Arizona Supreme Court OKs Pot for Patients on Probation, Says No Federal Conflict

Category: News | Posted on Tue, April, 7th 2015 by THCFinder

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled in two cases today that prosecutors can't ban people on parole or probation from using medical marijuana.


Because medical marijuana is a medicine when used under the state's voter-authorized program, the court stated in its opinions, patients should be allowed to use it -- even when conditions of probation ban the consumption of alcohol.

Interestingly, as part of the rulings, the state's highest court rejected the idea that the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act conflicted with federal law.

State officers, including prosecutors, probation officers and judges, aren't violating their oaths of office by failing to ban convicts from using marijuana as a condition for them to remain on parole or probation, the 5-0 opinion in Reed v. Kaliher states. Quoting from a Michigan case, the judges ruled that "the people of Arizona 'chose to part ways with Congress only regarding the scope of acceptable medical use of marijuana.'"

This clearly takes much of Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery's argument on the topic of a supposed conflict with the federal Controlled Substances Act. Montgomery's still appealing a lawsuit filed against the county by White Mountain Health Center, a Sun City dispensary that opened in December.

State law does prohibit the use of marijuana or prescription drugs except as administered by a "'health care practitioner,' a phrase that suggests the legislature intended to distinguish between illicit use and lawful medicinal use of such drugs," the ruling states.

Medical marijuana is legal under state law, therefore the judges have moved to "harmonize" the law -- essentially catching it up to the 2010 marijuana act. The Arizona Court of Appeals held to a similar opinion in July, but the Cochise County Attorney's Office appealed to the state Supreme Court.

Keenan Reed-Kaliher was convicted of selling marijuana and released from prison in 2011 after serving 1.5 years. He promptly took advantage of the 2010 Medical Marijuana Act, securing a patient card to help manage pain from a hip injury. But the county soon told him he couldn't do that, and revised his three-year probation terms to include a ban on using medical marijuana. Reed-Kaliher, with the help of lawyers Tom Dean, Sarah Mayhew and David Euchner, took on the system -- and won.

The Arizona medical-cannabis law states that legit patients are "not subject to... denial of any right or privilege, including any civil penalty or disciplinary action by a court."



Looser marijuana penalties approved by Wichita voters

Category: News | Posted on Tue, April, 7th 2015 by THCFinder

Now that a win for marijuana reform is in the books in Kansas’ largest city, the focus shifts to Topeka, where the attorney general has called Wichita’s voter-approved initiative unlawful and the Legislature could consider as many as three marijuana-related bills in the coming weeks.

In the general city election Tuesday, Wichita voters said yes to reducing penalties for possession of marijuana. Of the 37,000 Wichita voters, 54 percent said they wanted more lenient penalties for first-time offenders. About 45 percent wanted to keep the status quo.

The major provision of the ballot initiative was to reduce the punishment for a first-time marijuana conviction to a $50 fine. Violations would be an infraction that wouldn’t have to be disclosed on most job and college scholarship applications.

Rep. Gail Finney, D-Wichita, attended an Election Night party with the measure’s supporters and said she hopes the win in Wichita will send a message to the capital for the state to ease up on marijuana.

Finney, who has undergone chemotherapy for lupus, has for years pushed the Legislature for a bill allowing medical marijuana. So far, that bill has yet to advance out of a committee.

But she said she’s hopeful this year will bring action on two other bills – one that would reduce marijuana penalties to clear prison beds, and another that would allow seizure sufferers to be treated with hemp oil derived from marijuana.

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Discover Himalaya’s Outlawed Marijuana Fields

Category: News | Posted on Mon, April, 6th 2015 by THCFinder

Nestled in the Himalayan foothills at an altitude of 10,000 ft. (3,000 m), entire villages and communities subsist on illegal marijuana production. These villages are far from any paved roads and are so remote that distances are measured in hours of walking.

Across thousands of acres of public and private land, villagers grow cannabis which is then turned into a high-quality resin know as charas. “On the global market, charas is sold as a high quality hashish,” says Italian photographer Andrea de Franciscis, who has been documenting these communities for the past three years. “The farmers who produce the costly resin get very little in return and struggle to survive against always tougher legislation.”

De Franciscis has chosen an anthropological angle to photograph these villagers, with the goal of producing a complete story that also focusses on culture and tradition. “Life is challenging in the mountain,“ he tells TIME. “Women work as much as men, and the feeling is that it’s rather a matriarchal society.”

