Marijuana Weekly News Roundup

March 13, 2016 by Paul Ausick

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.

Raid teams from SANE on Thursday confiscated more than 150 jars of marijuana, THC edibles, drinks, waxes, extracts and oils, automobiles, 143 marijuana plants, prescription opiates and over $17,000 cash. Participating in the raids were Michigan State Police troopers, Straits Area Narcotics Enforcement officials, deputies from the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department.

Read more at The Weed Blog.

USP Follow-up: Is Big Pharma Trying To Monopolize Medical Cannabis?
It turns out that yours truly personally knows a few of the scientific participants at the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) gathering that CBE [Cannabis Business Executive] wrote about last week.

A couple of them shared their insights of what actually took place after reading “U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention: Analyzing the Need for Public Quality Standards for Medical Cannabis,” and additional light was shed on the importance of mobilizing all industry stakeholders to rally around USP’s efforts to recruit their participation to come up with consistent standards for all stakeholders to have a shot at participating in the process to bring real, defined medicine to the table.

CBE believes, and so do many of the industry owners of licensed Producer, Processor and Retailers (PPRs), that the founding fathers of medical marijuana were very clever in tying legalization to medical needs, and then overall legalization by comparing the evils of alcohol to the less than scary implications of legal adult-use cannabis.

However, we also believe that medical definitions, which involve clinically trial tested results of a drug’s efficacy to treat various ailments, is required to move medical cannabis past the quack status usually reserved for such practices as aromatherapy, chiropractics, and podiatry, and the need to fit established federal guidelines in order to attract the support of and participation of organizations and their members like the American Medical Association, the American Association of Family Physicians, and others that would control the prescribing of cannabis derived medicines for specific maladies or treatable conditions.

Read more at Cannabis Business Executive.

Vermont Close to Legalizing Marijuana
If the idea of legalizing marijuana in Vermont ever needs to go to a public ballot, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has promised to support the proposal. But he’ll probably never have to feel that burn.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) is on the side of those working to end the “prohibition” of marijuana, as he and Sanders put it, through the legislative process.

The Vermont Senate has approved S. 241, legislation that would put joints to the lips of law-abiding citizens.

Vermont K-9 units are also getting ready for a new day to dawn that is much more friendly to pot smokers. The Times Argus reported Vermont Police Academy K-9 classes are no longer teaching the animals to sniff out marijuana.

But the Vermont House could be a major buzzkill.

S. 241 would erase criminal penalties for adults who possess up to an ounce of marijuana. Growers and retailers who are licensed by the state could begin operations. And the Vermont treasury would get its taste from a 25 percent excise tax on all marijuana sales.

Read more at PJMedia.com.

New Medical Marijuana Premium Domain Names Released for Sale (Press Release)
Domain Media (March 11, 2016 – Phoenix, AZ) announces today that it is releasing several high-value premium domain names, this time with a focus on the medical marijuana industry.

Domain Media, a vertical Internet media and social community platform company, selectively represents super premium and unique domain names on behalf of its exclusive clients and for its own account.

The release of these premium domain names include KushJournal.com, GreenJobsOnline.com, and GrowFacility.com, which are being made available to the public for the first time since they were originally acquired. These highly regarded keyword rich domains are readily available to be acquired by domain name investors, media companies and medical marijuana service companies alike as they capture the essence of large growing sectors within the quickly emerging medical marijuana industry.

Read more at Press Release Rocket.