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CN NS: Column: Strictly Regulated Legal Pot Environment Expected

MAP - Cannabis - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 08:00
The News, 09 Nov 2017 - Nova Scotians thinking that next July they'll be able to nip down to the corner pot shop whenever they want, might want to chill until they see the province's plan. Cannabis will be legal next summer, but the rules and regulations are yet to come and Nova Scotia, along with the other Atlantic Provinces, will create tightly controlled, strictly regulated environments.

CN ON: OPED: Still Much To Learn About Pot

MAP - Cannabis - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 08:00
The Sun Times, 09 Nov 2017 - Many Canadians can hardly wait for the day that the recreational use of marijuana becomes legal. As a doctor, I'm far less enthusiastic. I worry about two things: the experimental nature of marijuana in medical practice, and the public health consequences of legalized marijuana. Before you write me off as overly prudish or an anti-marijuana conservative, let me say that I'm not opposed to legalized marijuana in principle. I'm just paying attention to the evidence, or rather, the lack of it. My concern is that as marijuana becomes more easily available, Canadians may become more inclined to self-medicate with this drug.

New Jersey Governor-Elect Vows to Legalize Marijuana in First 100 Days

The Joint Blog - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 07:34
New Jersey voters have elected Philip D. Murphy as their next governor.

New Jersey Governor-elect Philip Murphy.

The election of Governor-elect Murphy comes as amazing news to advocates of marijuana legalization; the former Wall Street banker says he has a plan to legalize marijuana in his first 100 days in office. If successful, New Jersey would become the 9th state to legalize marijuana for personal use.

Governor-elect Murphy’s position on legalizing marijuana couldn’t be further from the position of outgoing Governor Chris Christie, who staunchly opposes legalization and has done everything in his power to weaken the state’s medical cannabis program. Christie is leaving office with the lowest approval rating for a governor in New Jersey history.

In May, State Senator Nicholas Scutari (D-Union) unveiled a proposal that would legalize marijuana for those 21 and older, establishing a system of licensed and regulated cannabis retail outlets and cultivation centers. According to statewide Rutgers-Eagleton poll, 58% of voters in New Jersey support the move to legalize marijuana for adults.

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Marijuana Could Be Biggest Winner Of 2017 Election

Toke Signals - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 01:33

And 2018 Is Looking Nice, Too More politicians are realizing that marijuana reform is a winning issue. Tuesday’s election was a resounding win for cannabis law reform efforts. And in 2018, with all 435 Congressional seats up for grabs, along with 33 seats in the Senate and 36 governorships, the stakes will be even higher. The […]

The post Marijuana Could Be Biggest Winner Of 2017 Election appeared first on Toke Signals with Steve Elliott - Toke Signals with Steve Elliott - Your source for uncut, uncensored, no holds barred, non-corporate-controlled cannabis news.

States Where Marijuana Is Legalized, Decriminalized or Medicalized

Celeb Stoner News - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 21:00
There are now eight states that have legalized marijuana (Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington), 14 more with decriminalization laws and 46 with medical-marijuana laws.

CN ON: Bylaw Change For Pot Dispensary Denied

MAP - Cannabis - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 08:00
The Daily Press, 08 Nov 2017 - MOONBEAM - The town has snuffed out a request to amend its business licensing bylaw in order to accommodate a medical marijuana dispensary within the municipality. Robert Neron, a long-time user and advocate of medical marijuana, made a presentation to town council Monday night, with the hopes of opening a marijuana dispensary in Moonbeam by the spring of 2018.

CN MB: Legal Pot Dealers Lining Up At Government Door

MAP - Cannabis - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 08:00
Winnipeg Sun, 08 Nov 2017 - There's plenty of interest in selling legal pot in Manitoba. The province notes an expression of interest on the subject attracted more than 60 responses. Premier Brian Pallister said that bodes well for his government's goal to ensure official marijuana stores are accessible enough to undermine the black market.

