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CANADA: Methadone dispensary application withdrawn - The Belleville Intelligencer

Drug News Bot - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 01:01 (Canada) A proposal by a major pharmacy to allow dispensing of the drug methadone was dead on arrival at Monday's council meeting. (Wed Feb 07 02:01:50 2018 PST) [$drug_related(100%), $drugwar_propaganda(60%), $addiction(60%), $propaganda_theme2(60%), $propaganda_theme3(50%), $illegal_drugs(100%), $drugs(90%), $chemicals(100%), $analgesic(100%), $opioid(100%), $narcotic(100%), $methadone(100%), $various_drugs(90%), $aggrandizement(100%), $meeting(100%)]
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CN BC: Recreational Cannabis Will Mirror Alcohol Model, Government

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 01:00
Globe and Mail, 06 Feb 2018 - Province's system heeds advice of public-health experts, but substances won't be sold together in single outlet British Columbia will create a retail system for recreational cannabis that is almost identical to the one for alcohol, but like most other provinces, will not allow the two substances to be sold together in private or public stores once Ottawa legalizes marijuana this summer.
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CN NS: Left Out

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 01:00
The Queens County Advance, 07 Feb 2018 - Here's why there won't be any legal pot access in Queens County When marijuana becomes legal across Canada July 1, Queens County residents won't be buying any of the recreational drug from the local NSLC.
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CN BC: B.C. Cities Can Just Say No To Pot Shops

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 01:00
Metro, 06 Feb 2018 - 'Authority' included in new guidelines According to the province's latest cannabis retail laws, announced Monday in Victoria, city governments - such as Richmond - will be able to decide whether to allow pot shops.
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Canada: Ministers To Defend Pot Legalization Amid Concerns Over

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 01:00
Globe and Mail, 06 Feb 2018 - Three federal ministers are set to defend their government's plans to legalize cannabis in the Senate amid widespread concerns over Ottawa's ability to crack down on drug-impaired driving once the recreational market opens up later this year. The Senate is currently studying two bills, C-45 and C-46, that respectively will lift the prohibition on the recreational consumption of marijuana and create new drug-impaired driving offences.
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US OH: Several Businesses Apply For Medical Marijuana Dispensary

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 01:00
The Blade, 06 Feb 2018 - Eighteen businesses have applied for medical marijuana dispensary licenses in Lucas County, with Maumee and Holland joining Toledo as communities where businesses hope to sell medicinal pot, according to the Ohio Board of Pharmacy. The board received 376 applications for a maximum of 60 possible licenses, though some businesses filed applications for multiple sites. The state has also split Ohio into four regional districts, and northwest Ohio will only receive 10 dispensary licenses, with 39 applications competing for those spots.
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US PA: Study: Marijuana Dispensaries Helped Cut Opioid Deaths

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 01:00
Philadelphia Daily News, 06 Feb 2018 - States with medical marijuana dispensaries saw "a significant decline" in opioid deaths over a 10-year period, according to a report published this week by the Journal of Health Economics. "The evidence suggests that Pennsylvania will see a reduction in opioid dependence and a reduction in overdose deaths" following the opening of the dispensaries, said David Powell, an economist for the RAND Corporation, in an interview with the Inquirer and Daily News.
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US NJ: Judge: Insurance Company Must Pay For Medical Marijuana For

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 01:00
Philadelphia Daily News, 06 Feb 2018 - In what could be a precedent-setting decision, a New Jersey administrative law judge has ordered an insurance company to pay for medical marijuana for an injured worker who suffers from lingering neuropathic pain in his left hand after an accident while using a power saw at an 84 Lumber outlet in 2008. Judge Ingrid L. French took testimony from the worker, a 39-year-old Egg Harbor Township man, and a Cherry Hill psychiatrist/neurologist who said the marijuana treatment was appropriate because it would allow the patient to reduce his prescription opiate use and lower the risk of serious side effects.
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Canada: Column: Whisky Raids A Cautionary Tale For Pop-Up Pot Dealers

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 01:00
Globe and Mail, 05 Feb 2018 - It may be easier to halt fly-by-night marijuana sellers once legal, because with regulation come clear rules Somewhere in warehouses where Vancouver contraband goes to die are the raw ingredients for quite the party.
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CN NF: Column: Embracing Practical Considerations

