drug war/cartels

Don’t smoke the Purple Kush: medical marijuana recalled

by Trevor Greenway
Apr 21, 2014

A man smokes a joint at the Fill the Hill marijuana rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Sunday, April 20, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

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

More than half of L.A.’s medical pot shops have closed

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.

More over at LA Weekly.

Legal Canadian medical marijuana producer has shipment seized by mounties

Toke of the Town
Apr 7, 2014

canada-flag.image-large.gifDespite 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.

Guatemalan President Will Present Plan To Legalize Marijuana

The Weed Blog

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.

Article From StoptheDrugWar.orgCreative Commons LicensingDonate

Teenagers are smoking coffee to get high – videos included

by John Vibes
Intellihub News
Mar 31, 2014

Due to strict laws on illegal drugs, teenagers are turning to more dangerous household products to get high

(INTELLIHUB) — While police are locking people up for using illegal drugs, there are some who are using even more dangerous and harmful legal chemicals to get high.  One recent example is the dangerous new trend of smoking coffee.  When ingested through smoking, coffee is far more dangerous than many common illegal drugs.  Smoking coffee has been known to cause trouble breathing, dizziness, vomiting and even hallucinations.

The coffee is being prepared for smoking in the same way that crack cocaine is prepared, with “Chore Boy” copper scrubber and the “Glass Rose” cylinders that are sold at many gas station convenience stores.  If you saw someone smoking coffee, you may actually think that they were smoking crack.

According to MedLinePlus the full list of effects for smoking coffee include:

  • Breathing trouble
  • Changes in alertness
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased thirst
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Muscle twitching
  • Increased likelihood of outrageous behavior
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sleeping trouble
  • Urination – increased
  • Vomiting

The following are videos showing teenagers smoking coffee with homemade devices:

As I have discussed in the past, prohibition actually encourages this sort of behavior. In the black market one of the major drawbacks is that there is no accountability among the people selling the drug.  Since anyone can get kidnapped and thrown in a cage for even dealing with the stuff, it really doesn’t make sense for people to be plastering their names and logos all over the drugs.  In this age of corporate mercantilism logos and branding may seem like a really tacky idea, but when looking at the black market we can see the value in such things.  Someone who is selling a product with their name on it, is going to go through far greater lengths to ensure the quality of their product, as opposed to someone who would remain anonymous.

This anonymity creates an incentive for people to be dishonest with what they sell.  This could lead to rip offs, or downright contamination of the drug with unwanted harmful substances.  This is why there was bathtub gin that would make you go blind if your drank it during alcohol prohibition.  This is also the reason why some of the harder street drugs today are cut with toxic chemicals that increase the chance of overdose ten fold.  The fact that the drugs need to be smuggled also creates the incentive to make drugs more potent, and thus in some circumstances more dangerous.  The increased potency and decreased availability inevitably leads to a massive increase in cost.  The increased cost is a whole other issue with its own unique side effects in regards to drug safety.  When the price of the real drugs go up, people just start huffing paint thinner, smoking bath salts and cooking up crystal meth in their basements, which is then even many times more dangerous than the unbranded drugs on the black market.

Writer Bio:

(Photo: Intellihub.com)

John Vibes is an investigative journalist, staff writer and editor for Intellihub News where this article originally appeared. He is also the author of an 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” and is an artist with an established record label. You can find him on his Facebook.
For media inquires, interviews, questions or suggestions for this author, email: vibes@intellihub.com or telephone: (347) 759-6075.
Read more articles by this author here.

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:




Alaska Voters Will Soon Decide on Marijuana Legalization


by Elizabeth Renter
Natural Society
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.


VIDEO — Marijuana In The Post Prohibition World

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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DOCUMENTARY — Cocaine Cowboys (2006)

YouTube – futurejumpupdnb
Jan 7, 2013

In the 1980s, ruthless Colombian cocaine barons invaded Miami with a brand of violence unseen in this country since Prohibition-era Chicago – and it put the city on the map. “Cocaine Cowboys” is the true story of how Miami became the drug, murder and cash capital of the United States, told by the people who made it all happen.

