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US NY: Editorial: Rules For The Marijuana Market

MAP - Cannabis - Tue, 08/05/2014 - 07:00
New York Times, 05 Aug 2014 - As voters and lawmakers in more states decide to legalize marijuana, policy makers will have to answer a fresh and difficult question: How should governments regulate the production and sale of the drug? Beyond keeping marijuana out of the hands of minors, a good regulatory system has to limit the increase in drug abuse that is likely to accompany lower prices and greater availability after legalization. It should protect consumers from both dangerous and counterfeit products, reducing the physical risk from a psychoactive substance. And a well-regulated system should undermine and eventually eliminate the black market for marijuana, which has done great damage to society.

Over $1 Million Raised in Effort to Legalize Cannabis in Oregon

The Joint Blog - Tue, 08/05/2014 - 03:10

New Approach Oregon, the organization behind the initiative to legalize cannabis in Oregon which recently qualified for this November’s ballot, has raised over $1 million in their effort to get the initiative passed into law, according to state finance reports.

Philip Harvey, a resident of Washington, D.C., was the largest individual contributor, giving $150,000 to the group. Henry van Ameringen from New York gave $100,000 as the next largest individual contribution, and the late Peter Lewis, former CEO of Progressive Insurance, contributed $96,000. Other major contributors include Drug Police Action ($360,000) and Oxyley and Associates ($49,500).

New Approach Oregon’s initiative would legalize the use, possession and distribution (through cannabis retail outlets) of up to eight ounces of cannabis, as well as the private cultivation of up to four cannabis plants.

The group recently released its first commercial promoting its effort; the commercial, for the moment, is internet-exclusive.

- TheJointBlog

The post Over $1 Million Raised in Effort to Legalize Cannabis in Oregon appeared first on The Joint Blog.

US MA: OPED: Marijuana Taxes Open For Debate

MAP - Cannabis - Mon, 08/04/2014 - 07:00
Metrowest Daily News, 04 Aug 2014 - While opposing a local sales tax on medical marijuana the editorial, "A sales tax on marijuana," proposes holding off on the discussion of "special taxes on marijuana until it's being sold for recreational, not medical, purposes." That discussion needs to be happening now. A year from now the 2016 initiative petition process begins, with the filing of proposed laws to the attorney general for vetting and summary drafting. Already there are two ballot question committees preparing for a 2016 question on marijuana law reform, Bay State Repeal and the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Massachusetts. Bay State Repeal prefers a law that simply regulates adult cultivation and commerce like produce, which means no excise tax. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, according to its name and Statement of Organization, prefers to "tax and regulate the use and sale of marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol for persons 21 years of age or older." Both will require that adults prevent access to growing plants and marijuana products by minors, punish distribution among and to minors, and retain the civil offense for those under age possessing an ounce or less of marijuana, while making no changes to existing driving-while impaired laws and "drug-free" school policies. Bay State Repeal is concerned that "tax and regulate like alcohol" laws enacted in Washington and Colorado and proposed this year for Alaska, Nevada, and Oregon are not at all like the regulations imposed on alcohol in those states. They impose excessive taxes, compared with Massachusetts' alcohol tax, which amounts to 10.3Ac on a 12-ounce bottle of beer. The licensing fees too are excessive, compared with the $22 per year Massachusetts farmers pay for a license to produce up to 5,000 gallons of beer and wine. Likewise, limits on home growing are not similar to those on home brewing, which in Massachusetts are generous enough that those engaging in the hobby do not fear police will break in to count bottles. Massachusetts' moderate taxes, fees, and regulations are the reason the state is not awash in stills and speakeasies. By contrast, our immoderate taxation of tobacco sustains a market for bootleg cigarettes that by one recent estimate supplies 40 percent of the cigarettes sold in Boston. What "tax and regulate similar to alcohol" has meant so far in practice shuts out all but deep-pocketed players from the legal market, making it likely, as noted in the editorial, "that black-market pot may continue to outsell the legal, regulated variety." But marijuana does not need to be "regulated like alcohol" in the first place. Like produce grown for human consumption, marijuana would be subject to existing rules and regulations that control which fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides may be used, ensure accurate weight and measure, and stipulate where farm-stands and grocery stores may be located and when open for business. Marijuana can and should be grown outside, using sunlight instead of electric light. The only additional regulations needed are to keep minors away from growing plants in the field and to check IDs at the store. In an effort to get Massachusetts voters thinking beyond the "regulate like alcohol" model, Bay State Repeal will test support for the produce model with Public Policy Questions on the ballot this November in the 4th, 7th and 8th Essex, 2nd Hampshire, and 3rd and 6th Middlesex representative districts. Treating marijuana as produce, without unnecessary burdens of taxation and regulation, gives the best assurance of driving out the black market that furnishes minors while allowing adults who use marijuana to be secure in their homes. - --- MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom

