Hemp News, a compilation of international news stories about hemp and cannabis, is a public service of Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH). All material included herein is provided free of charge for political and educational purposes under the US federal "Fair Use Doctrine". This material may only be used for political and educational purposes without express written consent.

Utah: Gubernatorial Candidate Unveils Medical Marijuana Plan

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

In the wake of his wife pleading guilty to a misdemeanor marijuana charge, Utah gubernatorial candidate Mike Weinholtz has rolled out a plan to legalize medical marijuana.

"There have been people suffering long enough, and we know this would help those people, so now is the time," Weinholtz said on Thursday.

His wife has said she uses marijuana to deal with chronic pain. Feds declined to prosecute her case and sent it to the Tooele County Attorney. On Tuesday, she pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor pot possession charge.

“It's bigger than just my wife and my family,” Weinholtz said. “There are thousands of Utahns that are struggling with these many different types of conditions.”

Weinholdts's plan includes: -Legalizing medical marijuana, with reasonable safeguards.

-Funding pain management programs, to cut down on opioid abuse.

-Expanding education and police department supply of Naloxone, used to save drug overdose patients.

"The increase in opioid addiction in the state has been dramatic, has been 400 percent since the year 2000, and medical cannabis would help with the reduction of opioids as well," Weinholtz said.

Pennsylvania: Ex-Philly Mayoral Candidate Cited For Pot At Airport


By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Former Philadelphia mayoral candidate Sam Katz was recently cited at the airport after security officers found a small amount of marijuana in his luggage.

Katz told the Philadelphia Inquirer he was at Philadelphia International Airport on Thursday morning, heading to Florida for a weekend fishing trip. He said he hasn’t smoked marijuana in years and thought the trip would be a good opportunity to do it again.

Katz said he put pot in his suitcase and the TSA agents found it as he passed through security. He says the officers seized the pot and gave him a $25 ticket. He also missed his flight and had to make alternate travel arrangements.

He said it’s not “one of the smart moves” he’s made.

Katz ran for mayor three times in the 90s and early 2000s.

Arizona: Jim McMahon Appears In Ad For Marijuana Legalization


By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon has appeared in a political advertisement supporting legalizing marijuana in Arizona.

McMahon currently lives in Scottsdale, and says he has used marijuana to treat severe headaches and other lingering effects from his days playing in the NFL.

"When I had my first injury, that's when I used my first painkiller and I was using them daily pretty much the rest of my career. It takes its toll; taking too many of those things," he says in the ad for Proposition 205. "Once I retired I got rid of those, I moved out here to Arizona, I got my medical card, I've been using marijuana ever since. Someone like me can afford to be a medical marijuana patient, but others aren't so lucky. Marijuana should be available to all adults who need it. I'm voting yes on Prop 205 and hope you will too."

McMahon's ad first appeared during the "Thursday Night Football" game between the Bears and Packers at Lambeau Field last night.

A recent poll of registered voters found 50 percent of them favored Prop 205. About 42 percent opposed it and 8 percent were undecided.

California: Actor From Famous Anti-drug Ad Now Pro Marijuana

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The actor from the famous (or perhaps infamous) "This is your brain on drugs" public service announcements now says he's pro-marijuana. Actor John Roselius told Rooster magazine he has already voted yes on California's Adult Use Of Marijuana act, which seeks to legalize marijuana for recreational adult use.

Five states in all will be voting on marijuana legalization this November. Recreational pot use is already legal in four states and the District of Columbia. The latest Gallup poll shows that 60 percent of Americans favor cannabis legalization.

Roselius eventually became a star in the TV show "JAG". He says he used to smoke pot on the 60s and admitted he did the commercial because he needed the money.

Although the iconic commercial ran for fourteen years, Roselius only received $360 in payment. It's ironic that that one of the strongest voices in the war against drugs is now speaking out in favor of pot legalization.


U.S.: Leaked Documents Expose Why The FDA Says Marijuana Is Not Medicine

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

New uncovered documents give an insider's look at why the federal government does not recognize marijuana as medicine despite the reality that 25 states have legalized the plant for medical use so far. The 118-page document contains memos between the DEA's chief, two FDA officials, the governors of Rhode Island and Washington and several other government officials.

According to the documents, one of the reasons the FDA came to their decision is because “Individuals are taking the substance on their own initiative rather than on the basis of the medical advice from a practitioner licensed by law to administer such substances,” officials wrote in a summary.

The Drug Enforcement Administration rejected two petitions to reschedule marijuana last August. The DEA ruled that the marijuana that millions of Americans rely on in 25 states has “no currently accepted medical use.”

Oregon: 2 Injured In Explosion At Astoria Marijuana-extraction Business


By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Two people were injured in Astoria, Oregon in an explosion and fire at a marijuana extraction company.

The Daily Astorian reported that three people were working at Higher Level Concentrates when an explosion occurred Wednesday night, sparking a fire. All three people escaped but two suffered burn injuries and were taken to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland.

