Re "Undermining the public's trust" (Guest comment, by Nathan
Esplanade, Jan. 7):
Apparently to undermine my anti-alcohol and -marijuana guest comment
last week, the CN&R changed and deleted some of my words and made
others insensible, and completely omitted my conclusion.
In the same issue, the CN&R published more propaganda arguing
legalizing pot would enable pain relief for the poor and enrich local
governments. In so doing, it once again ignored the elephant in the
room: Patients with a prescription can already acquire affordable
medication via the Internet.
[continues 150 words]
I have read about much of the conversation regarding the legalization
of marijuana. We should err on the side of caution when accepting and
legalizing any bill that does not adhere to certain conditions.
First, I personally would like to see the creation of a state-run
marijuana exchange. Any persons or industry that chooses to grow
marijuana for sale would be required to sell their crop at this
exchange. Growers would be given fair market value for their produce.
The state marijuana market would be supplied solely through this
process. At the exchange produce will be broken down for
distribution. Each crop will have a batch number. Every package will
have a tracking number. Every ounce will be accounted for. Residency
requirements should be in place for growers. Individuals who grow
whether for personal use or sale would be required a permit.
Individual restrictions will apply. Industrial growers will require a
pre-existing Vermont farmers license.
In Colombia, Peace Deal With the FARC in Sight
But Herbicide-Resistant Coca Production on Rise
In the lowlands surrounding the town of La Hormiga, coca was once king.
Fields of the bright green bushes stretched to the horizon in every
direction and farmers were flush with cash. The surrounding
municipality was the one with the most coca crops in the country that
produced the most cocaine in the world.
This was "ground zero" for Plan Colombia, a massive multipronged
effort funded by nearly $10bn in US aid that started in 2000. The
plan aimed to recover a country that was in the grips of drug mafias,
leftist guerrillas and rightwing militias, and whose institutions
malfunctioned and economy faltered.
[continues 1427 words]
Every day, an average of more than 80 Americans die from opioid
overdoses. The number of Maine residents seeking treatment for opiate
abuse has tripled since 2010, and the number of babies born affected
by prenatal exposure to drugs or alcohol increased by 68 percent
between 2010 and 2014.
The National Council of Jewish Women is hosting a panel discussion on
this subject from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Falmouth Public Library,
5 Lunt Road.
The event will be open to the public, and featured guests will be
Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck; Oliver Bradeen, the Portland
Police Department's substance abuse disorder liaison; and the Rev.
Alice Hildebrand, head of the bereavement team at Maine Medical Center.
For more information, call 781-2351.
The board of directors for the Mendocino County Fair voted down a
man's proposal this week to hold a marijuana festival at the
Boonville fairgrounds property, citing concerns of federal laws,
while perhaps creating a new precedent at the facility for future
Chad Rea, a Boonville resident and producer of the "Mendo Grow Show,"
said he had approached the fairgrounds board about hosting his event,
titled "The Spring Planting Show," that was scheduled for the weekend
of May 14.
[continues 348 words]
As part of the sweeping changes to the state's medical marijuana
industry, an expected new tax was introduced Wednesday that would
target point of sale transactions for marijuana products.
Senate Bill 987, "The Marijuana Value Tax Act," would impose an
excise tax of 15 percent on purchasers seeking medical marijuana
products for consumption or other uses within California when
purchased from any retailer.
The tax, if moved forward within the state Legislature, is being
proposed to take effect beginning in January 2018, when the Bureau of
Medical Marijuana Regulation begins to enforce operatives of the
recent Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, according to Sen.
Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, who authored the bill.
[continues 347 words]
Matthew L. Springer's Feb. 4 letter, "Secondhand marijuana smoke is
harmful, just like tobacco smoke," comparing cannabis (marijuana)
smoke to cigarette smoke, is laughable. While cigarette smoke is
enough to gag a maggot and cause emphysema, cannabis is nothing like it.
In 5,000 years of documented use, cannabis has not killed a single
person, while cigarettes kill more than 1,000 Americans daily.
Cannabis smoke may be unpleasant, but it won't kill anyone.
Stan White, Dillon, Colo.
