Marijuana

Canada: Pot Smokers Feel 'Cheated' By Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Recreational marijuana users who helped Justin Trudeau get elected as Canada's Prime Minister now feel "cheated" by his support of a police crackdown on storefront dispensaries, according to a cannabis industry spokesperson.

Abi Roach, a director with the Cannabis Friendly Business Association, said that marijuana advocates and users helped the federal Liberals to gain a majority government because of the expectation that Trudeau would allow small businesses to legally sell cannabis to recreational users.

Trudeau has promised to legalize recreational marijuana this spring.

The crackdown under Trudeau has been stricter than under any previous government, Roach said.

“All we’ve seen is raids and arrests and more criminal records and more issues and more problems,” Roach said. “When Trudeau was elected, I cried ... We campaigned our butts off for Trudeau because we wanted him to win so bad because we believed what he was saying ... Wow, was I cheated or what. I think that’s the way most cannabis consumers feel.”

Trudeau supported the legal crackdown in a recent editorial board meeting with the Toronto Star.

Uruguay: Marijuana Museum To Open Soon

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalize cannabis three years ago, and will soon be host to a new, unique museum totally dedicated to marijuana.

This Friday, the Cannabis Museum will open its doors in the capitol city of Montevideo for the first time. Organizers say the project is part of “continuing the rich history of freedoms that Uruguay has always adopted in an avant-garde way.”

Amsterdam, which also has a museum dedicated to marijuana, is contributing items for display, according to museum Director Eduardo Blasina.

The museum will be the first one dedicated to marijuana in Latin America and the southern hemisphere. Its mission, in part, is to promote “biological and cultural diversity,” according to the museum’s Facebook page, while also serving as a “cultural club.”

“It’s a way to connect people who love nature, art and science,” Blasina said.

Uruguay fully legalized production, use and sale of recreational marijuana in 2013, including allowing users to grow up to six pot plants for personal use.

The region is seeing a movement toward legalizing marijuana. Just last year, Columbia legalized medical marijuana, and Chile harvested its first medical marijuana crop.

Massachusetts: Senate President Says Parts Of Marijuana Law May Be Delayed

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A top Massachusetts lawmaker said on Monday that legislators are talking about delaying some aspects of the recently-passed marijuana legalization measure.

Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg said, “We’ve had discussions about delaying some of the dates to give us more time to fine-tune the bill and, in the next few weeks, we have to make final decisions on that.”

Rosenberg, A Democrat who supported legalization, said that if lawmakers implement a delay of the ballot measure, “it’s going to be a very time-limited delay.”

The initiative legalizes possession, use, and homegrowing of marijuana on December 15, a week from Thursday. It requires the state treasurer to appoint a three-person Cannabis Control Commission to regulate the industry by March 2017. Retail stores would be authorized to sell pot starting in January 2018.

“It’s encouraging that these leaders seem to be indicating that there will be no attempt to delay the December 15 possession and homegrow provisions,” said Jim Borghesani, who helped lead the effort to pass Question 4.

Delaware: Rally For Marijuana Legalization Held In Newark

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Dozens attended a rally Sunday in Newark, Delaware, calling for the legalization of marijuana on the eve of the 83rd anniversary of the end of alcohol prohibition.

The rally was hosted by the Cannabis Bureau of Delaware, and was aimed to inform the public how marijuana legalization can come to be in Delaware.

Zoe Patchell, co-chairman of Cannabis Bureau of Delaware, said it begins with contacting state representatives and legislators in support of legalization.

"Cannabis prohibition is just as ineffective and problematic as alcohol prohibition and it's causing negative consequences to our communities here in Delaware and wasting millions in resources and police manpower," she added.

"Right now we have 61 percent of Delawareans that support taxing regulated cannabis like alcohol," Patchell said.

The group has bipartisan support in the General Assembly to pass a taxation and regulation bill in 2017, Patchell said. Delaware is not a voter-initiative state, so supporters are trying to make Delaware the first state to legalize marijuana through legislation.

The legalization of marijuana use in Arkansas, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, California, Nevada, and Maine was voted upon. Marijuana is taxed and regulated similarly to alcohol and tobacco in all those states.

U.S.: Serving Life Without Parole For Pot, Man Denied Clemency

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Ferrell Scott was sentenced to life in prison for possession and conspiracy to distribute marijuana, a drug that's now legal in many states. Scott, a black man with no hope for parole despite an exemplary behavior record, appealed to President Obama for clemency. He learned his appeal was denied when he received an e-mail about "bad news" from a friend. He called home, worried that something had happened to his 93-year-old mother.

