Monthly Archives: October 2018

DECRIM, an Inference from a Year of Data in Atlanta – Most Cops Don’t Care

One Year Anniversary

October 2nd, 2018 marked the one year anniversary of the unanimous passage of Atlanta City Ordinance 17-O-1152, which reduced the penalty for possession of an ounce or less of marijuana within the city limits of Atlanta to $75.00 and no jail time.  While this ordinance isn’t a true “decrim” bill, because those arrested are still being fingerprinted, it was a great step toward sensible marijuana legislation here in Georgia.

Curiosity

I wanted to know just what effect 17-O-1152 had on “simple possession” arrests in Atlanta.  After all, the ordinance didn’t make it “legal”, it just reduced the penalties.  It didn’t really even “decrim”.  APD officers are still free to arrest offenders and take them to jail.  The question burned in my mind; “Did they, or did they use 17-O-1152 as a justification to act on a moral conviction?“.  I knew where to find at least a clue to the answer.

ACDC — N0, Not the Band

I have to hand it to the folks in the Records Department of the Atlanta City Detention Center (ACDC).  I’ve asked them for data several times and they are always quick to respond.  It seems I even have a nickname with them.  More on that later …. maybe.

So last week I asked them to provide me with the following data, which they promptly did.  I’ve added their response in blue:

a) The number of bookings between Oct 3, 2016, …

A Coalition Of Groups Bills October 20th-27th as National Expungement Week

New York,  A coalition of over 20 organizations working at the intersection of the cannabis industry, racial equity, and reparative justice, will join local and community groups across the country for the inaugural National Expungement Week (N.E.W.) October 20-27, 2018. Conceived to aid those disenfranchised by the war on drugs, N.E.W. will offer free clinics to help to remove, seal, or reclassify eligible convictions from criminal records.

N.E.W. events will be held in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Haven, Philadelphia, Prince George’s County, San Francisco and Washington, DC. Organizers will also provide attendees with a varied (depending upon location) range of supportive services including employment resources, voter engagement, health screenings, and more. The N.E.W. website also provides a link to an online toolkit so that interested parties can host their own record change events.

In recent months, District Attorneys in a number of cities – such as New YorkSan FranciscoSan Diego, and Seattle  have moved to automate the process of expunging past marijuana convictions.

For more information, visit https://www.offtherecord.us/ 

Source: http://blog.norml.org/2018/10/15/a-coalition-of-groups-bills-october-20th-27th-as-national-expungement-week/…

The Epidiolex Effect: Will Other CBD Drugs Receive FDA and DEA Approval?

Though it doesn’t get users high like THC-dominant products, CBD is all the rage these days due to its medical benefits and gray-area legality.

On September 28, the DEA designated Epidiolex—a plant-based CBD pharmaceutical manufactured by the UK-based GW Pharmaceuticals—a Schedule V drug in the government’s list of controlled substances. All other CBD formulations remain in Schedule I, which is for drugs with a “high potential for abuse” and “no currently accepted medical use.” Schedules III to V are for “drugs with lower potential for abuse.”

This move reinforced a federal ruling on April 16 that affirmed the December 2016 DEA decision to create a new Schedule I code for cannabis extracts, including CBD extracts. The FDA’s Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee concluded that Epidiolex was safe, effective and had negligible abuse potential. On the basis of their review, the agency approved Epidiolex for use in treating rare forms of childhood epilepsy (Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome).

A month later, on May 16, the Department of Health and Human Services approved the FDA’s Epidiolex recommendation.

Canada: Licensed Provincial Operators to Begin Retail Marijuana Sales This Week

Legislation permitting the possession, use, cultivation, and retail sale of cannabis takes effect this Wednesday, October 17.

NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri is hailing the policy change. “We applaud Canada for showing legislators in the United States what can be accomplished with true leadership and dedication to sound public policy,” he said. “America’s leaders would be wise to learn from our neighbors, and similarly replace our archaic and failed marijuana prohibition laws with a regulatory scheme that is largely evidence-based and that reflects cannabis rapidly changing cultural status.”

Canada is only the second country in the world to explicitly legalize cannabis production and sales nationwide.

The Act, Bill C-45, permits those age 18 and older to legally possess (up to 30 grams) and grow cannabis (up to four plants of any size per household). Individual provinces possess the authority to enact additional regulations with respect to distribution, such as raising the legal age limit to purchase cannabis or by restricting home grow operations.

