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.

Georgia: Parents Pushing Lawmakers To Legalize Medical Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Georgia lawmakers on Wednesday held a hearing at Mercer University in Macon to gather information about medical marijuana and help decide whether to legalize it in the state.

Efforts failed last year to pass a CBD-only bill which would have allowed the medicinal use of cannabidiol oil (which doesn't produce a high), but parents are determined to fight for a different outcome, reports 11Alive. Legislators heard story after story from parents who are desperate for effective medical treatments for their children.

The Calloways were one of the families who told their stories to the legislative committee at Mercer University. They are spending their last weeks together as a family before Beth Calloway and her daughter Maggie move to Colorado so that Maggie can get cannabis oil treatment for her daily epileptic seizures.

Aaron Klepinger already moved his family to Colorado to get effective treatment for his son Hunter; he said it's had a dramatic effect. "In Georgia we got an average of one or two EMS calls every month, saying that the school was calling EMS for a seizure that lasted beyond five or 10 minutes," he said. "In Colorado, not one."

U.S.: Ecologist Designs Water Filter For Marijuana Growers

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Ecologist James P. McMahon has been developing water filtration systems for more than 10 years and worked on water quality and river restorations for another decade prior to that. With the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, McMahon has ventured into a new sector of the water filtration industry – developing purification systems that provide optimum water quality for growing marijuana plants.

McMahon’s company, Elevate 420, specializes in providing water purification systems to home, retail and wholesale marijuana growers. All are designed with the science of marijuana growing in mind. McMahon designed the Bud Booster™ water filter specifically for home and retail marijuana growers.

“Growers interested in producing large, healthy buds really must eliminate toxins like fluoride, chlorine, and chloramine in the water they use to grow,” McMahon said. He said his Bud Booster water filters do just that. “The Bud Booster water filter is the best filter for growing marijuana in locations where total dissolved solids are 300 parts per million or less.”

McMahon recently spent extensive time in Denver analyzing growing conditions and learning what growers are using for water filtration.

2-2-2 filter designed for growing marijuana

“What I saw in Denver is that very few growers were taking into consideration that chloramine and fluoride need to be removed from the water because they can inhibit bud growth,” McMahon said. “The fluoride in municipal water systems is known to interfere with phosphorous uptake.”

Colorado: Moms, Cops, Nurses and Docs Stand Together To Reform Marijuana Laws

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Groups Come Together to End Marijuana Prohibition, Increase Cannabis Research and Promote a Compassionate Health Care Response to Drug Use and Addiction

Moms, Cops, Nurses & Docs Present a Panel Discussion at the Marijuana for Medical Professionals Conference in Denver, Colorado on Sept. 11

Moms United to End the War on Drugs is bringing together a coalition of family members, health care professionals and criminal justice professionals to end cannabis prohibition that has been so destructive to our families and communities.

Moms, Cops, Nurses & Docs will be holding a panel discussion at the Sherman Street Event Center in Denver, Colorado (1770 Sherman Street) on Thursday, September 11, at the Exhibit Hall Stage at 12:30 pm. Speakers include Mary Lynn Mathre from American Cannabis Nurses Association; Dr. Jeff Hergenrather from the Society of Cannabis Clinicians; Theresa Daniello from Moms United to End the War on Drugs; and Leonard Frieling from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).

In 1937, laws were put into place prohibiting the use of cannabis in the United States. In the past decade, more than six million Americans have been arrested on marijuana charges. For several decades, people who use drugs and people with addictive illness have been banished to the criminal justice system.

Nearly half of all prisoners in state prisons are locked up for a non-violent offense. Every year 750,000 people are arrested for marijuana, wasting law enforcement resources and throwing non-violent offenders into the criminal justice system.

U.K.: Protesters Plan To Openly Smoke Marijuana In Public Park

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Cannabis advocates in the United Kingdom plan to openly smoke marijuana during a protest picnic in Exeter later month.

The Devon Cannabis Club plans its annual Harvest Picnic at Flowerpot Playing Fields in Exeter on Saturday, September 27, between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., reports the Exeter Express & Echo.

Last year's protest in Exeter was attended by about 60 activists.

