by PF Louis
Jun 13, 2014
(NaturalNews) The latest java trend is coffee meets cannabis. The most recent buzz is a cannabis-infused beverage going mainstream. Mirth Provisions, a company based in Washington State, is launching a new and innovative line of cannabis-infused (extract), cold-brewed coffee under the “Legal” label, which underscores the fact that their cannabis-spiked coffee will be marketed exclusively in states where marijuana is legal.
Currently, only Colorado and Washington State have legalized recreational marijuana, although medical marijuana is legal in 22 states and decriminalized in approximately 20. How much will a bottle cost? Here’s the rub. Estimates are that an 11.5-ounce bottle will cost somewhere between $9 and $11. Definitely not for those on a budget.
Mirth was created by Adam Stites, 34, a former e-commerce firm manager turned entrepreneur. The expected “Legal” roll-out (minus glitches) is July 2014.
Consumers can either choose “Legal” straight-up, cold-brew coffee with cannabis or opt for the works: coffee with cannabis, cream and sugar. Still, there may be one legal drawback: Drinking “Legal” and driving may be against the law.
In case you’re wondering, each bottle contains about 20 milligrams of THC. As far as THC dosages go, 20 milligrams is considered on the low side. Typically, cannabis-infused “medibles” contain a tenth of a gram, or 100 milligrams, or more of THC per serving.
But Stites feels that the THC level is just right for his customer base. He quipped, “I’m 6ft 4in and 205 pounds, and 20mg is sufficient for me, especially when it’s brewed with coffee.”
According to Fox News, “Stites told My Northwest that each bottle will contain about 20 milligrams of THC, enough to create ‘an alert, creative, high,’ but not too much as to make it an unpleasant experience, ‘especially for people that are just getting into marijuana.'”
Stites also told My Northwest that his cannabis coffee drink is “the wake and bake drink.”
Coffee is just the beginning. Stites intends to extend his quirky offerings by eventually introducing sparkling, cannabis-infused sodas in assorted fruit flavors like trendy pomegranate and lemon ginger.
Nothing new under the sun
In the West, the practice of combining cannabis and coffee historically originated from the cafes and coffee houses of Europe. A favored haunt of prominent French artists and writers was the “infamous Club des Hachichins (Club of the Hashish-Eaters) in the mid-1800s,” High Times reported.
These infamous, rather bohemian, gatherings were laced with philosophical talks lasting into the wee hours, with bottomless cups of coffee served with crumbled hashish.
The custom of mixing coffee and cannabis is still popular in select circles. Savvy cannabis and coffee drinkers have described the effect created by this dynamic duo as “an alert but relaxed state conducive to creative work.”
Even today, comedians like Rob Cantrell make jokes about “waking and baking” with coffee and weed, also known as a “Hippie Speedball.”
Unfortunately, “Legal” doesn’t measure up health-wise. Except for the cannabis, none of the ingredients are organic. The coffee, sugar and cream options all contain a dollop of white sugar that could be GMO. White sugar is not a good choice under any circumstances. The sweetened coffee beverage may contain rBGH-laced, factory-farmed cream.
Also, it’s fairly common knowledge that non-organic coffee beans are heavily sprayed with pesticides. Sure, non-organic “homegrown” cannabis will deliver the buzz, but will it deliver the full array of scientifically proven cannabis and coffee health benefits?
Perhaps cannabis aficionados will forgo health concerns for a caffeine buzz and a mildly euphoric high. The good news is that medical marijuana patients are increasingly demanding organic marijuana over cheaper, conventionally grown weed.
According to a survey of marijuana patients by editors of Medical Marijuana Journal Business Daily, 43% of medical marijuana patients in California, Washington and Colorado say organic cannabis meds are critical.
Sources for this article include:
by Johnny Green
The Weed Blog
Jul 23, 2014
I like to exercise, especially playing basketball. Physical fitness is something that I have always tried to take seriously, although admittedly, I take it more serious at certain times compared to others. Currently, my physical fitness is not where it needs to be, but I’ll try to get that figured out sooner than later. A question I have received at TWB from time to time is ‘does marijuana help you exercise?’
