted by on March 27, 2017 at 05:15:23 PT By Joshua Miller, Globe Staff Source: Boston Globe USA -- A Swiss company that for years has provided Massachusetts with cigarette tax stamp services — helping the state thwart the black market — has its eyes set on what could be a much bigger public contract: tracking legal marijuana from seed to sale to keep it from being diverted to criminal enterprises.
“Cannabis obviously fits and aligns with the programs we already provide the Commonwealth to prevent criminal activity and protect the public,” said Alex Spelman, a vice president of business development at SICPA Holding SA, which already does a multimillion-dollar business here. Read More... Marijuana Advocates Push for Legalization Posted by on March 26, 2017 at 18:28:09 PT By Kiannah Sepeda-Miller, Associated Press Source: Chicago Tribune Illinois -- Marijuana advocates are trying to lay the groundwork for Illinois to become the first state in the Midwest and the ninth nationwide to legalize recreational pot, arguing the move will help solve the state's notorious budget crisis.
Two Illinois state lawmakers introduced legislation last week that would allow residents 21 and older to possess, grow or buy up to an ounce (28 grams) of marijuana and license businesses to sell marijuana products subject to regulation. They say it would help fill Illinois' multibillion-dollar budget hole with $350 million to $700 million in new tax revenue. Read More... Colorado Has a Plan to Avoid a Marijuana Crackdown Posted by on March 25, 2017 at 15:05:58 PT By Associated Press Source: Time Denver -- Colorado is considering an unusual strategy to protect its nascent marijuana industry from a potential federal crackdown, even at the expense of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax collections. A bill pending in the Legislature would allow pot growers and retailers to reclassify their recreational pot as medical pot if a change in federal law or enforcement occurs.
It's the boldest attempt yet by a U.S. marijuana state to avoid federal intervention in its weed market. The bill would allow Colorado's 500 or so licensed recreational pot growers to instantly reclassify their weed. A switch would cost the state more than $100 million a year because Colorado taxes medical pot much more lightly than recreational weed — 2.9 percent versus 17.9 percent. Read More... Illinois Lawmakers Propose Legalizing Marijuana Posted by on March 23, 2017 at 05:39:52 PT By Robert McCoppin Source: Chicago Tribune Illinois -- Lawmakers are proposing to legalize recreational marijuana in Illinois but say the legislation probably won't come up for a vote until next year. Sponsors on Wednesday introduced bills that would make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess, grow and buy limited amounts of marijuana.
The state would license and regulate businesses to grow, process and sell the plant, and it would establish safety regulations such as testing and labeling requirements, sponsors said. The measure would also allow residents to possess up to 28 grams of pot, or about an ounce, and to grow five plants. Read More... It’s Marijuana Day in Florida’s Capitol Posted by on March 22, 2017 at 09:21:00 PT By Michael Auslen, Tallahassee Bureau Source: Miami Herald Tallahassee -- Florida's new medical marijuana market will start to take shape Wednesday as a panel of senators workshops five proposals to put the voter-approved constitutional amendment legalizing the drug into place.
The Senate Health Policy committee, chaired by Tampa Republican Sen. Dana Young, will consider issues related to the five proposed bills and hear public comment, the first step toward passing legislation and the first time members of the public will hear what key senators think about how medical marijuana should be implemented. Read More... A Big Thing Marijuana Opponents Warned You About Posted by on March 21, 2017 at 09:24:33 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Washington -- A state-run survey of 37,000 middle and high school students in Washington state finds that marijuana legalization there has had no effect on youngsters' propensity to use the drug.
