Mj news for 04/06/2015

7greeneyes

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http://time.com/3771958/marijuana-pot-legalization-swing-states/





Swing State Voters Support Legalizing Marijuana, Poll Says





A majority of voters in three key swing states support legalizing marijuana, according to a new poll.

The Quinnipiac survey out Monday shows that 55% of voters in Florida, 52% in Ohio and 51% in Pennsylvania support allowing adults to “legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use.” Legalizing medical marijuana is even more acceptable to swing state voters, with 84% of Floridians, 84% of Ohioans, and 88% of Pennsylvanians supporting medical pot.

Florida and Pennsylvania have pending bills to legalize marijuana this year, and it legalization could become a wedge issue in the 2016 presidential race.

The poll included more than 1,000 voters in each state.
 

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http://www.dispatch.com/content/sto...s-back-strickland-marijuana-legalization.html





Ohio Politics Now: Ohioans back Strickland, marijuana legalization





Ohioans back pot: The same poll on the Senate race show Ohioans also back allowing people “to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use.” Different groups have proposed possible ballot issues for November but the most well-funded, ResponsibleOhio, wants to legalize marijuana use with 10 grow centers around the state as well as allowing Ohioans to grow small amounts in their homes.
 

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http://union-bulletin.com/news/2015/apr/06/marijuana-trimmers-use-tiny-scissors-eye-big-caree/





Marijuana trimmers use tiny scissors but eye big careers





VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Washington’s marijuana business has created a legal occupation for bud trimmers that offers career opportunities.

The Columbian reports that bud trimmers make between $12 and $15 an hour.

The job requires using small scissors to trim away leaves and other things from marijuana buds. Most trimmers work on about a pound of marijuana per day.

Experienced workers can move up to gardeners or concentrate makers and make $50,000 to $90,000 a year.

Mark Michaelson of Cedar Creek Cannabis says the company wants to work on retaining employees and plans to eventually offer health insurance. The company has 14 employees.

Thirty-two-year-old bud trimmer Kurt Vermillion says he’s pumped gas and remodeled houses but has a sense that his current job has longevity and possibilities.
 

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/06/detroit-firefighters-marijuana_n_7009944.html





Detroit Firefighters Smell Marijuana Inside Burning House, Discover Grow Operation





DETROIT (AP) -- When firefighters arrived to extinguish a house fire on Detroit's west side, it wasn't just burning wood they smelled, WJBK-TV reported ( http://bit.ly/1NJbRZb ) Saturday.

"We smelled something. Then we found it ... some marijuana in the house," said Battalion 4 Chief Randy Gibson. "Lots of marijuana."

In a couple of upstairs bedrooms of the house on Pierson Street, firefighters stumbled upon a growing operation Friday of nearly 30 plants. Some were knee-high.

"You begin to smell some odd things," Ken Keene, pastor of Life Challenge Ministries, told the television station.

Keene's ministry is an outreach program housing men with alcohol or drug addiction. It's also across the street from the burned house, and Keene said he has seen traffic going to and from the house at all hours of the day.

"It's not completely surprising," he said of marijuana being found there. "But that's why we are in this community to help with issues like that."

All of the marijuana was removed Friday and the drug case was turned over to Detroit police.
 

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http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/jenna-valleriani/illegal-cannabis-canada_b_7002196.html






(Canada) The Greatest Threat From Cannabis Lies in its Illegality





*Co-authored with Craig Jones, PhD, Executive Director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in Canada (NORML Canada)

The 2011 Global Commission on Drug Policy's opening declaration -- "the global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies [...] fundamental reforms in national and global drug control policies are urgently needed" -- could hardly be more definitive.

Front and centre is the continued prohibition of cannabis, arresting 57,429 Canadians for simple possession in 2012. On the afternoon of April 20, otherwise known as "4/20," recreational cannabis users from all over the globe will gather in public spaces to spark up and mellow out with friends and associates in peaceful civil disobedience against a harmful law. The day has become a global 'flip of the bird' to anti-drug warriors and cowardly policy makers who hide behind the "we don't have enough evidence" fraud.

It's beyond ironic to hear policy makers repeat this canard because cannabis was added to Canada's list of prohibited substances in 1923 on the basis of no evidence whatsoever. Since then, a veritable mountain of peer-reviewed science has converged on the conclusion that of all the currently illicit drugs, cannabis is by far the least dangerous and considerably safer than either alcohol or tobacco. Its greatest threat to users and society -- as the 2002 Senate Report on Illegal Drugs concluded -- lies in its continued criminality, not its use.