Alaska Possibly Next State to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

by Christina Sarich
Natural Society

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.”

Feds make first step towards hemp legalization

Feb 4, 2014

Hemp plants (AFP Photo)

The United States federal government may not be ready to sanction marijuana use, but a new agriculture bill is set to legalize preliminary stages of hemp production in states that allow the practice.

A new farm bill, passed by Congress on Tuesday, would allow universities and state agriculture departments to establish industrial hemp growing programs. If these research programs go well, they could pave the way for commercial hemp farming to become a reality.

Hemp is a plant in the same family as marijuana, though it lacks its cousin’s high levels of THC and is therefore much less potent. It’s used to create numerous products, including cooking oil, clothing, paper, and rope. According to the Associated Press, the US imported about $11.5 million in hemp products in 2011.

“This is big,” Eric Steenstra, president of advocacy group Vote Hemp, told the AP. “We’ve been pushing for this a long time.”

Although hemp used to be grown in the United States, its cultivation was outlawed under the 1970’s Controlled Substances Act. Supporters of the decision’s review believe, however, that allowing states to move forward with industrial hemp will help the country gain a slice of a market that’s currently controlled by China.

“Oregonians have made it clear that they believe industrial hemp should be treated as an agricultural commodity, not a drug,” Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), who helped author the amendment, told The Oregonian in a statement. “By including language easing restrictions on industrial hemp in states where it is legal, Congress sends an important message that we are ready to examine hemp in a more appropriate way.”

As AP noted, 10 states have already passed laws enabling hemp cultivation, though federal law has kept those efforts from moving forward. These states are Colorado, Washington, California, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont and West Virginia – some of which are preempting the farm bill’s passage by beginning to draft rules and regulations to govern hemp production.

According to The Wall Street Journal, some law enforcement groups are not pleased with the development. Because hemp looks so much like marijuana, they argue that legalizing its production could have an adverse effect on their effort to keep the illegal drug off the streets.

Meanwhile, some advocates, such as Steenstra, think the hemp provision indicates the federal government may be preparing to soften its position on recreational marijuana use. Others aren’t as convinced.

“On the one hand, I think it’s part of a larger agenda to normalize marijuana, by a few,” Kevin Sabet of the anti-pot group Smart Approaches to Marijuana told AP. “On the other hand, will it have any difference at the end of the day? I would be highly skeptical of that.”

Two states – Colorado and Washington – have already legalized recreational marijuana use, a list that seems poised to grow over the course of the next two elections. Advocates in Alaska and Oregon are hoping to take up legalization initiatives during the 2014 midterms, while 2016 could see the issue on the ballot in Arizona, California, Maine, and others.

Dutch mayors want legal home grown weed

Feb 3, 2014

Сannabis plants (AFP Photo / Alain Jocard)

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.

​US announces early release plan for nonviolent, low-level drug offenders

Jan 30, 2014

Andrew Burton / Getty Images / AFP

The Obama administration announced Thursday a new clemency effort that encourages defense lawyers to refer to the Department of Justice low-level, nonviolent drug offenders for early release from federal prisons.

Speaking before the New York State Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section, Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole unveiled the plan that seeks to determine possible clemency for inmates whose long-term incarceration “harms our criminal justice system.”

“You each can play a critical role in this process by providing a qualified petitioner – one who has a clean record in prison, does not present a threat to public safety, and who is facing a life or near-life sentence that is excessive under current law – with the opportunity to get a fresh start,” Cole said.

In addition, the US Bureau of Prisons will begin informing such low-level, nonviolent drug offenders of the opportunity to apply for early release, Cole said.