Cannabis has deep roots in Indian society dating back to as early as 2,000 BCE within the Hindu scriptures. However, since the drug was outlawed in India in 1985 there has been pressure on a national and global scale to curb the cannabis production in the Himalayan valley. But, says de Franciscis, this has only “led to an increase of the price [of charas] on the global market, and has actually worsened the situation of the villagers whom have no real alternative for their livelihood.”



“Pot for Sale” Facebook Post Leads to Arrests in Thailand

Category: News | Posted on Mon, April, 6th 2015 by THCFinder

Anyone visiting Thailand from Russia – or any other country for that matter – should take note that pot is illegal there. Like really illegal.

Earlier this week, police officers on the Thai vacation island of Koh Pha Ngan raided two rented party houses and arrested eight Russian citizens – five women and three men. During the raid police seized a hand-carved bamboo water pipe and 304 grams (10.72 ounces) of “compressed cannabis.”

The raids were part of an investigation into a now-deleted Facebook page titled “Bong Russian Boss,” on which the accused allegedly advertised pot and bongs for sale.

Two of the arrested men, each 29-years-old, claimed ownership of the seized items and were formally charged with possession. They claim they didn’t know that cannabis was illegal in Thailand. Unfortunately that excuse will be of little help in a country known for its draconian drug laws. 



Missouri is considering taxing illegal drugs and legalizing medical marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Sun, April, 5th 2015 by THCFinder

It took a little while for Missouri Rep. Shawn Rhoads’ colleagues to wrap their heads around the idea of taxing marijuana and other illegal drugs.

“A drug dealer is supposed to show up and buy a tax stamp for his drugs?”Bill Lant, a Republican from southwest Missouri, asked during a committee hearing on the bill.

Most of the hearing went pretty much like that.

“They needed a little time to let the idea sink in,” said Rhoads, a south-central Missouri Republican. “About 15 minutes after the meeting, I had someone grab me and say, ‘I get it now.’”

It must have sunk in. The bill won the committee’s approval Wednesday.

But while lawmakers ponder making Missouri the 21st state to collect taxes on illegal drugs, they’re also contemplating heading in the opposite direction and making Missouri the 24th to legalize marijuana in some fashion.

Two weeks earlier, that same House committee approved a medical marijuana bill on a 10-1 vote.

Missouri’s increasingly conservative politics, and its overwhelmingly Republican General Assembly, apparently aren’t immune to the national momentum behind marijuana legalization.

Gallup has been surveying the public on marijuana since 1969. In 2013, it found for the first time that a clear majority of Americans — 58 percent — believed the drug should be legal. That was a 10 point jump in just one year.

Read more here:

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More Marijuana Businesses Need To Hire Military Veterans

Category: News | Posted on Sun, April, 5th 2015 by THCFinder

ptsd second amendment military veteran cannabis marijuanaI have a lot of respect for military veterans. I have members of my family, and close personal friends that have served our country, and I’m very proud of them. Most of them have had a hard time when they come back to civilian life. It’s hard for them to relate to the civilian world, and gaining reliable employment was an issue after they were discharged. I have recommended to a few of them to look for a career in the cannabis industry, but as far as I know, none of them have taken my advice yet.

I know there are marijuana businesses out there that give hiring preference to veterans. I’d like to see more businesses do that in this industry. Many marijuana businesses need private security, and veterans are a logical fit for that sector of the industry. Per International Business Times:

“There’s plenty of ex-military available who are back from overseas and having a hard time finding work,” says Dan Williams, head of Canna Security America, which is based in Denver but operates in 12 states. “What you were doing over there may not transition [to other lines of work]. You were trained to do something, and that doesn’t really apply to working at Starbucks.”

Indeed, unemployment among veterans is a nationwide problem. Even as the United States added more than 3 million jobs in 2014, 7.9 percent of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan were still unemployed, higher than the national average of 5.7 percent.

“Right now, they need jobs,” Williams says. “And we can help with that.”

According to Williams, ex-military members tend to have a good work ethic and plenty of past training. And he expects that within the next few months roughly 70 to 80 percent of his staff will be former military, to account for an increased demand for armed guards and transport. Most of the entry-level jobs don’t pay particularly well, but there is definitely room for growth.

I tip my hat to Canna Security America for hiring veterans. If you are a marijuana business, please do what you can to try to hire military veterans when you can. They have served our country proudly, and giving them a job is a great way to thank them for their service.




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