MJ News for 08/06/2014

7greeneyes

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...lities-in-colorado-are-at-near-historic-lows/




Since marijuana legalization, highway fatalities in Colorado are at near-historic lows
:aok:


Since Colorado voters legalized pot in 2012, prohibition supporters have warned that recreational marijuana will lead to a scourge of “drugged divers” on the state’s roads. They often point out that when the state legalized medical marijuana in 2001, there was a surge in drivers found to have smoked pot. They also point to studies showing that in other states that have legalized pot for medical purposes, we’ve seen an increase in the number of drivers testing positive for the drug who were involved in fatal car accidents. The anti-pot group SAM recently pointed out that even before the first legal pot store opened in Washington state, the number of drivers in that state testing positive for pot jumped by a third.

The problem with these criticisms is that we can test only for the presence of marijuana metabolites, not for inebriation. Metabolites can linger in the body for days after the drug’s effects wear off — sometimes even for weeks. Because we all metabolize drugs differently (and at different times and under different conditions), all that a positive test tells us is that the driver has smoked pot at some point in the past few days or weeks.

It makes sense that loosening restrictions on pot would result in a higher percentage of drivers involved in fatal traffic accidents having smoked the drug at some point over the past few days or weeks. You’d also expect to find that a higher percentage of churchgoers, good Samaritans and soup kitchen volunteers would have pot in their system. You’d expect a similar result among any large sampling of people. This doesn’t necessarily mean that marijuana caused or was even a contributing factor to accidents, traffic violations or fatalities.

This isn’t an argument that pot wasn’t a factor in at least some of those accidents, either. But that’s precisely the point. A post-accident test for marijuana metabolites doesn’t tell us much at all about whether pot contributed to the accident.

Since the new Colorado law took effect in January, the “drugged driver” panic has only intensified. I’ve already written about one dubious example, in which the Colorado Highway Patrol and some local and national media perpetuated a story that a driver was high on pot when he slammed into a couple of police cars parked on an interstate exit ramp. While the driver did have some pot in his system, his blood-alcohol level was off the charts and was far more likely the cause of the accident. In my colleague Marc Fisher’s recent dispatch from Colorado, law enforcement officials there and in bordering states warned that they’re seeing more drugged drivers. Congress recently held hearings on the matter, complete with dire predictions such as “We are going to have a lot more people stoned on the highway and there will be consequences,” from Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.). Some have called for a zero tolerance policy — if you’re driving with any trace of pot in your system, you’re guilty of a DWI. That would effectively ban anyone who smokes pot from driving for up to a couple of weeks after their last joint, including people who legitimately use the drug for medical reasons.

It seems to me that the best way to gauge the effect legalization has had on the roadways is to look at what has happened on the roads since legalization took effect. Here’s a month-by-month comparison of highway fatalities in Colorado through the first seven months of this year and last year. For a more thorough comparison, I’ve also included the highest fatality figures for each month since 2002, the lowest for each month since 2002 and the average for each month since 2002.

As you can see, roadway fatalities this year are down from last year, and down from the 13-year average. Of the seven months so far this year, five months saw a lower fatality figure this year than last, two months saw a slightly higher figure this year, and in one month the two figures were equal. If we add up the total fatalities from January through July, it looks like this:

Here, the “high” bar (pardon the pun) is what you get when you add the worst January since 2002 to the worst February, to the worst March, and so on. The “low” bar is the sum total of the safest January, February, etc., since 2002. What’s notable here is that the totals so far in 2014 are closer to the safest composite year since 2002 than to the average year since 2002. I should also add here that these are total fatalities. If we were to calculate these figures as a rate — say, miles driven per fatality — the drop would be starker, both for this year and since Colorado legalized medical marijuana in 2001. While the number of miles Americans drive annually has leveled off nationally since the mid-2000s, the number of total miles traveled continues to go up in Colorado. If we were to measure by rate, then, the state would be at lows unseen in decades.