The announcement follows other initiatives and statements regarding prison reform made recently by top officials. Attorney General Eric Holder said in August that the same type of low-level drug offenders, with no ties to gangs or major drug trafficking organizations, would no longer be charged with certain offenses that instituted harsh mandatory sentences.

President Obama followed Holder in December with the commutation of sentences of eight inmates serving extensive terms in prison for crack cocaine convictions. All of the eight – recommended by the Justice Department – had served at least 15 years in jail and had been convicted before the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act, which was passed in effort to close large sentencing disparities between those convicted for crack and those for powder cocaine crimes.

Obama said at the time those eight inmates would have received shorter sentences had the law existed when they were convicted, adding some would have already served their time by then.

Cole said the Justice Department would like to send more of those kind of cases to the White House.

“The president’s grant of commutations for these eight individuals is only a first step,” he said. “There are more low-level, nonviolent drug offenders who remain in prison, and who would likely have received a substantially lower sentence if convicted of precisely the same offenses today.”

Cole did not specify how many candidates the White House will consider in the clemency program, though there are currently thousands of inmates serving time in federal prison for just crack cocaine crimes.

The Justice Department’s Office of the Pardon Attorney is in charge of advising the White House on the merits of specific cases.

Cost savings is a residual benefit of the commutations for such low-level offenders. Holder, testifying before a Senate committee Wednesday, said federal prison costs make up one-third of the Justice Department budget, amounting to “a growing and potentially very dangerous problem.”

The total cost for incarcerating federal prisoners in 2010 came to US$80 billion. The federal prison population has shot up by 800 percent since 1980, and prisons are operating at 40 percent over capacity, according to the Justice Department.

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee also advanced the Smarter Sentencing Act, which would reform mandatory minimum statutes. The new bill would shorten sentences and give judges more leeway to use their own discretion during sentencing. In addition, the legislation would allow inmates to return to court to seek sentences pursuant to the Fair Sentencing Act.

Kansas Woman Left to Die In Jail Over Small Amount of Marijuana

by Amanda Warren
Activist Post
Jan 28, 2014

Brenda Sewell and her sister Joy Biggs had recently purchased a motor home from a Colorado couple. The couple delivered it to them in Kansas City and the sisters drove the couple back to Colorado.

It was on their way home, just after crossing the Colorado-Kansas border, when a Kansas Highway Patrol officer pulled the women over for suspected speeding in Sherman County.

Biggs never could have guessed that in less than 72 hours she’d be helping a jail mate try to revive her dying sister who was foaming at the mouth.

While suspected speeding last Monday was the reason the officer pulled their car over, the discovery of a small amount of marijuana is why they were taken to a Goodland jail where they were both denied a phone call.

Sewell, age 58, was on legal prescriptions to treat long-term problems with her thyroid, hepatitis C and fibromyalgia. She had purchased the marijuana from Colorado, where it was recently made legal, to manage nausea and lack of appetite.


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 medicalcannabisfamdecision, 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.

- TheJointBlog

Yet Another ‘Suspect’ Detained and Subjected to Three Enemas By Overzealous Cops

by Matt Staggs
Jan 26, 2014

The anal obsessions of our drug warriors continue to be expressed on hapless citizens. This time, a 54 year-old man once convicted of meth possession:

Via The New York Times:

IF you think that protests about overzealous law enforcement are over the top, listen to what unfolded when the police suspected that David Eckert, 54, was hiding drugs in his rectum.

Eckert is a shy junk dealer struggling to get by in Hidalgo County, N.M. He lives a working-class life, drives a 16-year-old pickup and was convicted in 2008 of methamphetamine possession.

Police officers, suspecting he might still be involved in drugs, asked him to step out of his pickup early last year after stopping him for a supposed traffic violation. No drugs or weapons were found on Eckert or in his truck, but a police dog showed interest in the vehicle and an officer wrote that Eckert’s posture was “erect and he kept his legs together.”

