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We have nothing to worry about from the corporatization of marijuana, and the big-money takeover that represents, according to a major new report funded by — get this — the billionaire Koch Brothers.

While it isn’t surprising that these wealthy advocates of corporatocracy would advocate that their business model be used in marijuana the same as it has been pretty much everywhere else in the American economy — and equally unsurprising that their conclusions would be credulously accepted as the Final Word by the corporate-controlled press, i.e., “demolished a huge fear about legal pot” (very disappointing, Chris Ingraham) — it is quite disappointing to see their sham report covered, straight-faced, with no background as to its funding and motives, in the cannabis press, of all places.

Worry about bad marijuana — not Big Marijuana,” reads the headline of a Brookings Institution report released last week. The report was written by two senior fellows in governance at Brookings, John Hudak and Jonathan Rauch. Read Full Article →

my_tombstone (1)There are now two weeks to go, for medical marijuana in Washington state.

The advent of recreational marijuana legalization in 2012, approved by 54 percent of voters at the ballot box through Initiative 502, ended up being, as predicted by a few (ok, including me), the death knell for medicinal cannabis as we’ve known it in this state since 1998.

The coup de grace was last year’s passage — by lawmakers convinced not so much by the recreational I-502 merchant lobbyists, as by their “political contributions” — of SB 5052, the ironically titled “Cannabis Patient Protection Act.” That toxic piece of legislation ends all mom-and-pop medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, along with cannabis farmers’ markets, which absolutely have been the best, most affordable source of medicine in the state for years now.

It’s funny how quickly medical marijuana in Washington state suddenly became a “crisis” supposedly in need of federal intervention after I-502 was passed, at least if you listened to clueless blowhards (or to the greedy businessmen who really knew what was happening).

How did this happen? Who’s to blame?

Read Full Article →

IMG_9109 (1) (1)In what’s being billed as “the country’s first digital dispensary,” The Reef, a retail marijuana store in Bremerton, Washington, is taking the whole weed shopping experience digital.

Customers walk in and step up to the virtual “budtender” (electronic tablets) and get an in-depth look at each strain and product available.  Products and descriptions flash across the digital wall as well.

IMG_9863This means other customers aren’t standing behind you breathing down your neck as you try to chat with the man behind the counter — total privacy and the luxury of great reviews and information with modern technology  (though there are live people there to help of course).

Lisa and I met (human!) budtender Jude at The Reef, and he graciously took the time to get us started on one of the virtual budtender tablets, where we browsed a generous selection of flowers, concentrates, edibles and topicals. Bud working the tablets is no problem at all, provided you have any experience at all with these devices, and even if you don’t, it only takes a few minutes to catch on.

Of course, speaking of humans, there’s the human urge to see, in person as it were, what you’ll be getting, so there are display cases along the walls where you can view each product category available in the back. Due to limited shelf space (which is unfortunate, as there is plenty more wall space available), not all the products available are on the shelves, so definitely browse the virtual menu before giving up.

You can order right off the digital menu and your product(s) will be waiting for you at the front door, where you’ll pay.

I have to admit, browsing the digital menu was fun [Steve Elliott ~alapoet~]

I have to admit, browsing the digital menu was fun
[Steve Elliott ~alapoet~]

IMG_9122The actual process of ordering the flower we wanted (in this case, a $10 gram of Blue Dream, one of Lisa’s favorites), was easy, right up to the point where we clicked to select it, at which point some bug in the system made it necessary to repeat the action; I trust The Reef will take whatever actions are necessary to make sure it’s easy to buy stuff from them. 😉

The Blue Dream was tasty and terpene-rich, grown by Monkey Grass Farms, and weighed in at a whopping 27.6 percent THC. Its harvest date was April 15, so it was still nice and fresh when we enjoyed it (late May).

 

20160527_160759

Blue Dream, 27% THC
[Steve Elliott ~alapoet~]

IMG_20160527_181607-1

Jude told us that while flower is the choice of more than three-quarters of his customers, concentrates are gaining in popularity, and in fact represent the largest profit margin in the product line. When I say “concentrates” I mean such products as butane-extracted hash oil (BHO), along with solventless extracts like Rosin.

