Marijuana Arrests on Rise in Va. Posted by on November 26, 2015 at 15:44:45 PT By Tom Jackman Source: Washington Post Virginia -- While the trend in much of the United States is moving toward decriminalization or legalization of marijuana, Virginia is heading in the opposite direction: sharply rising arrest totals for possession of pot, and a disproportionate number of black people arrested in the commonwealth, according to a new study based on state data reported to the FBI.
Though marijuana arrests dropped 6.5 percent nationwide between 2003 and 2014, possession arrests in Virginia increased by 76 percent in the same period, according to research by the Drug Policy Alliance in New York. And arrests of black people in Virginia for marijuana increased by 106 percent from 2003 to 2013, accounting for 47 percent of the state’s arrests though Virginia’s population is only 20 percent black. Read More... Using Medical Marijuana Now OK in Public Places Posted by on November 26, 2015 at 11:11:02 PT By Rob Ferguson, Queen's Park Bureau Source: Toronto Star Ontario -- It’s okay, I have doctor’s note. Under new Ontario regulations, that’s what people puffing on medical marijuana — in a joint or an e-cigarette — can now say in any public place where smoking is otherwise banned.
The exemption includes everything from movie theatres to restaurants, offices, stadiums, playgrounds full of children and more – even the legislature, Dipika Damerla, Ontario’s associate health minister, acknowledged Wednesday. Read More... Alaska First State to OK Marijuana Use at Pot Shop Posted by CN Staff on November 21, 2015 at 09:03:10 PT By The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Juneau, Alaska -- The board tasked with writing rules for Alaska’s recreational marijuana industry voted Friday to allow for people to use pot at certain stores that will sell it, a first among the four states that have legalized the drug.
The 3-2 vote by the Marijuana Control Board also changed the definition of the term “in public” to allow for consumption at some pot shops, none of which are open yet. Colorado, Washington and Oregon have legalized recreational marijuana but ban its public use, including in pot stores. Read More... Most Colorado Voters Say Legal Marijuana Is Good Posted by on November 21, 2015 at 08:38:56 PT By Janie Velencia, Associate Polling Editor Source: Huffington Post Colorado -- It's been almost two years since Colorado regulated recreational marijuana for sale, and according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on Friday, a majority of the state's voters support the decision and say its outcome has been good.
Fifty-five percent of Colorado voters surveyed support the law that legalized marijuana in 2012 and officially regulated the sale of the drug in 2014. Forty-one percent stand opposed. Slightly over half of Coloradans think the outcome has been good for the state, while 39 percent say it's been bad. Read More... D.C. Smells Like Marijuana Residents Don’t Care Posted by on November 20, 2015 at 11:43:43 PT By Perry Stein Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- The smell near the Columbia Heights Metro station Wednesday night was unmistakable. A lit joint in hand, Tony Lee stood outside a residence talking with friends as the typical evening bustle passed them by, no one paying the group of men any special attention.
“The community I’m in, everyone engages in smoking,” said Lee, a 34-year-old District resident who runs his own small construction firm. Plus, he said, if he’s not smoking, he smells the remnants of other people getting high throughout the city on a daily basis anyway. Read More... Congressman Calls For DEA Chief's Removal Posted by on November 18, 2015 at 19:05:11 PT By Mollie Reilly, Deputy Politics Editor Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) said Wednesday that acting Drug Enforcement Administration chief Chuck Rosenberg should be replaced after calling the notion of smoking marijuana for medical purposes a "joke."
"Rosenberg is clearly not the right fit for the DEA in this administration," Blumenauer said during a speech on the House floor Wednesday morning. Read More... Thousands Demand Firing Of DEA Chief Posted by on November 12, 2015 at 18:20:22 PT By Mollie Reilly, Deputy Politics Editor Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- A petition calling for President Barack Obama to fire acting Drug Enforcement Administration chief Chuck Rosenberg over his remarks on medical marijuana had gathered over 28,000 signatures, by Thursday afternoon.
Rosenberg, a former FBI official who was tapped to lead the DEA in May, has come under fire for denying that smoking marijuana can help some medical conditions. Read More... Colombia to Legalize Sale of Medical Marijuana Posted by CN Staff on November 12, 2015 at 15:11:19 PT By Joshua Goodman, Associated Press Source: Associated Press Bogota, Colombia -- Colombia’s government plans to legalize the cultivation and sale of marijuana for medicinal and scientific purposes, officials said Thursday in a surprise shift by the longtime U.S. ally in the war on drugs.
