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Head of U.N. drug agency wants U.S. to fight new marijuana laws

Category: News | Posted on Thu, November, 22nd 2012 by THCFinder
VIENNA -- The head of the U.N. drug watchdog agency is urging U.S. officials to challenge ballot measures in Colorado and Washington state that decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana for adults 21 and over.
 
Raymond Yans said the approvals send "a wrong message to the rest of the nation and it sends a wrong message abroad."
 
Yans heads the International Narcotics Control Board. He told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he hopes Attorney General Eric Holder "will take all the necessary measures" to ensure that marijuana possession and use remain illegal throughout the U.S.
 
Yans' announcement was greeted with a mixture of indifference (a vast collective yawn being the primary reaction) and hostility ("tell that UN moron to go fuck himself," one stoner offered) in the American cannabis community.
 
Both states are holding off on plans to regulate and tax the drug while waiting to see whether the Justice Department will assert federal authority. The U.N. agency has no enforcement ability.
 

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Holland to ban 'skunk' marijuana from coffee shops over fears it is as dangerous as heroin and cocaine

Category: News | Posted on Wed, November, 21st 2012 by THCFinder
Super-strength marijuana is to be banned from Holland's coffee shops under tough new laws that could see 'skunk' reclassified as a class A drug.
 
Dutch justice minister Ivo Opstelten wants the country's famous licensed cafes to only sell cannabis containing less than 15 per cent of the main active chemical, THC.
 
The decision will be a major blow to hundreds of coffee shop owners, many of them in Amsterdam, who will have to replace around 80 per cent of their stock with weaker varieties.
 
Snuffed out: Super-strong marijuana will soon be banned from Holland's famous coffee shops over fears it can be as bad for your health as cocaine and heroin
Critics claim it will make the problem worse by pushing stronger versions of the drug onto the black market.
 
Mark Josemans, the spokesman for the Maastricht coffee shop owners association, told the Volkskrant newspaper: 'Weak weed in the coffee shops, strong weed on the streets - then the choice is pretty clear.
 
'It makes it harder for society. A user smokes less, just as people don't drink rum out of a beer glass.'
 
According to the Daily Telegraph, the government is acting on a study by Dutch mental health charity, the Trimbos Institute, which found that skunk can be so dangerous it should be classed alongside heroin and cocaine.
 
THC is the compound that gives users the 'high' and in large quantities has been blamed for causing psychotic reactions. 
 
At present, the country's liberal laws allows customers to buy up to five grammes (0.18 ounces) of marijuana for personal use in around 500 licensed cafes.
 
The decision comes as Jacqui Smith, the former home secretary, admitted it was a mistake to upgrade cannabis to a Class B drug in Britain.
 
She now argues that it would have been better to improve education about the drug rather than raise the level of criminalisation.
 
When Mr Opstelten announced the tougher laws, he also relaxed a mandatory plan to ban foreigners from cannabis-selling cafes.
 
Under the rules, which had been branded 'tourism suicide', only Dutch residents would have been able to enter coffee shops.
 
Potential customers would also have been forced to sign up for a one-year membership, or 'dope pass'.
 
Now it will be up to local authorities to decide how to enforce the new legislation.
 

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Cash Hyde Succumbs to Cancer, Family Says Medical Marijuana Extended His Life

Category: News | Posted on Fri, November, 16th 2012 by THCFinder
Cash Hyde lived half of his life with a feeding tube surgically attached to his stomach. And about half of his life was spent in hospitals -- including a 49-day coma -- after a diagnosis with brain cancer. It was that cancer which claimed his life Wednesday night; he had beaten it twice, but after two full remissions, its third appearance was too much. He died in his father's arms at the family home in Missoula, Montana. 
 
He was 4 years old.
 
He was first diagnosed with cancer at 20 months. He learned to walk and speak while terminally ill, and shortly before he died, informed his family that he had had enough. "No more pokes," said Cash, referring to the countless injections, blood drawings and other medical procedures that are a cancer patient's daily routine.
 
And while it was cancer that killed him, it was a 2011 change in Montana state law which denied him for 73 days access to the medicine that had kept him alive to that point. That medicine was cannabis, which Mike Hyde administered to his son at the risk of federal and state prison terms.
 
Cash's story had made national news, with outlets flying to Missoula to interview the family and film Cash taking his illegal "medicine." By the time of his death, it was estimated that he was Montana's youngest medical marijuana card-holder. Along with chemotherapy and radiation -- as well as brain surgery when he was two years old -- cannabis was a key component of his cancer treatment: the medical marijuana helped him sleep and helped him eat, Mike Hyde said. The situation was among the first highly publicized instances of a young child receiving relief from the cannabis plant.
 
Cash died Wednesday shortly before 10 p.m., according to John Malanca, a Northern California resident who also owns a home in Montana and is authorized to speak on behalf of the Hyde family. 
 

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Marijuana: MMJ dispensaries seeing flood of people looking for legal ganja

Category: News | Posted on Thu, November, 15th 2012 by THCFinder
Although Amendment 64 passed last week, Governor John Hickenlooper has told us not to bring out the Cheetos and Goldfish just yet. But apparently people need a firmer reminder that there are more hurdles to be surmounted -- and we're not just talking about the feds -- before pot shops can open in Colorado.
 