The figures are similar in states that have legalized medical marijuana. While some studies have shown that the number of drivers involved in fatal collisions who test positive for marijuana has steadily increased as pot has become more available, other studies have shown that overall traffic fatalities in those states have dropped. Again, because the pot tests only measure for recent pot use, not inebriation, there’s nothing inconsistent about those results.

Of course, the continuing drop in roadway fatalities, in Colorado and elsewhere, is due to a variety of factors, such as better-built cars and trucks, improved safety features and better road engineering. These figures in and of themselves only indicate that the roads are getting safer; they don’t suggest that pot had anything to do with it. We’re also only seven months in. Maybe these figures will change. Finally, it’s also possible that if it weren’t for legal pot, the 2014 figures would be even lower. There’s no real way to know that. We can only look at the data available. But you can bet that if fatalities were up this year, prohibition supporters would be blaming it on legal marijuana. (Interestingly, though road fatalities have generally been falling in Colorado for a long time, 2013 actually saw a slight increase from 2012. So fatalities are down the year after legalization, after having gone up the year before.)

That said, some researchers have gone so far as to suggest that better access to pot is making the roads safer, at least marginally. The theory is that people are substituting pot for alcohol, and pot causes less driver impairment than booze. I’d need to see more studies before I’d be ready to endorse that theory. For example, there’s also some research contradicting the theory that drinkers are ready to substitute pot for alcohol.

But the data are far more supportive of that than of the claims that stoned drivers are menacing Colorado’s roadways.

CLARIFICATION: I wrote that “we can test only for the presence of marijuana metabolites, not for inebriation.” That isn’t quite accurate. This is true of roadside tests. But a blood test taken at a hospitals can measure for THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. That said, even here there are problems. Regular users can have still have remnant THC in their blood well after the effects have worn off. Regular users can also have levels above the legal limit and still drive perfectly well. In Colorado, a THC level of 5 nano grams or more brings a presumptive charge of driving under the influence. However, references to “marijuana-related” accidents in studies, by prohibitionists, and by law enforcement could refer to any measure or trace of the drug. So when officials and legalization opponents talk about increases in these figures, it still isn’t clear what any of this means for road safety.
 

7greeneyes

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http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2014/08/marijuana-decriminalisation




High times in Amsterdam and Boulder


IN MY personal experience, smoking pot in Boulder, Colorado, is more enjoyable than doing so in Amsterdam. It is an extraordinary pleasure to be able to write that sentence in a respectable mainstream publication without any suggestion of having done anything criminal, and for this I thank the Colorado referendum voters who legalised marijuana in their state as of this year.

To judge by the boomlet of reports from pundits, the novelty value of toking up legally (in Colorado at least) seems to have replaced the frisson once associated with doing so illegally. This is no doubt a temporary effect that will wear off as it becomes more familiar. In the Netherlands, where a policy of official tolerance towards smoking weed was established in the 1980s, puffing now feels about as subversive as shopping for lingerie.

In fact, smoking pot in the Netherlands feels so old-hat that despite living there for the past three and a half years, I hadn't done it once. Last month, in preparation for a trip to Colorado, I decided to sample some nederwiet to compare and contrast. On a friend's recommendation, I headed over to a "coffee shop" (as Dutch marijuana bars are called) in the Jordaan, a gentrified former working-class neighbourhood that serves as Amsterdam's Soho. It was a streamlined establishment decked out in dark grey and wood tones, with a muscular Moroccan-Dutch lad in a form-fitting T-shirt behind the bar. I explained my journalistic mission, conscious that this made me seem like the sort of person who pretends to have an excuse to smoke a joint. The bartender was duly unimpressed. "Unimpressed" is actually too weak a word; his face was a steel plate of courteous indifference. He asked whether I knew how to roll a joint. I stated that I did not. This bumped me down to the slightly humiliating "pre-rolled" category, from which he recommended a sativa mix they were selling under the name "Heavenly Haze".

