Republicans Vote To Block D.C.'s New Marijuana Decriminalization Law

Category: News | Posted on Fri, June, 27th 2014 by THCFinder
republicans-vote-to-block-mj-decrimWashington, D.C. – Yesterday the House Appropriations Committee adopted an amendment by Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) prohibiting the District of Columbia from spending any of its locally-raised revenues to carry out any law, rule or regulation to legalize or otherwise reduce criminal penalties for marijuana. The amendment is directed at a recent law the District of Columbia passed replacing jail time for possessing small amounts of marijuana for personal use with a small fine.
“It is outrageous that members of Congress are trying to overturn a locally-enacted law that has the overwhelming support of D.C. voters and the D.C. Council,” said Bill Piper, director of national affairs with the Drug Policy Alliance.  “That Rep. Harris is picking on a majority black district and no other jurisdiction with marijuana decriminalization is very telling. His own state has decriminalized marijuana but he’s not interfering with it.”
In 2013, a study released by the American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital found that blacks are eight times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession in D.C. than non-blacks. In fact, in 2010, blacks constituted 91 percent of all marijuana arrests in D.C – despite the fact that data show whites and blacks use marijuana at similar rates.
The “Marijuana Possession Decriminalization Amendment Act of 2014″ eliminates the threat of arrest for possessing marijuana and ensure that people are no longer saddled with life-long convictions that make it difficult to obtain employment and housing. Instead of arresting people, the bill would impose a $25 civil fine for possession as well as forfeiture of the marijuana and any paraphernalia used to consume or carry it.
This new law is viewed by D.C. lawmakers and advocates as a model for other jurisdictions looking to reduce racial disparities in the criminal justice system. By setting a $25 fine, which is the lowest civil fine for possession among eighteen states that have decriminalized small amounts of marijuana, D.C. lawmakers cited the need to be responsive to social factors such as homelessness in the District and high rates of poverty in D.C. Wards that have seen the greatest number of marijuana arrests.
The D.C. law takes effect in a few weeks. The amendment passed by Committee Republicans wouldn’t take effect until later this year, assuming it passes the House and Senate and is signed by the president. Should this Republican-led amendment take effect later this year, it may interrupt enforcement by D.C. police officers of the civil fine and marijuana seizure provisions of the law.
“D.C. lawmakers recently decriminalized marijuana possession because the people of the District of Columbia demanded an end to the disproportionate arrest of African Americans for small amounts of marijuana,” said Dr. Malik Burnett, D.C. policy manager with the Drug Policy Alliance. “Any effort by Congress that would block D.C.’s efforts to reform its marijuana laws denies the people of the Nation’s Capital the democratic right to pursue racial and social justice.”


Laws Changing In LA

Category: News | Posted on Fri, June, 20th 2014 by THCFinder
Unfortunately for the marijuana community in Los Angeles, California, their easily obtainable concentrates and edibles are on thin ice. The production of concentrated cannabis products has been under tough scrutiny, following a massive outbreak of butane hash oil explosions. These explosions, due to uneducated people attempting to make butane hash oil, have been giving concentrates a bad name. Pair that with the unfortunate incident in Colorado where edibles were suspect in a young man's suicide.
There is still hope though, for the stoners of LA. There is a bill that is being proposed that will regular the medical marijuana business with a little more structure. As of right now, it's difficult for people to gauge things like edible strengths, as most edibles are completely different in the amount of THC that they contain. The new bill is quite a bit different then the original, which was attempting to prohibit the kinds of marijuana that could be recommended by doctors and also which doctors could actually prescribe them. Add the concentrate ban to that and people were seriously pissed. The new bill is even being backed by California Police Chiefs Association, an interesting fact since the group has never really said anything in regards to marijuana before this.
Thankfully, the new bill won't ban concentrates or edibles and you'll be able to still get them in the city of LA. Since there are many patients that can't smoke or need the added strength of concentrates to alleviate their pain, a ban on such products would leave some people without their meds. It's great that the new bill will still allow these people to medicate like normal. And it is definitely important to have cannabis products labeled with the correct dosage and amount of THC, in case there are novice users around who are attempting to build a tolerance. Let's also hope that the risk of BHO explosions goes does, as the negative effects from such actions could definitely lead to laws banning concentrates in the future.


