Michigan: Man Grew Over 1,000 Marijuana Plants In Neighbor's Yard


By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A Courtland, Mississippi man is behind bars after authorities discovered more than 1,000 marijuana plants inside a greenhouse behind his neighbor's house Tuesday morning.

The Panola County Sheriff's Department uncovered what it called a "sophisticated " marijuana operation while doing a welfare check on the elderly man who owns the house on McNeely Road.

They found the marijuana in a greenhouse near the woods, but said it was Kenneth John McMillan, 58, who was responsible for growing the weed.

“There was a canopy, plastic, pretty sophisticated,” said Sheriff Dennis Darby.

Darby said McMillan was cooperative and admitted to growing the marijuana.

“He told us that he was teaching himself how to grow marijuana so he could move to Colorado,” said Darby.

Authorities said it's likely the elderly homeowner had no clue what was going on at the back of his property.

“I think he (McMillan) had told him (the homeowner) he was planting some shrubs in there,” said Darby.

McMillan has been charged with manufacturing marijuana.

Mississippi: Dog Brings Home Pound Of Marijuana


By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A dog in Laurel, Mississippi returned from a bathroom outing with a pound of marijuana Saturday.

Miley, a black lab mix (surely there's some retriever DNA in there) came in holding a white plastic bag full of marijuana, officials in the Jones County Sheriff's Office said Monday.

Investigators were called to the Will Hayes Road home Saturday where they found individual baggies with weed sorted by potency, sheriff's office spokeswoman Allyson Knotts told the Daily News.

The stash, obviously packaged for distribution, weighed about a pound, she reported. No arrests had been made as of Wednesday afternoon.

“They can’t really ask the dog, ‘From what pile did you get that?’” Knotts said. “It’s under investigation, but it was a tricky incident.”

Miley's owner is not suspected in the investigation.

Photo courtesy Jones County Sheriff's Office

U.S.: Senators Tell Federal Agencies To Remove Barriers To Medical Marijuana Research


FDA and NIDA officials express support for ending NIDA’s DEA-mandated monopoly on marijuana available for research purposes

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

At a Wednesday hearing, Senators Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand pressed federal officials to eliminate political barriers that are preventing research on the potential medical benefits of marijuana. The hearing, “Cannabidiol: Barriers to Research and Potential Medical Benefits,” was held by the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control.

Officials from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) echoed the Senators’ concerns and expressed support for removing barriers to research that have been created by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

NIDA has a DEA-mandated monopoly on the supply of marijuana available for research purposes, which is grown at the University of Mississippi. Researchers have repeatedly criticized the DEA for refusing to license additional marijuana producers, which they say is preventing the study of marijuana’s medical benefits and the development of marijuana-based medicines.

They have also criticized the poor quality and low potency of the scant marijuana that is currently available, which they say further hinders meaningful research. A DEA administrative law judge ruled that licensing additional producers would be in the public interest, but the DEA has refused to follow the non-binding ruling.

Mississippi: Proposition 48 Marijuana Legalization Drive Underway


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

While Mississippi certainly isn't on anyone's short list of states where cannabis legalization is just around the corner, a determined group of activists say they can bring change to the Deep South.

In Ballot Initiative 48's distinct favor is the fact that more and Mississippians are seeing through their state's antiquated marijuana laws, which are both harsh and outdated.

More than 800 volunteers have fanned out across the state seeking the needed 107,000 signatures that would qualify the referendum for the November ballot, reports Barry Bard at Marijuana.com.

Initiative 48 would legalize the "production, sale, and use of recreational and medical marijuana and industrial hemp" much like Colorado had done.

Recreational marijuana would be taxed at 7 percent, with all proceeds would go to the Mississippi Public School System.

Activists believe the first seven months alone of legalization could bring in $17 million in additional taxes to support the state's struggling schools.

Mississippi: Town Hall Meeting On Marijuana Legalization Initiative Friday In Jackson


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A group which is gathering signatures to legalize marijuana in Mississippi has scheduled a town hall meeting for 2-3 p.m. on Friday, January 9, at the Eudora Welty Library in Jackson. At the meeting, representatives of Mississippi For Cannabis will answer questions about the group's ballot initiative, and the petition will be available for signatures.

The ballot initiative would allow the use, cultivation and sale of marijuana and industrial hemp for adults 21 years or older, reports Jimmie E. Gates at The Clarion-Ledger.

The group needs more than 107,000 signatures of registered voters to qualify the initiative for the November 2016 ballot. The deadline for the 2016 ballot is October 2, 2015, according to sponsor Kelly Jacobs. If they miss that deadline the group plans to shoot for the November 2017 ballot, for which the deadline is December 29, 2015.

"If the ballot initiative gets the necessary signatures and is approved by voters in a referendum, it would make it legal for adults to possess cannabis in unlimited quantities, to use as they wish, just like alcohol or cigarettes," Jacobs said. "However, it would have to be kept from minors.

"We want to legalize marijuana and decriminalize it," she said. "It's an adult discussion we should be having."

Mississippi: Former Pastor Says Marijuana Is God's Medicine


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A former pastor in Mississippi has something he wants you to know about marijuana.

"If you believe in God, you have to believe in cannabis," Al Pollard said in an interview with WDAM-TV. "It's a plant."

Pollard, a paraplegic who is on an exuberant mission to educate Mississippians about cannabis, wants it to be legalized, taxed, and regulated, reports The Clarion-Ledger.

"It's God's medicine," Pollard said.

He became paralyzed in a diving accident at age 18. Pollard said that during the first six months after his accident, he was prescribed to more than a dozen medicines a day, including prescription narcotics for pain.

After leaving physical therapy, he stopped taking those prescription drugs and starting using marijuana.

"I recently came clean with my doctor telling her I've never taken medicine since my release from rehab," Pollard said.

