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Utah governor open to legalizing medical marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Fri, May, 15th 2015 by THCFinder

Gov. Gary Herbert said Thursday that he would be open to legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, provided the science shows it can benefit patients and tight regulations can be put in place to control distribution.

"I'm open to the idea of medical marijuana," the governor said, "and the discussion of how it can be used as a medicine based on science, and making sure we have good, collaborative efforts so we can answer the questions that are out there."

That appears to be a change from his position during the recent legislative session, when he expressed concerns about a bill sponsored by Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Saratoga Springs, that would have created a state-licensed system of medical marijuana growing facilities and dispensaries where patients could buy the drug with a doctor's recommendation.

At the time, Herbert said the bill could lead to a "slippery slope" toward legal, recreational use.

Madsen's bill failed in the Senate by a single vote, although the lawmaker has said he will reintroduce it next year.

Connor Boyack, president of the Libertas Institute, a libertarian think tank, said he views the governor's comments as progress in the marijuana debate.

"Even during the legislative session, it became clear that the governor was backtracking his initial opposition to medical cannabis," he said, "so we expected this to happen and are encouraged to see him becoming more open-minded to it, just as many legislators are."

Read More:http://www.sltrib.com/home/2514854-155/utah-governor-open-to-legalizing-medical


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Massachusetts Police Force Offers Free Drug Treatment Instead of Arrest

Category: News | Posted on Thu, May, 14th 2015 by THCFinder

While most law enforcement agencies across the United States continue to treat drug users as though they are common criminals, some have cast out their old school methodologies and adopted a more common sense approach to combating the scourge of addiction on their city streets.

Instead of arresting drug offenders and handing them over to the criminal justice system, the Gloucester Police Department in Massachusetts has decided to offer complimentary treatment programs for which they will pick up the tab.

Earlier this month, Police Chief Leonard Campanello took to the department’s Facebook page to announce that any addict who walks into police headquarters and surrenders the remainder of their dope and paraphernalia will not be charged with a crime. Rather, these individuals will receive an “angel” that will immediately begin guiding them through the recovery process.

“Not in hours or days, but on the spot,” Campanello wrote, adding that the department has teamed up with the Addison Gilbert Hospital and Lahey Clinic in order to fast-track rehabilitation efforts for those seeking help through the police force.

Under the philosophy of “attacking the demand rather than attacking the supply,” Campanello, who worked seven years as a narcotics officer, understands that people addicted to opiates are not criminals, but rather, they are suffering from a debilitating disease comparable to an insatiable nicotine habit.

“The reasons for the difference in care between a tobacco addict and an opiate addict is stigma and money,” he said. “Petty reasons to lose a life. 

Read More:http://www.hightimes.com/read/massachusetts-police-force-offers-free-drug-treatment-instead-arrest


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China: Synthetic Drug Use Is Rising at an Alarming Rate

Category: News | Posted on Thu, May, 14th 2015 by THCFinder

Hong Kong's South China Morning Post reported Tuesday that Chinese authorities are warning of a rapid rise in abuse of synthetic drugs.

The number of "registered abusers" of synthetic drugs—a whopping 1.46 million who get high on methamphetamine, ketamine and ecstasy—for the first time overtook that of registered heroin addicts last year, according to the National Narcotics Control Commission. In total, there were said to be 2.95 million registered abusers of all drugs, but the NNCC estimated the real figure—including those not registered—was over 14 million.

NNCC deputy chief Liu Yuejin said that not only has cross-border trafficking been rising due to the increasing demand for drugs in the People's Republic, but also that internal production is on the rise, with drug laboratories shifting from coastal areas to inland provinces.

To an extent, these claims are backed up by the U.N.

The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime found that use of synthetic drugs overtook opiate use worldwide last year, with China accounting for a significant share of reported global ketamine seizures in recent years. According to the UNODC, 44 ketamine labs were uncovered in China in 2007, and 81 were found in 2012. Of the 326 drug labs busted by Chinese authorities in 2012, the UNODC said 228 were making methamphetamine. In January 2014, a massive police operation netted 2.9 metric tons of methamphetamine at a clandestine lab in Lufeng, Guangdong.

This year, another 2.4 tons have already been seized in the same city.

