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U.S.: Marijuana Industry Creating Job Opportunities

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The marijuana industry is one of the few bright spots in today's economic forecast, according to the president of cannabis jobs website, 420careers.com.

“The marijuana industry is one of the few industries in the US that is creating huge quantities of job opportunities,” said Dan Kingston, president and co-founder of 420careers.com. "Hundreds, if not thousands, of marijuana-related jobs will be created in Washington state and other states that legalize marijuana for medical and/or recreational use.

"Businesses are in need of qualified and law-abiding employees to work in the marijuana industry," Kingston said.

The industry is expected to grow by 68 percent this year, to $2.57 billion, and could grow to $10.2 billion over the next five years, according to Kaja Whitehouse of the New York Post.

According to Kingston, 420careers.com provides a free place for job-seekers to browse and apply for marijuana industry jobs as well as a free place where marijuana-related businesses can post available jobs and/or browse job-seekers’ resumes for qualified personnel. For $25, businesses can upgrade their job posting with a Featured Job Listing that is displayed and highlighted near the top of 420careers.com’s homepage.

Popular marijuana jobs offered on 420careers.com range from marijuana writers to advertising sales people, budtenders to cultivation experts, security to administrative positions, and more.

Book Review: Cannabis Sativa, Volume 3 Strain Guide Released

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Some of you are lucky -- you already know that S.T. Oner's Cannabis Sativa series, like its Cannabis Indica companions, is a trip through the rarest and phattest marijuana flowers on the planet. Now the third volume in the Sativa series haas been released, matching the three Indica volumes.

The new book, like the previous volumes, features the most up-to-date information about the genetics, growth traits, taste, smells, and effects of the world's finest cannabis strains. But that's not all, oh no -- what keeps me coming back to these gorgeous volumes, time after time, are the gorgeous, glossy photographs.

Any grower or connoisseur looking for a little inspiration need go no farther than the photos and descriptions of amazing strains like Mango Haze, Peptide, Dragon's Teeth and Jack the Ripper.

Cannabis plants are, of course, divided into two main groups, sativa and indica. This book, and the two previous Cannabis Sativa volumes, unsurprisingly focus on sativa, a lanky, intriguing plant producing energetic, psychoactive flowers that often result in happiness, creativity, laughter, art, and dance.

No other strain guide series has looked at cannabis sativa so deeply. Volume 3, with a cover price of $20, features 100 strains of sativa-dominant genetics by an array of skilled breeders.

Oregon: Vote Yes on Measure 91

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By D. Paul Stanford, CRRH

Oregon's Ballot Measure 91 qualified for the vote on July 22nd, almost exactly two weeks after Washington state began regulated sales of marijuana just across the mighty Columbia River from Oregon. New Approach Oregon's petition campaign turned in enough valid signatures to qualify the Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act for the November 4, 2014 ballot. On the same day in November, both the state of Alaska and the federal capitol, Washington, DC, will also vote on their own initiative petitions to end marijuana prohibition.

According to the Oregon Secretary of State's website, 145,030 unverified signatures were submitted for verification on Measure 91. Of those, 88,584 signatures, or 64.41 percent of the 135,722 accepted for verification, were valid. To qualify for the ballot, 87,213 were needed, so, according to the Oregon Secretary of State Elections Division, Measure 91 qualified with 1,371 more signatures than the minimum required..

The proposed Oregon ballot measure would allow for licensed and regulated cultivation and sales of marijuana. Sales would be taxed to generate money for schools, state and local police and drug treatment, prevention and mental health programs.

It is important for medical marijuana patients to note that Measure 91, when passed, will not change nor effect the current medical marijuana law in Oregon. Measure 91 taxes will not be charged for people with an Oregon medical marijuana permit.

Oregon: Portland Hempstalk Festival Moves To Tom McCall Waterfront Park Sept. 27-28

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The 2014 Portland Hempstalk Festival occurs at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland, Oregon on September 27 and 28. Hempstalk provides educational awareness opportunities regarding the the medicinal, emotional and mental benefits of cannabis while advocating for its decriminalization for medicinal, industrial, and recreational use.

Founded in 2005 by The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation, the festival features live music, guest speakers, food and goods vendors and information booths. This public event has always been free to attend, with a suggested donation of $10 per person.

