Hemp News, a compilation of international news stories about hemp and cannabis, is a public service of Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH) and The Hemp & Cannabis Foundation (THCF). All material included herein is provided free of charge for political and educational purposes under the US federal "Fair Use Doctrine". This material may only be used for political and educational purposes without express written consent.

Ohio Residents Join Legal Hemp Harvest In Kentucky, Touting Jobs Creation, Brain Food

KentuckyHempHarvest2014

For the first time in two generations, the Industrial Hemp crop has been legally harvested in Kentucky. The hemp plots were grown in compliance with Kentucky state law and in accordance with Sec. 7606 of the 2014 US Farm Bill (Agricultural Act of 2014) that authorized hemp cultivation for research purposes in states that permit Hemp farming.

The agricultural excitement spurred some of Ohio's long-time hemp advocates to travel south to meet the farmers and gain first-hand experience with the plant that cannabis prohibition has kept out of American fields until very recently.

In votes often favoring Hemp by wide margins, 20 states have legalized the crop, defining it as Cannabis Sativa L., having .03 percent THC or less (no drug/narcotic value). The reforms are welcome in Kentucky, where tobacco growers are hurting for alternative crops.

Even with the non-drug status being declared federally, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) seized viable hemp seed en route to Kentucky from Italy, as outdated policy under the Controlled Substances Act doesn't recognize the scientifically-demonstrated chemical distinctions between "marihuana," a Schedule I narcotic, and hemp, a viable agricultural cash crop commodity. Kentucky sued the DEA to release the seeds, and prevailed in federal court, allowing the research plots to proceed.

Maine: Backers of Lewiston Marijuana Initiative To Launch Mobile Billboard

MarijuanaLessToxic!LessAddictive!LessScaryThanAlcohol!

Halloween-themed Mobile Billboard Highlights the Relative Safety of Marijuana Compared to Alcohol

Billboard satirizing ‘Reefer Madness’-style propaganda comes as opponents ramp up efforts to scare voters into keeping marijuana illegal for adults; ad calls Question 2 ‘[a] safer marijuana policy’ because it would allow adults to use a substance that is, ‘Less toxic! Less addictive! ‘Less scary than ALCOHOL!’

Backers of the initiative to make marijuana legal for adults 21 and older in Lewiston, Maine, will launch a Halloween-themed mobile billboard on Tuesday that highlights the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol. The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) will hold a news conference in front of the billboard at 10 a.m. ET in Heritage Park. The ad will run through Halloween.

The orange and black billboard, which satirizes “Reefer Madness”-style propaganda, comes as opponents of Question 2 are ramping up efforts to scare voters into keeping marijuana illegal for adults. It features a screaming face and reads, “MARIJUANA: LESS toxic! LESS addictive! LESS scary than ALCOHOL!”

It calls Question 2 “[a] safer marijuana policy for Lewiston” because it would allow adults to make the safer choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol, if that is what they prefer. Facts regarding the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol are available at http://www.MarijuanaIsSafer.org .

Question 2 would make possession of up to one ounce of marijuana legal for adults 21 years of age and older. It would remain illegal to use marijuana in public.

D.C.: Community Organizations, Advocates and Faith Leaders Call For Marijuana Legalization

DCCannabisCampaign-Legalize.RefocusPoliceResources.

A diverse group of community organizations, policy reform advocates and faith leaders is calling for an end to marijuana prohibition in the nation’s capital which has resulted in gross racial disparities in the arrests of marijuana users. They are also emphasizing the need to repair the damage done to many African-American communities as a result of this policy.

The group of pastors and advocates emphasized that they do not take this decision lightly and “do not condone the use of marijuana.” But they are resolved that the current system of controlling drug use is ineffective and destructive of families and communities.

They are calling for that destruction to end, and for a reinvestment of resources from taxation and regulation of marijuana into the communities that have suffered the most from its criminalization.

“We believe that when we support a person’s self worth and dignity, the person can make more responsible choices and be accountable to the larger community,” the group said in a prepared statement.

The ACLU estimates that the District has spent as much as $43 million per year since 2010 on marijuana possession enforcement, more per capita than any state in the nation. “This money could otherwise be invested in our community to enhance public health and safety, extend drug treatment programs and to improve police-community relations,” the report concludes.

What: Press Conference

Where: Metropolitan AME Church, 1518 M Street, NW, Washington, DC

Date: Tuesday, Oct. 28th, 2014

Time: Noon

Speakers:

New Jersey: Voters Have Opportunity To Fix State's Broken Bail System

ReformBail

Public Question No. 1 Would Usher in Comprehensive Bail Reform To Increase Public Safety and Improve Justice for All

Advocates across the New Jersey have launched a campaign to support Public Question No. 1 on November 4. Public Question No. 1 asks voters to change the New Jersey Constitution to give judges the ability to deny bail to dangerous suspects and will usher in comprehensive bail reform in New Jersey.

