phoenix

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Arizona: Phoenix Medical Marijuana Dispensary Robbed At Gunpoint

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Police in Phoenix, Arizona are looking for three suspects for the armed robbery of a medical marijuana dispensary.

According to police, the robbery occurred around 10:00 p.m. on March 26 at Bloom Dispensary near 44th Street and Washington in Phoenix.

One suspect walked through the business and attempted to leave a door unlocked for two accomplices that were seen waiting behind the dispensary. Employees were able to re-lock the door, preventing the suspects from being able to enter.

About one hour later one of the suspects that had been waiting behind the business returned and confronted employees with a gun.

Police say the employees were taken to the back room and forced to surrender money from the business. That suspect then fled in an unknown direction with the money.

All three suspects are described as black men aged between 25-35, 6 feet tall and weighing 180-200 pounds.

Phoenix police are asking anyone with information to call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.

Arizona: 3 Phoenix Cops Resign After Forcing Man To Eat Marijuana

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Authorities said Thursday that three police officers in Arizona have resigned after they allegedly forced a motorist to eat marijuana during a traffic stop.

Phoenix Police Chief Joe Yahner announced the resignations of the officers, who have all served less than a year on the police force, and condemned their actions as “appalling” and “unacceptable” during a news conference. “The conduct alleged by our resident is contrary to everything we stand for as community servants,” Yahner said.

The officers found about a gram of marijuana during the search of a 19 year-old's car last week. They allegedly told the motorist to eat the pot to avoid going to jail, the police chief said. The driver, who said he fell ill afterwards, filed a complaint with the police department, which prompted an internal investigation.

The officers involved were identified as Richard Pina, Jason McFadden and Michael Carnicle.

Yahner said the officers were wearing body cameras but that they had turned the cameras off before the incident.

Arizona: Marijuana Legalization Initiative Poised To Appear On November Ballot

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The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted 258,582 petition signatures to the Secretary of State on Thursday; 150,642 valid signatures needed to qualify

The Joint Legislative Budget Committee released a report Wednesday that estimates passage of the initiative will generate nearly $82 million in annual tax revenue, including more than $55 million for Arizona schools

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A citizen initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona is poised to appear on the November ballot after proponents turned in their petition Thursday with more than enough signatures to qualify.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) submitted 258,582 total signatures to the Arizona Secretary of State. With 150,642 valid signatures of Arizona voters needed to place the measure on the ballot, that appears to be a comfortable margin. The secretary of state is expected to determine whether the initiative has qualified by late August.

“We are very encouraged by the strong levels of support and enthusiasm we found among voters during the petition drive,” said CRMLA Chairman J.P. Holyoak. “Arizonans are ready to end the antiquated policy of marijuana prohibition and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.

Arizona: Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Submitting Signatures

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On Thursday, June 30, at 10:30 a.m., campaign leaders and supporters will hold a news conference just prior to handing over more than 100 boxes of petitions to state officials

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) will submit more than 100 boxes of petitions to state officials on Thursday to place an initiative on the November ballot that would end marijuana prohibition in Arizona.

Campaign leaders and initiative supporters will hold a news conference at 10:30 a.m. in a temporary office located on the second floor of 77 E. Weldon Ave. in Phoenix, where representatives of the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office will be accepting and reviewing the petitions.

Initiative backers need at least 150,642 valid signatures of Arizona voters to qualify the measure for the November ballot. At Thursday's news conference, they will announce the total number of signatures they will be submitting.

The proposed initiative would allow adults 21 and older to possess limited amounts of marijuana; establish a system in which marijuana is regulated similarly to alcohol; and enact a 15 percent tax on retail marijuana sales, from which a majority of the revenue would be directed to Arizona schools and public education programs.

Arizona: Congressman Ruben Gallego Endorses Initiative To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

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Congressman Ruben Gallego on Monday announced that he is endorsing an initiative poised for the November ballot that would end marijuana prohibition in Arizona and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.

“Forcing sales of this plant into the underground market has resulted in billions of dollars flowing into the hands of drug cartels and other criminals,” Rep. Gallego said. "We will be far better off if we shift the production and sale of marijuana to taxpaying Arizona businesses that are subject to strict regulations. It will also allow the state to direct law enforcement resources toward reducing violence and other more serious crimes.

