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.

South Carolina: Legislative Panel Hears Pleas For Clarity On CBD-Only Medical Marijuana Law


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

South Carolina lawmakers earlier this year passed one of those "CBD only" bills that allow parents to possess cannabidiol oil, derived from the marijuana plant, for treatment of epileptic seizures. But CBD oil can't be legally made in South Carolina, and it's against federal law to transport it across state lines, so a new Medical Marijuana Study Committee is working out the details of how, exactly, to implement their new law.

That committee met for the first time on Wednesday at the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia, reports Robert Kittle at WSPA.

CBD oil doesn't have the mind-altering effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the which gets users high. As written, South Carolina's CBD-only law is just for patients in a clinical trial to treat epilepsy, and it provides no way for them to legally obtain the oil.

Janel Ralph of Myrtle Beach, whose five-year-old daughter Harmony has lissencephaly, which causes seizures, wants the law expanded so that it's not just a clinical trial and not just for epilepsy. She said the law, as written, doesn't really help.

"You're saying you can get it," she said. "You're saying you can give it to your child, and yes we're going to let you do this. But then they're not giving you any way to actually get it legally."

Oregon: Measure 91 Wins More Major Endorsements For Marijuana Legalization


New campaign commercial features after-school program leader from Eugene

Oregon's campaign to regulate, legalize and tax marijuana has won several new endorsements and on Thursday released a new campaign commercial featuring an after-school program leader from Eugene.

Some of the most recent endorsers of Measure 91 include:

• The City Club of Portland, an independent, non-profit, non-partisan education and research-based civic organization that studied Measure 91 in detail, wrote up a 20-page research report about it and concluded "the Measure is well-written, comprehensive and could be implemented successfully" and that "the social costs of the current system are too high."

The Oregonian, the largest newspaper in the state, which concluded "The measure would be worth supporting for reasons of honesty and convenience alone, but it also would raise millions of dollars per year for schools and other purposes."

The Democratic Party of Oregon, the largest political party in the state, which concluded: "Measure 91 is the right approach to legalization in Oregon, strictly regulating use while funding law enforcement and schools."

Ohio: Man Kills Himself During Marijuana Farm Standoff


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Timothy Sturgis just wanted to be left alone to grow his marijuana. When the time came, Sturgis, 42, on Tuesday night shot himself after a two-hour standoff with law enforcement.

Sturgis kept a loaded gun in every room of his home in Ashille, reports Holly Zachariah at The Columbus Dispatch. Cops propped each of the 10 guns they seized from the Pickaway County property on Wednesday next to a mirror. A bow and arrows hung on the enclosed back porch.

A German shepherd guarded the 21 acres surrounding a well-hidden farmhouse, and a Doberman pinscher kept wath inside. An alarm at the end of the long driveway was triggered whenever anyone approached.

Sturgis shot himself after a standoff in the woods and thick, 14-foot-high weeds and brush behind his home at 15240 Lockbourne Eastern Road in Ashville. He was pronounced dead at 8:56 p.m. on Tuesday night.

"Just talked to him Sunday, always a friendly guy asking how things were going," commented "ThisNameWasntTaken" on Topix.com. "Total shock."

U.S.: 25th Anniversary of President Bush's Infamous Speech Escalating War On Drugs


Bush Held Up Bag of Crack Said to be Bought in Front of White House, Turned Out Drug Seller Was Set Up for the Speech

Bush’s Crack Speech Defined America’s Punitive Drug War Approach of 1980s & 90s

25 Years Later Voters and Elected Officials in Both Parties Rolling Back Punitive Drug Policies

On September 5, 1989, President George H.W. Bush gave a speech from the Oval Office that defined a generation. Declaring an escalation of the War On Drugs, Bush held up a bag of crack cocaine that he said undercover agents bought in the park across the street from the White House.

It later turned out that federal agents lured someone to the park to sell crack just so the President could say it was bought from in front of the White House (the crack seller did not even know where the White House was and had to ask for directions).

Washington: Jobs Fair, Expo For Cannabis Industry Set For Sept. 19


The Cannabusiness Accelerator event on September 19 will provide the first job fair in Seattle dedicated to job opportunities in the marijuana industry, according to organizers.

