Portland pot legalization advocates expect police to "stop punishing adult marijuana users"
Category: News | Posted on Wed, November, 13th 2013 by THCFinder
PORTLAND — Two days after Portland police said they would “use their discretion” to enforce state law regarding possession of marijuana, the group that spearheaded passage of a new city ordinance legalizing recreational use said they expect police to yield to the will of the people.
On Election Day, more than 67 percent of Portland voters approved of a new city ordinance to legalize possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana in the city. The law will become effective on Dec. 6, 30 days after the vote.
Recreational use of the drug remains illegal under federal and state laws, which Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck said “pre-empt local ordinances.”
In a statement Friday, Tom MacMillan, chairman of the Portland Green Independent Committee, which campaigned for the ordinance, said, “The vote on Tuesday was a clear indication that Portland residents want our police force to stop punishing adult marijuana users. The police have the discretion to do so while still enforcing city, state and federal rules for public use, use under 21 and possession over 2.5 ounces. Portland officials must be accountable to the will of the people.”
“It is very encouraging that marijuana possession citations have decreased by 26 percent over a period of a year,” City Councilor David Marshall said in the release. “The voters expect the public and the police to comply with the ordinance when it goes into effect. The election results are a mandate that supports the discretion police are using in regards to adult marijuana possession.”
According to a fact sheet posted last Friday on the city’s website, the new ordinance will not affect the Police Department’s enforcement of state law.
“Officers will continue to use their discretion and judgment in a manner that will ensure that their enforcement authority is exercised in a fair and judicious manner,” the document said.
Read more: http://www.theforecaster.net/
Michigan Legislators Propose Pharmacy Marijuana Sales
Category: News | Posted on Tue, November, 12th 2013 by THCFinder
LANSING (AP) - Five years after Michigan voters legalized marijuana use for medical purposes, lawmakers say it’s time the drug is brought into the fold of the health care industry so patients can buy it at their corner pharmacy.
A bill approved last week by a Senate committee would pave the way for the production and sale of “pharmaceutical-grade” cannabis. The measure essentially would create a second medical pot system in the state, one that proponents say would not interfere with the existing law under which patients can grow their own pot or obtain it from caregivers.
“Marijuana, if it’s to be medical marijuana, should be held to the standard of medical safety, dosage predictability,” said Sen. Roger Kahn, a Saginaw Township Republican and cardiologist. “Our medical marijuana (law) does neither of those. Yet it uses the word the word `medical’ predominantly or prominently in its claims.”
Kahh is sponsoring legislation, now pending on the Senate floor, to move marijuana from a Schedule 1 drug in the same category as heroin and other drugs with no accepted medical use to a Schedule 2 drug like cocaine and morphine that are addictive but also used for medicinal purposes. The reclassification could not occur without federal approval.
Such a reclassification would lay the groundwork for pharmacies to dispense marijuana. The legislation would allow doctors to recommend that patients be issued “enhanced” pharmaceutical-grade cannabis cards differing from those now carried by 129,000 residents.
To get a card, the patient could not have been convicted of a drug offense, would have to surrender his or her ID card issued under the existing law and could not be under 18 years old. Suppliers and participating pharmacies would undergo annual inspections.
Read more: http://detroit.cbslocal.com
Weeks-old traces of marijuana can land you a DUI in Arizona
Category: News | Posted on Sat, November, 9th 2013 by THCFinder
In Arizona, getting behind the wheel of a car weeks after smoking marijuana opens up the possibility of being charged with driving under the influence. Soon, however, the state Supreme Court may say that law has to go.
Current legislation on the books in Arizona allows automobile drivers to be charged with DUI if a blood sample indicates the presence of even a trace amount of Carboxy-THC, a secondary metabolite of marijuana. Carboxy-THC can stay in the body for weeks after someone smokes pot, but is non-psychoactive, meaning it can’t actually cause any sort of impairment. Despite scientific prove indicating such, however, a stringent state law in Arizona allows anyone whose smoked marijuana — even one month earlier — to end up behind bars.
Phoenix, Arizona attorney Michael Alarid is currently in the midst of having the state re-consider a 2010 DUI conviction against one of his clients, who he attests was not driving under the influence at the time of the incident but simply had trace amounts of THC in his system. A trial judge eventually threw out the charge, but an Alarid is concerned about a Court of Appeals decision mandating that laws on impaired driving “must be interpreted broadly.”
"The courts are supposed to interpret statutes as to avoid absurd results," Alarid told a local CBS affiliate. "It's possible in Arizona to be convicted of DUI when, in fact, a blood test proves a person is not impaired."
If all works out for Alarid, he’ll win by convincing the state’s top justices to overturn a Court of Appeals decision from the 1990s when “marijuana was a completely illicit substance,” Alarid told the network. Today, however, medical marijuana is legal in Arizona and more than a dozen other states, and recreational use is allowed by law in Washington, Colorado and — due to a decision just this week — shortly Portland, Maine.