“I am proud to support this initiative, as it represents a far more sensible approach to marijuana for our state,” Gallego said. “It will make Arizona communities safer, while also generating some much-needed tax revenue for our schools.”

Gallego, a Democrat who represents Arizona’s 7th Congressional district, which includes central and south Phoenix as well as western Maricopa County communities, announced his endorsement at a news conference on the House Lawn of the Arizona State Capitol. He was joined by leaders of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which is supporting the initiative.

Arizona: Parents Launch Father's Day Billboard In Support Of Marijuana Legalization Initiative

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A group of concerned parents, organized for the purpose of highlighting the benefits of regulating marijuana to protect teens, will launch a Father’s Day-themed billboard Thursday in support of the initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol in Arizona.

Parents for Responsible Regulation (PRR) will hold a news conference at 10 a.m. MST in front of the billboard in downtown Phoenix (two blocks south of Chase Field on the southwest corner of 7th and Lincoln Streets).

The billboard, which will be up through Father’s Day on Sunday, features a man embracing his teen son and stating: “Please, card my son. Regulate the sale of marijuana and help me keep it out of his hands.” It directs viewers to RegulationWorks.org, which details several ways in which regulating marijuana like alcohol would help protect teens.

“Our current system of marijuana prohibition has failed to keep marijuana out of the hands of teens," said PRR co-chair Sonia Martinez, a Gilbert-based attorney, past president of the Native American Bar Association of Arizona, and mother of two children, ages 9 and 10. "It forces marijuana sales into the underground market, where customers are never asked for ID and often exposed to other illegal products.

Arizona: Cannabis Legal Expert Earns Partnership At Top Law Firm

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The Rose Law Group of Arizona has named marijuana legal expert Laura Bianchi a partner in the firm. According to the firm, "the promotion was based on her demonstrated ability to navigate increasingly complex regulations as well as her pioneering legal efforts in the multi-billion dollar cannabis industry."

Along with her partner promotion, she will continue as director of the Business/Corporate Transactions and Estate Planning and Asset Protection departments.

Since Arizona’s medical marijuana legalization in 2010, Bianchi has been at the forefront, helping to transition the industry from illegality to legitimacy. As an integral part of Rose Law Group’s Medical Marijuana practice, Bianchi and her colleagues configured and instituted legal precedents where no prevailing template existed.

Bianchi’s innovative work and expertise in business transactions and administrative law have allowed her to establish a diverse and loyal client base throughout Arizona and across the country. Her continued success has lead to national recognition. In 2016, she was named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers, a rating service that selects and honors outstanding lawyers from across all 50 states.

Arizona: Judge Rules DHS Wrongly Denied Hearing On Medical Marijuana For Parkinson's

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

An Arizona judge has ruled that the state Department of Health Services wrongly denied a hearing to petitioners who want people with Parkinson's disease to qualify for medical marijuana.

"In a desire for professionalism, the department has utilized a standard of proof that is higher than the rules call for," Administrative Law Judge Dorinda Lang wrote in an eight-page ruling signed May 24 and released publicly on Tuesday, reports Ray Stern at Phoenix New Times.

Arizona voters in 2010 approved a list of ailments that qualify state residents to legally use cannabis. Last year, the Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association submitted eight petitions to add new qualifying ailments to the state's medical marijuana law, all of which were denied.

The group, led by Heather Manus, a registered nurse, appealed the denials for patients suffering from Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases. They got the pro bono help of San Diego attorney and former Tucson dispensary owner Ken Sobel.

Arizona: VA Hospital Blocks Presentation On Cannabis, PTSD

Dr. Sue Sisley is upset that the Phoenix VA hospital blocked her presentation about marijuana and PTSD despite DEA approval.

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The Veterans Affairs hospital in Phoenix blocked a doctor from giving a lecture about marijuana's effect in veterans with post traumatic stress disorder, although her study is approved by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Dr. Sue Sisley is conducting a study on PTSD and medical marijuana that is funded by a Colorado research grant. The Phoenix VA Medical Center denied Sisley the opportunity to give a presentation there, despite having her work approved by the DEA.

“The notion that the Phoenix VA hospital refuses to allow that information to be shared with their medical staff is really shameful,” Sisley told KTAR-FM.

