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Texas GOP Adds Hemp To Platform, Says No To Medical Marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Thu, June, 19th 2014 by THCFinder
texas-gop-adds-hempThe 2014 Texas GOP Convention wrapped up Saturday, June 7th, after a long week of debate and testimony concerning medical marijuana. Supporters of marijuana reform, including several members of RAMP (Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition) along with other medical marijuana advocates, including parents, veterans, and medical doctors, gave testimony in favor of an amendment to the platform in support of allowing Texans access to medical cannabis.
 
It seemed like a short-lived victory when the Temporary Platform Committee passed the amendment after listening to emotional testimony from those whose loved ones could benefit or have benefited from medical cannabis. The Chairman of the committee broke the tie and the amendment passed by a 15-14 vote. In addition, a plank supporting Hemp Cultivation passed the committee and made it into the final platform.
 
The following day, the Permanent Platform Committee met and voted on the medical marijuana amendment. This was the day I arrived at the convention after driving up to Fort Worth from Houston. My second time attending the Texas GOP Convention as a delegate, I was excited to hear about what was happening in the committees and was eager to help.
 
Rewind to August 2013 when I first met Ann Lee. After being involved with NORML for the past 4 years as a corporate sponsor to the legal seminars in Aspen and Key West, I had heard of Richard Lee, the founder of Oaksterdam University, but I didn’t know the full extent of his story until hearing it from his mother. Ann Lee was visiting a group in Houston that several of my friends help organize called Liberty on the Rocks. Along with a representative from Houston NORML, originally co-founded by Richard Lee, Ann Lee spoke to us and her words resonated.
 
She told us about growing up in Louisiana during segregation (Ann Lee is in her mid-eighties, she’s even older than marijuana prohibition itself), and she spoke of how unfairly people were treated and how unfairly minorities are treated today due to the enforcement of marijuana prohibition. She told us about her 5 sons, including educator and entrepreneur Richard Lee, who was injured in a workplace accident, leaving him in a wheelchair as a paraplegic. She told us about being a Republican activist since the 1970s and how she co-founded the group “Women for Reagan” in 1983, the year I was born. She told us about her husband, Bob Lee, and how they had initially reacted when Richard told them he uses medical marijuana to help with his muscle spasticity and neuropathic pain.
 
Ann and Bob Lee founded RAMP in 2012. After much reflection, they had reached the conclusion that prohibition of marijuana is directly opposed to all of their Republican values. I was immediately intrigued upon learning about this. My interest in both party politics and marijuana policy were now being fused together by this idea. I immediately approached Ann and started asking her about RAMP. She handed me a little brochure with the Republican logo with three pot leaves instead of stars. My first thought was “OK, this organization really needs a new logo.”
 

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Georgia man invites cop to watch his marijuana videos on YouTube, gets arrested

Category: News | Posted on Wed, June, 18th 2014 by THCFinder
arrested-for-youttube-video-grow-op
Note to self: Don't show police video of pot garden.
 
A Georgia man was allegedly swimming naked at Glenloch Recreation Center in Peachtree City when police showed up to arrest him for indecent exposure last Friday — but it didn’t stop there.
Zach Peak, 29, shot his exchange with the officer for his YouTube channel. Then he inexplicably invited the arresting officer to watch his other videos online.
"The officer didn't think anything of it at first," Lt. Mark Brown told WXIA-TV. "He eventually got around to find some time to look up the gentleman's YouTube page."
 
One video featured quite the elaborate grow operation in his parents' home — and it appears someone might have gotten high on his own supply.
"Neglected, neglected," Peak says in the video as he waters the pot plants, according to WSB Radio.
Another video shows Peak lighting and smoking from a bong.
 
Authorities obtained a search warrant based on this evidence and wound up confiscating 33 illegal plants and related paraphernalia.
On top of indecent exposure, Peak now faces charges for manufacturing and possessing marijuana.
 

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Copycat? Hershey's says marijuana edibles violate trademark

Category: News | Posted on Thu, June, 12th 2014 by THCFinder
hersheys-at-war
Reese's cup or Reefer's cup? Almond Joy or Ganja Joy?
 