This year's event is being promoted on Facebook, where the page states, "Come and join us for a picnic and to consume herb to lift the blanket of stigma and these ridiculous laws." So far, 92 people have indicated on the Facebook event page that they will be attending.

"Our aim is to raise awareness of the benefits of cannabis and to address the bias and misinformation so often seen in the mainstream media," said Daryl Sullivan, South West regional admin for The United Kingdom Cannabis Social Clubs. "To this end we have, for the past two years, been holding public 'protest picnics' around the country."

Maryland: Panel Works Toward Final Medical Marijuana Rules

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A Maryland state panel on Tuesday worked on the final details to create a medical marijuana system from scratch, but a few points remain unresolved as the commission moves toward next week's deadline.

The Maryland Medical Marijuana Commission on Wednesday released a second draft of regulations to create the program, reports Erin Cox at The Baltimore Sun. The 81 pages of rules were reworked after the first draft came under fire at a public hearing last month.

Among the many changes in the second draft was removal of a provision that would have effectively banned medical marijuana growers or dispensaries within Baltimore city limits.

The panel also decided to create a digital registry of medical marijuana patients, in an effort to assure only patients receive cannabis. It also tweaked the rules about how patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can access the herb.

But still missing from the revisions are details about how much patients and distributors will pay to participate in the program.

The Maryland Legislature passed a medical marijuana law earlier this year which allows for up to 15 growers and about 100 dispensaries across the state. It is up to the Medical Marijuana Commission to decide how to implement that law.

Pennsylvania: Philly Becoming America's Largest City To Decriminalize Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Mayor Michael Nutter and City Councilman James Kenney have reached a compromise on a bill which will make Philadelphia the largest city in America to decriminalize marijuana.

People caught with fewer than 30 grams of marijuana, just over an ounce, would only be issued a citation and fined $25 under the plan, reports Chris Hepp at Philly.com. They would face no criminal charge or arrest.

The compromise calls for a separate offense and penalty for public use of cannabis. Those caught using marijuana in public would be charged with a noncriminal summary offense, and would face a $100 fine or up to nine hours of community service, according to Kenney.

The compromise ends a conflict between Councilman Kenney and Mayor Nutter which began following the Philadelphia City Council's 13-to-3 vote in June to pass Kenney's marijuana decrim bill.

Kenney argued that cannabis arrests are disproportionately affecting African Americans. Philly police arrested 4,336 people for marijuana possession last year, 83 percent of them black.

But Mayor Nutter called the legislation "simplistic" and declined to immediately sign it. This week, with the deadline for his signature approaching, Kenney and and mayor began meeting to work out a compromise.

Iowa: Cancer Patient Who Faced 15 Years Sentenced To Probation For Medical Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

An Iowa man who had faced 15 years as a habitual offender and a mandatory three-year prison term for treating his cancer with cannabis oil has been sentenced to probation, as a district judge used his sentencing discretion.

Benton Mackenzie, 48, was charged along with his wife, Loretta, and son, Cody, reports Brian Wellner at Quad-City Times.

A jury found the Long Grove couple guilty of manufacturing marijuana, a Class C felony, at their trial this summer. District Judge Henry Latham barred Mackenzie from mentioning to jurors that he grew the marijuana to treat his cancer, or anything about his medical condition.

Mackenzie suffers from late stage angiosarcoma, a cancer of the blood vessels in which tumors appear as skin lesions. Several lesions have grown from the size a pea a year ago to larger than a grapefruit now.

His backside and right leg are covered in lesions, and Mackenzie has had severe swelling recently. He was in the hospital on Sunday and has trouble walking due to the swelling, according to his wife.

Mackenzie said he grew marijuana at home until his arrest a year ago, treating his cancer with oil derived from the plant. The treatment kept the lesions small and prevented the cancer from spreading for two years, he said.

U.S.: Retired Seattle Police Chief Connects Ferguson To Drug War In Senate Hearings

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In the wake of tragic events in Ferguson, Missouri, that focused the public’s attention on the increasing militarization of police, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on Tuesday held a hearing on police militarization. Retired Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper, who oversaw and now regrets his role in the militaristic response to the Seattle WTO protests in 1999, has been in consultation with the Committee and has submitted written testimony which appears in its entirety below.

