The mind-altering-substance market got a little more crowded in
Washington this past week when the District joined three states in
allowing residents to possess and consume marijuana for recreational purposes.
And despite the objections of some congressional Republicans,
initially led by Rep. Andy Harris (Md.), who's quite keen to tell
D.C. voters that he knows better than they do, the District is
actually the best place in America for marijuana aficionados - in
part because of Harris's efforts to block the will of the voters.
[continues 344 words]
Governor Creates Panels to Focus More on Prevention and Treatment of Addiction
"We're not just reacting to the sudden surge of overdoses and
overdoses deaths. We're taking a holistic approach."
With the creation of two panels devoted to combating heroin use, Gov.
Larry Hogan has waded into a worsening crisis - one that has defied
solutions for decades.
It once looked as if Maryland had brought some measure of control to
its long-standing battle against the drug, driving down fatal
overdose rates for years. In Baltimore, for example, overdose deaths
plunged from more than 300 in 1999 to around 100 in 2010.
[continues 1246 words]
Gov. Larry Hogan's focus on addressing the heroin epidemic ("Hogan
creates two panels for fight against heroin," Feb. 25) is a testimony
that the scourge of heroin and other substance addictions has
garnered bipartisan concern. The next public policy strategy should
translate this realization in to greater access to treatment, more
targeted public awareness campaigns and increased cooperation between
law enforcement, health care and mental health care providers and
The efforts by Governor Hogan and others need to focus on teens and
young adults. The Maryland Addiction Recovery Center's December, 2014
analysis shows that heroin is now one of the top five drugs abused by teens.
[continues 108 words]
I find it amusing that the Hogan administration is proposing a
"study" to combat heroin addiction in Maryland ("The new face of
Md.'s fight against heroin," Feb. 26).
Presumably it will complement the other "study" recently completed by
the O'Malley administration. I'm sure the two of them will make
lovely bookends in an office somewhere, where they will sit, gather
dust and be ignored just like every other "study" the government has
commissioned in its futile "war on drugs."
[continues 179 words]
In Baltimore City, approximately 20,000 people were arrested for
drug-related offenses annually in 2012 and 2013; nearly three
quarters for simple possession. And while there has been a great deal
of discussion over the last few years regarding the incarceration of
individuals for drug crimes, particularly in minority communities,
the fact is that most drug cases in Baltimore do not result in
confinement, except for those unfortunate enough not to have the
funds to post bail while awaiting trial.
[continues 773 words]
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Even in this city full of absent-minded drivers,
it's a wonder Irvin Rosenfeld doesn't stand out as a menace.
The interior of his Toyota 4-Runner reeks of marijuana. A canister
stuffed with hundreds of joints lies in the trunk, and a bag full of
them is in the door pocket. On a recent weekday, the 62year-old
stopped at a red light and took a drag so deep his exhale filled the
cabin with smoke. It was his fourth joint that day. It wasn't yet lunchtime.
[continues 596 words]
TALLAHASSEE - The case against Tadrae McKenzie looked like an easy
win for prosecutors. He and two buddies robbed a small-time marijuana
dealer of $130 worth of pot using a BB gun. Under Florida law, that
was robbery with a deadly weapon, with a sentence of at least four
years in prison.
But before trial, his defense team found investigators had used a
secret surveillance tool, one that raises significant privacy
concerns. In an unprecedented move, a state judge ordered the police
to show the device - a cell-tower simulator sometimes called a
StingRay - to McKenzie's attorneys.
[continues 339 words]
Representatives Attend Forum on Regulatory, Social Issues
TULALIP, Wash. (AP) - The Justice Department's announcement in
December that it would allow the nation's Indian tribes to legalize
and regulate marijuana on their reservations brought notes of caution
if not silence or opposition from many tribes.
They were reluctant given the substance-abuse problems that already
plague many reservations.
But the attendance at a conference on the topic Friday gave an early
indication of just how many might be weighing it, even if a thicket
of potential legal issues remain.