Hershey's has filed two trademark infringement complaints over marijuana edibles the candy company says look like their products.
 
The Pennsylvania-based chocolate maker is suing Tincturebelle, a pot-infused candy manufacturer in Colorado, and Conscious Care Cooperative, a medical marijuana dispensary in Washington state.
 
The lawsuits, both filed June 3, claim the pot-infused candy violates Hershey's trademarks, dilutes its brand and is "unfair competition" to the company.
 
Hershey's said the similarities between its ordinary candy and the pot candy could cause someone to "inadvertently ingest" the pot candy, according to the complaints.
 
Seattle-based CCC sells a peanut butter Reefer's cup and Kush cup that Hershey's says resemble its Reese's cups, as well as a Mr. Dankbar that is "in mimicry" of Hershey's Mr. Goodbar packaging and design, according to Hershey's complaint.
 
CCC does not manufacture the pot-infused candy it sells, said Nathan Paine, a lawyer for CCC, in an interview with USA TODAY Network.
 
In Denver, Tincturebelle makes a Ganja Joy candy bar that Hershey's says infringes on its Almond Joy product, Hasheath, that Hershey's says looks like a Heath bar, and a Dabby Patty it says copies its York peppermint patty. The products are sold in Colorado's medical dispensaries and pot shops.
 
USA TODAY has requested comment from Tincturebelle.
 
Medical marijuana is legal in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Colorado and Washington are the only two states with legal recreational marijuana, and Washington's retail stores are expected to open as early as next month.
 
Hershey's is not seeking a specific dollar amount in damages, but a company spokesman said "significant damages" are in order, in addition to stopping the use of the trademarks, according to Jeff Beckman, spokesman for Hershey's, in an e-mail to USA TODAY Network.
 
At CCC, the only people who can purchase items at the dispensary are medical marijuana patients, Paine said. The dispensary is not open to the public and does not sell any regular candy that's not infused with pot.
 
"Even if they're similar, is a patient really going to go to their own collective and purchase a Kush cup thinking they're getting a Reese's cup? No reasonable juror would ever buy that argument," Paine said.
 

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New Report Blasts DEA For Spending 4 Decades Obstructing Marijuana Science

Category: News | Posted on Thu, June, 12th 2014 by THCFinder
dea-obstructing-cannabis-science-for-yearsThe Drug Enforcement Administration has been impeding and ignoring the science on marijuana and other drugs for more than four decades, according to a report released this week by the Drug Policy Alliance, a drug policy reform group, and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a marijuana research organization.
 
“The DEA is a police and propaganda agency," Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said Wednesday. “It makes no sense for it to be in charge of federal decisions involving scientific research and medical practice."
 
The report alleges that the DEA has repeatedly failed to act in a timely fashion when faced with petitions to reschedule marijuana. The drug is currently classified as Schedule I, which the DEA reserves for the "most dangerous" drugs with "no currently accepted medical use." Schedule I drugs, which include substances like heroin and LSD, cannot receive federal funding for research. On three separate occasions -- in 1973, 1995 and again in 2002 -- the DEA took years to make a final decision about a rescheduling petition, and in two of the cases the DEA was sued multiple times to force a decision.
 
The report criticizes the DEA for overruling its own officials charged with determining how illicit substances should be scheduled. It also criticizes the agency for creating a "regulatory Catch-22" by arguing there is not enough scientific evidence to support rescheduling marijuana while simultaneously impeding the research that would produce such evidence.
 
A spokesperson at the DEA declined to comment on the report.
 
The feds have long been accused of only funding marijuana research that focuses on the potential negative effects of the substance, but that trend appears to be changing.
 
According to The Hill, the National Institute on Drug Abuse has conducted about 30 studies to date on the potential benefits of marijuana. NIDA oversees the cultivation, production and distribution of marijuana grown for research purposes at the University of Mississippi in the only federally legal marijuana garden in the U.S. -- a process through which the only federally sanctioned marijuana studies are approved.
 
The joint report comes less than two weeks after the House approved three amendments taking aim at the DEA and its ability to enforce federal marijuana and hemp laws in states which have legal marijuana operations and industrial hemp programs. The medical marijuana amendment was sponsored by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.).
 