The Reef, in a perfect instance of stoner convenience, synergy, and symbiosis, is located right next door to Little Caesars pizza. Win-win! [Steve Elliott ~alapoet~]

The Reef, in a perfect instance of stoner convenience, synergy, and symbiosis, is located right next door to Little Caesars pizza. Win-win!
[Steve Elliott ~alapoet~]

Toke Signals Bud Pick of the Week

Got this multi-hued pile of medicine for a wonderfully low price at the farmers market. ( Thanks to Jack at Dharma Farms! ) That all ends after June 30, with the implementation of SB 5052, which shuts down the medical marijuana system of access which has existed in Washington state for more than 15 years. [Steve Elliott ~alapoet~]

Mixed flowers, including Plushberry (the purple ones), Ole Toby, and Fucking Incredible. Got this multi-hued pile of medicine for a wonderfully low price at the farmers market. (Thanks to Jack at Dharma Farms!)
Prices like these — direct from the farmer — make life a lot more easy for medicinal cannabis patients. Affordable medicine is a qualify of life issue. This community of cannabis farmers markets comes to an end after June 30, with the implementation of SB 5052, which shuts down the medical marijuana system of access which has existed in Washington state for more than 15 years.
[Steve Elliott ~alapoet~]

Toke Signals Stories of the Week

Canada: Justin Trudeau Makes A Case For Legalizing Marijuana

(Hemp News)

20fe30eb-ba28-439d-a27a-a5ebf593b28fCanadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday made a remarkable argument for the legalization of marijuana, basing his points not on economic benefits, but on the same factors many legalization opponents start from — concern for the safety of children.

“Look, our approach on legalizing marijuana is not about creating a boutique industry or bringing in tax revenue, it’s based on two very simple principles,” Trudeau said at an economic conference, reports Christopher Ingraham at The Washington Post.

“The first one is, young people have easier access to cannabis now, in Canada, than they do in just about any other countries in the world,” Trudeau pointed out. “[Of] 29 different countries studied by the U.N., Canada was number one in terms of underage access to marijuana.

“And whatever you might think or studies seen about cannabis being less harmful than alcohol or even cigarettes, the fact is it is bad for the developing brain and we need to make sure that it’s harder for underage Canadians to access marijuana,” Trudeau said. “And that will happen under a controlled and regulated regime.

 

Facebook Waging Weird War On Hemp

(Hemp News)

CanabidolFacebookUpdateJune2016Facebook’s weird and inexplicable history of attacking CBD (hemp oil) pages is well documented. It doesn’t make any sense, but we all know it happens: Facebook routinely shuts down pages for any number of often-unspecified reasons, and evidently CBD falls afoul of one of its labyrinthine, incomprehensible and arrogant policies.

So it was perhaps no surprise that one of the most popular UK CBD pages, Canabidol who produce the CBD Gel-Tab, the UK’s best selling CBD supplement, was last week shut down by Facebook admins.

Facebook is a vital tool for pretty much any business today. If you want to sell anything — especially if you’re selling a niche product — a social media presence is vital.

Many businesses, like Canabidol, spend thousands on Facebook advertising. It’s an investment into building an audience of potential customers, so when businesses lost their Facebook pages their profitability takes a hit, especially if they have client information, order details and other vital data stored in the page’s inbox.

 

Ohio: Governor Kasich Signs Medical Marijuana Law

(Hemp News)

9778231-large-1Ohio Governor John Kasich on Wednesday signed House Bill 523 into law, making Ohio the 25th medical marijuana state.

Kasisch’s communications team announced the signing without any comment, simply including in a list of other bills the governor also signed on Wednesday, reports Jackie Borchardt of Cleveland.com.

“This is a joyous day for the thousands of Ohioans who will finally be able to safely access much-needed medicine,” said Ohioans for Medical Marijuana spokesman Aaron Marshall. “As we continue this movement to bring medical marijuana to all Buckeyes who need it, we will remember today as a huge step forward.”

The new law goes into effect 90 days after the bill is officially filed with the Ohio Secretary of State, making medical marijuana legal sometime in early September. Patients will then have an “affirmative defense” against prosecution for marijuana possession charges if they have written authorization from their doctor to use marijuana in a form allowed under the law.

 

Nevada’s Largest Paper Used To Support Pot Legalization — Then Adelson Bought It

(Hemp News)

la-apphoto-campaign-2016-people-to-watch-jpg-20160208The Las Vegas Review-Journal supported legalization last year. It opposes it this year. The difference? Pot-hating conservative billionaire Sheldon Adelson bought the paper last December.