Meanwhile, in New York City, a group of dignitaries including former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the former presidents or prime ministers of Brazil, Switzerland, Colombia, Chile, Portugal, Poland, Greece and Mexico, and a long list of other top leaders are meeting this morning to release a new report calling for putting public health and safety first through the decriminalization of drug use and possession and the institution of legalized regulation of drug markets.

“The drug war is inextricably linked to most major issues of our time, from immigration to police militarization,” said Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a group of law enforcement officers opposed to the War On Drugs. "It’s the cause of much of the violence on our streets and in communities worldwide.

Global: Drug Policy Alliance Responds To New Report From Global Commission On Drugs

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The Global Commission on Drug Policy on Tuesday released a new, groundbreaking report at a press conference in New York City. The event was live-streamed and speakers included Richard Branson, former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, former Colombian President César Gaviria, former Swiss President Ruth Dreifuss and others.

The report reflects a new evolution in the thinking of the Commissioners, who reiterate their demands for decriminalization, alternatives to incarceration, and greater emphasis on public health approaches – and now also call for permitting the legal regulation of psychoactive substances. The Commission is the most distinguished group of high-level leaders to ever call for such far-reaching changes.

“When the Commission released its initial report just three years ago, few expected its recommendations to be embraced anytime soon by current presidents," said Drug Policy Alliance Executive Director Ethan Nadelmann. "But that’s exactly what happened, with Colombian President Santos and Guatemala President Perez-Molina speaking out boldly, former Mexican President Calderon calling on the United Nations to reassess the prohibitionist approach to drugs, and Uruguayan President Mujica approving the first national law to legally regulate cannabis.

"Meanwhile, one Commission member, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, has opened up the drug policy debate in West Africa, recruiting some of the region’s most distinguished figures," Nadelmann said.

Bermuda: Activist Says 'We've Won,' Claims Cannabis Now Fully Legal

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Activist Alan Gordon Claims Deliberate Crown Non-Intervention in Known Large Religious/Medical Grow Operation Sets “Unacceptable and Unconstitutional” Precedent Which Tramples Others’ Racial and Religious Rights

Cannabis activist Alan Gordon of Bermuda told Hemp News on Monday that an unconstitutional double standard has occurred, in that the Crown is prosecuting Black Rastafarian and atheist cannabis defendants, despite turning a deliberately blind eye to a Gordon’s own Hebrew religious large-scale cultivation and Christian medical-religious distribution of the plant.

Gordon said that in a medical/religious context, he cultivated more than 80 plants this year, approximating 10 pounds of finished cannabis, and distributed it with the Bermuda Police Services’ full prior knowledge. Gordon provided corroborating correspondence, and said the Public Safety Ministry was also told ahead of time -- and yet no apparent action was taken by either agency to effectively stop the cultivation and distribution of the cannabis before it found its way into the community.

“When the Ministry and Police opted not to interfere with my attempt to make Hebrew Biblical medicinal anointing oil (from the recipe in Exodus 30:23) this past grow season, they did so because they assumed Parliament would bring reform so quickly that dealing with it was not worth the trouble and expense,” said Gordon. “But how is prosecuting Black Rastafarians in the public interest, if prosecuting me isn’t?”

U.S.: Medical Cannabis Institute Launches Website For Healthcare Pros, Caregivers, and Patients

TheMedicalCannabisInstitute(logo)

Site closes an education gap since the science of medical cannabis is generally not part of today's medical training

Scitent, Inc., a provider of eLearning business solutions for healthcare organizations, nonprofits, and associations, on Monday launched The Medical Cannabis Institute, a website featuring continuing medical education (CME) on medical cannabis topics.

The site is designed to help educate a growing global community of healthcare professionals, caregivers, and patients who want and need to learn about the science behind and clinical application of medical cannabis, according to Scitent.

The Medical Cannabis Institute's charter group of content providers includes Patients Out of Time, the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, and Healthy Choices Unlimited, and comprises distinguished faculty and healthcare professionals who are experts in medical cannabis.

As of September 1, 23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana and three states have pending legislation. As the legalization of medical cannabis advances across the United States, The Medical Cannabis Institute brings together content from experts in the field to close the education gap.

