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   Arizona Court Rules on DUI Law for Marijuana Users
Posted by Staff on April 23, 2014, 2:35 am

By Brian Skoloff, Associated Press
Source: Associated Press

medical Phoenix -- Authorities can't prosecute Arizona motorists for driving under the influence of marijuana unless the person is impaired at the time of the stop, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in the latest opinion on an issue that several states have grappled with across the nation.
The ruling overturned a state Court of Appeals decision last year that upheld the right of authorities to prosecute pot smokers for DUI even when there is no evidence of impairment.

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   A Marijuana Tidal Wave?
Posted by Staff on February 20, 2014, 12:08 am

By John Maxfield
Source: USA Today

cannabis USA -- The marijuana industry just got a critical boost in its effort to become a massive and completely legitimate business. On Friday, two federal law-enforcement agencies released coordinated statements clearing the way for banks to take deposits from and offer financial services to marijuana producers and retailers without fear of prosecution for money laundering.

To say that this will ignite a revolution in the still upstart industry would be an egregious understatement.

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   Bill To Legalize Marijuana in RI Introduced
Posted by Staff on February 14, 2014, 9:40 am

By W. Zachary Malinowski, Journal Staff Writer
Source: Providence Journal

cannabis Rhode Island -- Legislation was introduced on Wednesday that calls for the legalization of marijuana and the establishment of a system that will regulate and tax the drug like liquor sales.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Josh Miller, D-Cranston, chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, and Edith H. Ajello, D-Providence, chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee. The legislation, if it becomes law, would bar anyone under the age of 21 from possessing marijuana. Those of age would be allowed to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow no more than two mature marijuana plants in "an enclosed locked space.''

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   Alaska Primed To Become Third State To Legalize
Posted by Staff on February 7, 2014, 11:48 pm

By Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times
Source: Washington Times

cannabis Alaska is poised to become the third state to legalize retail marijuana after pro-pot advocates this week cleared the signature hurdle to place an initiative on the August ballot.

The Committee to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska hit 31,593 valid signatures Tuesday, well above the 30,169 signatures required to place the measure before voters. The initiative is expected to appear on the Aug. 19 primary ballot once a final count is certified by the state.

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   Children with Epilepsy Waiting for Marijuana
Posted by Staff on January 26, 2014, 9:43 pm

By Kay Lazar, Boston Globe Staff
Source: Boston Globe

medical Massachusetts -- Seventeen medications during the past four years have failed to quell the haywire electrical signals in Haley Osborn’s brain that send her young body into convulsions dozens of times a day.

The 7-year-old climbs into bed at night with her service dog, Sofie, a border collie mix trained to push an alarm with her nose when the seizures start, summoning Haley’s parents. The dog then gently lays her body over Haley to protect her from hurting herself.

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   Marijuana Case Filings Plummet in Colorado
Posted by Staff on January 12, 2014, 7:27 pm

By John Ingold, The Denver Post
Source: Denver Post

cannabis Colorado -- Charges for all manner of marijuana crimes plummeted in the months after Colorado voters legalized limited possession of cannabis for people over 21.

According to a Denver Post analysis of data provided by the Colorado Judicial Branch, the number of cases filed in state court alleging at least one marijuana offense plunged 77 percent between 2012 and 2013. The decline is most notable for charges of petty marijuana possession, which dropped from an average of 714 per month during the first nine months of 2012 to 133 per month during the same period in 2013 — a decline of 81 percent.

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   Marijuana Sales Exceed $5 Million In First Week
Posted by Staff on January 8, 2014, 8:48 am

Colorado marijuana dispensaries made huge sales in the first week of legal recreational marijuana. Owners of the 37 new dispensaries around the state reported first week retail sales to The Huffington Post that, when added together, were roughly $5 million. That's a lot of green for Colorado's legal weed.

Colorado, the first state to allow retail recreational marijuana sales to adults age 21 and older, has projected nearly $600 million in combined wholesale and retail marijuana sales annually. The state, which expects to collect nearly $70 million in tax revenue from pot sales this year, won't have its first official glimpse at sales figures until Feb. 20, when businesses are required to file January tax reports, according to Julie Postlethwait of the state Marijuana Enforcement Division.

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   New York Could Be Third State To Legalize Pot
Posted by Staff on December 13, 2013, 8:36 am

By Jan Hefler, Inquirer Staff Writer
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

medical New Jersey -- As news cameras clicked, the parents of a 2-year-old girl with severe epilepsy arrived at South Jersey's first medical marijuana dispensary to buy her an ounce when it opened six weeks ago.
But the green buds sold by the Compassionate Care Foundation clinic in Egg Harbor Township ended up being worthless to them, because Vivian Wilson cannot smoke. Brian Wilson of Scotch Plains said he tried reducing the marijuana to an oil for his daughter so she could ingest it - which is how some epileptic children in Colorado take it - but he found out there were no medical laboratories in the state that were able to test it to determine its safety and the dosing.