This conclusion is hardly an outlier: it's the succinct summation of almost every major report ever done by a liberal democracy since -- believe it not -- the Report of the Indian Hemp Commission to the British House of Commons in 1893-94. That particular analysis, over 100 years ago, concluded that if hemp drugs were a problem, for which they could find no proof, their prohibition or excessive taxation would create bigger problems -- including the creation of a black market.

How far-sighted those commissioners appear in the light of subsequent events.

It would be nice to think that the policy makers who added cannabis to Canada's schedule of prohibited substances in 1923 would have at least thumbed through the seven volumes of the Hemp Drugs Commission report, but the truth is that no one really knows why cannabis was prohibited.

Knowledgeable fingers point to the salacious Maclean's magazine articles of 1920 authored by Emily Murphy and summarized in The Black Candle. Although now greatly discredited, in its time it solidified conventional wisdom that non-Anglo immigrants from Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia and Mexico constituted a dire threat to the racial purity of the British settlers on the northern half of our continent. Still, it has to be counted as one of the great successes of the century-old war on drugs that policy makers -- even in this evidence-saturated age -- still prefer to run for cover rather than admit, "it was a mistake, we must correct it."

Here in Canada, there persists a prohibition on rationality -- at least on the government benches. The Prime Minister and his parliamentary hand puppets lambaste reformers for "wanting to sell cannabis in corner stores," relieving his MPs of defending a discredited policy and ginning up the fear-mongering machine so beloved by social conservatives here and in the United States. When you're committed to a fraud, perpetuation is the path of least resistance.

"The arc of history is long," Martin Luther King sagely observed, "but it bends toward justice." Cannabis prohibition is based on a fraud, and all frauds are eventually exposed. The celebrants on April 20 don't necessarily know the history of how cannabis came to be illegal, but they do know what the evidence says: cannabis is less harmful to users than all other illicit drugs and considerably less harmful than alcohol and tobacco. They know that the greatest threat from cannabis lies in its continued illegality by policy makers who wish the evidence would just go away.
 

7greeneyes

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http://www.theweedblog.com/the-minority-cannabis-industry-association-is-overdue/





The Minority Cannabis Industry Association Is Overdue





Marijuana prohibition is a very racist public policy. Many minorities in the marijuana activist movement have referred to marijuana prohibition as part of ‘the new Jim Crow.’ Marijuana enforcement disproportionately targets minorities, and has for decades. Anyone who has researched the origins of marijuana prohibition in America knows that marijuana prohibition was started due to racist motivations. I’m happy to say that there have been many marijuana reform victories lately, but unfortunately, most of the marijuana industry is still made up of white males. This is something that Ngaio Bealum talked about in a recent article for Marijuana Politics:

The “Green Rush” is booming. As marijuana prohibition falls by the wayside, many “legitimate” entrepreneurs are looking to get into the cannabis industry. The funny thing is, most of them are white. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but let’s remember that 61 percent of the people in jail or prison for non-violent drug offenses are Black or Hispanic. So while it is great that this industry is booming, it’s not so great that many of the people most affected by cannabis prohibition are not getting a chance to take advantage of the opportunities of cannabis legalization.

To help fix the issue of a lack of representation in the marijuana industry by minorities, a trade organization has been launched called the Minority Cannabis Industry Association. This is overdue, but definitely better late than never. Below is more information about the organization, via their website:

The Minority Cannabis Industry Association is the first non-profit organization created to service the specific needs and interests of minority cannabis entrepreneurs, investors and patients. By developing a strong nationwide network of cannabis business owners within a variety of disciplines (including ancillary businesses), advocating for creation and fair enforcement of sensible policies, and serving as a voice for the minority population, we provide unmatched value to this industry and our membership. Please browse our site to see our focused programs, events and services. If you want to know more or join the MCIA, sign up for our mailing list and/or become a member of the MCIA. The movement needs you!

Below is a video of Ngaio Bealum interviewing Jesce Horton of the Minority Cannabis Industry Association at the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference in Eugene earlier this year:

https://youtu.be/e9jtrAoxKPk
 

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http://www.smh.com.au/federal-polit...n-backs-medical-cannabis-20150404-1mek8j.html





(Australia) 'Conservative warlord' Barry O'Sullivan backs medical cannabis






Self-described "conservative warlord" and Coalition Senator Barry O'Sullivan has thrown his support behind a push to legalise medical cannabis, and expressed confidence Federal Parliament would support the reform.

