Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday vetoed SB 1445, a bill that would have required law enforcement agencies to conceal police officers’ identities for months following their involvement in violent or deadly incidents.
“Governor Ducey has lived up to his promise to hear the concerns of the community regarding SB 1445, and we want to both thank the Governor and praise him for his openness in directly accepting public feedback concerning this misguided and harmful piece of legislation," said ACLU of Arizona Executive Director Alessandra Soler. "We also want to thank the members of the Gov. Ducey’s staff who, last week, graciously accepted the ACLU’s letter opposing SB 1445, signed by more than three-dozen community leaders and local, statewide and national organizations, along with a petition calling for the veto of SB 1445 signed by over 2,500 concerned Arizonans and others from around the country."
“We are grateful that Gov. Ducey considered the dangerous ramifications of this bill, for both law enforcement and the public," Soler said. "This proposal would have taken Arizona in the wrong direction, by exacerbating distrust between communities and the public safety officers responsible for protecting them, while at the same time eroding the transparency that is critical to our democracy."
Algae International Group, Inc., through its operating subsidiary American Seed & Oil Company, on Friday announced an expansion of the previously announced distribution agreement of the DuBe Hemp Energy Shot in Texas and Kentucky. American Seed & Oil will now be selling the DuBe Hemp Energy Shot in Colorado, New Hampshire and Vermont.
"The response to the DuBe Hemp Energy Shot from our distribution network has been extremely positive," said Steven Rash, CEO of Algae International Group and American Seed & Oil. "We went back and asked to expand our distribution network into the additional states because we had unsolicited demand from those states.
"In addition to expanding our retail distribution network, we will soon be adding ecommerce to our website and selling the DuBe Hemp Energy Shot online with other organically certified hemp infused consumer products," Rash said.
The DuBe Hemp Energy Shot is a berry-flavored, all natural, zero calorie, sugar free, gluten free, GMO free energy shot infused with Hemp Pro 70 Protein Powder, "providing smooth energy for hours," according to the company. A DuBe CBD Energy Shot is coming soon, according to the company.
DuBe Hemp Energy Shot Products are herbicide and pesticide free, peanut-free, vegetarian approved, kosher certified, THC-free (NO THC, 100 percent Legal), and tryspin inhibitor free, the company said.
By Steve Elliott
Police in Palmerah, Indonesia, a sub-district of West Jakarta, accidentally got an entire town stoned when they burned a 3.3-ton pile of marijuana.
A number of residents and journalists in the Indonesian neighborhood reported feeling disoriented, dizzy and stoned when heavy plumes of smoke wafted through their streets, reports Dangerous Minds.
Some of the police wore masks as they first set the cannabis ablaze, but neglected to mention to onlookers and residents in the surrounding community that the smoke could affect them, too.
By Steve Elliott
A North Carolina jury took less than an hour on Thursday to find a man who openly ran a medical marijuana operation guilty of drug trafficking.
The jury of six men and six women found Todd Stimson, 44, guilty of two counts of marijuana trafficking in an emotional conclusion to the trial in Henderson County Superior Court, reports Sabian Warren at the Citizen-Times.
Judge Mark Powell sentenced a visibly shaken Stimson to a minimum of 25 months in federal prison, and a maximum of 39 months. Stimson was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.
Addressing the court in a final plea, his voice shaking as his daughter cried, Stimson said, "I'm sorry that I've taken up your time ... It's not meant to be this way," reports Emily Weaver at the Hendersonville Times-News.
"What I did this time was to stand out and try to be accepted by society and ... work with the state along with the police department, along with the Department of Revenue and everybody (to show the state) that we can work together and get along," Stimson said. "And that's all I set out to do.
"Even though the situation is bad for me, I've done exactly what I wanted to do to raise awareness to ... what happens to people in this situation," Stimson said.
By Steve Elliott
Parolees in Maryland who use or possess small amounts of marijuana would no longer be violation of their sentences under a bill narrowly approved by the Maryland House of Delegates last week.
The bill, which squeaked by on a 10-vote margin, comes a year after Maryland voted to decriminalize the possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana. It heads to the Senate for consideration, report Ovetta Wiggins and Jenna Johnson at The Washington Post.
Proponents say it's important for the rules of probation and parole to mirror criminal law, and not to penalize people for offenses that are no longer criminal. Opponents of the bill claimed it would undermine aspects of the criminal justice system intended to keep former inmates on a "positive path," which apparently to these morons means encouraging them to drink rather than the safer alternative of using cannabis.
Possession of small amounts of cannabis isn't a violent offense, said Del. Jay Walker, one of dozens of benighted Democrats who voted against the bill, but drug possession is related to the "drug culture -- the most violent culture we have."
But Del. David Moon (D-Montgomery), who sponsored the legislation, said the bill is "an attempt to keep nonviolent offenders out of the system."
"The spirit is to include all offenses that have been moved from criminal to civil," Moon said.
By Steve Elliott
As Oregon implements recreational marijuana legalization, you might expect bigger festivals and conventions like this weekend's Oregon Hemp Convention would become the norm. But as of now the convention is the only big cannabis event scheduled in Portland this year.