Aimed at budding cannabis professionals in Washington state, the Cannabusiness Accelerator event will be held at the Silver Cloud Hotel–Broadway in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Organizers said the event will serve as a locus of networking and informational know-how as well as a showcase for program partners which include Your Green Contractor, CannaGuard Security, The High Road Interior Design, and Competitive Edge Engineering.

“The Cannabusiness Accelerator helps connect dispensary and grow facility owners and managers with technology, people and solutions,” said Cannabusiness Accelerator CEO Stan Wagner. “We are spreading knowledge and best practices in this growing space.”

Nathan Mendel, president of Your Green Contractor, Inc., specializes in building grow houses, and has been spreading his know-how from Colorado to Washington to Massachusetts. He said he forward to helping build facilities in the newest state to legalize commercial marijuana

“The legal cannabis trade in Colorado has been an absolute boon to the local economy," Mendel said. "The commercial real estate market upswing has been well documented with industrial vacancy rates at record lows, but the commercial building contractor market has been positively affected as well.

Pennsylvania: Lancaster Officials May Call For Legalizing Medical Marijuana


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Lancaster may soon become the first municipality in Pennsylvania to officially support legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes.

The Lancaster City Council on Tuesday debated a resolution calling for medicinal cannabis, reports Bernard Harris at Lancaster Online. The nonbinding resolution comes in support of bills which are pending in the Pennsylvania Legislature.

A vote could come next week at the council's regular meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, September 9, at 7:30 p.m. in Southern Market Center, 100 S. Queen Street, Lancaster.

City Councilman Tim Roschel said he agreed to bring the resolution before the council for consideration because of the experience of a friend with cancer in Arizona. The friend's husband bought her cannabis with a doctor's authorization.

Roschel said he would not have wanted for his friend to be called a criminal.

Council member Pete Soto recalled both his parents dying of cancer. He said he wished medical marijuana had been available to relieve his mother's suffering after chemotherapy. "The remedy was worse than the disease," Soto said.

Former Mountville Mayor Connie Guy told the council that marijuana can be used for treating rheumatoid arthritis, seizures and fibromyalgia, from which she suffers. "We're not stoner potheads," Guy said. "We're mothers and fathers and children ... and we suffer."

New Jersey: Princeton University Employee Put On Leave For Legal Medical Marijuana


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A Princeton University employee and cannabis legalization activist who said he was told to choose between his job and using medical marijuana is now on paid leave as university officials decide what to do next.

Don DeZarn, 48, of East Windsor, New Jersey, said on Tuesday that Princeton officials told him he couldn't continue working in his job as senior operations manager of campus dining if he used medicinal cannabis, reports the Associated Press. DeZarn said he doesn't use medical marijuana on the job, but had let the university know about it in case he ever needed to use it for an "emergency situation."

Princeton officials claimed DeZarn wasn't being forced to choose between his health and jis job. University spokesman Martin Mbugua said DeZarn was placed on paid leave and invited to discuss "reasonable accommodations" for his disability; the university met with him on Tuesday to begin that process.

After being placed on leave, DeZarn said he was directed to leave the campus.

"It's the best job I've ever had," DeZarn said, reports Mike Davis at the Times of Trenton. "It's a great place to work. I'm just hopeful that this whole thing has just been an oversight on someone's part."

New Mexico: Albuquerque Mayor Vetoes Marijuana Decrim Bill


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico's biggest city, on Friday vetoed a measure that would have allowed voters to decide whether to decriminalize marijuana possession in much the same way that the Santa Fe City Council did in the state's capital city two days earlier.

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry said in a video message posted on YouTube that he vetoed the bill because marijuana is illegal, and decriminalizing it would pose conflicts with state and local laws, reports Russell Contreras of the Associated Press.

"The original form of this bill actually has several measures that I really want to see the voters of Albuquerque weigh in on," Mayor Berry claimed. "Unfortunately, at the last minute there were measures added that I, in good conscience, cannot sign, including flying in the face of federal and state law."

Berry claimed he didn't want to get Albuquerque into a legal fight. Decrim supporters criticized the mayor for his decision.

