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Global: Facebook Waging Weird War On Hemp

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Facebook’s weird and inexplicable history of attacking CBD (hemp oil) pages is well documented. It doesn’t make any sense, but we all know it happens: Facebook routinely shuts down pages for any number of often-unspecified reasons, and evidently CBD falls afoul of one of its labyrinthine, incomprehensible and arrogant policies.

So it was perhaps no surprise that one of the most popular UK CBD pages, Canabidol who produce the CBD Gel-Tab, the UK’s best selling CBD supplement, was last week shut down by Facebook admins.

Facebook is a vital tool for pretty much any business today. If you want to sell anything -- especially if you’re selling a niche product -- a social media presence is vital.

Many businesses, like Canabidol, spend thousands on Facebook advertising. It’s an investment into building an audience of potential customers, so when businesses lost their Facebook pages their profitability takes a hit, especially if they have client information, order details and other vital data stored in the page’s inbox.

Colorado: Denver Cops Combing Craiglist, Facebook For Illegal Marijuana Sales

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Denver Police are combing Craigslist and Facebook to find black market marijuana dealers who illegally promote their products online, law enforcement said on Thursday.

Recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado for adults 21 and older, but Denver Police Department spokesman Doug Schepman claimed pot dealers are circumventing state law by using online marketplaces like Craigslist and Facebook to stimulate sales, reports Andrew Blake at The Washington Times.

The Denver-area Craigslist page on Friday had more than 700 postings where marijuana is listed under the "for sale" category. Thousands of people are using the website to sell pot online, according to Kevin Torres at Fox 31 Denver.

"I think the black market in general is still very active and Craigslist is a perfect example of the active black market," said Lauren Harris, owner of Dynama Consultikng, a cannabis consulting firm that helps dispensaries navigate the rules of Colorado's legal marijuana industry.

Maine: Police Department's Post About Misplaced Marijuana Goes Viral

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

"If you've lost a baggie of marijuana at the Rite Aid store, please give us a call. We would like to speak with you."

This brief statement, which the Madawaska Police Department posted on its Facebook page on Sunday, hasn't led to anyone coming forward, but it had been Liked more than 1.3 million times, generated 756 shares, and triggered a storm of comments.

With no other evidence, there hasn't been any further police investigation, according to Office Jamie Pelletier, who was on duty at the time, reports Tory Jones Bonenfant at the Fiddlehead Focus.

When employees opened the Madawaska Rite Aid pharmacy on Sunday, March 20, they found a small baggie near the cash register and entryway. It contained a couple of marijuana buds.

The department claimed it posted the information to "raise awareness," but also to shed some police-style "humor" on the situation.

The Facebook post stirred up a discussion about drug use, parenting, legal growing and medicinal use, current federal laws, community drug awareness, and police priorities and resources.

Even if no charges arise from the incident, Madawaska Police Chief Carroll Theriault said, it is still good that people are discussing drug use in the community.

California: 420 Games Invade Los Angeles March 26

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<.b>Fitness and Activism Converge To Destigmatize Cannabis Use by Responsible Adults

Created to destigmatize cannabis and the people who use it, The 420 Games athletic event has been held in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park for the past two years. This March, The 420 Games will debut in Los Angeles, the first leg of a four-state, six-city tour.

Participants are "Going the Extra Mile for Cannabis” in this 4.20 mile race that is longer than a typical 5k. The course takes runners from the Santa Monica Pier to Venice Beach and finishes back at the pier. Tickets can be purchased at www.420Games.org.

In the last 18 months, The 420 Games has acquired nearly 60,000 Facebook fans and features an event series that continues to expand. Recently featured in Newsweek magazine, The 420 Games has announced multiple events in California, Colorado, Seattle and Oregon.

The event series will feature marathons, mountain bike races, and stand-up paddleboard competitions, amongst other contests. Future locales include San Francisco, Boulder, Denver, Portland and Seattle.

"Our attendance has doubled from the first event to the second, we expect thousands of people to come run or walk for cannabis respect on March 26th in L.A.," said Jim McAlpine, 420 Games organizer and founder of SnowBomb, a source for ski & snowboard lifestyle and culture. "There is a passion and vibe of camaraderie at these events that is very inspiring to see."