The Act also federally licenses commercial producers of cannabis and certain cannabis-infused products, while permitting provinces to regulate retail sales in public (government operated) and private stores, subject to local rules. Online cannabis sales will also be permitted in certain provinces.

While fewer than 200 total retailers are anticipated to be operational on day one of the new law, additional facilities are anticipated to be operational in the near future. Cannabis-infused edible products are anticipated to …

As Canada Prepares To Go Legal, Never Forget That A Single Interaction Can Make All The Difference

This Wednesday, Canada will become the second nation to explicitly legalize the social use, possession, cultivation, and retail production and sale of cannabis. The new law marks the culmination of an effort led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who promised in 2015, shortly after taking office, to legalize and regulate the marijuana market.

But PM Trudeau was not always in favor of adult use legalization. In fact, for many years he opposed it. That was until he met face-to-face with NORML advocates in 2012.

Speaking with the Huffington Post in 2013, Trudeau acknowledged that he reversed his position after speaking with NORML members. “[Their] line of argument did a long way towards convincing me,” he admitted.

Here is how the Toronto Star reported the event:

Five short years ago, Trudeau was not a fan of legalized pot. As he wandered around the 2012 Liberal policy convention in Ottawa — the same one in which a majority of party members voted in favour of legalization — Trudeau was a dissenting voice.

… By the end of 2012, a lot of things had changed for Trudeau — beyond his appearance. He had changed his mind about running for Liberal leader, officially launching his campaign in October, and he was also starting to see that legalization was better than the decriminalization option he’d long favoured.

Today, Trudeau and his advisers trace the shift to a meeting with two women in his office

Weekly Legislative Roundup 10/12/18

Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!

This week, The U.S. House bill to respect state medical cannabis laws (CARERS Act) got two new cosponsors, for a total of 30.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a clarification to a policy many feared would prevent Canadians who work or invest in marijuana businesses from entering the country, indicating that “A Canadian citizen working in or facilitating the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in Canada, coming to the U.S. for reasons unrelated to the marijuana industry will generally be admissible to the U.S. however, if a traveler is found to be coming to the U.S. for reason related to the marijuana industry, they may be deemed inadmissible.”

At the state level, The working group appointed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to draft NY’s leglaization legislation is taking public comments on this initiative until the end of October, and you can submit your own comments by clicking here, or you can email comments to rmls@health.ny.gov.

New Hampshire’s Commission to Study the Legalization Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana will deliver its final report to Gov. Chris Sununu by Nov. 1. The commission includes legislators, law enforcement officials, state regulators, and law and medical professionals. The report will include recommendations for a legal marijuana market if legalization legislation were to pass, ranging from regulatory framework, to licensing processes, to tax rates and revenue projections.

New Jersey lawmakers discussed the …

Will a Medical Marijuana Prescription Allow Me to Smoke at Work or in My Condo?

Can’t you just tell your boss or my condo board you have anxiety, if they come after you for smoking on the job or in my apartment? How far will medical exemptions get you, exactly? Theoretically, pretty far. “If someone has a valid medical authorization—that is, they’ve gone to their doctor and have a prescription—it basically triggers their human rights protections as someone with a physical or mental disability,” says Alison McMahon, CEO of education…

Source: https://www.cannabisculture.com/content/2018/10/11/will-a-medical-marijuana-prescription-allow-me-to-smoke-at-work-or-in-my-condo/…

North Dakota: Let’s Make History

Can you believe that we are less than four weeks away from Election Day? This year, the stakes have never been higher.

North Dakotans on November 6th have the unique opportunity to end the state’s failed experiment with marijuana prohibition and to cease arresting adults for marijuana-related offenses. By voting “yes’ on Measure 3, you will be voting to end the needless discrimination of our fellow citizens for their use of a plant that is objectively less harmful than alcohol and tobacco.

Today, North Dakota ranks near the top of all US states in annual marijuana arrests per capita. Each of these arrests represent police hours and resources that are not being allocated toward more serious criminal activity, such as targeting violent criminals. And vote for Measure 3 is a vote to end wasteful spending, to reprioritize our limited resources, and to defend individual liberty.

LEGALIZE ND LAUNCHED A NEW WEB AD, “MAKE HISTORY” – WATCH IT HERE:

The Proof Is In the Pudding

Data from other marijuana legalization states shows that ending marijuana prohibition significantly impacts the opioid crisis. Numerous studies find that opioid-related abuses, hospitalizations, and deaths decrease significantly following cannabis legalization. This is good news for North Dakotans. In 2016, more than three times as many North Dakotans died from opioid overdoses than from homicides. Passage of Measure 3 can reverse this trend.

