PANAMA CITY - With Florida voters slated to weigh in on a measure to
legalize medical cannabis in the coming weeks, campaign interest
groups are launching last-ditch efforts to sell marijuana as either a
dangerous drug or medical miracle.
Officially titled the "Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative,"
Amendment 2 would fully legalize medical marijuana in the state,
providing a much broader scope than the Legislature's Compassionate
Medical Cannabis Act, which legalized a noneuphoric strain of medical
marijuana for specific patients earlier this year.
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SARASOTA - Sarasota County and the City of North Port are scurrying to
get marijuana ordinances on their books before the Nov. 4 election,
part of a growing number of local governments in Florida that are
advancing rules ahead of the statewide vote on legalizing medical marijuana.
The City of Sarasota, meanwhile, is considering a yearlong moratorium
on any marijuana endeavors ahead of the vote on Amendment 2.
The City of Palmetto led the way in Southwest Florida last month, with
the passage of a new law that prohibits any medical marijuana
operations from its downtown and would force potential purveyors to
seek permission from city commissioners.
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Party may be consider legalization
OTTAWA - Decriminalize it, study it and then maybe legalize it, the
NDP says of marijuana.
That's the party's policy, which it will make official this week. An
NDP government would decriminalize the drug immediately and study the
health and societal side-effects, QMI Agency has learned.
The plan contrasts with that of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau who said
he wants to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana.
The NDP's official policy will be published in a supplemental document
alongside a Commons health committee report, which is scheduled to be
tabled in the House Tuesday or Wednesday.
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TORONTO - Marc Emery is often hailed as the Prince of Pot, a beloved
champion of marijuana legalization and Canadian sovereignty.
But in Citizen Marc, the famed activist is portrayed as an ambiguous
figure, driven as much by a quest for celebrity and libertarian
politics as he is by principle.
"There's no question that Emery loves getting attention, yet there's
also the question that he's politically effective as an activist,"
said director Roger Evan Larry, who co-wrote the film with Sandra
Tomc. "We leave it to the viewer to parse that out."
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Compassion dictates that we vote yes on Amendment 2. Have opponents of
the amendment really not had relatives who could have died with less
pain and suffering? Do none have a relative with disease symptoms that
could be eased with medical marijuana?
How can these people be so callous? Perhaps they will find themselves
wishing for medical marijuana someday.
Vote yes on Amendment 2.
How much money can you make harvesting marijuana during this time of
year? My friend says there's work for me up north but I wanted to
know what you think.
- -Mike Grant-Labor
Yes. You can make good money. But the money is not particularly easy
to get. It requires long hours and hard work, like being on an
Alaskan fishing boat, except you probably won't be thrown overboard
or washed out to sea.
The going rate for trimming a pound of cannabis is about $200. A
newbie can do maybe a pound in a 12-hour day. And that's with decent
pot. If the bud is larfy or small or riddled with mold, it may take
longer. People with more experience can do maybe two pounds. I know
someone who can do three pounds in a day, but she grew up on the
mountain and is a bit of a legend. Plus, trimming can be boring as
hell. You basically sit in a cabin and trim until your muscles cramp
up, then you switch hands and trim some more. Perhaps if you are with
some cool folks, there may be good conversation and decent food. But
really, you just sit and trim and trim and sit. It can be a bit
meditative if you have the right mindset, but mostly it's like
working an assembly line.
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The U.S. government wasted $7.6 billion on an ill-conceived drug war
in Afghanistan that was doomed to failure from the start, according
to a scathing new report from the Special Inspector General for
Afghanistan Reconstruction. The Afghan opium poppy crop, providing
the raw material for the bulk of the world's heroin supply, reached
record levels in 2013 and is likely to climb even higher this year,
the report finds.
"The recent record-high level of poppy cultivation calls into
question the long-term effectiveness and sustainability" of the past
decade of counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan, Special Inspector
General John Sopko concludes. "Given the severity of the opium
problem and its potential to undermine U.S. objectives in
Afghanistan, I strongly suggest that your departments consider the
trends in opium cultivation and the effectiveness of past
counternarcotics efforts when planning future initiatives."
