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

Did Your Oregon Friends Vote To End Marijuana Prohibition Yet?

The Weed Blog - 1 hour 12 min ago
Oregon Measure 91 would legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana. The initiative has a great chance of winning, but only if there is a strong voter turnout. If you have already voted, thank you so much for participating in democracy. For those of you that haven’t voted, please do so ASAP! We all know someone that [...]

Uruguay: Presidential Candidate Wants To Roll Back Marijuana Legalization

Hemp News - 6 hours 3 min ago

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Uruguay's leading opposition candidate for President said he would try to repeal much of the country's historic marijuana legalization law which allows the commercial cultivation and sale of cannabis if he wins Sunday's election.

The South American nation became the first in the world to officially allow the production and use of cannabis, but almost two-thirds of Uruguayans oppose the experiment which aims to take control of the marijuana trade away from drug gangs, reports Esteban Farat at Thomson Reuters.

But notably, even the candidate in question, Luis Lacalle Pou of the centrist National Party, would still allow home cultivation and cannabis clubs.

"I will keep the law's articles that allow users to grow their own cannabis at home and authorize smoking clubs and repeal the rest, in particular the state's commercialization of the drug," Lacalle Pou said.

"I will send a bill to Parliament to repeal it," he said. "We will need a majority in Parliament, and I will look for support.

Polls show Lacalle Pou trailing the left-wing candidate for the Frente Amplio (Broad Front) party, Tabare Vazquez, who has backed the legalization law.

Photo of Luis Lacalle Pou: Xinhua News Agency/Rex

Michigan: Court Rules Medical Marijuana Law Trumps Unemployment Law

Hemp News - 6 hours 14 min ago

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A Michigan appeals court ruled on Friday that workers who've been fired solely for failing a drug screen because of their legal use of medical marijuana qualify for unemployment benefits, upholding lower court rulings that the state's medical marijuana law preempts its unemployment law.

The three-judge panel found that three state courts were right to reverse a decision by the Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission to deny three workers unemployment payments after they were fired for testing positive for marijuana.

The judges ruled that a provision of the state's medical marijuana law forbids penalties "in any manner" for those who use medical marijuana legally.

Because the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act trumps the Michigan Employment Security Act, the circuit courts were right to reverse the MCAC's ruling that claimants were not entitled to unemployment benefits, according to the opinion.

The decision stems from three cases in which between 2010 and 2012 three employees were fired from their jobs after allegedly violating their employers' "drug free" policies by testing positive for medical marijuana. All three had state issued cards authorizing them to legally use cannabis to treat specific medical conditions.

An administrative law judge in each of the three cases had upheld the unemployment eligibility of the employees, forklift operator Rick Braska, CT technician Jenine Kemp and furniture repair technician Stephen Kudzia.

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U.S.: Federal Court To Hear Evidence On Whether Marijuana Is Misclassified As Dangerous Drug

Hemp News - 6 hours 34 min ago

Meanwhile, federal Drug Enforcement Administration carries out latest raid on Los Angeles area medical marijuana dispensaries

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California will hold rare formal hearings beginning Monday, October 27, to determine whether an indictment against Brian Justin Pickard and others for conspiracy to grow more than 1,000 marijuana plants violates the U.S. Constitution, and whether marijuana is misclassified by the federal government as a dangerous Schedule I drug with no medical value.

What: Evidentiary hearing with several expert witnesses to review the classification of marijuana as a Schedule I substance

When: Starting Monday, October 27, 9 am and continuing to Wednesday, October 29

Where: Sacramento Federal Court, 501 I Street, Sacramento, Californbia

U.S. District Court Judge Kimberly J. Mueller will preside over the three-day hearing, which includes expert testimony from Drs. Carl Hart, associate professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology at Columbia University in New York City, Greg Carter, medical director of St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute in Spokane, Washington, retired physician Phillip Denny, as well as author, consultant, and expert witness Chris Conrad.

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U.S.: Hundreds of Marijuana Store ATMs Shut Down

Hemp News - 7 hours 7 min ago

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Hundreds of automatic teller machines in medical marijuana dispensaries were shut down on Wednesday, just days after ATMs were turned off in recreational cannabis shops.

The machines in Colorado and Washington were part of a network served by MetaBank, a South Dakota company which in January had warned ATM providers that machines located in marijuana shops violated federal banking rules, reports David Migoya at The Denver Post.