Measure 3 Helps Patients Too

Although North Dakotans overwhelmingly voted in favor of a

The Marijuana Midterms are Heating Up in Nevada

With the help of the newly established “Cannabition Cannabis Museum,” Nevada’s state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, along with its local affiliate Las

Vegas NORML, welcomed the National NORML Board of Directors to Las Vegas with a “Smoke the Vote” voter rally.

Nevada NORML Executive Director Madisen Saglibene, Jj Walker, NORML Founder Keith Stroup, Aaron Esparza, NORML Board member Beverley Moran, David Hofstein, NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri, and Sen. Tick Segerblom in front of Hunter’s Shark at the Cannabition Cannabis Museum in Las Vegas

On Friday, members of National NORML, as well as state chapter leaders from around the nation, spent time activating voters from Nevada’s Canna

bis community. The Executive Director of Nevada NORML, Madisen Saglibene, led a press conference announcing the launch of NORML’s “Smoke the Vote” tool; a comprehensive guide highlighting the voting records of state and federal politicians on issues pertaining to marijuana law reform.

Nevada NORML worked diligently over the past several months to solicit candidates’ responses to NORML’s survey about marijuana consumer protections. While only 60 of the 150 total state-wide candidates responded, it became evident this midterm cycle that cannabis reform is more nonpartisan than ever before. Candidates from around the state took the time to record their positions about trending issues like housing and employment discrimination, home grow, and criminal justice reform.

Friday’s press conference brought out several candidates from the Libertarian Party, as well …

The View from Vancouver: Inside Canada’s Legalization Challenge

On October 17, regulated cannabis sales will begin in the Great White North. But some industry veterans there are questioning whether Canada is doing it the right way.

Vansterdam—that sobriquet for Canada’s most liberal city is well-earned. When marijuana legalization was just a glimmer in the eyes of cannabis activists, there was Vansterdam, a sly reference to Holland’s Amsterdam, which launched the retail movement with their coffeeshops filled with smokeable flower and brilliant hash in the 1980s. That trend eventually found a home in Vancouver. Today, dotted across the city’s landscape, are stores where you can toke onsite and/or purchase various take-home products, from buds to concentrates.

I’m in the Cannabis Culture shop at 1674 Davie St., located on a quiet block away from commercial traffic, about a half mile from Stanley Park. It’s not high noon yet. I’m en route to the park for a hike (it’s six miles around the park’s sea wall). I settle down at a seat at the dab bar, where six coiled rigs are spaced apart.

The menu on the board behind the bar is colorful, with illustrations for each strain, from Blue Mango to Skywalker OG. I ask for the former and the THC Distillate, which I’ve never tried. Whereas I cough when inhaling the Blue Mango, the distillate (strictly THC) goes down real smooth. In addition, I purchase an Orange Tangie pre-roll. The bill is C$20 ($15 US). Pleasantly stoned, I head …

Survey: Cannabis Use Becoming Common Among Older Adults

The use of cannabis is relatively common among those over the age of 65 who reside in a legal marijuana state, according to data published online in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Investigators from the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus anonymously surveyed older adults at a pair of ambulatory geriatric primary care clinics in Colorado.

Thirty-two percent of respondents reported having used cannabis following legalization, and 16 percent reported that they were current users. Subjects were most likely to report using cannabis to mitigate symptoms of pain, anxiety, and depression, or to stimulate appetite.

Authors concluded: “[O]ur survey of ambulatory older adults from Colorado demonstrated that marijuana use in this population was common. Respondents reported using recreational marijuana to target a variety of medical symptoms and conditions with few reported adverse effects. Thus, it is prudent for primary care providers of older adults to inquire specifically about marijuana use before considering prescription changes or additions.”

Separate studies find that self-reported cannabis usage among older Americans is rising dramatically, and that many seniors reduce their use of prescription medications, particularly opioids, following their marijuana use. According to clinical data assessing seniors’ long-term use of cannabis, consumption is safe and is associated with a “significant improvement” in subjects’ “overall quality of life.”

Commenting on the new study, NORML Political Director said that the results were not surprising. “This is a population that, in many cases, had firsthand …

Survey: Cannabis Use Becoming Common Among Older Adults

The use of cannabis is relatively common among those over the age of 65 who reside in a legal marijuana state, according to data published online in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Investigators from the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus anonymously surveyed older adults at a pair of ambulatory geriatric primary care clinics in Colorado.