His daughter answered the phone, crying, and told him the news. “She cried like a baby and she was telling me that she didn’t know what she was supposed to do now. Couldn’t understand it,” Scott told The Watch in a phone interview.

“Why haven’t I been contacted? I hope this is a mistake. My God I’m f—–!” he wrote to Amy Povah, who runs CAN-DO, an advocacy group for prisoners incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses.

His name was on the list of clemency denials published on the Justice Department’s website on Tuesday.

“I don’t know what I’m gonna do, what’s gonna happen,” Scott says. “Well, I kind of know what’s going to happen. I’m going to be here for the rest of my life. I don’t know, man, I’m so depressed and shaken. I honestly thought I would get it.” Scott then brings up a good point: Obama has admitted to using the drug that landed Scott in prison for life.

Arizona: Phoenix Suns Coach Earl Watson Challenges Steve Kerr's Views On Marijuana

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Phoenix Suns coach Earl Watson disagrees with Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr on his views that marijuana should be recognized as a pain reliever.

In an interview Saturday, Watson told ESPN that Kerr's remarks about pot being a valid alternative to prescription drugs could be a "slippery slope" for young fans of the league.

“I think our rhetoric on it has to be very careful because you have a lot of kids where I’m from that’s reading this, and they think (marijuana use is) cool,” Watson said following his team’s 138-109 loss to the Warriors. “It’s not cool. ... So when we really talk about it and we open up that, I call it that slippery slope.”

He said that Kerr should leave the treatment of a players pain to a doctor.

“I think it would have to come from a physician — not a coach,” Watson said, according to ESPN. “And for me, I’ve lived in that other life (of crime and drugs). I’m from that area, so I’ve seen a lot of guys go through that experience of using it and doing other things with that were both illegal. And a lot of those times, those guys never make it to the NBA, they never make it to college, and somehow it leads to something else, and they never make it past 18.”

California: NBA Coach Of The Year Kerr's Marijuana Admission Could Be A Start

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Steve Kerr, head coach of the NBA's Golden State Warriors and reigning NBA Coach of the Year, has admitted to trying marijuana for medical reasons, and now some of his players believe that his words can help start a serious dialogue in professional sports about using pot for pain relief.

''You look at something that comes from the Earth. Any vegetable that comes from the Earth, they encourage you to eat it,'' Draymond Green, power forward for the Warriors, said at shootaround Saturday. ''It does make a little sense as opposed to giving someone a manufactured pill. If something takes your pain away like some of these pills do, it can't be all good for you. ... He talked about Vicodin. Toradal, you can be completely hurting and then take a Toradal shot and go through a game and feel nothing. Is that really good for you over the course of time? I doubt it.''

Green thinks the option of using medical marijuana "makes a lot of sense."

Kerr told Comcast SportsNet Bay Area's Warriors Insider Podcast with Monte Poole on Friday that he used medicinal marijuana. He admitted he tried marijuana twice in the past 18 months while dealing with debilitating back pain that still affects him this season. He said it really didn't help, but painkillers have been much worse.

Massachusetts: Study Shows Legal Medical Marijuana Not Predictive Of Increased Teen Use

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

State laws regulating the use and dispensing of medical marijuana do not contribute to increased use of marijuana by teens, according to a new study published online ahead of print in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School and Brandeis University assessed marijuana use patterns among adolescents from 45 states between 1991 and 2011. Authors reported "little evidence for an increase in past-30-day marijuana use, or past-30-day heavy marijuana use, among adolescents in response to state-enacted MMLs (medical marijuana laws), regardless of most provisions."

The conclusions agree with several other studies that find changes in the statewide legal status of cannabis are not predictive of greater use by teens.

U.S.: State Leaders Challenging Marijuana Election Results

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Political leaders in several states are acting to challenge election results regarding regulation of marijuana.

"Voters spoke clearly on election day. They believe that cannabis should be legal and that its sale ought to be regulated accordingly," said NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri. "Politicians should respect these outcomes, not undermine them."

Massachusetts voters decided 54 percent to 46 percent to legalize the use and cultivation of marijuana for adults 21 and over. Lawmakers are trying to move the date on which adults can begin growing marijuana from December 15, 2016 to an unspecified later time. They also want to delay retail sales of pot until late 2018.

