Seattle To Shutter Dozens Of MMJ Dispensaries Posted by CN Staff on May 27, 2015 at 13:46:12 PT By Gene Johnson, Associated Press Source: Associated Press Seattle -- With Washington state overhauling its medical marijuana law, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says the city is planning to shutter dozens of dispensaries.
Murray on Tuesday announced plans to require a new special business license for marijuana establishments, akin to those required for taxi operators and pawn shops. Under the mayor’s plan, the businesses will be required to obtain the licenses by July 2016. Read More... Rauner Should Sign Sensible Marijuana Bills Posted by on May 25, 2015 at 14:03:29 PT Editorial Source: Chicago Sun-Times Illinois -- One bill would reset the starting date for a pilot program allowing ill people to buy medical marijuana. A law permitting medical marijuana passed in 2013, but because of bureaucratic delays, not a single patient has been able to get legal pain-easing pot.
As the law now stands, the pilot program will end Jan. 1, 2018, just 2½ years from now. That’s not much time, given that the pilot program isn’t even up and running yet and no one is sure when it will be. The new bill would reset the deadline to about four years after the first dispensary opens. Read More... Senate Committee Approves Historic Measure Posted by on May 22, 2015 at 05:13:50 PT By Matt Ferner, The Huffington Post Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a historic bipartisan amendment Thursday that aims to increase veterans' access to medical marijuana.
The Veterans Equal Access Amendment, added to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill, passed the committee 18-12. The measure allows Department of Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical marijuana to their veteran patients. Read More... Bernie Sanders Leaves The Door Open On Marijuana Posted by on May 20, 2015 at 18:22:38 PT By Matt Ferner, The Huffington Post Source: Huffington Post USA -- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Tuesday that he supports the decriminalization of marijuana possession and the legalization of medical marijuana, and suggested that he's also open to considering further reforms when it comes to recreational marijuana.
"Let me just say this," Sanders began in response to a question about his position on the war on drugs during a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" style interview. "The state of Vermont voted to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana and I support that. I have supported the use of medical marijuana. And when I was mayor of Burlington, in a city with a large population, I can tell you very few people were arrested for smoking marijuana. Our police had more important things to do." Read More... Panel Approves New Restrictions for MMJ Posted by CN Staff on May 19, 2015 at 18:54:52 PT By Sheila V. Kumar, Associated Press Source: Associated Press An Oregon Senate special committee unanimously passed legislation on Monday imposing a variety of new restrictions on medical marijuana, a week after a joint committee overseeing the state's marijuana rules stalled on a similar measure.
The Senate Special Committee on Implementing Measure 91 passed a proposal tightening regulations on the medical marijuana industry, such as limiting the number of plants growers can have, building an inventory tracking system for growers, processors and dispensaries, inspection requirements and an Oregon residency requirement. Read More... MJ Legalization Issue Approved by Ballot Board Posted by on May 15, 2015 at 14:20:15 PT By Alan Johnson, The Columbus Dispatch Source: Columbus Dispatch Ohio -- As state officials realize that marijuana legalization is likely to appear on the fall ballot, state Auditor Dave Yost is urging lawmakers to make it harder for “special interest” issues to make it into the Ohio Constitution.
Yost unveiled his idea Thursday at a meeting of the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission. Read More... The Great Pot Experiment Posted by on May 14, 2015 at 13:27:43 PT By Bruce Barcott and Michael Scherer Source: Time USA -- Yasmin Hurd raises rats on the Upper East Side of Manhattan that will blow your mind.
Though they look normal, their lives are anything but, and not just because of the pricey real estate they call home on the 10th floor of a research building near Mount Sinai Hospital. For skeptics of the movement to legalize marijuana, the rodents are canaries in the drug-policy coal mine. For defenders of legalization, they are curiosities. But no one doubts that something is happening in the creatures’ trippy little brains. Read More... Morgan Freeman Says Legalize Marijuana Posted by on May 12, 2015 at 04:10:32 PT By Lindsay Kimble Source: Time USA -- The legalization of marijuana remains hotly debated. But for Morgan Freeman, there’s no question.