US MI: Ferndale Oks Medical Marijuana Facility

MAP - Cannabis - Mon, 08/04/2014 - 07:00
Detroit Free Press, 04 Aug 2014 - The Ferndale City Council has given its unanimous approval to a medical marijuana center similar to one that county authorities raided with a SWAT team and padlocked in 2010. But city officials said the Meridian Wellness Center, which is to occupy a former liquor store on East 9 Mile near I-75, will operate within state law as it provides medical marijuana to state-approved patients.

Activist Sends $28K ‘Bill’ to Chris Williams — In Prison

Toke Signals - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 21:57
An Open Letter From Chris Williams Dear Friends and Supporters, Lately I have been dealing with lots of issues that I never imagined I would ever be confronted with. The first couple of months in prison were very stressful, but I am now feeling overwhelmed with betrayal and loss. I need to let you know [...]

One Ounce Legalization is Good, Eight is Better; How Oregon Can Lead the Way

The Joint Blog - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 20:48

In November, 2012, voters in Washington and Colorado shocked the world by legalizing the possession of up to an ounce of recreational cannabis. This has greatly increased the momentum behind the cannabis reform movement, and as such, voters in Oregon, Alaska and Washington D.C. will have the opportunity this November to legalize cannabis themselves, as will several cities in Maine and Michigan. However, Oregon’s initiative is a little different, and could lead the way towards even more progressive cannabis laws taking hold in other states.

In Washington State, possessing an ounce of cannabis is legal, but possessing a gram over that is a misdemeanor, and possessing over 40 grams is a felony (with a potential five year prison sentence). Clearly this is nonsensical; why would a substance that’s legal be a felony if you possess just a little over the limit? In Colorado, possessing over an ounce but no more than two ounces is nothing but a ticketable offense, but possessing two to six ounces can land someone a jail sentence of up to a year.

Oregon’s initiative – led by New Approach Oregon – would take things a step further, and would legalize the possession, use and sale of up to a half pound of cannabis (eight ounces). Although one could rightfully argue that the limit should be even higher, or removed entirely – there’s no limit on how much tobacco you can possess, for example – eight ounces is a massive difference in comparison to a single ounce.

Oregon’s initiative legalizes the private cultivation of up to four cannabis plants, and allows cannabis retail outlets. The tax structure is also far more reasonable than the markets in Washington and Colorado; in fact, a recent study found that under New Approach Oregon’s initiative, cannabis would likely be around $140 an ounce, far less than prices in Colorado and Washington, with ounces going between $350 and $700. The lower tax rates of Oregon’s initiative is far more likely to undercut the black-market, which for many people is one of the primary goals of legalization.

Polling released in June found that a majority of Oregon voters support legalizing cannabis, but the numbers are close; 51% to 44%. Those in Oregon interested in helping New Approach Oregon get their initiative approved this November should click here. Those interested in donating to the campaign should click here.

- TheJointBlog

The post One Ounce Legalization is Good, Eight is Better; How Oregon Can Lead the Way appeared first on The Joint Blog.

US NM: Column: NM Delegation Talks Pot Policy

MAP - Hemp - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 03 Aug 2014 - Did you see the "Meet the Press" segment on marijuana legalization last Sunday? If not, you didn't miss much - except the irritating spectacle of smug Beltway insiders making lame jokes about one of the most interesting public policy experiments of our time.

US PA: Editorial: Gov't Should Clear Remaining Obstacles to

MAP - Hemp - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
Pottstown Mercury, 03 Aug 2014 - Is medical marijuana (or perhaps even Colorado-style legalization) "the next gay marriage"? The idea of allowing equal marriage rights for same-sex couples was resisted for decades - actually centuries. But advocates persisted, attitudes changed and eventually legalization of gay marriage became inevitable.

US PA: Editorial: Gov't Should Clear Remaining Obstacles to

MAP - Hemp - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
The Reporter, 03 Aug 2014 - Is medical marijuana (or perhaps even Colorado-style legalization) "the next gay marriage"? The idea of allowing equal marriage rights for same-sex couples was resisted for decades - actually centuries. But advocates persisted, attitudes changed and eventually legalization of gay marriage became inevitable.