"Nobody should be afraid of the truth," Rohrabacher said Wednesday. "There's a lot of other drugs that have harmful side effects. Is the downside of marijuana a harmful side effect? Or is there a positive side that actually does help? That needs to be proven."
 

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Californias 2013 Marijuana Harvest Was Worth 31 Billion Dollars

Category: News | Posted on Wed, June, 11th 2014 by THCFinder
marijuana-harvest-worth-millions
Marijuana is big business in California. How big? According to a recently released report, California’s 2013 marijuana harvests were worth 31 billion dollars. Yes, that’s billion, with a B. This number is of course an estimate and not an exact figure due to the fact that California’s marijuana industry is hard to pin down. The true number could be a bit off of that number, or could be even larger than that number. Regardless of how exact the number is, one thing is for sure – California’s marijuana industry is enormous.
 
Imagine if the industry didn’t operate in the shadows, and was allowed to operate above-board. How much tax revenue would that generate for the State of California? According to California NORML, taxes from legalized marijuana sales in California could generate upwards of 2.5 billion dollars for the State. Anyone who has ever traveled to California or lives in California knows firsthand just how bad the State of California needs revenue right now.
 
California was the first state to vote on marijuana legalization during the 2010 Election. Unfortunately, that initiative was voted down. However, it was the first time any state had ever run a campaign to legalize marijuana, and I think the campaign did a commendable job navigating the uncharted territory. California, and other states, learned a lot from that campaign.
 
I’m confident that California will have another opportunity to vote on marijuana legalization, this time during the 2016 Election. It’s a presidential election year, which worked very well for Colorado and Washington during the 2012 Election. I wish the same was true for Oregon, which also voted on marijuana legalization during the 2012 Election. However, unfortunately, the campaign in Oregon was grossly underfunded. A successful California campaign in 2016 will need more money than all three of the 2012 campaigns combined, which I’m hoping won’t be an issue.
 

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Gun owner denied License for legally using marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Wed, June, 11th 2014 by THCFinder
gun-owner-denied-license-for-legally-using-marijuana
SEATTLE -- With recreational marijuana sales about to begin in Washington State, legal gun owners are facing a "don't ask, don't tell" dilemma. The gun owners are grappling with the idea of admitting they use marijuana, which goes up against federal firearm laws.
 
I-502 made possession of marijuana for adults legal in the state of Washington. The Second Amendment gives every law abiding American the right to bear firearms, but the two don't coexist very well when it comes to marijuana. The conflict between federal and state law is putting police and gun-owning marijuana users in the middle.  
 
It's a conflict Bobbi Jo Floyd of Richland knows all too well.
 
"People know who I am, a lot of people do," said Floyd, who is an officiant and has presided over 2,000 weddings in the tri-cities area. 
 
Floyd is also an outspoken proponent of medical marijuana and an authorized patient.
 
"I'm also a Republican and I believe in my guns," she said.  
 
In January she went to apply for a concealed pistol license at the Richland Police Station. Skinner says in Washington, a CPL is not a right, but considered a privilege granted at the discretion of the issuing agency, which tends to be the applicant's home town police agency.  Most people are granted a CPL after passing a criminal background check.
 
Floyd had no problems with any question on the application, except when it came to question number five, which asks, "Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana?"
 
"I answered it 'no' because how I read it is,  are you an 'illegal user' or addicted to marijuana, and I don't feel I'm either," Floyd said.  
 
That's when something unusual happened. Floyd was asked to provide her medical marijuana authorization card.
 
"An employee recognized me and she asked me to attach my medical license on my application," she said. 
 
With nothing to hide, Floyd says she obliged.  A couple of weeks later, she got her application back in the mail. It was denied.
 
With the denial came a letter for Richland Police Chief Chris Skinner who wrote Floyd was not eligible to receive a CPL because she had an authorization to possess cannabis. Skinner also cited Federal law, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(3) which prohibits any son who is an "unlawful user of, or addicted to any controlled substance" from shipping, transporting, receiving or possessing firearms or ammunition.
 

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