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A B.C. man is one step closer to reclaiming some of the money seized
from him by border officers at the Vancouver International Airport
almost four years ago, following a recent decision by the Federal
Court of Appeal.
On Jan. 5, 2011, Robert Bo Da Huang was scheduled to fly out of
Vancouver International Airport to Hong Kong.
In the departures area, he was approached by a Canada Border Services
Huang admitted to the officer that he was carrying more than $10,000
in cash and he had not reported that fact.
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The producer of a documentary about marijuana laws has shared the
proceeds from the film's Kelowna premiere with families struggling to
pay for medical cannabis.
Adam Scorgie presented Kyla Williams, her mother Courtney Williams and
grandfather Chris Nuessler with a cheque for $3,500 from the proceeds
of the premiere of The Culture High.
The 2 1/2-year-old Summerland girl suffers from a severe seizure
disorder, but has shown a dramatic improvement since the initiation a
few months ago of treatment with cannabis oil.
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OTTAWA- The NDP and Liberals say the Conservative-dominated health
committee report on marijuana is biased, inherently flawed, and omits
evidence that contradicts Conservative ideology.
The health committee's report, called "Health Risks and Harms of
Marijuana," recommends the government try to prevent marijuana use in
Canada as well as raise awareness to the drug's harmful effects.
Health committee chairman and Conservative MP Ben Lobb did not return
QMI Agency's request for comment on Tuesday.
The NDP and Liberals rejected the committee's majority report. New
Democrats on the committee said testimony "that did not support (the
Conservatives') pre-conceived views about marijuana ... was dismissed
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Even though this year's Amendment 2 is about legalizing medical
marijuana, I believe that this is a back-door effort to legalize
recreational use of marijuana, as Colorado and Washington have done.
When companies want to introduce new products or a new concept, they
typically introduce that product in a "test market." By doing this,
they are able to judge much better if this will be a success or not
and whether it is worth even pursuing any further.
Before we rush to approve this amendment, we have "our" test market in
the above two states. Wouldn't the prudent course of action be to
monitor for a couple of years to see what the results are there in
terms of crime, accidents, addiction, etc?
It's a good sign federal inspectors quietly have been telling bankers
they can continue working with marijuana-related clients, as long as
those banks closely monitor that relationship.
The retail pot industry began in earnest in Colorado less than a year
ago, and the banking problem has been a threatening issue. The risk
dissipated slightly in February when the U.S. Treasury's Financial
Crimes Enforcement Network issued guidelines for banks.
Though some banks may be getting passive approval, the industry
continues to be "underbanked," said Andrew Freedman, the state's
director of marijuana coordination. So the problem persists.
Real change must come from Congress. A bill by Rep. Ed Perlmutter,
D-Golden, seeking sensible banking reforms could bring meaningful and
lasting resolution. But the bill is stuck in committee.
With more communities looking at legalization, this is an issue that
needs Congress' help.
It seems hard to believe that many forms of edible marijuana are made
to look like candy and treats that children often eat, yet the public
is supposed to believe that the marijuana industry isn't marketing to
the youth. It has been reported that nine children have been treated
at local hospitals after ingesting marijuana edibles. Further, one
college student jumped off of a balcony after eating a cookie that
contained marijuana. Now, parents are being warned more than ever
before to check their children's Halloween The Growing Kitchen candy,
suggesting in Boulder.
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It would be really refreshing to see the marijuana industry take a
proactive approach to dealing with the social issues and unintended
consequences legalization brings. If adults choose to use edible
marijuana (or any other form, for that matter), it is their
responsibility to protect children from it. However, kids will be
kids and they will be tempted to eat something that looks like a
gummy bear or a cookie. The marijuana industry should not worry about
what they are legally expected to do, but should be at the forefront
of creating packaging that is as childproof as possible. Do we have
to drag the marijuana industry kicking and screaming to the table
like we did with the tobacco and alcohol industries? It's about our
children, for crying out loud!