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 01:00
The Labradorian, 05 Feb 2018 - I've been publicly advocating legalization of marijuana as long as I have been an op-ed writer, approximately 16 years. Since that battle is won, I will not rehash all the reasons. Now that it is upon us, just a few months from implementation, the time has come to move on to practical considerations.
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Marijuana legalization will make illegal dispensaries easier to close, expert says - The Globe and Mail

Google - Cannabis - Tue, 02/06/2018 - 18:42

The Globe and Mail

Marijuana legalization will make illegal dispensaries easier to close, expert says
The Globe and Mail
Communities across British Columbia will have an easier time shutting down illegal marijuana dispensaries after the drug is legalized this summer and a provincial body is put in charge of making sure businesses comply with the new retail rules ...

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Full implementation of legal cannabis could be delayed beyond July 1 -

Google - Cannabis - Tue, 02/06/2018 - 17:19

Full implementation of legal cannabis could be delayed beyond July 1
The full implementation of legal cannabis could occur later than July 1, government officials told CBC News Tuesday. While the Liberal government is still hoping its legislation will pass Parliament before July — even though it faces entrenched ...

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6 States That Could Pass Marijuana Initiatives This Year

Alternet - Tue, 02/06/2018 - 16:17
Click here for reuse options! If marijuana initiatives can make the ballot, they are likely to win.

While marijuana reform efforts continue at an excruciatingly slow pace in state legislatures (Vermont became the first state to free the weed at the statehouse just last month), the initiative and referendum process continues to serve as a direct popular vote alternative to the crapshoot that is trying to get a pot bill through two houses and signed by a governor.

At least six states have a serious shot at legalizing either recreational marijuana or medical marijuana via the initiative process this year. In one state, a medical marijuana initiative has already qualified for the ballot; in another, plentiful signatures have been handed in for a legalization initiative; and in three others, signature gathering campaigns are well underway. In the last state, a legalization initiative hasn't been officially filed yet, but already has serious financial backing.

By the time we get past election day, we should be looking at a legalization victory in at least one more state and medical marijuana victories damned near anywhere an initiative manages to get on the ballot. In the last election cycle, marijuana reform initiatives won in eight out of nine contests.

Here are the 2018 contenders.

1. Michigan: Marijuana Legalization

The Michigan Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has already completed a petition campaign and handed in more than 365,000 raw signatures in November for its legalization initiative. It hasn't officially qualified for the ballot yet, but it only needs 250,000 valid voter signatures to do so, meaning it has a rather substantial cushion. If the measure makes the ballot, it should win. There is the little matter of actually campaigning to pass the initiative, which should require one or two million dollars for TV ad buys and other get-out-the-vote efforts, but with the Marijuana Policy Project on board and some deep-pocketed local interests as well, the money should be there. The voters already are there: Polling has shown majority support for legalization for several years now, always trending up, and most recently hitting 58% in a May Marketing Resource Group poll.

2. Missouri: Medical Marijuana

New Approach Missouri's Right to Medical Marijuana initiative would legalize the use of medical marijuana for specified medical conditions and create a system of taxed and regulated medical marijuana cultivation, distribution, and sales. The campaign is well into its signature-gathering phase and reported this week that it already has 175,000 raw signatures. It only needs 160,000 verified valid voter signatures, but has set a goal of 280,000 raw signatures to provide a comfortable cushion. Signature gathering doesn't end until May 6. There is no recent state polling on the issue, but medical marijuana typically polls above 80% nationally.

3. New Mexico: Marijuana Legalization

The Land of Enchantment has a unique path to a popular vote on marijuana legalization: A measure before the legislature, Senate Joint Resolution 4, would, if approved, take the issue directly to the voters in November. New Mexicans would vote on a constitutional amendment to legalize weed, and if they approved it, the legislature would meet next year to promulgate rules and regulations. The measure passed one Senate committee on Friday, but still faces another Senate committee vote, a Senate floor vote, and action in the House, and the clock is ticking. Supporters have only about two weeks to move this bill before the session ends. If it can get before the voters, it could win: A poll last week had support at 61%.

