Environmental Issues
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121US CA: Proposed Medical Marijuana Excise Tax Moves Forward inFri, 22 Apr 2016
Source:Ukiah Daily Journal, The (CA) Author:Randall, Adam Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/22/2016

A state Assembly Bill that could eventually impose a medical marijuana excise tax to collect an estimated $77 million annually moved forward Thursday.

AB 2243 by Assemblyman Jim Wood, D-Healdsburg, cleared the Assembly Revenue and Tax Committee without Republican support. It is expected to be heard next in the Assembly Appropriations Committee in the next two weeks.

If moved forward to Gov. Jerry Brown for final approval, Wood said AB 2243 would implement a $9.25 per ounce tax on cannabis flowers, a $2.75 per ounce tax on cannabis leaves and a $1.25 tax on immature cannabis plants from nurseries.

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122 US CA: EDU: OPED: Legalization Of Marijuana Could PromoteTue, 19 Apr 2016
Source:Daily Californian, The (UC Berkeley, CA Edu) Author:Norori, Amber Area:California Lines:112 Added:04/19/2016

When you think about what greens are helping to extend California's drought, you probably don't think of cannabis, but in California, marijuana and alfalfa may have more in common than you think. California is, in fact, responsible for two-thirds of the agriculture produced in the United States and 60 percent of the marijuana found around the country, mostly originating from growers in northern California. Unsurprisingly, both these water-intensive industries greatly contribute to, and worsen, the drought that California has been facing for the past five years.

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123 US NY: Has The War On Drugs Failed?Tue, 19 Apr 2016
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Simmons, Ann M. Area:New York Lines:128 Added:04/19/2016

A U. N. Special Session Will Examine the Effects of the Hard- Line Approach and Will Study Alternatives.

At what is being billed as the most significant high-level gathering on global drug policy in two decades, the stage will be set for world leaders to discuss what would have once been unthinkable - reversing course in the war on drugs.

The United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem, which begins Tuesday in New York, will bring together government, human rights and health leaders to discuss whether the hard-line tactics of combating drug trafficking and money laundering have failed.

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124 Honduras: Files Suggest Police Leaders Ordered Killings ofSat, 16 Apr 2016
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Malkin, Elisabeth Area:Honduras Lines:209 Added:04/16/2016

MEXICO CITY - More than a dozen conspirators gathered at the headquarters of the Honduran National Police just after 9:30 p.m. One of them clicked open a briefcase, and bundles of American dollars were distributed among the police officers - payment for the next day's hit job.

After everyone else filed out of the room, the three highest-ranking officers stayed behind to make a call.

"Keep watch over the news tomorrow, sir," one of them said, according to case files gathered by Honduran investigators. "We'll do it all in the morning, good night, sir."

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125 US CA: Editorial: Shasta Lake Takes a Pragmatic Approach toSun, 10 Apr 2016
Source:Record Searchlight (Redding, CA)          Area:California Lines:81 Added:04/12/2016

While most of Shasta County works to restrict access to medical marijuana through bans on growing, dispensaries and collectives, Shasta Lake decided to go in another direction.

The city of some 9,000 boasts the last two medical marijuana dispensaries in the county, and the City Council this past week approved a third one. The city had to slightly bend its rules to allow the dispensary to open in the former Starbucks next to Rite Aid and a tobacco shop at Shasta Dam and Cascade boulevards. The rules originally said dispensaries could be no closer than 1,000 feet from each other.

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126 US CA: OPED: Marijuana Pipe Dreams And The ElectionMon, 11 Apr 2016
Source:Press Democrat, The (Santa Rosa, CA) Author:Rosano, Sal Area:California Lines:91 Added:04/11/2016

There is a wise old adage which reads, "Be careful what you wish for, you may just get it." That message certainly applies to the proposed initiatives on the ballot later this year to legalize the use of recreational marijuana in California.

Voters in California passed Proposition 215 almost 20 years ago, and only recently has this state established a viable method for making this product available for those who have a legitimate medical need. Recreational use, however, is an entirely different matter.

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127US SC: Editorial: Lawmakers Should Back Medical Marijuana BillSun, 10 Apr 2016
Source:Post and Courier, The (Charleston, SC)          Area:South Carolina Lines:Excerpt Added:04/10/2016

Nearly half of the states have approved the medical use of marijuana, as prescribed by a physician, recognizing its therapeutic value for patients with long term pain from cancer, seizures, PTSD, multiple sclerosis, AIDS and other ailments.

Not South Carolina, though. Not yet.

Members of the Senate Medical Affairs Committee on Thursday expressed their sympathy for those South Carolinians who could benefit from having marijuana medically prescribed for pain or nausea.

Then they voted to kill the bill, after first rejecting an amendment that would have resolved many of the issues raised by those who had opposed the bill, including law enforcement officials.