[continues 619 words]
It officially became legal to consume and grow marijuana in Alaska on Tuesday.
That means the state is the third to legalize the drug in as many
years, but it is hardly the last. Voters in Oregon and Washington,
D.C., have also approved legalization, and advocates plan to take
advantage of shifting public opinion to target other states this year and next.
Here's a look at how the patchwork of existing laws compare,
according to the Marijuana Policy Project, which played pivotal roles
in passing some of the legalization laws.
[continues 432 words]
A so-called "freeman" who claimed justice officials had no right to
prosecute him for running a marijuana grow operation in his basement
has been sentenced to 13 months house arrest.
Scott David Peters, 45, argued he is not bound by Canadian law, but
by a natural law "to do no harm."
"There is a big difference between a person thinking that a
particular law is wrong and a person who actually disregards that
law," Justice Robert Dewar told Peters.
"This sentence is intended to reinforce the notion that a person is
not entitled to pick and choose which laws to obey - they must all be
obeyed," Dewar said. "Consider this sentence an encouragement to
start acting like a responsible citizen and govern yourself accordingly."
[continues 259 words]
"State Republican advocates for Oakland pot dispenser" (Insight, Feb.
22) and "GOP's crusader for legal pot calls it conservative cause"
(Feb. 22) have both put a spotlight on the efforts of Orange County
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher to get the Justice Department to refrain from
trying to shut down dispensaries in states where voters have approved
the use of medical marijuana. They have also noted Rohrabacher's
advocacy for the legalization of recreational marijuana use is part
of his strong "civil libertarian streak."
[continues 120 words]
Some in the Pot Industry Dream of Vineyard-Like Tours, but Some See
Limits to That Comparison.
Jill Lane, master grower at Sky High Gardens on Seattle's Harbor
Island, uncaps jar after jar of golf-ball-size marijuana buds and
allows her guests sniffs of Bubblicious, Super Silver Goo and Green Crack.
"What kind of high is that?" asks Louise Avery, gesturing to one of the jars.
"This is for daytime: taking a hike. Beach volleyball," explains Lane
to the group of visitors with Kush Tourism, a Seattle-based cannabis
company. Lane continues describing strains as if the visitors
surrounding the table were middle-age women in a Yankee Candle store.
[continues 1408 words]
Labs Can Tell You What's In Your Pot, From THC to Contaminants
Cannabis used to be what moonshine is to alcohol, its content as
murky as a cloud of smoke lingering over a Phish concert.
Now a cadre of Bay Area laboratories can tell you exactly what you're
getting for your money - creating reliability, safety and
standardization in a business that long relied on the casual
assurances of a skanky friend from Stonerville.
Gone are the days of being ripped off with a nickel bag of dusty
oregano. Or eating a cookie that delivers manic euphoria, when all
you wanted was to ease a little nausea.
[continues 1244 words]
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's (R) emotional disclosure that his cousin
died of a heroin overdose shows that the tragedy of addiction is not
restricted to any income class, ethnic group or geographic area ["For
Hogan, the heroin crisis hit in the heart," Metro, Feb. 25].
Addiction afflicts individuals and families from all walks of life,
in Maryland and across the United States.
The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's 2013 Maryland
Youth Risk Behavior Survey reported that 4.9 percent of the state's
high school students have tried heroin at least once, 5 percent have
tried methamphetamines and 3.9 percent have used a needle to inject
these and other drugs.
[continues 61 words]
Today, a rare consensus has emerged in favor of reforming our federal
drug sentencing laws. This presents a historic opportunity to improve
the fairness of our criminal justice system. But unless we act
quickly, we risk letting the moment pass.
The Justice Department has sought to be an early innovator on this
front. A year and a half ago, I launched the Smart on Crime
initiative- a comprehensive effort to reorient the federal
government's approach to criminal justice. It focused on reducing the
use of draconian mandatory minimum sentences for low-level drug
offenses and deepening our investment in rehabilitation and reentry
programs that can reduce the likelihood of recidivism.