The Washington State Healthy Youth Survey found that the 2016 rate of marijuana use was basically unchanged since 2012, when the state voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use. In the survey, researchers used the measure of “monthly use,” asking students across all grade levels whether they'd used the drug within the past month. Read More... DEA Admitted MJ is Less Dangerous Than Heroin Posted by on March 15, 2017 at 16:32:52 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Less than two years after the Drug Enforcement Administration officially admitted that “heroin is clearly more dangerous than marijuana,” new Attorney General Jeff Sessions revisited that comparison in remarks today before law enforcement officials in Richmond:
I reject the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store. And I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana — so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful. Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life. Read More... The Latest Data on the Federal War on Drugs Posted by on March 14, 2017 at 13:36:29 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- The number of people sentenced for federal marijuana-related crimes dropped for the fifth year in a row, according to data released this week by the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
A total of 3,534 offenders received sentences for federal marijuana crimes in 2016. The overwhelming majority of these cases — 3,398 of them — involved trafficking marijuana. Another 122 individuals received federal sentences for simple possession of marijuana, although some of these offenders may have pleaded down from a more serious offense. Read More... Government Marijuana Looks Nothing Like Real Stuff Posted by on March 13, 2017 at 13:20:01 PT By Christopher Ingraham and Tauhid Chappell Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Take a look at the photo above. That's what most marijuana consumers picture when they think “marijuana” — chunks of pungent green plant material coated in sticky, crystallized THC-rich resin. http://drugsense.org/url/jTKJ8y1c
But if you're a researcher looking to work with marijuana — to say, investigate how it impairs people, or how it could help people suffering from certain ailments — you don't have access to the weed that everyone else is using. Since the late 1960s the federal government has mandated that all marijuana used in research has to come through the federal government. Read More... Marijuana Clubs Approved in Colorado Senate Posted by CN Staff on March 10, 2017 at 05:51:21 PT By Kristen Wyatt, The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Denver -- The Colorado Senate on Thursday passed a first-in-the-nation bill expressly permitting marijuana clubs. But Gov. John Hickenlooper is hinting that he'll veto the measure unless it bans indoor smoking. The bill allows local jurisdictions to permit bring-your-own pot clubs, as long as those establishments don't serve alcohol or any food beyond light snacks.
The bill doesn't say whether those clubs could allow people to smoke pot indoors. That means it would be possible for a membership club that is closed to the public and has no more than three employees to permit indoor pot smoking. Read More... Marijuana Sellers Face Uncertainty Under Trump Posted by on March 08, 2017 at 05:45:28 PT By Tim Devaney Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- The Trump administration is creating uncertainty for the nascent marijuana industry. It’s unclear just how strictly Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to enforce the federal prohibition on marijuana, raising questions for the dozens of states that have legalized the drug in some capacity.
“There is no telling how the Trump administration will handle the legalities of cannabis,” said Ethan Andersen, spokesman for NisonCo, a public relations firm that works with cannabis companies. “While there’s no guarantee they will crack down, there’s certainly no guarantee they won’t.” Read More... Debate Over Recreational MJ Heats Up At Capitol Posted by on March 07, 2017 at 09:53:06 PT By Gregory B. Hladky and Nicholas Rondinone Source: Hartford Courant Connecticut -- Supporters of legalizing pot in Connecticut argued Tuesday that the time has come to control and tax marijuana in the same way alcohol is regulated, warning that pot prohibition has failed.
Democratic and Republican lawmakers said at a morning news conference that legalization of recreational cannabis would end the illegal market in pot, halt the unnecessary arrest of thousands of people for possession, bring in tens of millions of dollars in new tax revenue and create new jobs. Read More... Colorado Moves To Limit Home-Grown Marijuana Posted by CN Staff on March 07, 2017 at 08:16:51 PT By Kristen Wyatt, The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Denver -- Colorado is moving toward limiting growing marijuana at home under a bill that sets a max of 12 plants per residential property. A House committee voted 11-2 Monday to curb the nation's most generous allowances for growing pot at home.
Colorado currently allows medical pot patients to grow up to 99 plants, far beyond other marijuana states, and it also allows recreational users to group their allotted six plants into massive co-ops, entire greenhouses of pot that aren't tracked or taxed. Read More... What is The Future of Recreational Marijuana Posted by on March 07, 2017 at 05:40:20 PT By Kurtis Lee Source: Los Angeles Times USA -- It’s a movement charging ahead — for now. Legalizing recreational marijuana is currently a priority in more than a dozen states as polls show overwhelming support and lawmakers see a way to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue. So far, eight states have legalized recreational cannabis.
But in recent weeks, the Trump administration has alarmed some pot supporters by warning states that have legalized recreational marijuana — California, Colorado and Oregon, among them — that federal law enforcement agents could soon come after them. Read More... Israeli Cabinet Makes Move to Decriminalize MJ Posted by on March 05, 2017 at 14:04:14 PT By Ian Fisher Source: New York Times Jerusalem -- Israel, which has been at the forefront of research into medical marijuana and the drug’s commercialization, took a major step on Sunday toward officially decriminalizing its recreational use. At a time when many American states and European countries are loosening marijuana laws, the Israeli cabinet approved a plan that would impose fines rather than criminal penalties on those caught using the drug in public.