According to Paul Stanford, founder and presenting sponsor of the event, "Hempstalk is about the many uses of agricultural hemp fiber, oil, protein, fuel and medicine. We are working to end adult cannabis prohibition, allow adults to grow their own and license the legal sale of psychoactive cannabis to adults.

"We believe that hemp will save the Earth's biosphere with the adoption of hemp seed for bio-diesel fuel, which will solve the energy and world hunger problems, and stop deforestation when hemp fiber is used for paper and building materials," Stanford said. "We shall overcome!"

Event coordinators estimated that last year’s two-day Hempstalk festival, held at Kelley Point Park, was attended by 60,000 people. With recent years increases in festival attendance, growing awareness of popularity of its cause, Hempstalk organizers and city officials felt it had outgrown its previous location.

Colorado: Staffing Agency to Offer Payroll and HR Solutions to Cannabis Businesses

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Ms. Mary Staffing LLC, a full-service staffing agency for the marijuana and hemp industries, has officially launched a much needed payroll solution using what's commonly referred to as a PEO (Professional Employer Organization) co-employment model.

All HR responsibilities are outsourced to the PEO company, Ms. Mary Staffing, while the client company continues to direct the day to day operations of the business. According to the company, this allows business owners to focus on the growth and operations of their business while Ms. Mary's assumes responsibilities for administrative tasks such as payroll and payroll tax management, workers compensation, unemployment insurance, employee benefits, and recruiting and hiring.

With recent news of the IRS fining marijuana businesses a 10 percent penalty fee for paying Federal withholding taxes in cash this couldn't come at a better time. The IRS requires all businesses to pay quarterly tax by bank wire which has become difficult for hundreds of medical and recreational marijuana businesses that are unable to obtain banking services.

"There are enough risks evolved in running a business in this industry," said Stephen Sullivan, president of Ms. Mary Staffing LLC. "Having to pay out your employees' payroll and payroll taxes in cash shouldn't be one of them."

Peter McWilliams Still Inspires Activists: Today Would Have Been His 65th Birthday

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The cannabis movement has plenty of heroes, but none are more inspiring than the great Peter McWilliams -- a man of fame and influence who dared tell the truth about medical marijuana, before it was fashionable to do so. McWilliams paid the ultimate price, dying after the federal government forbade him to continue using cannabis to control his nausea. He would have been 65 years old today.

McWilliams was many things: author, publisher, photographer, poet and activist, among others. But one of the most important things McWilliams was, was an inspiration. His courage and charisma were and continue to be a source of strength to many who are struggling with illness and with the injustice of our marijuana laws.

He had a remarkable career starting in the 1970s, writing more than 40 books, including works on depression, losing a loved one, computers, and poetry. Several of Peter's books made The New York Times Top 10 nonfiction bestseller list.

Peter's 1993 book Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do remains one of the greatest affirmations of the right of citizens to act and live in any peaceful, honest lifestyle, including their inalienable right to drugs and especially cannabis. It is regarded by many as a "libertarian Bible," with its emphasis on personal freedom and responsibility.

In 1995, Peter was diagnosed with depression, after having suffered from it all his life. Along with coauthor Harold H. Bloomfield, M.D. -- who treated Peter for his depression -- he'd authored How To Heal Depression the previous year.

Australia: Flight Attendant Warns Passengers To Flush Their Drugs Before Landing

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Most of us would appreciate such a warning, but an Australian airline on Wednesday is apologizing for a flight attendant's tip to passengers that there were drug-detecting dogs waiting for them at a Sydney airport.

Many of the 210 passengers on a Sunday night Jetstar Australia flight from Canberra were coming home from the "Splendour in the Grass" weekend music festival at Byron Bay, reports Jonathan Pearlman at the Daily Telegraph.

"We have been told there are sniffer dogs and quarantine officers waiting in the domestic terminal," the flight attendant reportedly told passengers via the Airbus A320's public address system. "If you need to dispose of anything you shouldn't have, we suggest you flush it now."

The advice reportedly prompted a rush on the airliner's bathrooms -- one passenger said several others aboard "suddenly made for the toilets with things clenched in their hands" -- and later resulted in expressions of gratitude on social media from some who had been passengers on the flight.

"I was shocked. Why would you tip off people about this?" the ill-tempered passenger complained. "If they have got something illegal, let them get caught."