Election: Ohio City Completely Depenalizes Marijuana

NORML Blog - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 04:24

Athens, OhioThe Athens Cannabis Ordinance – better known as “TACO” – to completely remove all penalties for possessing, cultivating, and gifting of up to 200 grams of marijuana was approved by voters on election day by a vote of 77 percent to 23 percent.

In November 2016, four Ohio municipalities – Newark, Logan, Roseville, and Bellaire – passed similar depenalization ballot measures. Under Ohio state law, minor marijuana possession offenses are classified as a minor misdemeanor, punishable by a fine, but no jail time or criminal record.

“Voters overwhelmingly approved of TACO because the continued criminalization of adult marijuana use is out-of-step with the views of the vast majority of adults in the United States, 64 percent of whom now endorse legalizing and regulating cannabis,” said Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director. “While politicians continue to drag their feet, citizens are showing leadership at the local and state level in jurisdictions where the ability to achieve marijuana reform is possible at the ballot box.”

Election: Pro-Legalization Phil Murphy Wins NJ Governor Race

NORML Blog - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 01:08

Trenton, NJ: After making the legalization of marijuana a core issue in both his primary and general election campaigns, Democratic candidate Phil Murphy has claimed victory in the New Jersey gubernatorial election over Republican Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno.

In fact, in his primary victory speech, Phil Murphy proclaimed his desire to sign a marijuana legalization bill within his first 100 days in office.

“Candidates across the country should take notice, as Phil Murphy won the Governor’s seat soundly because of, not in spite of, his open and vocal support for legalizing marijuana – a position supported by 65% of New Jersey voters and 64% of Americans nationwide,” said NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri, “NORML looks forward to working with Governor-Elect Murphy and other stakeholders in the state to end the disastrous policy of marijuana prohibition and to implement the moral, economic, and scientifically sound policy of legalization and regulation in the Garden State.”

Polling data released this week by Predictwise/Pollfish Survey revealed that a 65% of New Jersey voters support legalizing marijuana outright.

Currently in New Jersey, a possession conviction of anything under 50 grams of marijuana can carry a sentence of 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. The ACLU-NJ found that police make a marijuana possession arrest in New Jersey on average every 22 minutes and that black New Jerseyans were three times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites, despite similar usage rates.

Election Night 2017: Marijuana Races to Watch

NORML Blog - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 17:46

It is once again election night in America. While 2017 doesn’t feature any statewide marijuana initiatives, there are still a number of races to watch tonight that will impact marijuana law reform efforts across the nation.

Virginia Governor

Lt. Governor Ralph Northam (D): Democratic candidate, and current Lt. Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam has been outspoken in his support for ending criminal penalties for marijuana. Earlier this year, Northam published a letter calling for decriminalization and an expanded medical marijuana program.

Northam wrote: “We need to change sentencing laws that disproportionately hurt people of color. One of the best ways to do this is to decriminalize marijuana. African Americans are 2.8 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession in Virginia. The Commonwealth spends more than $67 million on marijuana enforcement?—?money that could be better spent on rehabilitation.

As a doctor, I’m becoming increasingly convinced by the data showing potential health benefits of marijuana, such as pain relief, drug-resistant epilepsy, and treatment for PTSD. By decriminalizing it, our researchers can better study the plant so doctors can more effectively prescribe drugs made from it.”

Ed Gillespie (R): Republican candidate, and former Republican National Committee Chair, Ed Gillespie has stated he does not support the legalization or outright decriminalization of marijuana believing it “sends the wrong signal” to children.

Gillespie does support a very limited change to Virginia’s marijuana laws, that would move possession to a three strike system – dropping the possibility of jail time for an individual’s first two marijuana possession arrests, but retaining it for the third.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK YOUR VA VOTER REGISTRATION AND FIND YOUR POLLING PLACE

 

New Jersey Governor

Phil Murphy (D): Democratic candidate Phil Murphy has made marijuana legalization a priority issue in his campaign. In addition to publicly campaigning in support of ending marijuana prohibition in the state, in his primary election victory speech Murphy said he wants a bill that would legalize and regulate marijuana in the Garden State on his desk within the first 100 days of taking office.