Several dispensary owners have told us non-patients are showing up at their doors asking to buy pot. One told us he hated turning away all those smiling faces, but at least the potential customers seemed to understand once he explained the process.
 
Non-patients will have no access to this for more than a year.
 
I saw the confusion firsthand last week when visiting a dispensary for an upcoming review. While I was waiting in line, two people walked in off the street; with one asking if he could now buy cannabis and the other acting offended when the receptionist asked for his medical marijuana card. Other patients have told us they've spotted signs saying, essentially, "We can't sell you marijuana" on the front door of their regular dispensaries.
 
Nor will centers be able to sell you marijuana for at least a year -- not unless you have a medical marijuana card.
 
For starters, Amendment 64 isn't yet part of the Colorado constitution -- not officially. After the election results are certified on December 6, Hickenlooper has thirty days to sign it -- a move he has indicated he will make within that time frame. Once Amendment 64 is signed into law, people 21 years of age and older will be able to possess up to an ounce of marijuana in this state, and Coloradans will be allowed to grow as many as six plants here. The law will also allow patients to keep their entire harvest, even if it's over an ounce.
 
But pot shops will still be many months away.
 

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Guide To Legal Marijuana Use Published By Seattle Police

Category: News | Posted on Thu, November, 15th 2012 by THCFinder
SEATTLE -- When Washington state voters overwhelmingly legalized the recreational use of marijuana on Nov. 6, Seattle police knew they'd be getting a lot of questions.
 
And while many details surrounding the state's Dec. 6 decriminalization of pot remain, the department didn't shy away from answering what questions it could about Initiative 502, posting a funny, question-and-answer blog that has become a big web hit – having been viewed more than 120,000 times and shared more than 15,000 times on Facebook since it was posted Friday.
 
The result was "Marijwhatnow? A Guide to Legal Marijuana Use In Seattle," by Jonah Spangenthal-Lee, a former journalist who wrote for The Stranger, a weekly alternative newspaper. He was hired by the police department earlier this year.
 
Here, he and Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, a police spokesman, explain the thinking behind the blog, which included some of these memorable passages:
 
Q: SPD seized a bunch of my marijuana before I-502 passed. Can I have it back? A: No.
 
"I just try to write posts I'd want to read," Spangenthal-Lee said, via email. "I knew we were probably going to be inundated with questions about 502, so I figured I'd try to get answers to the kinds of questions Seattle residents (and reporters) might ask, and put them out there."
 
Q: What happens if I get pulled over and I'm sober, but an officer or his K9 buddy smells the ounce of Super Skunk I've got in my trunk? A: Under state law, officers have to develop probable cause to search a closed or locked container. Each case stands on its own, but the smell of pot alone will not be reason to search a vehicle.
 
Whitcomb noted that pot cases have not been a priority in Seattle for some time. "This is a city where marijuana possession has been the lowest (enforcement) priority. There's a built-in expectation that Seattle is going to have something to say about it," said Whitcomb, referring to the fact that voters in this liberal city directed police nearly a decade ago to treat adult pot use as its lowest enforcement priority.
 
Q: December 6th seems like a really long ways away. What happens if I get caught with marijuana before then? A: Hold your breath. Your case will be processed under current state law. However, there is already a city ordinance making marijuana enforcement the lowest law enforcement priority.
 
Whitcomb said officials wanted people to realize that cops have a sense of humor, too. "I think this is an example of us really hitting the appropriate tone for our audience," he said. He even came up with one of the most humorous parts of the blog, a clip from the film trilogy "Lord of the Rings," showing Bilbo and the wizard Gandalf smoking what Bilbo calls "the finest weed."
 
I-502 passed with 55 percent of the vote. Since then, prosecutors in the largest counties in the state have dropped cases involved misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
 
"There's still more questions because it's so new," said Whitcomb, noting that "the state says it's legal, the federal law says it's not."
 

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Peyton Manning, Papa John's and Marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Wed, November, 14th 2012 by THCFinder
I knew Peyton Manning was smart, but I didn’t realize he was this smart.
 
In late October, Mr. Manning became the newest franchisee for Papa John’s pizza, signing a deal to own 21 stores in the Denver area.  On the same day, the pizza maker also announced it had signed a multi-year contract to continue as the official pizza of the NFL and the Super Bowl.
 
Not more than 2 weeks after Mr. Manning’s investment was made public, Colorado voters on election night approved an amendment legalizing recreational marijuana use within the state.
 
Apart from euphorically setting off a statewide revival of John Denver’s classic hit Rocky Mountain High from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs, Mr. Manning and Papa John’s had to be pleased with this vote.
 
I’m not nor have I ever been a user (which I guess makes me both a square and in the minority), so for those that are similarly naive I’ll break it down like this.
 
Marijuana consumption leads to the munchies, and what’s a more common munchie than pizza.
 
Only time will tell if Papa John’s pizza sales will increase within the state of Colorado in the foreseeable future, but human behavioral correlations between marijuana consumption and subsequent dietary preferences while under a purple haze seem to suggest that Mr. Manning’s investment was timely and prudent.
 
I knew Peyton Manning was the ultimate chess player on the gridiron…being able to read the defense and anticipate player movements well before they happen.
 
But his genius ascends to new Rocky Mountain Highs if his expectations of how Colorado would vote on marijuana legalization had any influence on his investment decision in Papa John’s.
 

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