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MJ News for 05/12/2014

7greeneyes

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There's a difference between medicating with CBD versus THC. And mickeying people is just the height of stupidity. Please, Please don't be ignorant, people.


hMPp://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-prosecutors-man-fed-1yearold-cake-laced-with-marijuana-20140511,0,5957989.story




Man fed 1-year-old cake laced with marijuana




A south suburban man was ordered held on $50,000 bond after being charged with serving a woman and her 1-year-old child chocolate cake laced with marijuana.

Emmanuel Ekaette, 23, of Calumet Park, appeared in Cook County bond court Sunday after being charged with aggravated battery, endangering the health of a child and possession of cannabis.

Ekaette offered the woman and her child pieces of the cake when they came over to his house, in the 1100 block of West 127th Street, according to Assistant State's Attorney Sean Brady. When the woman asked several times about leaves in the cake, he told her they were spices, Brady said in court.

The woman later admitted herself and her son to the hospital, and she said that the marijuana exacerbated her anxiety disorder. When Ekaette was confronted by police, Brady said, he turned the cake over to police and admitted he knew what was in the cake.
 

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hMPp://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2014/05/11/talking-points-medical-marijuana-bills-house-or-senate/




(Minnesota) Medical Marijuana Bills — House Or Senate?


This week, the Minnesota House and Senate will have to hammer out differences between the Senate and House versions of a medical marijuana law.

The House version is more restrictive and Gov. Mark Dayton has said it is the only one he will sign. That means medical marijuana backers will have to back down in some key areas.

Medical marijuana seemed all but dead in the Minnesota legislature just a few weeks ago. But with the continued push from patient’s families both the Minnesota Senate and House passed bills by wide margins last week.

The Senate version allows for pot to be used for a larger number of conditions, making an estimated 35,000 Minnesotans eligible. The House bill is more restrictive, limiting the use of cannabis to those enrolled in observational research studies. Patients would sign up through a state registry. An estimated 5,000 Minnesotans would be eligible.

The Minnesota Senate must now decide whether to accept the House version or try and push for a broader bill that the House and Senate can agree on and that the governor will sign. Sen. Scott Dibble, the author of the Senate bill, appeared on WCCO Sunday Morning.

“People who have intractable pain and some other real key conditions — wasting and nausea — simply aren’t permitted access in the House bill. I can’t understand why. Every other state that is successful allows those folks to have what is widely recognized ability to use cannabis that alleviates those conditions,” he said.

Whatever medical marijuana measure becomes law here, it will be one of the more restrictive measures in the country. Both the Minnesota Senate and House bills bar the smoking of medical marijuana — requiring patients to inhale fumes from leaves from a vaporizer. In the 20 states and the District of Columbia where medical marijuana is legal, all allow for the smoking of the drug for medicinal purposes.

You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Esme Murphy and Matt Brickman every Sunday at 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
 

7greeneyes

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hMPp://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2014/05/10/internet-links-medical-marijuana-patients-with-sellers-before-dispensaries-open/MbLKcyqwObg3lRGT0dnQVP/story.html




Internet links medical marijuana patients and sellers


The young woman pulled her Subaru wagon into the parking lot of a Framingham hotel Wednesday night for a prearranged meeting with someone she knew only as Kool Guy, a man with short black hair and glasses who resembled actor Joaquin Phoenix.

She handed him $250 cash for an ounce of marijuana dubbed Blue Cheese. He threw in four free samples — chocolate and caramel candies laced with THC, the ingredient responsible for the drug’s high.


“The first time we met, I was nervous,” said the 31-year-old woman named Janeen, who found Kool Guy through a website that matches medical marijuana patients nationwide with “caregivers” in their area who supply cannabis that they have grown or bought from others. Now, making her fourth purchase to help with severe migraines, Janeen felt comfortable enough to bring along the 97-year-old woman she cares for.

