When Colorado voters in 2012 approved a ballot measure legalizing
marijuana, the state did not merely break new ground in the ongoing
battle over narcotics policy. It also bolstered an innovative
political message that compares cannabis to alcohol.
Two years later, that comparison is being deployed in key
marijuana-related elections throughout the country, and drug reform
advocates are so sure marijuana is safer than alcohol they are now
challenging police to a "drug duel" to prove their point.
The proposal for the duel from David Boyer of the Marijuana Policy
Project, came after Police Chief Edward Googins of South Portland,
Maine, announced his opposition to a municipal referendum to legalize
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Need to Be Licensed or Shut Down
But State Hasn't Set Up Licensing System Yet
(AP) - The city of Seattle is warning more than 300 medical-marijuana
businesses that their days could be numbered.
Officials have sent letters to medical-marijuana growers, processors
and dispensaries reminding them they need to either shut down or be
licensed by the state by next summer.
The problem is that the Legislature hasn't created a licensing system
to allow sales of medical marijuana.
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The Providers of the Pot Shop Units Were Warned of Federal Law.
Hundreds of ATMs located in medical marijuana dispensaries-the
lifeblood of businesses otherwise forced to work in cash-were shut
down Wednesday, just days after similar machines were unplugged from
The machines in Colorado and Washington were connected to a network
served by South Dakota based Meta Bank, which in January warned ATM
providers by email that machines located in marijuana shops violated
federal banking rules.
But the machines, both cashless and the traditional cash-dispensing
variety, continued to work until this week, according to owners of
cannabis shops affected by the shutdown.
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LoDo Wellness Center, which calls itself the largest marijuana
dispensary in the trendy Lower Downtown ("LoDo") area, is a mellow
place, decorated with Oriental rugs, sofas and statues of Buddha.
Yet there's a moment of mild tension when you arrive: Staff members
politely insist on proof that you are either older than 21 and
eligible to shop in the "retail" area or older than 18 with a doctor
approved "red card" for access to the private "medical" area. The
latter is on the other side of a door marked "must remain locked at all times."
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SAN DIEGO - San Diego continued its efforts to shut down roughly 50
illegal pot shops still operating in the city by closing four this
week, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith announced Thursday.
The four closed dispensaries are two in Pacific Beach, one in Mission
Valley and one in the Mount Hope neighborhood of southeast San Diego.
Goldsmith's office is in the process of shutting down another 15
illegal dispensaries, and city code enforcement officials are
preparing to send about 25 additional cases to Goldsmith.
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Regulation barring opening within 1,000 feet of 'minor-oriented
facility' was too broad
SAN DIEGO - San Diego officials loosened rules this week governing
where the city's first legal medical marijuana dispensaries can open,
giving new hope to several frustrated pot shop applicants.
The city decided to soften a prohibition against opening a dispensary
within 1,000 feet of a "minor-oriented facility" because the
previously broad interpretation of that term had stymied many applicants.
The change comes one week after a dispensary proposed in Otay Mesa
became the first to receive city approval. That dispensary, A Green
Alternative, is expected to open by the end of the year.
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When even the organization representing local cannabis dispensary
operators and marijuana growers supports a tax on pot sales, you'd
think opposition to the city and county measures calling for the levy
would be a pipe dream.
Well, it's still a tax, and medical marijuana patients have voiced
their displeasure about the 7 percent levy on dispensary receipts. We
wonder if the anti-tax contingent also will vote against the
measures, regardless of how people feel about medical marijuana.
But it's not unfair to tax pot sales - mainly because the county and
city need to find the money to enforce medical marijuana regulations.
That's why we're recommending a yes vote on both Measure K in the
unincorporated area of Santa Cruz County and Measure L in the city of
Santa Cruz. The tax measures require a simple majority vote.
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Caregivers are now being called drug dealers by opponents of
Amendment 2. As a medical consultant and a police officer's daughter,
I am horrified by the comparison.