Global Leaders Call For Ending Criminalization of Drug Use and Possession

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The Global Commission on Drug Policy on Tuesday will release Taking Control: Pathways to Drug Policies that Work, a new, groundbreaking report at a press conference in New York City.

The event will be live-streamed and speakers include former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, former Colombian President César Gaviria, former Swiss President Ruth Dreifuss, Richard Branson and others.

The Commissioners will then meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson in the afternoon following the press conference.

The report reflects the evolution in the thinking of the Commissioners, who reiterate their demands for decriminalization, alternatives to incarceration, and greater emphasis on public health approaches and now also call for permitting the legal regulation of psychoactive substances. The Commission is the most distinguished group of high-level leaders to ever call for such far-reaching changes.

In 2011, the Commission’s initial report broke new ground in both advancing and globalizing the debate over drug prohibition and its alternatives. Saying the time had come to “break the taboo,” it condemned the Drug War as a failure and recommended major reforms of the global drug prohibition regime.

Oregon: Still No Green Light For Hempstalk Festival With Just 3 Weeks To Go

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Organizer Paul Stanford, who owns Hemp News and directs the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH), still expects the two-day Hempstalk festival to occur in downtown Portland, but the free event is still waiting for a city permit, with just three weeks to go.

It's been eight months now since Portland Mayor Charlie Hales directed city staff to try and find a way to accommodate the festival, which advocates the legalization of marijuana and hemp for all uses, reports Andrew Theen at The Oregonian.

"It's outrageous," Stanford said on Friday from Spain, where he's speaking at an international cannabis festival. "They're yanking us around," he said of the city's handling of Hempstalk's permit.

Hempstalk Festival is marking its 10th anniversary this year, and Stanford has planned a downtown showcase for the event. Musical acts including Lukas Nelson (Willie's son) are slated to perform, and the event, scheduled for September 27 and 28, has been extensively promoted.

Portland city officials initially denied Stanford's application for an event permit back in December, claiming past Hempstalks at Kelley Point Park in Northy Portland have featured lax security and marijuana use.

Oregon: Marijuana Dispensary Pays Thousands As Health Authority Levies First Fines

PortlandCompassionateCaregivers

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Oregon Health Authority has levied its first fines against medical marijuana dispensaries for violating the rules.

Portland Compassionate Caregivers this week paid $6,500 in fines for 13 "serious" violations, including poor record keeping and evidence of cannabis consumption on the premises, reports Anna Staver at the Statesman Journal. The state subsequently ordered the dispensary to close, reports Noelle Crombie at The Oregonian.

"This penalty sends a message in no uncertain terms -- you must comply with Oregon law or you will pay the price," said Tom Burns, director of Pharmacy Programs for the Oregon Health Authority.

The shop was cited for violations during an unannounced, mandatory annual on-site inspection. OHA's regulations to enforce the state's 2013 medical marijuana dispensary law require an on-site inspection of each facility within six months of receiving a license, and annually thereafter.

William Lupton, the operator of Portland Compassionate Caregivers, paid the fines on August 26. According to the state's agreement with Lupton, the dispensary, at 4020 SE Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard, may reopen, but must first be inspected again.

U.S.: Marijuana Legalization Supported By Growing Majority of Americans

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A new survey shows that a growing majority of Americans continue to support marijuana legalization in the United States.

The CivicScience survey, released last week, asked more than 450,000 adults over the last two years: "Would you support or oppose a law in your state that would legalize, tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol?"

Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they support cannabis legalization, with 39 percent saying they "strongly support" and 19 percent saying they "somewhat support" it, reports Matt Ferner at the Huffington Post. Thirty-five percent oppose marijuana legalization, with 29 percent "strongly opposing" and 6 percent "somewhat" opposing the move. Seven percent were too wishy-washy to even express an opinion on the issue.

When breaking out the data from the last three months of responses, from May to August this year, CivicScience saw an increase in support and a decrease in opposition to marijuana legalization. Of those who responded most recently, 61 percent said they strongly or somewhat support cannabis legalization, while just 30 percent said they were opposed.

Sixty percent of men and 55 percent of women support legalization, according to the survey. Support was strongest among those between 25 and 34 years old; the only age group which opposed legalization was people over 65.

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