As recently as last summer, the Review-Journal published an editorial strongly proclaiming that paper’s stance “supporting the decriminalizing, regulating and taxing the sale of currently illegal drugs,” including marijuana. The paper went on record as supporting an effort to legalize cannabis in the state that will go before voters this November, and just last year called for all presidential candidates to support “removing marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.”

Well, that was then and this is now. In December, arch-conservative billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his family bought the newspaper, reports Aaron Rupar at ThinkProgress. It didn’t take long until Adelson — who spent $5 million out of his own pocket to defeat medical marijuana in Florida in 2014 — to order the paper’s editorial page writers to go on a field trip to a “drug treatment center” to get them to “reconsider” their “pro-marijuana stance.”

When a billionaire leans on his employees, they tend to listen. Nevada’s largest paper now is singing a completely different song when it comes to weed, with a new editorial entitled “Pot Legalization Is A Bad Bet For Nevada.”

 

University of Missouri Ignores Warnings, Censors Marijuana T-Shirts

(Hemp News)

Foundation_for_Individual_Rights_in_Education_(logo)Despite repeated warnings that it is violating the First Amendment rights of its students, the University of Missouri (Mizzou) is continuing to refuse to allow a recognized student group to create t-shirts featuring a cannabis leaf and the university’s name.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has twice warned Mizzou that its treatment of the campus chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (MU NORML) violates the First Amendment.

“Mizzou flatly told MU NORML that it was censoring the group’s T-shirt artwork because of the message it could appear to express,” said FIRE Vice President of Legal and Public Advocacy Will Creeley. “That’s viewpoint discrimination, and it’s prohibited by the First Amendment.” In the fall 2015 semester, MU NORML sought to sell promotional T-shirts with a design featuring a marijuana leaf in the form of an animal paw, a stylized depiction of the Mizzou campus skyline and a marijuana leaf, and the group’s name. Because the design also included the name “University of Missouri – Columbia,” MU NORML President Benton Berigan applied for official approval on September 5 in accordance with university policy.

Berigan’s submission was rejected because it allegedly used the university name “in connection with promotion of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs.” Berigan responded via email on September 21, arguing that MU NORML “exists to reform Cannabis laws through political engagement and community education” and “do[es] not advocate the use of Cannabis as a drug.”

 

Colorado: Proposed Ballot Initiative Would Eliminate 80% of Cannabis Products

(Hemp News)

static1.squarespaceA proposed initiative to install a new cannabis-related measure into the Colorado Constitution would effectively end Colorado’s successful first-in-the-nation effort to permit the sale of recreational cannabis to adults, according to industry experts BDS Analytics.

The initiative would impose limits on cannabis product format and would restrict all cannabis products to a maximum 16 percent THC content. Drawing from its database of more than 10,000 products in Colorado and its wealth of data analysis professionals, BDS Analytics concludes that products on the market today that generate more than 80 percent of cannabis revenue would be banned.

In addition, almost every edible product (which account for 11.5 percent of sales) would have to be repackaged, according to the company.

“When we first encountered the proposed language we quickly understood it would have a dramatic effect on the market, and so we immediately began a meticulous analysis of how it might change the landscape for commercial cannabis,” said BDS Analytics CEO Roy Bingham. “Unfortunately, our instincts were correct.”

 

Kansas: August Hearing Set In Cancer Patient’s Medical Marijuana Case

(Hemp News)

1625803_1117216902454_43251_n-1A motions hearing for a Kansas cancer patient facing felony marijuana charges has been scheduled for August to provide more time for review of his medical history.

Retired science teacher Terry Lynn Rugg, 64, of Ottawa, Kansas, is charged with marijuana cultivation, possession with intent to distribute, and possession of drug paraphernalia, all of which are felonies, reports Doug Carder at the Ottawa Herald. He was arrested on October 29, 2015.

Rugg’s attorney, John Boyd, had already said he would provide the Franklin County Attorney’s Office with Rugg’s medical history, in hopes of reaching a plea bargain.

The prosecutor’s office has indicated it wants to review Rugg’s full medical records, which would require more time, Boyd said at his client’s status conference on Monday morning.