I have lifted weights and played basketball after getting high, and it seems to put me in a zone that I don’t get into when sober. I feel more focused, and more in touch with my body. Marijuana doesn’t necessarily motivate me to workout, but once I’m at the gym, it helps me get a better workout, if that makes sense. Leafly recently published an article that talks more about marijuana and exercise. A few excerpts are below:
“It’s not news to the medical community that the human body stores tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC), the main psychoactive in cannabis, in fat. However, a study put out this August in Drug and Alcohol Dependence has shown that this storage process can give exercisers an extra boost, even up to 28 days after consumption.”
“Yet, contrary to popular thought, it’s not just the endorphins (the compounds which make you feel excited after activities such as exercise and sex) that make physical activity so great. A 2003 study found that exercise actually activates the endocannabinoid system in the same way that the cannabis plant does. The endocannabinoid system is a group of lipids (types of fats) and cell receptors that cannabinoids (compounds like THC and CBD) bind to inside the body. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for easing pain, controlling appetite, and influences mood and memory. ”
“A recent study published in the American Journal of Medicine has found that regular cannabis consumers have fasting insulin (insulin in your body before eating) levels 16% lower than non-consumers. The study also found that cannabis consumers had 17% lower insulin resistance levels and lower average waist circumferences.”
Next time, before you hit the gym, try getting high first. If that’s not your thing, then by all means don’t do it. But if you are looking to see how marijuana affects your workout, give it a try. Scientific studies suggest it could help you out!
The Free Thought Project
May 20, 2014
According to statistics recently released by the government in Denver, the amount of robberies and violent crimes significantly decreased since marijuana legalization went into effect. It is important to mention that this strong correlation is not definitive proof that legalization is the cause of this drop in crime, but it does strongly suggest that this is the case.
These statistics are especially convincing considering the short amount of time that this drastic reduction in crime has taken place. In just one short year the number of homicides dropped by 52.9%. Sexual assaults were reduced by 13.6%. Robberies were down by 4.8% and assaults were down by 3.7%.
The statistics measured the first few months of the year for both 2013 and 2014, and then compared those numbers with one another to determine whether they were higher or lower after legalization went into effect.
There are many different factors contributing to this drop in crime, and it is likely that marijuana legalization is a very big piece of the puzzle. Legalization has had a profound impact on local economies, and has created a large boom in new residents who have moved to the area to flee persecution. This increase in prosperity surely has some effect on the amount of robberies and burglaries that have taken place.
Additionally, marijuana is traditionally known to mellow people out and calm them down, making them far less likely to act out in anger or plan a murder.
One final possibility that comes to mind is the fact that possibly, police resources are being diverted towards serious crimes instead of nonviolent offenses. Unfortunately, they are still writing plenty of fines and locking up plenty of people for nonviolent offenses, but marijuana smokers and traders have been one of the largest group of persecuted nonviolent offenders for a very long time.
See the UCR Citywide Report
by Melanie Lofton
May 16, 2014
ROUND ROCK, TX (KEYE/CNN) — A Texas man accused of making and selling marijuana brownies is facing up to life in prison if convicted.
That’s because officials in Round Rock have charged him with a first-degree felony.
It’s a move that the man’s family and attorney outraged.
“It’s outrageous. It’s crazy. I don’t understand it,” Joe Lavoro, the man’s father said.
Like many familiar with the case, Joe does not understand why his son is in so much legal trouble.
The first of what may be many court appearances for Jacob Lavoro was Thursday morning.
The 19-year-old is accused of making and selling pot brownies.
He’s charged with a first degree felony.
“Five years to life? I’m sorry. I’m a law abiding citizen. I’m a conservative. I love my country. I’m a Vietnam veteran, but I’ll be ****ed. This is wrong. This is ***n wrong!” the father said.
Lavoro’s lawyer agrees.
“I was outraged. I’ve been doing this 22 years as a lawyer and I’ve got 10 years as a police officer and I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Jack Holmes, Lavoro’s attorney said.
The former high school football player has a clean record.
by Tom McKay
May 10, 2014
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.
Canadian Awareness Network
May 10, 2014
VANCOUVER — Just five weeks after Ottawa outlawed B.C.’s cottage industry of cannabis dispensaries, one of them has just opened Canada’s first marijuana vending machine.
