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Former Kroger exec investing in would-be marijuana farm

Category: News | Posted on Sat, May, 9th 2015 by THCFinder

The former top lawyer at Kroger is investing in the Butler County farm that will grow marijuana if Ohio voters approve a constitutional amendment to legalize the drug.
 
ResponsibleOhio, the group behind the amendment, on Friday touted Paul Heldman's endorsement of its proposal. This particular amendment would legalize pot, but limit commercial cannabis growing in the state to 10 farms run by backers of the proposal -- three in Greater Cincinnati.
 
Heldman is investing in a company that plans to grow marijuana on 40 acres in Middletown, a spokeswoman said. The farm would be located about 1.5 miles northwest of Monroe Senior High School. His co-investors include Barbara Gould, a former design consultant and a prominent donor to the arts; Nanette Lepore, a New York City fashion designer; and brothers Woody Taft and Dudley Taft Jr., great-great-grandnephews of President William Howard Taft and cousins of former GOP Gov. Bob Taft.
 
"As the father of a son living with epilepsy, I know first-hand what it's like to watch a loved one suffer when he could benefit from access to medical marijuana," Heldman said in a statement. "Until we legalize marijuana in Ohio and throughout our country, rigorous scientific research into its applications will not be possible and thousands, perhaps millions, of people will suffer needlessly."
 
Heldman served as Kroger's top lawyer for 25 years before retiring in 2014.
 
ResponsibleOhio says it has already gathered about 250,000 of the 306,000 signatures it needs by July to put its proposal on the November 2015 ballot. Of the several proposals to legalize medical or recreational marijuana in Ohio, it has the most momentum, thanks mostly to a host of wealthy backers.
 

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United Nations Asked to Change International Drug Laws

Category: News | Posted on Sat, May, 9th 2015 by THCFinder

While the United Nation prepares for the first time in nearly two decades to examine the staleness of international drug law, advocates from all over the world have joined forces in an attempt to persuade the global governance to reform the policies that bind individual nations to a standard of prohibition.

This furious legion of activists, which consists of more than 100 influential organizations, submitted a declaration on Tuesday demanding that world leaders allow governments to make changes to their country’s drug laws without repercussion.

"Existing US and global drug control policies that heavily emphasize criminalization of drug use, possession, production and distribution are inconsistent with international human rights standards and have contributed to serious human rights violations," reads the letter backed by groups ranging from the American Civil Liberties Union to Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. “The criminalization of personal drug use and possession for personal use infringes on the right to privacy and basic principles of autonomy on which other rights rest.”

The letter, drafted by the folks at StoptheDrugWar.org, comes just as the United Nations is set to gather in New York for its “High-Level Thematic Debate on the World Drug Problem,” which will serve as a preliminary analysis of global drug policies that will be heard before the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS) in 2016. There is speculation that more nations, including the United States, would be more compelled to revamp antiquated drug laws if international powers weren’t ready to dry hump them into submission for noncompliance to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

The belief among advocates is that the current incarcerate and kill philosophies that have transformed the global War on Drugs into a soggy pair of clown shoes needs to be replaced with principles that can begin to repair a system in a state of post-apocalyptic stress.v

Read More:http://www.hightimes.com/read/united-nations-asked-change-international-drug-laws


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Missouri Attorneys Using “Right to Farm” Amendment To Defend Marijuana Growers

Category: News | Posted on Fri, May, 8th 2015 by THCFinder

jorge cervantes outdoor marijuana garden time lapseFarming is a very big part of life in Missouri I’m told. One of the co-owners of this blog, Travis, is from Missouri. Jay Smoker, one of the other co-owners of this blog, has traveled to Missouri a handful of times. Both of them have told me about about Missouri’s farmland and big agricultural industry. Protecting that industry has been important in Missouri for a long time. So important that there is a thing called the ‘Right to Farm’ amendment on the books. The amendment states, “the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state.”

But does that amendment apply to marijuana farming? Attorneys defending people who are being charged with felony marijuana cultivation think so. Per the Columbia Missourian:

“The language of ‘Right to Farm’ is so very broad that it’s startling,” Carver said. “I just started thinking about it, and it just dawned on me that if you read this language, it sounds like growing marijuana is permitted.”

The amendment was put on the ballot by the Republican-controlled state legislature. It was approved by voters statewide in August by 2,375 votes out of almost 1 million ballots cast, and survived a recount.

Carver filed a motion last week in Cole County Circuit Court arguing, in part, that even though growing pot is illegal under Missouri law, those statutes are unconstitutional because they violate Amendment 1.

Cole County Prosecutor Mark Richardson did not return calls seeking comment. Circuit Judge Daniel Green presides over the case.

Columbia-based attorney Dan Viets filed a similar motion in February on behalf of two of his clients.

