MJ News for 02/14/2014

in Marijuana in the News Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:22 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points


Mexican officials introduce bills seeking to relax marijuana laws

MEXICO CITY – Lawmakers in Mexico introduced bills Thursday that would create marijuana dispensaries in the capital and increase the amount of the drug people across the country could carry for “personal use.”

The proposals to Mexico City’s Legislative Assembly and the federal legislature would amount to a partial “decriminalization” of marijuana, advocates said, not full legalization.

The Mexico City bill would instruct police and judges to deprioritize the prosecution of marijuana violations under some circumstances. It would create “dissuasion commissions” to which some violators could be sent for administrative sanctions, in lieu of the traditional criminal court process.

It would also direct the government to designate spaces in the city where marijuana could be sold without fear of prosecution under certain criteria, including offering consumers warnings about potential health risks.

The federal bill would allow for the use of medical marijuana, give states and the Mexico City government more say in setting drug policy, and increase the amount of marijuana allowed for personal use from 5 grams to 30. The bill would also raise personal limits for LSD, methamphetamine and cocaine.

“We believe we’re making a very important contribution to a global debate that has to do with rethinking the issue of drugs,” Vidal Llerenas, a member of the Mexico City Legislative Assembly and sponsor of the local legislation, said at a news conference.

The legalization debate has heated up in Mexico, and across Latin America, in recent months, amid dissatisfaction with the violent fallout from U.S.-backed prohibitionist policies in the hemisphere and the changing situation in the U.S., where Colorado and Washington voted to legalize marijuana in 2012. American legalization advocates have also been working to put a legalization measure on ballots in Florida and California this year.

In Mexico, polls generally show weaker support for liberalizing marijuana laws than in the U.S., and the bills introduced Thursday face serious political challenges. The newspaper El Universal polled the 66 members of Mexico City’s legislature and found that only 11 openly expressed support for the bill. Thirty were against it, and the rest were either undecided or declined to state their preference.

Since passing a law decriminalizing the personal use of small amounts of drugs in 2009, the federal legislature has been reluctant to green-light other pot liberalization bills.

Mexico City is a bastion of social liberalism, having previously broken new ground for Mexico with the legalization of abortion and gay marriage.

Some observers this week criticized the local marijuana bill as too weak.

In the newspaper Excelsior, columnist Adrian Rueda called it a “decaffeinated” effort. In contrast, Jorge Castañeda, Mexico’s former foreign minister, said that if Mexico City allowed for what he called a de facto legalization of drug sales, “it will have tremendous repercussions nationally and internationally.”

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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RE: MJ News for 02/14/2014

in Marijuana in the News Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:23 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points


Examining the possibility of legal marijuana in New Hampshire

CONCORD, N.H. —The legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado and the recent passage of a similar bill in the New Hampshire House has sparked debate about the substance's legalization in the Granite State.

In the Mile High City of Denver, there's a lot of opportunity for word play, but when it comes to the retail sale of recreational marijuana, this is serious business.

Ever since Colorado legalized the sale of marijuana on the first of the year, LoDo Wellness Center in Denver has actually had to ration its sales just to keep up with demand.

“To keep up with that, to keep our doors open, we are limiting purchases to three grams ... whether you are in state or out of state. We could sell it all out in a week, but I want to just like keep our doors open and keep the whole thing going,” said Linda Andrews, the owner of LoDo Wellness Center.

Andrews didn’t say how much profit her store is generating, and Colorado has yet to compile any hard statewide statistics. But Andrews said in a single day of recreational sales, her store exceeds a month’s worth of sales when pot was only sold for medicinal purposes.

The customers come from every state around the world and every walk of life.

"(Customers include a) 25-year-old kid in college up to a 60-year-old businessman with his wife," Andrews said.

"There’s a huge amount of demand for legal marijuana,” said Rep. Joel Winters, D-Manchester.

In January, the New Hampshire House surprised a lot of observers when it passed a bill legalizing the retail sale of up to an ounce of pot to those over the legal drinking age, and that was despite a pledged veto of the bill from Gov. Maggie Hassan a day earlier.

“We have some challenges in our state when it comes to substance abuse. We need to be focusing on that and I just think it's the wrong message to send to young people,” Hassan said.

Last summer, Gov. Hassan signed a bill legalizing medicinal marijuana, but the regulatory and distribution structure on that is still at least a year away.
Regulations would also be a hurdle for legalized marijuana. For instance, commercial banks may not handle the money, and the state would need to decide who could be a grower and distributor and how they'd be taxed.