John Barnholt, Denver
Working in the weed industry sounds awesome, in theory. Maybe you
could be the next marijuana millionaire.
Or at least get lots of free samples.
But cannabis professionals say their days are consumed by endless
data-entry, software malfunctions and anxiety. "This industry has
been regulated into absurdity," says Read Spear, author of Marijuana
Cultivation Reconsidered and consultant to cannabis entrepreneurs.
"It's like you're handling nuclear material."
Spear disputes the assumption that everyone in the industry is
rolling in profits. The margins have shrunk, he says, because of the
taxes and fees.
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With a summons for marijuana possession to settle, Anthony was
waiting outside the courthouse in Kew Gardens, Queens, when the doors
opened at 9 on Tuesday morning.
That summons had frozen his life since a police officer handed it to
him on a Saturday evening in August. He immediately lost a job that
he had held for seven years as a school bus driver. It had already
cost him close to $7,000 in lost wages.
For this account, Anthony, 28, asked that only his first name be
used, because he has never before had any trouble with the police,
and wants to go back to work.
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Dear Stoner: I saw they are getting rid of the red card for a new,
smaller card. What's up with that?
Blue Over Red
Dear Blue: It's true. After nearly fifteen years of listening to
patients gripe about the hassle of cumbersome paper "red cards," the
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has begun
issuing credit-card-sized medical marijuana cards. The new design
will "significantly reduce" the need for replacements, according to
the CDPHE. Complete with a Colorado-seal hologram, the new cards are
a welcome change that brings us up to the mid-1990s in ID-card technology.
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Federal Official Calls on California to Regulate Medical Marijuana
Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole recently warned that the
federal government may step in if California doesn't implement a
statewide regulatory system for the use and distribution of medical marijuana.
Since 1996, when Proposition 215 modified state law to allow patients
the right to obtain, grow and use marijuana for medicinal purposes
with a doctor's recommendation, counties and cities have created a
patchwork of different rules. Several attempts at imposing tighter
medi-pot regulations have failed-most recently in August, when state
lawmakers delayed Senate Bill 1262, which would have implemented
strict oversight of physicians who prescribe medical marijuana and
required medi-pot retailers to obtain state licenses costing up to
$8,000 each, according to California Healthline.
"If you don't want us prosecuting [medical marijuana users] in your
state, then get your regulatory act together," Cole said.
The Green Halo's grow helps them serve their large clientele
Tucson has spoken, and it's saying The Green Halo is the best of the
best in medical marijuana dispensaries.
Voted on by the general public in the Tucson Weekly's annual "Best of
Tucson," The Green Halo, opened Jan. 1, 2013 as the second dispensary
in Tucson and third in Arizona, has become a household name in the
medical marijuana industry, and as a wholesaler of more than 50
dispensaries, its product can be found throughout the state.
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Re "All about weed" (Letters, by Larry Cooper, Oct. 16):
Mr. Larry Cooper, I'd like to address your letter. First, yes I stand
for voting yes on Measure A and no on Measure B. Second, for the
record, I do not own a winery. Your tirade about comparing cannabis
to grapes falls flat. As a Chico State alumna, I believe in what is
best for all of Butte County.
A quick look at the growers backing B, see
clarifies the point. Their exorbitant donations exceed $100,000 yet
they are in debt. Wow, it's not rocket science. Harvest season is in
full force. Trafficked bud will take care of the debt. What I wrote
in my letter last week is the truth. Go to www.bsane.org; the slide
show of marijuana growers' environmental carnage in Butte County
documents the reality.
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Two Medi-Pot Cultivation Items Bring Confusion to the Ballot
When it comes to Measures A and B, confusion reigns supreme. That's
because they're both related to the growing of medical marijuana, and
proponents of each side are using similar slogans: Yes on A, No on B
vs. No on A, Yes on B.
First, let's go back in time for context. Since 2011, the Butte
County Board of Supervisors has been working on drafting an ordinance
regulating the cultivation of medical marijuana. After years of
discussion, including the creation of a task force of sorts with
representatives from both sides of the issue, the board finally
approved an ordinance in early 2013. It didn't take long, however,
for amendments to be proposed. The first round was approved last
December, and more came early this year (this final document is now Measure A).