The 77-year-old Oscar winner, well known for his deep, mellow voice, spoke candidly about his own marijuana use during an interview with The Daily Beast last week.“Legalize it across the board,” the Lucy actor said. Read More... Feds Propose 50% Marijuana Tax -- As A Tax Cut Posted by on May 11, 2015 at 11:30:00 PT By Robert W. Wood, Contributor Source: Forbes USA -- Should marijuana businesses pay tax on gross profits or net profits? It sounds like a silly question. After all, virtually every business in every country pays tax on net profits, after expenses. But the topsy-turvy rules for marijuana seem to defy logic. And taxes are clearly a big topic these days.
Many have suggested that legalizing marijuana would mean huge tax revenues. As more states legalize it, the cash hauls look ever more alluring. In Colorado, the governor's office estimated that it would collect $100 million in taxes from the first year of recreational marijuana. In the end, Colorado's 2014 tax haul for recreational marijuana was $44 million, causing some to say that Colorado's marijuana money is going up in smoke. Read More... Marijuana Laws Pose Dilemma for Republicans Posted by on May 09, 2015 at 19:03:17 PT By Kurtis Lee Source: Los Angeles Times Washington, D.C. -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's response in a recent radio interview to a question about legal marijuana was in keeping with his tough-on-crime persona.
A former prosecutor and potential presidential candidate, Christie has long been a staunch opponent of pot, at one time lambasting tax revenue generated from the sale of legal recreational marijuana as "blood money." Read More... Legislators Grapple with Medical Marijuana Rules Posted by on May 09, 2015 at 04:39:51 PT By Saul Hubbard, The Register-Guard Source: Register-Guard Salem -- State lawmakers are struggling to reach consensus on new restrictions to impose on Oregon’s booming and a largely unregulated medical marijuana program.
Many legislators view tougher limits on medical pot as key to successfully implementing the legal recreational marijuana system that voters approved in November. Currently, they say, substantial amounts of marijuana, ostensibly grown in Oregon for the medical program, are in fact sold into the black market, mainly in other states. Read More... Texas House Committee OKs MJ Legalization Bill Posted by CN Staff on May 06, 2015 at 19:30:19 PT By The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Austin, Texas -- A proposal seeking full legalization of marijuana on religious grounds has cleared an unlikely legislative hurdle.
Republican state Rep. David Simpson of Longview argues marijuana comes from God and therefore shouldn’t be banned by government. The tea party stalwart has repeatedly championed what he calls the “Christian case” for legalization. Read More... SCOTUS Seeks Feds' Views On Marijuana Lawsuit Posted by on May 04, 2015 at 17:59:39 PT By Matt Ferner, The Huffington Post Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday asked for views from the Obama administration on a lawsuit filed by Nebraska and Oklahoma that contends Colorado's regulation of marijuana is causing an increase in drug crimes in their states.
"The Solicitor General is invited to file a brief in this case expressing the views of the United States," the court said in the order. Read More... Supreme Court Seeks Obama Adm. Comment on MJ Case Posted by on May 04, 2015 at 17:46:00 PT By Jess Bravin Source: Wall Street Journal Washington, D.C. -- The Supreme Court Monday asked the Obama administration to weigh in on a lawsuit brought by two states seeking to roll back Colorado’s legalization of recreational marijuana use.
Nebraska and Oklahoma want the Supreme Court to invalidate Colorado laws implementing a 2012 voter initiative. The states claim Colorado has created a “cross-border nuisance” by increasing the supply of marijuana that could flow throughout the region, something exacerbated by the Obama administration’s policy to avoid interference with state experiments in legalization. Read More... Oregon: Unemployed Police Dogs Posted by on May 04, 2015 at 14:17:19 PT By Peter Holley Source: Washington Post Oregon -- In their heyday, Narc and Cody, two drug-sniffing pooches employed by the Medford, Ore., Police Department, were valued weapons in the war against drugs.
Narc, a Belgian Malinois, is trained to sit when he smells a drug, while Cody, a Lab mix, freezes in place when he picks up on an illegal substance. Sgt. D.J. Graham, who oversees the department’s drug-sniffing dog program, called both 5-year-old canines “model employees.” Read More... Some Denver Candidates Open To Relaxed MJ Rules Posted by on May 04, 2015 at 05:34:10 PT By Jon Murray and Ricardo Baca, The Denver Post Source: Denver Post Colorado -- Sixteen months after Colorado launched legal recreational marijuana sales, the center of the burgeoning industry in Denver is asking to extend shops' evening closing hours and revisit the outright ban on public consumption.