The Department of Revenue estimates that 15 percent tax would bring in as much as $26 million to $40 million, though that estimate was for consumers 18 and older, and the bill under consideration is for those 21 and over.

"We are going to drive out of business the black market that is hurting our youth,” said Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, R-Manchester. “(I) think the state could do very well at by taxing this at a moderate level."

Former Rhode Island congressman and self-admitted addict Patrick Kennedy is leading a national crusade against legalizing marijuana, saying the real target market for the new industry is the next generation.

"We all know that the advertising is so sophisticated. The flavored alcohol, the hard lemonade, the cable advertising is all targeting kids, and that's just like Joe Camel and the tobacco industry used to do: target kids. They know that’s their new market and so you can’t expect it not to be the case with the big marijuana industry also targeting kids,” said Kennedy.

Kennedy may have a point, judging from the Colorado menu items, called Heavy Duty Fruity or Cheezequake.

And then there’s the pot sold in edible forms.

"I think we do have a couple brownies up there and some hard candies and maybe some gummy bears,” said Andrews.

"It’s not the marijuana of the past. This is a wholly new drug. It’s genetically modified to increase the potency of THC," said Kennedy.

Andrews says the business is regulated to the hilt, ranging from production to sales to the staff that sells it.

"Judging from what I’ve seen, everyone here is just being careful and cautious and they are not out there going crazy. It’s just something we're not used to. Soon we'll be used to it and it won’t be any different from alcohol,” said Andrews.

And in a state like New Hampshire, where much of its revenue is derived from the sale of booze, and if the governor has her way, a casino, it’s fair to ask where the difference lies.

“Two wrongs don't make a right. And we can argue which is worse, but the fact is, neither is any good. And the fact we want to compound our problems with addiction by adding new challenges to mental health and addiction, that's what we are asking for,” said Kennedy.

Despite the move by the New Hampshire House this year, most insiders believe legalizing marijuana has very little chance of passing the Senate, much less the support it would need to override a veto by Hassan.

But the debate is happening, and if Colorado can show this is a legit business that doesn't cause a spike in social problems like crime and addiction, it might be increasingly difficult to argue against giving pot a shot.

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

Last edited Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:25 pm | Scroll up


RE: MJ News for 02/14/2014

in Marijuana in the News Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:27 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points


You have to be a dope to buy marijuana stocks

In the last few months, the marijuana stock hype has really kicked in and there’s a lot of money from mostly retail investors that’s betting big on this sector.

I’m sorry to pop their bubble, but I’m pretty sure there’s going to be a lot of that money lost after this pot stock bubble pops and these dreams of big legal profits from publicly-traded stocks with pun-like and pot-reference symbols.

I see the many headlines here on Marketwatch and you hear about “legalized pot” trends in the nightly news all the time. A handful of these stocks have recently crept into the top Scutify trending stocks board and yesterday I was asked about three or four times about various pot stocks in my weekly TradingWithCody.com chat. So here’s my take on the “pot stocks” like $HEMP HEMP , GrowLife $PHOT PHOT $CBIS $MJNA and so on.

Legal marijuana distribution and growing is way too new and full of scams out there. Criminals that are still being rooted out. You literally have to be very into that industry to get any idea of what’s trustworthy and what’s not in the stocks that are “in the weed industry.”

I think that most of the publicly-traded marijuana stuff, including the aforementioned names and companies with symbols like Cannabis Science $CBIS and Medical Marijuana $MJNA, is hype and that the only way to separate the potential good buys in the space from the bad buys is to do a bunch of on the ground research and meet the companies and tour their facilities and what not. I have no interest in doing any of that.

I mean meeting management and seeing if they actually have the marijuana assets and products they say they have and going through their financials and all kinds of extra stuff we don’t have to do for example on our Apple or Sandisk SNDK positions per se.

All industries and all stocks are potential frauds and its hard enough doing what I do and getting the edges I’ve got. Pot’s gonna be a growth industry in this country and there will be lots of profits to be made as it becomes more legal in more places. But I’m not going to risk my capital on marijuana stocks at this stage.

We have our edge in other areas, as turtle108, a follower of mine on Scutify noted, this morning:

@CodyWillard agree with you completely. I spent some time trying to do DD on the mj stks and there is not a lot out there. Some “cos.” are just websites with no products, no nothing. I.e., $HEMP.com. There is a future in the MJ biz, but who knows where. Thanks for sticking to tech!