“Half an ounce for $50, which is unthinkable in the city,” said local hip hop artist Ray Gill, speaking Monday in a YouTube video promoting the new machine. “It’s like they’re just giving it away!”
The machine is operated by the B.C. Pain Society, a recently opened medical marijuana dispensary located a few blocks from the heart of Vancouver’s hip Commercial Drive district.
Society director Chuck Varabioff worked in vending machines before he went into medical marijuana, so the machine was a natural marriage, he said.
“It’s safe, it’s secure and your product does not get contaminated,” said Mr. Varabioff.
“Most other dispensaries in town, you don’t know what that product is getting contaminated with — which is a big issue for sick people.”
Mr. Varabioff’s creation, decorated in a pot leaf motif, contains a cross-section of popular pot strains, from Cotton Candy to Lemon Haze to MK Ultra.
For $20 the customer gets a “sealed, tamper-proof” bag containing an eighth of an ounce (enough for about half a dozen joints). And, as indicated in the video by Mr. Gill, half-ounce bags go for $50.
Two re-purposed gumball machines also offer smaller quantities of marijuana at $4 and $6 increments.
The machines, like the various marijuana products offered at the Society’s nearby retail counter, are only open to licensed medical marijuana users.
A waist-high fence separates the machines from the location’s public area, and to enter the fenced-off zone customers must flash a card confirming that they have received a doctor’s prescription for the drug.
Within the space of 20 minutes on a Wednesday afternoon, three customers came in to use the new machine: A woman who appeared to be in her early twenties, a woman with a slight limp and an older man in a dress shirt.
“It’s a convenience thing for regular customers to come in and say ‘I know what I want, I can avoid the lineup, come right up to the machine, put my $20 in, grab my baggie and go; bada bing, bada boom, done,’” said Justin Johnson, a licensed medical marijuana user who uses the drug to treat lower back pain.
Another perk: the B.C. Pain Society does not keep tabs on how much product its customers are buying.
“We’re not interested in what they’re buying; that’s up to them,” said a clerk. “Whereas Health Canada growers, they keep track.”
The B.C. Pain Society does not disclose the exact source of its marijuana, other than to say that it comes from the Vancouver area, is inspected in-house and does not come from drug traffickers.
“All of our product is sourced from confidential sources,” said Mr. Varabioff. “That’s pretty much all I can say about that.”
According to Health Canada, the B.C. Pain Society’s whole setup is illegal. As per legislation that came into force on April 1, Canada’s only source for legal medical marijuana is a small network of large-scale, for-profit growers certified by the health agency.
But the B.C. Pain Society, like all of the other dispensaries in the Vancouver area, keeps its doors open thanks to what many proprietors openly call a “legal gray area.”
The Vancouver Police’s official stance is that while medical marijuana dispensaries are indeed illegal, raiding them is far from its top priority.
In a March press release, the Vancouver Police Drug Unit said it would continue to focus on targeting “violent gang members” and other operations that pose a “danger to the public.”
“For the most part, medical marijuana dispensaries operating today in Vancouver do not meet these criteria,” it said, noting that they were just as illegal before the rule change.
The B.C. Pain Society vending machine is only the latest unorthodox vending machine to show up in Vancouver.
Last October, a Waves coffee shop became the site of the world’s first bitcoin ATM. A few months later, it emerged that a crack pipe vending machine had been operating at a harm reduction facility run by the Portland Hotel Society, a Downtown Eastside non-profit since roiled by spending scandals.
And while the B.C. Pain Society’s marijuana vending machine is a Canadian first, it narrowly lost the global title to Colorado, a state that legalized recreational marijuana in 2012.
by Trevor Greenway
Apr 21, 2014
A medical marijuana production facility in British Columbia is warning users not to smoke their Purple Kush after Health Canada found “issues with the company’s production practices,” which prompted a voluntary recall of the batch.
Greenleaf Medicinals is telling clients to immediately stop using a batch of Purple Kush brand marijuana labelled “PK-10-20-13.”
“It’s not a danger to those people using the product, but they are being asked to discontinue use,” Health Canada Spokesperson Erika-Kirsten Easton told the Toronto Star.
