Marijuana Is The Fastest-Growing Industry Posted by on January 26, 2015 at 05:46:36 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post USA -- Legal marijuana is the fastest-growing industry in the United States and if the trend toward legalization spreads to all 50 states, marijuana could become larger than the organic food industry, according to a new report obtained by The Huffington Post.
Researchers from The ArcView Group, a cannabis industry investment and research firm based in Oakland, California, found that the U.S. market for legal cannabis grew 74 percent in 2014 to $2.7 billion, up from $1.5 billion in 2013. Read More... Obama on Marijuana Legalization Posted by on January 23, 2015 at 09:35:57 PT By Niraj Chokshi Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- President Obama on Thursday said he expects more states to experiment with marijuana legalization. In a 5 p.m. interview conducted by a handful of YouTube stars, Obama discussed the fragmented policy surrounding the plant, which is legal in Colorado and Washington and regulated differently state by state.
“What you’re seeing now is Colorado, Washington through state referenda, they’re experimenting with legal marijuana,” Obama said in response to a question posed by Hank Green, who with his brother runs a YouTube channel with nearly 2.5 million subscribers. Read More... Obama Predicts Bright Future For Legal Weed Posted by on January 23, 2015 at 09:28:41 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- President Barack Obama said during a YouTube interview Thursday that he believes more states will consider legalizing recreational marijuana, citing his administration's hands-off approach to prohibition-ending cannabis laws in Colorado and Washington state.
“What you’re seeing now is Colorado, Washington, through state referenda, they’re experimenting with legal marijuana," Obama said in response to host Hank Green. "The position of my administration has been that we still have federal laws that classify marijuana as an illegal substance, but we’re not going to spend a lot of resources trying to turn back decisions that have been made at the state level on this issue. My suspicion is that you’re gonna see other states start looking at this." Read More... Is Marijuana Really as Dangerous as Heroin and LSD Posted by on January 23, 2015 at 04:27:55 PT LA Times Editorial Source: Los Angeles Times California -- A federal judge has done what Congress and the Obama administration have failed to do — open a discussion on whether marijuana should continue to be listed as a Schedule 1 drug, a classification that is supposed to be used only for the most dangerous, addictive drugs, such as heroin and LSD.
As part of a criminal trial involving alleged marijuana growers in Northern California, U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller held a five-day hearing late last year to evaluate the current scientific research on marijuana use and to determine whether the Schedule 1 designation is unconstitutional, as the defendants contend. Final arguments are scheduled for next month. Read More... For-Profit Marijuana Ballot Initiative Details Posted by on January 20, 2015 at 06:44:53 PT By Alan Johnson, The Columbus Dispatch Source: Columbus Dispatch Ohio -- Ohioans may be asked this fall to legalize -- and tax -- personal use of marijuana for those 21 and older, and to make medical marijuana available to people with qualifying illnesses.
ResponsibleOhio leaders said today they will mount a well-funded campaign to gather signatures to place the issue on the November ballot as an Ohio constitutional amendment. The wording of the issue is expected to be submitted to Attorney General Mike DeWine by early February. Read More... Things To Know About Medical Marijuana in Colorado Posted by CN Staff on January 19, 2015 at 09:12:28 PT By Kristen Wyatt, Associated Press Source: Associated Press Denver -- Colorado lawmakers are taking another look at the state's medical marijuana market this week. That's because the state's medical marijuana regulations were passed in 2010 with a five-year sunset provision, so they expire this year if legislators don't renew them.
Everything is on the table, and a Senate committee takes a first look at the rules Tuesday. Here are some things to know about what's at stake: Read More... D.C. Council Sets Up Hearings on MJ Regulations Posted by on January 19, 2015 at 05:05:58 PT By Andrea Noble, The Washington Times Source: Washington Times Washington, D.C. -- The D.C. Council is pursuing a regulatory scheme for the sale and taxation of marijuana, scheduling hearings on proposed legislation that flies in the face of congressional attempts to prevent the District from loosening its drug laws.
City officials say council committees expect to begin hearings on the bill in early February — a move that will gauge how far D.C. lawmakers are willing to challenge Congress on the issue. Read More... Man Who Faces Years In Prison Has Cancer Posted by on January 17, 2015 at 04:47:29 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Washington State -- A Washington state man who is facing at least 10 years in prison if convicted in a high-profile federal case over growing medical marijuana for personal use has been diagnosed with cancer. Larry Harvey, 71, has stage 4 cancer of the pancreas that has begun to spread to his liver, Harvey's wife, Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, told The Huffington Post in a written statement.