That led the police to speculate that he might be hiding drugs internally, so they took him in handcuffs to a nearby hospital emergency room and asked the doctor, Adam Ash, to conduct a forcible search of his rectum. Dr. Ash refused, saying it would be unethical.

“I was pretty sure it was the wrong thing to do,” Dr. Ash told me. “It was not medically indicated.”

Eckert, protesting all the while, says he asked to make a phone call but was told that he had no right to do so because he hadn’t actually been arrested. The police then drove Eckert 50 miles to the emergency room of the Gila Regional Medical Center, where doctors took X-rays of Eckert’s abdomen and performed a rectal examination. No drugs were found, so doctors performed a second rectal exam, again unavailing.

Doctors then gave Eckert an enema and forced him to have a bowel movement in the presence of a nurse and policeman, according to a lawsuit that Eckert filed. When no narcotics were found, a second enema was administered. Then a third.

The police left the privacy curtain open, so that Eckert’s searches were public, the lawsuit says.

After hours of fruitless searches, police and doctors arranged another X-ray and finally anesthetized Eckert and performed a colonoscopy.

“Nothing was found inside of Mr. Eckert,” the police report notes. So after he woke up, he was released — after 13 hours, two rectal exams, three enemas, two X-rays and a colonoscopy.

The hospital ended up billing Eckert $6,000.

Via The New York Times.

New Hampshire House Passes Recreational Pot, Legalization Unlikely

by Elizabeth Renter
Natural Society
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.


Senate committee OKs industrial hemp bill

Sun-Commercial: News
Jan 26, 2014

Associated Press

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.


[h/t: ActivistPost]

Cannabis Decriminalization Bill Introduced In Alabama

The Joint Blog
Jan 11, 2014

A proposal to decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis has been formally introduced in the Alabama House of Representatives.cannabisdecrim

The proposal, House Bill 76, was introduced by Representative Patricia Todd, and has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.

Under the proposed law, anyone 21 and older caught in possession of up to announce of cannabis will no longer be committing an arrestable offense, but instead can be given a ticket of roughly $100.

Under current Alabama law, the possession of any amount of cannabis can result in up to a year in prison, and a fine of $6,000.

- TheJointBlog

Book by B.C. researcher says media, police not talking straight on pot

By James Keller, The Canadian Press
Dec 25, 2013

A demonstrator smokes a marijuana joint on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on April 20, 2010. Police would have the option of ticketing people for a range of minor offences, instead of laying criminal charges, under a plan that could yield significant savings for the cash-strapped justice system. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Pawel Dwulit

VANCOUVER – As it turns out, Nov. 6, 2012, was a big day for marijuana laws.

Voters in Colorado and Washington state approved initiatives to legalize pot, setting the stage for the regulated production and sale of the drug. Several other jurisdictions in the U.S. have since followed suit.

In Canada, the same day two American states were effectively abandoning part of the war on drugs, provisions of a new federal law came into effect that imposed strict mandatory minimums for drug-related crimes, including marijuana production.

The contrast, says University of Victoria professor Susan Boyd, could not have been greater.

“This new law and our revived war on drugs in Canada is so contrary to what’s going on around the world,” says Boyd, who specializes in drug law and drug policy.

“It seemed like Canada was veering towards a very punitive model while the rest of the world was taking a closer look at mandatory minimums and abandoning them.”

But the revisions to Canada’s drug laws — contained in the Safe Streets and Communities Act, or Bill C-10, as it was previously known — did not happen in a vacuum, says Boyd.

Instead, Boyd argues in a forthcoming book that Canada’s recent tough-on-crime approach to drugs is, in part, the product of decades of skewed media coverage and police messaging that has routinely exaggerated the dangers of the marijuana industry and its connection to organized crime.

For the book, titled “Killer Weed: Marijuana Grow Ops, Media, and Justice,” Boyd examined 2,500 articles from four major daily newspapers in British Columbia from 1995 to 2009.