Kool Guy is part of a booming cottage industry of self-described caregivers who have jumped in to meet the demand created by the state’s year-and-a-half-old medical marijuana law. While Massachusetts health officials have been preoccupied with vetting and licensing storefront dispensaries, these entrepreneurs are hawking products with names such as Jack the Ripper and Sour Diesel on the Internet. They operate in a legal gray area, with no regulation or oversight.

Bill Downing, a longtime activist for legalizing marijuana who is from Reading, said his company, Yankee Care Givers, delivers medicinal cannabis products grown by “old hippies” to about 940 patients throughout Massachusetts who order from the company’s website. His prices range from $320 an ounce for strains of marijuana called Green Crack, Sweet Tooth, and Blueberry Cannabis Flowers to $7 for another, edible variety, Green Karma Happy Taffy Lollies.

The caregivers and patients such as Janeen, who asked to be identified by only her first name, said that they’ are following the law and state health regulations. The rules allow patients with doctor-provided certificates to grow marijuana or have a caregiver cultivate it or obtain it for them -- up to 10 ounces for a 60-day supply. Caregivers are limited to supplying just one patient at a time, but caregivers, patients, and even some police officials say the rules are unclear and open to interpretation.

The state Department of Public Health issued guidelines for law enforcement in March, but Reading Police Chief James Cormier said they leave many questions unanswered.


“We are in a big state of confusion right now,” he said. “What we need is a clear definition of what is a caregiver.”

The state health agency is aware of the flourishing trade, but has apparently done nothing to stop it. Karen van Unen, director of the department’s medical marijuana program, declined to be interviewed, and did not answer questions submitted through a spokesman about whether the proliferation of online caregivers serving multiple customers violates state regulations.

Van Unen released a statement, saying: “The Department actively cooperates with law enforcement when there are concerns about violations of these regulations, and is developing an online system which will provide law enforcement with real-time access to patient and caregiver registration, and will improve officials’ ability to monitor compliance.”

Since voters legalized medical marijuana in November 2012, the state has granted preliminary approval for 20 dispensaries, but has delayed licensing them amid revelations that some of the companies made misrepresentations on their applications that the state failed to uncover before selecting them.

Many patients have meanwhile received certificates from physicians allowing them to obtain marijuana for an array of conditions. But with dispensaries not expected to open until the fall at the earliest, they have turned to the Internet, where sites such as marijuana-caregiver.com provide a list of eager suppliers.

Patients and caregivers find each other through forums on the website and then arrange purchases through e-mail, private messaging, texting, and phone calls. The site includes patients’ ratings of caregivers, and frequent posts about upcoming deliveries around Massachusetts.

“We are caregivers and patients on Cape Cod looking to help other patients in need,” read one post.

Another person wrote, “Are there any caregivers that would be willing to grow for my wife? Not sure if this is even possible with these ridiculous MA laws.”

Caregivers registered on the site say patients must provide a copy of their doctor’s certificate and identification before they will sell them marijuana. Some refer to their prices as a “donation,” in an apparent effort to comply with state regulations that prohibit caregivers from making a profit on marijuana.

Many of the caregivers have their own doctors’ certificate that allows them to legally carry up to 10 ounces of marijuana in Massachusetts.

“I don’t think I’m breaking the law,” said Kool Guy, who spoke on the condition he not be named for fear of legal problems and because he wants to maintain his privacy.

“You have to fill the void with something and that’s what we’re doing right now. When the dispensaries open up, we are going to dwindle away.”

Kool Guy said he grows a small amount of marijuana and has to buy from other caregivers to meet the demand of about 20 patients. He said he delivers to department store parking lots and million-dollar houses in Boston’s most affluent suburbs, depending on what the patient prefers.

“I feel bad for these people,” said Kool Guy, who described his patients as mostly middle-aged and suffering from various ailments, including cancer, AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, chronic pain, and anxiety.

Another caregiver who posts on the website said he is part of a cooperative composed of a small group of military veterans who grow marijuana for their medical needs and deliver any surplus to other patients.

