Marijuana Weekly News Roundup

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An organization called the Global Commission on Drug Policy issued a statement Friday addressed the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) set for April 19th through 21st to examine existing international drug control policy. Calling the special session “an historic opportunity to achieve more humane and effective drug policy,” the Global Commission refers to current negotiations on a draft document for for consideration at the special session “long on rhetoric, but short on substance.”

The Global Commission proposes five “fundamental aspirations” that it claims put people’s health, safety, and human rights first:

  • Ending the criminalization and incarceration of drug users;
  • Abolishing capital punishment for drug-related offences;
  • Empowering the World Health Organization (WHO) to review the scheduling system of drugs on the basis of scientific evidence;
  • Ensuring a broad spectrum of treatments for dependent people and services designed to reduce the harms of drugs; and
  • Allowing governments to apply different approaches to drug regulation in order to maximize public health and disempower organized crime.

Members of the Global Commission include former presidents of Mexico, Colombia, Portugal, and Brazil and the former prime minister of Greece. Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, and former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker have also signed on. The Global Commission was founded in 2011 and has so far produced five reports and three documentary films.

Here are excerpts from other recent cannabis-related news stories.

Marijuana: Polls Show Support Growing To Legalize Pot
There are increasing signs that 2016 might just be the year the largest state in the nation legalizes recreational marijuana.

Polls have shown that up to 60 percent of California’s likely voters in the November presidential contest support legal pot. And due in part to hefty financial backing from a Silicon Valley billionaire, the leading pro-marijuana measure – the Adult Use of Marijuana Act – is off to one of the strongest starts among dozens of proposed initiatives on different topics being pitched for the Nov. 8 ballot.

“We believe that AUMA has a very strong chance of passing in 2016,” said Chris Beals, chief strategy officer for Weedmaps, which has donated $500,000 to the campaign. “While there is still much work to be done to further educate voters on the issue, support for ending prohibition is strong in California.”

Read more at [Riverside, California’s] The Press Enterprise.

Twelve Central Michigan Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Raided in 48 Hours
In central Michigan at least a dozen medical marijuana distribution centers and many homes have been raided by various police agencies over the last 48 hours.

It began on Wednesday with police cars descending on a pair of centers where sick people certified by a physician and registered with the state obtain their medical marijuana. These centers, often called dispensaries, were located in Mio and Lewiston.

On Thursday the raids continued. Nine dispensaries in Gaylord and one in Vanderbilt were raided by police, resulting in two arrests for charges related to illegal distribution and possession of marijuana and THC products. The raided businesses are accused of having illegal forms of THC products, alleged independently by officers involved in both Wednesday and Thursday’s actions.

On Wednesday, STING raid teams, MSP troopers and Oscoda County Sheriff deputies seized “marijuana; growing equipment; other paraphernalia that is conducive for making edibles, which is illegal; THC wax; THC butter,” said Det. Sgt. Priest of STING.