 

Toke Signals Must Read of the Week

Fighting Back To Life: A Mother’s Story of Medical Cannabis

(Toke Signals)

11800498_10204881565020640_4077724720438437151_n

My name is Jessamyn Way and I would like to share some of my health battles with you and how through careful use of medical marijuana I am managing a prolonged and healthy life.

13331170_10206755505507981_8875598644193646852_nOn March 9th of this year I gave birth to my fifth child, a little girl of miraculous nature.  You see, I almost died shortly after the birth of my fourth child. I had had terrible migraines during my entire pregnancy with him, I also had fainting spells, and extreme challenges with managing my blood pressure.

When my new son was just 10 days old I was finally sent to the Edmonds Swedish Hospital ER where a physician gave me a quick CAT.  While waiting for results we chatted about newborns, his new little one who was six-month-old. The nurse called the doctor to look at the results, while I waited and nursed my sweet baby.

After some time the doctor returned, I remember him pulling up a chair, sitting down and taking my hand; I thought to myself at that moment that it wasn’t going to be good; my physician had tearful eyes. He then told me they had found a brain tumor deep within my skull.

Read the rest of the story

 

12963557_10206454145894179_7666284829964349973_nMy name is Jessamyn Way and I would like to share some of my health battles with you and how through careful use of medical marijuana I am managing a prolonged and healthy life.

13331170_10206755505507981_8875598644193646852_nOn March 9th of this year I gave birth to my fifth child, a little girl of miraculous nature.  You see, I almost died shortly after the birth of my fourth child. I had had terrible migraines during my entire pregnancy with him, I also had fainting spells, and extreme challenges with managing my blood pressure.

When my new son was just 10 days old I was finally sent to the Edmonds Swedish Hospital ER where a physician gave me a quick CAT.  While waiting for results we chatted about newborns, his new little one who was six-month-old. The nurse called the doctor to look at the results, while I waited and nursed my sweet baby.

After some time the doctor returned, I remember him pulling up a chair, sitting down and taking my hand; I thought to myself at that moment that it wasn’t going to be good; my physician had tearful eyes. He then told me they had found a brain tumor deep within my skull. Read Full Article →

Toke Signals Bud Pick of the Week

13322179_10153482771686780_1270510977341836727_n

Blue Kush (20% THC)
Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop
[Steve Elliott ~alapoet~]

Toke Signals Stories of the Week

Study: Marijuana Doesn’t Affect Physical Health, Except For The Gums

(Hemp News)

url-1Chronic marijuana use has about the same impact on health as not flossing, according to an extensive new study.

A research team led by Madeline H. Meier of Arizona State University tracked the cannabis habits of 1,037 New Zealanders all the way from birth to middle age, to see exactly what effects marijuana has on common measures of physical health, reports Christopher Ingraham at The Washington Post. Those measures included lung function, systemic inflammation, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, body weight, blood sugar, and dental health.

After controlling for other factors known to affect health — especially tobacco use and socioeconomic status — cannabis use had no negative effect on any measure of health, except for dental health. People who smoked more marijuana had a higher incidence of gum disease. Even after controlling for dental hygiene, such as likelihood to brush and floss, the relationship between marijuana use and poor dental health persisted.

In some areas — and this doesn’t surprise many of us, at all — cannabis use was associated with better health outcomes. “Findings showed that cannabis use was associated with slightly better metabolic health (smaller waist circumference, lower body mass index, better lipid profiles, and improved glucose control),” the study concluded.

 

‘Cannabis Damages DNA’ Claims Debunked By Leading Researcher

(Hemp News)

Natalie-MartinWhen a study was released last week claiming that marijuana use damages DNA, and that damage could be passed to one’s children, of course it made headlines around the world. For many of us who have been acquainted with cannabis for a long time, the study sounded like nonsense, and now one of the field’s leading researchers is calling “reefer madness” on the flawed study from Australia.

While the study from the University of Western Australia claims that smoking pot will give your kids cancer, cannabis has been shown in cell, animal, and limited human trials to prevent, halt, or kill cancer, researchers note, reports David Downs at East Bay Express. The study, released last week by Associate Professor Stuart Reece and Professor Gary Hulse at UWA, had the lengthy, scientific-sounding title, “Chromothripsis and epigenomics complete causality criteria for cannabis- and addiction-connected carcinogenicity, congenital toxicity and heritable genotoxicity,” and was published in the July 2016 issue of the journal Mutation Research.