BISMARCK - Backers of a proposed ballot measure to legalize marijuana
in North Dakota made an error in their petition submitted Wednesday,
and the state's chief law enforcement officer said their proposal to
legalize pot-related synthetic drugs also is a big mistake.
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and the head of the state Board of
Pharmacy expressed concern Thursday that, in addition to legalizing
natural marijuana, the measure would delete synthetic cannabinoids
from the list of Schedule 1 drugs after several years of efforts to
outlaw the substances.
[continues 731 words]
A British Columbia marijuana advocate expressed hopes an official
petition to Parliament can get the Liberal government to end arrests
for marijuana possession.
The e-petition was posted to the Parliament of Canada website on
Thursday and had nearly 2,000 signatures by Metro deadline.
Among the demands, the petition calls for the government of Canada to
immediately "repeal the prohibition on possession," end police raids
on medical cannabis dispensaries and asks for marijuana to be removed
from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act within a year.
[continues 135 words]
I hope recreational "pot" is never legalized! The world has already
gone to pot (Re: "Marijuana laws in legal limbo," Feb. 4)!
Medicinal marijuana is legal - fine and dandy if this helps a sick
person. But when pot makes a healthy person sick don't tell me how it
should be legal recreationally! Cigarette smoke is deemed harmful to
the public - well, so is marijuana smoke.
The building I am in is designated no smoking by the BC
Housing-governed ASK Wellness Society. Why are dope and cigarette
smokers allowed into a non-smoking building?
[continues 70 words]
But Whether the Health Department Has Finalized the Committee Is Unclear
The state Health Department reversed course Friday, saying it will
release the names of medical marijuana dispensary committee members
before the panel grants Hawaii's first licenses for legal pot sales.
On Tuesday the agency said it would keep secret the names of the
panelists who are to select eight winning applications from the 66
that were submitted last month. The decision to keep the selection
process secret drew a sharp rebuke from lawmakers. The Honolulu
Star-Advertiser also threatened to sue the state if the names were
[continues 612 words]
The State Patrol arrested fewer people than in 2014 for the pot charge.
The State Patrol arrested fewer people on allegations they were
driving under the influence of marijuana last year than in the
previous year, according a report released Thursday.
The report is the first glimpse at how the change in law is affecting
highway safety, because the patrol did not keep statistics on the
number of people accused of driving under the influence of marijuana
prior to 2014, when recreational pot became legal.
[continues 525 words]
AMERICA is suffering from a pernicious and growing addiction to a
category of drugs that include prescription pain medications and heroin.
Opioid abuse and overdoses take a lethal toll in Washington and
across the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
puts the U.S. death count at 28,648 for 2014.
President Obama's welcome, if belated, response to this crisis would
direct $460 million toward states to dramatically expand access to
medication-assisted treatment for opioid abuse.
As the University of Washington's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute
noted in a 2015 online briefing, medication-assisted treatment "can
be a lifesaving and cost-saving intervention for those with opioid
[continues 310 words]
The Canadian Police Association made a reasonable request this week
when it asked the Trudeau government to remind everyone that
recreational marijuana is still an illegal substance. For more than a
year, so-called marijuana "dispensaries" have been popping up in
cities across the country, selling pot and pot-filled products in
open violation of the Criminal Code. The pace of new openings has only
increased since the election of the Liberals, who promised to legalize
Police say these days some Canadians are shocked to learn that it is
actually illegal to buy and sell pot recreationally. And it's no
wonder. Canada's laws have been evolving rapidly since 2000, when the
Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that marijuana must be available to
people who need it for medical purposes. Today, it is legal for people
with a medical prescription to order pot from federally authorized
suppliers, who deliver it in the mail. But it is still against the law
to buy, sell, grow or use it for fun and games.
