Californias 2013 Marijuana Harvest Was Worth 31 Billion Dollars
Category: News | Posted on Wed, June, 11th 2014 by THCFinder
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.
Gun owner denied License for legally using marijuana
Category: News | Posted on Wed, June, 11th 2014 by THCFinder
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.
Read more: http://www.komonews.com
DEA targets doctors linked to medical marijuana
Category: News | Posted on Fri, June, 6th 2014 by THCFinder
US Drug Enforcement Administration investigators have visited the homes and offices of Massachusetts physicians involved with medical marijuana dispensaries and delivered an ultimatum: sever all ties to marijuana companies, or relinquish federal licenses to prescribe certain medications, according to several physicians and their attorneys.
The stark choice is necessary, the doctors said they were told, because of friction between federal law, which bans any use of marijuana, and state law, which voters changed in 2012 to allow medical use of the drug.
The DEA’s action has left some doctors, whose livelihoods depend on being able to offer patients pain medications and other drugs, with little option but to resign from the marijuana companies,where some held prominent positions.
The Globe this week identified at least three doctors contacted by DEA investigators, although there may be more.
“Here are your options,” Dr. Samuel Mazza said he was told by Gregory Kelly, a DEA investigator from the agency’s New England Division office. “You either give up your [DEA] license or give up your position on the board . . . or you challenge it in court.”
Mazza, chief executive of Debilitating Medical Conditions Treatment Centers, which won preliminary state approval to open a dispensary in Holyoke, said the DEA investigator’s visit came shortly after state regulators announced the first 20 applicants approved for provisional licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries.
Mazza said he returned from vacation in February to find a DEA business card on the door to his home and several messages on his answering machine urging him to contact the agency immediately.
The quiet DEA crackdown comes even as the US House of Representatives approved a measure last week that would restrict the DEA from raiding medical marijuana operations in states where it is legal. Senate action is pending.
Tensions between federal and state officials have flared as 22 states, including Massachusetts, have legalized medical marijuana, many since 2010.
A spokesman for the DEA in Boston on Wednesday referred calls to agency headquarters in Washington.
A DEA spokeswoman in Washington declined to answer questions Thursday about the doctors’ assertions that they are being asked to choose between their drug prescribing licenses and their ties to dispensaries. The spokeswoman would not say whether the action in Massachusetts is part of a national policy or limited to the state.
Read more: http://www.bostonglobe.com
Big Tobacco Planned Big Marijuana Sales in the 1970s
Category: News | Posted on Tue, June, 3rd 2014 by THCFinder
Documents buried deep in tobacco company archives reveal a hope and a plan to sell marijuana as soon as legally possible
Tobacco executives anticipated the legalization of marijuana as early as the 1970′s — and they wanted a piece of the action, according to newly discovered documents from tobacco company archives.
Public health researchers scanned 80 million pages of digitized company documents for keywords such as, “marijuana,” “cannabis,” “reefer,” “weed,” “spliffs,” and “blunts.” The results, published Tuesday in the Milbank Quarterly, reveal a long history of maneuvers toward marijuana-laced products.
“The starting point must be to learn how to produce in quantity cigarettes loaded uniformly with a known amount of either ground cannabis or dried and cut cannabis rag,” read one memorandum from British American Tobacco’s adviser on technical research, Charles Ellis.
A hand-written letter from Philip Morris president George Weissman read, “While I am opposed to its use, I recognize that it may be legalized in the near future…Thus, with these great auspices, we should be in a position to examine: 1. A potential competition, 2. A possible product, 3. At this time, cooperate with the government.”
Philip Morris even went so far as to request a marijuana sample from the Department of Justice for research purposes, promising to share its findings with the government so long as the company’s involvement remained strictly confidential. “We request that there be no publicity whatsoever,” wrote a Philip Morris executive. The Justice Department drug science’s chief Milton Joffee obliged with a promise to deliver “good quality” marijuana.