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Who's on the Ballot: Heavily favored Democratic incumbent Kamala
Harris, who laughs nervously in the face of marijuana legalization,
and Ron Gold, the Republican who takes it very seriously.
Who Stands to Benefit: California's marijuana industry, forces
seeking to privatize schools, people who like the death penalty.
Marijuana makes people do strange things. The cannabis cause has led
dreadlocked Santa Cruz hippies to warmly embrace libertarians like
retired U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (whose pledged destruction of the
Environmental Protection Agency might have shocked the tree-huggers,
had Paul ever been elected or had the weedheads ever bothered to read
his entire platform).
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The JAX Chamber board of directors formally came out in opposition to
the Florida ballot initiative that would legalize the use of medicinal
Early voting is already underway this week where voters are
considering Amendment 2 on the ballot among other electoral issues and
political races with the Nov. 4 election day approaching. But Tuesday,
the JAX Chamber officially opposed the referendum question because of
its wording "ambiguity" and, the board said, it would be bad for
business, despite figures from the marijuana lobby that state otherwise.
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If there is a topic where half-truths, mistruths and untruths have
flourished, that topic is marijuana legalization.
The plant cannabis is cloaked with a stigma that has resulted from
years of prohibition at both the state and federal level. Undoubtedly
there are both valid and invalid reasons for its controversial reputation.
We find it distressing that the public debate on marijuana revolves
around unsubstantiated opinions and anecdotal stories about why
marijuana is or is not a dangerous drug, why it should or should not
be used for medicinal purposes, and why criminalizing its possession
may or may not be harmful to society. Why rely on anecdotes and why
heed unsupported speculation on the question of marijuana legalization
when medical, public policy and law enforcement studies have already
been conducted on the topic?
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The University of Florida Levin College of Law student law review is
holding a panel discussion Friday on marijuana legalization.
The discussion, "Legalize Marijuana? A Conversation with the Experts,"
begins at 10 a.m. in the Phillips Center for Performing Arts. The
event is free and open to the public.
David Blake, the deputy attorney general for legal policy and
government affairs of Colorado. He recently co-wrote an article,
"Marijuana Legalization in Colorado: Learned Lessons," in the Harvard
Law & Policy Review, which detailed how the state set up the
regulatory framework for legal marijuana.
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Those little people of, by and for whom our government was established
are, in actuality, the overseers of the welfare of the mass of mankind
- - at times exceedingly so, when they exercise their right to vote.
When enough of them see errors in judgment and sense the bedlam those
errors will create, they can, with one little stroke, nullify even a
$4 million catastrophe before it's loosed on them.
Discrimination is something you lose when you smoke pot. You can lose
it forever with drug addiction. The loosely written ballot initiative
Amendment 2 - "Use of marijuana for certain medical conditions -
leaves it "wide open," as Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and
Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson have both stated. It was written
"for the industry," as the sheriff said.
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The release of a final report on marijuana by the House of Commons
health committee has opposition MPs accusing the Conservatives of
whitewashing all expert advice that disagrees with the government's
The report summarizes a study that was controversial from the start
because the committee's mandate was to look at "marijuana's health
risks and harms," which prompted concerns the outcome was intended to
fit with the government's political messaging against the drug.
The future of federal marijuana policy is shaping up to be a key point
of political debate ahead of next year's federal election in light of
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's call for Canada to be among the first
countries in the world to legalize the drug for recreational use. The
Conservative Party has run ads saying Mr. Trudeau's policy would put
kids at risk.
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Every time opponents talk about Florida's bid to allow medical
marijuana, they throw out the same scare tactic: Medical marijuana
will lead to legalized marijuana!
To which I say: Gee, I hope so.
Because marijuana should be legalized. And if it takes medical
marijuana to start opening that door in Florida, bully for medical
On Nov. 4, Florida voters will vote on three proposed amendments to
the state constitution. Amendment 2 allows Florida residents to buy
and use marijuana for medical conditions.
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