And another trader I follow on Scutify.com made a very pun-like way of explaining pot stocks:

‘$CBIS $HEMP $MJNA were three of the marriage you wanna craporations promoted in a 130605 The Exchange article. Bottom line is you have to *be* a dope to dump real money into narcophony scams which have no assets other than “agreements” with other narcophony scams.’

And as always, my DO NOT EVER TRADE PENNY STOCKS rule applies, certainly including the #potpennystocks. $CBIS $MJNA

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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RE: MJ News for 02/14/2014

in Marijuana in the News Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:28 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points


Bill to refer marijuana legalization to Oregon voters stays alive in Legislature

A bill that would ask Oregon voters if they want to legalize marijuana while leaving the regulatory details up to lawmakers cleared its first legislative hurdle Thursday.

Senate Bill 1556 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 3-2 party-line vote, with Republicans Betsy Close of Albany and Jeff Kruse of Roseburg opposed, and was sent to the Senate Rules Committee.

Thursday was the deadline for moving bills out of committee, but the deadline doesn't apply to the rules committee.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, has argued that it makes more sense for legislators to work out the details of how to regulate the production and sale of marijuana in the state instead of leaving it up to advocates of the drug who are working on their own legalization initiatives for the November general election ballot.

Before passing the measure, it was amended to lower the amount of marijuana that 21-and-over adults would be allowed to legally possess in private to six ounces of marijuana and three plants. The original bill allowed up to eight ounces and four plants.

Rep. Peter Buckley, D-Ore., who is co-sponsoring the bill with Prozanski, said he thought the measure had a 50-50 chance of passing the Legislature. He said several legislators "don't want to become attached to anything having to do with marijuana."

Prozanski and Buckley argue that legislators are only asking voters if they want to legalize marijuana, not taking a position themselves on the issue.

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


RE: MJ News for 02/14/2014

in Marijuana in the News Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:30 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points


Holy Cannabis: The Bible Tells Us So

This Saturday, the day after Valentine's day, synagogues all over the world will be studying the Torah portion Ki Tissa, Exodus 30:11-34:35. It's likely that most people who are asked to comment on the portion will focus on the dramatic story of the Golden Calf that is told in the portion.

I'm going to follow a different path. My focus is on a detail in the beginning of the portion that describes the laws concerning the holy tabernacle. I want to talk about one ingredient in the recipe for the anointing oil used to sanctify both the tabernacle and the priests themselves. (Exodus 30:22-33).

The Torah: A Women's Commentary explains that the oil used to anoint sacred objects as well as the priests was to be made of four precious spices -- myrrh, cinnamon, cane and cassia -- combined with olive oil.

The common English translation of the third ingredient, replicated in most English versions of the five books of the Old Testament, is "aromatic cane." However, a different translation appears in The Living Torah where Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan writes that some sources identify "fragrant cane" -- "keneh bosem" in Hebrew -- with the English and Greek word "cannabis" referring to the hemp plant.

Kaplan's reference is significant. The Ben Yehuda Hebrew-English Dictionary, written by Eliezer Ben Yehuda, the father of modern Hebrew, defines the Hebrew word "kanabos" as hemp, a botanical relative of marijuana.

While the portion establishes severe penalties for use of the holy oil on profane objects or laypeople, it does not prohibit use of any of the separate ingredients. Punitive laws passed in the past century have distorted, demonized and suppressed the long history of the practical use, palliative power, and creative and spiritual contribution of this versatile plant.

Medical research is only now rediscovering the healing potential of cannabis, and many are taking action to make it available to those who might benefit from it. In 1999, the Women of Reform Judaism passed a resolution on Health Issues calling on its sisterhoods to support legislation that would permit marijuana to be prescribed for critically ill patients and to be used to conduct research.

And, in 2003, the Union for Reform Judaism passed a Resolution on the Medicinal Use of Marijuana calling for advocacy to change local, state and federal law to permit the medicinal use of marijuana and ensure its accessibility for use by patients under medical supervision and for further scientific research.

Now, more than 15 years since our movement first articulated a policy stand on this issue, medical professionals and members of Congress are calling for change in Federal drug policy that reflects the unrecognized potential of the cannabis plant. Their action also points to the failure of policy that has criminalized cannabis here in our country and, through the extension of that policy, around the world.

The story of the Golden Calf speaks of the people of Israel being stiff-necked and stubborn. I urge all people of faith to consider whether we are being stiff-necked in stubbornly insisting that cannabis is an "evil weed" when it may, in fact, be something quite blessed and beneficial.

