Legalization

The Justice Department Shut Down AlphaBay, the Dark Net’s Largest Online Drug Market – News

The Department of Justice announced this week that they have seized AlphaBay, the largest-ever “deep web” criminal marketplace. Federal authorities worked with law enforcement agencies in Europe, Canada, the U.K., and Thailand to track down and arrest the individuals involved with running the illicit e-store, where users were able to anonymously purchase drugs, fraudulent identification documents, malware and hacking tools, firearms, chemicals, and other illegal contraband. AlphaBay reportedly connected over 40,000 vendors to over 200,000 users, according to an anonymous staff member of the dark market. Before the site was taken down, there were over 250,000 listings offering illegal drugs and toxic chemicals for sale, in addition to another 100,000 listings for other assorted items. By contrast, the famous Silk …

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Maine Governor Says He Will Veto any Cannabis Regulations that Leave Medical Marijuana Untaxed – News

Voters in Maine legalized recreational cannabis last November, and now, after months of discussions in the state legislature, lawmakers are almost ready to pass regulations and start the cannabusiness licensing process. But as lawmakers work to establish rules for the newly passed legalization, Pine Tree State Governor Paul LePage said this week that he would veto any bill put in front of his desk that did not set tax rates for both recreational and medical marijuana. According to the Mount Desert Islander, Gov. LePage spoke at a local Rotary Club meeting this week and told constituents that legislators current cannabis tax plan, to pull state funds out of the recreational market but leave the state’s medical sales tax-free, will not …

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Another City in Pennsylvania Decriminalizes Marijuana Possession

TJ Baker | July 22, 2017 YORK, PA — Another city in Pennsylvania has voted to make possession of small amounts of marijuana a fine-only offense. Earlier this week, the York City Council voted to decriminalize the possession of under 30 grams of marijuana, reducing the penalty to a maximum fine of $100 and no jail time for first-time offenders. A second offense within five years would result in a fine of $300, with a third carrying a $600 fine.  For those that can not afford to pay the fines, there is an option for offenders to perform community service instead. Under state law, marijuana possession is a criminal misdemeanor that carried up to 30 days in jail, a $500 …

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Massachusetts Cannabis Overhaul Could Prompt Legal Challenge

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to sign a cannabis overhaul bill that the state Legislature sent to his desk on Thursday, but one Republican lawmaker is already warning that one of the bill’s provisions could invite a lawsuit. The bill, H.3818, would effectively repeal and replace the law that voters passed in November to legalize adult-use cannabis. Cannabis would still be legal for adults 21 and older, but with new regulatory tweaks. The legislation would set a higher cannabis tax than what voters approved, merge government oversight of medical and adult-use systems, impose restrictions on advertising and change how cities and towns can ban retail cannabis stores and other facilities. Sens. Sonia Chang-Diaz and Linda Dorcena Forry tweeted this …

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Senators Urge Trump Task Force to Consider Medical Marijuana as Alternative to Opioids – News

Two Senators from Connecticut have sent a list of recommendations to President Trump’s opioid task force after attending a recent summit on the opioid epidemic currently ravaging their home state, urging the federal government to allow the use of medical cannabis as an alternative to addictive painkillers.  In a letter addressed to all five members of the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal wrote that “the opioid epidemic is devastating communities across the nation and more must be done to combat this crisis.” “In 2016, more people in Connecticut died from drug overdoses than from homicides, suicides, and car accidents combined,” the letter continued. “We urge you to use these comments …

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Nearly half of Americans have used pot, Gallup poll finds

(stock photo by Drug Policy Alliance) The number of Americans who use marijuana is at an all-time high, a new Gallup poll finds. The research group published a poll on Wednesday revealing that 45 percent of Americans admit to trying marijuana at least once, which is the highest percentage since Gallup began asking the question in 1969. The percentage is a massive increase since Gallup’s first pot poll, of which only 4 percent of Americans said “yes” to the question: “Have you yourself, ever happened to try marijuana?” However, that percentage falls significantly when Americans were asked if they currently smoke pot, as only 12 percent admit to doing so. The poll surveyed 1,021 adults age 21 and over. 13 …

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Hawaii’s Medical Cannabis Rollout Has Been Delayed For Over a Year – News

One year ago this month, Hawaii’s medical marijuana law permitted dispensaries in the state to begin selling medical cannabis to registered patients. But even though many of these dispensaries are stocked with product and ready to do business, the state Health Department has prevented them from opening their doors until three cannabis testing labs are approved.   The initial July 2016 rollout of medical cannabis had already been delayed by the Health Department in order to approve a statewide seed-to-sale tracking system. Earlier this year, the contract was granted to BioTrackTHC, but dispensaries were put on hold again so that the department could implement a testing system for the cannabis that will be sold. The Department of Health is now …

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Sen. Positive Nelson Wants to Bring Medical Cannabis to the Virgin Islands

A senator in the US Virgin Islands is trying to bring medical marijuana to the islands. Sen. Terrance “Positive” Nelson announced Thursday that he has submitted a medical marijuana legalization bill to the Legislature, according to the Virgin Island Consortium, which reports that the move has broad support in the US territory. It’s the second time Nelson has submitted a medical marijuana bill. In 2014 he introduced a measure that also had majority support in the islands. However, then-Attorney General Claude Walker warned at the time that passing a law legalizing medical cannabis would put the islands in a precarious position with the federal government. Lawmakers ultimately scrapped the bill after a number of public forums and legislative hearings. “The …

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California Working to Avoid Recreational Marijuana Shortage – News

In an effort to prevent California from experiencing the same kind of shortage of recreational marijuana as Nevada, the state’s marijuana czar is working to issue early cultivation licenses to ensure the state’s dispensaries are fully stocked when the fully legal sector finally gets underway sometime next year. The Los Angeles Times reports that Lori Ajax, chief of the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, told the state legislature earlier this week that it was necessary for the state to issue “temporary, four month licenses” to cannabis farmers in order to prevent “a break in the supply chain.” The majority of production licenses are expected to be granted at the beginning of 2018, but the goal now is to “make sure” …

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Lawyers in Massachusetts MMJ-Employment Case Explain Significance of Ruling

Earlier this week, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a medical cannabis patient could sue her former employer for handicap discrimination after they fired her for testing positive for cannabis on a drug screening. According to her lawyers, the decision by the court was “very significant” but acts neither as a de facto protection for registered medical cannabis users in the state nor makes them “untouchable.” “Before this ruling [medical cannabis patients] were the opposite of untouchable,” said Matthew Fogelman, an attorney for the plaintiff and owner of Massachusetts-based employment law firm Fogelman & Fogelman. “They were sort of without remedy because if they failed a drug test, they failed a drug test and that was the bottom line.” …

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