Oklahoma Lawmakers Want to Make Drug Possession Felonies Again
Oklahoma has the second-highest incarceration rate in the United States. As usual, nonviolent drug offenses are a large reason why.
Turns out, voters in the deep-red, Trump-loving state are as sick of the drug war as effete coastal liberals. On Election Day, when other states were legalizing marijuana, Oklahomans overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure that reclassified nonviolent drug possession as a misdemeanor crime rather than a felony.
With 26.3 percent of the state’s prison inmates doing time for drugs, and another 23.3 percent in prison for nonviolent offenses of all kinds, Oklahoma’s drug problem was obvious, so State Question 780 was approved with 58.23 percent in support versus 41.77 percent against.
Cannabis Thrives on Both Sides of Divided Kashmir
The disputed region of Kashmir, divided between India and Pakistan since 1949, has made scary headlines in recent months.
Pro-independence militants are stepping up attacks on the India-controlled side, and the region is a potential flashpoint for war between the nuclear-armed South Asian giants.
But it hardly comes as a surprise that a cannabis economy thrives on both sides of the Line of Control—despite the best efforts to suppress it by both Indian and Pakistani security forces.
States Respond to Trump’s Impending War on Legal Weed
Officials in Washington State are vowing to fight any federal crackdown on the state’s successful cannabis industry after White House press secretary Sean Spicer strongly implied that the Trump administration may crack down on states with legal recreational marijuana.
“We will resist any efforts to thwart the will of the voters in Washington,” said the state’s attorney general Bob Ferguson in an interview with the Seattle Times.
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and AG Ferguson sent a letter last week to U.S. attorney general and outspoken pot-hater Jeff Sessions, asking to meet and discuss the issue.
Albania Police in Efforts to Prevent Cannabis Planting
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian police say they have launched a nationwide operation to try to prevent the planting of cannabis.
A statement said 3,100 officers have spread out around the country checking greenhouses, old army depots and tunnels or abandoned houses where cannabis seeds and small plants may have been hidden.
Last year authorities destroyed about 2.5 million marijuana plants, four times more than the year before. Many metric tons of cannabis were seized at border crossing points or from boats bound for neighboring Italy or Greece.
Italian anti-Mafia official Franco Roberti and other senior officials were in Tirana Thursday to discuss with their Albanian colleagues why cannabis planting has increased.
Cannabis traffic to Italy increased threefold last year, he said.
White House Warns: Fed Crackdown on Recreational Marijuana Coming
America is in the throes of an opiate overdose epidemic with no end in sight. So President Donald Trump’s administration, which has yet to make a single misstep in domestic or foreign policy, is set to launch a federal crackdown on marijuana legalization, the White House suggested on Thursday.
During his daily briefing session with reporters, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that the states enjoying tax revenue and job creation after legalizing cannabis will likely see “greater enforcement” of federal law banning marijuana in every shape and form.
Spicer also contradicted known science and medical research by tacitly pinning the blame for the country’s heroin problem on marijuana. Not pharmaceutical industry-driven overprescription of pain pills, or a faulty reliance on medication to solve pain—it’s marijuana that’s driving Americans to overdose on pain pills and then, when that supply or their health insurance runs out, turn to heroin, Spicer said.
Hawaii Mulls Raising Taxes on Fledgling MMJ Program
Lawmakers in Hawaii are considering raising taxes on medical marijuana to help cover some the of costs associated with setting up the state’s MMJ program, but many are worried that a tax hike will hurt the very people who can least afford it: the patients.
State Rep. Della Au Belatti, chair of the House Health Committee, supports a so-called “Use Tax” on MMJ, on top of the existing general tax.
“We need to have that conversation, because we know that there are associated costs with setting up the medical marijuana program,”Belatti told Hawaiinewsnow. “There is a delicate balance that we’re trying to strike.”
The amount of the proposed tax increase is still unknown.
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