The ancients had no problem using this plant along with other healing herbs and medicinal plants. Perhaps it was because of its many potentially healing properties that they chose to invest this particular plant with holiness by blending it into the sacred oil.

If we value rather than vilify the healing power of this versatile plant, we can improve our world by making it a more compassionate, just, and holy place.

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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RE: MJ News for 02/14/2014

in Marijuana in the News Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:32 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points


World's First Death from Cannabis Overdose? Yeah, Right

Just a few weeks after the false headline “37 Die in Colorado from Cannabis Overdose” made its way around the web, this gem of a story popped up in the UK, a nation known for being staunchly anti-cannabis.

Headlines were as follows:

“Devout Christian Mother-of-Three, 31, Becomes First Woman In Britain to DIE from Cannabis Poisoning After Smoking a Joint In Bed To Help Her Sleep“ (this little number is from a site that regularly reports cannabis deaths, such as in this article: “Cannabis Kills 30,000 a Year”)
“The Tragic Proof That Cannabis Can Kill: Mother dies from poisoning after smoking the drug”
“Mom, 31, Dies From Marijuana Overdose: Believed Mother-of-3 Suffered Heart Attack Triggered Cannabis Toxicity”
The articles all describe a similar story: Gemma Moss, a 31-year-old churchgoing mother of three, died in her sleep last October after smoking half of a joint.

Moss had a history of depression and had recently experienced a couple traumatic events: the breakup of a long-term relationship with her boyfriend and her son’s expulsion from school. Unable to sleep at night due to stress and anxiety, Moss turned to cannabis to help calm herself down.

After being found dead in her bed by her son’s girlfriend, small town coroner Sheriff Payne was called to examine the body. In his examination, he found no signs of organ failure or foul play.

How strange.

In order to gather more data on the perplexing case, Payne called in pathologist Dr. Kudair Hussein. Hussein ran a blood test and found that Moss tested positive for cannabinoids (surprise!), with levels ranging from 0.1 to 0.15 per liter. This range, according to Hussein, is equivalent to moderate to heavy cannabis use. Without any further examination, this was enough evidence for Hussein to determine the cause of death to be “cannabis poisoning.”

Specifically, they determined that Moss passed away from cardiac arrest induced by cannabis overdose. Yet, when examining her vital organs, nothing indicated that she had suffered a heart attack or any form of organ failure. What’s up with that?

While it’s true that there needs to be more conclusive research on exactly how cannabis affects the body, it is also a very well-known fact that cannabis is not toxic to humans in such small levels. In order to fatally overdose on marijuana, a human being would have to consume more than a third of their body weight of cannabis in a grand total of 15 minutes.

No person has ever done such a thing because it’s impossible (sorry, Guinness World Record attempters, this is probably something that you should never try).

As reports of Moss’s “cannabis poisoning” began capturing the attention of doctors and medical experts around the world, many medical professionals have stepped up to refute Payne and Hussein’s analysis. The UK’s own Professor David Nutt of Drug Science, an Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs, responded to the event by stating:

“I cannot begin to understand the pathologist’s certainty that cannabis killed Gemma Moss, but neither do I wish to contradict him outright.[...] Ms. Moss had suffered with depression, which itself increases the risk of sudden cardiac death. It is quite plausible that the additional small stress caused by that cannabis joint triggered a one-in-a-million cardiac event, just as has been more frequently recorded from sport, sex, saunas and even straining on the toilet.”

Mr. Nutt is trying his best to not completely discredit the word of his fellow UK medial professionals, yet the timing of the release of these overdose reports (three and a half months after the fact) seems a little too fishy. Perhaps if Payne and Hussein would like to make the papers in the future, it would be in their best interest to not do so by refuting a scientific fact that has been around and consistantly proven true for decades.

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


RE: MJ News for 02/14/2014

in Marijuana in the News Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:35 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points


DEA's Own Hiring Policy Admits Pot Isn't As Bad As Other Drugs

WASHINGTON -- As Drug Enforcement Administration officials warn of the threat of legalizing marijuana and insist that it's one of the "most dangerous" controlled substances out there, along the lines of heroin and LSD, their claims are being undermined by an unlikely source: the agency's very own drug policy.

Under the DEA's hiring rules, an applicant for any agency position who admits to or is found to have used narcotics or dangerous drugs is not considered for employment. Any past use of heroin, LSD, cocaine, or even Adderall without a prescription immediately disqualifies an applicant for a job at the DEA.