She found news coverage about cannabis enforcement in B.C. frequently contained inaccurate information or exaggerated claims about the size and scope of the underground marijuana industry, the sorts of people associated with grow-ops, and the industry’s connection to gangs.

Assertions by police – particularly the RCMP, which is responsible for policing in much of B.C. — were left unchallenged, she says, and politicians, in turn, relied on such misinformation to push for stricter drug laws.

For example, the news articles she examined repeatedly asserted marijuana grow-ops are inextricable linked to gangs and other criminal organizations. Police spokespeople were frequently quoted explaining that modern-day grow-ops are not “mom and pop” operations.

But Boyd says the federal government’s own research does not support that claim.

She cited a Justice Department study that was completed in 2011, obtained by a reporter through an access to information request, that examined a random sample of 500 marijuana grow operations. Of those, just five per cent had apparent links to gangs or organized crime.

“This study wasn’t released by our federal government, and you could see why,” says Boyd.


[h/t: Easton Ellis]

Food stamps won’t buy marijuana cookies in Colorado

Jan 10, 2014

Marijuana laced cookies for sale at a medical marijuana “club” (AFP Photo / Robyn Beck)

A new bill that’s been introduced before the Colorado General Assembly will make sure residents there won’t be able to use their food stamp benefits to buy legal weed or marijuana-infused products sold in dozens of new state-sanctioned dispensaries.

Reports have yet to surface indicating that Coloradoans have used government-provided EBT cards to purchase pot products under new state laws, but lawmakers there want to make sure that won’t become a reality.

Under state law, residents can’t use their electronic benefit transfer accounts in liquor stores, casinos, gun shops and similar establishments. With recreational marijuana now legal for adults to buy and use in Colorado, though, state officials fear some of the new dispensaries may let customers cash out with their EBT cards.

“We need this bill, if for nothing else, as a statement,” State Rep. Jared Wright (R-Grand Junction) told the Associated Press this week.

“We shouldn’t be enabling anyone to buy a substance that is banned under federal law. It’s not a good use of taxpayer money,” he said.

Wright is intent on changing that, and is now proposing an amendment to state law that would add weed dispensaries to the list of establishments where EBT cards can’t be used.


VIDEO — Shop Owners- Colorado Marijuana Sales Surpass $1 Million On First Day

Before It’s News
Jan 3, 2013


Huff Post

Call it “Green Wednesday.”

Pot shop owners in Colorado claim they made over $1 million in sales statewide on the first day of legalized recreational marijuana sales alone, according to Denver’s 9News. Nationwide, the legalized pot industry is expected to bring in a reported $2.34 billion in 2014, including both medical and recreational sales.

Most of the 24 shops that opened Wednesday were in Denver. Owners in the city expressed concern about taking in large amount of cash, since federal banking regulations currently prohibit banks from working with the marijuana industry while the drug remains classified as illegal by the federal government.

“We all know this needs to be fixed because there is not one good reason why these businesses are not allowed to have banking accounts — only bad reasons: security concerns and accountability concerns,” Mike Elliott, executive director of the trade association Medical Marijuana Industry Group, told KDVR.

solution may soon be reached, but while the industry grapples with how to handle its cash, Colorado is banking on pot: with an eighth of an ounce currently selling between $35 and $70 after taxes, the state estimates that the retail marijuana industry will bring in $67 million in tax revenue.

The first $40 million generated by the state excise tax is dedicated to school construction, and the rest is slated for marijuana regulation.

Read More HERE

Source: http://truthisscary.com/2014/01/video-shop-owners-colorado-marijuana-sales-surpass-1-million-on-first-day/

[related: History: First Legal Marijuana Shops Open in Colorado Jan 1]

Monsanto Marijuana Initiative Grows in Uruguay?