[continues 638 words]
In a chandeliered banquet hall not far from the U.S. Capitol on
Saturday, a man with a Duke MBA and a Wall Street background offered
the same sort of tips often given to aspiring entrepreneurs in places
like this one: Develop a clear business plan; raise enough capital to
weather setbacks; find a niche and own it.
Listening were 150 or so people packed into rows of cushioned
red-and-gold chairs at the District's first "Cannabis Academy," an
event perfectly timed to capitalize on the rush from the city's newly
legalized marijuana-growing marketplace. Butthe stereotypical images
of stoner culture-leaf-adorned-Bob Marley flags and smoky photos of
piled-high pot-were, by design, nowhere in sight at the Holiday Inn.
The crowd, more grayhaired than long-haired, sipped coffee and
thumbed through 100-plus page workbooks with categories such as
"Legal" and "Accounting & Merchant Services."
[continues 1233 words]
TULALIP, Wash. - The Justice Department's December announcement that
it would allow the nation's Indian tribes to legalize and regulate
marijuana on their reservations brought notes of caution - if not
silence or opposition - from many tribes.
They were reluctant to consider it given the substance abuse problems
that already plague many reservations.
But the attendance at a conference on the topic Friday gave an early
indication of just how many might be weighing it.
Representatives of about 75 tribes from around the country converged
on the Tulalip Indian Tribe's resort and casino for a $605-a-head
seminar on the regulatory, legal and social issues related to pot legalization.
That's a small fraction of the nation's 566 recognized tribes, and
many of the attendees were from smaller tribes looking for a
potential economic edge.
Sometimes it's hard to choose your poison, especially when all the
options are horrible. That's what it's like when the District decides
to take on Congress over an issue of self-government.
The District's chances of winning such contests are small because of
that pesky Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, which gives
Congress the power to "exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases
whatsoever, over . . . the Seat of the Government of the United
States." The "Seat" is us. Still, there are times when the District
simply has to mix it up with Congress. The principle of
self-government - the right of citizens to determine their own
destiny - is too precious to forfeit out of fear that our overseers
might take umbrage.
[continues 708 words]
It took a couple days post-legalization, but Interior municipal
governments appear to be on the same page with local marijuana rules.
That's no small feat. With little time to collaborate on rules in
Fairbanks, North Pole and the borough at large, the potential existed
for serious conflicts between how marijuana could be possessed and
used in each of our local communities. Such an outcome would have
been a headache for legal professionals to sort out and would have
had impacts on local residents confused about the overlaps and
discrepancies in municipal rules.
[continues 478 words]
15 Tons on Big Rig Port's Largest Cache, Second in the Nation
Record Otay Pot Bust: 15 Tons, $19m Value; Second Largest Ever at a
U.S. Border Crossing
In what was described as a "very risky" drug-smuggling attempt, more
than 15 tons of marijuana stacked in bundles was seized from a
tractor-trailer at the Otay Mesa border crossing. Federal officials
said Friday it was the largest seizure ever at the port and the
second-largest at any crossing in the country.
[continues 590 words]
I hate to be the party pooper but I feel there is a need to point out
that the possession, transportation, processing and use of marijuana
is still illegal.
It is not legal in Alaska, nor Colorado, nor Washington, nor Oregon.
It's not legal in your house, nor in a car, or on a train, or in a plane.
No Charlo Green I am; it's not legal to grow pot in this here land.
There is this thing called the Controlled Substances Act. You can
find it in Title 21, Section 800 or so of the U.S. Code. Section 812
lists marihuana (with an h) as a schedule I substance.
[continues 779 words]
Drug Seizures and Arrests Hit Highest Levels in 2013; Spike in the Use of Ice
The imminent execution in Indonesia of two Australians caught there
for trafficking drugs comes as Australia faces its own worsening
narcotics problem. PHOTO: REUTERS Mr Suhandro Putro, representative
of The Javanese Christian Church funeral home, says they usually
receive orders for caskets when executions are carried out on
Nusakambangan, an island off Java.