"Larry's health has been going downhill since this case began," Firestack-Harvey said. "This summer, he was hospitalized for ten days due to blood poisoning. That was the first sign of trouble with his pancreas. Larry took a sudden turn for the worse in December and we learned on his birthday that he has pancreatic cancer. Read More... Colorado Sets Standard for Marijuana Regulation Posted by on January 16, 2015 at 07:37:48 PT By Gary Ross Source: Denver Post Denver -- As Oregon and Alaska gear up to implement the will of their voters to legalize recreational cannabis use, they would be well served to look to Colorado for guidance. After years of hearings and task force meetings, Colorado has created a sound template for regulating the retail cannabis industry. It simultaneously balances the need to ensure public safety and creates free market conditions allowing the industry to thrive. While there is still work to be done in certain areas, we are on a solid path forward.
This historic feat was accomplished, in part, because government leaders avoided the temptation to regulate in a bubble — instead, they actively welcomed industry input on the rules that shaped how Colorado's foray into cannabis legalization would play out. That collaboration continues to this day, resulting in a set of industry regulations that can nimbly address the unforeseen needs of this market. Read More... Pot Sellers Lobby Against MMJ in Washington State Posted by on January 15, 2015 at 13:17:24 PT By Karen Weise Source: Business Week Washington state’s first recreational marijuana stores opened last July, the culmination of a broad-based and long effort to legalize the drug. In 1998 voters passed a ballot initiative offering pot smokers legal protection against prosecution if they had a doctor’s note saying they needed the drug for medical reasons. A legal loophole let marijuana dispensaries sell pot to people with the notes. Washington’s lightly regulated system—it’s the only state that didn’t set up a patient registry or issue ID cards—allowed a medical marijuana market to flourish. Read More... D.C. Moves Forward With MJ Legalization Posted by on January 14, 2015 at 07:24:27 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Washington -- D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) submitted the District of Columbia's new marijuana legalization initiative to Congress Tuesday, ignoring an effort by congressional Republicans to block the measure.
Alana Intrieri, legislative counsel to Mendelson, confirmed to The Huffington Post in an email Tuesday that Initiative 71 has been transmitted to Congress, beginning a mandatory 30-day congressional review process. Read More... D.C. Challenges Congress To Halt MJ Legalization Posted by on January 14, 2015 at 07:00:35 PT By Aaron Davis Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- The District of Columbia defied the new Republican Congress on Tuesday, challenging the House and Senate to either block or let stand a voter-approved ballot measure to legalize marijuana in the nation’s capital.
D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) sent the measure to Capitol Hill, starting the clock on a 30-day review window that Congress has used only three times in 40 years to quash a local D.C. law. Read More... Is Pot as Bad as LSD? Heroin? Judge to Rule Posted by on January 13, 2015 at 17:50:32 PT By Maura Dolan Source: Los Angeles Times California -- In a rare examination of federal marijuana law, a U.S. judge in Northern California has decided to rule on the constitutionality of a 1970 act that classifies marijuana as a dangerous drug akin to LSD and heroin..
U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller took the extraordinary step of holding a five-day hearing on the question late last year, with final arguments scheduled for next month. Her ruling, based on testimony and thousands of pages of briefs, exhibits and declarations, is expected later this year. Read More... Federal Judge Weighs Marijuana's Classification Posted by CN Staff on January 13, 2015 at 06:20:22 PT By The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Sacramento, Calif. -- A federal judge in California is weighing the constitutionality of a 45-year-old act that classifies marijuana as a dangerous drug along with LSD, cocaine and heroin.
U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller in Sacramento held a five-day fact-finding hearing on the classification question late last year, and final arguments are scheduled for next month, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday. Her ruling is expected later this year. Read More... Losing Marijuana Business, Cartels Push Heroin Posted by CN Staff on January 12, 2015 at 05:54:28 PT By Nick Miroff Source: Reuters San Ysidro, Calif. -- Mexican traffickers are sending a flood of cheap heroin and methamphetamine across the U.S. border, the latest drug seizure statistics show, in a new sign that America’s marijuana decriminalization trend is upending the North American narcotics trade.