The proposed Constitutional Amendment also authorizes the Legislature to pass laws to operationalize the amendment — an important action that the Legislature has already accomplished. At the same time that the Legislature passed the resolution to put the bail reform question to the voters, it also passed, with bi-partisan support, groundbreaking legislation to comprehensively reform New Jersey’s broken bail system.

This legislation only goes into effect if the Constitutional amendment on the ballot wins a majority on November 4.

A report released early last year found that on any given day, nearly 75 percent of the 15,000 individuals in New Jersey jails are awaiting trial rather than serving a sentence. The average length of pretrial incarceration for these individuals is more than ten months.

D.C.: Leaders, Advocates To Discuss Impact of Marijuana Laws on African Americans

DCCannabisCampaignLegalize.YesOn71

Shiloh Baptist Church and The Washington Informer to host a community forum to inform and educate

WHAT: On Monday, October 27 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., the Social Justice and Community Outreach Ministry of Shiloh Baptist Church of Washington, in partnership with The Washington Informer, will host a community forum on the impact of Ballot Initiative 71 and D.C. marijuana laws on African Americans.

Nationally acclaimed economist and author Dr. Julianne Malveaux will moderate the event held at Shiloh Baptist Church located at 9th and P Streets, NW. Panelists will include representatives from law enforcement, academia, community advocates, members of the business community, and members of the clergy.

Washington D.C. leads the country in per capita marijuana arrests, doubling that of any U.S. state. Ninety-one percent of all marijuana arrests are of black people.

Between 2001 and 2010, while the number of white people arrested for marijuana has stayed about the same, the number of black people arrested increased to 4,908 from 3,228. Young black men are 10 times more likely to be arrested for drug crimes than white ones, even though whites are more likely to both use and sell marijuana.

This community forum will gather nearly 500 District residents to raise awareness of this important topic and bring to the forefront the importance of voting on November 4.

WHO: Pastor Wallace Charles Smith, Pastor, Shiloh Baptist Church

Uruguay: Presidential Candidate Wants To Roll Back Marijuana Legalization

Uruguay-LuisLacallePou

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Uruguay's leading opposition candidate for President said he would try to repeal much of the country's historic marijuana legalization law which allows the commercial cultivation and sale of cannabis if he wins Sunday's election.

The South American nation became the first in the world to officially allow the production and use of cannabis, but almost two-thirds of Uruguayans oppose the experiment which aims to take control of the marijuana trade away from drug gangs, reports Esteban Farat at Thomson Reuters.

But notably, even the candidate in question, Luis Lacalle Pou of the centrist National Party, would still allow home cultivation and cannabis clubs.

"I will keep the law's articles that allow users to grow their own cannabis at home and authorize smoking clubs and repeal the rest, in particular the state's commercialization of the drug," Lacalle Pou said.

"I will send a bill to Parliament to repeal it," he said. "We will need a majority in Parliament, and I will look for support.

Polls show Lacalle Pou trailing the left-wing candidate for the Frente Amplio (Broad Front) party, Tabare Vazquez, who has backed the legalization law.

Photo of Luis Lacalle Pou: Xinhua News Agency/Rex

Michigan: Court Rules Medical Marijuana Law Trumps Unemployment Law

MichiganMedicalMarijuana

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A Michigan appeals court ruled on Friday that workers who've been fired solely for failing a drug screen because of their legal use of medical marijuana qualify for unemployment benefits, upholding lower court rulings that the state's medical marijuana law preempts its unemployment law.

The three-judge panel found that three state courts were right to reverse a decision by the Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission to deny three workers unemployment payments after they were fired for testing positive for marijuana.

The judges ruled that a provision of the state's medical marijuana law forbids penalties "in any manner" for those who use medical marijuana legally.

Because the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act trumps the Michigan Employment Security Act, the circuit courts were right to reverse the MCAC's ruling that claimants were not entitled to unemployment benefits, according to the opinion.

The decision stems from three cases in which between 2010 and 2012 three employees were fired from their jobs after allegedly violating their employers' "drug free" policies by testing positive for medical marijuana. All three had state issued cards authorizing them to legally use cannabis to treat specific medical conditions.

An administrative law judge in each of the three cases had upheld the unemployment eligibility of the employees, forklift operator Rick Braska, CT technician Jenine Kemp and furniture repair technician Stephen Kudzia.