Medical marijuana is legal in Arizona, but possession of pot is still a federal crime. Dr. Samuel Aguayo, associate chief of staff for research at the Phoenix hospital, said the VA center isn't allowed to promote or recruit veterans for marijuana research.

“VA medical staff are not authorized to make a decision on whether marijuana and marijuana research is appropriate for veterans,” he explained.

Sisley argued that the VA has a duty to support research that could uncover new treatment for veterans with PTSD.

“If they refuse to do that, I think that is negligent and it’s an abomination,” she said.

Arizona: Marijuana Supporters Call On Opposition To Return $10K Alcohol Contribution

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The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA), the committee backing an initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona that is expected to appear on the November ballot, on Wednesday called on leaders of the committee opposing the measure to return a contribution from the alcohol industry.

According to a report published earlier this week by the Phoenix New Times, Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy (ARDP) received a donation of $10,000 last month from the Arizona Wine and Spirits Association, a trade group representing various alcohol wholesalers.

The leaders of ARDP, Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk, and radio host Seth Leibsohn have repeatedly argued that marijuana needs to remain illegal because it is too dangerous to regulate for adult use. Yet, by every objective measure, marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol. See http://marijuana-vs-alcohol.org for details.

“Using alcohol money to fund their campaign to maintain marijuana prohibition is grossly hypocritical,” said CRMLA Chairman J.P. Holyoak. “They want to continue punishing adults for using marijuana, but they have no problem accepting five-figure donations from purveyors of a far more harmful substance.

Arizona: Marijuana Legalization Backers Launch Mother's Day Billboards

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Backers of an initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona launched a pair of Mother’s Day-themed billboards in Phoenix and Tucson on Monday. An image of the billboard is attached, and a high-resolution version is available at http://bit.ly/1N3OkrX.

The ads, which are targeted at younger voters, feature a young woman sitting with her mother and ask: “Have you talked to your parents about marijuana?” The goal of the ads is to flip the script on marijuana education and encourage younger voters to start conversations about marijuana with their family members — especially older generations who have been led to believe marijuana is more harmful than it actually is.

The billboards direct viewers to a website — http://TalkItUpArizona.org — that allows them to send a message about marijuana to their parents or other relatives. The billboards will run through Sunday, which is Mother’s Day.

“For decades, the federal government distributed anti-marijuana propaganda to parents and encouraged them to share it with their children,” said CRMLA Chairman J.P. Holyoak. “It’s time for younger folks to start sharing the facts about marijuana with their parents and other older relatives.

Arizona: Mother's Day Marijuana Billboards Launched In Phoenix And Tucson

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Backers of an initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona launched a pair of billboards in Phoenix and Tucson Monday with a Mother's Day theme.

Leaders of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol held media events Monday in front of the billboard in Phoenix (1925 E. Indian School Rd.) and in front of the billboard in Tucson (3640 S. 6th Ave).

The ads are targeted at younger voters and feature a young woman sitting with her mother and ask: "Have you talked to your parents about marijuana?"

The goal of the ads is to flip the script on marijuana education and encourage younger voters to start conversations about marijuana with their family members — especially older generations who have been led to believe marijuana is more harmful than it actually is. The billboards direct viewers to a website — http://TalkItUpArizona.org — that allows them to send a message about marijuana to their parents or other relatives. The billboards will run through Sunday, which is Mother’s Day.

“For decades, the federal government distributed anti-marijuana propaganda to parents and encouraged them to share it with their children,” said CRMLA Chairman J.P. Holyoak. “It’s time for younger folks to start sharing the facts about marijuana with their parents and other older relatives.

Arizona: Drive For Initiative To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Reaches 200K Signatures

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The campaign needs to collect 150,642 valid signatures of Arizona voters to qualify for the November ballot

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol on Tuesday announced it has collected more than 200,000 signatures in support of a proposed initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona. The campaign needs to collect 150,642 valid signatures of registered Arizona voters to qualify the initiative for the November ballot.

“Voters want to have their say on whether Arizona should end marijuana prohibition,” said Campaign Chairman J.P. Holyoak. “It’s appearing more and more likely that they are going to have that opportunity. We’re finding that most Arizonans agree marijuana should be regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.”

