Dedicated to promoting positive legal, social, and political change in support of cannabis and the many adults who use it.

U.S.: States, Cities and Nation's Capital To Vote On Marijuana Policy Ballot Measures Tuesday

Hemp News - 19 min 21 sec ago

Alaska and Oregon could make marijuana legal for adults and regulate it like alcohol; Washington, D.C. and two of Maine’s largest cities could make marijuana legal for adults; Florida could become 24th state to allow seriously ill people to access medical marijuana

States, cities, and the nation’s capital will vote on marijuana policy ballot measures on Tuesday.

“From Alaska to Maine, there is a whole lot of enthusiasm for ending marijuana prohibition,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “It’s not easy to overcome 80 years of prohibition and anti-marijuana propaganda. But public attitudes are clearly shifting on this issue, and it’s only a matter of time before that is reflected in laws nationwide.”

In Alaska and Oregon, voters are considering statewide ballot measures that would make marijuana legal for adults and regulate it similarly to alcohol. The initiatives — Ballot Measure 2 in Alaska and Measure 91 in Oregon — would remove all legal penalties for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by adults 21 and older.

The measures would also establish a regulatory framework for licensed businesses to cultivate, process, test, and sell marijuana to adults. If the initiatives are approved, Alaska and Oregon would be the third and fourth states to end marijuana prohibition.

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Federal Evidentiary Hearing Regarding The Constitutionality Of Cannabis Prohibition Concludes

NORML Blog - 35 min 29 sec ago

United States District Judge Kimberly Mueller heard testimony over the course of the past five days in regard to the constitutionality of the federal statute designating marijuana as a Schedule I Controlled Substance. At issue in this evidentiary hearing is whether the scientific literature provides a rational basis for the federal classification of the plant as a substance with “a high potential for abuse,” “no currently accepted medical use,” and a “lack of accepted safety” for use under medical supervision.

The federal government’s position was articulated in testimony provided by Dr. Bertha Madras, Professor of Psychobiology at Harvard Medical School and the former Deputy Director for Demand Reduction for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy under President George W. Bush.

Expert witnesses for the defense who testified at the hearing were Dr. Carl Hart, Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology at Columbia University in New York City, retired physician Phillip Denny, Dr. Greg Carter, Medical Director of St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute in Spokane, Washington, and marijuana cultivation expert and archivist Chris Conrad.

Defense counsel for the litigants were NORML Legal Committee members Zenia Gilg of San Francisco and Heather Burke of Nevada City, CA. I assisted attorneys Gilg and Burke as a consultant in the case prior to the hearing and as their principle investigator during the hearing — a point that the federal government’s attorneys insisted on making public on Wednesday by insisting the judge recognize that: “Defense counsels’ investigator is the Deputy Director of NORML; he’s not some ordinary investigator.”

Representatives from California NORML as well as writer Jeremy Daw of TheLeafOnline were in attendance during the hearing and provide day-by-day coverage of events on their respective websites and at the links below. Dr. Madras was cross-examined both Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning.

INTRODUCTION/GENERAL SUMMARY:
http://theleafonline.com/c/politics/2014/10/whytodayishistoric/

FRIDAY:
http://www.canorml.org/news/day_one_testimony_in_Federal_marijuana_rescheduling_hearing.html

MONDAY:
http://theleafonline.com/c/politics/2014/10/federal-prosecutors-appear-concede-cannabis-medical-benefits/

TUESDAY:
http://theleafonline.com/c/politics/2014/10/norml-feds-agree-benefits-cannabis/

WEDNESDAY:
http://theleafonline.com/c/politics/2014/10/medicine-trial-cannabis-scheduling-hearing/

THURSDAY:
http://theleafonline.com/c/politics/2014/10/schedule-hearing-concludes-judges-ruling-expected-december/

A ruling by Judge Mueller is not anticipated until after the first of the year.