U.S.: Federal Court To Hear Evidence On Whether Marijuana Is Misclassified As Dangerous Drug

MarijuanaGavelCourt

Meanwhile, federal Drug Enforcement Administration carries out latest raid on Los Angeles area medical marijuana dispensaries

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California will hold rare formal hearings beginning Monday, October 27, to determine whether an indictment against Brian Justin Pickard and others for conspiracy to grow more than 1,000 marijuana plants violates the U.S. Constitution, and whether marijuana is misclassified by the federal government as a dangerous Schedule I drug with no medical value.

What: Evidentiary hearing with several expert witnesses to review the classification of marijuana as a Schedule I substance

When: Starting Monday, October 27, 9 am and continuing to Wednesday, October 29

Where: Sacramento Federal Court, 501 I Street, Sacramento, Californbia

U.S. District Court Judge Kimberly J. Mueller will preside over the three-day hearing, which includes expert testimony from Drs. Carl Hart, associate professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology at Columbia University in New York City, Greg Carter, medical director of St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute in Spokane, Washington, retired physician Phillip Denny, as well as author, consultant, and expert witness Chris Conrad.

U.S.: Hundreds of Marijuana Store ATMs Shut Down

MarijuanaATMBanking

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Hundreds of automatic teller machines in medical marijuana dispensaries were shut down on Wednesday, just days after ATMs were turned off in recreational cannabis shops.

The machines in Colorado and Washington were part of a network served by MetaBank, a South Dakota company which in January had warned ATM providers that machines located in marijuana shops violated federal banking rules, reports David Migoya at The Denver Post.

The machines, both cashless and the traditional ATMs which dispense cash, continued to work until this week, according to owners of cannabis shops impacted by the shutdown.

"Just like that, it was out of commission," said Andy Williams, owner of Medicine Man, a Denver recreational and medical marijuana dispensary that has an on-site cash-dispensing ATM. "I got a warning the night before saying they'd lost their bank, and that was it.

The ATM machines are the lifeblood of many marijuana shops, which are forced by federal banking rules to otherwise work in cash only rather than accepting credit and debit cards from their customers.

A number of trade organization Marijuana Industry Group's clients lost ATMs, both of the cash-dispensing and cashless variety, according to executive director Michael Elliott.

Study: Marijuana Use -- Even Heavy Use -- Doesn't Lower IQ

PotStudy(Brain)

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A new study from the University College of London of 2,612 children in the United Kingdom examined children's IQ scores at age 8 and again at age 15, and found "no relationship between cannabis use and lower IQ at age 15. Even heavy cannabis use had no associated with reduced IQ scores.

But alcohol was a different story. "In particular alcohol use was found to be strongly associated with IQ decline," the study's author's wrote, reports Christopher Ingraham at The Washington Post. "No other factors were found to be predictive of IQ change."

"This is a potentially important public health message -- the belief that cannabis is particularly harmful may detract focus from and awareness of other potentially harmful behaviors," noted the study's lead author, Claire Mokrysz.

"The current focus on the alleged harms of cannabis may be obscuring the fact that its use is often correlated with that of even more freely available drugs and possibly lifestyle factors," agreed reviewer Guy Goodwin of Oxford University. "These may be as or more important than cannabis itself."

A 2012 Duke University study of just 38 subjects had made world headlines when it claimed to find a link between heavy marijuana use and IQ decline among teens. Columbia University's Carl Hart noted the very small sample of heavy users in the study led him to question how relevant were the results.

U.S.: Exchange Company For Cannabis Industry Called First of Its Kind

Amercanex(logo)

Steve Janjic, CEO of Amercanex, says his company is the first fully electronic marketplace in which licensed wholesale and retail distributors of cannabis can sell, buy or exchange their inventories on a fully disclosed market.

The core function of the marketplace is to ensure fair and orderly transactions, as well as efficient dissemination of price information for any product bought, sold or exchanged on the electronic cannabis marketplace (ECM), according to Janjic.

Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia have either legalized or decriminalized some form of marijuana use or possession, or are in the process of doing so, according to Janjic.

“The patchwork nature of marijuana legalization on the local, state and federal levels creates problems for buyers, sellers and users,” says Janjic.

“Amercanex has already created solutions to regulate the buying and selling of marijuana in Colorado, which has major implications for the entire country, from capturing lost tax revenues to influencing voters in states where marijuana use is on or coming to ballots.”

Janjic, the former global director of eFX Sales and Distribution for Tullett Prebon, one of the world’s largest institutional brokerage firms, says Amercanex will ensure a completely neutral, non-manipulated marketplace while strictly adhering to and centralizing regulatory and reporting requirements to local and regional regulatory authorities.

