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Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday announced that he will be resigning from office once a replacement is found. Drug policy and criminal justice reform advocates expressed disappointment he is leaving office, praising his leadership and calling on President Obama to nominate a replacement who will carry on Holder’s reform work.
Holder’s career as AG, which spanned five and a half years, included a number of drug policy reforms to which he reconfirmed his commitment in a Thursday interview with Katie Couric. In the interview, Holder said science should be the basis for making decisions about the scheduling of marijuana, and that the sentencing of nonviolent drug offenders is a serious civil rights issue.
“Holder will go down in history as the Attorney General who began unwinding the war on drugs and steering our country away from mass incarceration,” said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “President Obama should replace him with someone who is going to carry on that legacy of reform.”
The 10-foot stalks will remain on the ground at Spindletop Farm for “retting,” the process through which they break apart, said David Williams, an agronomist at the UK College of Agriculture, reports Janet Patton at the Herald-Leader.
“Microbes break down the tissues of the stem,” Williams said. “The outside tissues form the bast fibers and the inside form the hurd fibers.”
Thirteen varieties of hemp were sown this spring at the University; each will be evaluated for fiber and seed production. More test plots are at other universities in the state, including Murray State.
The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is filing a committee with the California Secretary of State on Wednesday to support a 2016 ballot initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol in California. According to MPP, “It will be part of a broad coalition of local activists, community leaders, organizations, and businesses working to pass a measure similar to the one approved by voters in Colorado in 2012.”
The new committee, the Marijuana Policy Project of California, will immediately begin raising funds to help place the measure on the November 2016 ballot. MPP was the largest financial backer of the Colorado initiative campaign.
“Marijuana prohibition has had an enormously detrimental impact on California communities,” said MPP Executive Director Rob Kampia. “It’s been ineffective, wasteful, and counterproductive. It’s time for a more responsible approach.”
Reserve soldiers in the Israeli Defense Forces who hold a prescription for medical marijuana will be allowed to continue using cannabis even while they are performing their active reserve duty, it was announced on Monday.
The decision affects only a few hundred IDF reserve soldiers, and the Israeli Army hasn’t published exact guidelines, reports Gavriel Fiske at The Times of Israel. Left open are questions such as smoking in uniform, in the presence of other soldiers, locations on an army base where it would be permissible to smoke, and whether cannabis use will be allowed during operations, Channel 2 reported.
“Medical cannabis is given to treat various diseases under the civilian system,” an IDF release noted,and the ability of Israeli citizens to undergo reserve duty is based on “medical condition, not on cannabis consumption.”
Senate Bill 1182 would allow patients with certain medical conditions to use medical cannabis with a doctor’s recommendation, reports WPMT Fox 43.
Cancer, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), severe fibromyalgia, cachexia (wasting syndrome), Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury and post-concussion syndrome are on the list of approved conditions for medical marijuana.
Some political candidates seem to be in denial about their marijuana use, but a write-in candidate for governor of Rhode Island wants to make sure voters know she uses cannabis every day for both cooking and medicinal purposes.
“Yes, I do smoke cannabis, and yes, I do inhale,” says Anne Armstrong in a campaign video posted online this month, reports Sam Levine at The Huffington Post. “It helps me. It helps me to focus, it helps to facilitate communication.”
Armstrong posted on her Facebook page that she wants a state where “common sense, compassion, and cooperation can recreate Rhode Island into a place where everyone can live in abundance.”
“Event coordinators for the Portland Hempstalk annual festival are proud to announce the City of Portland has issued our permit for this weekend’s event (September 27-28) at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland, Oregon,” a press release from the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH) reads.
Hempstalk advocates decriminalization of cannabis for medicinal, industrial, and recreational use. Founded in 2005 by The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation, the festival features live music, guest speakers, food and goods vendors and information booths.
This public event has always been free to attend, with a suggested donation of $10 per person.