The machines, both cashless and the traditional ATMs which dispense cash, continued to work until this week, according to owners of cannabis shops impacted by the shutdown.

"Just like that, it was out of commission," said Andy Williams, owner of Medicine Man, a Denver recreational and medical marijuana dispensary that has an on-site cash-dispensing ATM. "I got a warning the night before saying they'd lost their bank, and that was it.

The ATM machines are the lifeblood of many marijuana shops, which are forced by federal banking rules to otherwise work in cash only rather than accepting credit and debit cards from their customers.

A number of trade organization Marijuana Industry Group's clients lost ATMs, both of the cash-dispensing and cashless variety, according to executive director Michael Elliott.

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Study: Marijuana Use -- Even Heavy Use -- Doesn't Lower IQ

Hemp News - 7 hours 50 min ago

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A new study from the University College of London of 2,612 children in the United Kingdom examined children's IQ scores at age 8 and again at age 15, and found "no relationship between cannabis use and lower IQ at age 15. Even heavy cannabis use had no associated with reduced IQ scores.

But alcohol was a different story. "In particular alcohol use was found to be strongly associated with IQ decline," the study's author's wrote, reports Christopher Ingraham at The Washington Post. "No other factors were found to be predictive of IQ change."

"This is a potentially important public health message -- the belief that cannabis is particularly harmful may detract focus from and awareness of other potentially harmful behaviors," noted the study's lead author, Claire Mokrysz.

"The current focus on the alleged harms of cannabis may be obscuring the fact that its use is often correlated with that of even more freely available drugs and possibly lifestyle factors," agreed reviewer Guy Goodwin of Oxford University. "These may be as or more important than cannabis itself."

A 2012 Duke University study of just 38 subjects had made world headlines when it claimed to find a link between heavy marijuana use and IQ decline among teens. Columbia University's Carl Hart noted the very small sample of heavy users in the study led him to question how relevant were the results.

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U.S.: Exchange Company For Cannabis Industry Called First of Its Kind

Hemp News - 8 hours 29 min ago

Steve Janjic, CEO of Amercanex, says his company is the first fully electronic marketplace in which licensed wholesale and retail distributors of cannabis can sell, buy or exchange their inventories on a fully disclosed market.

The core function of the marketplace is to ensure fair and orderly transactions, as well as efficient dissemination of price information for any product bought, sold or exchanged on the electronic cannabis marketplace (ECM), according to Janjic.

Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia have either legalized or decriminalized some form of marijuana use or possession, or are in the process of doing so, according to Janjic.

“The patchwork nature of marijuana legalization on the local, state and federal levels creates problems for buyers, sellers and users,” says Janjic.

“Amercanex has already created solutions to regulate the buying and selling of marijuana in Colorado, which has major implications for the entire country, from capturing lost tax revenues to influencing voters in states where marijuana use is on or coming to ballots.”

Janjic, the former global director of eFX Sales and Distribution for Tullett Prebon, one of the world’s largest institutional brokerage firms, says Amercanex will ensure a completely neutral, non-manipulated marketplace while strictly adhering to and centralizing regulatory and reporting requirements to local and regional regulatory authorities.

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D.C.: Leaders, Advocates Meeting To Discuss Impact of Marijuana Laws on Black Community

Hemp News - 8 hours 48 min ago

Shiloh Baptist Church and The Washington Informer to host a community forum to inform and educate

On Monday, October 27 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., the Social Justice and Community Outreach Ministry of Shiloh Baptist Church of Washington, in partnership with The Washington Informer, will host a community forum on the impact of Ballot Initiative 71 and D.C. marijuana laws on African Americans.

Nationally acclaimed economist and author Dr. Julianne Malveaux will moderate the event, held at Shiloh Baptist Church located at 9th and P Streets, NW. Panelists will include representatives from law enforcement, academia, community advocates, members of the business community, and members of the clergy.

Washington D.C. leads the country in per capita marijuana arrests, doubling that of any other U.S. state. Ninety-one percent of all marijuana arrests are of black people.

Between 2001 and 2010, while the number of white people arrested for marijuana has stayed about the same, while the number of black people arrested increased to 4,908 from 3,228. Young black men are 10 times more likely to be arrested for drug crimes than white ones, even though whites are more likely to both use and sell marijuana.