The amount of cannabis seized by U.S. federal, state and local officers along the boundary with Mexico has fallen 37 percent since 2011, a period during which American marijuana consumers have increasingly turned to the more potent, higher-grade domestic varieties cultivated under legal and quasi-legal protections in more than two dozen U.S. states. Read More... The War on Drugs Is Burning Out Posted by on January 11, 2015 at 06:03:53 PT By Tom Dickinson Source: Rolling Stone USA -- The conservative wave of 2014 featured an unlikely, progressive undercurrent: In two states, plus the nation's capital, Americans voted convincingly to pull the plug on marijuana prohibition. Even more striking were the results in California, where voters overwhelmingly passed one of the broadest sentencing reforms in the nation, de-felonizing possession of hard drugs. One week later, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYPD announced an end to arrests for marijuana possession. It's all part of the most significant story in American drug policy since the passage of the 21st Amendment legalized alcohol in 1933: The people of this country are leading a dramatic de-escalation in the War on Drugs. Read More... Northern California Tribe Plans Marijuana Farm Posted by CN Staff on January 10, 2015 at 15:50:51 PT By The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Santa Rosa, Calif. -- A tribe in Mendocino County plans to be the first tribe in the state to grow and distribute a large amount of medical marijuana.
The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported the announcement late last week by the 250-member Pinoleville Pomo Nation. The deal authorizes a Colorado-based investor, United Cannabis, and Kansas-based FoxBarry Farms to grow and distribute products from thousands of marijuana plants at the tribe's rancheria north of Ukiah. Read More... Group Floats Another Marijuana Ballot Initiative Posted by on January 09, 2015 at 07:25:52 PT By Randy Ludlow, The Columbus Dispatch Source: Columbus Dispatch Columbus -- A new group today announced plans to place a ballot initiative before Ohioans in 2016 that would fully legalize marijuana. Cleveland-based Ohioans to End Prohibition proposes to allow anyone over the age of 21 to legally grow, purchase, possess and use marijuana while also granting merit-based licenses to commercial growers.
Another group, ResponsibleOhio, hopes to place a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would permit 10 businesses to grow and sell marijuana wholesale for personal and medicinal use by those over age 21. Read More... MMJ Supporters Unveil New Proposal for 2016 Posted by on January 08, 2015 at 16:37:33 PT By Marc Caputo Source: Miami Herald Florida -- Florida’s medical marijuana initiative is back and, its backers say, new and improved. The proposed amendment, submitted Thursday to the Florida Secretary of State’s office, closely resembles the 2014 initiative that narrowly failed at the ballot box — however it was rewritten throughout in an attempt to quiet critics who said it had too many loopholes.
The amendment backers, People United for Medical Marijuana, on Monday will start gathering the 683,149 voter signatures needed to get the measure on the 2016 ballot. Read More... Judge Weighs Question of MJ Hash Oil Legality Posted by on January 08, 2015 at 06:09:14 PT By John Ingold and Jordan Steffen, The Denver Post Source: Denver Post Denver -- A court hearing Wednesday to determine the legal status of marijuana hash oil in post-legalization Colorado resulted in the judge turning up his hands and shrugging his shoulders in exasperation.
The hearing in Denver District Court was to decide whether a man named Paul Mannaioni, who was one of three people charged after an explosion at a southwest Denver warehouse, can be prosecuted for the crime of manufacturing marijuana concentrate. The man's attorney, Rob Corry, who helped write Colorado's marijuana-legalization law, said Mannaioni can't be charged because Colorado's constitution now protects the personal possession of marijuana and the processing of marijuana plants. Read More... New Reports Give Conflicting Takes on Legalization Posted by on January 07, 2015 at 08:47:42 PT By John Ingold, The Denver Post Source: Denver Post Denver -- The number of people being charged for marijuana possession in Colorado has cratered, while the number of people cited for using marijuana in public has skyrocketed.
Those are two of the conflicting takeaways from duel ing reports out this week by groups on opposing sides on marijuana. And it shows how the legalization of marijuana use and sales in states such as Colorado, far from settling the nationwide debate over pot, has instead given both sides more to fight about. Read More... Put MMJ Under State’s Recreational-Pot System Posted by on January 06, 2015 at 09:07:28 PT By Evan Bush, Seattle Times Staff Reporter Source: Seattle Times Seattle -- Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes urged the Legislature to fold medical marijuana into the state’s recreational system in a wide-ranging policy memoMonday. He also pushed the city of Seattle to crack down on medical-marijuana businesses not following state law or city regulations.