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128 US CA: Column: A Proxy WarThu, 31 Mar 2016
Source:North Coast Journal (Arcata, CA) Author:Greenson, Thadeus Area:California Lines:85 Added:03/31/2016

A Harper's Magazine writer recently reiterated a stomach-turning admission of racist societal control concocted by the Nixon Administration.

That scandal plagued presidency was the first to declare war on drugs, and did so squarely in the midst of social and racial upheaval, as well as a foreign war. In a recent article arguing in favor of the legalization of drugs, writer Dan Baum recounted how he'd tracked down former Nixon advisor John Erlichman in 1994 for a book Baum was working on.

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129 South Africa: OPED: Time To Revisit Sa's Dagga LawsWed, 30 Mar 2016
Source:Cape Times (South Africa) Author:Pain, Stephen Area:South Africa Lines:125 Added:03/31/2016

I HAVE yet to read the texts recommended by Clifford Schaffer in his letter "Drug laws not helping" on March 15, but otherwise I agree wholeheartedly with his views.

Richard Nixon, under immense pressure following the US disaster in Vietnam and the looming Watergate affair, desperately needed a rallying cry to divert the public's attention and a "war on drugs" fitted the bill perfectly.

It also put the blame for the thousands of returning heroin-addicted GIs wholly on the drug itself and not on their horrific wartime experiences.

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130 US OK: OPED: Colorado Keeps Pot Oklahoma Keeps LibertyThu, 31 Mar 2016
Source:Tulsa World (OK) Author:Ritze, Mike Area:Oklahoma Lines:88 Added:03/31/2016

Even if you oppose marijuana legalization, as I firmly do, the U.S. Supreme Court's decision recently not to interfere in the decision of Colorado voters to end cannabis prohibition was a major victory for states' rights, federalism and the 10th Amendment.

It was also a victory for all Oklahomans who do not want to be ruled by unaccountable and out-of-touch bureaucrats and politicians thousands of miles away in Washington, D.C. - and even abroad - acting in defiance of our Constitution.

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131 US WA: OPED: State Must Enforce Safe Standards for PesticideMon, 28 Mar 2016
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Kohl-Welles, Jeanne Area:Washington Lines:87 Added:03/28/2016

AS parents, it's our absolute worst fear. For Lisa, it began when her 6-month-old daughter Cynthia was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy.

Her child's small body would spend the next five-plus years racked daily by punishing, life-threatening seizures - until Lisa discovered that a cannabis tincture could control the neurological disease that would otherwise cause her daughter's death. Today, Cynthia is 9 and is an energetic and vivacious little girl.

When Washingtonians legalized cannabis for recreational use in 2012, consumers were assured safe products. But as The Seattle Times recently reported, fines are now being levied by the Washington State Liquor Cannabis Board (LCB) against two major cannabis producers for using illegal pesticides. I was distressed to learn one of the businesses in violation markets cannabis medicines for children just like Cynthia.

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132 South Africa: Killing A LivingSun, 27 Mar 2016
Source:Times, The (South Africa) Author:Tolsi, Niren Area:South Africa Lines:361 Added:03/27/2016

In the mountains of Pondoland in the Eastern Cape, 'intsangu' is green gold: the key to the rural poor's economic survival. Why then, despite global progress towards decriminalising cannabis, are police spraying crops with poison from helicopters? Niren Tolsi investigates.

THE mountains meet the Indian Ocean on the Wild Coast. At Ebulawu, south of Port St Johns, green-topped peaks undulate up towards sheer drops into the blue maelstrom below, where waves crash against cliffs of white, grey and red.

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133US CO: Pot Pesticide Testing ChangesSat, 26 Mar 2016
Source:Denver Post (CO) Author:Baca, Ricardo Area:Colorado Lines:Excerpt Added:03/26/2016

Denver No Longer Will Have Tests Done

More than a year after Denver started actively policing the marijuana industry's use of pesticides, the city's health department is changing its enforcement procedures.

Starting April 15, the Denver Department of Environmental Health will no longer test marijuana and pot products in a privately owned cannabis testing facility, the city wrote in an industry bulletin e- mailed Friday. Instead it will place marijuana products suspected of being contaminated with banned pesticides on hold, notify the state agencies that have picked up the recall process initially started by DEH and possibly order the plants or products to be destroyed, the bulletin said.

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134US CA: OPED: First Step in Smarter Approach to Marijuana IsTue, 22 Mar 2016
Source:Modesto Bee, The (CA) Author:Newsom, Gavin Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/22/2016

"War on Drugs" Has Failed, Costing US Billions of Dollars

If We Want Use to Be Healthy, Safe We Have to Regulate Weed

This Is Not a Short-Term Process; Our Laws Will Evolve Over Years

Increasingly, Californians understand the war on drugs has been an abject and expensive failure.