US PA: Editorial: Push For Medical Marijuana Approval Makes

MAP - Hemp - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
The Daily Local, 03 Aug 2014 - Is medical marijuana (or perhaps even Colorado-style legalization) "the next gay marriage"? Probably. The idea of allowing equal marriage rights for same-sex couples was resisted for decades- actually centuries. But advocates persisted, attitudes changed and eventually legalization of gay marriage became inevitable.

US IA: Editorial: Another Look At Marijuana

MAP - Cannabis - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
Quad-City Times, 03 Aug 2014 - Throw away almost every preconceived notion about marijuana. In the past month... * Rock Island aldermen unanimously welcomed a $135,000 investment from a Chicago-based firm eager to win our region's medical marijuana growing rights.

Australia: Editorial: Medical Need For Weed

MAP - Cannabis - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
Sunday Mail, 03 Aug 2014 - THE vexed question of legalising medical marijuana is gaining momentum in Australia. Only recently NSW Premier Mike Baird said he wouldn't completely rule it out. Now, Brisbane mum Sally White tells 60 Minutes tonight that her 16-month-old daughter is dying and she wants to put her child on weed. A young cancer sufferer in Tamworth in NSW, his father a policeman, is waging a campaign to have medical marijuana made legal. It is legal in Colorado in the US and other states are investigating.

US PA: OPED: We Can Regulate Marijuana Use

MAP - Cannabis - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
Standard-Speaker, 03 Aug 2014 - For Michele Leonhart, the administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, there is no difference between the health effects of marijuana and those of any other illegal drug. "All illegal drugs are bad for people," she told Congress in 2012, refusing to say whether crack, methamphetamines or prescription painkillers are more addictive or physically harmful than marijuana.

US PA: Editorial: Gov't Should Clear Remaining Obstacles to

MAP - Cannabis - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
Pottstown Mercury, 03 Aug 2014 - Is medical marijuana (or perhaps even Colorado-style legalization) "the next gay marriage"? The idea of allowing equal marriage rights for same-sex couples was resisted for decades - actually centuries. But advocates persisted, attitudes changed and eventually legalization of gay marriage became inevitable.

US PA: Editorial: Gov't Should Clear Remaining Obstacles to

MAP - Cannabis - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
The Reporter, 03 Aug 2014 - Is medical marijuana (or perhaps even Colorado-style legalization) "the next gay marriage"? The idea of allowing equal marriage rights for same-sex couples was resisted for decades - actually centuries. But advocates persisted, attitudes changed and eventually legalization of gay marriage became inevitable.

Study: Cannabinoids Can Cause Cancer Cells to Burst

The Joint Blog - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 01:08

A new study published last week by the journal Biochemical Pharmacology, and published online by the National Institute of Health, has found that cannabinoids can increase a cancer cell’s susceptibility to cytolysis, which occurs when a cell bursts due to an imbalance.

“Cannabinoids have been shown to promote the expression of the intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) on lung cancer cells as part of their anti-invasive and antimetastatic action”, says Burkhard Hinz, the study’s lead author. “Using lung cancer cell lines (A549, H460) and metastatic cells derived from a lung cancer patient, the present study addressed the impact of cannabinoid-induced ICAM-1 on cancer cell adhesion to lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells and LAK cell-mediated cytotoxicity.”

He continues; “Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, enhanced the susceptibility of cancer cells to adhere to and subsequently lysed [the breaking down of a cell] by LAK cells, with both effects being reversed by a neutralizing ICAM-1 antibody. Increased cancer cell lysis by CBD was likewise abrogated when CBD-induced ICAM-1 expression was blocked by specific siRNA or by antagonists to cannabinoid receptors (CB1, CB2) and to transient receptor potential vanilloid 1.”

While cannabinoids had this effect on cancer cells, Hinz notes that it didn’t have the same effect on non-cancer cells; “Each cannabinoid elicited no significant increase of LAK cell-mediated lysis of non-tumor bronchial epithelial cells, BEAS-2B, associated with a far less pronounced (CBD, THC) or absent (R(+)-methanandamide) ICAM-1 induction as compared to cancer cells.”

Hinz concludes; “Altogether, our data demonstrate cannabinoid-induced upregulation of ICAM-1 on lung cancer cells to be responsible for increased cancer cell susceptibility to LAK cell-mediated cytolysis. These findings provide proof for a novel antitumorigenic mechanism of cannabinoids.”

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Rostock’s Section of Molecular Oncology and ImmunotherapyInstitute of Toxicology and Pharmacology, and Department of Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology, and can be found by clicking here.

- TheJointBlog

The post Study: Cannabinoids Can Cause Cancer Cells to Burst appeared first on The Joint Blog.

