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Law The Cannabis Chronicals - Misc. Cannabis News

CarolKing

Always in search of the perfect vaporizer


Goodwill Employees discovered the marijuana while sorting donations.
Story highlights
  • A cooler donated to Goodwill in Monroe, Washington contained five bags of marijuana
  • The bags contained 60 ounces of weed
(CNN)Well this isn't your typical Goodwill donation. Five large bags of marijuana were found in a donated cooler in Monroe, Washington, on Monday.

While it's legal in Washington for people over 21 to possess one ounce of cannabis, this stash was 60 times over the limit.
Employees at the store discovered the marijuana while sorting through donations Monday morning and called the cops.


"We went over there and they opened the lid and in there was five large bags of marijuana," Debbie Willis of the Monroe Police Department said. "Normally when we go there, it is for a shoplifter, but not anything like this."

Border officers find nearly 2 tons of weed camouflaged as limes
Police tried to track down the owner of the cooler, but they're unsure if it was donated at this location or at a Goodwill trailer that parks in another town.
"However there are many people on social media claiming it's theirs, but we have yet to have one walk through the door," said Willis.
Goodwill donations get even weirder
It's common for employees at Goodwill to find money in pockets of clothing or purses that haven't been emptied when sorting donations, but not 60 ounces of marijuana.
"This is a reminder to check your purse, pockets, or cooler to make sure you're donating the items you mean to," said Katherine Boury, a spokesperson for Goodwill.
This actually isn't the most unusual item employes have come across while sorting donations, Boury said.
"In 2014, three human skulls were found," said Boury -- two that had been used for medical research, and one Native American skull that was more than 100 years old. "We worked with authorities to track down the origin of the Native American skull for proper burial," she said.
What's next for the 60 ounces of donated weed?
"It's sitting in our evidence, waiting yearly burn of that type of evidence." said Willis.
CNN's Dave Alsup contributed to this report.
 

turk

Active Member
...wow...just wow...someone really screwed up...talk about a bad day..:confused:
 

NickDlow

The Log Hog


Goodwill Employees discovered the marijuana while sorting donations.
Story highlights
  • A cooler donated to Goodwill in Monroe, Washington contained five bags of marijuana
  • The bags contained 60 ounces of weed
(CNN)Well this isn't your typical Goodwill donation. Five large bags of marijuana were found in a donated cooler in Monroe, Washington, on Monday.

While it's legal in Washington for people over 21 to possess one ounce of cannabis, this stash was 60 times over the limit.
Employees at the store discovered the marijuana while sorting through donations Monday morning and called the cops.


"We went over there and they opened the lid and in there was five large bags of marijuana," Debbie Willis of the Monroe Police Department said. "Normally when we go there, it is for a shoplifter, but not anything like this."

Border officers find nearly 2 tons of weed camouflaged as limes
Police tried to track down the owner of the cooler, but they're unsure if it was donated at this location or at a Goodwill trailer that parks in another town.
"However there are many people on social media claiming it's theirs, but we have yet to have one walk through the door," said Willis.
Goodwill donations get even weirder
It's common for employees at Goodwill to find money in pockets of clothing or purses that haven't been emptied when sorting donations, but not 60 ounces of marijuana.
"This is a reminder to check your purse, pockets, or cooler to make sure you're donating the items you mean to," said Katherine Boury, a spokesperson for Goodwill.
This actually isn't the most unusual item employes have come across while sorting donations, Boury said.
"In 2014, three human skulls were found," said Boury -- two that had been used for medical research, and one Native American skull that was more than 100 years old. "We worked with authorities to track down the origin of the Native American skull for proper burial," she said.
What's next for the 60 ounces of donated weed?
"It's sitting in our evidence, waiting yearly burn of that type of evidence." said Willis.
CNN's Dave Alsup contributed to this report.
If I worked there, you would have never seen this story lol.
 

lazylathe

reaching maximum velocity...
I would have done the right thing!
Handed over a $50 donation for the used cooler with the lid closed! LOL!
 

