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.

Colorado: Group Giving Free Marijuana To Colorado Veterans

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Military veterans who use marijuana are invited to Denver on Saturday, September 20, where a pro-cannabis organization plans to host a weed giveaway for vets who want it.

The group Operation Grow4Vets will hand out marijuana and cannabis products from 11 a.m until 3 p.m. at the Quality Inn in Central Denver, reports Denver Nicks at Time. Total value of the products given away to each veteran who RSVPs for the event by noon on Friday will be worth more than $200, according to the group.

Non-veterans will be asked for a $20 donation at the door and will get more than $100 in marijuana products in exchange, organizers told ABC7 News Denver.

Grow4Vets' mission is to "reduce the staggering number of Veterans who die each day from suicide and prescription drug overdose," by providing them "with the knowledge and resources necessary to obtain or grow their own marijuana for treatment of their medical conditions," according to the group's website.

The event is open to the public and restricted to adults 21 and older. "Our events are open to the public to help grow visibility for our cause," Operation Grow4Vets founder and executive director Roger Martin explained.

A repeat of the event will be held in Colorado Springs next Saturday, September 27.

U.S.: Business Law Firm Issues Special Report On 'Legal Marijuana Business'

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As more states legalize marijuana for medical or recreational purposes, entrepreneurs believe they'll get rich from cannabis businesses that comply with the laws of a particular state. However, marijuana businesses that comply with state laws are still breaking federal law and, therefore, are criminal enterprises.

Business advisory and advocacy law firm McDonald Hopkins addresses this issue in a special report designed to help potential investors, vendors, and professionals, such as lawyers and bankers, understand the risks involved in participating in the so-called "legal marijuana business."

The report, authored by Bruce Reinhart, co-chair of McDonald Hopkins' white collar and government compliance practice group, details how federal law regulates controlled substances, and that only certain persons registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) can manufacture, distribute, and dispense controlled substances.

Reinhart outlines the tremendous risks businesses and business owners take on when dealing with legal marijuana businesses, including exposure to criminal prosecution, loss of assets, civil penalties, loss of licensure, and fiduciary duty litigation. These risks are assumed in an environment with limited -- if any -- protection from legal counsel or insurance.

Given the current legislative landscape, the report warns that the decision to enter the legal marijuana market should be made cautiously and with the advice of legal counsel experienced in criminal, civil, and forfeiture law.

U.S.: Study Shows Marijuana Legalization Has Not Led To More Use

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A nationwide survey released on Thursday found that legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado hasn't led to more young people smoking pot there.

"The actual attitudes towards its use are really in line with other states," said Dr. Leslie Adair, reports MPR News. "What this survey has done is posed questions for further research in understanding why that is."

The survey was commissioned by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, which operates drug and alcohol treatment centers in several states. It included interviews with more than 1,000 young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

The study also found that about one in 10 young adults reported being high every day at school, at work or while driving.

"What we certainly know is that marijuana use affects memory, it affects concentration, it affects attention," Adair said. "It affects a lot of the cognitive processes required to drive."

But most marijuana users disagreed, according to the study, which found about 60 percent of pot smokers said they don't think it has a negative impact on the brain, reports Ashley Michels at Fox 31 Denver.

The survey also found that 72 percent of young adults whose parents had used marijuana also used it themselves.

Oregon: Farmers Prevented From Hemp Cultivation By Marijuana Prohibition

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Oregon farmers are forced to watch while consumers here buy millions of dollars in hempseed for food, clothing made of hemp and thousand of other products made from this cash crop, all grown in foreign countries.

Ryan Basile is an Oregonian, a farmer and an agricultural businessman. In this video, he alerts us all to unintended consequences of laws banning marijuana and how it's holding back an entire economy perfect for Oregon's climate.

Ryan knows that Measure 91 will compel the state Department of Agriculture to cut the remaining red tape and allow hemp growing and manufacturing in Oregon.