"We're disappointed to see the mayor turn away from the opportunity to let city voters have a [say in] how our city deals with crime and justice issues," said Pat Davis of ProgressNow New Mexico, one of the organizations that sponsored the campaigns to reduce marijuana penalties in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

Maine: Lewiston City Council Places Marijuana Legalization Measure On Ballot


The Lewiston City Council on Tuesday night voted to place a measure on the November ballot that would make private marijuana possession legal for adults within city limits.

Citizens for a Safer Maine submitted more than 1,250 signatures to get the measure in front of the council, which had the options of adopting it or placing it on the ballot. Just 859 valid signatures of registered city voters were required.

A similar measure will appear on the November ballot in South Portland, and the group has submitted more than the number of signatures required to place one on the ballot in York.

The initiative would make it legal for adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. It would remain illegal to consume or display marijuana in public.

The measure also includes a statement in support of regulating and taxing marijuana like alcohol at the state level.

“Voters will have the opportunity to move Lewiston forward toward a more sensible marijuana policy,” said David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “While collecting signatures we encountered a lot of interest in exploring alternatives to prohibition. People are sick of hearing about adults getting punished for using a less harmful substance than alcohol.

California: Oaksterdam Grad, Hempcon Winner To Unveil 'Wicked Wicking System'


Entrepreneur George Bianchini, an Oaksterdam University graduate, has innovated a gardening/watering system that provides him with a thriving cannabis garden in spite of the drought. This system for growing high quality marijuana as well as fruits, vegetables, and other herbs uses the exact amount of water that a plant needs, and not a drop more, according to Bianchini.

The private, ultra water-conserving garden of Medi-Cone founder and recent Hempcon winner Bianchini will be open to media on Wednesday, September 17. George himself will guide visitors through the garden's seven stations, explaining how his "Wicked Wicking System" works.

Using a wicking method that, according to Bianchini, dates back to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and combining it with modern day materials and processes, the inventor said he has created a system that decreases the amount of water lost with conventional methods to upwards of 75 percent.

Being community-minded, Bianchini plans to give the information away for free by posting an online DIY video showing do-it-yourselfers how to construct their own systems. For those less handy, kits will be made available for purchase.

George's high-CBD strain took First Place, triumphing over 25 other competitors at San Francisco's Hempcon last weekend. Additionally, he has perfected a strain that allows him to harvest 3 outdoor crops per year -- an innovation that is sure to be popular with outdoor growers.

Bianchini said he has been cultivating high quality strains since 2008 for his own Medi-Cone packaged pre-rolls.

Bermuda: Public Safety Funded Training For Local Doctors To Reject All Medical Cannabis


Gordon Says "Ask Your Doctor" Stance Has Been a Cruel Joke For Dying Patients

Bermuda’s Public Safety Ministries have, for nearly 10 years, have been paying money to train Bermuda’s doctors and nurses to reject all medical cannabis, according to local marijuana activist Alan Gordon.

If Gordon's allegations are true, this flies in the face of government promises to let doctors decide patients’ fate, and to review applications fairly under Premier Michael Dunkley's "Ask Your Doctor" stance.

Gordon claims 76 percent of doctors worldwide will recommend medical cannabis, compared to less than 10 percent in Bermuda, and attributes this bizarre difference to Ministry-funded mis-training of local doctors.

“In the U.S., doctors can take accredited courses in cannabis medicine, while our doctors locally are following the advice of a former U.S. Drug Czar who now works for a Pharmaceutical company, GW Pharma, with a significant conflict of interest, “ Gordon said.

Gordon referred to former U.S. Deputy Drug Czar Dr. Andrea Barthwell, a heavily criticized speaker who came to the island numerous times over the past 10 years -- funded by the Public Safety Ministry, mind you -- making headlines and leading courses for medical professionals with a message that all herbal medical cannabis is a “sham”.

New York: MarijuanaDoctors.com Van Busted; Staff Arrested For Cocaine, Ecstasy


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The CEO of a New York-based firm which refers patients to doctors authorizing medical marijuana has been arrested on felony drug charges, Lake Success Village police said on Friday.

Jason Draizin, 35, founder of MarijuanaDoctors.com, was arrested on August 22 along with three others after the van in which they were traveling was stopped on the Long Island Expressway in Great Neck, reports Thomas Maier at Newsday.