“We started out as patients and it wasn’t available, or what was available was steeply overpriced or black market,” he said, adding that he works a full-time construction job and only takes “donations” from other patients to offset the cost of cultivation.

“You are not doing it for profit, you are doing it to help people,” he said.

Tom Brandes of Phoenix, the administrator of marijuana-caregiver.com, said he launched the site a couple of years ago when medical cannabis became legal in Arizona, then expanded to other states.

Brandes said he doesn’t charge patients or caregivers to register and post messages. The site does not conduct background checks and it is up to patients and caregivers to vet each other and follow the law, he said.

“I’m not going to try to police it; I can’t,” said Brandes, adding that he can’t keep drug dealers from trying to infiltrate the site, but enlists moderators to monitor activity.

Downing, 55, the owner of Yankee Care Givers, said during a telephone interview that he is different from other caregivers on the Internet.

“I’m the only actual caregiver,” he said. “Those guys are drug dealers.”

Downing said the Department of Public Health is aware of his business because he sends it a form signed by each of his patients, designating him as their caregiver. He said it is unclear what the department does with the forms since the state has yet to create the planned registration system for patients and caregivers.

Downing said the one-patient limit per caregiver does not apply to him because state regulations say personal care attendants are exempt from that rule and his business is defined as a personal services company. (Several other caregivers said in interviews they should not be limited to one patient because people shop around and do not stick with one caregiver.)

Downing, the father of two teenaged boys, said his company is nonprofit and he was growing marijuana at his home until police warned him last month that they suspected he was going to be robbed and that he was endangering his family. He said police told him they believed his business was illegal, but did not arrest him.

Cormier, the Reading chief, said he thinks Downing is breaking the law and has repeatedly asked the Department of Public Health over the last two months for a written opinion on whether he is.

“I am frustrated with the DPH,” Cormier said. “I believe that there’s a potential loophole in terms of the so-called caregiver exception that is being exploited. The frustration comes because we need DPH to give us an opinion in writing and we have not received it.”

Cormier said his department received numerous complaints from neighbors about Downing’s brisk business and he remains under investigation.

Downing said he has relocated his business to an undisclosed site and is buying marijuana from “black market growers who have been in business for decades, servicing the market with high, organic quality marijuana . . . just old hippies.”

Not everybody finds caregivers online. Scott Murphy, a 31-year-old Iraq veteran and father of three young children, said he started using marijuana about two years ago to ease the pain of his degenerative arthritis. Murphy buys tincture, a marijuana-infused oil, from a caregiver he met at a gathering of marijuana advocates.

The caregiver process is far better than buying it off the street, he said, because it’s cheaper and his caregiver sells only products that have been lab-tested.

“My caregiver switched to a delivery service that can meet you wherever it’s convenient for you, whether it be your house or another location,” said Murphy, a Newton resident who is completing his undergraduate degree, applying to law school, and running a nonprofit that promotes veterans’ health issues.

Matthew Allen, executive director of the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance, said he gets calls daily from patients who are seeking a medical marijuana caregiver, but his organization is unable to help them because it does not have a system to ensure the services that are springing up are reliable and comply with state law.

The alliance is lobbying to change the state regulation restricting caregivers to one patient, and wants to adopt the rules in Rhode Island and Maine, which allow five patients per caregiver.

“We do want caregivers to offer this service, staying within the boundaries of the law,” Allen said. “But this regulation makes it impossible to do that even for those with the best intentions.”
 

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hMPp://www.policymic.com/articles/89165/colorado-s-marijuana-sales-keep-seeing-green



3 Month's After Legalizing Marijuana


The news: Colorado's pot sales are booming.

The state's Department of Revenue reports that marijuana retailers sold nearly $19 million in recreational weed in March, up from $14 million in February. The first three months of legal weed have netted about $7.3 million in taxes, not including medical marijuana sales taxes and licenses, which bring the number to $12.6 million. In it's first few months, Colorado could already soon be outpacing those historic first-day sales on a daily basis.

