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   Marijuana Only for the Sick?
Posted by Staff on October 12, 2012, 1:50 pm

By Norimitsu Onishi
Source: New York Times

medical Los Angeles -- One year after federal law enforcement officials began cracking down on California�s medical marijuana industry with a series of high-profile arrests around the state, they finally moved into Los Angeles last month, giving 71 dispensaries until Tuesday to shut down.

At the same time, because of a well-organized push by a new coalition of medical marijuana supporters, the City Council last week repealed a ban on the dispensaries that it had passed only a couple of months earlier.

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   Pot Arrests Cost State $300 Million in 25 Years
Posted by Staff on October 12, 2012, 1:40 pm

By Jonathan Martin, Seattle Times Staff Reporter
Source: Seattle Times

cannabis Washington -- A new crime-data analysis has found that 241,000 people in Washington were arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession over the last quarter-century, adding fuel to a campaign seeking to make this state the first to legalize recreational marijuana sales.

The analysis estimates those arrests translated to nearly $306 million in police and court costs � $194 million of it the past decade. African Americans were arrested twice as often as whites for possession in Washington in the past 25 years, even though whites use marijuana more.

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   Court To Review Marijuana's Medical Benefits
Posted by Staff on October 12, 2012, 1:40 pm

By Lucia Graves
Source: Huffington Post

medical Washington, D.C. -- It started with a coalition of disgruntled Americans, then a handful of governors took up the cause last year, and now -- for the first time in nearly 20 years -- a federal court will hear oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging the classification of cannabis as a dangerous drug without medical benefits.

In the case, Americans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforcement Administration, the court will be presented with scientific evidence regarding the medicinal effects of marijuana, and is expected to rule on whether or not the Drug Enforcement Administration acted appropriately in denying a petition to reclassify cannabis, filed by a collection of public interest organizations back in 2002.

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   WA Could Become First State To Approve Sales of MJ
Posted by Staff on October 11, 2012, 1:40 pm

By Gene Johnson, Associated Press
Source: Washington Post

cannabis Seattle -- Washington state is on the verge of becoming the first in the nation to let adults over 21 buy taxed, inspected marijuana at state-licensed shops.

It might not clear up more than a decade of confusion that resulted from the state�s medical marijuana law, or reverse the proliferation of dispensaries. But supporters say passing Initiative 502 on Nov. 6 could make drug laws more reasonable, prevent thousands of arrests a year, and bring Washington hundreds of millions of dollars to help pay for schools, health care and basic government services.

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   Oakland Sues U.S. to Prevent Closing of Dispensary
Posted by Staff on October 11, 2012, 1:40 pm

By Malia Wollan
Source: New York Times

medical San Francisco -- The City of Oakland has filed a lawsuit in federal court to prevent the Department of Justice from seizing property leased to the largest medical marijuana dispensary in the country.

�This lawsuit is about protecting the rights of legitimate medical patients,� City Attorney Barbara Parker said in a statement on Wednesday, when the suit was filed. �I am deeply dismayed that the federal government would seek to deny these rights and deprive thousands of seriously ill Californians of access to safe, affordable and effective medicine.�

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   Colo. Physicians Back Legal Weed
Posted by Staff on October 10, 2012, 1:50 pm

By Matt Ferner
Source: Huffington Post

cannabis Colorado -- With less than 30 days until Election Day, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol got another strong endorsement for Amendment 64, the ballot measure that would end marijuana prohibition in the state and regulate it like alcohol.

At a press conference Tuesday morning, the campaign announced that more than 300 Colorado physicians from more than 65 localities across the state support Amendment 64 and are calling for a "more commonsense policy" one that stops "criminalization of adults for using a substance less harmful than alcohol," as Dr. Larry Bedard, former president of the American College of Emergency Physicians said in a statement.

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   Dispensaries Clouding Medical Marijuana's Image
Posted by Staff on October 9, 2012, 1:50 pm

By Maureen O'Hagan and Jonathan Martin
Source: Seattle Times

medical Seattle, WA -- Three weeks ago, an event space in Fremont hosted an unusual trade show. A legal panel debated public policy and a doctor discussed the state of health care as girls in bikinis posed near tables of bongs and a guy in a green bear suit offered free hits off a 5-foot pipe. And the smell of marijuana wafted over the Ship Canal.

Seattle's first-ever Medical Cannabis Cup � part gourmet weed contest, part trade show, part smoke-in � showcased the entrepreneurial drive and explosive growth of the local medical-marijuana industry.