U.S.: Facebook Deletes Medical Marijuana Pages

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Facebook apparently doesn't "Like" medical marijuana. The social media giant this week deleted pages run by three New Jersey dispensaries, and at least a handful of others across the country.

The move surprised dispensary owners and angered patients, reports Susan K. Livio at NJ Advance Media.

"It seems high-handed to simply shut down important resources for sick patients without even saying why or giving organizations a way to ask for reconsideration," said Peter Rosenfeld, one of 5,668 registered medical marijuana patients in New Jersey's program. "What better use of social media than having sites where parents of sick children can ask questions about medication and treatments?"

Facebook media relations personnel refused to answer questions, and referred reporters to the community standards section on Facebook's homepage.

Officials from Breakwater Wellness and Treatment Center in Cranbury, and Compassionate Sciences Alternative Treatment Center in Bellmawr, said their pages were shut down by Facebook on Tuesday. When they tried to use the pages, they got an electronic message reading, "We remove any promotion or encouragement of drug use."

"Your page is currently not visible on Facebook," the message reads. "It looks like content on your page does not follow the Facebook Community Terms and Standards."

Global: Fans Mourn Death of Longtime Cannabis Enthusiast, Music Legend David Bowie

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A lifetime of music came to an end on Sunday, January 10, as music legend David Bowie, 69, died after an 18-month struggle with cancer.

"David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer," the artist's Facebook page announced. "While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief."

Nearly 40 years ago, back on March 21, 1976, Bowie was arrested along with rocker Iggy Pop for possession of about half-a-pound of marijuana, reports Gabrielle Bluestone at Gawker. Bowie, Pop and another man and woman were staying in a three-room suite at the Americana Rochester Hotel when they were raided by vice squad detectives at about 2:25 a.m.

All four were held for a few hours at the Monroe County Jail before they were eached freed on $2,000 bond, reports Dylan Stableford at Yahoo News. Bowie paid everyone's bail.

Colorado: Pesticides Lead To Biggest Marijuana Recall Yet

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

More than 99,500 packages of marijuana-infused Mountain High Suckers were recalled on Wednesday.

It was the largest recall of marijuana or cannabis products yet, and the 15th such recall in 16 weeks, reports Ricardo Baca at The Denver Post.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper in November ordered the destruction of any marijuana tainted with unapproved pesticides, including any products made with that marijuana.

Mountain High Suckers tested positive for imidacloprid and myclobutanil, both of which the Governor has called "threats to public safety" and the state has banned for use on cannabis, reports Michael Harthorne at Newser.

Mountain High Suckers apologized to its customers on Facebook.

"We decided to take a proactive step and submit samples of all of our products for pesticide testing so we can help make sure that our products are safe," the company posted. "Going forward, we will be voluntarily submitting every concentrate batch we make for full pesticide screening before we make products."

The federal Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) hasn't ruled on what pesticides are safe for use on marijuana, since the crop remains illegal at the federal level, being classified as a Schedule I controlled substance.

Kentucky: Sheriff's Office Asks Drug Dealers To Turn In Their Rivals

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Is it the American way? A sheriff's office in Kentucky is encouraging drug dealers to turn in their rivals, counting on old-fashioned greed to help them make arrests.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office on August 3 posted a flyer on its Facebook page, reports the Associated Press. "Attention Drug Dealers," the flyer, which features a marijuana leaf, reads. "Is your Drug Dealing Competition Costing You Money?"

"We offer a free service to help you eliminate your drug competition!" the flyer reads. "Report your Competition to Us!

Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton claimed the post was funny, but the sheriff's department isn't joking.

At the bottom, people are asked to fill out information about the drug dealer they are reporting, including the dealer's name and vehicle.

"It is a great idea and hopefully spurs some more action on our tip line," posted the Franklin County Sheriff Facebook account.

The post had gotten 941 Facebook "Likes" and 3,079 shares as of Friday afternoon.

Sheriff Melton claimed he got the idea from the McIntosh County Sheriff's Office in Georgia.

Missouri: Man Serving Life In Prison For Marijuana Granted Parole

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

In a case of justice long delayed, a Missouri man serving life without parole for marijuana will be released from a maximum security prison, according to the man's son.