A press release from the university claimed that pot smokers were damaging their DNA, and in effect giving their kids cancer. “The worse cancers are reported in the first few years of life in children exposed in utero to cannabis effects,” one researcher claimed. But hold on a damned minute. The paper’s authors did no actual tests at all. Instead, they “reviewed studies” to “close the logical loop” that marijuana causes gene replication damage that is then passed on to children.

“This report is based on a foundation of falsehoods,” researcher Ethan Russo, founding editor of Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics, told the East Bay Express. “Cannabis is not mutagenic (productive of mutations in DNA), nor is it teratogenic (productive of birth defects) or carcinogenic (causative of cancer). Countless animal studies and human epidemiological studies support its relative safety in that regard.”

 

7th Annual Hemp History Week Features Events June 6-12

(Hemp News)

hempThe 7th annual Hemp History Week will be observed June 6-12, 2016, marked by several special events during the campaign. Hemp History Week is the national effort of grassroots organizers, leading hemp product manufacturers, farmers and advocates from all walks of life, working to change federal policy on industrial hemp in the United States.

This year promises to be an historic time in the movement to legalize hemp farming, as more farmers than ever before are planting hemp in states that have lifted prohibition on the crop. The 7th annual campaign will include grassroots events across the country, nationwide retail events and promotions, hemp plantings (in some states where hemp farming is legal under Section 7606 of the U.S. Farm Bill), documentary screenings, farmer outreach, and more.

In addition to its sponsorship of the national program, CV Sciences, via their PlusCBD Oil™ brand, will also be hosting and participating in a number of events focused in California and Kentucky.

On Monday, June 6, CV Sciences, in tandem with Full Circle Market in Winchester, Kentucky, will host “Hemp for Health.” The educational event and discussion will be focused on hemp-derived cannabidiol, or CBD, how it was discovered, its natural sources, and how CBD’s endocannabinoid interactions relate to human health. Stuart Tomc, vice president of human nutrition at CV Sciences and Josh Hendrix, director of business development, domestic production for CV Sciences will both speak and answer questions from attendees. There will be music and light appetizers, followed by the educational presentation. Full Circle Market is located at 240 Redwing Drive, Winchester, KY 40391. 5 PM – 7 PM EST.

 

Oregon Sheriff Warns About ‘Driving On Marijuana’

(Hemp News)

05The Clackamas County, Oregon Sheriff’s Department on Thursday — the first day of commercial sales to adults of cannabis concentrates, edibles and topicals under state legalization — warned drivers not to operate motor vehicles while “impaired on marijuana.”

“The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind people to use marijuana in a responsible manner,” the department’s prepared statement reads. “Additionally, operating a vehicle after consuming marijuana in any fashion is just as dangerous and illegal as driving while drunk.

“Marijuana is a substance that can adversely impair a person’s ability to safely drive a motor vehicle and can contribute to crashes, often resulting in serious injuries and even death,” the release from Sheriff Craig Roberts’ office claims. “Marijuana can impair the user for a period of up to 24 hours — so please plan ahead to have a sober driver or a place to stay the night.

“During this upcoming weekend, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office will be joining other law-enforcement agencies in providing enhanced patrols in order to ensure the continued safety of the citizens we serve,” the release reads. “Between June 2 and June 5, deputies assigned to this DUII task force will have an emphasized focus on enforcing traffic safety laws, while also detecting and arresting impaired drivers.

 

Young Pennsylvania Patients Could Get Medical Marijuana This Summer 

(Hemp News)

PennsylvaniaDepartmentOfHealthMedicalMarijuanaHeader-1Medical marijuana is one step closer for patients in Pennsylvania. Some will be able to gain access to cannabis this summer, but others will have to wait a lot longer.

The wait will be over soon for patients under age 18, reports Mark Roper at Fox 43.

“The mothers are the ones who fought for this law, so their kids should come first,” said medical marijuana attorney Gabe Chorno. “I have no problem with that. Unfortunately for vets and adult patients, we have to continue to wait.”

Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy on Wednesday morning announced the details on the first phase of regulations. Once the first temporary regulations are established, parents will be able to get medicinal cannabis for their children in other states before it is grown and available in Pennsylvania.

Parents will be required to register with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and receive an identification card for their child.