While tobacco executives missed the mark on legalization by several decades, they did lay out a persuasive case for vigilance. In early 1970, an unsigned memorandum distributed to Philip Morris’ top management read, “We are in the business of relaxing people who are tense and providing a pick up for people who are bored or depressed. The human needs that our product fills will not go away. Thus, the only real threat to our business is that society will find other means of satisfying these needs.”
The study authors said the documents provide proof of tobacco companies’ intent to enter the marijuana trade, despite their claims to the contrary. They urged policymakers to prevent tobacco makers from entering the nascent market for legal marijuana “in a way that would replicate the smoking epidemic, which kills 480,000 Americans each year.”
DOJ Restricted From Interfering With Medical Cannabis
Category: News | Posted on Mon, June, 2nd 2014 by THCFinder
DOJ Restricted From Interfering With Cannabis
It's enraging for stoners to see their friends, family, and fellow smokers to get thrown in jail for simply enjoying a plant. There's nothing wrong with utilizing nature... Why are people getting so severely punished for it? It's definitely not fair and definitely needs to change. This week was a great one for medical cannabis patients everywhere, providing that the House vote is respected by the people conducting these ridiculous raids.
The US House Of Representatives spent the majority of a day debating this subject, not leaving until after midnight. But the lower chamber of Congress changed the game when they cast their vote of 219 to 189 in favor of restricting the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration from using taxpayer money in order to interfere with the state-approved medical marijuana programs. Erik Altieri of NORML Communications said that "the approval of this amendment is a resounding victor for basic compassion and common sense". Patients can now rest with a little more assurance that they'll be able to get their meds without government interference.
The incredibly conflicting laws between the state and federal government regarding marijuana leaves the patients in a tense situation. On one hand, they are told by their doctors that cannabis is a positive, helpful treatment for a disease that they're suffering from. But on the other, they stand to lose their entire lives because of this medicine, just because the federal government can't manage to tear themselves away from harassing sick people. The Feds should have absolutely no right to get involved with patient medicine and invading the clinics where this medicine is available is definitely an interference.
The amendment that passed also says that the DOJ and DEA cannot use taxpayer funds to shut down hemp operations as well. The hemp products will be state sanctioned and will drastically improve the overall wellbeing of the states that approve it. More than a dozen states have enacted pro-hemp cultivation amendments, allowing farmers to grow one of the most useful plants in the entire world.
The amendments still must be approved by the Senate and then signed by the President. Hopefully, they make it all the way through and the world of cannabis will begin to really change for the better.
House Blocks DEA From Targeting Medical Marijuana
Category: News | Posted on Fri, May, 30th 2014 by THCFinder
WASHINGTON -- Reflecting growing national acceptance of cannabis, a bipartisan coalition of House members voted early Friday to restrict the Drug Enforcement Administration from using funds to go after medical marijuana operations that are legal under state laws.
An appropriations amendment offered by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) prohibiting the DEA from spending funds to arrest state-licensed medical marijuana patients and providers passed 219-189. The Senate will likely consider its own appropriations bill for the DEA, and the House amendment would have to survive a joint conference before it could go into effect.
Rohrabacher said on the House floor that the amendment "should be a no-brainer" for conservatives who support states' rights and argued passionately against allowing the federal government to interfere with a doctor-patient relationship.
"Some people are suffering, and if a doctor feels that he needs to prescribe something to alleviate that suffering, it is immoral for this government to get in the way," Rohrabacher said, his voice rising. "And that's what's happening."
The debate pitted three House Republicans who also are doctors against one another. Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) and Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) opposed the amendment, while Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) supported it.
Harris insisted that there were no medical benefits to marijuana and that medical marijuana laws were a step toward legalizing recreational pot.
"It's the camel's nose under the tent," said Harris. He cited piece of anti-marijuana propaganda published by the DEA this month that claimed medical marijuana was just "a means to an end" -- the eventual legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes. The taxpayer-funded report uses scare quotes around the word "medical."
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com
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