Raskal OG Marijuana Strain Review And Pictures

The Weed Blog - 1 hour 42 min ago
Raskal OG Cannabis Strain Review And Pics The Raskal OG marijuana strain is one of my favorites to smoke because while it’s dense, it burns thoroughly. I take a lot of waterfall hits, and having a consistency like that is important so that the nugs don’t burn too fast or slow. The Raskal OG marijuana strain [...]

Marijuana Reform On Local Ballots In Five States Next Week: The Rundown

The Weed Blog - 2 hours 1 min ago
By Phillip Smith Election Day is less than a week away, and it’s not just statewide marijuana, medical marijuana, sentencing reform, and drug testing initiatives that we’re watching. In five states, voters in some cities or counties will have opportunities to cast ballots for local marijuana reform measures. In four out of the five states—California [...]

Rick Steves Tours Oregon For Marijuana Legalization

The Weed Blog - 2 hours 51 min ago
If you missed it, take a look now. This is like a real trip with Rick Steves, including his recent voyage, ideas for your own travels and, of course, a bit more info about why he is with us on Measure 91. Learn more at http://voteyeson91.com. If you have already voted, thank you for participating [...]

Massachusetts Voters Will Be Asked About Marijuana Reform On Election Day

The Weed Blog - 3 hours 54 min ago
Reading, MA – Bay State Repeal, a ballot-initiative committee dedicated to passing the least restrictive law possible to replace marijuana prohibition in Massachusetts in 2016, notes the Elections Division of the Office of the Secretary of State recently announced the question numbers of this year’s public policy questions as they will appear on district ballots. [...]

NORML PAC Endorses Representative Grayson for Congress

NORML Blog - 4 hours 42 min ago

NORML PAC is endorsing Representative Alan Grayson in his campaign to be re-elected to the US Congress representing Florida’s 9th Congressional District.

“Representative Grayson is a proven leader with a track record of tenaciously advocating for causes he believes in and building the necessary coalitions required to see them approved,” stated NORML PAC Manager Erik Altieri, “In 2015, Rep. Grayson wants to be a champion for marijuana law reform at the national level and we’d strongly encourage voters in his district to vote him in for another term.”

This year, Rep. Grayson joined many of his colleagues in the House in voting in favor of amendments that would have prevented the Department of Justice and DEA from expending funds interfering with state medical marijuana programs and help clear the way for marijuana businesses to have access to banking and credit card services.

You can learn more about his campaign, including how to donate and volunteer, on his website or Facebook page.

Oregon Sheriff Tom Bergin Claims Marijuana Supporters Don’t Have Jobs

The Weed Blog - 5 hours 7 min ago
When it comes to opposing marijuana reform, it seems that the Oregon Sheriff’s Association always leads the way. Oregon Measure 91 is on the ballot, which will legalize marijuana if passed, and we will find out what voters truly think of it early next week on Election Day 2014. Almost all of the money donated [...]

How Many Joints Are In An Ounce Of Marijuana?

The Weed Blog - 6 hours 9 min ago
I’ve been asked more and more lately by members of the media ‘how many joints are in an ounce of marijuana?’ Using the ‘joint measurement’ is very popular for journalists who are trying to quantify how much marijuana is in an ounce to their readers who likely don’t consume marijuana. Marijuana veterans of course already [...]

Chile: Government Approves Planting 850 Marijuana Plants For Cancer Patients

Hemp News - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 19:09

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Chilean government has granted permission to a nonprofit organization to grow 850 marijuana plants in a residential area of the capital city of Santiago.

The cannabis, which is being planted in La Florida, a district of the capital city, will be harvested next April and turned into oil which will be used as a painkiller for 200 cancer patients, reports Gideon Long at BBC News.

It's the first project of its kind with state backing anywhere in Latin American according to BBC. Much of the cannabis debate in the region has centered in Uruguay, which this year legalized marijuana, becoming the first nation in the world to do so.

In Chile, the authorities permit the use of cannabis only for medicinal purposes. "We don't want to get into a debate about the personal use of marijuana," said Mayor Rodolfo Carter of La Florida.