Thirty-two percent of respondents reported having used cannabis following legalization, and 16 percent reported that they were current users. Subjects were most likely to report using cannabis to mitigate symptoms of pain, anxiety, and depression, or to stimulate appetite.

Authors concluded: “[O]ur survey of ambulatory older adults from Colorado demonstrated that marijuana use in this population was common. Respondents reported using recreational marijuana to target a variety of medical symptoms and conditions with few reported adverse effects. Thus, it is prudent for primary care providers of older adults to inquire specifically about marijuana use before considering prescription changes or additions.”

Separate studies find that self-reported cannabis usage among older Americans is rising dramatically, and that many seniors reduce their use of prescription medications, particularly opioids, following their marijuana use. According to clinical data assessing seniors’ long-term use of cannabis, consumption is safe and is associated with a “significant improvement” in subjects’ “overall quality of life.”

Commenting on the new study, NORML Political Director said that the results were not surprising. “This is a population that, in many cases, had firsthand …

Survey: Cannabis Use Becoming Common Among Older Adults

The use of cannabis is relatively common among those over the age of 65 who reside in a legal marijuana state, according to data published online in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Investigators from the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus anonymously surveyed older adults at a pair of ambulatory geriatric primary care clinics in Colorado.

Thirty-two percent of respondents reported having used cannabis following legalization, and 16 percent reported that they were current users. Subjects were most likely to report using cannabis to mitigate symptoms of pain, anxiety, and depression, or to stimulate appetite.

Authors concluded: “[O]ur survey of ambulatory older adults from Colorado demonstrated that marijuana use in this population was common. Respondents reported using recreational marijuana to target a variety of medical symptoms and conditions with few reported adverse effects. Thus, it is prudent for primary care providers of older adults to inquire specifically about marijuana use before considering prescription changes or additions.”

Separate studies find that self-reported cannabis usage among older Americans is rising dramatically, and that many seniors reduce their use of prescription medications, particularly opioids, following their marijuana use. According to clinical data assessing seniors’ long-term use of cannabis, consumption is safe and is associated with a “significant improvement” in subjects’ “overall quality of life.”

Commenting on the new study, NORML Political Director said that the results were not surprising. “This is a population that, in many cases, had firsthand …

Survey: Cannabis Use Becoming Common Among Older Adults

The use of cannabis is relatively common among those over the age of 65 who reside in a legal marijuana state, according to data published online in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Investigators from the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus anonymously surveyed older adults at a pair of ambulatory geriatric primary care clinics in Colorado.

Thirty-two percent of respondents reported having used cannabis following legalization, and 16 percent reported that they were current users. Subjects were most likely to report using cannabis to mitigate symptoms of pain, anxiety, and depression, or to stimulate appetite.

Authors concluded: “[O]ur survey of ambulatory older adults from Colorado demonstrated that marijuana use in this population was common. Respondents reported using recreational marijuana to target a variety of medical symptoms and conditions with few reported adverse effects. Thus, it is prudent for primary care providers of older adults to inquire specifically about marijuana use before considering prescription changes or additions.”

Separate studies find that self-reported cannabis usage among older Americans is rising dramatically, and that many seniors reduce their use of prescription medications, particularly opioids, following their marijuana use. According to clinical data assessing seniors’ long-term use of cannabis, consumption is safe and is associated with a “significant improvement” in subjects’ “overall quality of life.”

Commenting on the new study, NORML Political Director said that the results were not surprising. “This is a population that, in many cases, had firsthand …

Survey: Cannabis Use Becoming Common Among Older Adults

The use of cannabis is relatively common among those over the age of 65 who reside in a legal marijuana state, according to data published online in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Investigators from the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus anonymously surveyed older adults at a pair of ambulatory geriatric primary care clinics in Colorado.

Thirty-two percent of respondents reported having used cannabis following legalization, and 16 percent reported that they were current users. Subjects were most likely to report using cannabis to mitigate symptoms of pain, anxiety, and depression, or to stimulate appetite.

Authors concluded: “[O]ur survey of ambulatory older adults from Colorado demonstrated that marijuana use in this population was common. Respondents reported using recreational marijuana to target a variety of medical symptoms and conditions with few reported adverse effects. Thus, it is prudent for primary care providers of older adults to inquire specifically about marijuana use before considering prescription changes or additions.”

