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Legislators want say over legal marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Mon, March, 23rd 2015 by THCFinder

Beacon Hill legislators are working on a marijuana legalization proposal, in part as an effort to short-circuit an expected 2016 ballot push.

Advocates have long planned an initiative petition to legalize the recreational use of the drug for adults, and political analysts have expected that measure to pass in the next presidential election year.

But some lawmakers are balking at the prospect of activists unilaterally writing a law that would have such a profound effect on the state. The legislators would rather write the proposed law themselves, allow for lots of public input, and have final say on the scope and details.

“Wouldn’t it be a good idea for the Legislature to look at it ahead of time, listen to every point of view, anticipate every problem that we could, and try to do it right?” said Senator Patricia D. Jehlen, Democrat of Somerville and a lead sponsor of a bill to legalize, tax, and regulate recreational use of marijuana.

Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg, who said he doesn’t have a strong opinion on legalization and backs a Senate panel researching the issue, added, “I think it’s better, if we’re going to do this, to do it in the Legislature than on the ballot.” Rosenberg, who is not listed as a cosponsor, later continued, “I believe if the Legislature doesn’t act on it, it will be done on the ballot.”

Opposition from top officials could doom a legislative push. Governor Charlie Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey, and Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston all oppose legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

But that is not stopping legislators from trying.

Read More: http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/03/22/lawmakers-mull-marijuana-legalization/golTlLjcXUbSjuBqHyFmaN/story.html


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Anchorage police seize marijuana plants, computers in raid on Alaska Cannabis Club

Category: News | Posted on Sun, March, 22nd 2015 by THCFinder

Anchorage police served a search warrant on the Alaska Cannabis Club's downtown clubhouse on Friday afternoon, taking boxes of evidence from the residence as club owner Charlo Greene watched.

Anchorage Police Department spokesperson Jennifer Castro told reporters on scene later Friday afternoon that police had received reports of illegal marijuana sales occurring at the clubhouse. No charges had been filed Friday, Castro said.

Police arrived about 1 p.m., Greene said. Greene, whose legal name is Charlene Egbe, is a former television news reporter who achieved national notoriety in September when she quit on-air after announcing she was the owner of the club.

A copy of the search warrant provided by Greene specified police were searching for evidence of "misconduct involving a controlled substance." 

According to Greene, there were nine marijuana plants in one duplex and 14 in another. Five medical-marijuana cardholders live at the residence, Greene said. She said 10 to 12 medical marijuana cardholders were in the residence when the search warrant was served.

"I'm not surprised but I am disappointed," Greene said of the raid.

Two marked police cars were outside the residence on Friday afternoon, with a few more arriving as the search wore on. Greene said about seven officers were boxing up marijuana plants, computers, papers and other materials in the clubhouse. Greene said she was free to go but chose to wait while police took evidence from the home.

Read More: https://www.adn.com/article/20150320/anchorage-police-seize-marijuana-plants-computers-raid-alaska-cannabis-club


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Marijuana Gears Up for Production High in U.S. Labs

Category: News | Posted on Sat, March, 21st 2015 by THCFinder
 


Now, with legal marijuana increasingly available to the US public, NIDA is quietly working to expand the amount and variety of the drug available for study. 

Residents of 23 US states can buy medical marijuana to treat everything from cancer pain to anxiety, but US scientists must wade through onerous paperwork to score the drug for study. Their sole dealer is the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which has a contract with the University of Mississippi in Oxford to produce marijuana for research purposes.

The agency has long faced complaints that its marijuana is too weak to represent what is sold on the street, and contains low levels of the non-psychedelic chemicals that show therapeutic promise for conditions such as epilepsy and chronic pain. Now, with legal marijuana increasingly available to the US public, NIDA is quietly changing course—working to expand the amount and variety of the drug available for study.

“We want to be able to evaluate the claims that marijuana is therapeutically beneficial” and to explore treatments for addiction, says Nora Volkow, director of NIDA in Rockville, Maryland.

In 2014, the institute increased its spending on research marijuana by 50%. Annual production at the University of Mississippi farm, where all the agency supplies are grown, soared from 18 to 600 kilograms, and the crop harvested late last year includes two new strains. One has low concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), marijuana’s primary active ingredient, but high levels of cannabidiol, a non-hallucinogenic substance that seems to have therapeutic effects. The second has relatively balanced levels of the two chemicals.

Mahmoud ElSohly, who directs the University of Mississippi cultivation programme, says that the new strains will soon be ready to ship to researchers. But the farm’s improved offerings may not appease NIDA’s critics—including US states such as Colorado, which legalized recreational pot use in 2012. In December, the Colorado state government asked the federal government to allow state universities to grow marijuana for research, citing bureaucratic hurdles in obtaining products from NIDA and from private growers overseas.