"Let's stick to the medical issue," Carter said. "This is about providing people who are suffering from cancer with a natural, healthier and cheaper treatment for their pain."

The local nonprofit Daya Foundation will oversee the project, which will be accompanied by a clinical study into the effectiveness of cannabis oil as a painkiller.

"Eventually, we want to make cannabis medicine available for everybody, even if they can't afford it," said Nicolas Dormal, cofounder of the foundation. "But for now, we will concentrate on these first 200 patients."

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U.S.: Hemp Public Relations Launched; Specializes In Marketing For Marijuana Industry

Hemp News - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 18:43

Hemp Public Relations, LLC ( www.hemppublicrelations.com ) is a new firm that says it will help individuals & businesses in the legal marijuana industry to achieve greater visibility in the public eye through the media.

The company is founded by Mark Goldman and Ryan McCormick, accomplished public relations professionals who are also the creators of New York-based Goldman McCormick PR ( www.goldmanmccormick.com ) and Legal PR Team ( www.legalprteam.com ).

“The marijuana industry is growing rapidly and experiencing a wider public embracement on a national level," said Mark Goldman, co-founder of Hemp Public Relations. "Entrepreneurs who seize the opportunity to make a positive impression on the masses now, stand to gain generational loyalty and years of successful business.

"We created Hemp Public Relations specifically for these businesses,” Goldman said.

According to Goldman, Hemp Public Relations' services include TV, radio and newspaper placement, press conferences, and digital media placement. Hemp Public Relations also offers custom radio show creation, promotion, and production.

Photo of Mark Goldman: Hemp Public Relations

U.S.: Law Enforcement Officials Tour States To Lend A Hand To Drug Policy Reform Initiatives

Hemp News - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 18:33

As the midterm election approaches, representatives of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) are hard at work educating voters about the need for drug policy reform in states with relevant initiatives on the ballot.

A pair of police chiefs, Retired Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper and sitting Police Chief Larry Kirk, are in Alaska, where voters are about to weigh in on an initiative to legalize, regulate and control marijuana (Measure 2). The two went to seven towns between them, from Anchorage to Kodiak, to educate voters on the public safety benefits of legalization.

In the meantime, a former prosecutor and a retired lieutenant sheriff are doing a similar tour of Oregon (Measure 91) and a former police officer and former Customs agent are speaking to Florida voters about medical marijuana (Amendment 2). These tours have included meetings with civic clubs, conversations with the media and debates with opponents.

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D.C.: Council Holds Hearing On Marijuana Legalization In Nation's Capital

Hemp News - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 18:22

Policy Experts and Advocates Testify in Favor of Directing Proceeds from Taxation to Communities Harmed by War on Drugs

Hearing Occurs Just Days Before Voters Decide on Marijuana Legalization at Ballot Box

D.C. Councilmembers Vincent Orange (D-At Large) and Jack Evans (D-Ward 3) on Thursday are holding a joint public hearing on legislation introduced in 2013 by Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large) that would establish a system which legalizes, taxes and regulates marijuana in the nation’s capital. Councilmember Orange chairs the Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs and Councilmember Evans chairs the Committee on Finance and Revenue.

The hearing specifically examined sections six through nine of the “Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2013” (Council Bill #20-466), and took place Thursday at 11 a.m. in Room 500 of the D.C. Council Chambers located at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. in Washington, D.C. Advocates provided testimony in support of using the proceeds from legalization towards rebuilding the communities harmed by the war on drugs.

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U.S.: New Sentencing Guidelines Could Shorten Drug Sentences For Thousands In Federal Prison

Hemp News - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 18:12

U.S. Sentencing Commission Reforms Take Effect on Saturday

Change is Latest Step to Reduce Mass Incarceration and Scale Back Failed Drug War

Changes to federal drug sentencing guidelines take effect on Saturday, November 1, and courts may begin considering petitions from incarcerated individuals for sentencing reductions. Thousands of people who are currently serving long, punitive drug-related sentences in federal prisons could be eligible to apply, although no one who benefits from this reform may be released for another year, or prior to November 1, 2015.