Astoria Deputy Police Chief Eric Halverson said the cause of the fire is under investigation.

U.S.: Medical Marijuana Doesn't Cause More Teenage Stoners

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Researchers say that legalizing medical marijuana doesn't make more teenagers into stoners.

The study was published online in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. It found that people over 25 were slightly more likely to have used marijuana in the past month after their state legalized it for medical purposes. That number grew to 7.15 percent from 5.87 percent of that group.

This is the first study to look at how medical marijuana laws have affected actual use. Columbia University researchers used annual survey data from people who responded to the National Survey of Drug Use and Health between 2004 and 2013. This includes data from over 50,000 people each year, in all 50 states, and asks if someone has used marijuana in the past month. It didn’t ask whether it was for recreational or medical purposes.

The study showed that legalizing medical marijuana didn’t make teens think the drug was more readily available. “Before medical marijuana laws changed there was a concern that this type of legislation could potentially increase recreational marijuana use in adolescents and adult populations,” said study co-author Silvia Martins, an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia, in a university statement. “At least for now, we do not see an increase in use among adolescents.”

Massachusetts and Nevada: Legalization Campaigns Roll Out TV Ads On Same Day

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The Nevada Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, and the Massachusetts’ campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, both unveiled new television ads Tuesday in support of their initiatives to legalize recreational cannabis.

“Our opponents are attempting to scare Nevadans into opposing Question 2?, says Joe Brezny, a spokesperson the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.

“What our opponents would like the public to forget is that our current system poses the greatest danger to our communities. We currently have criminals profiting from selling marijuana on streets to people of all ages.”

Brezny continues; “They draw teens in with marijuana and offer them other drugs. We need to take marijuana out of the criminal market and place it in regulated stores that are prohibited from selling to minors. Regulating marijuana will make Nevada communities safer.”

“Doctors and patients shouldn’t fear that they are committing a crime by discussing marijuana as a treatment option”, the Yes on 4 campaign said in a press release, which focused on the medical qualities of marijuana.

“Numerous scientific studies have shown that marijuana is an effective alternative to many prescription drugs, including opioids. But our current laws make it difficult for patients to access marijuana for serious medical issues.”

U.S.: 60 Percent Of Americans Say Pot Should Be Legal

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By Derrick Stanleyout
Hemp News

With recreational marijuana use up for legalization on the ballot this election in several states, a new Gallup poll shows that support for legal pot is at its highest in nearly 50 years.

The poll found that 60 percent of Americans now believe that marijuana use should be legal for adults. Gallup has been asking the question for 47 years, and that is the highest level of support seen in that time.

Gallup first surveyed Americans in 1969 to see whether they thought marijuana should be legal; only 12 percent said yes. Support during the 1980s and 1990s was steady at about 25 percent. But support for pot legalization has been on the rise since 2000.

Five states are voting on marijuana legalization this November 8: Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada. Recreational marijuana use is currently legal in four states and the District of Columbia.

Support for legalizing marijuana has increased more among younger people than those in older age groups, Gallup said. From 2005 to 2016, support for legalizing marijuana increased 33 percentage points among adults ages 18 to 34, compared to 26 percentage points among those ages 35 to 54, and 16 percentage points among those ages 55 and older. Currently, 77 percent of adults ages 18 to 34 support legalizing marijuana, compared with 45 percent of adults ages 55 and older.

Ohio: Wendy's Customer Finds Marijuana In Her Daughter's French Fries


By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Ohio resident Dezeray Risner says she got a little something extra in the kid's meal she bought. She claims that the kid's meal she bought for her four-year-old daughter recently contained marijuana.

She said her daughter complained that the food was "nasty", so she told her to spit it out in her hand. She claimed her daughter spit out a blunt along with the fries.

She called the manager of the Huber Heights restaurant where she bought the meal to complain. She filed a police report after that proved to be unhelpful.

The officer working with Risner believes her story, and wrote in the report that the “leafy green substance” found in the bag of French fries smelled strongly of marijuana. The officer got permission to search the Wendy’s location, but was unable to find any marijuana on the premises.

Risner’s daughter took a drug test at the local hospital, and Risner is awaiting the results. Though investigations are ongoing, local authorities acknowledged that it’s unlikely they’ll be able to prove the marijuana originated from the Wendy’s restaurant.

“We’re certainly aware of the claim that was reported three days ago and we’re actively investigating it,” a Wendy’s spokesperson told Fortune in an email. “We have taken this situation very seriously, and have been in touch with the customer.”

California: Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom Explains Why He Supports Legalizing Marijuana

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

California’s Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom participated in a one-hour meeting with the Press Democrat editorial board on October 11. He admitted that there he doesn’t like pot, and has never used it, but still sees a lot of benefits to be gained from legalizing cannabis through Proposition 64. “I’m not pro-marijuana. I’m just vehemently anti-prohibition,” he said to the board.