BD9

Leaf Dawg
Woody Harrelson Says He Quit Weed.

http://www.vulture.com/2017/03/woody-harrelson-on-wilson-quitting-pot.html

However on the subject of pot, Harrelson made sure to make it clear that he's totally cool with you still doing it, which isn't surprising considering this is a guy who once tried to get a license to make his Hawaiian home a weed dispensary. "I don’t have a problem at all with smoking. I think it’s great," he said. "I think it’s a great drug… Even cops say that the side effect is euphoria." There you have it: just because he doesn't puff anymore doesn't mean he can't endorse it.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member

This Is Marijuana Legalization’s Biggest Problem

For all the noise coming from dog-whistling Attorney General Jeff Sessions, America’s war on marijuana, medical and recreational, is currently at a standstill. Whether the ceasefire is the prelude to a lasting truce or a temporary calm before a shitstorm is up to the states—who, if local and federal police are to be believed, and if the federal government is to be taken seriously, are leading us towards a weed war.

We’ve been in a lull ever since 2013, when the administration of newly reelected Barack Obama, fresh from not interfering in Colorado and Washington’s marijuana legalization efforts, gave itself cover with the “Cole memo.” The Cole memo is the list of non-binding Department of Justice enforcement priorities—which Sessions himself recently declared “valid,” despite a lifetime spent detesting drug policy reform almost as much as he’s resented voting-rights efforts.

As long as the states kept tight control on things, kept weed out of the hands of kids and cartels, and prevented marijuana grown under state authorization from being smuggled and sold illegally in other sates, everything would be fine, and state-legal cannabis business would have no trouble with federal gendarmes. This served as the Obama administration’s justification for a hands-off approach, but the problem is that law enforcement is doing a very bad job at keeping marijuana within state borders, several recent reports compiled by state and federal police say.

Marijuana grown in Oregon under the auspices of the state MMJ program is ending up in “Illinois, Minnesota, New York and Florida” and other states on the eastern seaboard and in the southeast, according to a recent report compiled by the Oregon State Police and leaked to the Oregonian newspaper. But if you listen to the feds, one-third of all the cannabis seized nationwide originated in California and Colorado—with the U.S. Postal Service the preferred method of shipping cannabis out of state, according to a multi-agency report released last year.

The main reason for this, police say, is that the states are producing far more cannabis than they can consume. All that “extra” weed is then going to underprivileged cannabis consumers in other states.

According to Oregon state police, the state’s cannabis industry has the capacity to produce as much as $9.4 billion worth of surplus cannabis. With no domestic buyers, that’s pot ready to export to other states.

This is a colossal amount of cannabis—almost ten times as much marijuana as was bought legally in Colorado last year, and more than all the cannabis sold legally in California. For these reasons, it is almost certainly a gross overestimation from law enforcement, who are historically prone to hyperbole when “informing” the public about the size, value and impact of drug busts. (cont...interesting article)
 
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Baron23

Well-Known Member
It wasn’t seaweed; Man finds marijuana bale on Florida beach

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Authorities say a 52-year-old man called 911 after finding a bale of marijuana that had washed up on a Florida beach.
Jeff Stolowitz tells local news outlets he was walking on Daytona Beach on Saturday morning when he spotted the object, which was shaped like a giant cigar. As he got closer on Saturday morning, he saw a ripped edge and what appeared to be blood. That’s when he called for help.

Volusia County Beach Safety Capt. Mike Berard says narcotics sometimes wash ashore when the surf kicks up. He says small amounts are typically tested and disposed of, but larger amounts are transferred to another agency.

Berard says they’ve found cocaine, medical waste and 30-gallon drums of diesel fuel on the beach after big storms or high surf.

I went to college in Daytona in the 70's....aeronautical engineering school there....and we called these washed ashore bales 'square groupers' and they were not all that uncommon. Lots of smuggling by boat back then and lots of it dumped overboard when chased by Coast Guard. It was mediocre Mexican brick weed to start (as was pretty much all of it that we got then) but it was even worse and nothing would seem to get the tasted of the ocean out of it. I'm sure it was moldy but at the time we didn't care.