[continues 240 words]
New rules aimed at clarity for marijuana dispensaries
Nelson city council hopes changes to its business licence bylaw will
help to chip away at the legal ambiguity around marijuana
The bylaw, previously unaltered since 1990, will now require a
licensed business to be in compliance with local, provincial and
federal laws. Mayor Deb Kozak says this puts the city in a position to
better enforce the bylaw when the federal government comes out with
new legislation on marijuana in the near future. The bylaw passed
third reading and is still to be adopted at a future meeting. Its full
text is attached at the online version of this story at nelsonstar.com
In 2015 U.S. consumers bought over $500 million in hemp products,
buying everything from food, cosmetics, fabrics and paper to
construction material, insulation and plastics. It is estimated that
there are more than 25,000 product applications for industrial hemp
and yet the hemp market struggles to capitalize on that vast
potential. Currently listed as a federal Schedule 1 drug in the
Controlled Substances Act, it is illegal to grow the plant or possess
live seeds. But recent activity at the state and industry level is
beginning to challenge that long standing status.
[continues 938 words]
Transit advisory group faces dilemma after Dec. 23 decision to kick
man off bus
One man's medical marijuana usage on a city bus could now spark a
The transit advisory committee is asking council to seek legal advice
on the nuances and room for challenging provincial legislation
permitting the use of medical marijuana in public places.
Ongoing discussions around whether or not medical vaporizer usage
should be allowed aboard transit was ignited by a Christopher Hobin,
who was kicked off a city bus on Dec. 23, when he used the electronic
device stacked with pot prescribed for his varied chronic pain and
[continues 287 words]
Employers may ask for drug tests
Justin Trudeau's Liberal government has promised to legalize
recreational marijuana use, but anyone thinking about sparking a joint
before starting a new job could be in for a rude surprise, according
to one legal expert.
"In the grand scheme of things, I don't think this is really going to
change the landscape that much in terms of the law in the workplace,"
said Keir Vallance, who practised labour and employment law before
joining the University of Saskatchewan's College of Law.
[continues 327 words]
Changes Requested in Hospital Funding, Social Services, and Marijuana
When federal and provincial governments make decisions, municipal
governments often get stuck with more than their fair share of the
work and expense.
Last week Nelson council decided to lobby senior governments for
change on four such issues: capital funding for hospitals, income
assistance service delivery, marijuana legislation, and marijuana revenues.
Capital funding for hospitals
Municipal taxation covers 40 per cent of provincial hospital funding
and that cost is reflected in residents' annual property tax bills.
Council believes this is asking too much of municipalities, and its
resolution asks the Union of BC Municipalities to petition the
provincial government to "acknowledge that property tax revenue is an
unsuitable avenue to fund hospital infrastructure renewal projects,
and prioritize the urgent review of the historic cost sharing ratio
with a recommendation to amend current policy accordingly."
[continues 485 words]
Marijuana-Related Businesses Have Exploded, Growing From Four to 30
Victoria residents will be able to weigh in on how to best regulate
the growing number of marijuana storefronts at an upcoming town-hall meeting.
City staff have been exploring potential regulations designed to
reduce the community impact of medical-marijuana businesses, while
maintaining access to medical marijuana.
The proposed regulations include an annual licence fee of $4,000 to
$5,000, a ban on anyone younger than 19 being in the stores, and a
requirement that health-warning signs be posted.
[continues 288 words]
Justin Trudeau's Liberal government has promised to legalize
recreational marijuana use, but anyone thinking about sparking a
joint before starting a new job could be in for a rude surprise,
according to one legal expert.
"In the grand scheme of things, I don't think this is really going to
change the landscape that much in terms of the law in the workplace,"
said Keir Vallance, who practised labour and employment law before
joining the University of Saskatchewan's College of Law.
[continues 329 words]
Oahu Publications Says It Is Prepared to Sue If the Heath Department Refuses
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser told the state Health Department on
Thursday it will file a lawsuit if the agency does not release by the
close of business today the names of committee members who will award
Hawaii's first medical marijuana dispensary licenses.
Jeff Portnoy, attorney for the Star-Advertiser's parent company, Oahu
Publications Inc., delivered the notice to the Department of Health
demanding it disclose the names.
[continues 661 words]
The people in the know clearly know the crucial fact about the new
medical marijuana dispensary enterprise: It's going to be big
business - very big.
That, as well as the fact that only eight licenses will be awarded,
has turned those permits into valuable commodities.
And it's turned the process of selecting the licensees into a matter
of public interest - one that should be done with as much
transparency as possible.