The change is coming in an executive decree that President Juan Manuel Santos will soon sign into law. It will regulate regulating everything from licensing for growers to the eventual export of products made from marijuana, Justice Minister Yesid Reyes said. Read More... Mexican President To Open Debate on Marijuana Law Posted by CN Staff on November 10, 2015 at 10:20:58 PT By Reuters Source: Reuters Mexico City -- Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said on Monday he would open a national debate to review the country's marijuana laws ahead of a key United Nations meeting next year, following a landmark court ruling.
Speaking a few days after Mexico's Supreme Court ruled to allow four plaintiffs to grow and smoke pot recreationally in a decision that could eventually open the door to marijuana legalization, Pena Nieto said he was not personally in favor of legalization as it could induce people into taking harder drugs. Read More... Mexican President Rules Out Marijuana Legalization Posted by CN Staff on November 10, 2015 at 10:14:37 PT By The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Mexico City -- Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said Monday he opposes any eventual legalization of marijuana, five days after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of four people who wanted to grow pot for personal use.
Pena Nieto said in a speech that "for me it would not be desirable, I am not in favor of an eventual legalization of marijuana," but said he was willing to listen to other opinions. Read More... Clinton Supports Removing MJ from Schedule 1 Posted by on November 07, 2015 at 16:47:11 PT By Abby Phillip Source: Washington Post Orangeburg, S.C. -- Hillary Rodham Clinton has long declined to endorse legalized medical or recreational marijuana at the federal level, but on Saturday, she added more specifics to her proposal to increase research into medical marijuana.
Clinton said that she supports removing marijuana from a list of schedule 1 drugs, a classification that prevents federally-sponsored research into its effects. As a schedule 1 drug, marijuana is classified among the most dangerous drugs that the federal Drug Enforcement Agency regulates. Read More... Hillary Clinton Proposes Reclassifying Marijuana Posted by on November 07, 2015 at 16:21:20 PT By Mollie Reilly, Deputy Politics Editor Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- Hillary Clinton wants to reclassify marijuana as a less dangerous substance in order to allow more research into the drug's medicinal properties, the Democratic presidential candidate said Saturday in South Carolina.
Marijuana is currently classified as a Schedule I drug, the most dangerous of five substance categories listed in the Controlled Substances Act. According to the federal classification, Schedule I drugs have "no currently accepted medical use." Other Schedule I substances include heroin, ecstasy and LSD. Read More... Stephen Colbert Presses John Kasich On Marijuana Posted by on November 07, 2015 at 13:24:01 PT By Mollie Reilly, Deputy Politics Editor Source: Huffington Post Ohio -- Stephen Colbert grilled Ohio Gov. John Kasich for his opposition to decriminalizing marijuana Friday night.
The GOP presidential hopeful stopped by CBS' "The Late Show" three days after his state rejected a constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana. The ballot measure would have allowed the use of recreational and medical marijuana in the state, but would only have let 10 producers grow and sell it commercially, thus drawing opposition from some marijuana advocates. Read More... Why The Acting DEA Chief Is Wrong On Med Marijuana Posted by on November 06, 2015 at 18:24:49 PT By FactCheck.org Source: Huffington Post USA -- The acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration claimed that smoking marijuana has “never been shown to be safe or effective as a medicine.” That’s false: though information is limited on the topic, several studies have found smoked marijuana has medical benefits and mostly mild side effects.
Chuck Rosenberg spoke with reporters on the day that the DEA released its 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment. According to CBS News, he said he is bothered by the idea that marijuana is considered medicinal: Read More... Illinois Growers Get Green Light to Ship Marijuana Posted by CN Staff on November 06, 2015 at 14:38:18 PT By Tribune Wire Reports Source: Chicago Tribune Illinois -- Medical marijuana growers in Illinois have been notified by state officials that they can start shipping their products to dispensaries Friday for sale to patients early next week.
Growers, who have been waiting for the official green light, received an Illinois Department of Agriculture letter late Thursday explaining how marijuana can be transported. Illinois medical cannabis program director Joseph Wright confirmed the authorization Friday to The Associated Press. Read More... The Push for Legal Marijuana Spreads Posted by on November 06, 2015 at 08:28:39 PT By The NYT Editorial Board Source: New York Times World News -- Support for making marijuana legal is increasing around the world, and that is a good thing. Earlier this week, the Mexican Supreme Court opened the door to legalizing the drug by giving four plaintiffs the right to grow cannabis for personal use.
