#1

MJ News for 02/06/2014

in Marijuana in the News Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:39 am
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20140206/NEWS/302060032/Group-calls-replacement-DEA-leader




Group calls for replacement of DEA leader



The U.S.’s largest marijuana policy organization is calling on President Barack Obama to replace the head of the Drug Enforcement Agency.

The Marijuana Policy Project wants Michele Leonhart gone because she criticized the president for comparing marijuana to alcohol in terms of its impacts on consumers.

“Whether Ms. Leonhart is ignorant of the facts or intentionally disregarding them, she is clearly unfit for her current position,” MPP Director Dan Riffle said in a statement. “It is irresponsible and unacceptable for a government official charged with enforcing our drug laws to deny the facts surrounding the nation’s two most popular recreational drugs.”

Leonhart made the comments during a closed-door speech to the Major Counties Sheriffs Association, according to a press release.

This is not the first time Leonhart has voiced her opposition to legalization of recreational marijuana. In December, she said it would send a mixed message to high school students about marijuana’s harmfulness. And in 2012, Leonhart refused to answer a question from Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., about whether heroin and crack cocaine were worse for a person’s health.


BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
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#2

RE: MJ News for 02/06/2014

in Marijuana in the News Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:41 am
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/57501660-90/hemp-cannabis-bill-extract.html.csp




Utah bill to OK cannabis supplements may be unconstitutional



A bill that would allow authorized Utah health consumers to purchase and use "hemp extract" — non-intoxicating cannabis oils — without fear of prosecution would likely be declared unconstitutional if challenged in court, say legislative attorneys.

HB105 defines "hemp extract" as "an extract from a cannabis plant, or a mixture or preparation containing cannabis plant material" comprised of less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol – or THC, the chemical that gives users a high – and that "contains no other psychoactive substance."

Sponsored by Rep. Gage Froerer, R-Huntsville, the measure would give the Utah Department of Health authority to issue cards to individuals who, according to a signed doctor’s statement, may benefit from treatment with a hemp extract.

But its definition of "hemp" conflicts with the U.S. Controlled Substances Act, which makes it illegal to possess marijuana without a prescription and defines marijuana as "all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L, whether growing or not," says a constitutional note attached to the bill. The act exempts compounds made from the "mature stalks" or sterilized seeds of the plant.

Froerer sponsored HB105 to give parents of children with epilepsy access to a cannabis oil produced in Colorado shown to have powerful anti-seizure properties — a product made from the whole plant, including its mature flowers or buds.

Makers of the oil say it’s high in cannabidiol (CBD) but so low in THC that it meets international agricultural standards for hemp.

But the process used to make it qualifies the oil as marijuana under federal law, say legislative attorneys.

"An individual possessing or using hemp extract or administering hemp extract to a minor likely could not comply with the provisions of this bill without also violating federal law," they argue. Under the Supremacy Clause it’s highly probable that a court would rule the bill unconstitutional, they said.

HB105 was just released and hasn’t come before a committee.

Utah Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, said it presents a tough choice for lawmakers who will have to do some "soul-searching."


BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
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#3

RE: MJ News for 02/06/2014

in Marijuana in the News Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:43 am
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://nation.time.com/2014/02/06/legal-marijuana-indian-tribes-colorado-washington/




Legal Marijuana Raises Issues for Indian Tribes



Washington’s Yakama tribe lives on a one million-acre reservation in the southern part of the state, a relatively small patch left after nearly 12 million acres was ceded to the U.S. government by the nation in 1855. As state officials are racing to build one of the world’s first legal marijuana markets, tribe officials are making it clear that their reservation wants no part of it—and they don’t want anyone else growing or selling cannabis on their ceded land either, to which they maintain certain rights. But it remains unclear whether they have the legal authority to make a demand that affects nearly a third of the land area in the state.

The laws that govern American Indian reservations have long been confusing. Many tribes are subject to only their own laws and federal law, while certain reservations are under state jurisdiction. Now adding to the confusion in Colorado and Washington is the uncertainty about how those states can legally regulate a substance still considered illegal by the federal government. And while many Yakama are anxious to keep the marijuana market far away—fueled by concern about substance abuse—other advocates for American Indians are mad that tribes can’t enjoy the new freedoms that other state residents have.

People in Colorado and Washington who don’t live on reservations “are moving forward with this massive experiment,” says Troy Eid, chairman of the Indian Law and Order Commission, a national advisory body focused on criminal justice in Indian territory. “And, once again, these tribes are getting screwed.”