The Daily Bell
Dec. 13, 2013

Uruguay becomes first nation to legalise marijuana trade … The Uruguayan government hopes legalising the sale of marijuana will tackle drug cartels … Uruguay’s cannabis bill reflects liberal past … Uruguay has become the first country in the world to make it legal to grow, sell and consume marijuana. After nearly 12 hours of debate, senators gave the government-sponsored bill their historic final approval. The law allowing registered Uruguayans over 18 to buy up to 40g (1,4oz) of the drug a month is not expected to come into force before April. The government hopes it will help tackle drug cartels, but critics say it will expose more people to drugs. – BBC

Dominant Social Theme: This is great. Uruguay strikes a blow against prohibition.

Free-Market Analysis: Are considerations regarding Monsanto’s business progress in South America behind the legalization of marijuana in Uruguay?

George Soros was a significant supporter of marijuana legalization in Uruguay, and Soros is reportedly also a big Monsanto shareholder. Here, from a recent Guardian article, published just before the bill passed:

Rich countries debating legalisation of cannabis are also watching the bill, which philanthropist George Soros has supported as an “experiment” that could provide an alternative to the failed US-led policies of the long “war on drugs”.


[h/t: Jan Irvin]

Uruguay becomes first nation to legalise marijuana trade … The Uruguayan government hopes legalising the sale of marijuana will tackle drug cartels … Uruguay’s cannabis bill reflects liberal past … Uruguay has become the first country in the world to make it legal to grow, sell and consume marijuana. After nearly 12 hours of debate, senators gave the government-sponsored bill their historic final approval. The law allowing registered Uruguayans over 18 to buy up to 40g (1,4oz) of the drug a month is not expected to come into force before April. The government hopes it will help tackle drug cartels, but critics say it will expose more people to drugs. – BBC

Dominant Social Theme: This is great. Uruguay strikes a blow against prohibition.

Free-Market Analysis: Are considerations regarding Monsanto’s business progress in South America behind the legalization of marijuana in Uruguay?

George Soros was a significant supporter of marijuana legalization in Uruguay, and Soros is reportedly also a big Monsanto shareholder. Here, from a recent Guardian article, published just before the bill passed:

Rich countries debating legalisation of cannabis are also watching the bill, which philanthropist George Soros has supported as an “experiment” that could provide an alternative to the failed US-led policies of the long “war on drugs”.

- See more at: http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/34833/Monsanto-Marijuana-Initiative-Grows-in-Uruguay/#sthash.BV01moST.dpuf

Uruguay becomes first nation to legalise marijuana trade … The Uruguayan government hopes legalising the sale of marijuana will tackle drug cartels … Uruguay’s cannabis bill reflects liberal past … Uruguay has become the first country in the world to make it legal to grow, sell and consume marijuana. After nearly 12 hours of debate, senators gave the government-sponsored bill their historic final approval. The law allowing registered Uruguayans over 18 to buy up to 40g (1,4oz) of the drug a month is not expected to come into force before April. The government hopes it will help tackle drug cartels, but critics say it will expose more people to drugs. – BBC

Dominant Social Theme: This is great. Uruguay strikes a blow against prohibition.

Free-Market Analysis: Are considerations regarding Monsanto’s business progress in South America behind the legalization of marijuana in Uruguay?

George Soros was a significant supporter of marijuana legalization in Uruguay, and Soros is reportedly also a big Monsanto shareholder. Here, from a recent Guardian article, published just before the bill passed:

Rich countries debating legalisation of cannabis are also watching the bill, which philanthropist George Soros has supported as an “experiment” that could provide an alternative to the failed US-led policies of the long “war on drugs”.

- See more at: http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/34833/Monsanto-Marijuana-Initiative-Grows-in-Uruguay/#sthash.BV01moST.dpuf

VIDEO — Uruguay legalizes marijuana: Crowds cheer and applaud vote

Dec 10, 2013

Uruguay has become the first country in the world to legalize both the sale and production of marijuana. President Jose Mujica has championed the measure as a way of combatting the illegal drug industry that has decimated parts of Uruguay. READ MORE: http://on.rt.com/rtvyjn

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