• Hemp plants are considered a dangerous narcotic simply because they're related to marijuana plants.
• Smoking hemp will NOT get you high.
• Hemp is a fibrous plant that can be turned into oil, wax, rope, resin, cloth, paper, pulp and food.
• Canadians make half a billion dollars a year on it, and about 90% of the hemp they grow is exported to the United States. Oregonians are seeing the consequences for our strange approach to hemp while Canadians are profiting off of us.
• Canadians have a 20-year lead on us in hemp research, and everyday it is illegal to grow hemp in Oregon we fall further behind.

"There is an entire hemp economy sitting on the sidelines waiting for voters to pass Measure 91," said Ryan Basile, a farmer and agricultural salesman from Oregon. "From fiber processing to clothing manufacturing, the hemp industry will create jobs and money for our economy."

D.C.: New Poll Shows Support For Marijuana Legalization At 65% In Nation's Capital

DCCannabisCampaignLegalize.YesOn71

Highest Support Ever for a Marijuana Legalization Ballot Initiative

Campaign to Legalize Marijuana in Racial Justice Context Resonating With D.C. Voters

A new Washington Post/NBC News/Marist poll released on Thursday shows support for Initiative 71, which would legalize marijuana, at 65 percent among likely D.C. voters.

Initiative 71 allows adults over the age of 21 to possess up to two ounces of marijuana on their person at any time, and allows for the cultivation of up to six marijuana plants at home.

District law prevents the ballot initiative from addressing the sale of marijuana. However, the D.C. Council is currently considering a bill which will tax and regulate marijuana within the District.

“D.C. voters want to take marijuana completely out the criminal justice system and refocus police priorities,” said Dr. Malik Burnett, D.C. Policy Manager for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “Voters are relating to the message that legalization will end D.C.’s rampant discrimination when it comes marijuana enforcement.”

D.C. has decriminalized marijuana, replacing criminal penalties with a $25 fine. However, data from the Metropolitan Police Department shows that 77 percent of all tickets have been issued in communities of color.

U.S.: Dr. Carl Hart's TED Talk Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs

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Award-Winning Author of High Price Shares Insights from his Remarkable Personal Journey and Career as a Scientist

Carl Hart, PhD, a neuroscientist and associate professor of psychology and psychiatry at Columbia University, recently gave a compelling TEDMED Talk in which he dispelled myths about drugs, drug use and drug misuse. In the talk, Hart eloquently discussed the negative influence that drug hysteria had on the flawed drug laws the United States grapples with today.

His unflinching, eye-opening talk mirrored his widely-renowned book, High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society (HarperCollins, 2013), a groundbreaking memoir/science book which recently won the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.

“My TED talk is a public education effort to combat drug myths, bad drug policy, and to help keep people safe,” said Dr. Hart. “Millions of people languish unnecessarily in jails and prisons largely, and still others needlessly die from preventable overdoses, underground market violence and police interactions, due to a misguided approach to drug regulations. And no one suffers more than African American men and the poor.”

Maine: Citizens For A Safer York File Complaint To Get Marijuana Legalization On Ballot

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A complaint was filed with the York County Superior Court on Wednesday seeking a temporary injunction requiring the Select Board of the Town of York to place an initiated ordinance which would legalize marijuana on the ballot for November's general election.

Plaintiffs include York voters who have signed and circulated the marijuana petition, as well as a York voter who did not sign the petition but wants the opportunity to vote on the measure.

The measure would make it legal for adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana in York. 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.

Citizens for a Safer York initially submitted more than 200 signatures to place the measure in front of the York Board of Selectmen. On July 28, the board voted 3-2 against putting the measure on the ballot, giving the group 30 days to collect an additional 641 signatures. It submitted nearly 1,000 signatures on August 27. On September 8, the Board of Selectman voted 3-2 to not place the measure on the ballot.

“The right to petition your government is the bedrock of democracy. For the Selectman to ignore the will of their constituents goes against what our country is all about, and that is why I signed on to this case,” said plaintiff Sharon DaBiere.

Colorado: Class Action Lawsuit Grows Over Marijuana Candy Being Handed Out At Denver Fair

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

More people have joined a class action lawsuit against a company accused of handing out samples of marijuana-infused chocolate at the Denver County Fair.