Unfortunately, the state Department of Health, which is administering
the fledgling program, has decided that the best course to fairness
is to sequester the people making the decision: its review panel. In
this way, DOH officials have said, the panelists would not be open to
[continues 464 words]
Richmond firefighters are planning to start carrying two doses of
naloxone on each fire engine after changes were made to allow
non-medical personnel to administer the opioid-reversing drug.
The move comes after a late-January change by the Ministry of Health
that allowed fire rescue first responders to start administering
naloxone-which can be used to reverse the effects of drugs like
heroin, oxycodone, fentanyl and methadone.
"Richmond Fire-Rescue would carry two doses in each of the emergency
response vehicles totalling 20 doses, with an additional 10 doses
being kept as a reserve supply," said acting fire chief Tim Wilkinson
in a report to council.
[continues 86 words]
In response to the Feb. 7 letter, "No to marijuana," even
prohibitionist government quit using the historically discredited
gateway theory years ago. However, some people continue believing the
lies, half-truths and propaganda which has perpetuated cannabis
(marijuana) prohibition. Caging innocent responsible adults who use
the relatively safe, extremely popular, God-given plant is vulgar and
anti-Christian for a developed nation.
Further, Coloradans re-legalized cannabis, and every subsequent poll
indicates we continue supporting the end of the farce. A sane or
moral argument to continue cannabis prohibition doesn't exist.
- - Stan White,
Cannabis can be used to treat more than 40 different medical
Montreal's first medical cannabis clinic, which opened in 2014 at its
location on Amherst Street, provides a clean, modern environment where
patients can get prescriptions and support in moving away from
pharmaceutical drugs. Two glass cases stand in the window, showing off
a variety of vaporizers of all shapes and sizes.
Medical marijuana is expected to impact the future of health and
affect pharmaceutical companies.
Sante Cannabis does not directly distribute cannabis to patients, but
has nine part-time physicians to assess patients on their eligibility
to receive a medical marijuana prescription.
[continues 863 words]
Modern feminism boils down to two main angles. The first is a
movement driven by equality: equal pay, equal representation, equal
access to power and position. The second seeks to elevate the status
of roles commonly perceived as feminine, recognizing the value of
caretaking in society and increased social stature.
Women who attempt to achieve both know how difficult that feat can be
because achieving one tends to preclude the other. Either women step
into traditionally male positions that are more demanding on their
time and energy or they commit to more nurturing roles that
disassociate them from money and power. Even if a woman is willing to
go for it all, her efforts are likely stymied by an inflexible
society that struggles to accommodate shifting gender roles.
[continues 789 words]
I hear there is a new Weed Czar in town. I would like to know more.
- -Tab U. LaRasa
You are correct! Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed Lori Ajax, currently
the chief deputy director of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage
Control, to head the new Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation. (By
the way, Brown signed Assembly Bill 21, so that March 1 deadline for
cities and towns to develop regulations is a thing of the past.)
Ajax-a Republican, if you care about those things; I know plenty of
folks on all sides of every aisle who want clear and fair statewide
regulations-will have to be approved by the Senate. If she gains
approval, she will be in charge of creating an entirely new state
agency, the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation. Aside from the
unfortunate acronym (BuMMR, which is the opposite of what cannabis
does), this new agency will have to deal with a ton of BS from all
sides. The NIMBYs, the techies, the growers, the water providers, et
al. will be clamoring to make sure they all receive their fair share
of unfair advantages. To call her new job a huge and gigantic
undertaking is perhaps the understatement of the year and I wish her
the best of luck. I will also most likely be hitting her up for a
job, since she will need at least 40-50 people on her team. Everyone
polish up your resumes!
[continues 283 words]
City council proposes increased taxes amid statewide changes for cannabis
Last week, two days after Sacramento City Council voted to allow
cultivation of medical marijuana, Brad Wasson's phone wouldn't stop
ringing. The revenue manager for the city laid out the potential
benefits of regulating cannabis cultivation before council on
February 2. And while it's going to be awhile before people can plant
large-scale medical-marijuana grows legally in Sacramento, maybe a
few years, that hasn't stopped Wasson's phone from blowing up.