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   Pot Shots Fired: Recreational vs. Medicinal
Posted by Staff on December 7, 2013, 10:17 am

By Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux
Source: American Prospect

cannabis Washington State -- As Washington begins to accept applications for the state’s first regulated recreational pot shops, cries of protest about its plans for medical marijuana are coming from unexpected quarters: the left. A year after voters put their state on track to become one of the only places in the world where marijuana can be legally owned and sold for purely recreational use, the state legislature still has to decide what to do with its rickety, fifteen-year-old medical-marijuana system. With the Department of Justice’s hawkish eyes trained on the state—determined to ensure that the drug, which is still illegal under federal law—remains under strict control, some bureaucrats and lawmakers are afraid that Washington’s unregulated medical-marijuana system could doom the whole experiment.

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   World's First Recreational MJ Sales License Issued
Posted by Staff on November 24, 2013, 11:30 am

By Jeremy Daw
Source: AlterNet

cannabis Colorado -- The coordinated raids of at least a dozen Denver dispensaries on Thursday are the latest federal law enforcement actions to occur in the wake of legalization votes last November in Colorado and Washington states. The coordinated raids in Colorado follow raids that took place in Washington this summer, and when analyzed side by side, the federal actions hint at an emerging pattern in organized pot crackdowns. Characterized by cooperation across multiple levels of government and timed to deliver maximum political effect, this new method of federal interference with the medical marijuana movement sends a clear message to a marijuana industry still in its formation stages.

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   Parents Press Arizona Officials on Marijuana Act
Posted by Staff on October 29, 2013, 11:34 am

By Fernanda Santos
Source: New York Times

medical Phoenix -- Arguing that medical marijuana has been the most effective treatment for their son’s seizure disorder, the parents of a 5-year-old boy filed a lawsuit here on Monday to force state officials to include marijuana extracts — oil-like resins with very low levels of the psychoactive ingredient THC — as a legal product under the state’s medical marijuana act.
As it stands, the act, approved by voters in 2010, allows patients to use “any mixture or preparation” made with dried marijuana flowers, like brownies. The boy’s parents, Jacob and Jennifer Welton, have been crushing the flowers and mixing them into applesauce, which they say has become difficult for the boy to ingest after brain surgery last year compromised his ability to eat. They do not want to buy the extract, found on the black market, for fear of being arrested.

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   Nevada Medical Marijuana Lawyers
Posted by Staff on October 29, 2013, 12:20 am

The attorneys at Connor & Connor Pllc. defend Nevada residents and companies who are facing charges, or need legal advice relating to medical marijuana. In order to assist our potential clients we have provided the following list of frequently asked questions and a summary of Nevada’s medical marijuana laws.

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   Denver Reels from Devastating Med Marijuana Audit
Posted by Staff on July 22, 2013, 12:20 am

By Jeremy P. Meyer, The Denver Post
Source: Denver Post

medical Colorado -- While Denver has become a national leader in how it regulates medical marijuana, an audit released Thursday found serious problems with how the city licenses, tracks and manages the booming medical marijuana industry in the city.

Denver has the most medical marijuana dispensaries in the state — more than the number of liquor stores — but the city's oversight has been "ineffective" and "inefficient" and poses "substantive risks to the city," according to the report that Denver Auditor Dennis Gallagher called "devastating."

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   Five Myths About Legalizing Marijuana
Posted by Staff on June 9, 2013, 11:51 am

By Doug Fine
Source: Washington Post

cannabis USA -- With 16 states having decriminalized or legalized cannabis for non-medical use and eight more heading toward some kind of legalization, federal prohibition’s days seem numbered. You might wonder what America will look like when marijuana is in the corner store and at the farmers market. In three years spent researching that question, I found some ideas about the plant that just don’t hold up.

1. If pot is legal, more people will use it.

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   Marijuana Taxes Prove Sticking Point in Colorado
Posted by Staff on May 1, 2013, 2:50 am

By Kristen Wyatt, Associated Press
Source: Associated Press

Denver -- Marijuana as a potential tax bonanza has Colorado lawmakers wrestling with a question both sides say they don't know how to answer: How much will people pay for legal weed?
The state House advanced a taxing measure Monday to levy a pot tax in excess of 25 percent, a reduction from the 30 percent rate lawmakers considered last week.