D.C.: Leaders, Advocates Meeting To Discuss Impact of Marijuana Laws on Black Community

RacialDisparities-Every0.01Hours

Shiloh Baptist Church and The Washington Informer to host a community forum to inform and educate

On Monday, October 27 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., the Social Justice and Community Outreach Ministry of Shiloh Baptist Church of Washington, in partnership with The Washington Informer, will host a community forum on the impact of Ballot Initiative 71 and D.C. marijuana laws on African Americans.

Nationally acclaimed economist and author Dr. Julianne Malveaux will moderate the event, held at Shiloh Baptist Church located at 9th and P Streets, NW. Panelists will include representatives from law enforcement, academia, community advocates, members of the business community, and members of the clergy.

Washington D.C. leads the country in per capita marijuana arrests, doubling that of any other U.S. state. Ninety-one percent of all marijuana arrests are of black people.

Between 2001 and 2010, while the number of white people arrested for marijuana has stayed about the same, while the number of black people arrested increased to 4,908 from 3,228. Young black men are 10 times more likely to be arrested for drug crimes than white ones, even though whites are more likely to both use and sell marijuana.

This community forum will gather nearly 500 District residents to raise awareness of this important topic and bring to the forefront the importance of voting on November 4.

U.S.: Marijuana Freelance Network Announced By Ganjapreneur

Ganjapreneur(logo)

Ganjapreneur — an online cannabis business resource that launched over the summer — has announced the launch of a "Freelancer Network" on its website. An official launch date for the project has not been set, but Ganjapreneur has outlined several of the features.

This network will be made publicly available and will be free to use. Freelancers who join the network will be able to create a listing using their real name or a pseudonym, describe their specialty and location, upload a biography and/or personal statement, and provide a contact email address.

The listings will be organized in a directory and categorized by service type. Businesses will then be able to use the directory when searching for freelancers for projects that require specific skill sets, and creative agencies who want to take on cannabis industry jobs will be able to recruit people who are interested in cannabis-related work.

The Ganjapreneur Freelancer Network will include categories such as web developers, graphic designers, copywriters, SEO experts, social media marketers, videographers, animators, and programmers.

Unlike many other freelancer networks, Ganjapreneur will not take a percentage off the top of projects organized through its network, and it will not require freelancers to manage all communications with their clients through its website.

Oregon: Marijuana Legalization Opponent Admits He Was Wrong About Child Deaths

RonSchwerzlerAndJoshMarquis

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

An Oregon physician who outraged the crowd at a Tuesday night debate on marijuana legalization when he claimed five Colorado children had died from cannabis retracted on his statement on Wednesday and acknowledged he was wrong.

"I really need to retract that statement because I can't back it up," said Dr. Ron Schwerzler, medical director at an addictions treatment center in Eugene. Schwerzler claimed he "might have been misunderstanding" stories of children who have been hospitalized in Colorado after accidentally ingesting marijuana-infused edibles. "Telling a whopper" seems a much more likely explanation, Dr. Schwerzler.

When Tuesday's discussion turned to the issue of how legalization is being implemented in Colorado, Schwerzler said: "Let's concentrate on those edibles. There have been at least five infant children deaths in Colorado that have picked up these drugs."

Several audience members began yelling, "Not true!" and "What source?" The ill-informed physician was apparently unaware that there has never been one single documented case of a fatal marijuana overdose in history.

Schwerzler on Wednesday emailed a statement to leaders of the No On 91 campaign admitting his mistake. "After our conversation today I realized that my statement about children's deaths in Colorado is in error," he wrote. "There have been admits to ICUs for children who have eaten edibles and were hospitalized.

U.S.: Melissa Etheridge Talks Marijuana In New Larry King Interview

MelissaEtheridgeAndLarryKing

Music icon Melissa Etheridge sits down with Larry King on the Emmy nominated series “Larry King Now” to talk about the ‘panic’ in her industry, President Obama's job performance, legalizing marijuana and her new self-released album.

As a cancer survivor, Etheridge explained how medical marijuana got her through it and why cannabis should be legal across the board. “I think it could help our society incredibly,” she said. (You can view the interview clip below.)

Of her duet with Queen Latifah, “It was so much fun, any genre anything just come knock on my door I’ll sing with you, I love playing in other people’s sandboxes,” Etheridge said.

The Oscar winner talked about why 'coming out' in 2014 isn't always an easy decision, “It’s still very ingrained into our society that men and women is correct.” Melissa also discussed why the country has come around so fast on the issue of gay marriage and rates the president’s slow action on gay marriage rights, “It can’t be easy to be President, it can’t be easy… but as a President I think he’s doing ok...Politics is just about this side and that side and where you’re going to land and you got to wait till public opinion gets up there.”

She wrapped up her interview by answering social media questions from some of her biggest fans, including any parenting advice she has and if she wants to be a grandmother.

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