The extent of the problem can be seen from the Australian Crime
Commission's most recent report on illegal drugs, released last April.
[continues 689 words]
Jakarta (AFP) - An Indonesian funeral home has reportedly prepared at
least 10 caskets for police ahead of the planned execution of
death-row convicts, including two Australian drug smugglers whose
sentences have strained the country's relations with Canberra.
The report came as Indonesia announced yesterday that it had on
Friday night deported Ms Candace Sutton, a reporter for Australia's
Daily Mail, as she had interviewed without a proper visa a relative
of one of the Australian convicts in the coastal town of Cilacap.
[continues 199 words]
George Square Event Criticised by Politicians
DRUG users are planning to stage a "cannabis celebration" in
Glasgow's George Square.
The annual '420 event' sees campaigners gather in a public place on
April 20 to call for the legalisation of the Class B drug.
Last year Glasgow Cannabis Social Club held a gathering of 150 people
at Glasgow Green and five were reported to the procurator fiscal for
flouting the law by lighting up in full view of police.
The maximum penalty for possession of cannabis is five years in prison.
[continues 448 words]
The debate over the side effects of marijuana vs. alcohol, along with
the lingering question of whether or not marijuana should be legal,
has been long running and probably won't end anytime soon. But
according to new research published in the journal Scientific
Reports, that looked at things people take to get high or drunk, weed
is the least fatal. And guess what the deadliest was? Alcohol.
Not only was weed the least lethal, it was roughly 114 times less
deadly than booze, according to the authors. Put science aside, and
most anyone who has smoked pot will tell you it has a softer effect
than alcohol. If alcohol and marijuana were animals, alcohol would be
an anaconda and pot would be a housecat. Yet pot will land you in
jail but you can drink alcohol in the White House.
[continues 341 words]
Amid all the uncertainties surrounding the legalization of marijuana
in the District of Columbia, a few things are clear. Among them is
that Congress has better things to do than meddle in the purely local
affairs of the District. When it does interfere, it ends up making a
mess of matters. Apparently, however, there are no bounds to the
grandstanding of opportunistic politicians on Capitol Hill.
That District officials and employees have been threatened with jail,
by no less than the chairman of a powerful congressional committee,
for their goodfaith efforts to follow a voter mandate is utterly
inexcusable. Such a spectacle - and the fact that the District is
under congressional attack for undertaking virtually the same steps
as its counterparts in Colorado, Washington and, most recently,
Alaska - should bring home to the rest of the country the need to
redress the historic injustice of the city's limited political powers.
[continues 325 words]
Supreme Court Justice Admonishes RCMP for Handling of Roadside Drug Bust
Four months after being involved in a court decision that took note
of how the police had violated a man's Charter rights during a drug
bust, one of the officers breached the rights of two more men in a
similar roadside investigation.
This time, though, it is likely the case will be tossed out of court.
Const. Leon Sheppard of the RCMP Traffic Services West was one of two
officers who pulled over Philip Jordy Blanchard in 2008.
[continues 683 words]
Mark Jason Murray claims being strip-searched when he was a
psychiatric patient at East Coast Forensic Hospital was degrading and
violated his charter rights.
"It was very shocking, to say the least," said Murray, 40. "It was
very traumatizing, and it was also very confusing and disorienting."
The Halifax man is the representative plaintiff in a class action
against Capital district health authority on behalf of 33 patients
who allege their rights were violated when they were all
strip-searched at East Coast Forensic Hospital on Oct. 16, 2012.
[continues 495 words]
In the next few weeks, the group hoping to open the first medical
marijuana dispensary in Port Moody will learn the fate of its plan.
Representatives of CannaLifeMD were in front of council Tuesday
formally requesting a bylaw amendment that would allow them to open
what they call a "medical wellness centre" at 3131 St. Johns St.
The company originally appeared in front of council last fall, but
didn't make a specific request at that time.
Council asked staff to come back with recommendations for an upcoming
meeting on how to proceed with the issue.