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   A Smarter Federal Path on State-Voted MJ Laws
Posted by Staff on April 28, 2013, 11:00 pm

By Neal Peirce, Syndicated Columnist
Source: Seattle Times

Washington, D.C. -- The time is at hand for the Obama administration to stop dithering, to take a clear position on the rights of Washington state and Colorado — and by precedent all others — to experiment with legalized marijuana.
That’s what Govs. Jay Inslee of Washington and John Hickenlooper of Colorado are asking the Justice Department to do — even though they personally opposed the marijuana legalization measures their voters approved last November.

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   Shots Fired at CO MMJ Rally
Posted by Staff on April 20, 2013, 10:20 pm

UPDATE 7:07 pm CT: In the minutes after the shooting, three individuals were shot by an unknown assailant. None of the injuries were described as life-threatening. Approximately seven gunshots were heard shortly before 5pm, less than an hour after the rally's keynote address completed. It was initially reported that two people had been shot, along with one of the individual's pet dog. However, the Denver Police Department tweeted that a third individual, a juvenile, was grazed by a bullet and escorted themselves to nearby hospital.

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   High Security for Denver Marijuana Celebration
Posted by Staff on April 20, 2013, 10:20 pm

By The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press

Denver -- As tens of thousands of people gather to celebrate and smoke marijuana in Denver, police will be out in full force. But it's not the pot smoking they're concerned about at the yearly event, billed as the nation's largest April 20 celebration. Instead, police say they're focused on crowd security in light of attacks that killed three at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
"We're aware of the events in Boston," said Denver police spokesman Aaron Kafer, who declined to give specifics about security measures being taken. "Our message to the public is that, if you see something, say something."

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   Vermont House Considers MJ Decriminalization
Posted by Staff on March 31, 2013, 1:00 am

By Terri Hallenbeck, Free Press Staff Writer
Source: Burlington Free Press

cannabis Montpelier, Vermont -- The marijuana samples were discreetly tucked into a Manila envelope. Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn didn’t ask for them to be brought out until the end of his testimony to the House Judiciary Committee and said he couldn’t pass them around.

Marijuana is illegal, Flynn noted, so he had to be discreet, but he wanted the committee to see what 1 and 2 ounces looked like as legislators consider decriminalizing small amounts. The definition of a “small amount” matters, Flynn said. He said he supports decriminalization, but 2 ounces is too much.

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   Former medical marijuana providers get federal prison
Posted by Staff on February 21, 2013, 10:27 pm

Two Hardin men will go to federal prison for their activities in Eastern Montana Cannabis, a Hardin-based medical marijuana operation that grew and distributed marijuana to people in the Hardin and Miles City communities.

Ross T. Pattison, 50, and Brandon Lee Strecker, 39, apologized and said they regretted getting involved in the state’s once-booming medical marijuana industry.

“If I never hear the words ‘medical marijuana’ again, it will be too soon,” Pattison told Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull during a hearing Thursday.

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   Colorado Opens Door To Marijuana Tourism
Posted by Staff on February 20, 2013, 11:25 pm

By Ana Campoy
Source: Wall Street Journal

Colorado -- Entrepreneurs looking to profit from Colorado's legalization of recreational pot use are praising proposed rules that could encourage marijuana tourism.

The task force drawing up regulations to govern the marijuana law recommended late Tuesday that state legislators shouldn't require those purchasing pot to be residents. Reflecting some concerns however, the task force recommended that tourists should be able to purchase only small amounts of marijuana and suggested potentially putting up notices at stores and airports warning travelers not to take marijuana out of the state.

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   House Panel Hears Bill to Tax MMJ Sales
Posted by Staff on February 19, 2013, 12:40 pm

By Rachel LaCorte, The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press

Olympia, Wash. -- More than a dozen people, many of them medical marijuana patients or providers, testified Monday against a measure to tax medical marijuana dispensaries, an effort to undermine any black market when sale of state-taxed recreational marijuana starts at the end of this year.

The bill, which had a public hearing before the House Finance Committee, would hit dispensaries with a tax equal to 25 percent of their sales of cannabis and cannabis-infused products.

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   Marijuana Legalization Raises Safety Questions
Posted by Staff on February 13, 2013, 11:40 pm

By Kristen Wyatt, Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
Denver -- Marijuana may be coming out of the black market in Colorado and Washington state, but the drug, at least for now, will retain a decidedly underground feel: Users may not know what's in it.

Less than a year away from allowing pot sales, regulators are grappling with how to ensure that the nation's first legal marijuana industry will grow weed that delivers only the effects that pot smokers want.