 

Willie Nelson Partners With Washington Marijuana Grower

(Hemp News)

502323516A Spokane marijuana processor has partnered with country music legend and cannabis connoisseur Willie Nelson on his new company, Willie’s Reserve.

Willie’s Reserve is working with growers and processors in Washington and Colorado, including Growing Like A Weed, an I-502 cannabis producer/processor located in Spokane’s Mountain Dome Winery building, to grow product to be packaged under the Willie’s Reserve brand, reports Azaria Podplesky at Inlander.

“Willie and his family and a few close friends, developed the brand with emphasis on environmental and social issues, to lend support to the gradual end to marijuana prohibition across America,” announced a 2015 press release from Willie’s Reserve.

Master gardener Fred Renteria of Growing Like a Weed (GLW) said a Willie’s Reserve represented contacted him a couple of months back, shortly after GLW switched from the medical marijuana sphere to the recreational I-502 market.

 

California Marijuana Enforcement Nearly 4x More Severe For Blacks

(Hemp News)

blacks_targetd_for_pot_-_ACLU-1New data analyses conducted by the Drug Policy Alliance and ACLU of California find that racial disparities in marijuana policing have persisted, following the reduction of low-level marijuana possession from a misdemeanor to an infraction in 2011.

Possession of under an ounce of marijuana is punishable in California by a base fine up to $100 (plus substantial fees).

Despite marijuana usage rates being similar across racial and ethnic lines, data provided by the Los Angeles and Fresno Police Departments show that black and Latino people in those cities were issued marijuana possession citations at higher rates than white people in the years immediately following the penalty change from misdemeanor to infraction.

The data also reveal that marijuana possession enforcement falls mostly on young people. In both cities, the majority of infractions were issued to persons 29 years of age and younger.

 

 

 

By Miguel aka Miggy 420

Today, June 3, 2016, was the final date for the end of Lance Gloor vs. The United States of America or as how I’ve been seeing it “Lance Gloor vs. Vince Lombardi” (not the football hero but his douche arrogant spoiled grandson).

The justice system has a way of manipulating circumstances and this is why the law is flawed, why so many should stand up, because it’s easier to imprison a person based on circumstances and reputation, not on an actual crime with an actual victim, and in the case of Lance Gloor this is clearly evident.

Lance Gloor’s trial should have stopped at the initial investigation based on the evidence provided at his trial but because the state could not make a case, which has happened three times (Deb and Josh Mauk, Kettle Falls Five) before, they handed their investigation to the Fed; where’s the legality and justice in that?

The sentencing was originally scheduled for 10:30 but just like the government they decided to up the time to 10 am based on a bogus fear of threats that Lance Gloor was some sort of cartel leader because of Facebook posts but no physical substantial evidence of being anything close to owning lions and flying to the Caribbean on the weekends. Read Full Article →

Toke Signals Bud Pick of the Week

Purple Kush $10/gram Integrative Medicine Kingston, Washington [Steve Elliott ~alapoet~]

Purple Kush
$10/gram
Integrative Medicine
Kingston, Washington
[Steve Elliott ~alapoet~]

Toke Signals Stories of the Week

Federal Numbers Show Marijuana Smuggling Plummets After States Legalize

(Hemp News)

MarijuanaTraffickingDeclines[WashingtonPost]Federal marijuana trafficking offenses are on a steep decline nationwide as more states legalize recreational cannabis.

According to the latest drug trafficking statistics from the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC), such offenses have fallen sharply since 2012, the year that Colorado and Washington residents decided at the ballot box to legalize weed, reports Christopher Ingraham at The Washington Post.

The decline continues through 2015, the most recent year for which numbers are available.

“The number of marijuana traffickers rose slightly over time until a sharp decline in fiscal year 2013 and the number continues to decrease,” according to the report. This, mind you, while trafficking in other drugs — particularly meth and heroin — appears to be on the rise.

 

House Committee Approves Law Helping Fight Asset Forfeiture

(Hemp News)

asset-forfeiture_guilty-of-something-848x0-c-defaultThe U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary on Wednesday unanimously approved asset forfeiture reform legislation.