[continues 394 words]
Last week the newly created Coalition for Public Safety, a
bipartisan, transideological campaign to reform the criminal justice
system, made a big splash by bringing together political adversaries
such as Koch Industries and the Center for American Progress.
Notably absent from celebrations of this strange-bedfellows alliance:
any mention of actual policy changes the coalition plans to pursue.
The lack of specifics was understandable but telling. While there
seems to be broad agreement within the coalition about what should be
done to "make our criminal justice system smarter, fairer and more
cost effective," the current Congress may settle for little more than
lip service to those goals.
[continues 571 words]
According to the national group NORML, 18 states have decriminalized
marijuana, at a minimum.
Typically, according to its website, that means "no prison time or
criminal record for first-time possession of a small amount for
personal consumption" - essentially treating offenses like a minor
A legislative bill that would make Hawaii the 19th such state has
advanced. Passing it would make sense. Even some of those who look
askance at marijuana legalization don't want to see small-time users
criminalized and public money spent on prosecuting them.
When San Franciscans awoke Friday morning, those with medical
marijuana cards were able to make high-grade, sun-grown cannabis
appear on their doorsteps within an hour.
Flow Kana, the startup behind it, celebrated its new farm-to-table -
or farm-to-bowl - service by passing joints at a Berkeley hills
launch party Thursday night.
About 125 guests were ferried by a fleet of vans to the party at a
posh ecofriendly house overlooking the bay. As guests traveled up the
spindly drive, the voice of Flow Kana CEO Michael Steinmetz came
through the speakers, dubbed over music from "Interstellar."
[continues 799 words]
First Such Gathering
Event Offered Debate and Education on Merits of Legalization
Hundreds of tribal leaders, lawyers and marijuana-industry
representatives gathered in Tulalip on Friday for the nation's first
tribal marijuana conference, an event that served as much as a policy
debate on the merits of legalization as it did an educational session.
More than 60 tribes from at least 25 states were represented, said
Erica Curnutte, who organized the event.
Publicly, tribes have been wary of entering the marijuana market
after the Department of Justice released a policy memo saying tribes
could grow and sell marijuana.
[continues 620 words]
Marijuana Edibles Take Top Slot in Recreational Sales in Annual Report
Nearly 5 million marijuana-infused edibles and almost 150,000 pounds
of cannabis flower were purchased in legal Colorado stores and
dispensaries in 2014, yet only 67 of Colorado's 321 total
jurisdictions allow the sale of medical and recreational pot,
according to an encompassing and unprecedented new report from the state.
The Marijuana Enforcement Division's first annual report, issued
Friday, is one of the most important documents to date in Colorado's
marijuana experiment because it's the first to give complete, state-
sanctioned statistics on what marijuana looked like in its first full
year of recreational sales.
[continues 665 words]
On the heels of Jamaica decriminalizing marijuana, Denver-based
United Cannabis Corp. is proposing to create a "Ganja Cooperative" to
help Jamaican farmers grow pot.
Marijuana is a cultural icon of the Caribbean island, and farmers
have been growing it-successfully-for decades. But under the United
Cannabis proposal, growers will have access to high-tech genetics and
training in cultivation practices to produce standardized crops.
Jamaica's Parliament earlier this week passed a law decriminalizing
the possession of small amounts of cannabis - known colloquially in
Jamaica as ganja - and establishing a licensing agency to regulate a
medical marijuana industry.
[continues 253 words]
FAIRBANKS - Borough residents may use marijuana anywhere on private
property under an ordinance approved unanimously by the assembly Thursday.
"I am strongly of the opinion that if you can drink a beer on your
front lawn, you should be able to use cannabis on your front lawn,"
Fairbanks North Star Borough Assemblyman Christopher Quist said.
The voters last November approved more permissive marijuana laws in
Alaska but kept it illegal in public. Various governments have been
defining public place for the purposes of enforcing the new law.
[continues 268 words]
WASHINGTON (AP) - Defying threats from Congress, the District of
Columbia legalized possession of marijuana for recreational purposes
on Thursday, becoming the first place east of the Mississippi River
with legal pot.