Official: Canada expected to legalize marijuana by July 2018
TORONTO — Canadians should be able to smoke marijuana legally by July 1, 2018, a senior government official said Monday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government will introduce legislation to legalize recreational marijuana the week of April 10th and it should become law by July next year, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to lack of authorization to discuss the upcoming legislation.

Trudeau has long promised to legalize recreational pot use and sales. Canada would be the largest developed country to end a nationwide prohibition of recreational marijuana. In the U.S, voters in California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada voted last year to approve the use of recreational marijuana, joining Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska. Uruguay in South America is the only nation to legalize recreational pot.

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould declined to confirm the dates provided by the official, but said in a statement the government is committed to introducing legislation this spring that would “legalize, strictly regulate, and restrict access to cannabis.” (cont)


Chris Christie Gets Wish: White House Appointment to Chair Drug Commission
After an unsuccessful run for president followed by an epic and humiliating ass-kissing of Donald Trump, Chris Christie is finally getting his White House job, sort of.

According to the Washington Post, Donald Trump is tapping the New Jersey governor to chair a commission devoted to combatting opioid abuse in America.

The position will be a part-time, volunteer job and will not require Christie to step down as New Jersey’s governor. Sorry, New Jersey.

Christie has been working with Trump’s son-in-law and New Jersey native Jared Kushner on the issue, despite long-running reports of friction between the two of them, according to the Washington Post.

One of Trump’s campaign goals was to stem the country’s opioid crisis.

The new office, known as the White House Office of American Innovation, is being called a “SWAT team” (poor choice of acronym) of consultants and business leaders that will have broad power to overhaul the federal bureaucracy and fulfill campaign goals, according to the Washington Post.

Apparently, Kushner and Christie have been working together informally for several weeks on the topic.


IAW the VERY wise decision by the Mods to keep politics at a minimum, I will not comment on Christie...well, not too much anyway. I found this headline to be extremely alarming until I saw that his portfolio was restricted to opiods and it's sort of a part time, pat on the back, little face saving gig for him. The yellow font color and underlining above was added by me.
 
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CarolKing

Always in search of the perfect vaporizer
Why Did Cannabis Become Illegal?

The demonization of the cannabis plant was an extension of the demonization of the Mexican immigrants. In an effort to control and keep tabs on these new citizens, El Paso, TX borrowed a play from San Francisco’s playbook, which had outlawed opium decades earlier in an effort to control Chinese immigrants. The idea was to have an excuse to search, detain and deport Mexican immigrants.

That excuse became marijuana.

This method of controlling people by controlling their customs was quite successful, so much so that it became a national strategy for keeping certain populations under the watch and control of the government.

During hearings on marijuana law in the 1930’s, claims were made about marijuana’s ability to cause men of color to become violent and solicit sex from white women. This imagery became the backdrop for the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937which effectively banned its use and sales.

While the Act was ruled unconstitutional years later, it was replaced with the Controlled Substances Act in the 1970’s which established Schedules for ranking substances according to their dangerousness and potential for addiction. Cannabis was placed in the most restrictive category, Schedule I, supposedly as a place holder while then President Nixon commissioned a report to give a final recommendation.

The Schafer Commission, as it was called, declared that marijuana should not be in Schedule I and even doubted its designation as an illicit substance. However, Nixon discounted the recommendations of the commission, and marijuana remains a Schedule I substance.

In 1996, California became the first state to approve the use of marijuana for medical purposes, ending its 59 year reign as an illicit substance with no medical value. Prior to 1937, cannabis had enjoyed a 5000 year history as a therapeutic agent across many cultures. In this context, its blip as an illicit and dangerous drug was dwarfed by its role as a medicine.

Opponents of medical marijuana regulations claim that there is not enough research to warrant medicinal use, but supporters of medical marijuana point to the 5000 years of history where cannabis was widely used as evidence for its medical efficacy.

Now that 23 states, plus Washington, DC, have passed medical marijuana laws, the public is questioning the utility of keeping marijuana under lock and key, especially in light of the racist and propagandized basis for making it illegal in the first place.