But the response on Jetstar's Facebook page was overwhelmingly positive.

"What a good Samaritan, Jetstar Australia this guy deserves a promotion," posted Rohit Dwivedi.

Global: US and Canada Higher Than Most Other Countries, When It Comes To Marijuana Use

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The United States and Canada should be proud of themselves. According to an annual United Nations report on global drug use, they rank among the highest in the world, when it comes to marijuana use. Nigeria and Australia join the U.S. and Canada as the highest nations on Earth.

Each of the Top 4 marijuana countries has more than 10 percent of its population, ages 15 to 64, admitting to using cannabis, reports Janissa Delzo at the Medical Daily. Western Europe also has high rates of marijuana use, but didn't rank in the top category.

Countries with the lowest rates of cannabis use in the world are Ecuador, Paraguay (ironically, listed as a top cannabis producer), Turkey, and Romania.

Although Mexico has, for decades, exported large amounts of commercial marijuana to the United States, it has a surprisingly low rate of cannabis use, according to the report. The U.N. said that the lower perceived risk of cannabis use in the U.S. has led to an increase in its use, even as global marijuana use has decreased, particularly in Western and Central Europe.

The World Drug Report 2014 reveals the cultivation and production of cannabis remains widespread, with hashish production concentrated in North Africa, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia.

U.S.: Dr. Carl Hart Awarded For His Book Which 'Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society'

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Columbia University Neuroscientist’s Book Blends Personal History with Leading Addiction Science and Alternatives Counterproductive Drug Policies

High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society (HarperCollins, 2013), the groundbreaking memoir/big science book written by neuroscientist and associate professor of psychology and psychiatry at Columbia University, Dr. Carl Hart, won the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award, the organization announced Wednesday morning.

At the time of the announcement, the author and professor was in Zurich studying how that nation balances social justice drug policy. “I am deeply honored and humbled to have been awarded the prestigious PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award,” Dr. Hart said. “I recognize that High Price outlines many uncomfortable ideas and facts about topics we'd rather avoid such as race, poverty, and drugs.

"So, I am particularly grateful to the award selection committee, to everyone who has read High Price, to those who have interviewed me about High Price, and to many people who have sent me their personal stories or letters of support.”

U.S.: 'I Choose Cannabis and Business' Workshops Slated For Five Cities

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"I Choose Cannabis and Business" workshops have been slated for five cities across the United States in September and October.

Todd Mitchem Consulting, in conjunction with Cannabrand, a full-service recreational cannabis marketing agency, will present the workshops. According to Cannabrand, Mitchem has consulted for Colorado-based businesses including O.penVAPE, as well as mainstream corporations such as Starbucks, Purina, Marriott, H&R Block, Pizza Hut, Google and Nestle.

Targeting everyone curious about the cannabis industry, from entrepreneurs to investors, Mitchem and the Cannabrand team will share information on trends, business processes and legal operations.

With expertise in industry building and accelerating brand growth, Mitchem will lead the presentation and cover topics such as creating a sustainable company structure, constructing scalable processes, requirements for building a national brand in cannabis as well as understanding the unique intricacies of public relations, government relations and personnel management.

"These hands on workshops will appeal to any person curious about the future of this industry, investors wondering what to look for in a possible investment opportunity, or anyone looking to break into the movement of mainstream cannabis business," Mitchem said. "I welcome anyone looking to break into the mainstream cannabis movement which is a big business with an anticipated $2.5 billion market value by the end of 2014."

Kansas: Wichita Marijuana Advocates Turn In Petitions To Reduce Penalties

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Marijuana advocates in Wichita, Kansas on Thursday turned in petitions with nearly twice as many signatures as they need to put decriminalization on the November ballot.

City officials in Wichita said they may have questions and concerns about the wording of the measure, but they have no immediate plans to go to court to try to block the initiative, reports Dion Lefler at The Wichita Eagle.

Organizers Esau Freeman and Janice Bradley went to Wichita City Hall at 4:20 p.m. on Thursday and presented City Clerk Karen Sublette with a thick sheaf of papers. According to the advocates, those papers contain the names and signatures of more than 5,800 people in favor of decriminalizing possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.

They need 2,928 valid signatures of registered Wichita voters to put the issue on the ballot.