[continues 1300 words]
This 'Farm-To-Joint' Moment Could Mean Millions for Sacramento
Californians smoke a lot of marijuana. As you can imagine, it's not
easy to get an accurate estimate of just how much. Marijuana has been
called California's biggest cash crop, representing between $11
billion and $17 billion a year in sales, nearly twice as much as
California's next largest commodity, milk and cream.
Some say these California crop values are highly inflated. Regardless
of who is right, legalized or expanded medical marijuana represents
billions of dollars in sales. This is a mind-blowing number for any
local community hoping to expand its economy.
[continues 430 words]
WASHINGTON - In what law enforcement officials describe as a new
front in international smuggling, global traffickers and cartels are
increasingly turning to a new source for couriers to smuggle drugs
across international borders: vulnerable American older adults.
The traffickers deceive seniors with promises of prizes or
relationships, setting them up to unknowingly try to carry luggage
filled with cocaine or other items through customs, hoping they will
not arouse suspicions. Such cases have been seen in nearly a dozen
foreign countries, officials say. Details of the smuggling and a
counteroperation that officials called Operation Cocoon were
disclosed by the Department of Homeland Security during a hearing on
Wednesday before the Senate Special Committee on Aging.
[continues 515 words]
SANTA ANA - First, comedian Roseanne Barr blazed trails with her
sitcom; more recently she joined the growing reality TV world as she
farmed macadamia nuts in Hawaii.
Now the onetime presidential hopeful whose slogan was 'Yes, we
Cannabis!' is entering the budding medical marijuana industry in Santa Ana.
Barr will be an investor and have a licensing agreement with a
dispensary that's one of 20 that won a city lottery last year
allowing it to apply to operate in Santa Ana, the actress' spokesman
and the dispensary's partners said this week.
[continues 603 words]
As a Coloradoan who helped re-legalize cannabis (marijuana) in
Colorado, it's strange to read California government continues
struggling with medical cannabis issues ("What Deadline?" Feb. 4),
when completely re-legalizing the plant looms on Election Day. If
state government officials want to shape the inevitable they must do
it now because citizens are not waiting on government to get the job done.
Responsible adults should be allowed to grow and use the relatively
safe, extremely popular God-given plant without risk of being caged
or discriminated against. Cannabis should be available to citizens
like beer, wine and whiskey.
A sane or moral argument to perpetuate cannabis prohibition another
day doesn't exist.
Stan White, Dillon, Colorado
So many hash labs are blowing up around these parts that Humboldt Bay
Fire, which services the greater Eureka area, recently declared it
won't go into the burning aftermath of the explosions.
The new policy comes on the heels of several hash lab fires in the
area, the most recent of which (on Jan. 20) sent a resident to the
University of California Davis burn center and left "obvious signs
that the explosion moved the roof off the walls," according to a press release.
[continues 517 words]
Drug overdose deaths are reaching record levels in a surprising
corner of Colorado: the windswept southern counties where ranchers
graze cattle and farmers raise corn.
In eight counties stretching from Baca west to Rio Grande, yearly
overdose deaths have reached the highest level measured by the
federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Denver and Adams
counties have hit the same level- 20 or more deaths per 100,000
residents - along with two other Colorado counties.
Altogether, every one of Colorado's 64 counties except Mineral, a
sparsely populated county in the mountains, has experienced a rising
drug death rate in the last 12 years.
[continues 472 words]
Despite Recent Setbacks, Utah Republican Says Legislation Has Traction
The co-sponsor of bipartisan legislation to reduce some mandatory
minimum drug and gun sentences said Wednesday that he is hopeful
Congress can still pass the bill despite recent setbacks.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said issues have arisen that have slowed the
legislation - considered by advocates of sentencing reform to be the
most significant in decades. But "I don't believe it's stalled," he
said at "Out of Jail, Into Society," a Washington Post Live event
about prison reform.
[continues 533 words]
The administration has opined that our country incarcerates too many
people for nonviolent drug offenses. It recently decided to address
that problem. However, the only people who are going to be happy
about the solution are drug dealers.
In December, the federal government quietly cut almost half of the
funding for Drug Enforcement Agency task forces across the country.