Retail marijuana sales taxes brought in $1.4 million in January, $1.43 million in February and now $1.898 million in March — a clear upward trajectory. And total marijuana tax transfers and distributions went from $2.927 million in January to $4.077 million in March. And perhaps more importantly, while it's still somewhat early, the up-trending numbers indicate that initial sales weren't simply the result of "new-toy" excitement wherein everyone was buying pot just because they could. Coloradans wanted marijuana before, and they still do now.

(Un)intended consequences: Over the same time period, crime in Denver has slightly declined, making opponents who said it would result in more trafficking seem kind of silly. It's created a modest number of jobs ranging from "budtending" and marijuana journalism to farm labor and ownership. (Weedmaps, a dispensary review site, grossed some $25 million in revenue in 2013.) And the state has even created a banking system that complies with the U.S. treasury system's guidelines, clearing up the last regulatory questions. While certain parts of the rollout, like edible cannabis regulations, have come under question, the law seems to be operating basically as intended.

Legal cannabis sales in the United States are projected to reach as high as $2.57 billion this year, split among the 21 states that allow the sale of some form of marijuana. That's up from $1.53 billion a year ago. As time goes on, the marijuana industry will grow its own stakeholders and perhaps become a political lobby in its own right.

How it'll be spent: The Colorado legislature has already formed a plan to spend $33 million of the marijuana taxes on school nurses and public education on marijuana. Even Colorado cops plan to get a chunk of the new revenue, asking for 10-15% of the proceeds for DUI enforcement and fighting diversion to other states and unlicensed sales.

The bulk of sales, however, continue to be in medical marijuana, which has been legal in Colorado since 2000 and recorded $35 million in sales in March. However, since recreational weed is more heavily taxed, it could still rapidly outpace medical marijuana in total tax dollars. In total, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper projected in February that total Colorado marijuana sales could approach $1 billion.

Of course, sales could still slow down. But the news in Colorado is evidence that marijuana legalization can successfully generate value for both the local economy and the government.
 

7greeneyes

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hMPp://rt.com/news/158240-cannabis-marijuana-legalize-france/




Hundreds march across France to legalize cannabis


Hundreds of protesters all over France have been rallying demonstrating in favor of legalizing cannabis. The event coincides with the so-called world march for the legalization of the drug.

In Paris, protesters gathered on Bastille Square on Saturday, after Cannabis Without Frontiers, an organization struggling to legalize marijuana in the country, called for the rally.

The crowd chanted “Marie-Jeanne!” in a reference to the nickname for marijuana in France.

Many of the protesters held joints or leaves of marijuana, dancing to reggae music.

“First of all, we want the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes. And then, we want the end to the prohibition,” Farid Ghehiouche, the founder of Cannabis Without Frontiers, said.

Ghehiouche is also sure that the legalization of marijuana would lead to “a drop in crime levels.”

“Represssion doesn’t work. You can’t stop the people from smoking,” 28-year-old Stéphanie Geisler told Le Parisien. She said she had come to the protest to “advance the debate.”

Thirteen other cities across France also saw protests, but there were fewer people participating: in Lyon, Rennes, Lille or Marseille only dozens of demonstrators took to the streets, AFP reported.

In the northeastern city of Metz, around 40 people protested, most of them in their 20s. One of the organizers, however, wasn’t sure that smoking marijuaha is necessarily for the young.

“There are people who smoke in different layers of society. The legalization will permit to regulate the market, to create thousands of jobs, and to make fiscal income for the state,” Jean-François Diverres, 52, said.

In France, cannabis has been illegal since 1970, with penalties of up to one year in prison and a fine of 3,750 euros.
 

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hMPp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/10824546/Gangs-stealing-LED-lights-from-Ranger-Rovers-to-grow-cannabis.html




(UK) Gangs stealing LED lights from Ranger Rovers to grow cannabis


Criminal gangs are stealing LED lights from luxury vehicles to use in cannabis factories, it has emerged.

Police are investigating a spate of thefts of headlights from Land Rover and Range Rover models, which are then sold to drug dealers who use them to help grow illegal plants.