The state's voters last November chose to legalize recreational marijuana use, but despite its mainstream status, Portland doesn't have any official Boulder-style 4/20 smoke-ins on the calendar, nor any other mass cannabis gatherings, reports Jamie Hale at The Oregonian.
Hempstalk had been Portland's primary marijuana rally for the past decade, before the Portland Parks Bureau denied its permit for 2015, claiming unchecked illegal public consumption of cannabis at previous events, despite organizers' serious efforts to control it.
New York-based High Times magazine announced its touring Cannabis Cup would come to Portland in July, but no further details have been released, leading to concern that it, too, will fall through.
That leaves the Oregon Hemp Convention, where no smoking is allowed and the focus is on the industry, as the sole major cannabis event in town. And director Jerry Norton is just fine with that.
By Steve Elliott
One Portland medical marijuana dispensary filed a $400,000 lawsuit this month against the owners of another dispensary, claiming the second business lied on a state registration application to steal the first business's patients.
Two medical marijuana dispensaries cannot be within 1,000 feet of each other, under Oregon law, and that's why the Portland Medical Cannabis Club is a plaintiff in the lawsuit, reports Noelle Crombie at The Oregonian.
The Cannabis Club is just steps away from its soon-to-open competitor, 420 Dank. When 420 Dank opens, possibly as early as next month, the dispensaries will be in the 4600 and 4700 block of Southwest Beaver-Hillsdale Highway in Portland.
"They aren't trying to take anyone's business," claimed 420 Dank's lawyer, Brad Andersen. "It just happens to be in a prime location."
A little more than a year ago, the state began requiring all medical marijuana dispensaries to register, starting at 8:30 a.m. on March 3, 2014, via a state website. Dispensary owners flooded the site, and that's when this dispute began.
By Steve Elliott
Medical cannabis freedom fighter Dr. Marion "Mollie" Fry, 58, who was incarcerated on May 2, 2011 after more than six years of litigation and three years of appeals, and sentenced to five years in federal prison for "manufacturing and distributing marijuana" in California, a medically legal state, has finally learned of her release date -- and it's Tuesday, March 31, 2015, according to the website Can-Do Justice Through Clemency.
At the time of the raid on her family home, she was growing, along with her husband, Dale Schaefer, 34 plants in a small greenhouse on her rural property just north of Sacramento, medicating from a double mastectomy and subsequent chemotherapy treatments. She was also shearing her harvest with needful patients at no charge.
"We weren't selling the medical cannabis to my patients," Dr. Fry said. "We had staff and were charging $10 for delivery only, and that's a common practice today."
According to Schafer, the couple had never grown more than 44 plants in a given year -- well below the 99 plant limit set forth by the State of California for medical use -- and never sold a leaf. But under a little known facet of federal law, more than 100 plans grown in a five-year period -- accumulatively -- is cause for a mandatory five-year sentence.
Groups convene in Washington, DC for third annual national medical cannabis conference March 27-31
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) Cannabis Committee, in coordination with Americans for Safe Access (ASA), and the Hemp Industries Association (HIA), has announced the release of a joint statement advocating for implementation of best practices for the regulation of consumable, topical, and inhalant cannabis and hemp-derived products to ensure quality and consumer safety.
These best practices were developed with the input of numerous industry experts and establish common language and defined terms for the transparent and accurate labeling of these products to support responsible commerce and informed use of the cannabis plant.
AHPA, ASA and HIA will be promoting these best practices at the 3rd Annual National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference being held March 27-31, in Washington, DC.
Recommendations for plant part identification
The AHPA Cannabis Committee has established a policy that lawfully-marketed products consisting of or including Cannabis spp. ingredients that are intended for oral ingestion, topical application, or inhalation be labeled to identify the part of the Cannabis plant from which the ingredient is derived (e.g., seed oil, flower extract, or extract of aerial parts). This policy does not apply to parts of the Cannabis plant provided to consumers in unprocessed and recognizable forms.
By Steve Elliott
Music legend Willie Nelson, now 81, plans to launch his own signature brand of marijuana called Willie's Reserve.
According to PR person Michael Bowman, a veteran hemp and cannabis lobbyist who serves as the new brand's spokesperson, Willie wants the signature cannabis strain to be a reflection of his passions, reports James Joiner at The Daily Beast.
"Ultimately, it's his," Bowman said. "But it was developed by his family, and their focus on environmental and social issues, and in particular this crazy War On Drugs, and trying to be a bright light amongst this trail as we're trying to extract ourselves from the goo of prohibition."
"Really he wants it, at the end of the day, to envelop what his personal morals and convictions are," Bowman said. "So from the store itself to how they'll work with suppliers and how things are operated, it's going to be very reflective of Willie's life. I think it's safe to say there will be stores that roll out in the states where marijuana has become legal," Bowman ventured.
According to Bowman, the stores will carry both signature strains grown under Willie's oversight, and other strains of cannabis as well. "There will be our own, and then there will be opportunities for other growers, who meet quality standards," he said.
"In the next calendar year there will be movement," Bowman said.