“The criminalization of marijuana has only served to clog our courts and cloud people’s futures, so we will legalize marijuana,” Phil Murphy said the night he won the Democratic primary. “And while there are financial benefits, this is overwhelmingly about doing what is right and just.

Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno (R): Republican candidate, and current Lt. Governor, Kim Guadagno has stated that she is “wholly opposed to legalizing marijuana” citing inaccurate information in regards to marijuana’s impact on driving.

“I have personal experience about what exactly happens to somebody who drives while they’re high, which is why I would oppose legalization of marijuana,” Guadagno said during a debate during the Republican primary.

During the general election, she further stated her opposition, saying she believed legalization would “put a whole generation of children at risk.”

“I don’t want our children, I don’t want our people to walk down the street and buy a pack of cigarettes and be drug dealers.”

Despite her opposition to legalization, Guadagno has stated she would support decriminalization of possession and limited expansion of the state’s existing medical marijuana program.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK YOUR NJ VOTER REGISTRATION AND FIND YOUR POLLING PLACE

 

Athens, OH: Athens Cannabis Ordinance

Residents of Athens, Ohio will have the ability to vote on the “Athens Cannabis Ordinance” which would significantly reform many of the penalties around marijuana possession and cultivation in the city. The ordinance would drop the fine for the following offenses to $0, effectively removing any criminal or civil punishment:

  • Possession of up to 200 grams of marijuana and up to 10 grams of hash
  • Cultivation of up to 200 grams of marijuana
  • Gifts of up to 20 grams of marijuana
  • Possession and sale of paraphernalia

CLICK HERE TO CHECK YOUR ATHENS, OH VOTER REGISTRATION AND FIND YOUR POLLING PLACE

 

Atlanta Mayor (Note: If none of the candidates in tonight’s election receive more than 50% of the vote, there will be a run-off election this winter between the top two vote getters. Atlanta’s mayoral race is also non-partisan.)

During the debate surrounding the now approved decriminalization bill in Atlanta, news outlet the AtlantaLoop got a majority of the mayoral candidates on record in regards to their views on marijuana penalties. The incoming mayor will oversee the implementation of this ordinance so it is important to have a supportive incoming mayor in power in 2018.

Peter Aman, former Atlanta COO: “I support the deprioritization of marijuana enforcement and will work with the courts and the police department and community to examine a procedure focused on fines, rather than jail time. Criminal justice reform is not just a buzzword. It is a thoughtful approach to finding ways to ensure citizens do not carry a lifelong burden for instances that do not cause harm to the public. Equally important, deprioritization is a cost-saving measure on the courts and the public safety budget. It allows our officers to focus on crime fighting and keeping our communities safe.

Also, I firmly believe, and research shows, marijuana use has clear impacts on the brain development of children and young adults. In addition to, or in lieu of other penalties, I will ask the courts to examine requiring individuals below a certain age to attend an educational course on the cognitive impacts of marijuana and to help them make informed choices in how, when, and where they use such a substance – as we do in case of abuse of alcohol use.”

Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves: “It is high time that Atlanta City Council members and Mayor Kasim Reed stop talking, and start doing something on the issue of decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana. Generally, that means these offenses are treated like a minor traffic violation: no arrest, prison time, or criminal record for a first-time possession.

Unlike my opponents who have sat on their hands while our young people suffer, I have a track record of actually doing something about issues like this one. For example, as Fulton County Chairman, I pushed through the first-ever expungement program, to give people a second chance after arrests for minor offenses— including those never prosecuted. I also championed the successful Fulton County diversion program that has seen our jail population decrease and our recidivism rate drop dramatically.

