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STEVE ELLIOTT

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U.S.: Support For Marijuana Legalization Hits All-Time High of 61%

(Hemp News)

A new survey released on Friday by the Associated Press and the University of Chicago shows record support for marijuana legalization in the United States, at 61 percent.

The survey asks, “Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?”, which is the same wording as previous Gallup surveys, which had shown a previous high of 58 percent support for legalization last October, reports Christopher Ingraham at The Washington Post.

The AP asked a follow-up question which showed that 24 percent of legalization supporters said cannabis should be made available “only with a medical prescription.” Another 43 percent wanted to restrict purchase amounts. One-third of legalization supporters said there should be “no restrictions” on purchase amounts.

“This is yet another demonstration of just how ready Americans are for the end of marijuana prohibition,” said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority. “The growing level of support for legalization that we see in poll after poll is exactly why we’re not in a situation — for the first time in history — where every major presidential candidate on both parties has pledged to let states set their own marijuana laws without federal interference.”

 

Canada: Government Won’t Challenge Medical Home Grow Ruling

(Hemp News)

Good news! The Canadian Government won’t be appealing the recent Federal Court decision to allow authorized medicinal cannabis patients to grow their own marijuana.

The Honourable Jane Philpott, Canada’s Minister of Health, on Thursday issued the following statement regarding the matter of Allard v. Canada:

“Following a careful review of the Federal Court’s decision in the matter of Allard v. Canada, the Government of Canada has decided not to appeal the decision. In the coming months, the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) will be amended to give effect to the Court’s judgement. The Government’s intention is to have completed the amendment process by August 24, 2016, which is the timeframe set by the judgement.

“In the meantime, I would like to remind authorized medical marijuana users that the MMPR remain in full effect,” Philpott’s statement reads. “Unless one is covered by a Court injunction, Licensed Producers are the only legal way to obtain marijuana for medical purposes.

 

Uruguay: Cannabis Sales Stuck In Limbo Two Years After Legalization

(Hemp News)

Milton Romani Gerner, secretary general of Uruguay's National Drug Board
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Milton Romani Gerner, secretary general of Uruguay’s National Drug Board

More than two years after Uruguay became the first nation in the modern world to legalize and regulate marijuana, citizens are still waiting to buy the first legal cannabis at pharmacies.

Although Uruguay legalized in December 2013, the government has yet to implement a plan for mainstream cannabis commercialization, reports Ladan Cher at Foreign Policy, because they argue they can’t rush such a complicated task. What was initially ballyhooed as the world’s first controlled experiment of a nationwide marijuana economy is now stuck in limbo.

Uruguay has, rather than serving as a model for other countries hoping to legalize, become a cautionary tale about the difficulties which can be encountered on the way to creating a legal cannabis market.

The legalization law, passed with the support of groups like Regulación Responsable, permits Uruguayans who registered with the government to get cannabis in one of three ways: growing it at home, joining cannabis clubs (in which members grow a collective garden), or buying it from pharmacies. But pharmacy sales are still unavailable, leaving only the 6,000 Uruguayans who grow their own plants with legal access to marijuana.

 

Maine: Police Department’s Post About Misplaced Marijuana Goes Viral

(Hemp News)

“If you’ve lost a baggie of marijuana at the Rite Aid store, please give us a call. We would like to speak with you.”

This brief statement, which the Madawaska Police Department posted on its Facebook page on Sunday, hasn’t led to anyone coming forward, but it had been Liked more than 1.3 million times, generated 756 shares, and triggered a storm of comments.

With no other evidence, there hasn’t been any further police investigation, according to Office Jamie Pelletier, who was on duty at the time, reports Tory Jones Bonenfant at the Fiddlehead Focus.

When employees opened the Madawaska Rite Aid pharmacy on Sunday, March 20, they found a small baggie near the cash register and entryway. It contained a couple of marijuana buds. The department claimed it posted the information to “raise awareness,” but also to shed some police-style “humor” on the situation.

The Facebook post stirred up a discussion about drug use, parenting, legal growing and medicinal use, current federal laws, community drug awareness, and police priorities and resources.

 

Massachusetts: Attorney General Asks Voters To ‘Wait’ On Legalizing Marijuana

(Hemp News)

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is asking state voters to “wait” to legalize marijuana.

Voters could be faced with a ballot question in November to legalize cannabis for recreational adult use. Atty. Gen. Healey is asking residents to vote no, reports Ashley Afonso at WWLP.

“Not now, not at this time,” Healey said. “We’re in the midst of his opioid crisis.” (Evidently, the Attorney General doesn’t know that cannabis is an exit drug out of opiate addiction.)

“I think it’s really important that we talk about the public health aspects which haven’t really been talked about,” Healey said. “Legalizing recreational marijuana I think is a really bad idea for many reasons, but to me most important is the health and well-being of young people.”

The proposed law, sponsored by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Massachusetts, would legalize recreational cannabis for those 21 and older. Proponents say the goal is a taxed and regulated market, removing marijuana sales from criminal influence.

 

Nixon Aide Admits War On Drugs Was To Suppress Left Wing, Blacks

(Hemp News)

Former Nixon Administration policy advisor and Watergate defendant John Ehrlichman admitted in a recently unearthed 1994 quote that the War On Drugs was invented to suppress the anti-war Left and African-Americans.

“At the time, I was writing a book about the politics of drug prohibition,” Dan Baum writes at Harper’s. “I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away.

“‘You want to know what this was really all about?’ he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect,” Baum writes.

“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the anti-war left and black people,” Ehrlichman told him. “You understand what I’m saying?

“We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities,” Ehrlichman said. “We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

 

Military Veterans Increasingly Turning To Marijuana For PTSD Relief

(Hemp News)

More and more states and considering allowing military veterans and others with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to use medical marijuana for relief. But many veterans aren’t waiting for permission.

Military veterans are increasingly using medicinal cannabis, although it remains illegal in most states and is frowned upon by the Department of Veterans Affairs, reports the Associated Press.

Marijuana does a lot better managing anxiety, insomnia and nightmares than the harsh pharmaceuticals approved by the federal government and handed out by the VA, according to many former members of the military. Prescription drugs such as Zoloft and Klonopin are often ineffective and make them feel like zombies, many veterans said.

“I went from being an anxious mess to numbing myself with the pills they were giving me,” said 39-year-old former Marine Mike Whiter of Philadelphia, where marijuana is still illegal. “Cannabis helped me get out of the hole I was in. I started to talk to people and get over my social anxiety.”

 

 

 

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