Police chiefs across the country received a letter from the
Department of Justice entitled "Deferral of Department of Justice
Equitable Sharing Payments." It explained that drug forfeiture funds,
which local agencies receive for working with DEA, would be
"deferred" until further notice. DOJ referred to this as a $1.2
billion "rescission" needed to balance its budget.
[continues 502 words]
It was in a low-rent town in flyover country, playing a gig in front
of a crowd of squares and straights in the Ronald Reagan '80s - the
dark days of Just Say No, compulsory D.A.R.E. classes for children,
and the crack-cocaine epidemic, all the things that led to our
country's current drug-fueled incarceration crisis - when Tommy Chong
really blew his audience's minds.
Chong and his partner Cheech Marin had been plying their brand of
stoner humor for almost two decades, their comedy LPs and films on
the Hi-Fis and Betamaxes of cannabis users around the world. (And the
pair would separate soon after, when Marin tried to make a break from
the THC-fueled typecast and go for a straight-laced acting career.)
But on this night and in this town - some nameless "right-wing
Christian" place Chong cannot recall - the still-bearded longhairs
were not playing to their audience. Still, the crewcuts paid to see
these freaks, leftovers from the '60s, in action. And they were curious.
[continues 792 words]
State Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, introduced legislation
Wednesday that would establish a 15 percent statewide sales tax on
medical marijuana, a move he said was needed to help cover local
government costs to control the booming cannabis industry.
The tax would be in addition to the existing sales tax - roughly 8
percent on goods and services - and is expected to generate more than
$100 million a year, with a 30 percent share available to cities and
counties for costs associated with medical cannabis.
[continues 488 words]
Last week, dispensary owners in Arizona, and other states, woke up to
news their Facebook pages were deleted
At least a handful of medical marijuana dispensaries in Tucson
realized their Facebook pages had been deleted on Thursday, Feb. 4 by
the social media site, according to the Daily Haze.
Facebook claimed they had banned the pages because the company does
not allow any material that "condones drug use."
The Haze spoke to Tucson's Earth's Healing's marketing director,
Florence Hijazi, who told the online publication that not having a
Facebook page damages the dispensary's business, because their
patients check their page on a daily basis for different specials and
other updates. Hijazi also told the Haze that, in response to being
kicked out of Facebook, Earth's Healing plans to focus more on their
Twitter account and their phone app.
[continues 361 words]
Dear Stoner: Does marijuana help with depression?
Dear Searching: Unfortunately, the answer is not a simple yes or no.
There's such a wide range of studies on the subject that trying to
wrap your head around it can make your hair fall out - or leave you
more depressed. A survey of 4,400 adults that was funded by the
Marijuana Policy Project indicated that regular and occasional
marijuana users had more positive moods and fewer somatic complaints
than non-users, but it also found medical users to be more depressed
than recreational users. Other published studies have shown marijuana
smokers to be diagnosed with depression more often and to be more at
risk for schizophrenia or psychosis than non-smokers, but doctors
don't agree on whether marijuana is the cause of a patient's
depression or just that patient's preferred method of self-medication.
[continues 269 words]
IT'S VALENTINE'S DAY, which can be difficult for single people. (Who
are only alone because something is wrong with them. WHAT? I'm right.
You know I'm right. Think of all your single friends, and name two
who aren't that way because of a deep, twisted, untreatable inner flaw. Yikes.)
But even for those of us who are happily coupled-and don't hate-there
are expectations forced upon us that this has to be the most
romantic, multi-orgasmic holiday of the year, right after Arbor Day
or when a new dispensary opens down the block.
[continues 624 words]
The United Nations is aiming to set a new macro policy on
recreational drugs worldwide, starting today. It has taken almost a
generation even to get to this point, which is the token beginning of
a UN General Assembly Special Session on drugs. There are strong
feelings emerging that the UN itself might even take a stand leaning
towards legalisation of such drugs. A kickoff meeting this evening in
New York will hear testimony, mostly from the pro-enforcement side.
This is, essentially, Thailand's time to stand up for this country's
policies on illegal drugs - or to call for changes. It is certain
that after today's "interactive panel discussions" on the subject
that a handful of Latin American countries and most of the 279 NGOs
registered to attend will be lobbying hard on the legalisation side.
Thailand and Thais are not prepared to go that far. Yet changes must be made.