Read More:http://www.hightimes.com/read/china-synthetic-drug-use-rising-alarming-rate


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700 Pot Plants Found Growing Near Busy Berlin Train Station

Category: News | Posted on Wed, May, 13th 2015 by THCFinder

One might not think of Berlin, with its steel gray skies and long winters, as an ideal outdoor gardening town. But, when it came to growing pot, some Berliners seemed to prefer the open-air approach.

The discovery of 700 pot plants growing in and around Görlitzer Park, amidst the mini-golf course and petting zoos, is just one event in the ongoing struggle between authorities who want to control consumption and sale; and the rest of the pot-tolerant city that has either been toking up for years.

The pot plantation was in plain view to the thousands of people who daily pass through the hip Kreuzberg district, one of Berlin’s busiest intersections and a major subway station.

Berlin police said they were called to the Kreuzberg subway station by a street cleaner who’d reported seeing “numerous small plants that seemed suspicious to him,” according to an Associated Press report.

Police, who said the plants were about 15 inches tall, yanked them up and disposed of them.

Known for being among the most liberal cities in Europe, Berlin - and especially the district of Kreuzberg - is going through a complicated struggle over how to deal with the weed trade, explained an article in CityLab.

The prickly issue lies in Berlin’s ill-conceived compromise between legalization and criminal control. Berlin, whose legal powers are similar to a U.S. state, allows people to possess up to 15 grams of pot for personal use and has historically maintained a relaxed attitude toward public consumption. So… authorities allow consumption without legalizing the supply. Sound familiar?

Read More:http://www.hightimes.com/read/700-pot-plants-found-growing-near-busy-berlin-train-station


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People On Probation/Parole Can Use Medical Marijuana In Colorado

Category: News | Posted on Wed, May, 13th 2015 by THCFinder

colorado probation parole medical marijuanaPeople that are on probation or parole should still be allowed to use legal medicine. Just because someone is in the criminal justice system doesn’t mean that they don’t suffer from various conditions or ailments. Marijuana is a proven form of medicine, and if someone qualifies for a medical marijuana program to use it, they should be allowed to do so. To prevent someone from using medical marijuana, while on probation or parole or otherwise, is non-compassionate. Colorado’s Legislature and Governor agree, which is why they recently passed House Bill 1267. Per The Joint Blog:

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has signed House Bill 1267 into law, allowing those on probation or parole to use medical cannabis.

Although medical cannabis has been legal in Colorado since voters approvedAmendment 20 in 2000, the use of the medicine while on probation or parole has remained prohibited. House Bill 1267, which takes effect immediately, changes that.

This is a common sense move by the State of Colorado. Colorado joins Arizona and Rhode Island in allowing those that are on probation or parole to use medical marijuana. This will help countless numbers of people in Colorado, who might otherwise turn to much more harmful substances in an attempt to mask their conditions. I really hope more states follow suit, including my home state, Oregon. 

Source:http://www.theweedblog.com/people-on-probationparole-can-use-medical-marijuana-in-colorado/


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Maryland Man Gets 20 Years for 6 Grams of Weed

Category: News | Posted on Tue, May, 12th 2015 by THCFinder

Although more judges across the United States have changed their opinion in regard to dealing with small-time marijuana offenders, many have not.

Perhaps the latest casualty in the War on Drugs is Ronald Tyrone Hammond Jr., who was recently sentenced to 20 years in prison for possession of less than six grams of marijuana.

According to a report in The Baltimore Sun, Hammond got popped in 2012 after an argument with his girlfriend ended up being settled by a couple of local cops. During a frisk, officers discovered a small baggie of weed in his pocket, barely enough for a joint, and took him to jail for misdemeanor possession.

When Hammond showed up in court to answer the charges, District Judge Askew Gatewood stared deeply into the eyes of prosecutors and essentially called them fools for wanting to lock a man up for less than a joint.

"Why would I want to spend taxpayers' money putting his little raggedy butt in jail—feeding him, clothing him, cable TV, Internet, prayer, medical expense, clothing—on $5 worth of weed?” Gatewood asked. It was here the judge urged Hammond to take a plea of “guilty” and a $100 fine in order to get the ridiculous case out of both of their lives as quickly as possible.

He took the deal.

Unfortunately, the full scope of Hammond’s cutthroat situation was not realized before he was persuaded to bargain with the court. Because of a 2009 conviction over a $40 crack deal, he was thrown under the judicial bus and sent off to serve the next two decades behind bars.

Read More:http://www.hightimes.com/read/maryland-man-gets-20-years-6-grams-weed


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