I had been warned that the THC content of today's hybridised, hydroponically grown nederwiet is considerably higher than the average blunt passed around in third-world capitals by backpackers, journalists and other disreputables. This was true. Soon my teeth were lighting up with a sweet ache each time I took a puff, and my consciousness seemed to have inflated and assumed the interesting stroboscopic quality of a helicopter rotor. However, I was beginning to dislike the feel of the coffee shop. The table of friendly Rastafarians towards the back was starting to get on my nerves, as was the young woman next to me, who had been staring at her journal for fifteen minutes, pen in hand, without writing a line. In the front of the store, the manager had shown up, a stringy dangerous-looking white guy in a baseball cap who hung out by the doorway talking nonstop to the regulars. The sunny day outside, the handsome girls passing on bicycles, the line of adorable 18th-century Dutch storefronts on the far side of the street—this had all begun to feel like a sinister joke. Possibly on me.

After half a joint, I stopped and went outside, as I had arranged to meet a friend and wanted to remain coherent. This proved a largely vain hope. My friend and I retired to a canalside cafe, where I sat with half-lidded eyes trying to keep up my end of the discussion. I was an irritating conversation partner, taking humourless issue with each point. Fortunately, my friend had long experience with such situations; his mother-in-law is associated with a non-profit Amsterdam information centre called the Cannabis College. He himself hasn't taken a puff since he was 16, and when I called to invite him, he had made it clear he would accompany me but would not smoke. This is, in fact, a fairly typical Dutch story. The clientele at Amsterdam's coffee shops are mainly tourists or other foreigners, while the Dutch themselves smoke marijuana at lower rates than Americans do. The business, decriminalised with such optimism in the 1980s, has never quite lost its shabby aura, and has in fact grown seedier in recent decades as the hippies have died off and the frat boys, franchise-chain coffee shops, and serious criminal dealers have taken over. A Dutch friend whose son briefly became a heavy user and dealer in his early 20s quit doing both when he realised his dad's advice had been right: he couldn't hack the trade, he was too soft.

Some blame the persistent sleaze of the Dutch marijuana industry on the fact that the country has never fully legalised it. It is officially tolerated to buy small quantities of marijuana at licensed coffee shops, or to grow it for personal use, but growing and dealing wholesale quantities remain illegal. This leads to the so-called "back door" problem: police selectively ignore the obvious fact that coffee shops are buying from wholesale dealers, unless the dealers become violent or otherwise provoke a crackdown. In June, when I and other journalists had lunch with Amsterdam's mayor, Eberhard van der Laan, he told us he wanted to end that contradiction. He and several dozen other Dutch officials have been pushing the national government for years to allow a trial of wholesale-level, legally certified growing and distribution, so far without success. In the meantime, the city is carrying out a a plan known as "Project 1012" to moderately shrink the number of coffee shops in its famous red-light district, as well as cut down the area available for legal prostitution. The red-light district contains some of the city's oldest and loveliest late-medieval architecture; using that zone as a naughty Mecca for pothead university students, randy businessmen and gawking families does not create optimal value.

Marijuana bars taking over the historic city centre is not a problem Boulder, Colorado, has to worry about, at least not yet. In fact, driving into town, I initially had trouble finding one; pot may be more legal in Boulder than in Amsterdam, but it seems to be less visible. I had hoped to get advice from a local friend who I knew used to smoke regularly, but like my Amsterdam friend, this one was resolutely uninterested, having quit the drug two years earlier. The first place I stopped, boasting a large "Sale!" banner next to a stylised marijuana leaf, turned out to be a paraphernalia shop only. The head-shop clerk directed me to a reputable "dispensary" half a mile away. Where my Amsterdam coffee shop tried to look like a cafe, the place in Boulder looked like an outpatient medical facility. This, in fact, was what it had been until recently, having started out several years ago as a distribution point for medical marijuana.