The Washington State Liquor Control Board is tasked with shaping the new market in that state. Right now, they’re sifting through more than 7,000 business license applications from residents who want to farm marijuana or run pot shops, and they plan to start issuing those licenses in March. This is where leaders from the Yakama tribe have addressed “several hundreds” of letters, each “pro-objecting,” as their attorney George Colby puts it, to individual applications made from areas the tribe occupies or once did. “Citizens of the state of Washington don’t get to vote on what happens” in those areas, he says. “The federal government wasn’t supposed to let alcohol come on the Yakama reservation, and thousands of people have died. We’re not going to let that happen again.”

There is little question about tribes in Washington being able to prohibit marijuana use among their own people on their own land (though there is some question about “tribes’ ability to regulate non-member conduct on the reservation,” the attorney general’s office says). The big unknown is how much authority they have over sprawling ceded lands, acres that were essentially handed up to the federal government more than 150 years ago with the promise that tribes would retain certain rights to those lands in perpetuity. In the Yakama’s case, members still have the exclusive right to hunt, fish and gather food on those 12 million acres.

Eid, an expert in tribal law appointed to his position by the president and Congress, says that while it’s not “absolutely clear,” he believes the Yakama do have the ability to object to marijuana being grown or sold on ceded lands. Meanwhile, the Washington state liquor board says they’re still planning to issuing licenses to businesses in those areas. “Objections are made all the time to licenses,” says spokesman Brian Smith. “You want to make sure you’re operating within the law as you know it, and that’s what we’ll be doing here.”

Neither side knows for sure, and that is a recipe for the conflict to end up in court, which might in turn force the question of how the discrepancy between state and federal law is going to be remedied when it comes to marijuana. The Washington attorney general’s office tells TIME that they will defend the liquor board if they’re sued, but that “the Liquor Control Board is still in the process of issuing licenses so it would be premature to speculate on the issue of how a court might rule on the issue of licenses on ceded lands.” Colby says that they will request the federal government to intervene if their ongoing pre-objections are not heard.

Other tribes in the state have yet to weigh in but Eid says that they are likely to stand with the Yakama, if only to make sure their rights to their own ceded lands remain as robust as possible. He also says that it would be ideal if everyone sat down in a room together and hashed out the issue. “They can work out what the scope of marijuana use and cultivation and distribution and so on could be,” he says. “They ought to be able to come to a voluntary agreement that would enable them to avoid any issues involving litigation.”

When Eid is not working on the commission, he acts as counsel for the Ute Mountain Ute tribe, one of two in Colorado. Unlike the Yakama reservation, where state law enforcement has some authority, reservations in the Rocky Mountain State are bound solely by federal and tribal law. That means that while reservation-dwellers in Colorado were allowed to vote in favor of Amendment 64, the proposal that legalized recreational marijuana, it remains illegal to grow, sell or smoke on their reservations as it ever was. (La Plata County, one of two with large American Indian populations, voted to approve the measure by 62% to 38%.)

Some of the American Indians in Colorado view their current situation as a missed business opportunity. “Capital is flowing in here from all over the world,” Eid says. “The tribes are going to be left behind, because there’s been no change in state law that applies to them … These are some of the poorest areas in the country. They could be involved in this business as well, but instead they’re being prohibited from being part of what’s happening.”

One way or another, the federal government may have to weigh in on the issue, whether it’s Congress eventually giving tribes the authority to decide whether they want to legalize marijuana or a federal judge ruling on the status of ceded lands. “This is one of so many of the issues that we are pushing through,” says Smith. “We’re sort of the pioneers here. But we continue onward, into some unknown territory.”


BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
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#4

RE: MJ News for 02/06/2014

in Marijuana in the News Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:46 am
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.kmov.com/news/local/Missouri-lawmaker-files-marijuana-legalization-bill-243941961.html




Missouri lawmaker files marijuana legalization bill



(KMOV) – A state lawmaker has filed a bill that would make Missouri the next state to legalize marijuana if passed.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, would impose a 25 percent tax on marijuana, as well as set up a system of state licensing for growers and sellers. Under the system, each county would be allowed to have one retailer for every 2,500 people.

Under the bill, St. Louis County could have 400 retailers, while 127 would be allowed in the city.

The bill would also allow pot users without a license to keep and transport a pound of marijuana, a pound of hashish and more than a half-gallon of hashish oil.