In Canada, the newly sworn in prime minister, Justin Trudeau, has said he intends to change the law so people can use the drug recreationally; medicinal use is already legal in that country. And in the United States, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president, recently introduced a bill that would let states decide if they want to make the drug legal without worrying about violating federal law. Read More... Why Clinton Should Support Sanders’s MJ Bill Posted by on November 05, 2015 at 10:34:04 PT By Eric Levitz Source: New Yorker Magazine Washington, D.C. -- Vermont senator Bernie Sanders introduced a bill late Wednesday that would end the federal prohibition on marijuana, empowering states to legalize the drug for recreational or medicinal purposes without fear of federal intervention.
Early coverage of Sanders’s bill described it as a bid to “legalize pot across the U.S.” and suggested that the proposal would help the insurgent candidate distinguish himself from Hillary Clinton. But if the Democratic front-runner is sincere in her stated positions on marijuana policy, she should be a staunch supporter of Sanders’s new legislation. Read More... Marijuana is Least of the Nation’s Drug Worries Posted by on November 05, 2015 at 10:12:07 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- America's cops overwhelmingly do not see marijuana as a major threat to their communities, according to results of a survey released this week as part of the Drug Enforcement Administration's "2015 National Drug Threat Assessment Summary."
The DEA asked a nationally-representative sample of over 1,000 law enforcement agencies what they saw as their biggest drug threats. Marijuana came in at the bottom of the list, named by only 6 percent of survey respondents. The share of law enforcement agencies naming weed has been declining steadily since the mid-2000s, even as states have moved to legalize medical and recreational marijuana during that time period. Read More... DEA Chief Calls Pot Legalization Wrong Posted by on November 04, 2015 at 18:46:11 PT By Todd C. Frankel Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- As head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Chuck Rosenberg doesn’t approve of marijuana. And so it was no surprise that at a press briefing Wednesday Rosenberg called pot legalization efforts “misguided and wrong and stupid.”
But Rosenberg also struck a slightly more reasonable tone as he discussed the issue, revealing a potentially less absolutist stance toward marijuana than the DEA has offered in the past. He refrained from deploying some of the heated rhetoric used by others in the DEA, who have at times sounded alarmist about the issue, such as the DEA agent earlier this year who warned Utah lawmakers that legalization may lead to intoxicated wildlife, even stoned rabbits. Read More... Bernie Sanders Introduces Bill Posted by on November 04, 2015 at 16:38:43 PT By Mollie Reilly, Deputy Politics Editor Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has introduced a bill that would end federal prohibition of marijuana, marking the latest move the Democratic presidential candidate has made toward ending the war on drugs.
The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, introduced Wednesday, is modeled after a bill first proposed by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) in 2013, which was reintroduced this year as the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act. The Senate bill would remove marijuana from the Drug Enforcement Administration's list of the "most dangerous" drugs and strike marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, allowing states to decide whether they want to legalize pot for recreational or medical use without federal intervention. Read More... Legalizing Marijuana is Gaining Support Posted by on November 04, 2015 at 15:22:10 PT By Matt Pearce Source: Los Angeles Times Ohio -- For years, Americans' support for legalizing marijuana has been growing. Pollsters have felt the momentum. Solid majorities now respond that they want legal weed.
So what happened in Ohio on Tuesday, when voters voted 64% to 36% against a well-funded marijuana-legalization initiative to legalize recreational and medicinal marijuana, handing a high-profile defeat to the burgeoning legalization movement? Read More... Ohio Votes Against Legalizing Marijuana Posted by on November 04, 2015 at 04:58:54 PT By Mollie Reilly, Deputy Politics Editor Source: Huffington Post Ohio voted Tuesday against legalizing recreational and medical marijuana via an amendment to the state's constitution, shooting down a proposal to grant a small number of wealthy investors sole permission to operate commercial marijuana farms.
"The people of Ohio have understandably rejected a deeply flawed, monopolistic approach to marijuana reform that failed to garner broad support from advocates or industry leaders," National Cannabis Industry Association executive director Aaron Smith said in a statement after Tuesday's vote. "This debate has shown that there is a strong base of support for legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana. Now the foundation has been laid for a potential 2016 effort that would put forward a more common-sense initiative and have a major impact on the presidential conversation in the process." Read More... Ohio Grapples With Specter of Marijuana Monopoly Posted by on November 03, 2015 at 15:38:22 PT By Mitch Smith and Sheryl Gay Stolberg Source: New York Times Columbus, Ohio -- As a member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society, a collector of antique marijuana apothecary jars, the founder of an industrial hemp business and “a pot smoker consistently for 47 years,” Don Wirtshafter, an Ohio lawyer, has fought for decades to make marijuana legal, calling it “my life’s work.”