Read More... | 3 comments
   Bruce Ramsey Lights Up, Makes Pro-Marijuana Case
Posted by Staff on October 9, 2012, 1:50 pm

By Bruce Ramsey, Times Editorial Columnist
Source: Seattle Times

cannabis Washington -- The arguments for Initiative 502, the ballot measure to legalize and tax marijuana for general adult use, are remarkably impersonal. People make health arguments, economic arguments and legal arguments. Who will say, �I just want to smoke it�?

A few weeks ago, I smoked it for the first time in 20 years. It was a quiet happening. I lounged by a campfire, entranced by the flames. Bugs gathered on the firewood, spooked by the smoke and heat. Some jumped to safety and some jumped into the flames. I pondered this for quite a while.

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   Medical Marijuana Tax Revolt Brewing
Posted by Staff on October 6, 2012, 1:50 pm

By Chris Roberts
Source: Huffington Post

medical California -- Taxes are never far from Dave Hodges' mind. According to the state of California, Hodges, the founder and operator of the All American Cannabis Club in San Jose, owes almost a quarter million dollars in back taxes. According to Hodges, the state owes him -- about $11,000, in taxes he "mistakenly" paid.

Like every other medical marijuana dispensary in the state, Hodges paid state sales taxes in order to appease the Board of Equalization, which levies the same tax rate on pot clubs (8.375 percent, as of Oct. 1) as any other business.

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   L.A. To Repeal Ban on Medical Marijuana Shops
Posted by Staff on October 3, 2012, 1:50 pm

By Alex Dobuzinskis
Source: Reuters

medical California -- The Los Angeles City Council voted to rescind a newly enacted ban on storefront medical marijuana shops on Tuesday, allowing the city to avoid a referendum next year that some officials said would likely succeed in reversing the prohibition.

The council, in a blow to an industry that operates in violation of federal law, voted in July to ban pot dispensaries and replace them with a system that would allow up to three patients to collectively grow marijuana.

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   Legalize Marijuana for Racial-Justice Reasons
Posted by Staff on October 2, 2012, 1:50 pm

By SpearIt, Special To The Times
Source: Seattle Times

cannabis Washington -- Passing Initiative 502, which legalizes small amounts of marijuana for use by adults 21 years and older, should be a priority for supporters of racial justice in Washington.

On the merits alone, this legislation would advance Washington state�s criminal-justice policy, which features some of the worst racial disparities in the country, but there are other important reasons this initiative deserves strong support.

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   Medical Marijuana OK - Buying It Isn�t
Posted by Staff on October 1, 2012, 1:50 pm

Editorial
Source: Norwich Bulletin

medical Norwich, Conn. -- As of today, cancer patients and others suffering with serious and painful illnesses � such as HIV/AIDS, Parkinson�s, multiple sclerosis and other illnesses � can legally use medical marijuana to ease their pain provided a licensed physicians proscribes its use.

We supported the change in the law this past legislative session because we believe that if the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes can help ease the pain of those suffering from these illnesses then there is no logical reasoning to deny those individuals that relief.

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   Prescription Drug Use Drops Among Young People
Posted by Staff on September 29, 2012, 7:57 pm

By Donna Leinwand Leger, USA Today
Source: USA Today

USA -- Young adults drove the drop. The number of people 18 to 25 who regularly abuse prescription drugs fell 14% to 1.7 million, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported Monday. In 2011, 3.6% of young adults abused pain relievers, the lowest rate in a decade.
The survey, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, collects data from interviews with 67,500 people age 12 and older. Administrator Pamela Hyde said the decrease in abuse indicates that public health and law enforcement efforts to curb abuse of prescription drugs, such as the powerful painkillers oxycodone and hydrocodone, work.

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   Medical marijuana bill proposed for 2013 Legislature
Posted by Staff on September 29, 2012, 3:00 pm

CARSON CITY - A bill allowing registered medical marijuana users in Nevada to acquire the outlawed drug is one of the 144 bills being drawn up for consideration at the 2013 Legislature.

Assemblyman Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, said Monday he requested the bill, which would be introduced in the state Senate if he is elected to the upper house, because there is no legal way to obtain the drug, which is used to help people with glaucoma and cancer patients who suffer loss of appetite because of chemotherapy.

Read More... | 4 comments
   Veteran Pot Growers See Their Way of Life Ending
Posted by Staff on September 29, 2012, 1:50 pm

By Joe Mozingo, Los Angeles Times
Source: Los Angeles Times

cannabis Laytonville, Calif. -- In the mountains of Mendocino County, a middle-aged couple stroll into the cool morning air to plant the year's crop. Andrew grabs a shovel and begins to dig up rich black garden beds while Anna waters the seedlings, beginning a hallowed annual ritual here in marijuana's Emerald Triangle.