In just a few weeks, Florida, Oregon, Alaska and Washington DC voters will have the opportunity to put an additional nail in the coffin of prohibition by voting to legalize medical access in Florida and adult access in Oregon, Alaska and Washington DC. Changing the marijuana laws in these states and more to come is one of the first steps in dismantling the racially motivated war on drugs.

Dr. Malik Burnett is a former surgeon and physician advocate. He also served as executive director of a medical marijuana nonprofit organization. Amanda Reiman, PhD, holds a doctorate in Social Welfare and teaches classes on drug policy at the University of California-Berkeley.
 

BD9

Leaf Dawg
Billionaire Sir Richard Branson recommends cannabis over cows for Kiwi farmers.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11826490

He said the war on drugs had been an absolute failure and it was now time to look at other options.

"We've done a lot of studies on the war on drugs and it's been an abject failure, and what is absolutely clear to us is that drugs should be decriminalised and people who have drug problems should be helped," he told Newshub.

Branson urged New Zealand to legalise, grow, tax and regulate cannabis.

"I think that would be wonderful because obviously the amount of dairy cows that New Zealand has is damaging the rivers, if you could put some of that land over into growing cannabis would be just as profitable for them, if not more profitable."
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Conservative Christian Mothers Are Fed Up with Jeff Sessions and the GOP on MMJ Issues

Not all political conservatives and Christians are buying into the reactionary drivel emanating from the White House. This is especially true for mothers of special needs children who tend to fight like hell for what they know is best for their babies. And they don’t tolerate ignorance.

A group of moms in Texas are on the warpath to combat the blatant lies of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recently had the gall to compare weed to heroin.

Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism (MAMMA) is fighting for the “legalization of therapeutic cannabis” and they’ve got science behind them

MAMMA, a grassroots parent advocacy group, is seeking the legalization of medical marijuana with autism as a qualifying condition.

Their #cannabis4autism campaign aims to change state laws so that “our children with autism can have access to this healing plant under a doctor’s guidance.”

In a Vice feature about the group, one of MAMMA’s co-founders and current executive director, AmyLou Fawell, estimated that hundreds of parents in Texas are using MMJ after having little to no success with prescription drugs for their autistic children.

Fawell said MAMMA’s decision to advocate for medical marijuana “goes a long way” in a traditionally conservative state like Texas, where current MMJ laws are too restrictive to help those in need, by capping oils at low THC counts and allowing it to be used only for severe epilepsy.

Meanwhile, according to the Marijuana Policy Project, 75 percent of Texans support marijuana law reform.

As far as Fawell is concerned, pushing for the loosening of Texas’ MMJ restrictions actually makes total sense as a creationist.

“If God made it and our bodies need it, then that is the Christian argument,” she told Vice, regardless what Jeff Sessions and other Republicans are saying.

Go Moms....most powerful force in the universe is Moms.


University Drops Out of Pot for PTSD Study; Vets Demand Answers

Though cannabis is legal in the District of Columbia, there isn’t much medical marijuana access in the greater Washington, D.C. metro area. Virginia is still a no-go zone, and four years after lawmakers in Maryland approved medical marijuana, would-be patients in that state are still waiting for the first delivery.

Keep in mind that the area around the nation’s capital is full of military veterans. Post-traumatic stress disorder affects between 10 and 30 percent of vets, and PTSD is one of the conditions for which medical cannabis in Maryland is available—but until that state’s cannabis program becomes active later this summer, at the earliest, one of the only options for area combat vets to (legally) try cannabis for PTSD was through a study.

Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore was one of two research institutions in the U.S. to receive funding to see if smoked marijuana helped combat-related stress, as a growing body of anecdotal evidence suggests.

Hundreds of veterans inquired about participating—and they started to find out sometime last week, via a pre-recorded voicemail greeting, that the study had been canceled. Now, mystified and angered vets are demanding answers.