Jeff Mizanskey was told Monday morning that he has been granted parole, according to his son, Chris Mizanskey, report Michelle Pekarsky and Shannon O'Brien at Fox4KC.com. Chris said his dad should be released within 10 to 25 days.

According to Chris, his sad called him briefly Monday morning to share the good news. They planned to talk again Monday night.

Jeff Mizanskey has already been behind bars for more than two decades for marijuana offenses. He is now 62 years old.

"My father ... has been in prison since he was 41," reads part of a Change.org petition for Mizanskey's release. "His parents -- my grandparents -- have since passed. While my dad has been trapped behind bars, generations of kids and grandkids have been born into our family who have never even met the man.

"The State of Missouri spends roughly $22,000/year to keep him locked up," the petition reads. "Meanwhile all my dad wants to do is be a productive part of society, work and pay taxes, be with his family. And I want my dad back."

Missiouri Gov. Jay Nixon in May commuted Mizankey's sentence, allowing him to be considered for parole. The hearing was held last week.

Global: National Cannabis Patients Wall Humanizes Patients In 40 Countries

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The National Cannabis Patients Wall, a nonprofit advocacy organization working to humanize and change medical marijuana laws founded in 2014 in Tennessee, now reaches 40 countries around the world and has more than 17,000 members, organizers announced on Tuesday.

"We endeavor to help patients find support, encourage and support activism while educating the public about medical cannabis and its advantages, and raising funds to build display walls to represent patients from every state," explained NCPW founder Dana Arvidson of Nashville, Tennesseee.

“The National Cannabis Patient's Wall not only signifies our solidarity as patients in need of a safer and effective alternative to harsh pharmaceuticals, but also the barriers we must overcome, our current State and Federal laws, which keep us from the medicine we desire and need," Arvidson said.

Arvidson said the group, which maintains a prominent social media presence including on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Google+, aims to help patients in every state and country reverse the prohibition of cannabis this year, "and to end the needless suffering, before more people die."

"We work daily to assist the repeal of marijuana prohibition, opening the door to common sense regulation," Arvidson said.

According to Arvidson, one of the best parts of NCPW is letting patients know they aren't facing illness and often legal persecution all alone.

"We provide patients with a place to gather with others who feel the same way," she said. "It truly helps when a patient knows they are not along in their struggle.

Utah: Sick Mormon Mother Pleads For Legalized Medical Marijuana In Video

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A Mormon mother's YouTube video pleading for legalization of medical marijuana in Utah went viral on the Internet on Wednesday.

In the video, Tenille Farr of Spanish Fork tells how she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma last summer while she was pregnant with her fifth son, Gabe, reports Kristen Moulton at The Salt Lake Tribune.

The video, posted by the Illegally Healed website and on its Facebook page, got hundreds of shares within hours on Wednesday.

Illegally Healed is for personal stories of people who have used medicinal cannabis, according to Angela Bacca, media and public relations director for the Drug Policy Project of Utah. That group is working with Illegally Healed to post stories about Utah residents who want to be able to use medical cannabis; Farr's was the first such video.

Farr was also one of the Utah residents who shared their stories with lawmakers debating SB 259, a medical marijuana bill, during the recent session. The bill, proposed by state Sen. Mark Madsen (R-Saratoga Springs), would have legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes, but the Utah Senate rejected it 14-15.

Indiana: First Church of Cannabis Approved After 'Religious Freedom' Law Passed

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Turning around a new law originally intended as a tool of intolerance against gays, the First Church of Cannabis Inc. has been approved by Indiana's secretary of state after the state's "religious freedom" legislation came into effect last week.

Church founder Bill Levin said he filed the paperwork in direct response to Gov. Mike Pence's signing of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law last Thursday, reports Sarah Pulliam Bailey of The Washington Post. Secretary of State Connie Lawson approved the church as a religious corporation with the stated intent "to start a church based on love and understanding with compassion for all."

Cannabis is listed as a sacrament in the church's doctrine, according to Levin, who set he was setting up a church hierarchy. Levin wrote out the new "Diety Dozen," a list of suggestions for better living comparable to the 10 Commandments.

The church will grow hemp, he said, though it will not buy or sell marijuana.