Known as the DUE PROCESS Act (H.R. 5283) and sponsored by Crime Subcommittee Chairman Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI), Crime Subcommittee Ranking Member Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Representative Tim Walberg (R-MI), Representative Peter Roskam (R-IL) and others, the bill makes important procedural reforms that will help give property owners fighting a federal civil asset forfeiture action greater leverage to contest a government seizure and increases the federal government’s burden of proof in civil forfeiture proceedings.

The DUE PROCESS Act, however, currently does not address the “policing for profit” incentive issue.

“For decades police have used civil asset forfeiture to seize cash and other property from the public without any need to prove the person was involved in a crime,” said Grant Smith, deputy director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “A major overhaul of federal civil asset forfeiture laws has been long overdue, and it is good to see House leaders on both sides of the aisle taking a critical first step toward helping innocent people get their wrongfully seized property back from the government.”

 

Toronto Police Raiding Marijuana Dispensaries For Non-Medical Sales

(Hemp News)

Toronto police officers leave S.W.E.D. Dispensary with bags of seized marijuana on Thursday after raiding the medical marijuana dispensary. [David Rider / Toronto Star]

Toronto police officers leave S.W.E.D. Dispensary with bags of seized marijuana on Thursday after raiding the medical marijuana dispensary.
[David Rider / Toronto Star]

Toronto police on Thursday medical marijuana dispensaries in the city, charging people for trafficking non-medical cannabis.

The drug squad reportedly worked with several police divisions, along with the Toronto Licensing and Standards division in conducting the raids, reports 680 News.

Among the dispensaries which were raided were:
• 600 Church St.
• Eden Medicinal Society (Queen Street location)
• Cannabis Connoisseur
• The Green Room (Spadina and Nassau)
• Weed, Glass and Gifts
• Cannawide in Kensington Market

Toronto police claim this is a criminal investigation. The drug squad officers claim they are enforcing Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Police claim they handed out cautions on May 18, and if the dispensaries were still operating illegally, they will be fined.

 

Vancouver Grants First Marijuana Dispensary License

(Hemp News)

The still unopened Wealth Shop is the first Vancouver dispensary to be granted a business license. [David Horemans / CBC]

The still unopened Wealth Shop is the first Vancouver dispensary to be granted a business license.
[David Horemans / CBC]

Vancouver last week became the first city in Canada to issue a marijuana dispensary license after creating a separate set of bylaws regulating the establishments.

The Wealth Shop, just outside the gates of the University of British Columbia in the Vancouver neighborhood of Point Grey, got the city’s first license to operate a cannabis business, reports Katie Shapiro at The Cannabist.

The store, which hasn’t yet opened for business, will be required to pay an annual licensing fee of $30,000 to the City of Vancouver. The majority of already existing pot shops operate as “compassion clubs,” which require a $1,000 fee to get a license. Currently, both types of shops still operate outside the Canadian federal government’s medicinal cannabis program.

A group of young local entrepreneurs quietly gained support from their prospective neighbors for the past several years, then jumped through all the bureaucratic hoops to get the license, said Malik Sayadki, who has been in charge of hiring for the store, reports Mike Hager at The Globe and Mail. “Instead of trying to become the first ones there, we just went through all the proper procedures and worked closely with everybody that wanted us to work with them,” Sayadi said.

 

New Jersey Legalization Would Boost Tax Revenues By $300 Million: Report

(Hemp News)

NJ-legalize-marijuanaLegalization and regulation of recreational marijuana for adult sin New Jersey would generate at least $300 million in new tax revenues each year, according to a new report released Tuesday morning.

The report calls the $300 million estimate “conservative,” basing it on a 25 percent tax on retail marijuana sold only to adults, reports the Philly Voice. The overall economic impact would be far greater once other benefits, including job creation, additional income and business tax revenue, related accessories, and property and agricultural taxes, according to the report, by New Jersey Policy Perspective and New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform.

Around 365,000 adults in New Jersey use marijuana on at least a monthly basis; they use about 2.5 million ounces of marijuana a year, according to the report. That represents 4 percent of the state’s population, which sounds like a rather low estimate to us.

The report estimates that New Jerseyans spend as much as $869 million a year on cannabis in the illegal marketplace, with an estimated average price of $343 per ounce (and I thought Washington’s I-502 prices were bad). More than $850 million is poured into the black market economy, according to the report, which concluded that pot sales in a legal, regulated marketplace would amount to about $1.2 billion annually.

