Marijuana

Tennessee: Loretta Lynn Admits To Trying Marijuana At 84

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Loretta Lynn stood up for her pot-smoking friend Willie Nelson recently in an interview with People.

In addition, the legendary singer/songwriter admitted to trying marijuana herself for the first time at age 84.

"[Willie is] one of the greatest people in the whole world. I know he smokes pot, by my goodness, there's a lot [of] people doing a lot worse than smoking pot," Lynn said.

She said that she had tried marijuana for the first time a few months ago.

"I got glaucoma and they gave me one of these cigarettes. I took one smoke off of it and it hit me right here in the chest. I like to have died! Glaucoma is just going to have to take over."

Lynn was hospitalized in August after taking a fall, but she's not slowing down.

"They tell me to rest all the time," she said. "But I'm not tired!"

North Carolina: Greensboro Woman Receives 4 Pounds Of Marijuana In Mail by Mistake

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The Greensboro Police Department says it has seen an influx of marijuana deliveries by mail since it was legalized in California. Mrs. Watson of Greensboro found this out first-hand Monday afternoon when 4 pounds of marijuana were delivered to her home by mistake.

“I just cannot believe that someone would send that amount of drugs to my house! I just cannot believe it,” Watson told WFMY News2. “I'm very frightened. I still am a little.”

Watson said she was decorating her Christmas tree and expecting her husband home from work when she saw the package.

“I glanced out the side door because I always look out before I open the door,” said Watson. “And I noticed this big package was sitting here on my porch. So I opened the box up and my first thought was somebody was sending me a Christmas gift.”

The package was addressed to Watson's house, but it had someone else's name on it.

“I unwrapped it and there was this big round ball of something that was in a vacuum sealed bag with duct tape on it and then I started to wonder,” said Watson.

Police said that amount had a street value of $2,000 to $6,000, depending on the potency.

U.S.: 4 States Most Likely To Legalize Recreational Marijuana Next

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Legalized recreational marijuana has been a big news headline ever since the Election Day, when the number of states with legal pot going from 4 to 8. Several other states are getting closer to seeing legal recreational pot legalized, with some being closer than others.

In Arizona, Proposition 205 was defeated by a margin of just 2 percent. Cannabis advocacy groups encouraged by the close defeat will focus their attention on remaining hesitant voters. They expect to see legal recreational weed passed very soon. California just passed Prop 64, but similar measures in 2010, 2012, and 2014 were defeated. Oregon voted “No” on legal cannabis in 2012, then “Yes” in 2014.

Recreational marijuana becomes officially legal in Massachusetts on December 15, 2016, allowing adults to possess as much cannabis as they can grow. Otherwise, individuals can have up to 1 ounce, including 5 grams of concentrate. Neighboring states Rhode Island and Vermont are likely to follow suit, since citizens of those states could easily cross the border to take advantage of legal pot in Massachusetts. Both states are interested in the tax revenue the legal cannabis industry generates.

Massachusetts: Renters May Not Be Able To Use Marijuana At Home

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Marijuana becomes legal in Massachusetts on December 15 for adults over 21 years of age. Possession of up to one ounce will be allowed outside of your residence.

People can posses up to 10 ounces in their residence, and will be allowed to grow up to six plants per person, with a maximum of 12 per household.

But if you're a renter, like 829,000 other Massachusetts citizens, you should not expect the right to possess or consume marijuana in a leased property without your landlord's permission.

"Some landlords might be fine with it, and others would say absolutely not," says Adam Fine, an attorney who helped craft the marijuana legalization law that was on the November 2016 ballot.

Massachusetts may have legalized pot, but it remains illegal under federal law. Landlords who deal with federal funding -- such as Section 8 housing – have to comply with federal law.

"No smoking" policies inside buildings would remain in effect, too.

Landlords can ban smoking, growing, production and displays of marijuana on any premises they own or manage.

"The bottom line is people need to understand it's not their property, it's someone else's and they have lease obligations and this is something the landlord can restrict," Fine said.

Tenants in affordable housing should be careful, according to Fine.

California: Sacramento City Council Approves Marijuana Cultivation Ordinance

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The Sacramento City Council voted late Tuesday night after much debate, approving an ordinance allowing the licensed cultivation of marijuana within the city limits.

The meeting was well attended by local residents, who joined council members in the debate.

The ordinance passed by a 5-3 vote, and will allow growers to apply for conditional use licenses to legally grow cannabis in the city.

The ordinance passage comes less than a month after Proposition 64 was passed by California voters, making recreational marijuana use legal for adults over 21.

Councilman Jay Schenirer created the ordinance and urged other council members to approve the plan, saying it was a necessary step needed to ensure the city regulated the industry and protected local communities.