As a long-standing criminal justice, youth diversion and expungement advocate, my main concern is that for small amounts of marijuana possession, a person can have a criminal record that follows them for the rest of their life. While we must be for law and order, we also must be fair. That means using best practices based on other local government experiences. For example, the Clarkston City Council, voted unanimously last year to reduce the fine from up to $1,000 to $75 for possessing less than an ounce, and eliminating the possibility of jail time. In the nation’s capital city of Washington, D.C., voters approved decriminalization for people over the age of 21.

For a city as diverse as Atlanta, a decriminalization ordinance in this direction makes sense.

As Atlanta’s next mayor, I will continue to make juvenile justice a top priority and will work to provide laws that are fair to everyone, no matter their zip code.”

State Sen. Vincent Fort: “I’m talking about a ticket, a citation, I’m talking about no mugshot, no arrest. A citation, go on your way, pay.  Anywhere from $25, $50 to $75.

Two, I am very concerned that there’s this confusion, quote-unquote confusion issue.  I’ve heard some city council members and some candidates for mayor talk about how people from the outside of the city would come in and think that they could smoke dope and there’d be no consequences.  That is a red herring.  Then there are some other people who have said, ‘Oh I’m not going to have quote-unquote blood on my hands,’ by virtue of the fact that they say, ‘Well there’s a kid who thinks he can smoke dope anywhere, any way he wants and he gets arrested because the officer has discretion … and they’ll resist arrest and thus you know blood’ll be on the hands of anyone who supports this.’ That’s just crazy, it’s absolutely crazy. It’s unfortunate that elected officials would engage in such mendacity, intentionally trying to create confusion on the issues.

… [I]f there are all these cities all over the country including in the South, that can decriminalize marijuana, if tiny Clarkston can do it, the city of Atlanta can do it. The fact of the matter is, the city council and the mayor have been in power, in place, as well as the Fulton County Commission has been in place for years and young African American males … have been pushed into the entryway for mass incarceration and they [officials] have done nothing. And now that they have the chance to do it, they’re abdicating their responsibility.”

Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall: “It is a high priority for my administration to be able to roll out an effective and well-communicated marijuana declassification, so [people are not] not excessively penalized for possession of less than an ounce.”

Atlanta City Councilwoman Mary Norwood: “I want a dialog with the police department as to the impact of changing the city’s ordinance and what does to offenders and whether or not … the state law would then apply.  What we need is an understanding from the police department as to the steps that occur now and the steps that would occur for their police officers on the street with offenders with the changes.”

Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell: “When I was a child being raised in this city, the last thing my father wanted to do as a police officer was to destroy the lives of young people.

The time and effort spent apprehending and sending people to jail for this minor offense would be of better use to law enforcement in their pursuit of dangerous criminals. When police officers spend time on these offenses, jail cells end up filled with non-violent offenders, while repeat and violent offenders often go free.

Atlantans deserve to have a city that encourages kids to reach their potential, not one that embraces punishment for every misstep.

While usage rates are roughly the same across different races, statistics show that African-Americans are nearly four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession. For many Atlanta kids, it is a gateway to prison. We need to do everything we can to end a process that hurts our kids by serving as a fast track to incarceration”

Two candidates, Atlanta City Council President Cathy Woolard and Atlanta City Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms, did not respond to AtlantaLoop’s request for comment. However, it is worth noting that both serve on the Atlanta City Council, which unanimously approved teh decriminalization measure earlier this year. You can view their full article here.

 

CLICK HERE TO CHECK YOUR ATLANTA, GA VOTER REGISTRATION AND FIND YOUR POLLING PLACE

 

Stay tuned…

NORML will be covering the results of these elections throughout the evening on our blog and social media channels. Stay tuned for results and reactions later tonight.

New Mexico Board Recommends Cannabis For Opioid Use Disorder, Again

Weed News - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 21:00
Opioid use is a big problem in America right now, with tens of thousands of people now dying from opioids every year. Opioid abuse is a problem for every state in America, and New Mexico is no...