Hilary Clinton Speaks Positively About Cannabis

Category: News | Posted on Thu, June, 19th 2014 by THCFinder
Most of us know Hilary Clinton as a stiff Republican who would probably have a pretty bogus opinion on marijuana. But in an interview with CNN recently, Clinton surprised us by saying that she supports medical marijuana "under appropriate circumstances" and also thinks that research on the plant should be increased, hopefully leading to new ways that cannabis can improve human life. Even when questioned about the recreational use of the plant, Clinton said that she would like to "wait and see" how the legal states of Washington and Colorado handle their newfound freedom.
Changes like this in politics are incredibly important to the cannabis community. While some people may not care for certain political parties or opinions, at least we can all agree that cannabis is being positively talked about and that can't do anything but help our cause. Especially those who have had a previously negative opinion on the plant. Much like Dr Sanjay, people that are "higher up" so to speak are extremely effective at changing how people think of cannabis.
The interview with CNN covered a wide range of marijuana questions and policy and included viewer questions. One of the people watching wanted to know where Clinton stood on marijuana policy and her answer was the following;
"At the risk of committing radical candor, I have to say I think we need to be very clear about the benefits of marijuana use for medicinal purposes. I don't think we've done enough research yet, although I think for people who are in extreme medical conditions and who have anecdotal evidence that it works, there should be availability under appropriate circumstances. But I do think we need more research because we don't know how it interacts with other drugs."
The medical benefits of marijuana are definitely being recognized. It's extremely important that more research be done on the plant, especially in the medical field and for children. As more and more kids suffer from being given an opiate based "medicine" like morphine, which has extremely addictive qualities and can severely effect childhood development. Whether or not you agree with all of Hilary Clinton's points, you should definitely agree that her speaking like this about cannabis will help to change more then a few minds!


Texas GOP Adds Hemp To Platform, Says No To Medical Marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Thu, June, 19th 2014 by THCFinder
texas-gop-adds-hempThe 2014 Texas GOP Convention wrapped up Saturday, June 7th, after a long week of debate and testimony concerning medical marijuana. Supporters of marijuana reform, including several members of RAMP (Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition) along with other medical marijuana advocates, including parents, veterans, and medical doctors, gave testimony in favor of an amendment to the platform in support of allowing Texans access to medical cannabis.
It seemed like a short-lived victory when the Temporary Platform Committee passed the amendment after listening to emotional testimony from those whose loved ones could benefit or have benefited from medical cannabis. The Chairman of the committee broke the tie and the amendment passed by a 15-14 vote. In addition, a plank supporting Hemp Cultivation passed the committee and made it into the final platform.
The following day, the Permanent Platform Committee met and voted on the medical marijuana amendment. This was the day I arrived at the convention after driving up to Fort Worth from Houston. My second time attending the Texas GOP Convention as a delegate, I was excited to hear about what was happening in the committees and was eager to help.
Rewind to August 2013 when I first met Ann Lee. After being involved with NORML for the past 4 years as a corporate sponsor to the legal seminars in Aspen and Key West, I had heard of Richard Lee, the founder of Oaksterdam University, but I didn’t know the full extent of his story until hearing it from his mother. Ann Lee was visiting a group in Houston that several of my friends help organize called Liberty on the Rocks. Along with a representative from Houston NORML, originally co-founded by Richard Lee, Ann Lee spoke to us and her words resonated.
She told us about growing up in Louisiana during segregation (Ann Lee is in her mid-eighties, she’s even older than marijuana prohibition itself), and she spoke of how unfairly people were treated and how unfairly minorities are treated today due to the enforcement of marijuana prohibition. She told us about her 5 sons, including educator and entrepreneur Richard Lee, who was injured in a workplace accident, leaving him in a wheelchair as a paraplegic. She told us about being a Republican activist since the 1970s and how she co-founded the group “Women for Reagan” in 1983, the year I was born. She told us about her husband, Bob Lee, and how they had initially reacted when Richard told them he uses medical marijuana to help with his muscle spasticity and neuropathic pain.
Ann and Bob Lee founded RAMP in 2012. After much reflection, they had reached the conclusion that prohibition of marijuana is directly opposed to all of their Republican values. I was immediately intrigued upon learning about this. My interest in both party politics and marijuana policy were now being fused together by this idea. I immediately approached Ann and started asking her about RAMP. She handed me a little brochure with the Republican logo with three pot leaves instead of stars. My first thought was “OK, this organization really needs a new logo.”