The new law took effect at 12:01 a.m., despite last-minute maneuvers
by Republican leaders in Congress and threats that city leaders could
face prison time. Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser, who took office in
January, said it was her duty to implement the initiative city voters
approved overwhelmingly in November.
[continues 554 words]
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A state board wants to make permanent the
emergency regulation passed this week defining public places where
marijuana can't be smoked.
When voters approved legalizing recreational marijuana in November,
they prohibited smoking in public but did not define what a public place was.
The state's alcohol board, which is in charge of regulating marijuana
for now, met the first day of legalization to enact an emergency
regulation that defines public places as anywhere generally
accessible to the public, including schools, parks and roads.
The emergency regulation expires June 23. The agency is taking
comments on whether to make it permanent.
Some communities have created their own definitions, which can only
enforced by local police. Alaska State Troopers can only enforce
state statutes, spokeswoman Megan Peters said by email.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The new mayor of the nation's capital was hoping to
get along fine with Republicans on Capitol Hill.
Instead, they've threatened her with prison and she has accused them
of acting like bullies in a showdown over legal pot that could end up
costing District of Columbia residents dearly.
Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser defied threats from Congress by
implementing a voter-approved initiative on Thursday, making the city
the only place east of the Mississippi River where people can legally
grow and share marijuana in private.
[continues 225 words]
"Anonymoose" wonders about a seeming contradiction in the
implementation of the cultivation portion of the new laws allowing
Alaskans over 21 to possess, use and grow cannabis.
The ballot initiative that became AS17.38 seems to say that each
individual can have up to six plants (three flowering) for home
cultivation, but the state is interpreting it as per household, not
"It seems unfair and illogical -- going against the spirit of the
law," Anonymoose says, "to limit an adult couple living together from
combining their 'adult over 21 quota' of six plants to 12. The
measure didn't say 'six plants per dwelling if shared by multiple
over 21's,' but this is clearly how it's being seen by regulators."
[continues 2061 words]
The problem with making alcohol, THC, etc. verboten to people under
21 or even 18 years old is that it causes our youths to obtain these
goods illegally, consume them in secret, and abuse them irresponsibly
to excess. In Argentina, Germany, France, Greece, Spain, and every
other country in which I have lived, children are given half a glass
of wine or beer with meals under supervision by their parents. In
this way they learn how to enjoy alcohol responsibly with moderation,
and they do not have the huge social addiction problems that Alaska
has. Many Alaska villages have made their social addiction problems
even worse by creating dry districts where alcohol is not allowed to
be sold at all. We call all see the results of that mistake on the
streets and shelters in all of our cities in Alaska. Think of how
much money and how many lives go to waste due to our ignorance.
[continues 64 words]
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales requested $440,000 for a marijuana
permitting program, according to budget documents.
Hales, who oversees the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, authored
a memo outlining the funding request in the upcoming 2015-16 fiscal year.
The mayor's marijuana program represents a small slice of some $58
million in proposals submitted by city bureaus as they compete for
roughly $14 million in one-time general fund dollars expected to be
available come July.
More than half of the $58 million in one-time requests are from the
Bureau of Transportation, The Oregonian/OregonLive previously reported.
[continues 308 words]
WASHINGTON - Some Congressional Republicans said Thursday that they
would increase their efforts to prevent residents here from
possessing small amounts of marijuana, which became legal in
Washington at midnight, and warned that the city would face numerous
investigations and hearings should the mayor continue her practice of
telling them to please find something else to worry about.
"We say move forward at your own peril," said Representative Jason
Chaffetz of Utah, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, echoing
a letter he and Representative Mark Meadows, Republican of North
Carolina, sent to city officials this week, warning of legal action
and ordering the district to turn over documentation on any employees
involved with putting the law into effect.
[continues 488 words]
Editor: The marijuana industry brings in around $7 billion a year.
That money goes to criminals and drug dealers.
Meanwhile, the B.C. government is $63 billion in debt.