As Reason reported, both Hopkins and Arizona-based researcher Sue Sisley received funding from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) to formally study marijuana’s efficacy in treating PTSD. Veterans—many of whom claim that marijuana allows them to be weaned off of harder, habit-forming drugs like prescription painkillers—would receive some cannabis to smoke, and the progression of their symptoms would be cataloged.

Up to 76 veterans were to participate in the initial stage of the study, to be held simultaneously with Sisley overseeing vets at the Scottsdale Research Institute in Arizona (where medical marijuana is legal) and with Hopkins researcher Ryan Vandrey to run the study in Maryland (where it is legal only in theory).

Without warning and without formal announcement, the Hopkins study was canceled.

“If you are calling about the PTSD study, please know we are no longer participating in that study,” veterans who called a hotline number seeking participants were told as of Monday, Reason reported. A university spokesman later confirmed to Reason that the school had dropped out of the MAPS-funded study because “our goals for this study weren’t in alignment.”

Military veteran Sean Kiernan, president of the Weed for Warriors Foundation, is predictable apoplectic.

“Think of all the hopeful veterans now being told their hopes are dashed over voice mail,” he wrote in a letter addressed to Ronald Daniels, Hopkins’s president. “This hardly seems to be the actions of a prestigious university concerned with veterans who are easily triggered by the continual systematic stonewalling of their needs.”

As Kiernan pointed out, 65,000 military vets have committed suicide or fatally overdosed on prescription medication since 2011—and Hopkins received $2 billion in federal funding for medical research in 2015, the most of any research institution in America for the 37th consecutive year, none of which appears to be helping vets.

So what happened?

Reason speculates it might boil down to shitty government weed. As has been documented extensively, the only marijuana available for study in the United States must come through the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which licenses the University of Mississippi to grow the research supply.

According to researchers and anyone else who has seen the government cannabis, it is terrible—horrifyingly so. Sisley, the western partner in the PTSD study, raised hackles recently when she went public with her concerns about how bad the weed was.

“It didn’t resemble cannabis,” she told PBS News Hour. “It didn’t smell like cannabis.” (cont)

Bizarre Ban on Political Contributions from Pot Companies Struck Down

Illinois has a bit of an image problem. Namely, the state that sent both Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama to the White House is seen as wholly crooked, a hotbed of graft and corruption, notable most for its remarkable reliability.

This is the reputation you earn when four out of the seven governors to serve since the 1960s ended up in federal prison.

Lawmakers in Illinois at least have taken the first step—they admitted they have a serious problem. Or, at least, kind of. Moving to dispel “the perceived risk of corruption” “among the public and the media” was the idea when, on the same day Illinois enacted medical marijuana in 2013, the state banned political contributions from medical marijuana providers.

Never mind that medical cannabis in Illinois had barely time to meet with politicians, let alone bribe them in ways above and beyond common campaign cash, or that marijuana had absolutely nothing to do with the likes of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich trying to auction off Obama’s Senate seat (and getting caught, and subsequently eroding the public’s already thin trust in the veracity of our democracy).

The ban on politicians accepting legitimate cash from cannabis operators—and only cannabis operators; casino magnates, horse-racing track owners and waste-disposal companies are all ok—was so patently ridiculous, even a lawmaker involved with its passage admitted it existed merely to “appease ‘conservative’ and ‘hesitant’ colleagues,” as Reason reported last year.

And as the website reported on Friday, a federal judge agreed and declared the ban unconstitutional. Money is speech, after all, and a selective muzzling of political speech is absolutely a violation of the First Amendment. (cont)



 

Baron23

Well-Known Member

The U.S. Is Denying Entry for Life if Tourists Admit to Pot Use

As the cannabis laws in the United States continue their constant ebb and flow of legality, many marijuana-lovers and even those who have simply tried pot wanting to enter the U.S. are finding it hard to do so.


Currently, people from all over the world, including those of us from Canada, are being heavily interrogated by border officials. Travelers are getting turned away at the border and even barred for entering the United States for life, just because they’ve owned up to using cannabis in the past.

Upon hearing this news, one would think that there are only a few cases where perhaps an overzealous border guard decided to come down on a handful of unlucky individuals. Unfortunately, however, this has become a regular and disturbing reality.