When Alarid tried to make his case in court on Tuesday, Chief Justice Rebecca Berch asked a state prosecutor how the law would be utilized if future breakthroughs will allow investigators to discover even more miniscule traces of Carboxy-THC.
“Let’s assume that scientific testing develops and you can find Carboxy-THC remaining in the system for a year, does that have any effect on your position here today?” Chief Justice Berch asked Deputy Maricopa County Attorney Susan Luder. “Let’s now assume that it’s five years that you can test THC levels — Carboxy-THC remaining in the system, does there come a point where the statute lacks a rational basis?”
According to the Arizona Daily Star, Luder argued that Berch’s case wasn’t realistic and that it’s “up to the Legislature to decide” if DUI convictions can be handed down to defendants who may have smoked marijuana weeks earlier.
Read more: http://rt.com/
Lansing votes to decriminalize marijuana
Category: News | Posted on Thu, November, 7th 2013 by THCFinder
Lansing was one of three communities in Michigan that voted Tuesday to decriminalize marijuana.
Nearly 63 percent of Lansing residents voted to amend the city's charter to legalize the possession, use and transfer of an ounce of marijuana by any adult 21 years and older on private property.
"This is going to send a message to the Legislature that people really want change," Tim Beck -- who spearheaded Michigan's 2008 medical marijuana ballot proposal -- told MLive earlier this week.
It's unclear exactly how the vote and new language will actually make a change in how marijuana is enforced, since the drug is still illegal under state and federal law.
Councilwoman Kathie Dunbar had said before the vote that the ballot initiative is a "feel good" spot on the ballot that "means nothing."
"We follow state law in the city of Lansing," she said. "Passage of this is not going to impact anything. It sends a message that maybe the public is more amenable to legalization but it creates a whole host of problems for our police officers."
But attorney Jeffery Hank, chairman for a Coalition for a Safer Lansing which got the marijuana amendment on the ballot, said local police will deal with any marijuana enforcement, not Michigan State Police.
Read more: http://www.mlive.com
Family Sues After Man Dies In Jail After Marijuana Possession Arrest
Category: News | Posted on Thu, November, 7th 2013 by THCFinder
I have always said that no one should have to go to jail for marijuana possession. There are real criminals out there that need to be locked up for violent offenses. So why are we reserving jail beds for marijuana possession? Future generations will look back on marijuana arrests one day, and they will wonder why we got it wrong for so many decades.
Everyone knows that Washington and Colorado legalized marijuana possession in 2012. What a lot of people don’t know about is that a man died in a Washington jail while serving time for a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge. Michael Saffioti, 22, had turned himself in to the jail for an outstanding misdemeanor warrant for marijuana possession in July of 2012. Michael Saffioti suffered from extreme food allergies, and died after jail staff assured him his food was OK to eat, even though it clearly wasn’t.
The jail staff are clearly to blame, but marijuana prohibition itself is also to blame. Michael Saffioti should have never been in that jail in the first place. Had Michael Saffioti been caught possessing a personal amount of marijuana today in Washington, he would have been let go. But because his arrest was before the 2012 Election, he was considered a criminal. How is that right?
Video footage has surfaced from the jail on the day that Mr. Saffioti died. You can view it here. Be advised that it’s footage of a man dying from a food allergy. It’s extremely sad and painful to watch. My prayers are with the family. I hope that they win their lawsuit for the full amount of $10 million dollars, although it will never be enough to get their family member back.
Read more: http://www.theweedblog.com
Marijuana Market Poised To Grow Faster Than Smartphones
Category: News | Posted on Tue, November, 5th 2013 by THCFinder
Legal marijuana is among the fastest-growing markets in the United States, and it's growing at a rate poised to outpace the expansion of the global smartphone market, according to a new report obtained exclusively by The Huffington Post.
Researchers surveyed hundreds of medical cannabis retailers, processors, dispensary owners and industry leaders over the course of six months this year, and estimated that more than $1.43 billion worth of legal marijuana will be sold in 2013. The report also predicts that figure to grow by 64 percent, to $2.34 billion next year. By comparison, recent figures show the smartphone market expanded by 46 percent from 2012 to 2013.
"Cannabis is one of the fastest-growing industries," said Steve Berg, a former managing director of Wells Fargo Bank and editor of the report, the second edition of the State of Legal Marijuana Markets. "Domestically, we weren't able to find any market that is growing as quickly."
While it's important to note that smartphones surged in popularity long before medical marijuana became a viable industry, and global sales numbers for 2012-2013 don't offer a direct comparison to 2013-2014 domestic estimates, Berg said his goal was to illustrate just how rapidly the cannabis market is expanding by offering familiar data points. The U.S. smartphone market, according to research group IDC, is growing at an annual rate of 7.3 percent.
"Entrepreneurs and private investors are flocking to cannabis markets," Berg said. "Those who really understand market dynamics will reap large rewards."
Medical marijuana is currently legal in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Next year, Washington and Colorado will begin implementing laws that permit the sale of pot to all adults, and Berg noted that those states will obviously play a major role in the growth of the cannabis market. Colorado alone is predicted to add $359 million to its existing market in 2014.
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com
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