She wouldn’t elaborate on what “production practices” Health Canada had issues with, but the company is now working other licensed producers to find another supply of marijuana for those who are impacted by the recall.
With Files from the Toronto Star
by Christina Sarich
Apr 20, 2014
It’s raining marijuana – medical marijuana that is, if everything bodes well for new start up companies that plan to deliver your cancer-reversing drugs via drone. QuiQui in San Francisco has reportedly unveiled plans to start drone deliveries in the Mission District, and could lead to a new way to get medical marijuana in other states, soon.
Many people dread going to the pharmacy. Now, waiting in lines, exposing yourself to others who are sick, or just getting out and about when you aren’t feeling well to begin with may soon be a thing of the past. According to QuiQui’s website, you’ll get an eco-friendly delivery that costs less than $1.00 from a ‘modern drone that gives off zero emissions and uses quiet clean electric power.”
QuiQui says it won’t deliver medical marijuana for now, although the International Business Times stated they would, but there is speculation that Joshua Ziering, the company’s founder, might change his mind with the growing demand for medical marijuana.
“We are not delivering medical marijuana,” confirmed QuiQui founder Joshua Ziering, who hopes his fleet of drones will one day be able to drop off prescription drugs. “I think [the International Business Times] just made it up.”
After all, shipping pot straight from a dispensary to someone’s front door would be no different than the delivery of other packages. If anything, the product is light weight and in high demand – the perfect product for modern drone delivery.
Furthermore, companies like QuiQui could possibly be within their legal rights according to a recent ruling that the FAA did not have authority over small market, commercial drones, and ended six years of prohibition of drone deliveries.
The FAA appealed the judge’s decision, however, concerned that it “could impact the safe operation of the national airspace system and the safety of people and property on the ground.”
“Commercial operations are only authorized on a case-by-case basis,” the FAA’s Elizabeth Cory said in an email last month. “A commercial flight requires a certified aircraft, a licensed pilot, and operating approval. To date, only one operation has met these criteria.” That’s an operation that uses drones to conduct environmental surveys in the Arctic prior to drilling.
The FAA appeal will be heard before the original ruling will be put back into practice.
Should the FAA ban be permanently lifted? It could open the floodgates for an extensive rollout of various drone-based ventures. Amazon might be delivering your books and movies, but other start up companies could soon be delivering your cannabis oil, and medical marijuana.
Toke of the Town
Apr 7, 2014
|Susan Sanchez/LA Weekly.|
Earlier this month we got the 2013 numbers for how many marijuana dispensaries in the city of L.A. have filed to pay a special city collective tax. It reflects how many weed retailers are in L.A. And it was higher than any other number we had seen in nearly five years: 1,140. This despite repeated city crackdowns and a new law, passed last year, that limits the number of shops in town to the 135 or fewer that were legit during a 2007 city “moratorium.”
Well, it looks that the law, Proposition D., and the efforts of L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer, who has made legal moves against dozens of stores, are having an amazing effect: Numbers unveiled by the city Department of Finance this week show that so far only 462 business tax renewals have been filed for “L050″ businesses in 2014 – aka collectives – a finance official told us.
Toke of the Town
Apr 7, 2014
Despite having approval from Health Canada, Tweed Marijuana says a shipment of herb grown by private B.C. growers previously licensed to grow cannabis was seized by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police over the weekend.
All of this after Tweed invited the mounties to examine the shipment. Only in Canada are people nice enough to invite the police over to check out their quasi-legal operations.
“We felt everything was done absolutely correctly,” Tweed chairman Bruce Linton told the National Post. “When you call police to say, ‘Come look at this,’ you believe you have everything in order.”
Tweed made headlines late last week as the first publically traded pot company in Canada. The group is one of the dozen that are legally allowed to produce and distribute cannabis under new government laws. The cannabis they were purchasing was produced under the old laws, which allowed for a caregiver-patient system similar to many U.S. states.
For their part, the RMCP isn’t saying anything. It’s their policy to not comment on ongoing investigations. Though, really, there’s not much to investigate. Again, this is Canada and everyone is being really nice and up-front about everything.