The proposed initiative would allow adults 21 and older to possess limited amounts of marijuana, establish a system in which marijuana is regulated similarly to alcohol, and enact a 15 percent tax on retail marijuana sales, from which a majority of the revenue would be directed to Arizona schools and public education programs.

Arizona: Marijuana Initiative Backers Issue Alcohol Awareness Month Challenge

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Alcohol Awareness Month Challenge to Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery: Prove Marijuana Is More Harmful Than Alcohol or Return the Campaign Contributions He Received From the Alcohol Industry Last Year

Backers of a proposed ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona on Wednesday issued a challenge to Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is calling on Montgomery — who says marijuana is too dangerous to regulate for adult use — to either prove marijuana is more harmful than alcohol or return campaign contributions he received from members of the alcohol industry last year.

The CRMLA held a Wednesday news conference in front of the Maricopa County Administration Building, where the county attorney’s office is located. They provided Montgomery with a jumbo-sized refund check for $8,050 from his campaign committee, Montgomery 2016, to his “alcohol industry contributors.” Montgomery 2016 received at least $8,050 in contributions from members of the alcohol industry in 2015, according to campaign finance reports.

“Mr. Montgomery’s public statements about our initiative indicate that he feels like marijuana should remain illegal because of its potential harms,” said CRMLA chairman J.P. Holyoak. “Yet marijuana is far less harmful than alcohol by every objective measure, and he accepts campaign contributions from people who distribute alcohol.”

Arizona: Civil Forfeiture Reform Legislative Hearing Set For Thursday

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Legislative Hearing on Civil Forfeiture Reform
Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 9:00 am
House Government and Higher Education Committee
House Hearing Room 1

An unprecedented array of public interest organizations — including ACLU of Arizona, Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice, Arizona Citizens Defense League, Goldwater Institute, Institute for Justice, Los Abogados, NFIB, and Public Integrity Alliance — have banded together as the Coalition for Arizona Forfeiture Reform to support reform of Arizona’s civil forfeiture laws.

The Coalition will be testifying before the House Government and Higher Education Committee to inform legislators about civil forfeiture and the nationwide, bipartisan steps being taken to implement necessary reforms.

If law enforcement suspects that you committed a crime, they can arrest you and put you on trial. At trial, prosecutors must prove you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. But if law enforcement suspects your property is linked to a crime, they can seize it even if they don’t charge you—or anyone else—with a crime.

If you want your property back, you will have to prove your innocence. Exacerbating these problems, law enforcement gets to keep up to 100 percent of what they take, which can warp law enforcement priorities and lead to questionable or even illegal spending of public funds.

Welcome to the upside-down world of civil forfeiture.

Arizona: Backers of Marijuana Initiative to Unveil Billboard Monday

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Phoenix Open-inspired Billboard to Be Unveiled on Monday to Coincide With Kickoff of the World’s Best-Attended Golf Tournament (Also Known as the ‘Greatest Party on Grass’)

Backers of a proposed ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona will unveil a Phoenix Open-inspired billboard on Monday to coincide with the kickoff of tournament events. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. EST in front of the billboard on the southwest corner of 7th St. and Lincoln.

The Waste Management Phoenix Open is the world’s best-attended golf tournament, according to the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, which refers to it as the “greatest party on grass.” The billboard will run throughout the duration of the tournament, which ends Sunday, February 7.

WHAT: Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol news conference to launch Phoenix Open-themed billboard coinciding with the kickoff of the world’s best-attended golf tournament

WHEN: Monday, February 1, 11 a.m. MST

WHERE: In front of the billboard on the southwest corner of 7th St. and Lincoln, Phoenix

WHO: J.P. Holyoak, campaign chairman
Campaign staff

# # #

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is supporting a 2016 statewide ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol. For more information, visit http://www.RegulateMarijuanaAZ.org.

Arizona: ACLU Releases Mobile App To Help Hold Law Enforcement Accountable

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Mobile Justice AZ available free starting today through Apple and Google

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona on Friday launched Mobile Justice AZ, a free smartphone app that allows Arizonans to record video of law enforcement activity and automatically submit those videos to their local ACLU for review if it appears someone’s rights may have been violated.

