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Unemployment Drug Test Bill Moving In Michigan

Category: News | Posted on Fri, September, 27th 2013 by THCFinder
drug-testing-miA bill that would deny unemployment benefits to people who refuse to take drug tests required by employers passed the Republican-dominated Michigan Senate last week and also advanced in the House, being approved by the House Commerce Committee on a 12-4 vote.
 
The bill, House Bill 4952, moved in the same week Republicans also pressed ahead with another bill aimed at the state’s poorest residents, one requiring food stamp recipients and welfare beneficiaries to participate in community service or other work-related activities or be cut off from assistance. The Republican-led House earlier passed bills that would require drug testing for public assistance and cutting benefits if a child is truant from school.
 
Democrats and civil libertarians denounced the bills as part of the GOP’s “war on the poor.”
 
“Wholesale drug testing without suspicion is simply illegal,” said Shelli Weisberg, spokeswoman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan. “If we’re going down the road of drug testing for people who receive benefits, then we better start drug testing legislators.”
 
Rep. Jon Switalski (D-Warrant) offered an amendment to do just that, but it failed.
 
“If the majority feels that drug testing for people on the public dole is good policy, then it’s clearly in the interest of good public policy to test all of us on the public dole,” he said. “But this is a bill about the elections in 2014 and nothing else.”
 

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NORML marijuana Super Bowl commercial advances in Intuit competition

Category: News | Posted on Thu, September, 26th 2013 by THCFinder
norml-super-bowl-adA spokesman for NORML emailed this morning that the pro-legal marijuana group’s submission to Intuit’s small business completion for a Super Bowl commercial spot has advanced to the second round.
 
Check out NORML’s updated submission to the contest.
 
From NORML’s communications director, Erik Altieri:
 
NORML would like to thank everyone who voted for our entry in Intuit’s contest. Millions of Americans now believe that it is time to legalize and regulate marijuana, winning this contest will help put that message in front of millions more.
 
As a non-profit with a small staff and limited budget, we would greatly benefit from this contest just the same as any of the other small business entries. One would argue that NORML would benefit even more so than many of these entries, as our brand is looking to broadcast a truly national message and bring to light an issue that directly and adversely impacts countless thousands in our country every year.
 
We hope Intuit will give NORML the same fair chance as any other entrant. Our victory would be a win for all parties involved: Intuit gets lots of media coverage and good will for themselves and their contest, FOX would bring in hundreds of thousands of new viewers who would otherwise not watch the Super Bowl, and NORML gets to take our message about the tragic failings of marijuana prohibition to the masses.
 
Keep voting and we can make marijuana law reform the topic of discussion at watch parties across the nation during this years “Big Game.”
 
That puts the pro-pot group one step closer and Intuit in an even tighter spot.
 

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Wash. state shops for a bank to handle marijuana money

Category: News | Posted on Wed, September, 25th 2013 by THCFinder
banks-handle-moneyOLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Wanted: A bank for state government. Must offer attentive customer service. Must be able to handle several deposits a day, with drop-offs of up to 40 bags at a time. Must allow an account to be overdrafted during the day by more than $1.2 billion.
 
Oh, and must accept proceeds from the sale of marijuana.
 
As Washington shops for a bank, that last demand might not be as hard to meet as it sounds.
 
The state's current banker has already agreed to it, according to the state treasurer, who says despite federal restrictions Washington shouldn't face reprisals for banking and spending the revenue that is coming soon from pot taxes and fees.
 
"I'm not too worried about it," Treasurer Jim McIntire said. "It's actually one of the advantages of having Bank of America as your contractor. It's unlikely, I think, that the federal government would raid them. . And they're big enough to look out for themselves on this."
 
Bank of America's seven-year contract to hold the state's main account runs through June 30, and the state asked for bids this month in a request that specifically calls out deposits of marijuana revenue as a must-have.
 
In the meantime, the state expects to start depositing revenue from Initiative 502, which legalized the recreational use of marijuana. The Liquor Control Board will receive its first fees in November from applicants asking the board for licenses to grow and sell the drug, and the Department of Revenue starts collecting taxes as soon as March after the first licenses are awarded.
 
Much of the revenue could arrive in the form of cash, since banks are reluctant to do business with pot dealers without changes in federal policy that treats banking of marijuana proceeds as money laundering.
 