"She was shocked, but believed me. I told her marijuana is my medicine and that it helps me," he said. "Maintaining a moderate use has proven to be the cause of my healthy condition."

Mississippi: Governor Signs Law To Allow Marijuana-Derived CBD Oil For Seizures


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant last week signed into law a bill allowing marijuana-derived cannabidiol (CBD) oil for medical purposes.

"The bill I signed into law will help children who suffer from severe seizures disorders," Gov. Bryant told 16 WAPT News. "Throughout the legislative process, I insisted on the tightest controls and regulations for this measure, and I have been assured by the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics that CBD oil (cannabidiol) is not an intoxicant," the tremulous governor said.

"The outcome is a bill that allows this substance to be used therapeutically, as is the case for other controlled prescription medication," he said, emphasizing that he remains opposed to any effort to legalize marijuana or its derivatives other than CBD oil only.

The bill was named for Harper Grace Durval, two turned 2 years old last Friday, usually the age when Dravet's syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy, starts resulting in an increased number of seizures. "She has them every day, but they are not grand mal seizures, and they are very short," said Ashley Durval, Harper's mother.

"Hopefully, this will lead the way to some groundbreaking insight into, not only children with epilepsy, but any other neurological disorder," said Sen. Josh Harkins (R-Flowood), who pushed the measure.

Mississippi: House Passes Bill Legalizing Marijuana-Derived CBD Oil


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Mississippi House on Thursday passed a bill to make marijuana-derived CBD oil, made from a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, legal in Mississippi under "tightly controlled circumstances."

The House approved a conference report which ironed out the differences with the Mississippi Senate on House Bill 1231, reports WJTV. The Senate would still have to approve that agreement before the bill goes to the desk of Gov. Phil Bryant for his signature or veto.

CBD oil is believed to help children with seizures. Under the bill, it would be tested at the University of Mississippi and would only be available the Ole Miss Medical Center in Jackson.

According to sponsor Sen. Josh Harkins, even if the bill becomes law, it will need federal approval to move ahead. In the real world, that unfortunately means the bill will probably never help a single patient, since the federal government doesn't approve medical marijuana studies and officialy considers cannabis a Schedule I drug with no medical uses.

Cannabidiol, or CBD as it's more popularly known, is the new darling of lawmakers in conservative states (like Mississippi) who sense the rising tide of popular support for medical marijuana -- and would love to appear to be "doing something" -- but lack the political courage or will to advocate for an actual medical marijuana law.

Mississippi: Voices of the Victims Tour Concludes In Jackson With Call To End War On Drugs


At Historic Meeting, Mexican Poet Javier Sicilia and “New Jim Crow” Author Michelle Alexander to Discuss Human Costs of Drug War – and Urgent Need for Alternatives – On Both Sides of Border

Mexican poet and peace leader Javier Sicilia on Friday will arrive in Jackson, Mississippi, for an historic meeting with Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, to discuss how to end the failed Drug War, the primary driver of both the extreme violence plaguing Mexico and the systemic racism pervading the U.S. criminal justice system.

Sicilia’s visit concludes the bi-national “Voices of the Victims” Tour, during which he and other Drug War survivors have traveled to a dozen cities in the U.S. and Canada to call for alternatives to the War On Drugs, which has left more than 80,000 people murdered, 25,000 disappeared and 250,000 displaced in Mexico in just seven years.

“Our purpose is to honor our victims, to make their names and faces visible, and to raise awareness of the unbearable pain and loss caused by the drug war -– a war that has torn apart so many families and devoured so many young lives in Mexico, as well as the United States,” Sicilia said. “As neighbors, we must continue building a bi-national people’s movement in order to force our governments to fulfill their shared responsibility for protecting families and communities on both sides of the border.”

Mississippi: Prince of Pot Emery Put In Solitary Confinement


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Marc Emery, also known as the Prince of Pot, has been put into solitary confinement at the Federal Correctional Complex in Yazoo City, Mississippi.

Emery is serving a five-year sentence for mailing marijuana seeds to the United States from his business in Vancouver, British Columbia, reports Dana Larsen at the Vancouver Sun. He has about 14 months to go on on his sentence.

Emery writes a blog from prison, and in March, reportedly with permission, had some photos taken of his band practicing in the prison's music room. In the photo accompanying this article, Marc is seen with the prison band, which performs for other inmates.

Marc's wife Jodie Emery said that prison authorities were unhappy with the photos of Emery and the band. She reportedly said the investigation was to see if Marc had a cellphone to take the band photos. Emery's bandmates have reportedly been placed in solitary confinement, as well.

Emery is reportedly forced to wear a pair of 4XL shorts with string tied around his waist to hold them up, and has only one pair of socks with enormous holes in them, according to his wife. "I cried when I saw him, and he did too," Jodie told the Sun.

Prisoners in solitary confinement at the Federal Correctional Complex are locked down inside their cells for 23 hours a day.

Mississippi: Senator pushing to legalize medical marijuana

By Terrance Friday, WLOX

There is a truth that must be heard! PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - For the fourth year in a row, Senator Deborah Dawkins of Pass Christian is submitting another proposal in an effort to legalize the use of medical marijuana in Mississippi.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Marijuana is the most commonly abused illicit drug in the United States. On the flip side, experts say when used for medicinal purposes, the often frowned upon substance can be quite useful. That's why Senator Deborah Dawkins is working hard to legalize its medical use in our state.

"I think most people want their doctors to help them make their own decisions. And to me, we're taking something away from the patients and their physicians," Dawkins said.

A number of studies have shown that some attributes of the cannabis plant can relieve pain, control nausea, and help with a long list of other ailments. As of now, 16 states and the District of Columbia have already legalized the use of medical marijuana.

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