And many City Council candidates in Tuesday's election are receptive — including several with a good shot of winning or proceeding to a runoff. Read More... Veterans MMJ Amendment in U.S. House Loses Posted by on May 01, 2015 at 12:27:19 PT By Bill Piper, Drug Policy Alliance Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- There are reasons to be optimistic about a vote in Congress that didn't go our way. Last night the U.S. House voted down a bipartisan amendment by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) that would have allowed Veterans Administration (VA) doctors to recommend marijuana to their patients.
The House rejected a similar amendment last year. It received 195 votes (222 voted against it). Last night, 210 members of Congress voted for it, and only 213 voted against it. Read More... New York Begins Accepting MMJ Applications Posted by on April 29, 2015 at 12:39:31 PT By Debra Borchardt, Contributor Source: Forbes New York -- New York State has begun accepting applications for its medical marijuana licenses this week. Applicants can submit questions through May 5th and the Department of Health Services (DOH) must answer those questions by May 14th. The deadline for filing an application is May 29th. The nonrefundable application fee is $10,000 and the registration fee is $200,000.The approved applicants will be announced some time in July.
Only five applicants will be approved to cultivate and dispense approved medical marijuana and they are each limited to four dispensaries. This is where things get a little challenging for the approved licensees. The dispensaries must be geographically dispensed or located in multiple counties across the state, but not in counties that are neighboring or in close proximity. So if you choose New York County, which includes Manhattan and the boroughs, be prepared to give up the suburbs of Westchester or Long Island’s Nassau county. There will be no delivery services unless the DOH provides prior written approval. Read More... Marijuana Is Not, Repeat Not, a Gateway Drug Posted by on April 27, 2015 at 05:52:00 PT By Miriam Boeri Source: Newsweek USA -- With states legalizing marijuana by popular vote, some politicians, including Boston mayor Marty Walsh and New Jersey governor Chris Christie, are still calling marijuana a gateway drug.
The gateway theory argues that because heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine users often used marijuana before graduating to harder drugs, it must be a “gateway” to harder drug use. The theory implies that there is a causal mechanism that biologically sensitizes drug users, making them more willing to try—and more desirous of—harder drugs. Read More... Washington Gov. Signs Overhaul of MMJ Market Posted by CN Staff on April 25, 2015 at 15:21:41 PT By Rachel La Corte and Gene Johnson, AP Source: Associated Press Olympia, Wash. -- Nearly two decades after voters passed a medical marijuana law that often left police, prosecutors and even patients confused about what was allowed, Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill Friday attempting to clean up that largely unregulated system and harmonize it with Washington's new market for recreational pot.
Among the law's many provisions, it creates a voluntary registry of patients and, beginning next year, eliminates what have become in some cases large, legally dubious "collective gardens" providing cannabis to thousands of people. Read More... Baby Boomers Increasingly Behind Legalizing MJ Posted by on April 24, 2015 at 17:34:37 PT By Buck Wargo Source: Huffington Post USA -- The support for legalizing marijuana has grown rapidly over the last decade but the oldest Americans aren't ready to sign off on it yet. Four states and Washington, D.C. have passed measures legalizing marijuana, and today 53 percent of Americans favor legalization and 44 are opposed. In 2006, those numbers stood at 32 percent in favor of legalization and 60 percent opposed, according to a survey from Pew Research Center.
The numbers have grown because of support among Baby Boomers, the group that came after them, Generation Xers, and the most recent generation, Millennials (those 18 to 34). Read More... Illinois House Moves Toward Decriminalizing MJ Posted by CN Staff on April 24, 2015 at 06:54:10 PT By Jessie Hellmann, Chicago Tribune Source: Chicago Tribune Springfield -- Getting caught with a small amount of marijuana would result in a fine instead of arrest under a measure the Illinois House approved Thursday. Low-level cannabis possession would go from a crime with fines of up to $2,500 and up to a year in jail to be more like a traffic ticket: no court time and a fine of up to $125. The measure would apply to people caught with 15 grams or less, the equivalent of about 25 cigarette-size joints.