Read More: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/marijuana-gears-up-for-production-high-in-u-s-labs/

 

 


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Stoned Driving Takes a Backseat in California's Legislature

Category: News | Posted on Sat, March, 21st 2015 by THCFinder

While everyone from public policy experts to the underground betting community have wagered that California is a lock when it comes to the legalization of marijuana in 2016, it seems that state lawmakers have thrown in the towel when it comes to drafting legislation to police stoned driving.

For the first time in three assemblies, the state legislature did not receive a filing of any measure aimed at passing a more definitive law against operating a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana. A recent report by SF Weekly showed that out of the almost 20 cannabis-related proposals submitted, not a single lawmaker took a stand on the issue of driving high.

Perhaps this is because state lawmakers are sick of the huge amount of discrepancies surrounding the definition of “stoned driving.” Some of the last proposals on the issue would have made it illegal for drivers to operate a vehicle with any sign of marijuana in their system.

Of course, those proposals were viciously attacked and, ultimately, snuffed out because they made outlaws of people who had consumed marijuana days or even weeks before being tested.

Read More: http://www.hightimes.com/read/stoned-driving-takes-backseat-californias-legislature


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Former Governor Gary Johnson Puts Cannabis Unfriendly Lawmakers on Endangered Species List

Category: News | Posted on Fri, March, 20th 2015 by THCFinder

MESQUITE, NV / ACCESSWIRE / March 19, 2015 / Former Governor Gary Johnson, President and CEO of Cannabis Sativa, Inc. (Stock Symbol OTCQB:CBDS), compared the legal marijuana industry to a dam about to burst and warned lawmakers opposing legalization to start packing their bags.

"The smart money has been waiting for the first big brand to emerge." The former Republican governor and 2012 Libertarian Presidential candidate spoke to an estimated 750 marijuana industry representatives attending a two-day conference at the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference. "Green Rush investors have been blue in the face waiting for a front-runner, but the starter's pistol is now raised and ready to sound the biggest bang since the end of Prohibition."

The two-term former governor had words of caution for state and national lawmakers who oppose or attempt to complicate legalization.

"More Americans favor legalization today than those who don't. Representatives who stand in the way of the people will be swept out of office."

Johnson's Cannabis Sativa, Inc. was rated fourth among the top eight legal cannabis companies by Forbes Magazine. The firm's wholly owned subsidiary, "hi," was hailed in the article as a brand to beat.

"Investors are about to get what they've been waiting for," Johnson hinted. "Big product variety, big distribution and the first mega brands in the legal marijuana industry. The road to legalization has been a rocky one, but no one doubts it's a superhighway paved in gold."

Read More: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/former-governor-gary-johnson-puts-133000437.html


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Obama Predicts Marijuana Will Be Rescheduled

Category: News | Posted on Fri, March, 20th 2015 by THCFinder

President Obama spent the majority of 2014 skirting the issue of marijuana reform, but it appears as though some elusive power has finally given the leader of the free world permission to take his cookie-cutter comments on pot reform to the next level.

During an interview with VICE News, Obama took the opportunity to delve deeper into the question of federal pot reform, predicting that Congress could soon be forced to rethink the nation’s cannabis prohibition policies. 

The President told VICE co-founder Shane Smith that as the trend of statewide legalization continues to spread, and as bipartisan politics keep coming together in support of the issue, folks on Capitol Hill will have no choice but to make crucial adjustments to the law. Yet, he maintained that any change will be in the direction of criminal justice reform, easing the penalties for non-violent drug offenders, and not a total prohibitionary repeal.

“We may be able to make some progress on the decriminalization side,” Obama said. “At a certain point, if enough states end up decriminalizing, then Congress may reschedule marijuana.”

It is interesting that the President’s comments come just one week after Senators Rand Paul, Cory Booker and Kristen Gillibrand introduced legislation aimed at reclassifying cannabis as a Schedule II controlled substance, and legalizing it for medical use on a national scale. Is this merely a coincidence, or a hint that changes in federal pot laws are right around the corner?

It is somewhat discouraging that while marijuana legalization in Colorado has substantially bolsteredthe state’s economy—$53 million in state tax revenue—while also creating a wealth of new jobs, Obama suggests the concerns expressed by young Americans over pot reform are misplaced and should be refocused on the bigger picture.'

Read More:http://www.hightimes.com/read/obama-predicts-marijuana-will-be-rescheduled


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