“What we are doing I think, is choosing to be responsible,” Schenirer said. “Choosing to regulate an industry that currently exists, and as some of the speakers said, is not going away.”

Council members Allen Warren, Angelique Ashby and Jeff Harris made up the three "no" votes, with Harris calling the plan "half-baked". They called for more detailed criteria about where cultivation businesses would be allowed.

“I just don’t see this equation turning out well for the communities across our city,” Ashby said.

England: Madonna's 16-year-old Son Arrested For Marijuana Possession

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Madonna's son, Rocco Ritchie, was arrested for marijuana possession in London nearly two months ago, ET just confirmed.

The Metropolitan Police in London released a statement saying that Ritchie, 16, was detained by officers from the Camden police department on September 28th.

Ritchie was dealt with by Camden borough's Youth Offending Team at a North London police station before being released on bail.

Rocco has been in the middle of a long-running custody battle between Madonna, 58, and director father Guy Ritchie, 48. A judge allowed Madonna to dismiss her custody case in New York City and settle out of court in September.

Virginia: First Hemp Crop Harvested In Decades

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Virginia is harvesting its first hemp crop grown since the plant was banned 70 years ago.

“People think it was tobacco that started this colony, but it was also hemp,” Jason Amatucci, founder and executive director of the Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition explained to the Richmond Times.

Virginia farmers were actually required to grow hemp during the Colonial Era, some of which was used to provide fiber for the Royal Navy's rope, according to Republican Delegate Joseph R. Yost, a sponsor of Virginia’s hemp research bill. “It’s funny that we had to pass legalization just to do research,” Yost said.

Virginia, along with 30 other states, began establishing hemp research programs after Congress passed the farm bill in 2014, allowing the Virginia Department of Agriculture to license farmers to grow industrial hemp for research purposes.

“It seemed far-fetched to me,” Yost admitted, “But the more research and study you do about it, the more you see the possibilities.” Yost is a proponent for the economic-boosting potential of industrial hemp, especially in states hurt by the loss of jobs in the dying tobacco industry.

Tennessee: Attorney General Says Cities Cannot Enact Marijuana Decriminalization

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Th Tennessee Office of the Attorney General issued an opinion this week that recently approved marijuana decriminalization ordinances in Memphis and Nashville conflict with state drug laws, and therefore may not be enforced.

City council members in both cities voted this fall to impose local ordinances giving municipal police the option of issuing citations for minor marijuana offenses in lieu of making criminal arrests.

The opinion reads, "[T]he ordinance[s] cannot stand because [they] impede the inherent discretion and responsibility of district attorneys general to prosecute violations of the Drug Control Act."

The opinion was requested by state Republican senators Brian Kelsey and Ron Lollar.

Under Tennessee state law, first-offense marijuana possession violations are classified as a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.

Singapore: Two Convicted Drug Traffickers Executed

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Two convicted drug traffickers were executed at Changi Prison Complex on Friday (Nov 18), said the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB). They had made eleventh-hour appeals which were thrown out by the apex court.

The two men were 31-year-old Malaysian national Devendran A/L Supramaniam and 38-year-old Nigerian national Chijioke Stephen Obioha.

Devendran was convicted of importing 83.36g of diamorphine into Singapore and sentenced to death on July 29, 2014. The Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA) provides for the death penalty if the amount of diamorphine, or pure heroin, imported is 15g or more.

His appeal against conviction and sentence was dismissed by the Court of Appeal last year on May 5. On Thursday, Devendran’s counsel filed two criminal motions in court for a stay of execution and to re-open his appeal. The criminal motions were heard and dismissed by the Court of Appeal on the same day.

Obioha was convicted of trafficking in 2.6kg of cannabis and sentenced to death on Dec 30, 2008. The MDA provides for the death penalty if the amount of cannabis trafficked is 500g or more.

Obioha’s counsel filed a criminal motion in court on Wednesday for a stay of execution and to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment. The criminal motion was heard and dismissed by the Court of Appeal on Thursday.

Maine: Marijuana Legalization Opponents Request Recount Of Votes

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Opponents of marijuana legalization in Maine have filed a formal request for a recount of votes after the recent passage of Question 1 to legalize pot for adults over 21 in the state.

The recount request was filed at Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap's office, according to WCSH6.

Question 1 would legalize marijuana cultivation and possession by adults over the age of 21; the measure passed by 4,400 votes.

Petitions seeking recounts were turned in Wednesday afternoon to the Secretary of State’s Office. State officials must verify that at least 100 signatures on each petition came from registered voters who cast ballots in the Nov. 8 election before a recount is scheduled.

Alysia Melnick of the Yes on 1 campaign said the recount is unlikely to change the outcome, given the margin and the accuracy of the state’s voting machines.