 

NFL Tackle Urges League To End Marijuana Ban, Reduce Opioid Use

(Hemp News)

EugeneMonroeAndFamily[EugeneMonroe.com]The National Football League should reduce the use of opioids and allow injured players to use medical marijuana, Baltimore Ravens tackle Eugene Monroe wrote in an essay published in The Players’ Tribune on Monday.

“The NFL relies heavily on opioids to get players back on the field as soon as possible, but studies have shown medical marijuana to be a much better solution,” Monroe wrote in an essay titled “Getting off the T Train,” reports Pat McManamon at ESPN.

“[Medical marijuana] is safer, less addictive and can even reduce opioid dependence,” Monroe wrote.

Both the NFL and the NFL Players Association officially ban any use of cannabis. Monroe said it’s time for that policy to come to an end.

 

Ohio Medical Marijuana Signature Drive Suspended

(Hemp News)

MPP_OMM_horizontal greenOhioans for Medical Marijuana on Friday evening, “after considerable discussion,” suspended a drive to place an issue on the November 2016 Ohio ballot.

“We make this decision with a heavy heart as we will surely disappoint our many volunteers, supporters and patient-advocates who invested considerable time and effort in our movement,” said Brandon Lynaugh, campaign manager for Ohioans for Medical Marijuana. “It had become increasingly clear following the state legislature’s passage of a medical marijuana law on Wednesday that our ballot issue campaign had arrived at a critical juncture.

“With several hundred thousand signatures collected thus far, one option for our movement would have been to continue to pour our resources into obtaining the additional signatures needed to put the issue before voters,” Lynaugh said. “But the reality is that raising funds for medical marijuana policy changes is incredibly difficult, especially given the improvements made to the proposed program by the Ohio General Assembly and the fact that the Governor is expected to sign the bill.

“As we said following Wednesday’s vote, the legislature’s action on medical marijuana was a step forward, and thanks to the intense advocacy efforts of patients and their families, activists and our team the bill was vastly improved before passage,” Lynaugh said. “Removed from the bill was much of the red tape and onerous regulations that would have severely limited patient access, and added was a very important provision granting an affirmative defense to qualifying patients beginning this fall. Also stripped from the bill were troubling provisions raising the threshold for pain.

 

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House Removes Restrictions Preventing Veterans’ Access To Medical Marijuana

(Hemp News)

army-medical-marijuanaThe U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed an amendment to the FY 2017 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill led by Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon to make it easier for qualified veterans to access state-legal medical marijuana.

“One of the greatest tragedies of our time is our failure to adequately deal with the needs of our veterans returning home with wounds both visible and unseen,” Representative Blumenauer said. “Giving them access to medical marijuana as an alternative treatment option to deal with chronic pain, PTSD, and other conditions is critical at a time when our veterans are dying with a suicide rate 50 percent higher than civilians and opiate overdoses at nearly double the national average.

“Medical marijuana can be a safer, more effective alternative,” Representative Blumenauer said. “I commend my colleagues for showing compassion and supporting our wounded warriors. Today’s vote is a win for these men and women who have done so much for us and deserve equal treatment in being able to consult with, and seek a recommendation from, their personal VA physician about medical marijuana.”

“Today, the House of Representative took a big step forward in expanding access to healthcare for all of our veterans,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “By expanding access to medical cannabis for veterans living in states with legal markets, we are empowering our veterans, in consultation with their medical professionals, to make the best possible healthcare decision for themselves and their families.

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Cops Combing Craigslist, Facebook For Illegal Marijuana Sales

(Hemp News)

Marijuana-_On_Craigslist-1Denver Police are combing Craigslist and Facebook to find black market marijuana dealers who illegally promote their products online, law enforcement said on Thursday.

Recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado for adults 21 and older, but Denver Police Department spokesman Doug Schepman claimed pot dealers are circumventing state law by using online marketplaces like Craigslist and Facebook to stimulate sales, reports Andrew Blake at The Washington Times.

The Denver-area Craigslist page on Friday had more than 700 postings where marijuana is listed under the “for sale” category. Thousands of people are using the website to sell pot online, according to Kevin Torres at Fox 31 Denver.

“I think the black market in general is still very active and Craigslist is a perfect example of the active black market,” said Lauren Harris, owner of Dynama Consultikng, a cannabis consulting firm that helps dispensaries navigate the rules of Colorado’s legal marijuana industry.

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