But when Ohio voters go to the polls Tuesday to consider a constitutional amendment to allow marijuana for both medical and personal use, Mr. Wirtshafter will vote against it. Read More... After Ohio’s Vote, These States Will Determine MJ Posted by on November 03, 2015 at 14:55:14 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- Ohio voters are deciding today whether to pass the state's controversial ballot measure, Issue 3, that would legalize marijuana and grant a de-facto monopoly on production of the plant to the ballot measure's wealthy backers. The issue has split the drug reform community, with some national groups offering tepid last-minute endorsements and others steering clear of the issue completely. Polls show similar ambivalence among the public.
Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, a reform group that hasn't endorsed Ohio's measure, sums up the difficulties in a CNN opinion piece: "Government-approved oligopolies may make sense with respect to public utilities and national security but marijuana? There's something about a constitutionally mandated oligopoly for an agricultural product that just seems un-American." Read More... Willie Nelson Crusade To Stop Big Pot Posted by on November 03, 2015 at 04:46:14 PT By Martin Schoeller Source: New Yorker Magazine USA -- Backstage at Farm Aid is a hidden city. You enter through a guarded gate just north of the concert pavilion, leaving behind the woozy crowd and vendors hawking organic snacks, then you drift through a gaggle of agitated assistants, past the roadies bustling about, and you follow a trail of golf carts heading for the residential district, where dozens of tour buses have been crammed together to accommodate the sheer number of headlining acts, with John Mellencamp’s people over here and Neil Young’s entourage there, with Dave Matthews and Kacey Musgraves and Jack Johnson each presiding over a small convoy of RVs, which you slip between and among, ducking down the narrow alleys, until at last you burst into the enormous plaza that surrounds the Honeysuckle Rose. Read More... Ohio Voters Weigh Legalizing Marijuana Use Posted by CN Staff on November 02, 2015 at 19:01:50 PT By Kim Palmer Source: Reuters Cleveland -- Ohio voters will decide Tuesday on whether to become the first Midwestern state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, though a rival ballot measure could kill the law before it takes effect.
Issue 3 would add an amendment to the state constitution that legalizes both personal and medical use of marijuana for those over 21 years old. The ballot initiative was the result of a campaign that gathered more than 300,000 valid voter signatures from around the state. Read More... Evolving Attitudes Could Affect Presidential Race Posted by on November 02, 2015 at 08:35:26 PT By Evan Halper and Kurtis Lee, Reporters Source: Los Angeles Times Washington, D.C. -- Pot is very much on the minds of voters, with millions poised to decide whether to legalize it. That raises a tantalizing question for presidential candidates: Is there political opportunity in the wind? Some are beginning to believe there is.
The latest sign was the full-throated call last week by Sen. Bernie Sanders to end federal prohibition. With that one move, the candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination plunged into uncharted territory — and, arguably, so did the presidential race. Read More... Marijuana for Millionaires Posted by on November 02, 2015 at 04:58:41 PT By Kevin Drum Source: Mother Jones Ohio -- Yesterday a friend emailed to ask if I had any thoughts about Ohio's Issue 3, which would fully legalize marijuana cultivation and sale in the state. Ohio? I barely pay attention to California, let alone Ohio.
But Issue 3 turns out to be surprisingly fascinating—or venal and repellent, depending on your tolerance for sleaze. Apparently one of the authors of the initiative came across a Rand report on marijuana written by a bevy of drug-policy worthies, and it offered up a dozen possible options for legalization. Read More... Ohioans Mull Marijuana Legalization Posted by on November 01, 2015 at 05:48:05 PT By Jim Provance, Blade Columbus Bureau Chief Source: Toledo Blade Columbus -- Two issues on this week’s ballot stand alone, but the fate of one may depend on the other. Ohio is about to make a historic decision on Issue 3. Should the state become the first east of Colorado to legalize marijuana for recreational, medical, and commercial purposes?
But state voters also have a decision to make on Issue 2. Should private individuals have the right to etch their own commercial monopolies into the Ohio Constitution? If Issue 2 passes, the marijuana legalization amendment may never take effect, even if voters support it. Read More... Sanders’s Marijuana Announcement is a Big Moment Posted by on October 29, 2015 at 10:27:11 PT By Amber Phillips Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- One day in the perhaps-not-too-distant future, when we — not the royal we, of course — light up a joint and reflect on how marijuana became as accepted and as legal as alcohol and cigarettes in this country, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) probably won't be top of mind.
But future marijuana-legalization scholars won't soon forget the first presidential candidate to publicly support removing marijuana from the government's list of dangerous drugs. It currently resides on that list; Sanders wants it off entirely, which is a political turning point in our relationship with pot. Read More...
Sign Our Guestbook View Our Guestbook