[continues 429 words]
Billionaire warlords, who started as small-time weed smugglers, have
swathes of Latin America under their bloody rule, and the chaos is
creeping north. But, says IOAN GRILLO, they owe their power to
white-collar crooks from the States, who first set up their deadly networks
A chain of crime wars is currently strangling Latin America and the
Caribbean, drenching it in blood. And the first link in the chain is
found in the US. Specifically, in a Barnes and Noble bookshop in a
mall in El Paso, Texas.
[continues 2430 words]
The Turnbull government will on Wednesday introduce a national scheme
into Parliament to licence medicinal cannabis growers.
Although medicinal cannabis is available for particular patient
groups and clinical trials, it is now illegal to grow and import most
medicinal cannabis products, leading some patients to buy them from
the black market and run the risk of prosecution for drug use and
possession. Health Minister Sussan Ley hoped for bipartisan support
for legal changes that she said would help chronically ill patients
in allowing therapeutic products to be grown on a larger scale to
meet patient demand. She was confident a single cultivation scheme
rather than state- and territory-based schemes, would hasten
regulation and patients' access to medicinal cannabis. "A national
regulator will also allow the government to closely track the
development of cannabis products for medicinal use from cultivation
to supply and curtail any attempts by criminals to get involved," she
said. It is unclear whether the scheme will gain enough Senate
support, because it differs from a separate Greens-led bill for a
national regulator that would oversee growth, manufacture and
distribution of medicinal cannabis. This model, introduced into the
Senate in 2014, has support from both Liberal and Labor senators.
ANAHEIM Drug addicts who are ready to kick their habit soon will be
urged to seek out help from an unconventional new ally: the Police Department.
Mayor Tom Tait on Tuesday announced what he calls "Drug Free
Anaheim," aimed at encouraging chronic drug users to walk into a
police station in Orange County's most populous city and ask for help
in exchange for a free ride to a rehabilitation center.
Anaheim appears to be the first California city to adopt the tactic,
which Tait said puts the city's focus on helping users recover -
rather than jailing them - while allowing police to enforce drug laws.
[continues 499 words]
When pot businesses can legally open in Anchorage later this year,
they'll have to be at least 500 feet from schools in most parts of
the city, the Anchorage Assembly decided Tuesday night.
The Assembly also narrowly voted against a proposal to allow on-site
consumption in retail stores, at least for now. That question was
referred back to the Assembly's committee on marijuana regulation.
Assembly members said the city should wait for the outcome of
still-evolving state regulations before adopting local rules on
marijuana bars or cafes -- but left undisturbed laws for private
social clubs, where customers can bring their own pot to consume.
[continues 548 words]
A state task force has recommended that Oregon create an independent
institute for research into the medical uses of marijuana. The
reasons for doing so are sound, and lawmakers should follow the
recommendation. But not right away.
The task force, created by the 2015 Legislature under the auspices of
the Oregon Health Authority, issued its report Monday. The report
recommends creating the Oregon Institute for Cannabis Research. The
institute would conduct studies both within the university system and
outside it, and would raise private funds as well as relying on a
dedicate source of state funding.
[continues 266 words]
Saskatoon's police chief says the Liberal government needs to clarify
Canada's marijuana laws to combat serious misunderstandings about the
legality of the drug.
"The police aren't anti-marijuana," Chief Clive Weighill said. "But
we are in a situation right now that is a very grey zone."
Weighill said despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's election
promise that pot will be legalized for personal use, smoking, growing
and selling weed in Canada is still against the law.
Weighill, who is also president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs
of Police, said the government needs to offer clarity to people -
especially those who believe that because of the election promise,
the drug is already legal.
[continues 421 words]
Regarding "$1 billion prescription for treating addictions" (Open
Forum, Feb. 8): A big thank you to President Obama for his proposal
to allocate $1.1 billion in new funding to stop the opioid overdose epidemic.
The use of prescription drugs is so prolific in our country that
precious Super Bowl 50 ad space was used for a product that relieves
opioid-induced constipation. I am heartened to know that the
president is dedicating more resources to stave off this health
crisis of epidemic proportions and to help save precious lives.
Lauren Kahn, San Francisco