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New Directions New Orleans: A Public Health And Safety Approach To Drug Policy

Category: News | Posted on Fri, March, 27th 2015 by THCFinder
 

Louisiana MarijuanaAn unprecedented collection of drug policy stakeholders – including judges, elected officials, public health workers, law enforcement, and community advocates – will come together to chart a new course for Louisiana’s drug policies at New Directions New Orleans on Thursday April 2 from 9am-5pm at Dillard University.

The one-day conference will provide Louisianans with the opportunity to engage many of the leading minds on drug policy and criminal justice reform from across the country and around the world, who will discuss strategies for moving beyond drug war policies and toward a health-centered approach to drug use.

“Louisiana continues to strive to become a more population health focused state, but one of the outstanding issues we face are antiquated drug and criminal justice policies,” said Joe Kimbrell, CEO, Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI). “This collaborative conference will be a strong starting point for these extraordinary partners to begin outlining what new policies and best practices we can utilize to educate our policymakers and create a safer, healthier Louisiana.”

The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world – and Louisiana has the highest rate in the U.S.  Louisiana’s incarceration rate has doubled in the last twenty years and is nearly five times higher than Iran’s, 13 times higher than China’s and 20 times higher than Germany’s.  One of the key drivers of Louisiana’s world-leading incarceration rate is the war on drugs — 18,000 Louisiana residents are arrested for drug law violations each year.

“The drug war has been a catastrophic war on the people of Louisiana,” said Yolande Cadore, director of strategic partnerships at the Drug Policy Alliance. “This gathering is bringing key stakeholders together to find an exit strategy for this failed war on drugs. The time for a new direction in Louisiana is now.”

According to a 2013 report by the American Civil Liberties Union, Louisiana suffers from some of the worst racial disparities in marijuana enforcement of any state in the U.S.  Black Louisianans are arrested for marijuana possession at 3 times the rate as their white counterparts, despite the fact that black and white people use and sell marijuana at similar rates.

Read More: http://www.theweedblog.com/new-directions-new-orleans-a-public-health-and-safety-approach-to-drug-policy/


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Report Provides Data On Marijuana Arrests In Colorado After Legalization

Category: News | Posted on Thu, March, 26th 2015 by THCFinder
 

marijuana arrest prison drug drugsAll eyes are on Colorado to gauge the impact of the country’s first-ever state law to tax and regulate the sale of marijuana to adults 21 and older.  Since the first retail marijuana stores opened on January 1, 2014, the state has benefitted from a decrease in traffic fatalities, an increase in tax revenue and economic output from retail marijuana sales, and an increase in jobs, while Denver has experienced a decrease in crime rates.

Now, a new report from the Drug Policy Alliance brings another jolt of good news by providing comprehensive data on marijuana arrests in Colorado before and after the passage of Amendment 64 in 2012. The report compiles and analyzes data from the county judicial districts, as well as various law enforcement agencies via the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS).

The report’s key findings include:

  • Since 2010, marijuana possession charges are down by more than 90%, marijuana cultivation charges are down by 96%, and marijuana distribution charges are down by 99%.
  • The number of marijuana possession charges in Colorado courts has decreased by more than 25,000 since 2010 – from 30,428 in 2010 to just 1,922 in 2014.
  • According to raw data from the NIBRS, drug-related incidents are down 23% since 2010, based on a 53% drop in marijuana-related incidents.
  • In 2010 the top five counties for marijuana possession cases in Colorado were El Paso, Jefferson, Adams, Larimer, and Boulder.  Marijuana possession cases in these counties all dropped by at least 83% from 2010 to 2014.
  • Marijuana distribution charges for young men of color did not increase, to the relief of racial justice advocates wary of a ‘net-widening’ effect following legalization.  The black rate for distribution incidents dropped from 87 per 100,000 in 2012 to 25 per 100,000 in 2014.
  • Racial disparities for still-illegal and mostly petty charges persist for black people when compared to white people, primarily due to the specific increase of charges for public use combined with the disproportionate rates of police contact in communities of color. The marijuana arrest rate for black people in 2014 was 2.4 times higher than the arrest rates for white people, just as it was in 2010.
  • The report also reveals a decline in synthetic marijuana arrests, presumably because people are less likely to use synthetic marijuana when marijuana itself is no longer criminalized.

Read More: http://www.theweedblog.com/report-provides-data-on-marijuana-arrests-in-colorado-after-legalization/


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Boat With $3 Million Worth Of Marijuana Seized In Channel Islands

Category: News | Posted on Thu, March, 26th 2015 by THCFinder

A panga boat stocked with nearly three tons of marijuana worth about $3 million was spotted in the Channel Islands, and three men on board -- all citizens of Mexico -- were arrested, authorities said Monday.

 

Alfonso Ramirez-Lopez, 40; Marco Montes-Lopez, 46; and Daniel Garcia-Sanchez, 32, are being held without bail on federal drug trafficking charges, according to U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles. 