A black van promoting MarijuanaDoctors.com was pulled over after allegedly improperly entering the left lane of the Long Island Expressway while headed to a cannabis-related business event in New Jersey, according to Lt. Mark Staniszewski, deputy commanding officer with the Lake Success Police Department.

Police said they found "a sizable amount" of cocaine, Ecstasy and marijuana inside the van. All four in the vehicle were charged with felony drug possession.

Photo: Daily Chronic

Maine: Lewiston City Council To Consider Proposal To Make Marijuana Legal For Adults


The Lewiston City Council on Tuesday night will consider a citizen-initiated measure at its meeting that would make private marijuana possession legal for adults. The council can enact the proposed law or place it on the November 4 ballot.

Citizens for a Safer Maine submitted more than 1,250 signatures to place the measure in front of the council. Just 859 valid signatures of registered city voters were required.

Citizens for a Safer Maine qualified a similar measure for the ballot in South Portland and recently collected the final signatures needed to place one on the ballot in York.

The initiative would make it legal for adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. It would remain illegal to consume or display marijuana in public.

The measure also includes a statement in support of regulating and taxing marijuana like alcohol at the state level.

“Lewiston resources are being wasted arresting responsible adults for using something with far less personal and social costs than alcohol,” said Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) Maine political director David Boyer. “We hope the council will see the sense in using law enforcement resources for serious issues, but if they don’t, the citizens of Lewiston will.”

WHAT: Lewiston City Council hearing on a citizen-initiated measure that would make private marijuana possession legal for adults

WHEN: Tuesday, September 2, 7 p.m. ET

WHERE: Lewiston City Hall, 27 Pine Street, Lewiston, Maine

WHO: Lewiston City Council

Colorado: Most Doctors Still In The Dark About Medical Marijuana


To date, about 800 doctors have recommended medical marijuana to more than 112,000 currently registered patients under Colorado's Amendment 20, the medicinal cannabis law. But most of the other 20,300-plus physicians listed with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies still know very little about it, despite a February 2014 poll showing 51 percent of Colorado adults say they've tried pot.

"With marijuana legalization underway, every doctor needs a basic knowledge of how cannabis affects the body -- because our patients are already using it" said Dr. Laura Borgelt, professor at the University of Colorado's Anschutz Campus.

To help fill this knowledge gap, Healthy Choices Unlimited and the Postgraduate Institute for Medicine are cosponsoring a symposium, "Marijuana for Medical Professionals." The conference, scheduled for September 9-11 in downtown Denver at the Sherman St. Events Center, is reportedly Colorado's first to offer cannabis-specific Continuing Medical Education credits for doctors, nurses and health professionals.

"MJ for MDs," as the providers call it, features a combination of traditional lectures by prominent researchers, case study presentations, and hands-on learning, according to organizers.

A "mock dispensary" display in the exhibit hall will give attendees a firsthand look at cannabis products available to patients. A "mock evaluation" will take attendees through a basic medical marijuana evaluation visit with a cannabis specialist MD. And an Expo Hall of medical marijuana products will showcase the full range of options for patients.

Colorado: Marijuana Conference for Medical Professionals Set For Sept. 9-11


When Todd Mitchem's mother was diagnosed with cancer a second time, her doctor told her that she had only six months remaining to put her affairs in order.

"That was a terrifying moment," Mitchem recalled. "Her doctor was so convinced of her prognosis that we began to accept the inevitable. Saying goodbye to my mother was going to be the hardest thing I could imagine doing."

At the time Mitchem's mother's doctor asked that she head to Pennsylvania to visit a wellness clinic and to undergo limited radiation. This visit could potentially extend her life as much as another month.

During this time Mitchem's mother found out about the many properties of marijuana, but in her state the plant was still illegal. Mitchem's mother began growing pot plants in her house and baking them into muffins with the hope that this self-treatment would extend her life a few extra and precious months.

That was six years ago and she is still alive today.

Todd Mitchem of Todd Mitchem Cannabis Consulting and CannaSearch LLC is on a mission to help doctors understand that they must learn about the benefits of cannabis in the body as a wellness medicine. "Doctors in many states now have a powerful medicine available to their patients if they will simply take the time to learn about cannabis," he said.

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