In the past, planting day was a time of great expectations, maybe for a vacation in Hawaii or Mexico during the rainy months or a new motor home to make deliveries around the country.

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   Veteran Pot Growers See Their Way of Life Ending
Posted by Staff on September 29, 2012, 8:30 am

By Joe Mozingo, Los Angeles Times
Source: Los Angeles Times

Laytonville, Calif. -- In the mountains of Mendocino County, a middle-aged couple stroll into the cool morning air to plant the year's crop. Andrew grabs a shovel and begins to dig up rich black garden beds while Anna waters the seedlings, beginning a hallowed annual ritual here in marijuana's Emerald Triangle.
In the past, planting day was a time of great expectations, maybe for a vacation in Hawaii or Mexico during the rainy months or a new motor home to make deliveries around the country.

Read More... | 1 comment
   Medical-Marijuana Vote in Arkansas to Go Ahead
Posted by Staff on September 28, 2012, 8:00 pm

By Ana Campoy
Source: Wall Street Journal

Little Rock -- Arkansas could become the first state in the South to legalize marijuana use for medicinal purposes in November, after the Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a ballot measure advanced by activists.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act was challenged by state conservative groups that argued the ballot measure's summary was misleading and incomplete, for example, by not specifying which illnesses a person would need to have to legally obtain the drug. The groups asked the court to remove the measure from the ballot.

Read More... | 2 comments
   Veterans Form Pro-Legal Marijuana Group
Posted by Staff on September 28, 2012, 8:00 pm

By Matt Ferner
Source: Huffington Post

Colorado -- A group of Colorado veterans are forming a pro-marijuana legalization group after state health officials denied a second petition to allow medical marijuana as treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
At a noon news conference today at the El Paso County Court House in Colorado Springs, veterans gathered to announce the formation of "Veterans for 64," a group in support of Colorado's Amendment 64 ballot measure which seeks to legalize and regulate marijuana for adult use.

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   U.S. Raids L.A. Marijuana Shops
Posted by Staff on September 26, 2012, 8:00 pm

By Kate Linthicum and Andrew Blankstein, LA Times
Source: Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles -- Federal officials brought their war on medical marijuana dispensaries to Los Angeles on Tuesday, raiding several shops and issuing warning letters to dozens more. Officials at the U.S. attorney's office said it was the first large-scale federal action taken against cannabis shops in the city, and said more will probably follow.
"We couldn't do all of L.A. at once," said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the office. "There's just too many stores." The crackdown adds a dramatic element to the already tense fight over the fate of medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. And it underscores the stern stance of the federal government that the sale and distribution of cannabis is illegal, no matter what cities do to try to regulate the industry.

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   Feds Target LA in Medical Marijuana Crackdown
Posted by Staff on September 26, 2012, 8:00 pm

By Greg Risling, The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press

California -- The U.S. attorney's office sued three property owners that house pot collectives and sent warning letters to 68 others as they enforce a federal law that doesn't recognize a California initiative that legalized pot for medicinal use.
The move Tuesday came nearly a year after federal authorities began targeting the state's pot shops. The city's own ban on dispensaries also is being challenged and could be overturned by voters if a referendum is placed on an upcoming ballot.

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   Elizabeth Warren Offers Support For Med Marijuana
Posted by Staff on September 24, 2012, 8:00 pm

By Lucia Graves
Source: Huffington Post

Washington, D.C. -- Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren offered some support for legalizing medical marijuana in an interview Monday with Boston's WTKK-FM. She said her father's battle with cancer taught her the importance of using appropriate drugs to alleviate pain:
You know, I held my father's hand while he died of cancer, and it's really painful when you do something like that up close and personal. My mother was already gone, and I was very, very close to my father. And it puts me in a position of saying, if there's something a physician can prescribe that can help someone who's suffering, I'm in favor of that.

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   State Could Be Test Case in Marijuana Legalization
Posted by Staff on September 23, 2012, 8:10 pm

By Jonathan Martin, Seattle Times Staff Reporter
Source: Seattle Times

Washington -- In the waning days of a campaign to legalize marijuana in California two years ago, all nine ex-directors of the Drug Enforcement Administration simultaneously urged Obama officials to come out in strong opposition.
The pressure worked: Attorney General Eric Holder declared his office would "vigorously enforce" the federal ban on marijuana "even if such activities are permitted under state law." Whether that was a real threat or just posturing is unclear: California voters rejected Proposition 19.