The problem has become so bad in some parts of the country that police have launched an operation to advise car owners how best to protect their vehicles from thieves.

A special task force of officers in West Yorkshire has already made 14 arrests and a large number of stolen car parts have been recovered.

It is thought Land Rover and Range Rover vehicles are specifically being targeted because experienced thieves can remove light assemblies in as little as 60 seconds.

But as well as using the LED lights to help grow drugs, police have warned of a roaring trade in other luxury car parts such as doors, bonnets, mirrors, wheels and grills.

It is thought motorists use the car parts to improve the look and specification of their own older models or repair their own cars following accidents.
 

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hMPp://www.examiner.com.au/story/2274492/push-to-decriminalise-cannabis/




(Tasmania) Push to decriminalise cannabis


WHEN it comes to illegal drugs and Tasmania, cannabis takes the pot.

The most recent national data shows cannabis outranks the next most popular drugs - amphetamine-type stimulants - by a factor of nearly 50 when looking at seizures.

In fact cannabis continues to account for over 90 per cent of the weight of illicit drugs seized in Tasmania.

In Western Australia the figure is as low 10 per cent.

In the 2013 financial year Tasmania Police arrested just over 1000 cannabis users compared to less than 250 dealers.

Last week in Hobart a group of high profile academics, doctors and police called for that figure to be reduced to almost zero.

Not through increased enforcement but rather via the decriminalisation of dope - in a bid to push cannabis use from the criminal justice system to the health arena.

In Tasmania, where 82 per cent of arrests are for use and possession not dealing, decriminalisation would have significant impacts.

Politically it's proven about as popular as a sniffer dog at a Grateful Dead concert.

``The government has no plans to decriminalise cannabis,'' a government spokeswoman said.

Labor, in possibly its least characteristic comment since becoming the opposition, said it was a matter ``for the new government to determine''.

``Labor supports harm minimisation programs and believes that policy settings in this field should be led by experts like the Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council making informed decisions based on research,'' a spokesman said.

The Greens, perhaps unsurprisingly, are the closest to a pro-decriminalisation stance but stopped short of backing it unequivocally.

Greens health spokeswoman Cassy O'Connor said the government should keep an open mind.

Ms O'Connor labelled the ``war on drugs'' futile, highlighting the legalisation of cannabis in Colorado and Washington in the US.

``We are also aware of other jurisdictions seriously considering decriminalising the medical use of cannabis,'' she said.

``Tasmania needs to be engaged in the national discussion about the best approach and the use of cannabis to relieve suffering as part of medical treatment.''

Ms O'Connor backed former Federal Police Commissioner Mick Palmer's call to have cannabis use treated primarily as a health issue.

At Tasmania's Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council round-table in Hobart last week, Mr Palmer declared the war on drugs a failure.

``It makes no sense to me that we lock up young men and women for possession or use of cannabis, create huge employment difficulties for them going forward, sometimes visa and travel problems when we're only arresting some 3 per cent of users in this country,'' he said.

``To deal with that as a criminal matter seems to me to be counterproductive.''

Richard Griggs, Tasmanian spokesman for Civil Liberties Australia, said prohibition created it's own type of problems.

``In the past, prohibition of alcohol failed because it pushed the brewing and selling of alcohol underground into the hands of criminals. The world is now realising the same thing has happened with attempts to prohibit cannabis,'' he said.

Law Society of Tasmania president Anthony Mihal said his personal view was that decriminalisation was a balanced approach.

``There are strong arguments in favour of doing so, since the current laws are selectively enforced and ignored by a significant proportion of the population, which may bring the law into disrepute,'' he said.

``Decriminalising rather than legalising cannabis would seem to be a moderate response, particularly if paired with more funding for education to deter use and rehabilitation.''

The society itself does not have a formal position.

Tasmania Police said it would enforce whatever the laws of the day were.

``The investigation of the use, production and supply of illicit substances and associated crimes is a priority,'' Assistant Commissioner Phillip Wilkinson said.
 

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