Report: Colorado is Successfully Regulating Cannabis

The Joint Blog - Sat, 08/02/2014 - 17:24

By Morgan Fox, Marijuana Policy Project

Lengthy report concludes, ‘Regulations address key concerns such as diversion, shirking, communication breakdowns, illegal activity, and the financial challenges facing the marijuana industry’

WASHINGTON, D.C. —  Colorado is successfully regulating marijuana, according to a report released Thursday by the Brookings Institution’s Center for Effective Public Management.

“The state has met challenging statutory and constitutional deadlines for the construction and launch of a legal, regulatory, and tax apparatus for its new policy,” according to the report authored by John Hudak, a Brookings fellow in Governance Studies. “In doing so, it has made intelligent decisions about regulatory needs, the structure of distribution, prevention of illegal diversion, and other vital aspects of its new market. It has made those decisions in concert with a wide variety of stakeholders in the state.”

More and more evidence is showing that states can, and should, regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. As an increasing number of Americans decide that they are sick of arresting adults for using marijuana responsibly, the lessons from the states that have regulated marijuana successfully will become even more important.

“This report reflects what is actually happening on the ground here in Colorado,” says Mason Tvert, the Denver-based director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project who co-directed the 2012 Colorado initiative campaign.  “The state is proving that regulating marijuana works. It explains why the new law is experiencing just as much public support now as it did when voters approved it in 2012.

“Colorado is proving that there is an alternative to marijuana prohibition,” Tvert continues. “The state is generating millions of dollars in new tax revenue, and hundreds of millions of dollars in marijuana sales are taking place in legitimate businesses instead of in the underground market.

“Opponents’ fears have proven to be unfounded. Since Colorado began regulating medical marijuana in 2010, it has experienced major economic growth, the real estate market is flourishing, and tourism has reached record levels. Officials have not found one instance of marijuana businesses selling to minors, and rates of marijuana use have remained steady. There has been no increase in crime linked to the new law, and law enforcement officials are no longer spending their time punishing adults for possession,” added Tvert.

The post Report: Colorado is Successfully Regulating Cannabis appeared first on The Joint Blog.

Voters in Alaska, Oregon and Washington D.C. Given Opportunity to Legalize Cannabis this November

The Joint Blog - Sat, 08/02/2014 - 17:12

In a little over three months, voters in Alaska and Oregon, as well as voters in the nation’s capital (Washington D.C.), will have the opportunity to legalize cannabis through citizen’s initiatives which will be up for a vote on November 4th.

In Alaska, voters will be given the chance to approve Ballot Measure 2. Similar to Colorado’s Amendment 64, this proposal would legalize the possession, use and state-licensed distribution of cannabis, and would do so as a constitutional amendment. The initiative was introduced by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska, and is being funded in part by the Marijuana Policy Project.

In Oregon, an initiative from the group New Approach Oregon has recently been officially placed on this November’s ballot. The initiative would legalize the possession of up to 8 ounces of cannabis, the private cultivation of up to 4 cannabis plants, and cannabis retail outlets which would be regulated by the Oregon Liquor Commission.

In Washington D.C., although D.C. Cannabis Campaign’s initiative to legalize cannabis has had more than twice the required amount of signatures submitted to put it to a vote this November, the district has yet to officially certify the initiative, though they’re expected to do so soon. The initiative would legalize the possession and use of up to an ounce of cannabis, going a step further than the district’s recently-enacted law making the possession of an ounce of cannabis a simple $25 ticket.

Given the significance of another state legalizing cannabis (or the nations capital doing so), even one of these initiatives passing will be a huge victory that will continue (and speed up) the momentum of the cannabis reform movement. All three, however, are on track to be approved, as polling in all three areas (OregonAlaskaD.C.) shows majority support for cannabis legalization.

- TheJointBlog

The post Voters in Alaska, Oregon and Washington D.C. Given Opportunity to Legalize Cannabis this November appeared first on The Joint Blog.

Cannabis Common Sense 747

Youtube - Cannabis Common Sense - Sat, 08/02/2014 - 10:14
Cannabis Common Sense 747
The show that tells truth about marijuana & the politics behind its prohibition. Live call in show http://www.ustream.tv/channel/cannabis-common-sense , Friday's, 8-9PM Pacific Time, 503-288-4442 From: willappel Views: 247 8 ratings Time: 57:51 More in Education

US CO: Pot Goes For Blue Ribbons At Good Old County Fair

MAP - Hemp - Sat, 08/02/2014 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 02 Aug 2014 - Denver Adds Pavilion for Marijuana, Goods Joint-Rolling Competition DENVER (AP) - Marijuana joined roses and dahlias Friday in blueribbon events at the nation's first county fair to allow pot competitions.
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