Recently, SCPR Take Two reported on a story where a tourist coming from Santiago, Chile was thoroughly questioned by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at LAX about her past trips to the United States. CBP searched her bags and accessed her cell phone without asking for permission. Their search uncovered photos taken inside a legal, adult-use dispensary in Colorado.

The border guard then asked her if she had ever used cannabis, and not thinking anything of the question, she answered that she did try some while in Colorado. He then proceeded to ask her if she had ever tried other drugs such as cocaine, acid, or heroin, to which she replied no.

The traveler was then held in a room for fifteen hours before being denied entry into the U.S. indefinitely. (cont)


We have raised asinine to a new level of art. sigh
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Newly Introduced Legislation Would End Federal Pot Prohibition

In Trump’s (and Jeff Sessions’) new America, rational marijuana policy isn’t something we thought we would see. And while we still may not see it, members of the House and Senate are doing what they can to change that.

On Thursday, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden and Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Jared Polis introduced a bill that would remove the DEA’s power over marijuana by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act. This means that the right to create and enforce laws around marijuana would be turned over to state governments.

Today, more than one fifth of the country lives in states that allow recreational marijuana, and recent polls have found that 59 percent of the country favors legalization.

“If we are truly going to move our nation towards sensible marijuana policies, the removal of marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act is paramount,” said Justin Strekal, political director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). “Annually, 600,000 Americans are arrested for nothing more than the possession of small amounts of marijuana and now is the time for Congress to once and for all end put an end to the national embarrassment that is cannabis prohibition.”

“Passing this legislation would end the current conflict between state and federal laws and allow the states to implement more sensible and humane marijuana policies, free from the threat of federal incursion,” he added.

The bills are pieces of a three-part legislation package proposed by Wyden and Blumenauer, both representing Oregon, called the Path to Marijuana Reform.

According to VICE, “one deals specifically with tax issues related to the marijuana industry; another includes a variety of far-reaching reforms, such as easing restrictions on banking and medical research; and the third calls for descheduling marijuana, which would treat the drug like alcohol or tobacco under federal law.”

That being said, it’s difficult to know what kind of progress the bills will make in the Republican-majority Congress, particularly when the White House and the attorney general have come out against states’ rights to legalize the leaf.

Only time will tell if the bills can make it through, but in the meantime, call your congressmen and women to let them know that you support the Path to Marijuana Reform.

The Path to Marijuana Reform can be read in its entirety here.


Here is a link to NORML to send an email to your representatives urging support for these pending MJ bills. Not a chance they will fly this session IMO, but everything we do today sets the stage for when a bill of this sort can actually pass:

Send a message to your members of Congress urging them to support the Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act
 
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CarolKing

Always in search of the perfect vaporizer
March 30, 2017

DELEWARE LEGISLATURE SAY THEY HAVE THE VOTES TO PASS LEGAL MARIJUANA

Delaware took a major step Thursday toward becoming the ninth state to legalize recreational marijuana use.

State legislators unveiled a bill that would allow state residents 21 and older to purchase up to an ounce of cannabis from dozens of stores that would be authorized to sell marijuana manufactured at a number of Delaware grow operations.

"House Bill 110 creates an entirely new industry in our state," said Rep. Helene Keeley, D-South Wilmington. "As the only state in a seven-hour drive to have legalized marijuana, we would become a destination that would attract out-of-state sales, which would have a benefit to our Delaware businesses."

Keeley and fellow chief sponsor, state Sen. Margaret Rose Henry, D-Wilmington, estimate legalized recreational marijuana could generate $22 million in tax revenue for the financially strapped state in the first year that the proposed program is up and running.

The legislators insisted that their proposal is not aimed at filling the state's current $386 million budget hole.

"We see it as a social justice issue," Henry said, describing the legislation as an effort to reform the criminal justice system by legalizing "something that people always have done and are doing."
 

CarolKing

Always in search of the perfect vaporizer
NEWS

6 ways new federal bills would protect California cannabis consumers, businesses
March 31, 2017

Updated 6:10 a.m.