"If someone is smoking in our church, God bless them," Levin said. "This is a church to show a proper way of life, a loving way to live life. We are called 'Cannataerians.'"

Colorado: 9-Year-Old Girl Seizure-Free With Medical Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Some may see medical marijuana as a long shot in Texas, but don't tell that to nine-year-old Alexis Bortell. Alexis plans to be the poster girl who gets medicinal cannabis legalized in the Lone Star State.

"I think it should be legal in Texas because every child should have a normal life," Alexis said, reports Robert Wheeler at NewsFix.

For most of her life, Alexis has had to deal with daily epileptic seizures. Her parents were advised by a specialist and doctors that medicinal cannabis might help. But getting ahold of it was another matter in Texas.

"We've always said if Alexis' health or life was in danger we would leave," said her father, Dean Bortell. After one particularly bad seizure last month, the Bortells reluctantly decided to move to Colorado, where Alexis now has access to the medicine she needs.

The Team Alexis Facebook page shows an amazing transformation. "Since the first dose, she has not had a single symptom or seizure and we're on day 22 now," Dean said.

Alexis' dad said the family hasn't stopped trying to get medical marijuana legalized in Texas. This session, the Texas Legislature has an unprecedented 11 marijuana bills.

Alexis and her family said they would love to come home to Texas, but can't do that without the passage of the House medical marijuana bill they support.

U.S.: Marijuana Selfies Website Offers Cash, Prizes

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Howard R. Baer and Papa Baer Productions on Friday announced the launch of a new, improved MarijuanaSelfies.com web site, where individuals can post marijuana related “selfie” pictures and win cash and other prizes weekly.

Marijuana Selfies originally launched on Facebook in May of 2014, and now has 16,000 “likes” on its Facebook page.

Selfies that are posted on MarijuanaSelfies.com get rated by other users and each week the three highest-rated selfies win prizes ranging from marijuana-related clothing to accessories.

Users are also able to purchase MarijuanaSelfies.com apparel and participate in nationwide events.

Cash prizes of $175 to the 3 top vote-getters are given out monthly, while prizes of Marijuana Selfies clothing, cell phone covers, etc. are given to the weekly winners.

“The marijuana community is making its way into the mainstream, and through Facebook and other accounts, I’ve found that it is a very tight knit, fun loving, and friendly community," said founder Howard R. Baer.

"I thought it would be great for the community to have its own special place to post pictures, so we created MarijuanaSelfies.com.”

Marijuana Selfies Facebook Page

California: Green Cures Announces Merger, Launches First Online Ad Campaign

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Green Cures & Botanical Distribution Inc. on Wednesday announced that it intends to merge with Green Cures Inc. ("GCI"), a California corporation and the major controlling shareholder of Green Cures. Green Cures management also announced that following the planned merger, the Company intends to continue its strategic focus on the development of concepts related to nutritional, sports, functional beverage, hemp-infused, and body care products.

GCI owns the brand Green Magic, a Registered Mark, and the brand Green Cures, a Registered Mark.

Green Cures management noted that becoming a fully reporting company has been one of management's top priorities, and if successful, management said it anticipates that this strategic merger will enable Green Cures to become fully a reporting company with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, following which management plans to seek to have the Company's shares traded on the OTC QB or other over-the-counter market.

GCI management said it will seek during the next approximately two-and-a-half months to obtain the necessary audited financial statements. Green Cures management said it anticipates that at closing, GCI will transfer all of its intellectual property and registered marks to Green Cures.

Management of Green Cures said it plans to complete the merger and become fully reporting during the first quarter of the year 2015, after which the Company said it will seek to have its shares accepted for trading on the OTC QB or other over-the-counter market.

Oregon: Moms from Oregon, Colorado and Washington Endorse Measure 91 Marijuana Legalization

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Moms from Oregon, Washington and Colorado on Friday gathered at the Yes on 91 headquarters to show their support for Measure 91, which would regulate, legalize and tax marijuana for adults 21 and older in Oregon.

“My top priority is the safety of my children,” said Leah Mauer, who founded a Facebook group called Moms for Yes on 91. “The current approach is failing to keep them safe.