The changes taking effect on Saturday follow a July 2014 vote by the United States Sentencing Commission to retroactively apply an amendment approved by the same government panel in April 2014 that lowers federal guidelines for sentencing people convicted of drug trafficking. Beginning on Saturday, federal judges may begin referencing the reduced guidelines in the course of sentencing people convicted of drug trafficking and individuals who were sentenced under the old drug sentencing guidelines may begin petitioning a federal judge for a hearing to evaluate whether their sentence can be shortened to match the reduced guidelines.

The underlying drug guidelines amendment that shortened the length of drug sentencing guidelines was approved by the United States Sentencing Commission and submitted to Congress for review in April. Congress has taken no action to disapprove of these reforms to the drug guidelines, setting the stage for these reforms to take effect on Saturday.

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How To Recognize Manganese Deficiencies On Marijuana Plants

The Weed Blog - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 15:47
Manganese deficiencies do not occur that often and are practically always linked with iron and zinc deficiencies. A lack of manganese will show up in young leaves as they start to turn yellow and exhibit small, brownish necrotic areas in the middle of the leaf. The veins of the leaf will generally remain green. The [...]

Latest Polls Show Marijuana Reform Winning In Florida And DC

The Weed Blog - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 15:21
Polls are not always accurate, but they are the only way we have to gauge support for an election measure. Polls in Florida have been all over the place, with most of them showing Amendment 2 winning. The ones that show medical marijuana losing in Florida seem to always be racked with flaws. Every poll [...]

Black Cherry Soda Marijuana Strain Review And Pictures

The Weed Blog - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 14:49
Black Cherry Soda Cannabis Strain Review And Pics The Black Cherry Soda marijuana strain was created by TGA Genetics. The Black Cherry Soda marijuana strain is an indica-dominant hybrid strain, and has one of my favorite strain names of all time. It’s a very dark strain, so the name is fitting. Like most indica-dominant strains, the [...]

NORML PAC Endorses State Representative Diane Russell in Maine

NORML Blog - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 14:39

NORML PAC is endorsing State Representative Diane Russell in her campaign to be re-elected to the Maine House of Representatives for Maine’s 39th Legislative District.

“There are few lawmakers, at either the state or federal level, that have exhibited the same level of passion and commitment to the responsible regulation and legalization of marijuana for adults as Rep. Diane Russell,” state NORML PAC Manager Erik Altieri, “Voters in her district should elect her to another term so she can continue to fight for an end to the state’s prohibition of marijuana, a battle she is uniquely equipped for as one of the country’s strongest champions of reform.”

Rep. Russell has been the lead sponsor of measures that would legalize and regulate marijuana in Maine every year since 2011, and she intends to reintroduce a similar measure in 2015. She was also a key proponent of Portland’s 2013 vote to legalize adult marijuana possession in the city.

Commenting on the endorsement, Rep. Russell said, “NORML has been so supportive of our work here in Maine to responsibly legalize marijuana, and it’s an honor to have their endorsement this year.”

You can learn more about Rep. Diane Russell’s campaign by following her on Facebook here.

Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit On Guam Medical Marijuana Vote

The Weed Blog - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 12:37
There are some big votes happening next week across America. Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C. are voting on marijuana legalization. A handful of cities in Maine and Michigan are also voting on marijuana legalization. Of course, there’s also Florida voting on medical marijuana. But one vote is often overlooked during the ‘marijuana midterm elections.’ That’s [...]

Forest Service Veteran – Legalize Marijuana To Protect Our Forests

The Weed Blog - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 12:02
There are a lot of cartel marijuana grow operations in the forests of Oregon. These are not one to two plant gardens. These are massive gardens with thousands of plants. Those massive gardens take up a lot of space, and involve a lot of pesticides and other pollutants. Cartel marijuana gardens are damaging the forests [...]