Today, we incarcerate too many Americans for non-violent drug crimes, while too few resources are available for effective treatment and prevention. Since drug dealers don't card, youth are often more likely to have access to marijuana than they are alcohol or tobacco.

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135US CA: Mendocino County Sheriff Talks 'Marijuana Safety forSat, 19 Mar 2016
Source:Ukiah Daily Journal, The (CA) Author:Randall, Adam Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/19/2016

Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman emphasized "marijuana safety for loggers," during one of many informational classes available to the timber industry in and out of the county during the 78th annual Redwood Region Logging Conference in Ukiah this week.

On Friday, Allman spoke on the dangers to loggers if they stumble upon illegal marijuana grows, which are frequently becoming trespass grows on private property, including timber lands.

Allman said most commonly, trespass growers are planting small 100-plant gardens. But, he said, it's these illegal grows that are tapping resources of land owners and changing the environmental landscape, including water and soil. Allman said the biggest recommendation he could make to private land owners was to invest in a game, or wildlife camera, which is often attached to a tree and automatically takes photos when movements are detected.

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136 US MA: Authorities Crack Down on Drug Use Aboard FishingFri, 18 Mar 2016
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Ellement, John R. Area:Massachusetts Lines:71 Added:03/19/2016

The fight against drug addiction took a new direction this week when Massachusetts Environmental Police and New Bedford police boarded fishing vessels in New Bedford Harbor, searching for fishermen carrying illegal drugs for personal use.

"Commercial fishing is a dangerous enough job as it is," said Environmental Police Major Patrick J. Moran. "Using drugs makes it even more dangerous. Our intention was to stop the drugs from getting out to sea aboard the fishing vessels."

Over two days, four law enforcement vessels stopped 11 fishing boats heading out of the harbor, leading to arrests of at least six people on drug possession charges and of two people on outstanding warrants, officials said.

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137US HI: Lawmakers Push to Regulate Medical Marijuana TestingThu, 17 Mar 2016
Source:Hawaii Tribune Herald (Hilo, HI) Author:Riker, Marina Starleaf Area:Hawaii Lines:Excerpt Added:03/17/2016

HONOLULU (AP) - Industry experts say there are a lot of chemicals that could contaminate Hawaii's medical marijuana.

Dispensaries are set to open throughout the state in July, and lawmakers are pushing a broad bill to address many of the obstacles the industry is facing. One is how to regulate marijuana testing.

The proposed state law would set requirements for testing medical marijuana's potency and also would test for contaminants such as heavy metals, bacteria and pesticides, which industry experts say is necessary to ensure patient safety. Under state rules, dispensaries must send all marijuana products to a certified laboratory for testing.

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138 US HI: Bill Would Offer Guidelines on Medical Marijuana TestingWed, 16 Mar 2016
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:Hawaii Lines:58 Added:03/16/2016

Industry experts say there are a lot of chemicals that could contaminate Hawaii's medical marijuana.

Dispensaries are set to open in Hawaii in July, and state lawmakers are pushing a broad bill to address many of the obstacles the industry is facing. One is how to regulate marijuana testing.

The proposed Hawaii law would set requirements for testing medical marijuana's potency and would also test for contaminants such as heavy metals, bacteria and pesticides, which industry experts say is necessary to ensure patient safety. Under state rules, dispensaries must send all marijuana products to a certified laboratory for testing.

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139US CA: Momentum Building To Legalize Pot This YearWed, 09 Mar 2016
Source:Orange County Register, The (CA) Author:Staggs, Brooke Edwards Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/09/2016

There are increasing signs that 2016 might just be the year the largest state in the nation legalizes recreational marijuana.

Polls have shown from 56 percent to 60 percent of California's likely voters in the November presidential contest support legal pot. And due in part to hefty financial backing from a Silicon Valley billionaire, the leading pro-marijuana measure - the Adult Use of Marijuana Act - has gotten off to one of the strongest starts among dozens of proposed initiatives on different topics being pitched for the Nov. 8 ballot.

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140 New Zealand: NZ in Cannabis Law 'Dark Ages'Fri, 04 Mar 2016
Source:Nelson Mail, The (New Zealand) Author:Hindmarsh, Nina Area:New Zealand Lines:119 Added:03/04/2016

A Golden Bay woman who won a legal victory for medicinal cannabis says suffering patients are being treated like criminals, and it's time Parliament caught up.

Rebecca Reider, 37, appeared in Nelson District Court on Monday facing a raft of criminal charges including importing medicinal cannabis products and another five charges relating to possession.

The maximum sentence for importing is eight years imprisonment.

The Californian-born Collingwood resident was cleared of all six charges and received a discharge without conviction, meaning she will have no criminal record.

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