Hemant Lata, left, and Suman Chandra work at a federally-approved medical marijuana facility at the University of Mississippi in Oxford in 2014. (File photo by Lance Murphey, The New York Times)
By BROOKE EDWARDS STAGGS / STAFF WRITER
Federal legislators are working on a cluster of proposed laws aimed easing the growing conflict between state and federal marijuana laws, with a number of protections and new regulations that could impact cannabis consumers and businesses in California.

Cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, though medical marijuana is now legal in 28 states and recreational cannabis is allowed in eight. So even though state law says Californians can now smoke weed and give some to a friend, they still risk criminal prosecution by federal authorities and can be denied benefits such as subsidized housing. People who own cannabis-related businesses also face federal raids and can’t access most banking services or claim standard tax deductions. And researchers also have a tough time getting access to study cannabis because the plant remains illegal under federal law.

Oregon Democrats Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Earl Blumenauer aim to change all of that in one fell swoop with the “Path to Marijuana Reform,” a package of bills introduced Thursday in both houses.

Also included in the package is the reintroduction of legislation from Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colorado, to regulate marijuana like alcohol.

The bills would remove marijuana from a national registry of controlled substances and add a slew of new protections for consumers and industry workers. Wyden said the new rules could spur industry growth and investment, which have been hampered by the looming threat of a federal crackdown – a threat that's gained traction since long-time marijjuana opponent Jeff Sessions became Attorney General.

The bills would also create a new federal tax on all cannabis products that would start at 10 percent and escalate to 25 percent. And marijuana businesses would be required to get federal permits to operate, with new rules on advertising, labeling and more.

The proposed bills drew quick praise from supporters of marijuana legalization, who argued that such reforms will bring federal marijuana laws more in line with public opinion and state policies.

“States are clearly realizing the benefits of regulating marijuana, and we are glad to see a growing number of federal policy makers taking notice,” said Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association.

Opponents of legal marijuana expressed concern about Wyden and Blumenauer’s legislation, claiming the emerging industry is focused on profits and not public health.

“We need to end, not expand, the special interest big marijuana lobby,” said Kevin Sabet, a former White House drug policy senior adviser who now heads Smart Approaches to Marijuana.

Most policies in the bills have been proposed previously in some form, though they’ve never gotten past initial committee hearings. And that was before Republicans controlled both the House and the Senate.

But Wyden and Blumenauer pointed out in a joint statement that public support for cannabis legalization has never been higher, with the Democrats’ package of bills drawing early support from both sides of the aisle.

Here are six ways the federal bills would impact Californians and residents in other legal weed states if they become law.

1. Add criminal protections: Federal agents could no longer arrest people who are complying with their state’s cannabis laws and slap them with fines or jail time. The feds also couldn’t raid state-legal pot shops and seize their assets. No one could be deported or denied entry to the country for consuming weed in state where it’s legal. And Native American tribes would be protecting from punishment under federal marijuana laws.

2. Open bank access: Banks and credit card companies that handle marijuana funds would get immunity from federal criminal charges. That should help the industry move away from operating all in cash, since financial institutions would no longer have to worry about being penalized for money laundering if they take on cannabis clients.

3. Remove obstacles for research: A new process would make it easier for researchers to study medical marijuana by reducing approval wait times, costly security measures and layers of review that experts say stifle the number and quality of studies now taking place. And once researchers get approval, it would be easier for them to access marijuana for use in their studies. That should increase the volume of rigorous trials involving cannabis.

4. Eliminate tax restrictions: Marijuana retailers would be able to claim tax deductions and credits like any other business. That’s because the bills would make an exception for marijuana in IRS tax rule 280E, which says businesses dealing in Schedule I or II substances can’t write off common expenses such as rent, utilities or advertising. That should save businesses significant money each year.

5. Clear criminal records: Anyone with a federal charge for a marijuana-related activity that was legal in their state at the time or who was charged with possessing an ounce or less of marijuana could petition to have their records cleared. California’s Proposition 64 included a similar provision, though it could only apply to state charges.