This November, we will vote on Amendment 2, which will expand the use
of medical marijuana. This will be an important vote, as it will have
a big effect on many people in our state who are have serious medical
conditions, including Parkinson's disease, ALS, cancer, lupus and
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In recent months, many Americans, myself included, have become
educated on the medicinal benefits that cannabis may provide to
patients who have some terrible illnesses. Earlier this year, the
Florida Legislature passed the Charlotte's Web law that allows
medicinal cannabis for Floridians battling illnesses such as
epilepsy, Lou Gehrig's disease and various types of cancer.
But it's time to make something clear: Amendment 2 is one of the most
loophole ridden pieces of legislation that you'll ever read. When
explaining the medical conditions that could warrant the use of
medical marijuana, the amendment cites a number of diseases, and
adds: "other conditions for which a physician believes that the
medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health
risks for a patient."
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Aloha. I'm fresh out of 50 months in federal prison for operating The
Hawaii Cannabis Ministry where we helped to prevent and treat pain,
disease and spiritual disconnection. Just reporting, not complaining.
What a great and unexpected education I received in prison. Now, it's
time for me to make some lemonade.
Please know that there are now multiple U.S. Patents for cannabinoids
in the prevention and treatment of pain and disease including for
cancer. Also, the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2012 was given to the
study of the two main cannabinoid 'receptors' CB1 and CB2.
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The Arizona Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled that the state's
medicalmarijuana law doesn't give drivers immunity from prosecution
if there is marijuana or its chemical compound in the body.
In December 2011, Travis Lance Darrah, a medical-marijuana user, was
charged with two counts of DUI, one based on impairment and the other
based on the presence of marijuana or its metabolite in his system.
A jury acquitted him of driving while impaired but convicted him of
driving under a DUI law that bans driving while having a prohibited
drug or its compound in the body.
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It's about time the Ontario government beefed up legislation to
include new penalties for drug-impaired drivers.
As the use of narcotics, both prescribed and illegal, becomes more
prevalent, their use is having an impact on our roads. Ontario must
deal with drugs and driving in the same fashion as with drinking and
driving-with tough laws.
And so the government's announcement Tuesday is appropriate. It is
proposing amendments to its distracted driving bill that would include
new penalties for drug-impaired drivers.
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New Film on Legalization Advocate Marc Emery Is, Like the Man Himself,
Not Without Its Controversy
It's fitting that a documentary on a figure as controversial as
self-proclaimed "Prince of Pot" Marc Emery should be subject to some
At its core, Citizen Marc wrestles not only with the topic of Emery's
legal troubles - the pot activist recently served four years in a U.S.
prison for "conspiracy to manufacture marijuana" - but also takes on
the complexity of the man himself, who has arguably been the single
most significant figure in the fight for marijuana legalization in
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Bob Jones may not write silly columns, but he sure makes a habit of
writing thoughtless ones. As usual, he uses ad hominem attacks
followed by non sequiturs in trying to dismiss Froma Harrop's sound
arguments for drug legalization and regulation.
First, he inexplicably calls her a liberal, then equates her
arguments with libertarianism. Ms. Harrop correctly argues that the
war on drugs has completely failed in its attempt to stop drug use
and abuse. It has been spectacularly successful in creating a huge
prison/legal/police/gang industrial complex, and is more responsible
for the militarization of our "protect and serve" police forces than
the 9/11 attacks.
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This November, voters all across the country will cast their ballots
and make important decisions about the future of our nation. In
Florida, voters will face no shortage of consequential choices. For
many of my constituents, our state's medical marijuana amendment is
of the greatest significance.
Florida's Amendment 2 will allow voters the opportunity to answer a
fundamental question about the character of our state and its people.
Should patients in Florida have the ability to adhere to their
doctor's recommendations without fearing criminal punishment? Should
Florida's patients have access to the same treatment options that
patients of other states already enjoy? Should we, as citizens, treat
sick and suffering Floridians with compassion and respect?
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