Newsom began working on a committee in 2013 that was formed specifically to study the possibilities of marijuana legalization in California. “We began our work by saying ‘we don’t believe this should be California’s next Gold Rush,” he mentions about the committee’s original goals, explaining that legalizing marijuana shouldn’t be mainly about generating revenue. “This is not what we should be doing with a drug that is of concern, particularly for our children and youth and as it relates to public safety. We shouldn’t be promoting it as a government entity and revenue generation.”

He told the Press Democrat that Prop 64 will protect and preserve the growing high-quality cannabis, rather than resulting in “the cannibalization and monopolization, large multi-national folks coming and destroying that,” Newsom stated.

Indiana: Large Majority Of Voters Support Legalizing Medical Marijuana


By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A new WTHR/HPI Indiana Poll has found that a vast majority of likely Indiana voters are in support of legalizing medical marijuana in the state. The poll focused specifically on likely voters and strongly indicates that an initiative effort to legalize marijuana as a medicine would be approved with overwhelming support.

According to the poll, 73% of likely voters in the state are in support of medical marijuana. Only 25% are opposed to the move, and want to keep medical narijuana illegal.

Only 2% of likely voters were found to be undecided.

The survey found Democrats to be the most likely to support medical cannabis with 82%, support followed by independents at 77%. Support among Republicans was lower, but still a strong majority was in support at 59%.

There are lawmakers in the state who are working to make a change in the law. Last year Indiana State Senator filed Senate Bill 284, a proposal to legalize medical cannabis, including personal cultivation and dispensaries. Unfortunately the measure failed to advance, but the conversation is already underway.

Utah: LDS Leaders Ask Mormons To Oppose Legalization Of Recreational Marijuana


By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The LDS Church's First Presidency is asking the church's members in three western states to oppose bills that would legalize recreational marijuana.

In letters sent Wednesday to Arizona, California, and Nevada, Church President Thomas S Monson and his counselors said, "We urge church members to let their voices be heard in opposition to the legalization of recreational marijuana use."

"Drug abuse in the United States is at epidemic proportions," the First Presidency noted, "and the dangers of marijuana to public health and safety are well documented. Recent studies have shed light particularly on the risks that marijuana use poses to brain development in youth. The accessibility of recreational marijuana in the home is also a danger to children."

Four states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana use for adults over 21. On Nov. 8, Nevada residents will vote on Question 2, Arizona residents will consider Proposition 205 and Californians will decide on Proposition 64. Maine and Massachusetts also have recreational marijuana on voters' ballots next month.

Maine: Governor LePage Warns Against 'Deadly' Marijuana In Over-the-top Video

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Maine Governor Paul LePage released a false and misleading video Thursday attempting to convince voters to vote "no" on "Question 1", the state's marijuana legalization referendum up for a vote on the upcoming ballot.

“Question 1 is not just bad for Maine, it can be deadly,” LePage warns, before falsely claiming traffic fatalities have gone up in Colorado since the state legalized recreational pot.

He makes a claim that “people addicted to marijuana are three times more likely to be addicted to heroin.” He predicts a future where children and pets die from accidentally consuming “marijuana snacks,” and in which drug culture impinges on “schools, daycare centers and churches.”

“They will smoke weed and sell pot at state fairs,” he adds. “Businesses could not fire employees for using marijuana.”

According to a recent report from the Drug Policy Alliance, marijuana has had no noticeable effect on traffic deaths in either Colorado or Washington.

And marijuana has been proven to reduce opioid deaths. In the 23 states where medical marijuana was legal in 2014, there were nearly 25 percent fewer deaths from opioid overdoses, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Maine State Rep. Diane Russell (D) of Portland believes the video could actually help the campaign for legalization.

Utah: State To File Marijuana Charges Against Wife Of Gubernatorial Candidate


By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Federal prosecutors will not file criminal charges against the wife of Mike Weinholtz, Democratic Candidate for Governor of Utah. A state prosecutor will take the case instead.

"We recieved a call from the U.S. Attorney's Office, asking us if we would take the case on a conflict," said Gary Searle, Chief Deputy Tooele County Attorney. "The district attorney in Salt Lake evidently is friends with the Weinholtz's or has a social relationship with Mr. and Mrs. Weinholtz."

Mike Weinholtz, currently running for Governor against incumbent Gary Herbert, made a surprising announcement during the state's Democratic Convention in April. He declared that his wife, Donna Weinholtz, was being investigated for using medical marijuana. A statement from his campaign said she "uses marijuana to seek relief from chronic neck, back and knee pain brought on by arthritis."

"I thought it was necessary to be open and honest with the delegates," he said at the time. "I thought it would be dishonest if I didn't disclose it."

On Wednesday a statement from the U.S. Attorney's office read: "After reviewing the case carefully and consulting with the Tooele County Attorney, we determined that the best venue for the case would be on the county level rather than pursuing a federal case."

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