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STEVE ELLIOTT

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Find out what you need to know about the week in cannabis/marijuana news, in just 20 minutes!

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Toke Signals Bud Pick of the Week

Somewhere in Colorado... a master grower's having a happy harvest [Submitted]
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Somewhere in Colorado… a master grower’s having a happy harvest
[Submitted]

Toke Signals Stories of the Week

Australia: Researcher Claims Marijuana Causes Mental Disorders, Loss of Intelligence

(Hemp News)

Surprise, surprise: When you summarize the results of 20 years’ worth of the most anti-marijuana studies you can find, you get anti-marijuana conclusions. In what is being touted in sensationalistic press accounts as a “definitive study,” an Australian is claiming that his investigation into 20 years of marijuana research shows that cannabis is addictive, causes mental health problems and is a gateway to hard drug use.

Professor Wayne Hall, a drug advisor to the World Health Organization and specialist in addiction at the University of Queensland in Australia, said that heavy, daily use of pot can also lead to car crashes and unhealthy babies. He arrived at this conclusion by hand-picking the most anti-marijuana studies from the past 20 years and passing them off as a “definitive new study.”

For those of us who are actually familiar with scientific studies of cannabis, all of this may sound rather odd, since double-blind, gold standard studies have already shown that marijuana is at worst mildly habit-forming; other such studies have thoroughly debunked the “gateway theory” that claims pot leads to harder drugs; and yet more such studies have shown that babies born of pot-smoking mothers tend to be healthier and have higher levels of cognition than babies of mothers who used no illegal substances at all.

Hall’s “findings,” based on his interpretations of cherry-picked government-funded anti-marijuana studies from the past 20 years rather than performing any actual new research, were published in the October 6 issue of the journal Addiction.

 

Spain: Basque Parliament Urges Government To Legalize, Regulate Cannabis Clubs

(Hemp News)

The Basque Parliament on Wednesday urged the Basque Government to legalize and regulate the activity of cannabis clubs, and give legal support to marijuana cultivation for club members’ collective consumption.

The Basque Chamber is concluding two years of work on a study of the clubs with adoption of a recommended solution towards regulating them. The recommendations approved “will place Basque Country at the head of the regulation of these places,” the group said.

The political parties PNV (Basque Nationalist Party), EH BILDU (Basque Country United) and PSE-EE (Socialist Party of the Basque Country) have all advocated taking steps towards non-confrontational legal existence for the cannabis clubs, and have urged the Basque Government to devise a system which offers regulation, legal guarantees and security for the clubs.

Morocco: Hash-Producing Nation Considers Marijuana Legalization

(Hemp News)

A new law being considered in Morocco that would legalize marijuana cultivation for medical and industrial uses, finally bringing the North African Islamic nation’s thriving hashish industry into the open.

The proposal, however, faces stiff opposition in this conservative nation, despite a centuries-old tradition of growing cannabis in the north, where the Rif Mountains have long been a center of hash production, reports Paul Schemm of the Associated Press.

Some farmers like Abdelkhalek Benabdallah openly grow marijuana, despite its illegal status. “We are regularly subject to blackmail by the gendarmes,” he said as he prepared his September harvest.

The new law could alleviate widespread poverty and unrest; suspicious farmers, accustomed to an adversarial relationship with government authorities, don’t believe the government will do anything to help them. The farmers fear that legalization might lower the already cheap price of $8 a kilogram they receive for their product.

 

U.S.: Medical Marijuana Advocaters Survey Candidates Ahead of November Elections

(Hemp News)

The medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) has produced a new 30-second online advertisement to launch its survey drive for for this year’s election-cycle educational campaign.

The ad will also air on this Sunday’s morning TV cable news programs in Detroit, Philadelphia, Sacramento, South Florida, and Washington State. As part of its groundbreaking “Vote Medical Marijuana” campaign, ASA has sent out more than 2,000 candidate surveys to help patients and the general public make more informed electoral decisions based on candidates’ positions on medical marijuana.

More than 100 candidates in federal and state races across the country have sent in responses so far. The “Vote Medical Marijuana” campaign will focus on as many as 435 U.S. House races, 36 U.S. Senate races, 36 gubernatorial races, and 31 state attorney general races, as well as more than 360 state legislative races in California, Florida, and Washington.

 

Wisconsin: Patients Receive Oregon Medical Marijuana Authorizations at Harvest Fest

(Hemp News)

Forty-eight Wisconsin medical marijuana patients this year got their Oregon medicinal cannabis authorizations at the annual Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Fest. “But wait,” you may be thinking. “They live in Wisconsin, not Oregon.” That’s entirely true — but according to those in the know, having an out-of-state medical marijuana authorization gives these patients some legal cover should the police come calling.

The authorizations were issued by THCF Medical Clinics at the Harvest Fest as part of something called The Ben Masel Project. Masel was a famous Yippie activist based in Madison who started the Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Fest; he died suddenly from cancer three and a half years ago.

“The Oregon permit has saved several people in Wisconsin from arrest,” THCF founder Paul Stanford told Hemp News. The fact that Oregon issues permits to out-of-state patients has been helpful to those in Wisconsin and other non-MMJ states, according to Stanford.

 

Washington: Exploding Bottles of Marijuana Soda Removed From Shops

(Hemp News)

Legal Pomegranate marijuana-infused soda has more bang for the buck than its manufacturers and distributors realized. The drink has been removed from three Washington marijuana stores after bottles started exploding on the shelves.

Top Shelf Cannabis in Bellingham took delivery of 330 bottles of the soda on September 28; employees said they were excited to promote it to their customers, reports Matt Markovich at KOMO News. They sold 10 bottles of the soda, made by Mirth Provisions of Longview, on the first day.

But when employees opened up the following day, they found broken bottles and shards of glass throughout the store. During the night, the bottles had begun to explode. The employees said they didn’t realize just how dangerous was the situation until they saw and heard bottles randomly blow up.

 

Georgia: Cops Raid Man’s Home After Mistaking Okra For Marijuana

(Hemp News)

What have those Georgia cops been smoking? They don’t know the difference between okra and cannabis.

A Georgia man woke up to find a police helicopter hovering over his home, and sheriff’s deputies pounding at the door to search his property for drugs. “They were strapped to the gills,” Dwayne Perry said. But all he was growing was okra.

Drug agents from the Governor’s Task Force had spotted what they thought was marijuana growing in Perry’s yard in Cartersville, reports WSB-TV. “I was scared actually, at first, because I didn’t know what was happening,” Perry said.

 

Toke Signals Must Read of the Week

Kittitas County, Washington Pot Prohibitionists Snicker at Cannabis Farmers

(Toke Signals)

This cartoon appeared in the Kittitas County Daily Record [Kittitas Cannabis Alliance]
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This cartoon appeared in the Kittitas County Daily Record
[Kittitas Cannabis Alliance]

“They don’t dress like us – they wear suits and kinda gangsta”
~ a comment from a pot prohibitionist at Tuesday’s meeting in Kittitas County, Washington State, as reported from the Kittitas Cannabis Alliance Facebook Page

A citizen’s board waded through a full agenda before getting to a discussion of proposed changes to zoning laws which could effectively ban cannabis production and processing in Kittitas County, Washington. Unfortunately, rational presentation and identification of relevant issues was precluded by the tone of the evening.

Citizens from SOARS (Save our Agricultural and Rural Spaces) were out in quantity, with an informational board, flyers, signature sheets and stickers for attendees set up outside the armory. SOARS represents a varied group of anti-cannabis activists whose concerns range from economic (Timothy Hay) to moral (remember Reefer Madness?).

 

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