4. Ohio: Marijuana Legalization

Responsible Ohio tried to legalize marijuana in 2015 via a "pay to play" initiative that would have created a growers' oligopoly limited to cash-heavy early supporters who financed the entire campaign. Ohio voters didn't buy that, so some of the players are back again with what they're calling the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Amendment. It hasn't been officially filed yet, but would reportedly have a "free market" approach to a system of taxed and regulated cultivation, distribution, and sales, and it would allow for personal cultivation. Organizers say they have $3 million already for signature gathering and campaigning. They will need 305,592 valid voter signatures and they have a goal of July 4 for getting them. There's no recent polling. 

5. Oklahoma: Medical Marijuana

The Oklahoma medical marijuana initiative, State Question 788, has already qualified for the ballot and will go before the voters during the June 26 primary election. The initiative legalizes the use, cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana to qualified patients. A January Sooner poll had support at 62%, a fairly low level of support for medical marijuana, which typically polls above 80% nationwide. But this is Oklahoma.

6. Utah: Medical Marijuana

The Utah Medical Cannabis Act would allow patients with certain qualifying conditions to use medical marijuana. It limits the numbers of dispensaries and growers, and patients could only grow their own if they reside more than 100 miles from the nearest dispensary. Patients could not smoke their medicine, but they could vaporize it. The Utah Patients Coalition is currently in the midst of its signature-gathering campaign. It needs 113,000 verified voter signatures by April 15, and it has the money in the bank, including $100,000 from the Marijuana Policy Project, to get it done. A series of polls last year had support levels ranging from 69% to 78%.  


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Evening Update newsletter: Marijuana legalization, stock markets, Olympics - The Globe and Mail

Google - Cannabis - Tue, 02/06/2018 - 15:33

The Globe and Mail

Evening Update newsletter: Marijuana legalization, stock markets, Olympics
The Globe and Mail
Marijuana legalization could be delayed beyond July 1, government officials say. Story continues below advertisement. July 1, 2018 has long been billed as the date by which recreational cannabis would be legalized, but government officials say that ...

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Marijuana legalization may not meet government's July 1 goal - CTV News

Google - Cannabis - Tue, 02/06/2018 - 15:22

CTV News

Marijuana legalization may not meet government's July 1 goal
CTV News
Conservative senators, in particular, are not keen on legalization but their Senate leader, Larry Smith, said Tuesday they won't be obstructionist. "I promise you, however, that we will give a voice to those in the Canadian public who have significant ...
Legalized marijuana on track for July but retail sales may take longer: LiberalsNational Post

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US officials question whether cannabis legalization will lead to border slowdowns -

Google - Cannabis - Tue, 02/06/2018 - 14:56

US officials question whether cannabis legalization will lead to border slowdowns
American officials have been quietly raising questions about whether Canada's marijuana legalization might slow traffic at the border, and are being told by their northern neighbours there's no reason that should happen. The issue has come up in phone ...

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Marijuana can only go on sale in Canada months after law passed: minister - Reuters

Google - Cannabis - Tue, 02/06/2018 - 14:52


Marijuana can only go on sale in Canada months after law passed: minister
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Recreational marijuana in Canada will only go on sale a few months after it is legalized later this year because the new retail system needs time to start working properly, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor said on Tuesday ...

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Sessions' War on Pot Could Speed Up Legalization Nationwide

Alternet - Tue, 02/06/2018 - 14:44
The attorney general may have made a strategic error in going after weed.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently clarified how the Trump administration intends to treat states that have legalized pot, which remains illegal on the federal level.

The Obama administration eventually took a relatively hands-off approach to this enforcement conundrum. But Sessions instructed all United States attorneys to treat cannabis-related activities like any suspected crime, instead of making them a low priority if they comply with state laws.

This bureaucratic salvo is stirring fears that the Trump administration could be on the verge of a crackdown that could potentially jeopardize the nation’s growing number of legally operating pot businesses. However, based on my research and what I’ve learned while teaching the first U.S. college course on the marijuana business at the University of Denver, I see no reason for supporters of legalization to panic.

In fact, I believe that Sessions may have actually accelerated the process toward federal marijuana legalization.

Obama’s approach

First, a little history.

California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. Alaska, Oregon and other states soon followed.