The proposal was lifted from one of 13 petitions filed by Dan Viets, an attorney from Columbia who serves as chairman of marijuana advocacy group Show-Me Cannabis.

Before a petition appears on a ballot, it would need almost 158,000 signatures by May 2014.

Kelly says he’s not optimistic the bill will pass, but hopes to get a dialogue started.

Washington and Colorado legalized recreational use of marijuana in 2012. Colorado began allowing commercial sales on Jan. 1, and imposes a 15 percent tax on retail buys.


BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
Scroll up

#5

RE: MJ News for 02/06/2014

in Marijuana in the News Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:48 am
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://rt.com/usa/michael-botticelli-marijuana-alcohol-765/




Obama's deputy drug czar admits marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol



United States President Barack Obama's deputy drug czar admitted this week that weed isn't as harmful as alcohol, but in the meantime the administration still shows no sign it will alter its official stance on marijuana.

Michael Botticelli, the deputy director of the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, was speaking before Congress on Tuesday this week when he was roped into a debate on the dangerous effects — or lack thereof — of marijuana.

Botticelli was speaking before the US House of Representatives Oversight Committee when Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Raw Story's Eric Dolan first reported, incessantly hounded the official until he acknowledged that marijuana isn't as dangerous as other drugs outlawed by the federal government.

“How many people die from marijuana overdoses every year?” Connolly asked of Botticelli.

“I don’t know that I know. It is very rare,” Botticelli replied, according to Raw Story.

“Very rare. Now just contrast that with prescription drugs, unintentional deaths from prescription drugs, one American dies every 19 minutes,” Connolly continued. “Nothing comparable to marijuana.”

“Alcohol — hundreds of thousands of people die every year from alcohol related deaths: automobile [accidents], liver disease, esophageal cancer, blood poisoning. Is that incorrect?” he asked.

Botticelli acknowledged the lawmaker first during the first round of questioning, Dolan reported, but refused to directly answer once Connolly tried to compare weed to alcohol.

“I guess I’m sticking with the president — the head of your administration — who is making a different point,” Connolly reportedly fired back. ”He is making a point that is empirically true. That isn’t a normative statement, that marijuana is good or bad, but he was contrasting it with alcohol and empirically he is correct, is he not?”

“Is it not a scientific fact that there is nothing comparable with marijuana?” he asked further. ”And I’m not saying it is good or bad, but when we look at deaths and illnesses, alcohol, other hard drugs are certainly — even prescription drugs — are a threat to public health in a way that just isolated marijuana is not. Isn’t that a scientific fact? Or do you dispute that fact?”

At that point, Raw Story reported, Botticelli admitted, “I don’t dispute that fact.”

The deputy's remarks come only weeks after Pres. Obama acknowledged that he thinks it's “important” to see the recently successful efforts to legalize recreational marijuana in the states of Washington and Colorado move forward, notwithstanding a long-time federal prohibition against marijuana that remains in place nation-wide.

“As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life,” the president admitted in a New Yorker interview weeks earlier. “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”

"[W]e should not be locking up kids or individual users for long stretches of jail time when some of the folks who are writing those laws have probably done the same thing,” Obama added.

Continuing that with respect to Washington and Colorado's new laws, the president said, "it's important for it to go forward because it's important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished."

According to CBS News, Botticelli said during the same oversight hearing on Tuesday that the administration remains pursuant of a “balanced” approach to drug laws, but does not accept efforts to legalize weed on a federal level.


BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
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#6

RE: MJ News for 02/06/2014

in Marijuana in the News Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:49 am
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://rt.com/news/uruguay-nobel-mujica-marijuana-849/




Uruguay’s president nominated for Nobel Peace Prize for legalizing marijuana



The president of Uruguay has been nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize. According to his advocates, José “Pepe” Mujica's much talked-about marijuana legalization is in fact "a tool for peace and understanding."

For the second year in a row, the Drugs Peace Institute, which has supported Mujica’s marijuana legalization drive since 2012, insisting that the consumption of marijuana should be protected as a human right, has endorsed his candidacy, along with members of Mujica's leftwing political party the Frente Amplio, the PlantaTuPlanta (Collective of Uruguayan growers) and the Latin American Coalition of Cannabis Activists (CLAC).

Despite an avalanche of global criticism, in late December Uruguay became the first country in the world to fully legalize the production and sale of the popular herbal drug. Under the new law, which comes into full effect in early April, Uruguayans will have several options to gain access to it.