This community forum will gather nearly 500 District residents to raise awareness of this important topic and bring to the forefront the importance of voting on November 4.

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Putting Statewide Marijuana Initiatives Over The Top

The Weed Blog - 9 hours 34 min ago
By Phillip Smith It’s now less than two weeks until Election Day, and statewide marijuana initiatives are on the ballot in four states. All have a shot at winning, and as the clock ticks down, all of them are seeking last minute help to get them over the top. The Chronicle talked this week to [...]

D.C. Marijuana Legalization Initiative Receives Major Civil Rights Endorsements

The Weed Blog - 10 hours 44 min ago
The Washington, D.C. chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the D.C. Branch of the National Organization for Women came out in support of marijuana legalization and endorsed D.C.’s Initiative 71. Initiative 71, which is on the November 4 ballot would legalize the possession of up to two ounces [...]

Interview With Jeff Mizanskey, Who Is Serving A Life Sentence For Marijuana

The Weed Blog - 11 hours 49 min ago
Show-Me Cannabis Executive Director John Payne sat down with Jeff Mizanskey to discuss his situation. Jeff, a Sedalia-area native, is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for non-violent cannabis offenses. Donate $10 today at http://show-mecannabis.com/contribute to support reform in Missouri!

Project SAM Board Member Causes Controversy With Ferguson Marijuana Comments

The Weed Blog - 12 hours 53 min ago
Fact – Dr. Chris Thurstone has served on the Board for Project S.A.M.. Fact – Dr. Chris Thurstone published an article on his blog (which receives hardly any traffic by the way) which insinuated that marijuana use by Michael Brown may have contributed to his own murder at the hands of police in Ferguson, Missouri. Those [...]

TIME’s Red Border Film: “A Journey For Oil” On Medical Marijuana For Children

The Weed Blog - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 17:32
I was contacted by the nice people at TIME who informed me that they created a new documentary about medical marijuana and children. I haven’t had time to watch it yet due to my work schedule, but I encourage readers to check it out and leave a comment below this article with your reviews. More [...]

U.S.: Marijuana Freelance Network Announced By Ganjapreneur

Hemp News - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 15:55

Ganjapreneur — an online cannabis business resource that launched over the summer — has announced the launch of a "Freelancer Network" on its website. An official launch date for the project has not been set, but Ganjapreneur has outlined several of the features.

This network will be made publicly available and will be free to use. Freelancers who join the network will be able to create a listing using their real name or a pseudonym, describe their specialty and location, upload a biography and/or personal statement, and provide a contact email address.

The listings will be organized in a directory and categorized by service type. Businesses will then be able to use the directory when searching for freelancers for projects that require specific skill sets, and creative agencies who want to take on cannabis industry jobs will be able to recruit people who are interested in cannabis-related work.

The Ganjapreneur Freelancer Network will include categories such as web developers, graphic designers, copywriters, SEO experts, social media marketers, videographers, animators, and programmers.

Unlike many other freelancer networks, Ganjapreneur will not take a percentage off the top of projects organized through its network, and it will not require freelancers to manage all communications with their clients through its website.

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Oregon: Marijuana Legalization Opponent Admits He Was Wrong About Child Deaths

Hemp News - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 15:37

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

An Oregon physician who outraged the crowd at a Tuesday night debate on marijuana legalization when he claimed five Colorado children had died from cannabis retracted on his statement on Wednesday and acknowledged he was wrong.

"I really need to retract that statement because I can't back it up," said Dr. Ron Schwerzler, medical director at an addictions treatment center in Eugene. Schwerzler claimed he "might have been misunderstanding" stories of children who have been hospitalized in Colorado after accidentally ingesting marijuana-infused edibles. "Telling a whopper" seems a much more likely explanation, Dr. Schwerzler.

When Tuesday's discussion turned to the issue of how legalization is being implemented in Colorado, Schwerzler said: "Let's concentrate on those edibles. There have been at least five infant children deaths in Colorado that have picked up these drugs."

Several audience members began yelling, "Not true!" and "What source?" The ill-informed physician was apparently unaware that there has never been one single documented case of a fatal marijuana overdose in history.

Schwerzler on Wednesday emailed a statement to leaders of the No On 91 campaign admitting his mistake. "After our conversation today I realized that my statement about children's deaths in Colorado is in error," he wrote. "There have been admits to ICUs for children who have eaten edibles and were hospitalized.

