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.
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
SACRAMENTO - California would levy a new 15 percent tax on medical
marijuana sales to enforce new regulations and pay for state
programs, rehabilitation and parks under a bill introduced Wednesday.
The Marijuana Value Tax Act could bring the state more than $100
million in new revenue. The tax was anticipated after the state
passed historic regulations last year that require state and local
licenses for medical marijuana businesses under the new Bureau of
Medical Marijuana Regulations.
"Now that there is a long overdue regulatory framework put into
place, it's time to help fund the areas that are most affected by the
cultivation - those communities that have long been paying the price
of the negative effects of cultivation brought on by the 'bad actors'
who destroy the environment and bring in crime," state Sen. Mike
McGuire, D-Healdsburg, who authored SB987 and parts of last year's
marijuana regulations, said in a statement.
[continues 468 words]