6. Allow for federal benefits: People in legal weed states could no longer be drug tested for marijuana when applying for a federal job or denied access to subsidized housing. College students couldn’t be turned down for financial aid because they have minor marijuana offenses on their record. And health care workers at Veteran Affairs clinics could recommend medical marijuana to veterans.

Staff writer Alicia Wallace contributed to this report.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Tornado Blows the Lid Off Weed Grow Operation
Decatur County, Tennessee was hard hit this past week when an EF-1 tornado ripped through the area. The twister destroyed homes, uprooted trees and tore rooftops off trailers, as 100-mile winds left debris strewn everywhere.

The day after, Sheriff Keith Byrd drove around the area to assess the damage and it was significant.

While taking photos, he noticed a “pile of green leafy material that looked like it didn’t belong where it was.”

Oh…that green leafy material keeps turning up in the strangest places.

In addition to uprooted weed plants, they discovered some more out-of-place green stuff.

“When I found those, then we got to looking through the rubble, and we found more plants,” Byrd said. “And we found containers and piping and grow lights and things that were part of this hydroponic grow operation.” (cont).

The Genes of Terpenes: Scientists Discover Pot’s Smell Predictor
By now, most even casual consumers of marijuana are familiar with “terpenes,” the compounds found in the essential oils of plants, responsible for a plant’s distinctive taste and aroma—and, with cannabis, which also play a role in how the plant affects the mind and body.

But according to a pair of scientists from the University of British Columbia, to find which terpenes a plant will produce, to determine if a cannabis plant will smell like skunk, funk or sweet apple pie, you can look at the plant’s genes.

Let us attempt to explain.

Terpenes are prized not only because they have profound impact on the humans who consume them, but because they’re not predictable. Similar or identical strains of cannabis will produce different levels of terpenes. (And as anyone who’s waded into cannabis genetics can tell you, “identical” strains, i.e. two varieties of Blue Dream, will have very different genetic makeups.) We have a fine idea of what terpenes are and what they do, but less of a handle on how to predict with precision what terpenes a finished product will have, and why.

“Concentrations and ratios of cannabinoids are relatively predictable for different strains,” the researchers wrote, “but terpene profiles are often unknown or unpredictable.”

We have a better idea now.

As reported in an article published in the journal Plos One on Wednesday, after studying both the genetic makeup and the terpene count of a variety of hemp called “Finola” and in a cut of Purple Kush, researchers Judith K. Booth, Jonathan E. Page and Jörg Bohlmann believe they’ve identified as many as 30 genes that may predict how a plant produces and synthesizes terpenes.

As the Vancouver Sun reported, the scientists looked at the genomes of cannabis plants to identify genes associated with resulting terpenes, or which genes lead to “terpene biosynthesis,” as they wrote. They believe they’ve found a “cannabis terpene synthases gene family”—that is, a set of genetic markers that determine how a plant produces terpenes—associated with terpenes including mycrene and limoene, the “fruity” and “piny” flavors found in many strains of popular cannabis, including Cookies, GG#4 and O.G. Kush.

What to do with this information, and why should you care?

Consumers can look forward to more and better terpy products, for one. Armed with this information, plant scientists can breed a plant to produce terpenes, or at least know what starting-off seed material will produce an aromatic product.

This is also a major step forward in cannabis genetics.

For a long time, plant breeding was focused on traits that would predict levels of THC and CBD. Now, we know terpenes play a role, along with cannabinoids, in determining a plant’s effect.

After this first step towards predicting a plant’s terpene count, someday, we may be able to expect marijuana producers to make available finely-tuned cannabis, for precisely the effect we’re seeking.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member

mitchgo

I go where the thrills are
Mitch, its so hard to tell....its like trying to read the future in the tea leaves. I guess we will just have to remain vigilant and active in defense of what, I believe, we view as one of our natural rights.

Cheers
I hear ya. Every day something doesn't happen, I think "lot of talk....no action". This administration is so far back on their heels that it's hard to imagine them giving a crap about weed at this point. But...this article gives me no joy. Stranger things....
 

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