Sponsoring Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, said the measure wouldn't override laws in cities like Chicago that already have fines in place for marijuana possession but is aimed at creating a uniform penalty throughout the state and eliminating the option for police to arrest people carrying small amounts of pot. Read More... MJ Reform Activists Push for Change with DEA Head Posted by on April 22, 2015 at 13:11:39 PT By Maya Rhodan Source: Time Washington, D.C. -- Marijuana legalization advocates are excited about the departure of Michele Leonhart, the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, whom they long considered an obstruction in their goal of reforming the nation’s drug laws.
“We are happy to see her go,” says Dan Riffle, the director of federal policies at the Marijuana Policy Project. “She’s a career drug warrior at a time when we’ve decided the ‘War on Drugs’ is an abject failure.” Read More... MJ Advocates Push for New Pot-Friendly DEA Chief Posted by on April 21, 2015 at 14:46:45 PT By Tim Devaney Source: The Hill Washington, D.C. -- Marijuana advocates hope the departure of the longtime chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will pave the way for more relaxed drug policies from the Obama administration.
Michele Leonhart, who has served atop the DEA since 2007, will resign following an alleged sex scandal by some agents under her watch, according to reports. Pot lobbyists are hoping to capitalize on Leonhart’s resignation by pressuring the Obama administration to replace her with a more weed-friendly chief. Read More... Embattled DEA Chief To Resign Posted by on April 21, 2015 at 14:29:31 PT By Ellen Nakashima Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- The head of the Drug Enforcement Administration is expected to resign soon, according to U.S. officials, following revelations about “sex parties” involving prostitutes overseas and other misconduct among its agents.
Michele Leonhart, who has served at the helm of the DEA since 2007, has come under heavy criticism on Capitol Hill since an inspector general report last month documented a series of episodes in which agents hired prostitutes. Agents were also found to have had sex parties with some women hired by Colombian drug cartels. Read More... High Court Limits Drug-Sniffing Dog Searches Posted by on April 21, 2015 at 09:58:02 PT By David G. Savage Source: Los Angeles Times Washington, D.C. -- The Supreme Court told the police Tuesday they may not turn routine traffic stops into drug searches using trained dogs. The 6-3 decision ends the increasingly common practice whereby officers stop a car for a traffic violation and then call for a drug-sniffing dog to inspect the vehicle.
The justices, both liberal and conservative, agreed that it was an unconstitutional "search and seizure" to hold a motorist in such cases. Read More... Support For Legalization Reaches All-Time High Posted by on April 20, 2015 at 20:22:28 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post USA -- A majority of Americans support the legalization of recreational marijuana, according to a new poll from CBS News -- and it's the highest percentage in support since the news organization began asking the question in 1979.
Just in time for 4/20, the annual marijuana holiday, CBS News released a poll showing 53 percent of Americans are in favor of marijuana legalization. Read More... Police in Colorado Issue Dozens of Citations Posted by CN Staff on April 20, 2015 at 06:08:34 PT By The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Colorado -- Denver police said there were no major problems as marijuana celebrations continued for a second day on Sunday, but police tweeted a reminder that while recreational use of marijuana is legal in Colorado, people still can't use it in public.
Police spokeswoman Raquel Lopez said there was no estimate on the number of people who turned out on Saturday and Sunday, including many tourists who flocked to Colorado to take advantage of legal marijuana. Read More... Campaign Begins in Arizona to Make Marijuana Legal Posted by CN Staff on April 19, 2015 at 17:40:20 PT By David Schwartz Source: Reuters Phoenix -- Advocates for legalizing marijuana launched a petition campaign in Phoenix on Friday seeking a ballot measure that could make Arizona the fifth U.S. state to allow possession, cultivation and consumption of small amounts of pot for recreational use.
Supporters have until July of next year to obtain the signatures of 150,642 registered voters in the politically conservative state in order to get their initiative placed on the November 2016 ballot, election officials said. Read More... Colorado Law Enforcement Switches Message Posted by CN Staff on April 19, 2015 at 09:56:58 PT By Kristen Wyatt, Associated Press Source: Associated Press Denver -- Breaking from decades of "Just Say No"-type messaging about marijuana use, Colorado law enforcement officials are starting a new campaign designed to promote safe marijuana use.
The revised campaign starts this weekend, when tens of thousands are expected at public rallies and concerts in observation of the 4/20 marijuana holiday. A few things to know about the new effort, along with some backstory: Read More...
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