Separate studies find that self-reported cannabis usage among older Americans is rising dramatically, and that many seniors reduce their use of prescription medications, particularly opioids, following their marijuana use. According to clinical data assessing seniors’ long-term use of cannabis, consumption is safe and is associated with a “significant improvement” in subjects’ “overall quality of life.”

Commenting on the new study, NORML Political Director said that the results were not surprising. “This is a population that, in many cases, had firsthand …

Pew Poll: 62 Percent Of Americans Want Marijuana Legal

Sixty-two percent of US adults believe that “the use of marijuana should be made legal,” according to national survey data compiled by the Pew Research Center. The percentage is the highest ever reported by Pew, which has been tracking Americans’ views on the subject of marijuana legalization since 1969.

Support was strongest among Millennials (74 percent), Democrats (69 percent), and Independents (68 percent). Support for legalization was weakest among Republicans (45 percent) and those born between the years 1928 and 1945 (39 percent).

Since 2000, public support in favor of legalization has nearly doubled, Pew reported.

“One of the greatest benchmarks of the success of legalization is the simple fact that public support for this policy change has only grown in the years since states began enacting it,” NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said. “The public has spoken and it is time for leaders in both parties to come together and amend federal law in a manner that comports with marijuana’s rapidly changing cultural and legal status.”

The Pew data is consistent with those of other national polls, including those conducted by Gallup (64 percent) and Quinnipiac University (63 percent).

Source: http://blog.norml.org/2018/10/09/pew-poll-62-percent-of-americans-want-marijuana-legal/…

New York State’s Marijuana Working Group is Taking Public Comments on Legalization Implementation

A listening session was held Thursday evening in Rochester, New York to get feedback about what the community wants to see in the legislation currently being drafted to legalize cannabis for adult use in NY. The legislation being drafted is set to pass next April with the budget, and there were many issues from both sides brought up during the session. Overall, the consensus in the room seemed in line with the polling of the state; most people in the room were in favor of legalizing for adult use, while a considerable amount of people are still opposed to the topic due to a mere lack of education.

Mary Kruger, Executive Director of Roc NORML, the Rochester, NY chapter of the National Organization of the Reform of Marijuana Laws, shown in this interview, testified during the session to advocate that restorative justice be on the forefront of the legislation, including: sealing of records and resentencing for low-level marijuana possession related offenses, developing a diverse and inclusive industry with priority licensing that promotes small business growth, and community reinvestment grants.

The police chief shown in the interview also testified during the session, on behalf of the Monroe County Association Chiefs of Police, in which they indicated their opposition to legalizing cannabis for adult use because “we don’t need another drug on the street.”

The work group drafting the legislation is taking public comments on this initiative until the end of …

Will It Be Legal to Have Marijuana in My Car?

Is it legal to have marijuana in your car as of Oct. 17? What can you have? A rolled joint? A half-smoked one? Obviously, you can’t drive while smoking. – Matt, Toronto Driving with a joint behind your ear probably won’t land you in the joint, but you’ll likely score a fine. “So every province I’ve looked at, you can’t have cannabis in your vehicle unless it’s stored in a closed or fastened container out…

Source: https://www.cannabisculture.com/content/2018/10/08/will-it-be-legal-to-have-marijuana-in-my-car/…

Weekly Legislative Roundup 10/5/18

Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!

Three U.S. House bills gained new cosponsors this week. One to shield federal employees from being fired for state-legal marijuana (Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws Act) use got two new cosponsors, for a total of seven. The one to respect state medical cannabis laws (CARERS Act) got one new cosponsor, for a total of 28. And another to require the licensing of more cannabis cultivators for research (Medical Cannabis Research Act) got one new cosponsor, for a total of 43.

At the state level, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill into law facilitating the review and expungement of hundreds of thousands of past marijuana convictions.

But he vetoed bills that would have allowed schools to adopt policies for parents to administer medical cannabis to students, let businesses give away free medical cannabis, and allowed safe injection facilities for illegal drugs.

Michigan lawmakers sent Gov. Rick Snyder (R) a bill to ban marijuana-infused alcoholic beverages. Separately, the House Agriculture Committee is considering an industrial hemp bill.

Utah medical cannabis supporters have reached an agreement with opponents on compromise legislation, which they expect to be considered during a special session in November. All sides said they will “de-escalate” efforts to campaign around the ballot measure and instead focus on the legislation.

Mississippi activists have so far collected more than 5,000 signatures in support of a proposed 2020 …