At the door, I was stopped by two uniformed officers from separate private security agencies, who asked me to show identification proving my age. A foreign driver's licence was not good enough; I had to fetch my passport. (In Amsterdam, a push several years ago by the national government to force coffee shops to demand Dutch identification led to a revolt by the tourist-conscious city administration, and was never implemented.) One security agency handled in-house security; the second was responsible for safeguarding transfers of cash and product. Clients drew numbers and sat on couches in a waiting room, where the decor was High Suburban Car-rental Franchise. When my number came up, I was allowed through a cheap door into a windowless inner room with black walls, where a bartender handled my transaction. There were never more customers than bartenders in the inner room at once.

In contrast to my stoical Amsterdam bartender, my bartender in Colorado was an enthusiastic, client-oriented young woman with brightly tattooed arms. While my Amsterdam bartender had fobbed me off with a pre-rolled joint he said was "the most popular", my Boulder bartender recommended a "clear-headed" blend that she herself "couldn't stop smoking" when she had started working there. "Our staff are required to sample the product, they have to know what they're selling," she said. "I mean, not while on duty. We don't work high." An assistant manager at the dispensary, she explained that the heavy security was necessary because the business is still associated in the popular mind with crime and other drug-dependent populations. Some customers have psychological issues; others may think of a marijuana dispensary as a more legitimate target for robbery than a regular store.

In Amsterdam, I paid for my joint with my bank card. In Boulder, paying with a credit card would have cost me a substantial service charge; since marijuana remains illegal at the national level, credit-card companies refuse to work directly with Colorado dispensaries, which necessitates an expensive work-around.

I smoked the joint sitting on the patio of the house where I was staying that evening. This, rather than the issue of legality, is probably why it was more pleasurable to smoke in Boulder than in Amsterdam, even though buying the product had been much more clinical. It was a starry night, and the house was on a wide hillside facing west; the still masses of the Rockies registered as deeper darknesses along the horizon. At its best, smoking pot gives one an expanded spatial awareness and a sense of freedom, but in Amsterdam the atmosphere had been wrong.

Mr van der Laan had said the city didn't intend to lose its soft-drug policy leadership to Boulder or anywhere else: "Amsterdam is the world's most liberal city, and it will stay the world's most liberal city." Amsterdam has always tried to create a sense of freedom within the rules and infrastructure of a dense urban port-city landscape. But the open, no-limits sprawl of Boulder, edging up into the empty mountains, seemed a better fit for that mind-enlarging ganja feeling.

The American bartender had been right: it was a clear-headed high, and just as strong as the stuff in Amsterdam. I smoked perhaps a quarter of the joint, stubbed it out and tossed the rest. I couldn't keep it. I had to fly the next morning, back to a state where it was still illegal.
 

7greeneyes

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http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/06/o...their-own-cases-for-legalizing-marijuana.html




Times Readers Online Make Their Own Cases for Legalizing Marijuana


WE learned something about New York Times online commenters recently: They are far, far more supportive of marijuana legalization than the average American.

Over the last 10 days, The Times’s Editorial Board published a series calling for an end to the federal ban on marijuana. This stance, we realized, was hardly avant-garde. As we noted in an essay on public views, a majority of Americans now favor legalizing use of the drug. But this majority is not especially large: 54 percent to 42 percent, according to the Pew Research Center’s latest poll.

In the comments section of the High Time series, we asked readers to state their preference: for legalization, against it or unsure. Obviously, combing through Internet comments won’t yield results that are publishable in a scientific journal. Still, the lopsided response seems to indicate that Times readers — at least readers of the online edition — overwhelmingly believe that prohibition is pointless.

As of Tuesday afternoon, roughly 15,000 comments were published online on seven editorials: 12,658 were for, 982 against, and 254 unsure. (Not everyone chose a category. And letters to the editor, by contrast, were far more mixed.)

By and large, readers seem to support legalization for the same reasons the editorial writers do. They are convinced marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol and tobacco and believe that the criminalization of marijuana is more likely to ruin lives than marijuana itself. Arrest and incarceration for possession of a relatively harmless substance is, to many readers, unacceptable.