The DEA's one-and-only exception to the stringent policy? Marijuana.

Applicants who admit to "limited youthful and experimental use of marijuana" may get an exception from the policy, making it the single controlled substance that the DEA implicitly admits isn't as bad as all other illegal drugs.

The DEA policy dates back at least seven years, as it was noted in a 2007 story about the FBI deciding to relax its own drug policy.

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


RE: MJ News for 02/14/2014

in Marijuana in the News Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:57 pm
by Grower13 | 513 Posts | 2013 Points


Gov't lets banks, marijuana sellers do business

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration on Friday gave banks a road map for doing business with legal marijuana sellers without getting into trouble, a major step by the federal government toward enabling a legalized marijuana industry to operate in states that approve it.

The guidance issued by the Justice Department and Treasury Department was intended to make banks feel more comfortable working with legal marijuana businesses that are licensed and regulated, while preserving the government's enforcement power.

Others have a keen interest, too, in a regulated financial pipeline for an industry that is just emerging from the underground. Marijuana businesses that can't use banks may have too much cash they can't safely put away, leaving them vulnerable to criminals. And governments that allow marijuana sales want a channel to receive taxes.

A leading financial services trade group immediately expressed misgivings, however.

Washington and Colorado in 2012 became the first states to approve recreational use of marijuana. A group is hoping to make Alaska the third state in the nation to do so.

Currently, processing money from marijuana sales puts federally insured banks at risk of drug racketeering charges, so they've refused to open accounts for marijuana-related businesses.

Friday's move was designed to let financial institutions serve such businesses while ensuring that they know their customers' legitimacy and remain obligated to report possible criminal activity, said the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN.

But in response, the American Bankers Association said "guidance or regulation doesn't alter the underlying challenge for banks. As it stands, possession or distribution of marijuana violates federal law, and banks that provide support for those activities face the risk of prosecution and assorted sanctions."

The group says banks will only be comfortable serving marijuana businesses if federal prohibitions on the drug are changed in law.

State banking regulators in Colorado and Washington appear to believe that mainly small and medium-sized banks will be interested in handling financial transactions with legal marijuana stores, not the big ones, a FinCEN official said, speaking only on condition of anonymity to talk about internal deliberations.

"This is a decision that each financial institution needs to make on its own," the official said. "We feel quite comfortable that we have acted within the scope of our authority" and therefore don't expect legal challenges to the new procedures.

FinCEN writes the rules that U.S. financial institutions must follow to help protect the system from money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The office said it expects financial institutions to perform thorough customer due diligence on marijuana businesses and file reports that will be valuable to law enforcement.

Under the guidance, banks must review state license applications for marijuana customers, request information about the business, develop an understanding of the types of products to be sold and monitor publicly available sources for any negative information about the business.

Asked about the conflict in federal and state laws on marijuana use, the official said the agency sought to balance competing interests. One of them is the concern about having so much cash on the street without an ability to get those funds into the safety of a bank.

The guidance provided the banks with more than 20 "red flags" that may indicate a violation of state law. Among them: if a business receives substantially more revenue than its local competitors, deposits more cash than is in line with the amount of marijuana-related revenue it is reporting for federal and state tax purposes, or experiences a surge in activity by third parties offering goods or services such as equipment suppliers or shipping services.

If a marijuana-related business is seen engaging in international or interstate activity, such as the receipt of cash deposits from locations outside the state, that's a red flag, too.

It has been difficult for legal marijuana sellers to operate without banks in the mix.

"It's not just banks that are wary about handling our money, it's everybody - security businesses, lawyers, you name it, no one wants to take the risk of taking our money," said Caitlin McGuire, owner of Breckenridge Cannabis Club in Breckenridge, Colo.

McGuire's shop had an account with a local credit union for years, but the credit union cut them off last year.

"They basically told us they wanted to keep our accounts, but it was too big of a risk. They were questioned by their auditors, `Why do you have this marijuana account?' It just ended up being too much for them."

The pot shop now pays its bills with money orders and cash. It's not easy, McGuire said.

"It's made it very difficult to pay our bills, to pay our employees, to pay our taxes, to do anything."


Associated Press writers Martin Crutsinger and Alicia Caldwell in Washington and Kristen Wyatt in Denver contributed to this report.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

#1 Rule......... tell no one

MP BHC.......0013

Last edited Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:32 pm | Scroll up

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