Growers licensed under the old system were able to sell off “starting materials” like clones, seeds and immature plants to the new, big, government-licensed grows.
Apparently, Tweed saw such a demand for products, however, that they asked the Health Department for a waiver to purchase actual bud. They got it, and thought everything was okay. Until last Monday, that is.
Linton says they had the police check out the shipment in part to be transparent, but also in part to protect the goods.
Part of the confusion comes from the ever-changing rules. Lawsuits have been filed in part to keep home cultivation in place, and there have been several changed deadlines for transferring materials.
By Phillip Smith
Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina said Wednesday his country could present a plan before year’s end to legalize the production of marijuana and opium poppies. His comments came in an interview with Reuters.
Perez, a conservative and former general, has been a harsh critic of the US-led war on drugs in Latin America, repeatedly denouncing such policies at international forums. He has alsopreviously mentioned the possibility of moving to legalize marijuana and opium production, but has yet to put forward a concrete plan to do so.
But a presidential commission has been studying the issue of reforms in the country’s drug laws, and Perez told Reuters he expected the commission to make its recommendations by October and that the measures could be presented by year’s end. That could include a bill to legalize drugs, particularly marijuana, Perez said.
“The other thing we’re exploring… is the legalization of the poppy plantations on the border with Mexico, so they’re controlled and sold for medicinal ends,” Perez said. “These two things could be steps taken on a legal basis.”
While Afghanistan is by far the world’s largest opium producer, accounting for nearly 90% of global production, poppies are also grown in the Western hemisphere — in Mexico and Colombia, as well as Guatemala. Western hemisphere opium accounts for most of the heroin consumed in the United States.
Perez is keeping a careful eye on his northern neighbor, too. Mexico decriminalized drug possession in 2009, but has been loath to take further steps to end the drug war there, although there are now proposals afoot to legalize marijuana. Meanwhile, Mexican drug trafficking organizations, under pressure in their home country, have expanded their operations in Guatemala and other Central American nations.
MUST LISTEN — The Classical Trivium, Magic Mushrooms, The CIA & Zionism: An Interview With Jan Irvin
The Real Deal
Mar 28, 2014
In this episode of The Real Deal journalist Joshua Blakeney interviewed California-based ethnomycologist Jan Irvin of http://www.gnosticmedia.com. Irvin addressed a wide array of subjects in the show including the Classical Trivium, the role of the CIA in popularizing Magic Mushrooms, Jewish ideologies and the health effects of consuming wheat.
This show will be archived here:
Other relevant links include:
PODCAST — An Interview with Freeman Burt and Dr. Tom – “How to Research: Case Study – Cannabis” – #191
Feb 25, 2014
Today Tom and Freeman Burt join the Gnostic Media podcast again to discuss “How to Research: Case Study – Cannabis”. This episode is being released on Sunday, February 25, 2014, and was recorded yesterday.
Both Dr. Tom and Freeman Burt have been on the Gnostic Media podcast a number of times, and for more information on them, see the Slaves Anonymous Section on the Gnositc media website, and also:
Documents used in this episode:
Music by Jesse Miller - Free Eddy Lepp, 2009.
My interview with Eddy Lepp (in the archives):
Donations. This episode is brought to you by:
by Elizabeth Renter
March 1, 2014
It’s official, Alaska voters will soon decide whether or not to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in their state. The proposal officially qualified for a statewide ballot on Wednesday after thousands of signatures were verified and certified by Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell. On August 17, voters in the northernmost state will go to the polls for pot.
As Reuters reports, if voters approve the measure, it would make Alaska the third state to legalize recreational marijuana, coming after Colorado and Washington who approved recreational pot in later 2012.
The proposed initiative would allow adults ages 21 and over to possess up to one ounce of marijuana for personal use and to grow up to six plants for their own consumption.
In addition, the proposal “charts a course” for a system of state-regulated marijuana sales as we see in Colorado, where dispensaries made well over $1 million in just their first day of business.
“A bipartisan tidal wave of public support for regulating marijuana like alcohol in Alaska has pushed this issue onto the ballot, and we will be running an aggressive campaign designed to build momentum on that,” said legalization campaign spokesman Taylor Bickford.