Mr O'Sullivan, a former drug squad detective, said his "mind had opened up considerably" over the course of a Senate inquiry on proposals drafted by Greens Senator Richard Di Natale.

Senator Di Natale's bill would create an independent body of experts, the Office of Medicinal Cannabis, which would license commercial growers and determine how cannabis could be prescribed and dispensed.

Mr O'Sullivan said he had been moved by testimony from people who had sourced cannabis illegally in a bid to ease the suffering of loved ones.

In Sydney on Tuesday, Lucy Haslam, the mother of the late medical marijuana campaigner Dan Haslam, criticised the NSW government for moving too slowly to provide sick people with access to the drug.

"We cannot afford to wait for the results of clinical trials," Ms Haslam told the hearing. Her son died in February, five years after being diagnosed with cancer. "Don't dismiss the urgent need of people now."

NSW Premier Mike Baird credited meeting Mr Haslam with changing his view on medical cannabis, which led to his government announcing clinical trials.

Those trials, for childhood sufferers of intractable epilepsy and chemotherapy-related nausea, are being planned and, if successful, could lead to legalisation of cannabis for medical purposes. Paediatric epilepsy patients will first be enrolled in 2016.

Mr O'Sullivan said it was possible that "tens of thousands and possibly hundreds of thousands of just ordinary, everyday Australian mums and dads" were risking prosecution to obtain cannabis for their loved ones. He said because cannabis was illegal they did not have any assurance of the quality of what they were buying, and were forced into contact with criminals to obtain it.

"We've really got to tidy this up and tidy it up quickly," he said. "There's a real big body of evidence that there's something in this.

"This is one of those ones where it seems as though solutions are just as clear as the nose on your face."

However, Mr O'Sullivan said he remained firmly opposed to the use of cannabis for recreational purposes.

Mr O'Sullivan, who worked as a detective for 17 years before entering Parliament, praised Mr Di Natale for his initiative, and other members of the Senate committee for the "collegiate" approach they had taken to the issue.

"We'll be putting some energy into this to make sure it's walked through our respective parties, and as long as we get the detail right, I think we'll get an outcome here," he said.

Mr Di Natale said medical cannabis was "an idea whose time has come", adding he had been encouraged by the support his bill had received from all sides of politics.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, Liberal MP Sharman Stone and Labor MP Melissa Parke are among the parliamentarians to express support for medical cannabis.

Senator Di Natale said the challenge was to draft the best legislation possible. He hoped parliamentary debate of the bill might start by the middle of the year.
 

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http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/...ebration-blocked-by-council-202457n.122194187





(Scotland) George Square cannabis 'celebration' blocked by council





The annual '420 event' sees campaigners come together 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 despite the council denying the group permission.

Five people 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' imprisonment.

Organisers of this year's event have set up a page on Facebook and more than 3000 have already agreed to descend on George Square.

Among the speakers will be a former Strathclyde police officer who campaigns for the legalisation of drugs.

However, The Evening Times has learned that Glasgow Cannabis Social Club has not been given the green light to use George Square.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: "They applied for permission and we refused. We told the applicant we were refusing permission because the event appeared to encourage the use of cannabis and it was felt that this would not be appropriate."

If the event goes ahead a range of drug paraphernalia, such as pipes, bongs and rolling papers, will be available to buy in George Square.

Speakers are expected to promote the so-called health benefits of the plant as well as encouraging people to "grow their own".

Among those taking to the stage will be retired Glasgow police officer Jim Duffy, a former chairman of the Scottish Police Federation, who now speaks for pressure group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).

However, the planned event has been criticised by Scottish Conservative chief whip John Lamont who said: "Festivals openly promoting and championing illegal behaviour cannot be tolerated, particularly in one of Glasgow's focal points.

"Last year, people were openly smoking cannabis on Glasgow Green, and it seemed the police were powerless to do anything about it.

"That cannot be allowed to happen this time round."

A spokesman for Police Scotland said: "We are aware of the potential for events and gatherings related to cannabis on April 20. If events are to take place they will be policed appropriately."

Glasgow Cannabis Social Club declined to comment.
 
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