 

The boat was spotted about 12:40 p.m. Saturday near San Miguel Island by an off-duty officer with the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife, according to a sworn affidavit by a DEA agent obtained by The Times.

 

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection Black Hawk helicopter was deployed to the island, about 45 miles southwest of Santa Barbara. After the three suspected smugglers were spotted, the helicopter landed and the men were arrested, according to the affidavit.

 

The three men told federal agents that they were from Sinaloa and that they had been at sea for three days, according to the affidavit.

 

The men were paid $1,000 before the trip, and after delivering the bales of marijuana they expected to receive an additional $3,000, according to the affidavit.

 

The men expected to land near Monterey or San Simeon, but after running low on fuel, they stopped at the island.

 

The 40-foot-long panga boat was towed to the U.S. Coast Guard’s base in San Pedro.

 

The trio will be arraigned on April 10 and are scheduled to appear in court on April 6 for a preliminary hearing. 

 

 

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Tafts would own marijuana farm

Category: News | Posted on Thu, March, 26th 2015 by THCFinder

Two scions of the city's storied Taft family have invested in the Butler County property that would serve as one of the 10 marijuana-producing farms should voters legalize marijuana in November.

Brothers Woody Taft, a private equity investor, and Dudley Taft Jr., a noted local musician, expressed support Wednesday for the ResponsibleOhio ballot initiative for a constitutional amendment. The language would allow adults over 21 to use marijuana and children, with parental consent, to get medical cannabis to treat illness.

Under the initiative, adults over 21 also would be able to obtain a license to grow up to four marijuana plants for their personal use, but not for sale.

In a statement issued through ResponsibleOhio, Woody Taft said: "I love this state, and I care deeply about our economic and social well-being.Our current laws are archaic and cruel to the people in Ohio who need medical marijuana. The Ohio I know is more compassionate than that."

The brothers are the great-great-grandnephews of President William Howard Taft. They are cousins to Sen. Robert A. Taft Jr. of Ohio and former Ohio Gov. Robert A. Taft III.

Read More:http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2015/03/25/tafts-support-responsibleohio-marijuana-legalization-measure/70442178/


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Congressmen Introduce House Version Of Bipartisan Federal Medical Marijuana Bill

Category: News | Posted on Wed, March, 25th 2015 by THCFinder
 

federal medical marijuana billRep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Rep. Don Young (R-AK) have introduced the House companion to a groundbreaking bill legalizing marijuana for medical use that was introduced in the Senate two weeks ago by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) co-sponsored the bill soon after.

“Reforming our nation’s failed drug policies is one of the few issues Democrats and Republicans can agree on,” said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance.   “The tide is quickly turning against marijuana prohibition and the war on drugs in general. ”

The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States – CARERS – Act is the most comprehensive medical marijuana bill ever introduced in Congress. The CARERS Act will do the following:

  • Allow states to legalize marijuana for medical use without federal interference
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  • Permit interstate commerce in cannabidiol (CBD) oils
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  • Reschedule marijuana to schedule II
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  • Allow banks to provide checking accounts and other financial services to marijuana dispensaries
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  • Allow Veterans Administration physicians to recommend medical marijuana to veterans
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  • Eliminate barriers to medical marijuana research.
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    Read More: http://www.theweedblog.com/house-version-bipartisan-federal-medical-marijuana-bill/


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    $68 Million Marijuana Research Contract Awarded to University of Mississippi

    Category: News | Posted on Wed, March, 25th 2015 by THCFinder

    The National Institute of Health (NIH) will hand over nearly $70 million dollars to the University of Mississippi’s marijuana research lab, which since 1968, has been the only academic entity permitted to grow pot under the auspices of the U.S. government. The recent contract provides for Ole Miss to increase the number of plants it is growing to 30,000, according to the Los Angeles Times. This stash, grown on 12 acres of campus land, is the only official source of pot available for researchers testing marijuana for medical purposes.

    While the government appears to be interested in developing new methods for growing plants that contain a variety of different levels of THC and cannabidiol, researchers complain about the lack of access and unreasonable scrutiny they experience in pursuing their work. To get anything from the Ole Miss project, researcher must first be approved by the DEA and, in some cases, a separate panel with a representative from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) must also sign off on the project.

    “It is a bizarre situation,” said Orrin Devinsky, director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at NYU Langone Medical Center. “The DEA is acting like this is 1935 and cannabis is this extremely dangerous substance.”

    Researchers are hoping that President Obama’s possible rescheduling of marijuana might open the door to more access and more studies around the country.

    A NIDA spokeswoman told TIME last August that the agency was starting a new bidding competition for the government contract because the current one was set to expire in 2015. On Monday, officials announced that the exclusive deal with Ole Miss would continue. 

    Source: http://www.hightimes.com/read/68-million-marijuana-research-contract-awarded-university-mississippi


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