Since the federal government considers pot to be a Class 1 controlled substance and makes using and selling marijuana for any reason a crime, this put the authorities in an awkward position. Key members of the Clinton administration responded with harsh rhetoric. General Barry McCaffrey, the drug czar, said at the time, “We should ask ourselves whether we really want Cheech and Chong logic to guide our thinking about medicine.” Raids and high-profile indictments followed.

President George W. Bush’s administration also expressed hostility toward medical marijuana, making its growing number of raids on legal dispensaries come as no great surprise. In 2005, as his second term began, the Supreme Court ruled that federal powers trumped states’ rights in this regard.

As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama suggested that he might not interfere with the power of what was by then about a dozen states to allow medicinal marijuana sales and use. In 2009, his deputy attorney general, David Ogden, released a memo that furthered this impression. It said that small-scale operators in states where medical marijuana was legal were a low enforcement priority

But Obama’s administration executed dozens of dispensary raids anyway, disappointing legalization proponents

During Obama’s second term, the number of states that had legalized medical marijuana climbed past the 20 mark. A handful, starting with Colorado and Washington, also legalized recreational weed. Meanwhile, support for legal pot continued to build in general

Four years after the Ogden memo, James Cole, another deputy attorney general, issued a more comprehensive memo. It directed all U.S. attorneys to treat marijuana businesses operating “in clear and unambiguous compliance” with state marijuana laws as a low enforcement priority

While still somewhat ambiguous and falling short of support for full federal legalization, Cole’s guidance made cannabis businesses in states that had legalized the product feel less vulnerable

Rather than fight for more protection against federal raids, marijuana entrepreneurs and social activists at that point instead generally chose to focus on compliance within state laws and continuing to increase public support

The strategy seemed to pay off with additional states legalizing pot for medical and recreational purposes. While full legalization remained an appealing long-term goal for many Americans, the status quo during Obama’s second term seemed quite workable for states with legal markets. And it took away the impetus to push for more rapid federal change

Trump takes over

As soon as President Donald Trump named Sessions as his pick for attorney general, the Alabama Republican’s long-held anti-pot views triggered speculation that the federal government would crack down in states where it was legal

Instead, Sessions waited almost a full year to make a move. Meanwhile, legal cannabis businesses continued to generate tax revenue and create jobs. California launched its recreational marijuana market, the world’s largest. And more and more Americans were exposed to the industry in their home states or while traveling

Indeed, a Pew Research Center poll conducted in October found that 61 percent of Americans supported legalization – up from 57 percent a year earlier and nearly double the backing for legal pot in 2000. For the first time, Gallup polling determined, a majority of Republicans support legalization

Even when Sessions finally acted, he took a relatively mild step. Rather than launching a more severe crackdown, such as immediately raiding marijuana businesses, he merely rescinded Cole’s guidance

Bigger coalition

The way state lawmakers, attorneys general, industry participants and other stakeholders reacted to even this small gesture demonstrated something that Sessions seems to have failed to consider – that the coalition in support of marijuana legalization had grown considerably

State lawmakers in California, Colorado, Massachusetts and other states, and even some of the Republicans in Congress, objected. A group of 54 House and Senate Democrats sent Trump a letter urging him to reverse course

“This action has the potential to unravel efforts to build sensible drug policies that encourage economic development as we are finally moving away from antiquated practices that have hurt disadvantaged communities,” they wrote

State attorneys general, who do not report to Sessions, such as those serving in Colorado, Washington, Pennsylvania and Michigan, have shown no interest in modifying their current practices

And 19 of them urged Congress to change banking laws so that marijuana businesses in their states would no longer have to rely solely on cash to handle billions of dollars in legal pot transactions. That way, they wrote, their revenue could be fully tracked, aiding taxation and limiting criminal activity that targets cash-intensive businesses.

Jerred Kiloh, owner of the Higher Path medical marijuana dispensary, getting ready to pay his monthly tax payment in cash in Los Angeles. AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

All in all, the fierce reaction across the political spectrum reaction shows two things: Sessions’ memo is an empty threat and pot’s days as an illegal drug are numbered

To be sure, the Sessions memo does seem to have scared away some investors who were considering new pot investments. But by adding to the air of uncertainty around marijuana businesses, Sessions seems have only strengthened the resolve of pro-legalization forces

I believe it will ultimately bring about federal legalization sooner rather than later

Paul Seaborn, Assistant Professor, Department of Management, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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This Valentine's Day, Ask Moms How to Love

Alternet - Tue, 02/06/2018 - 14:40
Click here for reuse options! It may just teach you something about justice.