Seven named plaintiffs have joined the lawsuit's amendment complaint, filed by Boulder attorney Corey Zurbach in Denver County Court, reports Alan Gathright at 7News Denver. The defendant is named as Beyond Broadway LLC, doing business as Full Melt Chocolate and LivWell.

The lawsuit, originally filed on August 7, now states that class action suit "as initially defined includes in excess of 100 individuals."

The alleged "victims" all ate free samples of Full Melt Chocolate, provided by LivWell at a "Pot Pavilion" exhibit during the Denver County Fair, which ran from August 1 through August 3, according to the lawsuit.

The Pot Pavilion was advertised as being drug free. "No marijuana will be onsite," the Denver County Fair's website stated.

"This civil action is for personal injuries arising from the defendants' negligent distribution of marijuana-infused chocolate bars under the guise that they contained no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive component (or cannabinoid) of the cannabis plant," the lawsuit states.

"Victims" named in the lawsuit claimed they began "to feel strange" and "physically ill" after consuming the chocolates.

Israel: Family Doctors Given Temporary License To Prescribe Medical Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Israel's Health Ministry, attempting to deal with a heavy load on pain clinics, has announced that family doctors will temporarily be allowed to write medical marijuana prescriptions for their patients.

The new rules will allow family physicians to write the medicinal cannabis prescriptions under two conditions, reports Ido Efrati at Haaretz: when it is an extension of an existing treatment, and keeping to an existing dosage.

About 18,000 Israelis hold permits for using medical marijuana, with this number expected to grow to 40,000 by 2018. Demand for cannabis in Israel has been growing steadily, and the list of conditions for which it is authorized has also been growing.

Medical marijuana was recently authorized for the treatment of certain types of pediatric epilepsy, as well as in cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), along with the other diseases and conditions for which patients are allowed to use cannabis.

Israeli health authorities have suggested before that family doctors -- who work in health maintenance organization (HMO) clinics -- should be able to write cannabis prescriptions. But the idea has met with fierce opposition in the past, both from some of the doctors themselves and from the HMOs.

Colorado: Marijuana Policy Project Launches 'Consume Responsibly' Campaign

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The Marijuana Policy Project on Wednesday launched the first-ever comprehensive public education campaign urging adults to “consume responsibly” in states where marijuana is legal. The campaign is being launched in Colorado and will be exported to Washington and then other states as they adopt similar laws.

MPP will kick off the campaign with a news conference at noon Mountain Time Wednesday in front of its first paid ad, a billboard at 816 Federal Boulevard in Denver that warns tourists, “Don’t let a candy bar ruin your vacation.” It also encourages them to start with a low dose of THC and go slow when consuming edible marijuana products, which can take up to two hours to feel the effect.

The billboard features a distressed woman in a dark hotel room, alluding to New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd’s now-infamous June column detailing her over-consumption of a marijuana-infused candy bar in her Denver hotel room.

The billboard directs people to the campaign’s website — http://wwww.ConsumeResponsibly.org — which features detailed information about marijuana products, their effects, and the laws surrounding them. It also addresses issues such as preventing and responding to over-consumption and accidental consumption. The Consume Responsibly campaign will initially include print and online ads, as well as materials in retail marijuana stores.

U.S.: Bipartisan Bill Introduced To Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement

WarComesHomeTheExcessiveMilitarizationOfAmericanPolicing

Reps. Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Raul Labrador (R-ID) Propose Legislation to Reform Pentagon Military Transfer Program that Fuels the Drug War

Legislation is a Response to Alarming Images of Militarized Law Enforcement in Ferguson and other parts of the Country

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Reps. Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Raul Labrador (R-ID) on Tuesday introduced legislation to reform the Pentagon program which transfers military equipment to law enforcement. The program has come under increased scrutiny from lawmakers after images from Ferguson, Missouri, showed law enforcement dressed like combat soldiers, using military equipment to deal with protestors.

The Pentagon program has its roots in the Drug War, coming to fruition in the early 90s as the U.S. government militarized its approach to drug policy. Just last week, Senators held a hearing on the issue of militarization in our law enforcement, where they critical of the Pentagon program.