The same app is also being launched today in nine other jurisdictions: Minnesota, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The Mobile Justice App is already in use in Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, California, Colorado, Missouri, North Carolina and Oregon.

New York has the ACLU’s original app to record police, known as the Stop and Frisk app. In all, residents of 18 states and D.C. now have access to an ACLU mobile app for recording police interactions with the public.

Mobile Justice AZ is available for use on Android and iOS phones and can be downloaded free through Apple’s App Store or Google Play. It enables users to record, witness and report interactions with law enforcement and offers educational information on individual rights.

Videos captured on the Mobile Justice AZ app will be transmitted to the ACLU of Arizona and preserved even if the user’s phone is later seized or destroyed.

Arizona: Halloween Billboard Highlights Fact That Marijuana Is Less Harmful Than Alcohol

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Backers of a proposed 2016 ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona on Monday launched a Halloween-themed billboard that highlights the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol.

The orange and black ad, which satirizes “Reefer Madness”-style anti-marijuana propaganda, comes as opponents of the proposed initiative are ramping up efforts to scare voters into keeping marijuana illegal for adults. It features a screaming face and reads, “MARIJUANA: LESS toxic! LESS addictive! LESS scary than ALCOHOL!”

“Marijuana is illegal thanks to decades of anti-marijuana propaganda and fear mongering,” said campaign chairman J.P. Holyoak. “Once people find out it is actually safer than alcohol, they tend to agree it should not be a crime for adults to use it responsibly.

“Over the next 12 months, our opponents are going to do everything they can to scare Arizonans into keeping marijuana illegal,” Holyoak said. “We just want voters to remember that we’re talking about a substance that is proven to be less harmful than alcohol.”

Marijuana dependence is significantly less likely and less severe than than alcohol dependence, according to researchers at the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention attribute more than 2,000 U.S. deaths per year to alcohol poisoning, whereas there has never been a confirmed marijuana poisoning death in history.

Arizona: SW Cannabis Conference Responds To County Attorney's Warnings

BillMontgomeryMaricopaCountyAttorney[TheArizonaRepublic]

“The show will go on,” says organizer Demitri Downing of the event that is expected to thousands of professionals from across the country

“Welcome to Phoenix, enjoy your stay, but be careful,” was one of several warnings issued by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery to the thousands of individuals who are expected to attend the inaugural Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo taking place October 26–28, at the Phoenix Convention Center.

“Just a polite warning to folks traveling here that recreational marijuana is not legal here in Arizona,” Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said Wednesday, reports Derek Staahl of KPHO “Folks who are traveling from out of state and may be engaged in business transactions at the Phoenix Convention Center, you could be violating state and federal laws when it comes to trafficking in marijuana."

“The show will go on,” responded event organizer Demitri Downing of the Southwest Event Group of the business event where professionals and entrepreneurs from across the country are expected to converge to discuss the business of cannabis.

“This is not a smoke fest as Bill Montgomery likes to characterize it," Downing said. "This is about the industry. This is about economic development. This is about jobs and healthcare. This is about Arizona.

U.S.: Veterans To Gather For Cannabis PTSD Treatment Awareness

Weed4WarriorsProject[Weed4WarriorsProject.org]

The 2nd Annual Cannaball Run for Vets, supporting cannabis PTSD treatment, will begin on Oct. 17 in L.A.

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Did you know that 20 percent of America’s suicides are committed by Veterans? Did you know that more than 300,000 veterans are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Did you know veterans are typically prescribed a cocktail of six or more psychoactive medications to treat PTSD? Did you know that controlled, supervised use of cannabis has been proven 300 percent more effective at treating PTSD than the medications that are currently being prescribed?

More and more of our nation’s Veterans are opting for one simple plant that is safer and – most importantly – more effective than prescription drugs. Cannabis has become the new answer, and hopefully with your help, the new normal.

For this reason, world-renowned cannabis expert Garyn Angel and his company MagicalButter, alongside the Weed For Warriors Project, are presenting this year’s Cannaball Run for Vets. The 2nd Annual Cannaball Run for Vets for cannabis PTSD treatment, a cross-country education and awareness campaign, will begin on October 17 in Los Angeles, and stop at seven major cities as it heads towards the nation's capital, Washington, D.C., for the culminating Veteran's Day event on November 11.

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