At this moment in history, when we are undergoing a re-examination of what male leadership has looked like, it is fitting to examine how many of our policies have reflected not just the identity but also the values traditionally associated with male leadership. This country has pursued paternalistic and punitive policies in many realms, but particularly in our criminal justice system. If we are looking for a way to demonstrate how to lead with more, shall we say, maternal instincts, let's demand a smart, simple, practical change: decriminalize drugs and instead employ a whole different kind of intervention—the kind a mother would use if her child was in trouble. This would be nothing short of redefining how we love our people in this country. Oh, and by the way, it also would save money and lives. 

We know what this looks like in our homes. If my daughter came to me with drastically reduced grades on a report card, I would not reflexively send her to her room, keep her away from her family, friends and her learning environment, and punish her. I might instead ask her what has been going on: is she having trouble concentrating on or understanding the material; are other students being mean to her; is she sitting in the back and can't see the board? My husband and I might work with her on a plan to marshal resources needed to address any problems. Maybe extra help at school, a hearing aid, whatever we think would be best for her once we understand what is going on. We'd hug her a lot and tell her she will feel better.

This is part of how you love your child when she is having a problem. I am like every other mom: I sometimes do and sometimes don't show up for my children in the ways they need, but I always try. I am fortunate that my ideal day at least would have the best intentions and that I can offer my children resources. But on our worst day I hope none of us as a caregiver would abdicate on the care and lavish on the punishment the way our criminal justice system does. Just look at how our system has purported to love our collective children in various levels of crisis.

I have seen it second-hand, through the experiences of mothers who have lost children to the criminal justice system or even to death because their children were in some capacity involved with drugs. In my decades of work toward ending drug prohibition, I met and now know and care about many of these women. They have had their children taken away, and have been divorced from control over or even involvement in medical decisions about care, all because of societal failures to deal appropriately with substance use. Instead of making widely available drug treatment, job training, and other services to people who need a gentle nudge—the kind some moms are good at—to help keep our young people on track, our criminal justice practices tear families apart at their most vulnerable moments and wrench away whatever stability they have established. The usurpation of mothers' roles (I use mothers but intend to include fathers and all women and all allies to this style of governance) permeates our justice system and all of our governing systems. In all of these areas we have failed our children, and as moms, we have the mandate to end this as surely as we must continue to band together to change workplace behavior toward women. 

Rather than sinking into bitterness, mothers I know are building momentum for a movement to restore sanity to our overly harsh, wasteful and ineffective drug laws. It stands to reason: mothers were the driving force behind the repeal of alcohol Prohibition, and they will be the backbone of the necessary repeal of modern-day prohibitions that cause more problems than they solve. Some reforms mothers can also champion now are access to medication-assisted treatment, distribution of life-saving Naloxone, and creation of safe injection facilities—sensible harm-reduction measures to make our current prohibition regime less damaging to our communities and our children.

Because we need so desperately to change our drug policies, I have been a member of the Moms United to End the War on Drugs campaign of A New PATH (Parents for Addiction Treatment and Healing) since its inception a decade ago. Moms United's mission is to end the violence, mass incarceration, and overdose deaths that are a result of current punitive and discriminatory drug policies. It is important to me as a mother that my children grow up in a country that rejects these ineffective and damaging drug war policies.

So as our public debate looks at the behavior of men in power toward women in the workplace, let's not forget how that paternalistic instinct has informed policies like the war on drugs, and led us down a path of moral bankruptcy. Instead, let's look to moms for credible policies. Moms United has crafted a good set of principles to start with. But in the name of love, let's really commit this Valentine's Day to rethinking the punitive policies we have embraced. Yes, we discipline our children; but we also encourage them, teach them and expose them to positive influences. Even when they falter or misbehave, we offer them love and positive reinforcement for better choices. We hug them even if they have disappointed us. We all need a big hug these days.


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