The Drugs Peace Institute said that Mujica’s stand against the UN-led prohibition of mind-altering substances is a "symbol of a hand outstretched, of a new era in a divided world."

"It is a promise to bridge the gap between defiant marijuana consumers and the prohibiting society. Hopefully, the start of the acceptance of this consumption by society and the concomitant development of understanding of its use as a natural medicine, historically used for spiritual liberation, might initiate a process of healing in a world, very confused and deeply divided, over its religious legacy," the Dutch NGO stated on its website.

The institute pointed out that, unlike coca-based products that reinforce the ego and individual self-esteem, marijuana has the "peculiar quality of diminishing the consumer’s ego." It pointed out that so far only one government leader has succeeded in challenging the prohibition: "the World’s Poorest President” - Mujica - dubbed so due to his modest lifestyle.

"Jose Mujica once said that he’s been looking for god but [hasn’t] found him yet. By legalizing marijuana and opening the doors of spiritual happiness to the young, he might not have found the god of other nations…, but he certainly has followed in the footsteps of Jesus when he said ‘Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these,’" the NGO noted.

“I’m very thankful to these people for honoring me,” Uruguay’s president responded in Havana, as quoted by La Nación Argentine daily. “We are only proposing the right to try another path because the path of repression doesn’t work. We don’t know if we’ll succeed. We ask for support, scientific spirit and to understand that no addiction is a good thing. But our efforts go beyond marijuana - we're taking aim at the drug traffic," Uruguay's 78-year-old guerrilla-turned president said.

The leader of the South American state has championed the controversial legislation as a way to snuff out the illegal drugs trade in Uruguay, noting that both Washington and Colorado had legalized marijuana. He signed the bill into law on December 25. The Uruguayan government has until April 9 to finalize the regulations that will govern the sale and cultivation of marijuana.

Marijuana aficionados will be given carte blanche to grow cannabis. However, the law forbids having more than six hives per person. There will be a cap on the amount that can be bought every month, initially set at 40 grams. Residents aged over 18 will have to register in a special nationwide database that keeps track of how much marijuana was purchased in the past month. The law will forbid foreigners to buy it, and in an attempt to undercut the illegal market price of $1.40, the market price for the drug will be set at a dollar a gram.

Late last month, Uruguay's National Cannabis Federation launched special training courses on the cultivation of the popular plant. The training courses are also put forward as one of the measures taken by the authorities to control the trafficking and consumption of marijuana.

The international community lashed out at Uruguay's leader, with the UN’s International Narcotics Control Board chief, Raymond Yans, saying that Uruguay "knowingly decided to break the universally agreed and internationally endorsed treaty." Mr Yans argued in a statement that claims that the law would help reduce crime were based on "rather precarious and unsubstantiated assumptions."

Uruguay's president made it into the top 10 finalists for the award last year. However, the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Mujica has been president of Uruguay since 2010. He was a member of an armed political group inspired by the Cuban revolution, the Tupamaros, in the 1960s and ‘70s. After the military coup in 1973, during the dictatorship, he spent 14 years in prison. This included being confined to the bottom of a well for more than two years.

When democracy was restored in 1985, Mujica was freed under an amnesty law. He was Minister of Livestock, Agriculture, and Fisheries from 2005 to 2008 and a senator afterwards. When he became president, he pledged to give away 90 percent of his monthly salary to charities that benefit poor people and small entrepreneurs. Much to everybody's surprise, the unpretentious leader has also shunned the grandeur of the presidential residence in favor of his humble farmhouse.


BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
Scroll up

#7

RE: MJ News for 02/06/2014

in Marijuana in the News Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:53 am
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/02/05/as-states-weigh-legalizing-marijuana-the-feds-legalize-hemp/




As states weigh legalizing marijuana, the feds legalize hemp



It might be a long time before the federal government legalizes recreational marijuana. But once President Obama signs the new five-year farm bill that won passage in the Senate on Tuesday, its less controversial cousin, hemp, will have the all-clear.

A short clause buried deep in the 959-page bill authorizes colleges and universities to grow industrial hemp for research purposes, so long as their state permits the growth and cultivation of the plant.

Right now, that’s nine states: California, Oregon, Montana, Colorado, North Dakota, Kentucky, West Virginia, Vermont, and Maine. Another 11 states have bills pending before their legislatures this year.


BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
Scroll up



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