Mark Hanna of Virginia summed up the consensus view: “Like many wars, the war on drugs has caused too much carnage. Let’s responsibly legalize marijuana.”

Kyle of Oklahoma made the same point in more detail: “No matter how bad you think marijuana is for kids, teens or adults, the fact is that arrest, incarceration, and the ruin they bring is worse. The question is not whether marijuana is ‘O.K.’ It is how [to] effectively deal with it. Illegality and moral censure are and should remain separate tools. ... I think many people are worried about losing control of their kids, but I don’t think a single one of them wants to see their kid locked up.”

And Justine, a nurse in Portland, Ore., wrote from personal experience: “I have yet to see one patient come through our doors suffering the long-term consequence of pot use. Not one. Alcohol? I can’t even begin to count. And when they do, it is very ugly. Patients in the E.R. because someone smoked a couple of joints and got violent? Not so much.”

Not surprisingly, commenters did advance arguments that the Editorial Board overlooked, or touched upon only in passing. Some, including Daniel of Alabama, supported legalization on ideological, libertarian grounds: “I reject the federal government’s right to decide what I put in my body. Even if it was ‘bad’ for you, so what? We don’t ban skydiving, driving in cars, hunting, professional backyard wrestling, traveling to 3rd world countries, sugary foods and beverages, standing outside during thunderstorms with a metal pole, swimming after eating, caffeine, ibuprofen, alcohol, cigarettes or prescription drugs, all of which are statistically more likely to harm you.”

Other readers endorsed legalization as a way to reduce the power of drug cartels. Pedro, a reader in Mexico City, explained: “In Mexico, we have a bloody war against drugs. ... This prohibition has done [nothing] but destroy people by putting them in jail. Drug dealers killing each other for territory, etc. There are more cartels than there were when the prohibition started. This prohibition has only empowered drug dealers. I say let cannabis [be] free. Stop benefiting the cartels.”

Instead of allowing gangs to profit from marijuana, some readers suggested that local governments could patch up their budgets by taxing the drug. “In this era of dwindling coffers,” wrote Kelli Dunaway of St. Louis, “it seems that the regulation, sale and taxation of marijuana offers some badly needed fiscal relief. In my state, that may be the only argument with any impact.”

ALTHOUGH the vast majority of readers wrote in support of legalization, there was, of course, some dissent. There were readers who considered the series downright reckless and who questioned our priorities.

Robert Jackson of Denver said “we need to put the needs of America’s youth ahead of the needs of people who want to get stoned.” He dismissed the notion that “pot is a safe and harmless drug” as the product of a “well-funded blitzkrieg propaganda campaign,” and called the argument that alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana a “propaganda tactic of distraction.” Sam Coulter of New York was more blunt: “Arguing [marijuana] should be legal just because alcohol is legal is just plain stupid.”

We expected some readers to make the slippery-slope case against legalizing marijuana, and they did. Keval Parekh of New Jersey wrote, sarcastically, “Sure, Democrats, let’s fully legalize marijuana. ... And while we’re at it, how about cocaine, meth, heroin and LSD.” But he also took a rather surprising position: He called on Republicans to “end their hypocritical stance on alcohol and tobacco. ... They should come out as against ALL types of drugs (including alcohol and tobacco)!”

Mr. Parekh was not the only reader to recommend doubling-down on prohibition. Susan of Boston identified herself as “someone who thinks tobacco smoking should be outlawed.”

Somehow we don’t anticipate “repeal the 21st amendment, ban tobacco” working as a slogan on the campaign trail; certainly any candidate who suggested blanket prohibition would lose The Times’s readership. In fact, many readers argued that legalization — rather than continued or broader prohibition — was the political winner. They noticed the near-unanimity in the comments section, and, perhaps getting a little carried away, imagined hope-and-change emanating from the White House.

Chris of Virginia had some advice for President Obama: “He should use executive authority to legalize marijuana on a national level and let each state decide their own laws. This could be an opportunity for Pres. Obama to cement his legacy and give the nation what it clearly desires.”