Handling all those bills presents a hurdle for the state Department of Revenue. But some had suggested a bigger problem would be trying to store and spend the money.
 

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Cannabis Consumption Has No Negative Effect On Health, According To New Study

Category: News | Posted on Wed, September, 25th 2013 by THCFinder
cannabis-has-no-negative-health-side-effectsA new study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, and conducted by researchers at Boston Medical Center and the Boston University School of Medicine, has found that even heavy cannabis consumption has no negative effect on a person’s health status, or their use of health care services (such as emergency room visits).
 
For the study, researchers studied 589 adults who screened positive for drug use during a primary care visit. Data was then collected on these patients, examining their drug use, their emergency room use and hospitalizations, and their overall health status. In addition, further information regarding past medical diagnoses was obtained from their medical records.
 
After conducting the study, researchers found absolutely no differences between the health and hospitalization of daily cannabis consumers, compared to those who use no cannabis at all.
 
“Our findings suggest that marijuana use has little measurable effect on self-reported health or healthcare utilization in adults using drugs identified in a primary care clinic,” says Daniel Fuster, MD, the lead author for the study.
 
This study combats the prohibitionist argument that tax revenue brought in through cannabis legalization will be offset by increased healthcare costs.
 

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Poll: Oklahomans Ready For Marijuana Law Reform

Category: News | Posted on Tue, September, 24th 2013 by THCFinder
ok-mmj-reformOklahoma NORML Friday released survey results from a Sooner Poll showing strong support for medical marijuana and majority support for marijuana decriminalization. The poll had support for medical marijuana at 71% and support for decriminalization at 57%. The poll did not ask about legalization.
 
The poll of registered voters was conducted between August 28 and September 9. The margin of error is +/- 4.9%.
 
If someone is going to be arrested for a marijuana offense, nearly two-thirds of respondents (64%) said they should be treated instead of jailed.
 
Under current Oklahoma law, possession of any amount can earn one up to a year in jail for a first offense and from two to 10 years for a second offense. Marijuana sales—of any amount—can earn a sentence of up to life in prison.
 
The state’s largest cities were the most in favor of fixing the state’s pot laws. In metro Oklahoma City and Tulsa, support for medical marijuana was higher than 75%, and support for decriminalization was at 67% in Tulsa and at 63% in Oklahoma City.
 
Even Oklahoma’s notoriously conservative Republicans are ready for change. Support for decriminalization came from 53% of Republicans interviewed, lower than the 60% of Democrats and 65% of independents, but still surprising.
 
“I do hope that the polling results will help legislators feel more comfortable supporting marijuana reform,” Oklahoma NORML leader Norma Sapp told the Oklahoma Observer.  ”I always encourage people to contact the legislators. I think a state wide lobby day will be called when the need comes.”
 

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Free pot: Boulder marijuana giveaway set for Monday on Pearl Street Mall

Category: News | Posted on Tue, September, 24th 2013 by THCFinder
free-weed-for-co-residentsThose opposing a marijuana sales tax ballot question are looking to replicate a successful campaign event in Denver by handing out free joints at 11 a.m. Monday on Boulder's Pearl Street Mall. 
 
Organizers are billing the giveaway as both a campaign event and flood relief, giving joints to medical marijuana patients and “stressed-out recreational users” who may have lost their stashes in the flooding. Flood relief donations also will be accepted at the event.
 
“Boulder has been victimized by floods,” said Rob Corry, who helped organize the event and hopes to defeat Proposition AA, a statewide pot tax measure. “We want to bring some flood relief to folks.”
 
At Monday's Boulder event, the free joints will be given to anyone over 21 in attendance. Organizers are asking people not to light up, which is illegal in public. Smoking of any kind also is prohibited on the Pearl Street Mall. The event itself is legal and is allowed by the city, organizers said.
 
Police watched from a distance at a similar Denver event earlier this month, staying away even when a few people lit up their joints. Police officials later said that they didn't want to risk inciting a riot over a petty offense.
 
“I'm sure there won't be too much public consumption (at the Boulder event),” Corry said.
 
Proposition AA is a statewide ballot question that will ask voters in November to approve a 15 percent excise tax and an initial 10 percent sales tax that could be raised up to 15 percent. That would be in addition to the existing sales taxes.
 

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