Marijuana users in the state aren’t the only ones who would benefit from the law. The state itself would collect a tax of $50 per ounce sold at the wholesale level.
by Terry Wilson
Feb 11, 2014
For those who do not know the story of Rick Simpson and/or about the first film titled Run From The Cure The Rick Simpson Story
Here is the first film, including a description.
RUN FROM THE CURE is the story of Rick Simpson,it tells the story of how hemp oil in it´s purest form CAN CURE CANCER and many other serious illnesses including diabetes, multiple sclerosis and many many more, in fact there´s not much it can´t sort out!
Please share this very important video, people really can make a difference to the current cancer care system we have, things don´t have to be the way they are.
Look what happened to the tobaco industry, they finally lost their grip of power through millions in lobbying -the pharma industry is a bigger fish – BUT IT IS POSSIBLE!
Please Share This Video Of Rick Simpson´s Amazing Story
Thank you for helping to make a change for good.
Press For Truth
Feb 19, 2014
While the Canadian government is taking a major step backwards for our freedoms by restricting the rights of medicinal marijuana users, Colorado and Washington State have legalized marijuana for both medicinal and recreational use and so Dan Dicks of Press For Truth went to Seattle to investigate!
Support Press For Truth and help us to continue by contributing at https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr…
We rely on you the viewer to help us continue to do this work. With your help I can continue to make videos and documentary films for youtube in an effort to raise awareness all over the world. Please support independent media by joining Press For Truth TV! http://pressfortruth.tv/register/
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Canadian Awareness Network
Jan 21, 2014
Terry speaks with Dan Dicks of Press for truth about changes in medicinal cannabis laws in Canada, Where he is seeing globalization take over, and the large independent resistance forming against it.
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by Christina Sarich
Feb 9, 2014
Washington and Colorado have already legalized recreational marijuana, and Alaska is on its way to be the next state to follow the act. Twenty other states already allow medical marijuana use, and President Obama has talked of letting states regulate themselves in this matter, though pot still hasn’t been declassified as an illegal drug federally.
With plenty of signatures to put the initiative before legislators, the law would allow anyone 21 years or older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to six Cannabis plants, paving the way for cancer treatments, muscular dystrophy symptom relief, and recreational use – but also a veritable treasure trove of tax revenue for the state.
Gail Fenumiai, director of the Alaska’s Division of Elections has commented that the state requirements for signatures has been met, and now “ It’s a matter of officially getting the certification documents signed by the lieutenant governor.”
Feb 3, 2014
35 Dutch municipalities are asking the government to let them grow cannabis. Dutch laws on marijuana allow people to smoke it legally but a recent global spate of pro-weed legislation is leaving the Dutch lagging behind some other countries.
Dozens of mayors and experts from 35 Dutch towns and cities including Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht gathered last Friday in Utrecht arguing that the current laws, which allow the sale but not the cultivation of marijuana, mean that Dutch coffee shops, which sell the drug, have to get it from illegal gangs, encouraging organized crime and wasting valuable police time.
Ahmed Aboutaleb, the mayor of Rotterdam, said that cannabis cafes had to rely on “murky worlds” and that the current situation in Holland was unsustainable, according to the public broadcaster RTV.
As a result of the meeting a manifesto addressing the government has been penned.
However, the Dutch government disagrees and argues that any change in the law would not be welcomed by neighboring countries, which could see Dutch grown weed in their own backyard.
“We agree that crime and nuisance have to be fought, but we disagree on the right instrument,” said Ivo Opstenten, the Security and Justice Minister as cited by The Independent.
Utrecht’s alderman for public health, Victor Everhardt who hosted the meeting of mayors has been pushing the proposal since 2011 of the creation of cannabis clubs where the THC content of cannabis plants could be properly regulated, but his suggestion has been rebuffed by the Dutch government.
But now the international tide is turning as the world gradually becomes more weed friendly. The United States, which for decades has operated a tough no tolerance approach to drug use branded the “War on Drugs”, has legalized cannabis shops in Colorado with Washington State look set to follow.
Colorado now allows the regulated growth of marijuana, which is taxed, for recreational use.While in South America Uruguay became the first nation to fully legalize pot.