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Record high support for cannabis reform

The Leaf Online - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 20:26

Even amid the hard press of prohibitionists since Trump took office last year, public support for cannabis reform continues to grow. A new Gallup poll released October 25 shows solid majority support for making marijuana legal, with nearly two out of three persons polled calling for legalization of the world’s most valuable agricultural crop. Support […]

The post Record high support for cannabis reform appeared first on The Leaf Online.

How Do Virginia Election Candidates Feel About Cannabis Policy?

Weed News - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 20:24
Tomorrow is Election Day in Virginia. Below is a voter guide that was sent out today that I am passing along for Weed News readers that live in Virginia: Virginia will elect its next governor...

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California Initiative Would Legalize Magic Mushrooms

The Joint Blog - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 19:44
Proponents of a California initiative to legalize psilocybin (“magic”) mushrooms have been cleared by Secretary of State Alex Padilla to begin collecting signatures.

Psilocybin mushrooms.

Advocates of the California Psilocybin Legalization Initiative (Initiative 17-0024) are aiming to place the initiative on the 2018 general election. To do so, they must collect signatures from 365,880 registered California voters by the end of April.

If placed on the ballot and passed into law by voters, the initiative – introduced by Marina mayoral candidate Kevin Saunders – would eliminate all criminal penalties associated with magic mushrooms for those 21 and older. This includes removing penalties for “possessioin, sale, transport and cultivation of psilocybin”. If approved, California would become the first state in the U.S. to legalize magic mushrooms.

Under current law, those caught possessing magic mushrooms – even a small amount for personal use – can be charged with a misdemeanor and imprisoned for up to a year.

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Study: Those Who Use Psychedelics Less Likely to Commit Crimes

The Joint Blog - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 19:33
Consumers of psychedelics drugs such as magic mushrooms are less likely to commit various crimes, according to a new study published by the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

Psilocybin (“magic”) mushrooms.

“Some evidence suggests classic psychedelics may inhibit criminal behavior, but the extent of these effects has not been comprehensively explored”, states the study’s abstract. “In this study, we tested the relationships of classic psychedelic use and psilocybin use per se with criminal behavior among over 480,000 United States adult respondents pooled from the last 13 available years of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2002 through 2014) while controlling for numerous covariates.”

Lifetime classic psychedelic use “was associated with a reduced odds of past year larceny/theft, past year assault, past year arrest for a property crime , and past year arrest for a violent crime.” In contrast, “lifetime illicit use of other drugs was, by and large, associated with an increased odds of these outcomes. Lifetime classic psychedelic use, like lifetime illicit use of almost all other substances, was associated with an increased odds of past year drug distribution.”

According to researchers; “Results were consistent with a protective effect of psilocybin for antisocial criminal behavior.”

The study concludes by stating that; “These findings contribute to a compelling rationale for the initiation of clinical research with classic psychedelics, including psilocybin, in forensic settings.”

The full study can be found by clicking here.

 

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Tomorrow, New Jersey elects a new governor. What do candidates say about recreational legalization?

Cannabist - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 19:30
Four of the candidates to replace New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have made a statement on legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana in the state.

Op-ed: Veterans using medical marijuana in defiance of backward federal policy

Cannabist - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 19:15
Washington Post op-ed: Veterans' compelling stories about how medical cannabis helped them differ starkly from VA's federally imposed silence and lack of guidance.

California's new cannabis market will bring sticker shock to consumers

Cannabist - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 18:50
California's legal marijuana marketplace is coming with new taxes and fees that will influence where it's grown, and the price tag on just about everything.

Massachusetts proposes option to expunge marijuana possession records

Cannabist - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 18:03
Massachusetts legislation announced Monday would for the first time ever allow certain past crimes, including marijuana possession, to be expunged.

Maine lawmakers meet to deal with gov's marijuana law veto

Cannabist - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 16:50
Maine lawmakers are returning to Augusta on Monday following Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill to regulate and tax the sale of marijuana.
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