Georgia man invites cop to watch his marijuana videos on YouTube, gets arrested

Category: News | Posted on Wed, June, 18th 2014 by THCFinder
Note to self: Don't show police video of pot garden.
A Georgia man was allegedly swimming naked at Glenloch Recreation Center in Peachtree City when police showed up to arrest him for indecent exposure last Friday — but it didn’t stop there.
Zach Peak, 29, shot his exchange with the officer for his YouTube channel. Then he inexplicably invited the arresting officer to watch his other videos online.
"The officer didn't think anything of it at first," Lt. Mark Brown told WXIA-TV. "He eventually got around to find some time to look up the gentleman's YouTube page."
One video featured quite the elaborate grow operation in his parents' home — and it appears someone might have gotten high on his own supply.
"Neglected, neglected," Peak says in the video as he waters the pot plants, according to WSB Radio.
Another video shows Peak lighting and smoking from a bong.
Authorities obtained a search warrant based on this evidence and wound up confiscating 33 illegal plants and related paraphernalia.
On top of indecent exposure, Peak now faces charges for manufacturing and possessing marijuana.


Copycat? Hershey's says marijuana edibles violate trademark

Category: News | Posted on Thu, June, 12th 2014 by THCFinder
Reese's cup or Reefer's cup? Almond Joy or Ganja Joy?
Hershey's has filed two trademark infringement complaints over marijuana edibles the candy company says look like their products.
The Pennsylvania-based chocolate maker is suing Tincturebelle, a pot-infused candy manufacturer in Colorado, and Conscious Care Cooperative, a medical marijuana dispensary in Washington state.
The lawsuits, both filed June 3, claim the pot-infused candy violates Hershey's trademarks, dilutes its brand and is "unfair competition" to the company.
Hershey's said the similarities between its ordinary candy and the pot candy could cause someone to "inadvertently ingest" the pot candy, according to the complaints.
Seattle-based CCC sells a peanut butter Reefer's cup and Kush cup that Hershey's says resemble its Reese's cups, as well as a Mr. Dankbar that is "in mimicry" of Hershey's Mr. Goodbar packaging and design, according to Hershey's complaint.
CCC does not manufacture the pot-infused candy it sells, said Nathan Paine, a lawyer for CCC, in an interview with USA TODAY Network.
In Denver, Tincturebelle makes a Ganja Joy candy bar that Hershey's says infringes on its Almond Joy product, Hasheath, that Hershey's says looks like a Heath bar, and a Dabby Patty it says copies its York peppermint patty. The products are sold in Colorado's medical dispensaries and pot shops.
USA TODAY has requested comment from Tincturebelle.
Medical marijuana is legal in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Colorado and Washington are the only two states with legal recreational marijuana, and Washington's retail stores are expected to open as early as next month.
Hershey's is not seeking a specific dollar amount in damages, but a company spokesman said "significant damages" are in order, in addition to stopping the use of the trademarks, according to Jeff Beckman, spokesman for Hershey's, in an e-mail to USA TODAY Network.
At CCC, the only people who can purchase items at the dispensary are medical marijuana patients, Paine said. The dispensary is not open to the public and does not sell any regular candy that's not infused with pot.
"Even if they're similar, is a patient really going to go to their own collective and purchase a Kush cup thinking they're getting a Reese's cup? No reasonable juror would ever buy that argument," Paine said.



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