Two states take different approaches to legalization

Colorado legislates legal cannabis rules, Washington hands task to Alcohol Board

By Jeremy Daw, JD,

Since two states legalized adult cannabis sales and use last November, they have taken different approaches to the voter mandates. Colorado’s Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force, an appointed body of experts and bureaucrats, has released its final recommendations for how to treat cannabis businesses in the state’s new legal regime. By contrast, Washington State has outsourced much of its implementation of Initiative 502 to an outside group.

Colorado’s A-64, approved by a 55-45 margin by voters, placed a constitutional imperative on state bureaucrats to regulate so-called “recreational” cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol, but many of the specific regulations like tax rates and cultivation restrictions were left unaddressed by the voter-approved ballot initiative. The Task Force’s recommendations, which are preliminary and non-binding, are thus the first proposed rules for many specific situations.

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Patients battle federal cannabis ban in appeals court

By Martin Williams

The nation’s largest medical marijuana patient advocacy group, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), filed a petition with the federal court of appeals March 22 in its epic battle to force the federal government to comply with its own laws on medical marijuana.

The UN drug control treaties authorizes nations to allow the medical use of cannabis and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is required to move the plant out of its banned status, Schedule 1, if it has accepted medical use. Currently 18 states and thousands of studies agree that it has medical value and is wrongly prohibited.

In its widely watched case that seeks to reclassify marijuana for medical use, ASA v. DEA, the patient group seeks a rehearing before the original panel, as well as seeking full (en banc) review by the US Court of Appeals for the Washington DC Circuit. The circuit court

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Study: Home marijuana gardens not a health risk for children

By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

California medical marijuana patient Daisy Brant has had her infant child literally torn from her breast twice to be handed over to Child Protective Services and been charged with child abuse because police found medical marijuana growing in her home. She won the first case, got her child back, was raided again and is now fighting the second case as a new published study shows how wrong and cruel the police have been in this and other cases in what amounts to little more than what Brant has called “government-sanctioned child-stealing.”

“The role of child protection in grow-operations,” a study in the March 2013 International Journal of Drug Policy, shows that children who live in homes where marijuana is being cultivated do not suffer from adverse health effects at any greater rate than do comparable children in cannabis-free environments.

A pair of investigators with

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Bipartisan hemp and marijuana bills hit US Congress

By Phillip Smith,

A marijuana policy trifecta hit Capitol Hill in February 2013 regarding recreational marijuana, medical marijuana, and hemp.

Early in the month, reformist House members filed bills to end federal cannabis prohibition and tax the trade, and in mid month a bill to legalize hemp. By the end of the month, legislators had filed bills to protect medical marijuana patients and providers, and US senators filed a companion bill to legalize industrial hemp.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), who earlier sponsored a marijuana tax bill, rolled out House Resolution 689, the “States’ Medical Marijuana Protection Act;” Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) introduced House Resolution 710, the “Truth in Trials Act;” and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and three co-sponsors filed the “Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013,” a companion bill to House Resolution 525.

Blumenauer’s bill, introduced with bipartisan co-sponsorship, would grant federal recognition to medical use and remove marijuana

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Top House Democrat supports state-regulated cannabis

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, one of the most powerful and top-ranking leaders of the Democratic Party in the US, told a Denver Post columnist that she agrees that federal authorities ought to respect state marijuana laws.

When Electa Draper asked, “What are the measures in Washington (DC) that might address states that legalize marijuana and what is your view of federal policy,” Pelosi expressed her support for state laws and encouraged a tax and regulate marijuana policy in an interview published March 11, 2013.

“I support the leadership of Jared Polis, who has been a leader on this issue as well as other members. I understand some of the Republican members support the law now that is passed, even if they didn’t before. But in any case, to answer your question, what is my position regarding the states that have medical marijuana or recreational marijuana as the law of

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Danish capital wants to offer American bud

While tourists who travel to Amsterdam, The Netherlands, have coffeeshop access to top-shelf cannabis for about $12.50 per gram, visitors to Copenhagen, Denmark, buy their supply on Christiania’s “Dealer’s Street.” Varieties primarily consist of overpriced Moroccan hash, but there is also some home-grown herb: limp, sparse buds of Jack Herer, White Widow, and Bubble Gum selling for $22.50 per gram. The cheapest deal is seeded, outdoor-grown at $8 per gram.

That may change soon. Part of the city’s plan to legalize cannabis, presented at a March 15, 2013 conference, is to explore importing from two US states that recently legalized adult use of the herb, according to prepared documents from the council. The city proposed a three-year trial, stating, “The legal sale of cannabis will result in decreased gang criminality, more prevention and a better life for average cannabis users”.

Deputy mayor for social affairs Mikkel Warming told the Copenhagen

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