By Steve Elliott
Thousands of people gathered on Thursday for the District of Columbia's first-ever legal marijuana seed sharing event, with a second giveaway is planned for Saturday.
With D.C. police officers looking on, city residents lined up and then walked away from a bar and restaurant carrying baggies containing marijuana seeds, report Aaron C. Davbis and Perry Stein at The Washington Post.
The seed attendees were taking advantage of Initiative 71, a ballot measure approved last fall by voters which legalized marijuana possession. The line for the marijuana "seed share" snaked around the building, including people of many ages and ethnic backgrounds.
"The RSVP list when we closed it today was at 2,000," said Adam Eidinger, chair of the DC Cannabis Campaign, who welcomed those who came to share and receive seeds at Libertine, a bar on 18th Street NW, reports Michelle Basch at WTOP.
"I hope that from the seeds that we plant this week, (that) this fall ... we have a great crop, and people are really generous in sharing, and we actually bring the price of underground marijuana down," Eidinger said. "Home growth is what 70 percent of voters approved."
By Steve Elliott
The deputy police chief of Fresno, California, was arrested on Thursday and charged with multiple conspiracies to distribute heroin, oxycodone and marijuana, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Keith Foster, 51, was arrested along with three other Fresno residents, according to a statement from the FBI, reports Eric M. Johnson at Reuters.
Foster had always appeared just behind the police chief at press conferences.
"It is important that we do everything we can to maintain and enhance the trust that our citizens have in us," Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said in a "he must be kidding" kind of statement at a news conference after Deputy Chief Foster's arrest. "When things of this nature happen, it does serve to erode that trust," the Chief admitted.
"This is a very sad day for the Fresno Police Department, the citizens of Fresno, and the law enforcement profession," Chief Dyer said, report Rick Montanez, Corin Hoggard and Sontaya Rose at ABC 30.
Dyer claimed he was "just made aware" of the case" after Foster was arrested n Thursday. Federal investigators were authorized to use wiretaps on telephones.
By Steve Elliott
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a medical marijuana bill into law on Friday in a ceremony on the Capitol steps.
The bill cleared its final legislative hurdle on Thursday when the Georgia House voted 160-1 to approve a Senate compromise that only slightly tweaked the original House version by state Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon), reports Bill Hendrick at the Associated Press.
After an emotional debate which had lasted, all told, for two years, House Speaker David Ralston hugged Janea Cox, 33, mother of 5-year-old Haleigh Cox, who has intractable epilepsy and is one of the half-a-million Georgians Peake said should benefit from the new law.
"Some days make it all worthwhile," Ralston said.
Peake's bill had already passed the House by a huge margin. It originally called for people with nine medical conditions to be eligible for treatment with cannabis oil that has only minimal amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which producers marijuana's characterisic "high."
By Steve Elliott
Tom Burns, who directed marijuana programs for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, was fired on Thursday.
Burns saw implementation of the state's medical marijuana dispensary program, and had led efforts to establish a recreational cannabis market in the state after voters approved legalization last fall, reports Noelle Crombie at The Oregonian. Burns confirmed his dismissal in an interview with The Oregonian Thursday afternoon.
Declining to comment any further, Burns directed questions to Steven Marks, executive director of the OLCC; Marks couldn't immediately be reached for comment. Rob Patridge, chairman of the liquor control commission, declined to comment on Burns' firing, characterizing it as a "personel matter."
The position's duties will be taken on by Will Higlin, the OLCC's director of licensing, until a permanent replacement is named.
The agency announced that Burns' firing will not affect the timeline for drafting recreational marijuana industry rules and regulations.
State Sen. Ginny Burdick (D-Portland), co-chair of the House-Senate committee on implementing recreational marijuana legalization, said she was shocked and disappointed by the news of Burns' firing.
"I don't know how we're going to get through this without him," Burdick said. "He's the most knowledgeable person on marijuana policy in the state. It's a real shock. It's going to be a real loss to the legislative effort."
As part of what it calls its "ongoing mission to provide clean, effective and accurately dosed plant-based health and wellness products," Mary's Medicinals today announced that it has enlisted Noel Palmer, Ph.D. as chief scientist. In this role, Dr. Palmer will direct and manage all research, development and testing for current and future products.
"We're thrilled to add Noel's expertise to our team," said Nicole Smith, CEO, Mary's Medicinals. "As one of the most respected researchers in the cannabis industry, his understanding of plant chemistry will allow us to continue to improve the efficacy and accuracy of our products, and his skill set will lend itself perfectly to the development of our new Mary's Nutritionals line."
Dr. Palmer brings 15 years of experience as a laboratory scientist with an emphasis on plant properties to Mary's Medicinals. A member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society, his R&D and testing of product potency and efficacy is award winning.
Most recently, he was recognized as Americans for Safe Access Researcher of the Year 2014. In collaboration with ASA and the American Herbal Products Association, he was closely involved in drafting the Industry Standards for Laboratory Testing of cannabis.
"Mary's Medicinals has established itself as a leader in the creation of effective, quality cannabis medicine," Palmer said. "I look forward to applying my understanding of the powerful properties of plants to finding new ways to help patients find relief."