Although Maine voters narrowly approved a similar ballot measure, Republican Gov. Paul LePage has said that he will seek federal guidance before moving forward with the law's implementation. Gov. LePage said that he "will be talking to Donald Trump" about how the incoming administration intends to address the issue, and said that he "will not put this (law) into play" unless the federal government signs off on it.

Colorado: Hunter S. Thompson's Marijuana Strain To Be Sold As Gonzo

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Hunter S. Thompson's widow, Anita, took over ownership of the writer's longtime home, Owl Farm, this summer. In addition to making it a writer's retreat and a private museum, she will be launching a new brand of cannabis products from there.

"I'm excited," she said. "It's a lot of fresh starts."

Anita recently posted on Facebook that she had found a way to extract the DNA from marijuana and hashish that Hunter S. Thompson actually used, which she saved after his suicide 11 years ago.

She intend to offer the pot for sale in states where recreational pot is legal, such as her home state of Colorado.

“Since it became legal I get approached probably once a month by cannabis growers, dispensaries,” Thompson said. “I’ve had probably 10 meetings in the last three years and I always ended up saying ‘No’ because it’s the same story every time: somebody wants to slap Hunter’s name on their strain.”

She said she was glad that she held off on partnering on a marijuana brand until it could be done right.

“If I put Hunter’s name on somebody else’s strain I can never go back and say, ‘No, this is the authentic one,’” she explained.

"Celebrity pot" is already a common thing, including Marley Natural, created by a Silicon Valley-based company that licensed Bob Marley's likeness.

U.S.: Report Says Beer Volumes Declining In Markets Where Recreational Marijuana Is Legal

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

According to a new report from Cowen and Company, beer sales are declining in three longtime craft beer meccas.

Vivien Azer, Cowen and Company’s managing director and senior research analyst specializing in the beverage, tobacco and cannabis sectors, said that the beer business is underperforming in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, where recreational marijuana is now legal.

“While (marijuana) retail sales opened up in these markets at different points of time, with all three of these states now having fully implemented a retail infrastructure, the underperformance of beer in these markets has worsened over the course of 2016,” Azer wrote.

Craft beer sales are slowing in those markets but the “biggest drag” is on mainstream beer producers. Economy beer volumes are down 2.4 percent and premium domestic volumes, such as Bud Light and Coors Light, are down 4.4 percent, Azer wrote.

Craft beer growth has also slowed in the three markets analyzed by Cowen. Colorado is “in decline” while Oregon and Washington are still seeing some growth, Azer noted.

Meanwhile, import beer sales seem unaffected by legal marijuana, although volumes in those three western states are still lagging “meaningfully” behind the growth seen nationally.

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New Mexico: Pilot Arrested After Emergency Landing Leads To Big Marijuana Discovery

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A California pilot was arrested in New Mexico after mechanical problems forced him to make an emergency landing resulting in authorities finding nearly 118 pounds of marijuana in the small plane.

Roswell police say 37-year-old Michael Armando Teixeira, of Gilroy, is being held at the Chaves County Detention Center on suspicion of distribution of controlled substances.

Teixeira made the emergency landing at the Roswell International Air Center last Friday night.

Federal Aviation Administration officials at the airport discovered the plane didn’t have a flight plan on file.

After detecting a marijuana odor, police obtained a search warrant which led to the discovery of 117.9 pounds of high-grade marijuana packaged in several large bags inside the plane.

Police say Teixeira is not the registered owner of the aircraft.

As of Tuesday, it was not known if he has a lawyer yet.

U.S.: Obama Comments On Marijuana In Exit Interview

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Obama criticized the DEA for being behind the times on marijuana in his recent exit interview with Rolling Stone, saying that pot should be treated like cigarettes and alcohol.

“If you survey the American people, including Trump voters, they’re…in favor, in large numbers, of decriminalizing marijuana,” Obama said in the interview conducted the day after Election Day and published on Tuesday. “I do believe that treating this as a public-health issue, the same way we do with cigarettes or alcohol, is the much smarter way to deal with it.”

Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner pressed Obama on marijuana’s status as a Schedule I drug in the interview, which his administration decided not to change in August.

“Typically how these classifications are changed are not done by presidential edict but are done either legislatively or through the DEA,” Obama answered. “As you might imagine, the DEA, whose job it is historically to enforce drug laws, is not always going to be on the cutting edge about these issues.”

The president also stressed his belief that federal prohibition enforcement is not acceptable in states that have legalized 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.

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