Since the 1970’s Holland has been one of the few countries in the world where you can have a joint without worrying about getting busted as the possession of small amounts of cannabis has been legal. Dutch cities have become favorite destinations for weed hungry tourists.
As a result a so called wietpas policy, which in English translates as ‘weed pass’, came into effect in the Netherland’s three southern most provinces on May 1st 2012. The law was to prevent foreigners from legally purchasing cannabis in coffee shops, but Dutch citizens and expats with residence cards were able to sign up for the ‘weed pass’.
The policy proved unpopular with communities in the southern cities where it became law complaining of a rise in the number of street dealers. Many locals also refused to sign up for the pass out of fear that their names would appear on a government list or that their employers may get wind of their recreational habits.
The ‘weed pass law’ was due to be introduced nationally on January 1st 2013 but in November 2012 it was repealed. Each city in Holland is now able to regulate the sale of marijuana as they choose.
“It’s not like tourists are going to say OK, there’s no cannabis here anymore. Instead they’re just going to try and find it on the streets, leading to a larger black market, more disputes with dealers, no control over its quality and all the other problems we used to have,” said Eberhard van der Laan, Amsterdam’s liberal mayor as quoted by DailyMail.
Research from Intraval, an independent agency that carries out social scientific research showed the number of coffee shops decreasing from 1999 to 2011 by 22 percent.
by Amy Radil
KUOW News and Information
Jan 27, 2014
Attorney General Eric Holder recently said that legal marijuana businesses need access to bank accounts as a public safety issue. Bankers and pot entrepreneurs hailed those comments as an important step. But they said it will take a change in federal law to make banks truly open their doors.
Although recreational marijuana has been legal in Washington for more than a year, federal law still prohibits banks from dealing with those businesses. Holder said he’s working with the Treasury Department to try to facilitate access to bank accounts.
A Justice Department spokesman said the changes may not take the form of a change in law or new regulations, but instead as “guidance” for prosecutors and law enforcement. Jim Pishue, president of the Washington Bankers Association, said it’s not clear how much protection the new federal guidance will provide banks.
“It depends, I think, on two things,” Pishue said. “One is how strong the guidance is, and the second is, banks will then have to decide individually whether they feel the guidance provides them enough safe harbor for them to enter into banking this business.”
This month the New York Times wrote a front-page feature on marijuana business owners in Seattle paying state taxes with mountains of cash.
Florida Supreme Court Gives Initiative Approval, State to Vote on Medical Cannabis Legalization This November
The Joint Blog
Jan 27, 2014
Today the Florida Supreme Court issued a ruling on the medical cannabis legalization initiative that is vying for this November’s ballot. In a close 4-3 decision, justices determined the initiative is valid, and will be put to a vote.
This ruling comes just days after campaigners received confirmation that they had collected enough voter’s signatures on the initiative to secure its place in the election (roughly 1.2 million signatures total).
The Supreme Court was incited to issue a ruling by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Republican legislative leaders, including House Speaker Will Weatherford. Detractors claimed the initiative’s summary was misleading by interchanging the terms “medical conditions” and “diseases”. Weatherford says the initiative is not about compassion, but about the “Coloradofication of Florida”.
The Florida Supreme Court responded in favor of the initiative: “We conclude that the use of ‘diseases’ instead of ‘conditions’ in the ballot summary will not reasonably mislead the voters”.
Recent polling shows 65% of Florida voters already in favor of the initiative; written as a constitutional amendment, the measure will need a 60% majority to pass.
John Morgan, an Orlando-based trial lawyer and previous fundraiser for President Obama, is the primary backer of the effort, and says that campaigners won’t be slowing down any time soon. “I think the amendment kind of passes itself. It’s like ‘Are you in favor of fresh air?’”, says Morgan “But with that said, at Morgan and Morgan we don’t take anything for granted. Something that seems obvious might not be so we will play it as if we’re behind. That’s how we will treat this campaign.” Morgan has put $2.8 million into signature gatherers and advertising for this campaign so far, and has made it clear that he will continue to fund the effort, spending “whatever it takes” to get the initiative passed.
by Elizabeth Renter
Jan 25, 2014
Last week, the New Hampshire House gave preliminary approval to legalize recreational pot. And though the measure isn’t likely to become law, with a state Senate opposed to ending marijuana prohibition, the passage by the House marks a significant step and a sign that things are changing.