“With thousands of votes in the margin, the recount is not going to be successful,” she said, “and it’s unfortunate the opposition would go against the will of the people and use taxpayer dollars for a recount that will not change the outcome.”

Paul McCarrier, president of Legalize Maine, agreed there is no way a recount will change the outcome. “I am disappointed that the ‘No’ camp would waste hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars when they have clearly lost,” he said.

Rhode Island: State May Follow Massachusetts And Legalize Marijuana

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimonda said Tuesday that she's planning to take a serious look at moving to legalize marijuana for adults in the state following the passing of Massachusetts' pot legalization measure.

Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello also expressed interest in moving to legalize the plant, saying he’s ready to take up legislation next year because marijuana will become readily available to Rhode Islanders traveling across the Massachusetts border.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio has also announced plans to pursue pot legalization for adults in Rhode Island.

Although recreational marijuana becomes legal in Massachusetts on December 15, retail sales won’t begin until at least 2018.

Japan: Actress Saya Takagi Arrested In Okinawa After Drug Raid

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Former actress Saya Takagi was arrested Tuesday at her home in Okinawa Prefecture for alleged possession of pot, the health ministry said. Takagi ran an unsuccessful campaign in the July Upper House election on a platform to legalize medical marijuana.

Takagi, 53, whose real name is Ikue Masado, claimed the confiscated substance found "was not hers", the Japan Times reported. Marijuana is illegal and banned in Japan.

Narcotics officers from the ministry’s Kanto-Koshinetsu health bureau had searched her home, car and the inn she operates on Ishigaki Island. They allegedly found and seized several grams of dried marijuana as well as rolling papers and pipes. Officers claimed the pipes were used

Takagi debuted as an actress in 1982 and has been active as an environmentalist for several years. Originally from Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, she ran for a seat representing Tokyo as a candidate for Shinto Kaikaku (New Renaissance Party), pledging to work on legalizing use of marijuana for medical purposes if elected.

Texas: Legislators File Bills To Decriminalize Marijuana

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Less than a week after several other states approved measures to weaken restrictions on marijuana, Texas lawmakers are aiming to do the same.

On Monday, the first day of bill filing for the 2017 legislative session, Texas legislators submitted several proposals to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. Bills were submitted that would create a specialty court for certain first-time marijuana possession offenders, reduce criminal penalties for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana and re-classify convictions for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

On Nov. 8, voters in California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada approved recreational marijuana initiatives, adding them to a growing list of states — including Alaska,Colorado, Oregon, and Washington — that have already approved the drug for recreational use. Voters in Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota also approved medicinal marijuana initiatives.

The National Conference of State Legislators reports that 28 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico now allow comprehensive public medical marijuana and cannabis programs.

Arizona: Proposition 205 Campaign Concedes Marijuana-legalization Loss

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Arizona's Prop 205 campaign finally conceded Tuesday afternoon, ending the high hopes of hundreds of thousands of residents that the state would legalize marijuana.

From the first voting results reported, the initiative's future looked bleak. The Associated Press called it a "no" vote later that night. But marijuana supporters and election watchers remained hopeful, knowing that the final votes could make a difference, like they did in the 2010 election, when legal medical marijuana was approved.

California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada voters legalized recreational marijuana. Voters in North Dakota and Florida said "yes" to medical marijuana. But Arizona's Prop 205 was rejected 52-48.

The initiative would have given adults 21 and older the freedom to possess and use up to an ounce of dried marijuana, up to five grams of concentrated resin like hashish, and up to six live plants with a maximum of 12 per household. It would also have created a system of retail stores, giving preference to existing, nonprofit medical-marijuana dispensary companies. The campaign submitted about 259,000 signatures to the state in July to make the ballot.

Here's the entire statement just released from J.P. Holyoak, chair of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Arizona and a local dispensary operator:

Australia: Providers Can Now Apply To Grow Medical Marijuana

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Medical marijuana providers may now apply to grow medical cannabis in Australia.

New legislation passed earlier this year licensed cultivation and production of cannabis for medicinal and scientific purposes. A vote on October 30 opened up the cultivation of medical marijuana in Australia.

“Until now, it has been difficult for patients to access medicinal cannabis products from overseas sources,” Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley said.

New medical marijuana cultivators will have to comply with a set of legislations and classify their harvest with the Therapeutic Goods Administration. States and territories will also retain control over licensing and product output.

In order to qualify, cultivators must also pass “strict fit and proper persons requirements and other legislative tests relating to security.”

According to spokesman from an Australian investment group, “the [Australian] domestic medicinal cannabis market could be worth more than $75 million a year.”

“The US has a well established cannabis markets and there’s no reason to suppose consumer demand or product pricing in Australian will be any different relative to the two countries population difference,” he also said.

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