Some businesses aren’t operating with proper permits. Others have not paid local business and occupation taxes. Some opened after the City Council passed an intended moratorium on new medical-marijuana businesses. Read More... First State on East Coast Might Legalize MJ Posted by on January 05, 2015 at 05:00:16 PT By Jeremy Daw, The Leaf Online Source: AlterNet Rhode Island -- For decades, states have led the charge of cannabis policy reform in the US, but mostly at the ballot — state legislatures, like the federal Congress, have generally not been in the vanguard of reform. While there have been welcome exceptions to this rule (Hawaii’s legislature, for example, passed the state’s first medical law as far back as 2000), the majority of legislative actions in medical states more closely resemble the precedent set by Montana‘s state legislature, which voted to severely restrict the state’s medical program which passed by initiative with 62% of the vote eight years earlier. Read More... Judge Blocks Some Medical Marijuana Provisions Posted by CN Staff on January 03, 2015 at 17:03:48 PT By The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Helena -- A Montana judge permanently has banned enforcement of key provisions of the state’s medical marijuana law.
District Judge James Reynolds of Helena on Friday permanently blocked several provisions, including the ban on the advertising of marijuana and the prohibition against commercial sale for profit of marijuana to people authorized to obtain it for medical reasons. Read More... CO Seeks Permission for State Colleges to Grow MJ Posted by on January 02, 2015 at 07:13:06 PT By John Ingold, The Denver Post Source: Denver Post Denver -- Colorado has made an unusual plea to federal authorities: Let our colleges grow pot.
In a letter sent last month, the state attorney general's office asks federal health and education officials for permission for Colorado's colleges and universities to "obtain marijuana from non-federal government sources" for research purposes. Read More... Medical Marijuana a Challenge for Legal Pot States Posted by CN Staff on January 02, 2015 at 04:58:52 PT By Gene Johnson, Associated Press Source: Associated Press Seattle -- A year into the nation's experiment with legal, taxed marijuana sales, Washington and Colorado find themselves wrestling not with the federal interference many feared, but with competition from medical marijuana or even outright black market sales.
In Washington, the black market has exploded since voters legalized marijuana in 2012, with scores of legally dubious medical dispensaries opening and some pot delivery services brazenly advertising that they sell outside the legal system. Read More... Former Senator Mike Gravel To Run MJ Company Posted by on December 31, 2014 at 06:09:28 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Alaska -- Former U.S. Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska) is the new CEO of a marijuana company that produces cannabis-infused products for both recreational and medical use, the company announced Tuesday.
The Alaskan Democrat and 2008 presidential contender will lead KUSH, a subsidiary owned by Cannabis Sativa, Inc. Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson serves as CEO of Cannabis Sativa, and Gravel is on that company's board of directors. KUSH will develop and market new marijuana-infused products under Gravel's leadership, the company said in a press release. Read More... Chefs Start to Experiment With Cannabis Posted by on December 29, 2014 at 18:02:10 PT By Kim Severson Source: New York Times Boulder, Colo. -- Recreational marijuana is both illegal and controversial in most of the country, and its relationship to food does not rise much above a joke about brownies or a stoner chef’s late-night pork belly poutine. But cooking with cannabis is emerging as a legitimate and very lucrative culinary pursuit.
In Colorado, which has issued more than 160 edible marijuana licenses, skilled line cooks are leaving respected restaurants to take more lucrative jobs infusing cannabis into food and drinks. In Washington, one of four states that allow recreational marijuana sales, a large cannabis bakery dedicated to affluent customers with good palates will soon open in Seattle. Read More... Problems Ahead for Marijuana Reform Posted by CN Staff on December 29, 2014 at 05:53:59 PT Editorial Source: News Journal Delaware -- Any way you look at it, marijuana will be big in news in 2015. After all, 2014 was a good year for proponents of legalization with victories at the ballot box in several states and in Congress. The year was so good for marijuana that Delaware will finally open a long-awaited medical marijuana dispensary. In addition, the Delaware General Assembly is expected to at least decriminalize marijuana possession in the state. Possession of marijuana may finally be almost a non-criminal act in 2015.
However, 2014 ended with an ominous legal action that could not only set back the legalization movement, but could create feuds between the states that could spread to other topics and put a greater emphasis on the difference between red and blue states. Read More... Poll: Year of Legalized Pot Hasn't Changed Minds Posted by on December 28, 2014 at 19:20:51 PT By Kevin Simpson, The Denver Post Source: Denver Post Colorado -- A year of legalized recreational marijuana hasn't changed many Coloradans' minds on the groundbreaking shift — though more than one-third say the state's reputation has taken a hit, according to a SurveyUSA poll done for The Denver Post.
More than 90 percent of the respondents who voted in the 2012 election on Amendment 64 — the measure allowing adults to legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana passed 54.8 percent to 45.1 percent — said they would vote the same way today. Read More...
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