"A better approach is to take marijuana away from illegal dealers and cartels and put it behind the counter at a regulated, inspected and properly zoned store,” Mauer said.

Colorado and Washington are already experiencing successful results from their approval of the regulated use of marijuana:

• Teen use and access to marijuana is down in Colorado. (Source: US News & World Report, Aug. 7
• Arrests are down for marijuana violations. (Source: The Denver Post, Jan. 14)

U.S.: LoudCrush Wants To Be Facebook AND Singles Site For Marijuana Users

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Nobody can accuse the company behind LoudCrush of thinking small. In fact, it seems they want to become the Facebook, the Twitter, AND the Instagram of the cannabis world -- oh, and did we mention the Match.com and eHarmony of weed, for good measure?

Crown Baus Capital Corp, "a global acquisition-based conglomerate targeting five primary industries: high-tech incubation, drug development, entertainment/media, education, and financial services," has announced it's in the "final stage of acquiring niche social and dating app, LoudCrush, which the Company intends to complete with an all equity based transaction by issuing five (5) million dollars worth of its 144 restricted common shares."

The company said "The features of LoudCrush combine functionality similar to popular apps like Facebook, Tinder and Vine, which allow users to post videos and photos, to search for friends and singles in their areas, and to chat and discreetly socialize. Users can even send gifts."

Discreetly is a key word, since this is the cannabis community we're talking about. "Most cannabis consumers avoid posting about marijuana on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter because their families and coworkers are on these networks, and cannabis-inclusive profiles are often deleted by mainstream social networks," said Drue Young, co-founder of LoudCrush and vice president of business development at Crown Baus Capital Corp.

Colorado: The Green Joint Recreational Marijuana Dispensary Opens In Glenwood Springs

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The Green Joint, a recreational marijuana dispensary in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, opened its doors to the pot-loving masses on August 1. Owned by locals Cheryl and Dan Sullivan, The Green Joint is the third recreational marijuana shop to open in Glenwood Springs since recreational weed became legal January 1.

The Sullivans have served the greater Roaring Fork Valley for the last five years with Green Medicine Wellness, a medical marijuana dispensary, and now the Green Joint and Green Medicine Wellness operate out of the same appropriately green Victorian in the heart of Glenwood Springs.

“Bringing high quality recreational products to the masses has been a dream of ours for a long time,” said Dan. “We’ve seen visitors from France, the UK, and all over the U.S. in the short time that we’ve been open. It’s been incredible to see the excitement on the face of every customer that has walked through our door.”

Located at 1030 Grand Avenue in Glenwood Springs, The Green Joint offers a central
location and a discreet, comfortable atmosphere, according to Sullivan. Recreational patrons are greeted upon entry and can browse the marijuana selection upstairs in a relaxed setting (medical customers stay on the main level).

Guests can make themselves at home on couches if there is a wait, and everyone from weed veterans to weed novices are encouraged to ask questions and learn about favorite strains and different offerings at The Green Joint.

Peter McWilliams Still Inspires Activists: Today Would Have Been His 65th Birthday

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The cannabis movement has plenty of heroes, but none are more inspiring than the great Peter McWilliams -- a man of fame and influence who dared tell the truth about medical marijuana, before it was fashionable to do so. McWilliams paid the ultimate price, dying after the federal government forbade him to continue using cannabis to control his nausea. He would have been 65 years old today.

McWilliams was many things: author, publisher, photographer, poet and activist, among others. But one of the most important things McWilliams was, was an inspiration. His courage and charisma were and continue to be a source of strength to many who are struggling with illness and with the injustice of our marijuana laws.

He had a remarkable career starting in the 1970s, writing more than 40 books, including works on depression, losing a loved one, computers, and poetry. Several of Peter's books made The New York Times Top 10 nonfiction bestseller list.

Peter's 1993 book Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do remains one of the greatest affirmations of the right of citizens to act and live in any peaceful, honest lifestyle, including their inalienable right to drugs and especially cannabis. It is regarded by many as a "libertarian Bible," with its emphasis on personal freedom and responsibility.

In 1995, Peter was diagnosed with depression, after having suffered from it all his life. Along with coauthor Harold H. Bloomfield, M.D. -- who treated Peter for his depression -- he'd authored How To Heal Depression the previous year.

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