Ending cannabis prohibition would save a lot in the courts and on law
enforcement, and restore the civil liberties that have been lost in
the drug war.
Regulated sales would earn tax revenue, and transparency would ensure
that there is public safety. In reality, tobacco and alcohol are
proven to cause more bodily harm than marijuana, yet it is the
[continues 120 words]
With at least six bills currently in legislature, and the deadline
for new bills fast approaching, the Emerald Growers Association (EGA)
is pushing for the North Coast's state senator, Mike McGuire, to
introduce legislature that would classify marijuana as an
"agricultural product." And the organization is no longer just
focusing on political action; they are spinning off, or starting up
depending on your point of view, a separate strictly economic entity
called the Emerald Grown Marketing Co-op.
This Sunday, March 1, at Harwood Hall in Laytonville, the
organization will be formally launched as a farmer-owned "marketing
co-op," basically an association of farmers who agree to pay into a
central pool of money to share the costs marketing and other
infrastructure-think of a grain-elevator co-op in the Mid-West.
[continues 175 words]
Shortage Could Ease in D.C., As More Firms Have Registered to Be Growers
Even as the nation's capital enters an uncertain new age of legal
marijuana, the 2,500 District residents permitted to buy medical
cannabis are facing a blunt truth of their own: There isn't enough
pot to go around.
For months, many of the marijuana-using patients registered with the
D.C. Department of Health have been frustrated by a chronic shortage
in the system's very limited supply chain. Since last summer, when
the D.C. Council relaxed the rules for obtaining a doctor's
prescription for cannabis, the number of medical users has soared
past the ability of the city's three official growers to meet it.
[continues 822 words]
With Sales of Pot Still Illegal in D.C. and a Clear Grow-Your-Own
Message From Police, You'll Need Patience Before You Have a Supply
The District's marijuana initiative offers many pitfalls for the
cannabis connoisseur, with strict limits on how much you can have and
where you can smoke it. JEFF CHIU/ASSOCIATED PRESS
But the hardest part may be growing the stuff.
Because marijuana sales remain illegal - unlike in states that have
legalized recreational or medical use - the District's initiative is
based on people growing their own. Or in the mantra of Police Chief
Cathy L. Lanier: "Home use. Home grown."
[continues 1205 words]
If marijuana is going to be as mainstream as chardonnay in our
country's capital, it shouldn't be tough for a minivan-driving mother
of two to find a pot party, right? Especially not if the city's
stoners are lighting up in the wee hours Thursday to celebrate
legalization. I tried a tweet. "So where's the pot party in D.C.
tonight?" I asked, a few hours before the new law took effect.
Nothing. I tried Facebook. "Well, I would [tell you where the party
is], but since the law allows me to smoke it, but not to actually
purchase it, it's a challenge," responded one of my Mommyland friends.
[continues 1505 words]
Opioid overdose and dependence are enormous public health problems in
the U.S. As The Sun reported this week, Gov. Larry Hogan has rolled
out a strategy to fight heroin ("Hogan unveils plan to fight heroin,"
Feb. 24). A Baltimore task force is considering the city's
heroin-related treatment needs. And City Health Commissioner Dr.
Leana Wen has written recently in The Sun that naloxone is the key to
preventing overdose deaths. Studies show that medications like
Suboxone, a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, can reduce
opioid overdoses, drug use, disease transmission and criminal
activity while increasing the number of patients who remain in
treatment. Still, there continues to be a limited number of
physicians offering buprenorphine treatment. We believe pharmacists
could play a key role in providing patients access to life-saving treatment.
[continues 214 words]
We commend Maryland officials for highlighting the serious health
crisis that heroin use poses for all Marylanders and promising
immediate action to respond to our state's overdose epidemic.
Now is the time to invest wisely in the health care strategies that
will prevent and treat opiate and other substance use disorders, even
in a time of budget constraints.
While the state's investment in substance use treatment has never met
the need for care, Maryland is building a solid public health and
health care financing system that can be mobilized to address our
[continues 635 words]