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   Doors Swing Open For Marijuana On Capitol Hill
Posted by Staff on February 11, 2013, 10:00 pm

By Kevin Bogardus
Source: The Hill

Washington, D.C. -- Advocates for the legalization of marijuana plan to step up their political giving and lobbying efforts now that members of Congress are taking an interest in changing federal drug laws.

The lobbyists say lawmakers who wouldn’t give them the time of day are suddenly interested in meeting with them and introducing legislation following the approval of ballot initiatives in Colorado and Washington that legalized recreational use of the drug.

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   WA State Lawmaker Asks DEA To Reclassify MMJ
Posted by Staff on February 9, 2013, 6:00 pm

By Anna Marum, The Oregonian
Source: Oregonian

Washington State -- Despite the legalization of medical marijuana in 18 states and the District of Columbia, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) still classifies pot as a Schedule I drug, along with heroin, LSD and others.
State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, wants to change this. The Senate Health Care Committee today heard Kohl Welles' formal request that the DEA reclassify medical marijuana as a Schedule II substance.

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   Efforts Surge in Congress to Reform Marijuana Laws
Posted by Staff on February 7, 2013, 9:30 pm

By Alfonso Serrano
Source: Time

cannabis USA -- Driven by a groundswell of public opinion, Colorado and Washington state last November became the first states in the U.S. to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. That wave of support, it now seems clear, has echoed through the U.S. Congress, which Tuesday formally questioned the federal government’s prohibitionist drug policy in the form of marijuana reform bills.

Representatives Jared Polis, D-Colo., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., introduced two separate bills that would drastically change U.S. marijuana laws by addressing what they say are the human and fiscal costs associated with marijuana-related arrests.

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   Mayor Says No To Pot Ordinance
Posted by Staff on February 4, 2013, 1:51 am

By John Laidler, Globe Correspondent
Source: Boston Globe

medical Massachusetts -- Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy has vetoed a proposed city ordinance restricting the location of medical marijuana dispensaries in Lynn, citing a concern that it might be unconstitutional.

Concerned about possible public safety impacts, some cities and towns have adopted or are considering local bans or restrictions on the locations of dispensaries, while others are waiting until after the state issues regulations by May 1.

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   Will States Lead The Way To Legalizing Marijuana?
Posted by Staff on January 29, 2013, 12:31 am

By Adam Cohen
Source: Time

USA -- When citizens of Colorado and Washington voted to legalize marijuana in November they created a conflict, because pot remains illegal under federal law and anyone who lights up is committing a federal crime and could theoretically still be arrested for it. After Colorado passed the referendum, Governor John Hickenlooper said the implementation of the law in his state would be a “complicated process” and he warned residents not to “break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly.”

While it seems unlikely that the federal government will make much of an effort to arrest pot users in Colorado or Washington—Obama has said he has “bigger fish to fry”— the tension between federal and state laws on marijuana remains. Just last week, an appeals court rejected a suit that sought to lower the classification of medical marijuana under federal drug laws.

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   The DEA's Marijuana Mistake
Posted by Staff on January 26, 2013, 2:17 pm

Los Angeles Times Editorial
Source: Los Angeles Times

USA -- For a muscular agency that combats vicious drug criminals, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration acts like a terrified and obstinate toddler when it comes to basic science. For years, the DEA and the National Institute for Drug Abuse have made it all but impossible to develop a robust body of research on the medical uses of marijuana.

A pro-marijuana group lost its legal battle this week when a federal appellate court ruled that marijuana would remain a Schedule I drug, defined as having no accepted medical value and a high potential for abuse. The court deferred to the judgment of federal authorities, quoting the DEA's statement that "the effectiveness of a drug must be established in well-controlled, well-designed, well-conducted and well-documented scientific studies.... To date, such studies have not been performed."

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   Bid to Reschedule Pot Denied by Federal Court
Posted by Staff on January 23, 2013, 8:09 pm

Pot-law reformers to seek rehearing
By Jordan Smith, 4:22PM, Wed. Jan. 23
Bid to Reschedule Pot Denied by Federal Court
More than a decade after the Coalition to Reschedule Cannabis first petitioned the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to reschedule marijuana for medicinal purposes, the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia ruled Jan. 22 that the DEA was right to refuse to do so.
At issue is whether marijuana should be reclassified from a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act to a less restrictive classification on Schedule III, IV, or V. Schedule I is the most restrictive of all drug classifications and carries with it the burden that the drug in question has been deemed to have no "currently accepted medical use." That determination is arrived at via a five-part test, including a determination of whether there are "adequate and well-controlled" scientific studies proving the drug's efficacy. And that is the sticking point for pot, according to the court's Tuesday ruling.

Read More... | 6 comments
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