The bill is reportedly modeled by those in Washington and Colorado and would allow people to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. It would tax and regulate pot and also allow citizens to grow a total of six plants.
The first attempt to pass the measure failed, with two lawmakers tipping the scales to the opposing side. Only an hour later, they tried again and the bill passed 170-162, according to AlterNet. The House voted 170-162 after a 2 ½-hour heated debate to send the bill to its tax committee to review before taking a final vote.
Illinois proposes ‘legalizing’ medical marijuana as long as patients surrender Second Amendment rights
by L.J. Devon, Staff Writer
Jan 25, 2014
(NaturalNews) Lawmakers from the state of Illinois have proposed new medical marijuana rules that coerce patients to surrender their Second Amendment right in the application process.
The new medical marijuana “legalization” bill requires Illinois citizens to undergo a background check, be fingerprinted and pay an additional $150 fine for using marijuana for medical purposes.
On top of that and most disturbing of all, Illinois citizens will also be required to sign away their right to own a firearm in the application process.
Personal liberty and responsibility has become a dead idea in the state of Illinois, as the right to bear arms becomes a perishable right dictated through laws regulating strict control of a plant.
Illinois forcing citizens to give up their guns if they want medical pot
Under the new rules, people who want to treat themselves with something other than dangerous pharmaceutical drugs will be required to give up their guns in the process.
Both caregivers and patients will be required to surrender their firearms, and any state-approved FOID cards or concealed carry permits. According to the proposal, state police will be in charge of enforcing the gun control sanctions.
Moreover, the Department of Agriculture will be enlisted to develop rules for cultivation centers, and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation will be employed to draw up rules for dispensaries. More power to the state!
The plan also dictates the reasons for which caregivers can prescribe cannabis, outlining 41 specific medical conditions that pre-qualify patients to seek a patient registry medical marijuana ID card. The ID card will permit approved patients access to 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana every two weeks, to be administered by a certified caregiver.
Isn’t it strange how the state limits the potential of a plant but turns a blind eye toward the mass distribution, destruction, and death coming from many pharmaceutical drugs?
Regulations like these encourage continual, exaggerated health complaints
Additional rules require that patients be at least 18 years old and have a “bona fide” relationship with their caregiver. The caregiver will be required to certify a patient’s medical condition. This may inevitably encourage many people to exaggerate their medical condition while caregivers overprescribe just so users can get a recreational high. This will weaken entire defenseless generations who have given up their Second Amendment right just to get high. Regulations like these will make users more likely to mentally fabricate and overstate their “medical condition” just to “legally” obtain pot.
Jan 26, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS — Allowing farmers to grow hemp in Indiana could help boost the economy and dispel myths about a crop that can be used to make everything from paper to car parts, supporters told lawmakers Friday.
The testimony helped convince the Senate’s agriculture committee to unanimously approve a bill that would enable farmers to legally grow industrial hemp, but only if they or the state gets federal approval. Hemp is marijuana’s non-intoxicating cousin but it cannot be grown under federal law, though many products made from hemp, such as oils and clothing, are legal.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Richard Young, D-Milltown, said hemp fields flourished in Indiana before and during World War II, but petrochemical industries and other industries later lobbied against hemp — which can also be used to make fuel — to cut competition.
“This is a plant that has been used for centuries throughout the world and has tremendous potential,” Young said.
But lingering stereotypes have haunted efforts to legalize the crop ever since, said Neal Smith, chairman of Indiana National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. He wore a pin with showing the five-branched hemp leaf, which looks almost identical to a marijuana leaf but has two fewer branches.
Kentucky passed similar legislation last year, and eight other states have done the same, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The 1970 Controlled Substances Act requires hemp growers to get a permit from the Drug Enforcement Administration. The last permit was issued in 1999 — and expired in 2003 — for an experimental plot in Hawaii. U.S. Sens. Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky are co-sponsoring legislation that would federally legalize industrial hemp farming.
The economic benefits remain unclear, however, and whether Indiana would receive a permit is uncertain.