The president would, at least, be giving a majority of Times commenters what they clearly desire.
 

7greeneyes

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http://news.yahoo.com/marijuana-linked-two-deaths-170926695.html




Marijuana Use Linked to Two Deaths


Although marijuana may have a reputation as a relatively harmless drug, a new case report links it to the deaths of two young men in Germany.

Toxicological examinations concluded that the men were under the influence of cannabis before they died, and traces of THC — the main active ingredient in marijuana — were found in the men's blood and brain tissue, the researchers wrote in the report.

In both cases, the deaths were related to cardiovascular complications. In one of the deaths, a 23-year-old man without a history of health problems suddenly collapsed while using public transportation, and died after 40 minutes of unsuccessful resuscitation efforts, according to the case report based on postmortem investigations. The man had a small amount of marijuana in his pockets when he was found, according to the researchers at the Institute of Legal Medicine, University Hospital Duesseldorf in Germany, who reported the case.

In the second case described in the report, a 28-year-old man was found dead at home by his girlfriend. An ashtray, rolling paper and a sealable plastic bag containing remnants of marijuana were found next to the body. The man had occasionally used cannabis, the researchers wrote. He had also abused alcohol and drugs, such as amphetamines and cocaine until about two years before his death, they wrote. [5 Bad Habits You Should Still Quit]

"After exclusion of other causes of death, we assume that the young men died from cardiovascular complications evoked by smoking cannabis," the researchers wrote.

"We assume the deaths of these two young men occurred due to arrhythmias evoked by smoking cannabis," but this assumption does not rule out that the men were predisposed to cardiovascular risks, they wrote.

Nikolas P. Lemos, the chief forensic toxicologist for the San Francisco Medical Examiner's Office, said there have been confirmed cases in which marijuana has had harmful effects on the heart.

"The potential cardiotoxicity of cannabis has been reported in peer-reviewed abstracts as well as scientific proceedings before, including by my team," Lemos said.

"This case report adds two more cases from Germany, but since late last year, we have known and reported on this drug's potential cardiotoxic effects in some parts of the general population," he said.

The researchers in Germany who reported the deaths declined an interview request from Live Science, citing an overwhelming media response to the paper and "some quite unpleasant reactions from individuals."

Following the online publication of the paper, Jost Leune, the head of the German Association for Drugs and Addiction in Hannover, Germany, criticized the report in an interview with the website TheLocal.de, saying, "Cannabis does not paralyze the breathing or the heart."

"Deaths due to cannabis use are usually accidents that are not caused by the substance, but to the circumstances of use," Leune said.

However, other recent research also has linked marijuana use with cardiovascular complications in young and middle-age adults. In a study published in April in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers examined data on health complications following marijuana use, gathered from 2006 to 2010 by the French Addictovigilance Network. They found that among the 2,000 cases of reported complications, 35 cases involved heart problems. Among those were 20 people who had heart attacks, including nine who died.

"There is now compelling evidence on the growing risk of marijuana-associated adverse cardiovascular effects, especially in young people," study author Émilie Jouanjus, a medical faculty member at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Toulouse in France, said in a statement at the time. "It is, therefore, important that doctors, including cardiologists, be aware of this, and consider marijuana use as one of the potential causes in patients with cardiovascular disorders."

"It is important that people realize that any drug can have harmful effects," Iain M. McIntyre, a director and chief toxicologist at the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office, told Live Science.

Some people who are predisposed to cardiac events may be particularly vulnerable to potential harmful effects of marijuana use, and the new report shows this, McIntyre said.

One limitation of the report, however, was that it did not specify for how long the two men had been using marijuana, he said.

The researchers who wrote the report stressed that the risk of cardiovascular effects of marijuana use in the general population is low, but it is higher in people who have cardiovascular issues.

"Persons who are at high risk for cardiovascular diseases are even recommended to avoid the use of cannabis," they wrote.