"We didn't verify every single one, but we're pretty confident with what we have," said Bradley, who added that an intern with the Peace and Justice Social Center had checked a large sample of the signatures.

The petition has garnered support from at least two state legislators and the Community Voice, a newspaper focused on Wichita's black community.

U.S.: LEAP, Baker Institute To Distribute Book On Drug War To Top Officials

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To End the War On Drugs by LEAP Speaker Dean Becker Features More than 100 Experts on Drug Policy

Together with the James A. Baker III Institute of Public Policy at Rice University, Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Drug Policy Forum of Texas, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) will be hosting a press conference this Tuesday on Former Air Force Security Policeman Dean Becker’s new book To End the War on Drugs, after which they will distribute copies of the book to the White House, every Member of Congress, every Justice on the Supreme Court and governors nationwide.

“Through his interviews with so many differently situated individuals, Dean Becker captures the complete picture of the drug war, giving us a better understanding of the far-reaching nature of its effects and the depths of its failures,” said Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of LEAP, a group of law enforcement officials opposed to the war on drugs. "Every politician in America should read this book."

California: Legendary Actor, Marijuana Supporter James Garner Dies At 86

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Legendary actor James Garner, who portrayed two of television's most memorable characters in "Maverick" and "The Rockford Files," died on Sunday at the age of 86. Garner was a longtime supporter of marijuana legalization, and in his memoir said he'd used cannabis for 50 years, even adding "I don't where I'd be without it."

"I started smoking marijuana in my late teens," Garner wrote in his memoir, The Garner Files. "I drank to get drunk but ultimately didn't like the effect. Not so with grass.

"Grass is smooth," Garner wrote, reports Jake Ellison at the Seattle PI. "It had the opposite effect from alcohol; it made me more tolerant and forgiving."

"I smoked marijuana for 50 years," Garner wrote. "I don't know where I'd be without it. It opened my mind to a lot of things, and now its active ingredient, THC, relaxes me and eases my arthritis pain.

"I've concluded that marijuana should be legal and alcohol should be illegal," Garner wrote. "But, good luck with that."

U.S.: Netroots Nation To Address Failed Drug War

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Friday Panel: Marijuana Arrests: The Gateway to Mass Incarceration

Marijuana arrests and mass incarceration will take center stage at Netroots Nation 2014 this week in Detroit.

On Friday, July 18 at 4:30 p.m., the ninth annual gathering of progressive voices will feature a panel, “Marijuana Arrests: the Gateway to Mass Incarceration.” The panel will feature Kassandra Frederique, a policy coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA).

Frederique is currently organizing with groups around the state of New York to address bias policing practices, unlawful marijuana arrests and collateral consequences of criminalization.

“I’m thrilled to see Netroots Nation examine the failed war on drugs and how marijuana arrests fuel mass incarceration,” Frederique said. “Netroots Nation is a cutting-edge incubator of ideas and I’m excited to have a rich discussion during the panel and action from folks afterwards.”

Every 48 seconds someone is arrested for marijuana possession in the United States. Most of these arrests are of people of color, despite the fact that white people use and sell marijuana at higher rates. In this panel they will explore how the Drug War and biased policing practices fuel marijuana arrests and, in turn, mass incarceration.

U.S.: Black Police Leaders Say Marijuana Prohibition Damages Minority Communities

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) on Tuesday said that America's marijuana laws are total failures. John Dixon III, police chief in Petersburg, Virginia, speaking at the NOBLE's annual conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said law enforcement is too concerned with busting people for minor marijuana offenses.

"We, as law enforcement professionals, we need to really take a look at how we can decriminalize marijuana, especially user amounts," Dixon said, reports Ryan Smith at MPP. "We are locking people up for a dime bag, for a joint.

"They're put in the criminal justice system which pretty much ruins the rest of their lives," Dixon said, adding that medical professionals should be in charge of dealing with drug use. "Why do I have to lock you up for that? What benefit am I giving you, then? We have to get out of the businesses. That should be the focus of the medical field."

"Sometimes, we've got to say the things that most of law enforcement isn't going to say," Dixon said.

The ACLU has released a study showing that the marijuana laws are disproportionately enforced against minorities across the United States, despite the fact the blacks and whites use cannabis at similar rates.

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