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King Kush Marijuana Strain Review And Pictures

The Weed Blog - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 15:30
The King Kush marijuana strain is a cross between OG Kush and Grape Ape. The King Kush marijuana strain contains flavors of citrus, pine and kush. With a gradual but powerful high, the King Kush marijuana strain is famous for its potency and shiny trichromes during flowering. The King Kush marijuana strain comes across as sweet [...]

U.S.: Melissa Etheridge Talks Marijuana In New Larry King Interview

Hemp News - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 15:11

Music icon Melissa Etheridge sits down with Larry King on the Emmy nominated series “Larry King Now” to talk about the ‘panic’ in her industry, President Obama's job performance, legalizing marijuana and her new self-released album.

As a cancer survivor, Etheridge explained how medical marijuana got her through it and why cannabis should be legal across the board. “I think it could help our society incredibly,” she said. (You can view the interview clip below.)

Of her duet with Queen Latifah, “It was so much fun, any genre anything just come knock on my door I’ll sing with you, I love playing in other people’s sandboxes,” Etheridge said.

The Oscar winner talked about why 'coming out' in 2014 isn't always an easy decision, “It’s still very ingrained into our society that men and women is correct.” Melissa also discussed why the country has come around so fast on the issue of gay marriage and rates the president’s slow action on gay marriage rights, “It can’t be easy to be President, it can’t be easy… but as a President I think he’s doing ok...Politics is just about this side and that side and where you’re going to land and you got to wait till public opinion gets up there.”

She wrapped up her interview by answering social media questions from some of her biggest fans, including any parenting advice she has and if she wants to be a grandmother.

Federal Senator Says He Will Vote ‘Yes’ On Marijuana Legalization

The Weed Blog - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 14:55
There are a number of United States Representatives that have expressed support for marijuana legalization. What was once considered political suicide (supporting marijuana legalization), is not becoming more and more common. However, getting a United States Senator to express support for marijuana legalization has been much more rare. I am proud to say that one [...]

Minnesota: Marijuana Policy Project Makes Maximum Contribution To GOP Gubernatorial Candidate

Hemp News - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 14:50

MPP backing Republican gubernatorial candidate in light of his support for a more compassionate and comprehensive medical marijuana program

The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) PAC has contributed $4,000 to the campaign of Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson. The contribution to the Johnson for Governor Campaign is the maximum allowed under Minnesota law.

Johnson is challenging Gov. Mark Dayton in the Minnesota gubernatorial election following a legislative session in which the governor refused to support a compassionate and comprehensive medical marijuana program championed by patients and approved by the Minnesota Senate. The contribution was made in light of Johnson’s support for the more inclusive legislation. A matching contribution was made to the Senate DFL PAC as well.

The medical marijuana proposal supported by Johnson and a bipartisan Senate coalition would have protected an estimated 30,000 seriously ill Minnesotans, according to a fiscal analysis prepared by the state. Gov. Dayton refused to sign such a bill and insisted on a restrictive program that will only help an estimated 5,000 patients.

The governor’s resistance also resulted in the law prohibiting the use of marijuana in its natural form, requiring patients to use oils or extracts that will be produced by just two manufacturers for the entire state. Some patients have said they will not sign up for the program because whole plant cannabis is the most effective form of treatment for their conditions.

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D.C.: Marijuana Initiative Gets Major Endorsements From NAACP and NOW

Hemp News - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 14:36

Endorsements Come on the Heels of Recent Support from Local Chapters of the SEIU, D.C. Working Families, and UFCW

Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Releases Report on Collateral Consequences of Arrest

The Washington, D.C. chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the D.C. Branch of the National Organization for Women on Thursday came out in support of marijuana legalization and endorsed D.C.’s Initiative 71.

Initiative 71, which is on the November 4 ballot, would legalize the possession of up to two ounces marijuana for adults over the age of 21, and allows individuals to grow up to six plants in their home. D.C. laws prevent the ballot initiative from addressing the taxation and sale of marijuana; however, the D.C. Council is currently considering a bill which would account for such provisions.

Additionally, the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs on Wednesday released its groundbreaking report entitled "The Collateral Consequences of Arrests and Convictions under D.C., Maryland, and Virginia Law." The report is the first of its kind to examine the effect of the collateral consequences associated with arrests for residents in the DMV area.

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