Lemos said he hopes the report will raise awareness of the potential health complications of marijuana use. "I am delighted to see this additional work in hope that medical examiners, coroners and physicians will realize that they need to collect specimens, test for cannabis in post-mortem fluids and consider the contributions of cannabis in the death investigations.

"We simply cannot, any longer, adhere to the old mentality that 'marijuana does not kill," Lemos told Live Science. "We are now seeing evidence from my office and elsewhere that it just might."

The case report was published in the April issue of the journal Forensic Science International.
 

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http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-cannabis-farmers-market-20140805-story.html




(Cal.) Cannabis farmers market's supporters fight to keep it open


Kathy Bolivar lives with debilitating pain that interrupts her ability to carry on a normal life and relies on medical marijuana to relieve some of her symptoms.

But the 38-year-old Highland Park resident was never able to find the right marijuana strain to treat her trigeminal neuralgia, a nerve disorder.

"It is constant -- the pain is 24/7," she said.

That was the case until she visited Los Angeles' first-ever cannabis farmers market over the Fourth of July weekend at West Coast Collective in Boyle Heights.

Explaining her illness directly to growers allowed her to find several affordable strains that relieve 80% to 90% of her pain -- something she said wasn't possible at an ordinary marijuana dispensary.

The medicine she purchased that weekend was enough to last her a month and cost significantly less than marijuana sold at a dispensary.

But the access Bolivar enjoyed may soon be gone. Now, she and fellow medical marijuana activists are fighting to keep the California Heritage Market open.

"We are patients. We are not criminals," the market's spokeswoman, Cheryl Shuman, said at news conference Tuesday at the collective's dispensary in the 1500 block of Esperanza Street.

Los Angeles city officials obtained a temporary restraining order last month against the market's operators, effectively closing it for noncompliance with the city's marijuana dispensaries law.

The order restricts the market’s operators from setting up booths and advertising it, according to the injunction. Police and fire must also be granted access to the site.

Voters passed Proposition D last year, which established parameters for where marijuana dispensaries could do business. But City Attorney Mike Feuer said the law does not allow multiple, independent vendors to sell on one site, which the market was allegedly set up to do.

Bolivar is hoping city officials and the market's operators can come to a resolution that does not take away her access to medical marijuana growers.

"I am feeling disappointed in the city and anybody making this almost impossible to have," she said. "This is not a drug facility. This is a medical facility."

The next hearing regarding the market is set for Aug. 27 in a Los Angeles County Superior courtroom, according to court records.
 

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http://rt.com/news/178344-cannabis-bees-police-sting/




(Russia) Marijuana sting: Bees attack police destroying cannabis plot


Russian police met their match as they attempted to clear a cannabis plantation. They were sent fleeing from the scene by scores of angry bees. However, officers had the last laugh when they returned wearing protective gear to get rid of the weed.

The bees were located in hives in the middle of a small plot of cannabis, which the owner said had grown wildly, not far from the city of Kostroma, some 350km northwest of Moscow. Officers were stung repeatedly, but none suffered any allergic reactions.

“As part of an operation, the police arrived at the scene to see whether rumors that a large amount of cannabis was growing were true,” said law enforcement officer Valery Vekhov. “When we got to where the cannabis was growing, there were a number of beehives. When we tried to remove the cannabis plants, the bees started to attack us aggressively. We had to leave in order to get protective gear from the owner.”

There were around 500 cannabis plants growing in the vicinity, up to a height of 2 meters, however the owner was adamant he was not doing anything illegal. When asked why he had not destroyed it, the owner said that he did not have enough time as he was busy attending to the bees. The plantation was eventually destroyed and the cannabis was taken away by the police. One policewoman who was part of operation received a nasty sting to her left cheek. Never the less she was still left with a broad smile on her face, as she was helped by local residents.

Police are now trying to learn whether the bees were specifically put within the hemp plot in order to guard it, in the event that someone would try and destroy it.

It is illegal to grow cannabis in Russia and if it is found that the owner willingly grew the plant, he could face up to eight years in jail.
 
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