Growing and selling marijuana, which is widely used here recreationally and medicinally, would remain illegal. Read More... The Murkiness of Marijuana Law Posted by on March 03, 2017 at 15:46:09 PT By Michael Hiltzik Source: Los Angeles Times California -- When we first examined the potential flashpoints between the incoming Trump administration and California, marijuana ranked fairly low on the list, below climate policy, immigration and Obamacare.
That was in November. Since then, the divergence between state and federal policy on marijuana has come to look very real. The White House and Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions are talking tough about enforcing federal law, under which the cultivation, possession and distribution of pot are illegal — just at the point when California officials are pondering how to make good on the voters’ directive to legalize the drug. Read More... Bill Introduced To End Fed Marijuana Prohibition Posted by on March 02, 2017 at 09:26:10 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- A freshman Republican representative from Virginia introduced legislation this week that would end the federal prohibition on marijuana use and allow states to fully set their own course on marijuana policy.
The bill seeks to remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act and resolve the existing conflict between federal and state laws over medical or recreational use of the drug. It would not legalize the sale and use of marijuana in all 50 states — it would simply allow states to make their own decisions on marijuana policy without the threat of federal interference. Read More... Sessions Wants to Know the Science on Marijuana Posted by on February 28, 2017 at 12:27:41 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Speaking this morning before the National Association of Attorneys General, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions expressed doubt that marijuana could help mitigate the opioid abuse epidemic.
“I see a line in The Washington Post today that I remember from the '80s,” Sessions said. "'Marijuana is a cure for opiate abuse.' Give me a break. This is the kind of argument that's been made out there to just — almost a desperate attempt to defend the harmlessness of marijuana or even its benefits. I doubt that's true. Maybe science will prove I'm wrong.” Read More... Trump's Nonsensical Stance on Marijuana Posted by on February 28, 2017 at 08:44:56 PT By Sam Kamin Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Nov. 8 was both the best of nights and the worst of nights for marijuana law reformers. That night, four states approved medical marijuana laws and another four voted to legalize marijuana use for all adults. But for many advocates, Donald Trump’s election served a substantial blow to law reform.
With Trump’s appointment of Jeff Sessions — one of the nation’s most outspoken anti-drug warriors — as attorney general, it seems the long-simmering tension between state marijuana law reform and federal prohibition is headed for a full-blown confrontation. It’s not surprising, then, that White House press secretary Sean Spicer attracted enormous attention last week when he appeared to presage a federal crackdown on marijuana law reform in the states — which would reverse the lax policy on marijuana set by the Obama administration. Read More... Sessions Issues Ominous Warning On State Marijuana Posted by on February 28, 2017 at 05:15:01 PT By Ryan J. Reilly and Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday restated his opposition to marijuana use and offered an ominous warning about state-level marijuana legalization efforts, suggesting that such policies would open states to “violence,” as well as potential repercussions from the federal government.
“I don’t think America is going to be a better place when people of all ages, and particularly young people, are smoking pot,” Sessions said to reporters Monday at the Department of Justice. “I believe it’s an unhealthy practice, and current levels of THC in marijuana are very high compared to what they were a few years ago, and we’re seeing real violence around that.” Read More... Sessions: I’m Not a Fan of Marijuana Expansion Posted by on February 28, 2017 at 05:07:06 PT By Mark Hensch Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he does not like recreational marijuana becoming more prevalent in the U.S.
“Most of you know I probably don’t think America is going to be a better place when more people of all ages and particularly young people start smoking pot,” he told reporters at the Department of Justice (DOJ) Monday, according to Politico. Read More... Tough on Crime Talk Could Lead to Fuller Prisons Posted by CN Staff on February 28, 2017 at 04:59:31 PT By Eric Tucker, The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Washington, D.C. -- The federal prison population is on the decline, but a new attorney general who talks tough on drugs and crime and already has indicated a looming need for private prison cells seems poised to usher in a reversal of that trend.
Jeff Sessions, a former federal prosecutor sworn in this month as the country’s chief law enforcement officer, signaled at his confirmation hearing — and during private meetings in his first days on the job — that he sees a central role for the federal government in combating drug addiction and violence as well as in strict enforcement of immigration laws. Read More... States Gird For Marijuana War With Jeff Sessions Posted by on February 27, 2017 at 09:15:45 PT By Mary Papenfuss Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- It’s still “full steam ahead” for California’s recreational pot operation, one state official says. Communities are steeling for a “states’ rights” battle over the cultivation and sale of recreational marijuana after the federal government’s warning about a crackdown last week.
