Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Maine Lawmaker Will Re-Introduce Legalization Bill

by David Downs
Tue, Dec 30, 2014 at 1:15 PM

The year 2015 promises to be full of action on the legalization front, as ballot measure campaigns for 2016 in California, Nevada, and Arizona raise money, draft language, and gather signatures.

Maine state Representative Diane Russell.
  • Maine state Representative Diane Russell.
Over on the East Coast, the nation may see one of its first legislature-driven legalization effort. Sunday, the Portland Press Herald reported that state Representative Diane Russell will re-introduce a bill to tax and regulate the use of cannabis for adults.

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Several Bay Area Medical Cannabis Products Flunk A Potency Test

by David Downs
Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 10:38 AM

A flurry of new consumer reports are taking the Bay Area medical cannabis industry to task for what’s in their products. Two separate studies have revealed that product makers are misstating the amount of active ingredients in medical cannabis edibles, as well as extracts. Sometimes, there's little medicine in purportedly medical products at all.

Medical cannabis products are not regulated by the State of California, and numerous efforts to do so have failed, because police, city, and industry forces cannot agree on a unified path forward. Police maintain that marijuana is not medicine, meanwhile dozens of California cities have regulated access to the plant. One is twenty California adults is estimated to have used cannabis for a serious illness and 92 percent of them think pot works.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

President Obama Signs 'Ceasefire' in War on Medical Marijuana

by David Downs
Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 11:37 AM

A California medical cannabis patient uses a vaporizer at an on-site medication area in a San Francisco dispensary. - DRUG POLICY ALLIANCE
  • Drug Policy Alliance
  • A California medical cannabis patient uses a vaporizer at an on-site medication area in a San Francisco dispensary.
President Obama Tuesday afternoon signed a massive $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill with some historic provisions for medical marijuana advocates. The controversial “cromnibus” spending bill funds the government through September 2015 and includes a rider to de-fund the Department of Justice’s war on medical pot.

The Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment blocks the use of Department of Justice funds to “prevent [medical marijuana states] from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Defying Critics of Legalization, Teen Pot Use Falls in America

by David Downs
Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Amid record-high support for cannabis law reform, teen marijuana use is falling, according to a new report. It’s yet another blow to critics who argue for the continued prohibition of the federally illegal plant in order to protect youth.

According to 2014 data on teens from the U.S. Monitoring The Future project released today, "Marijuana use … declined slightly in 2014, with use in the prior 12 months declining from 26 percent to 24 percent for the three grades combined.”

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Republican Hypocrisy Hits Historic High on Marijuana

by David Downs
Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 9:54 AM

Andy Harris.
  • Andy Harris.
In a galling bit of politics that may help undo the GOP, a House Republican who seeks to block voter-approved cannabis legalization in Washington, DC told voters there that if they don't like it, they can move.

Politico reports this morning that Maryland's lone Republican Congressmember Andy Harris said: “That’s the way the Constitution was written. ... If [Disctrict voters] don’t like that oversight, move outside of the federal district to one of the 50 states that is not covered by the jurisdiction of Congress as a whole.”

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bay Area Dispensary Beats Federal Forfeiture Case

by David Downs
Wed, Dec 10, 2014 at 10:24 AM

Chalk one up for medical cannabis in the Bay Area. A licensed, regulated San Francisco dispensary has successfully fended off federal efforts to shut it down and seize its leased property.

According to the law offices of Henry J Wykowski and Associates, federal Judge Susan Illston issued an order  on Monday dismissing the US Government’s forfeiture case targeting the property occupied by San Francisco medicinal cannabis dispensary, Shambhala Healing Center.

The government filed its forfeiture case against Shambhala in 2013 as part of a broad salvo to destroy lawful access to medical cannabis in California. Forfeiture cases are pending against major dispensaries Berkeley Patients Group and Harborside Health Center in Oakland.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

GOP Moves to Overturn Will of Voters, Reinstate Pot War in Washington, DC

by David Downs
Tue, Dec 9, 2014 at 10:41 AM

The Drug Policy Alliance is sounding the alarm today that House Republicans are moving to continue marijuana prohibition in the nation’s capital.

Washington, DC residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of replacing failed cannabis prohibition with a system of taxing and regulating the popular psychoactive botanical.

But Kentucky Congressmember Hal Roger, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, and Maryland Congressmember Andy Harris, the amendment’s sponsor, are moving to defund DC legalization with a rider on a must-pass funding bill.

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Friday, December 5, 2014

15 Best Marijuana Gifts for Less Than $20

by David Downs
Fri, Dec 5, 2014 at 1:30 PM

The Legalization Nation Holiday Gift Guide 2014 is packed with aspirational paraphernalia, like a $600 scientific bubbler and $800 desktop vaporizers made by NASA scientists. For the rest of us 99 Percenters, here are some of the best weed-related gifts for less than $20:

1. Raw Papers Organic Raw Cone 6-pack ($3.85). For all the folks who want to smoke a cone but can't be bothered to learn how to roll one. Just unwrap and pack.

2. Cheech & Chong Grinder License ($10.99).  A grinder card is a credit-card sized piece of metal with a mesh inlay to grind up herb.

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Two New Bills Filed To Regulate Marijuana in California

by David Downs
Thu, Dec 4, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Once more into the breach, folks.

Assemblymembers Reggie Jones-Sawyer and Rob Bonta filed two new bills this week in Sacramento to regulate medical cannabis

Assembly Bill 26 resurrects this year’s failed AB 1894 by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano. Jones-Sawyer represents the 59th District of South Los Angeles. 

Assembly Bill 34 is a placeholder, containing a one-sentence statement of intent to regulate the state’s billion-dollar MMJ industry. Bonta represents the 18th District in the East Bay.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Why Moms Will Decide If California Legalizes in 2016

by David Downs
Tue, Dec 2, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Women ages 30 to 55 are not only the most pivotal demographic group for cannabis law reform, they’re reform’s most fickle voter. Any effort to pass an adult-use tax and regulate initiative in California in 2016 must get women early, and hold onto them as opponents try to scare them off, a new research paper finds.

The Global Drug Policy Observatory’s Emily Crick, Mark Cooke, and Dave Bewley-Taylor analyzed three states — Washington, Colorado, and Oregon — for their new policy brief, “Selling Cannabis Regulation: Learning From Ballot Initiatives in the United States in 2012

Looking at those three states, the researchers found that “the Washington and Colorado campaigns targeted key demographic groups, particularly 30-50 year old women, who were likely to be initially supportive of reform but then switch their allegiance to the ‘no’ vote.”

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