“Any state statute that prohibits cultivation of marijuana was automatically rendered invalid by the passage of Right to Farm,” Viets said. 

Read More:http://www.theweedblog.com/missouri-right-to-farm-amendment-to-defend-marijuana-growers/


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The Surprising State That Could Be The Next To Legalize Marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Thu, May, 7th 2015 by THCFinder

ohio marijuana medical marijuana legalization

It’s looking more and more likely that voters in a key battleground state will be voting on marijuana legalization in November, and recent polling suggests it could win. That’s this November, not November 2016.

The state is Ohio, where a controversial pot legalization initiative is already well on the way to qualifying for the ballot, and its backers—or should we say investors?–have the cash on hand to make sure it does.

There are pot legalization bills pending in any number of states, and early on, there were hopes this would be the year a state legislature would get around to legalizing it. New England states such as Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont looked like the best bets, but it now doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen.

And 2016 promises to see a wave of legalization initiatives—think Arizona, California, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts, for starters, with Arkansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio also likely to see serious efforts emerge.

But that’s next year. The group ResponsibleOhio is well on the way to putting the issue before Buckeye State voters this year. They’ve already had their proposed constitutional amendment approved for signature gathering and, thanks to paid signature-gatherers, are cruising toward qualifying for the ballot.

To qualify in Ohio, initiatives need 305,000 valid voter signatures; ResponsibleOhio collected 180,000 raw signatures in its first three weeks and still has more than two months to gather the rest. And the campaign is still expanding.

Veteran initiative watchers will tell you campaigns want a cushion of excess signatures to account for ones that are thrown out, maybe 25% to 30% above the requirement at a bare minimum. In Ohio this year, that would be 400-450,000 raw signatures. The campaign says they are aiming for 700,000.

Read More:http://www.theweedblog.com/the-surprising-state-that-could-be-the-next-to-legalize-marijuana/


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Major Groups Call For UN To Respect Countries That Legalize Marijuana Or Other Drugs

Category: News | Posted on Wed, May, 6th 2015 by THCFinder

united nations drug reformAs the United Nations prepares for the first comprehensive review of global responses to drug problems in nearly two decades, a broad coalition of more than 100 organizations is pushing for the international body to respect countries that move away from prohibition.

“Existing US and global drug control policies that heavily emphasize criminalization of drug use, possession, production and distribution are inconsistent with international human rights standards and have contributed to serious human rights violations,” the groups write in a new letter being released today.

Groups including the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch, Global Exchange and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights are among the signatories. Also notable are a number of organizations devoted to health policy and AIDS services.

The letter’s release is timed to a United Nations “High-Level Thematic Debate on the World Drug Problem” taking place in New York on Thursday, May 7, in preparation for a UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS) scheduled for April 2016. Advocates believe that countries should take the UNGASS as an opportunity to pursue a range of reforms to global drug policy, including revising provisions of the UN Drug Conventions that threaten to stand in the way of reform. The Obama administration has taken the stance that countries should be free to pursue different kinds of systems under the treaties — including legalization — but has also opposed treaty reform, a stance which advocates have questioned.

“The administration’s call to respect countries’ right to try regulation rather than prohibition is a positive step for drug policy, as are other reforms the US has sought internationally,” said David Borden, executive director of StoptheDrugWar.org, who coordinated the sign-on letter. “But it doesn’t make sense to oppose having a discussion within the UN about modernizing the treaties to reflect that.”

The coalition has called for the UN to appoint a “Committee of Experts” to study treaty reform, a common UN procedure for addressing issues of interest.

Source:http://www.theweedblog.com/groups-call-for-un-to-respect-countries-that-legalize-marijuana/


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Former DEA Agent Speaks Out in Favor of Legal Marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Wed, May, 6th 2015 by THCFinder

An initiative to legalize recreational marijuana in Arizona has gained support from an unlikely source.

A former Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent, who spent six years as the DEA's Marijuana Coordinator in Miami and New Mexico, is now speaking out in favor of legislation that would create a full-fledged recreational marijuana program in Arizona. After years of fighting the War on Drugs, Finn Selander has done an about-face, and he sat down with ABC15 to explain why.

"As an agent, I was doing my job," Selander said. "I was enforcing the law. It was definitely hard at times... I would see injustice in a number of cases."

Now a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, or LEAP, Selander said that he's seen too many lives ruined by strict marijuana laws and those laws need to change.

According to ABC15, the initiative he's supporting is set to to appear on Arizona's 2016 ballots and "proposes legalizing marijuana for recreational use for those over the age of 21, creating a network of shops licensed to sell and distribute it and taxing it 15 percent on top of the regular sales tax."

(Photo Courtesy of Wired)

Source:http://www.hightimes.com/read/former-dea-agent-speaks-out-favor-legal-marijuana


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