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   Initiative is a Step Toward Making Sense of MJ Law
Posted by Staff on September 23, 2012, 8:10 pm

Editorial
Source: Olympian

Washington -- A historical transformation of social values has occurred during the early years of the 21st century toward once-controversial issues such as same-sex marriage and the use of marijuana. Whenever communal morals shift so significantly, governments eventually recognize the need to conform its laws to reflect the public’s will.
State and federal governments have so far ignored the changing attitude of Americans toward the use of marijuana, both as a medically useful drug and as a recreational diversion. This has resulted in a tangled mess of conflicting laws and regulations that begs to be cleared up quickly.

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   Putting a Lid on L.A.'s Pot Dispensaries
Posted by Staff on September 23, 2012, 8:00 pm

Editorial
Source: Los Angeles Times

California -- The Los Angeles City Council first welcomed medical marijuana dispensaries, then tried to regulate them, then tried to ban them. The ban has now been suspended because opponents collected enough signatures to force a ballot referendum to overturn it, leaving the council with this quandary: Should it put the referendum on the ballot and hope to persuade voters to hold fast to a ban (and then figure out a way to enforce it); or should it lift the ban now, obviate the need for the public vote and then get back to the difficult work of drafting an effective and enforceable ordinance that both improves access for the medical patients who were the intended beneficiaries of the original law and protects neighborhoods from over-proliferation of poorly regulated dispensaries?

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   Medical Marijuana Law Takes Effect Next Week
Posted by Staff on September 23, 2012, 8:00 pm

By Alison Shea, The Bulletin
Source: Norwich Bulletin

Connecticut -- Despite a change in the law coming next week to allow the medicinal use of marijuana by people who suffer from specific debilitating conditions, patients and advocates say it could be months before they have safe, legal access to the drug.

The state Legislature voted last spring to create a registration and oversight system within the Department of Consumer Protection for medical marijuana use. The bill takes effect Oct. 1, a week from today. That day, the department wrote on its website, physicians will be able to begin certifying their patients, though a secure state registration system, as eligible to receive medicinal-grade marijuana grown by state-licensed pharmacists.

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   It’s Time To Legalize, Regulate and Tax Marijuana
Posted by Staff on September 23, 2012, 8:00 pm

Seattle Times Editorial
Source: Seattle Times

Washington -- The question for voters is not whether marijuana is good. It is whether prohibition is good. It is whether the people who use marijuana shall be subject to arrest, and whether the people who supply them shall be sent to prison. The question is whether the war on marijuana is worth what it costs. Initiative 502 says no.
If marijuana killed people, or if smoking it made people commit violence and mayhem, prohibition might be worth all its bad effects. But marijuana does not kill people; there is no lethal dose. Marijuana befuddles the mind and stimulates the appetite, but it does not make people commit arson and brigandage.

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   America’s Destructive War on Marijuana
Posted by Staff on September 21, 2012, 8:10 pm

By David Sirota, Syndicated Columnist
Source: Seattle Times

Colorado -- If you heard a drug dealer denigrate his competitor’s product as unsafe, would you trust his criticism? Or would you think he’s a hypocrite with ulterior motives?
Last week, thanks to Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, these became the central political questions in the fight over whether to continue America’s destructive War on Marijuana.

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   Prosecutors Challenge Ariz. Medical Marijuana Law
Posted by Staff on September 15, 2012, 12:20 am

By Paul Davenport, Associated Press
Source: Associated Press

Phoenix -- State and county prosecutors on Thursday renewed their legal fight against Arizona's medical marijuana program, asking a court to rule that the voter-approved law is illegal on grounds that it conflicts with federal drug law.

Attorney General Tom Horne and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery made separate but coordinated requests in a case involving a company's application to operate a medical marijuana dispensary.

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   Activists Say They Can Force Referendum on Ban
Posted by Staff on September 15, 2012, 12:20 am

By Kate Linthicum at Los Angeles City Hall
Source: Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles -- A much-touted ban on medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles may be suspended before it even goes into effect.

The ordinance banning storefront sales of medical cannabis could be suspended as soon as Wednesday, when medical marijuana activists say they will turn in 50,000 voter signatures to force a ballot referendum next year to repeal the ban. That is nearly twice the 27,400 names required by city rules for a ballot measure.

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   PTSD Proposed for Oregon Medical Marijuana List
Posted by Staff on September 14, 2012, 7:10 pm

By The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press

medical Portland, Ore. -- Medical marijuana supporters in Oregon are seeking to add post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of conditions that qualify patients in the state to use medical marijuana.

According to advocates, many people with PTSD are already in the state program because they have other medical conditions that allow them to legally use marijuana.

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