“There’s still a federal law that we need to abide by when it comes to recreational marijuana,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said last Thursday. “Recreational use ... is something the Department of Justice will be looking into,” he added, saying he believes “you’ll see greater enforcement” of federal law. Read More... When Retirement Comes With a Daily Dose of Cannabi Posted by on February 26, 2017 at 10:52:16 PT By Winnie Hu Source: New York Times USA -- Ruth Brunn finally said yes to marijuana. She is 98. She pops a green pill filled with cannabis oil into her mouth with a sip of vitamin water. Then Ms. Brunn, who has neuropathy, settles back in her wheelchair and waits for the jabbing pain in her shoulders, arms and hands to ebb. “I don’t feel high or stoned,” she said. “All I know is I feel better when I take this.”
Ms. Brunn will soon have company. The nursing home in New York City where she lives, the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, is taking the unusual step of helping its residents use medical marijuana under a new program to treat various illnesses with an alternative to prescription drugs. While the staff will not store or administer pot, residents are allowed to buy it from a dispensary, keep it in locked boxes in their rooms and take it on their own. Read More... MJ Industry Ready To Fight a Federal Crackdown Posted by on February 25, 2017 at 06:52:09 PT By Patrick McGreevy Source: Los Angeles Times California -- Warned of a possible federal crackdown on marijuana, California elected officials and cannabis industry leaders said Friday they were preparing for a potential showdown in the courts and Congress to protect the legalization measure approved by state voters in November.
The flashpoint that set off a scramble in California was a news conference Thursday at which White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that the administration had no plans to continue the Obama administration's permissive approach in states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Read More... Marijuana Industry Angered by White House Reversal Posted by on February 24, 2017 at 11:56:31 PT By Jennifer Kaplan and Polly Mosendz Source: Bloomberg.com USA -- The cannabis industry was rattled after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said he expects the Department of Justice to increase enforcement of federal laws prohibiting recreational pot, even in states where it’s already legal.
Along with the District of Columbia, eight states have legalized recreational use among adults, including California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada just this past November. That means one in five American adults can smoke, vape, drink, or eat cannabis as they please under state law. Meanwhile, more than half of the nation’s states have legalized medical marijuana despite federal laws prohibiting its sale. The industry is estimated to be worth north of $6 billion and will hit $50 billion by 2026, according to Cowen & Co. Read More... Sean Spicer Seemed to Tie Marijuana Use to Opioids Posted by on February 24, 2017 at 06:25:15 PT By Derek Hawkins Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- The epidemic of opioid addiction in the United States has been well documented. A staggering 33,000 people died in 2015 from overdosing on prescription painkillers, heroin or similar drugs, on par with the number killed by firearms and in car accidents.
The epidemic is growing, but its general causes are not in dispute. Nearly all research on the issue shows that excessive and improper prescriptions are what’s causing more people to become addicted. Read More... White House Opens Door To Crackdown On MJ Posted by on February 23, 2017 at 16:54:33 PT By Matt Ferner, National Reporter Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- White House press secretary Sean Spicer suggested during a press conference Thursday that the federal government may crack down on states that have legalized recreational marijuana.
Spicer explained that President Donald Trump sees the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana as two distinct issues. When it comes to medical marijuana, Spicer indicated that the president understands the importance of the drug’s availability, especially to those facing terminal diseases. But when it comes to recreational use, Spicer had a very different take, connecting recreational marijuana use to the opioid crisis currently ravaging the nation. Read More... White House Hints at Crackdown on Marijuana Posted by on February 23, 2017 at 13:16:23 PT By Jordan Fabian Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Thursday suggested the Trump administration will step up enforcement of federal laws against recreational marijuana.
“I think you’ll see greater enforcement,” Spicer said, while adding the exact policy is “a question for the Department of Justice.” It’s the latest sign President Trump is poised to take a tougher approach than the Obama Justice Department did in states that have legalized the use of recreational marijuana. Read More... From Legalizing MJ at Ballot Box to Legalizing Posted by on February 21, 2017 at 06:16:44 PT By Kurtis Lee Source: Los Angeles Times USA -- The Rhode Island state senator has a reputation among colleagues as a cannabis crusader — a battle that, so far, he’s lost. For the last three years, Miller introduced legislation to legalize recreational pot, and for the last three years, his efforts have died in committee hearing rooms.
But now, in a turnaround, some of Miller’s colleagues are signaling an interest in legalized weed — and raking in the tax dollars that come with it. Read More...
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