Illinois NORML 'Appalled' That GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Would Delay Medical Marijuana Access

IllinoisGubernatorialCandidateBruceRauner

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Illinois chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (Illinois NORML) on Tuesday announced they are "appalled" that Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner wants to delay the application process for the dispensary and cultivation center licenses of the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program.

Rauner, a wealthy venture capitalist, on Tuesday called for transparency in the awarding of the licenses, and he wants the Illinois Legislature to pass a new law regarding transparency and bidding in the application process. Medical marijuana patients have already waited for years for the original bill to pass, according to Illinois NORML, "and have now had to wait months for the agencies to adopt rules and regulations that would guarantee a professional program to help ensure that program will eventually be made permanent."

"My message to Pat Quinn is this: Governor, the jig is up," Rauner said on Tuesday. "Stop this rigged process before it moves forward any further. The application process for medical marijuana should not be held in secret where insiders win and taxpayers lose; it should be open and transparent."

Twenty-two licenses will be issued by the Illinois Department of Agriculture for cultivation centers to grow medical cannabis. The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, meanwhile, will issue 60 licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries.

Pennsylvania: Medical Marijuana Rally Held At State Capitol

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Dozens of medical marijuana supporters on Monday converged on the Pennsylvania's State Capitol as lawmakers returned from their summer recess.

Parents of ailing children and patients with serious medical conditions spoke at the rally about the need for safe access to cannabis, reports the Associated Press. Many in the crowd held up signs with slogans like "Pills Kill" and "Campaign 4 Compassion."

The demonstration was in support of Senate Bill 1182, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis act, whose prime sponsors Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon County) and Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) expect to be sent from the Senate Appropriations Committee to the floor of the state Senate next week.

"We are so close," Sen. Leach said, reports Kendra Nichols at ABC 27. "We are closer than we have ever been. If this runs in the Senate, we get more than 40 votes, and we are promised it will run next week in the Senate."

"We have counted in the House," Leach said. "There are 203 members. We have counted about 160 yes votes." However, Leach added, there is concern that the House "leadership" may block the bill from ever reaching the floor for a vote.

Maine: Marijuana Doctor Who Held Clinics In Hotels Is Reprimanded, Fined

Maine-DrWilliamOrtizTheHealthClinic

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A doctor who held a medical marijuana authorization clinic at a hotel and failed to adequately document examinations has been reprimanded and fined by the board that licenses physicians in Maine.

The board announced on Monday that Dr. William Ortiz accepted an agreement under which he'll pay a $2,000 fine and reimburse the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine $1,412 for its investigation, reports CBS News.

According to the board, Ortiz saw 59 patients during a "medical seminar" at a hotel in Orono, Maine, in March 2013, but there was no documentation of an exam for 44 of them. Ortiz charged the patients $200 cash to issue a three-month medical marijuana certificate, then $175 more for a one-year certificate on a follow-up visit, the reprimand said, reports David Hench at the Portland Press Herald.

The board also said Ortiz kept "odd hours," including appointments at 3 a.m.

Ortiz, who has been licensed to practice medicine in Maine since 2012, promised not to engaqe in such conduct in the future. His practice has offices in Caribou, Maine, and in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

U.S.: Marijuana Slang Dictionary Open To Public Submissions

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For anyone who prides themselves on their knowledge of marijuana subcultures and slang terms, there is now an "open source" outlet to share this knowledge with others. Ganjapreneur, a website dedicated to entrepreneurs and investors in the cannabis industry, has recently announced a marijuana slang dictionary that is open to the public.

The website publishes news articles and editorials intended to keep "ganjapreneurs," or anyone who is pursuing a career in the newly-legal cannabis industry, informed about the state of the industry as a whole. The site offers original content as well as curated headlines via other websites that directly relate to the business of cannabis itself.

With the launch of the Marijuana Slang Dictionary, Ganjapreneur marks its first foray into user-generated content by inviting the public to submit their favorite slang terms and phrases for inclusion. Entries to date include "420," "cheeba," "bongwater," and numerous others. Users may search the dictionary for a specific term, or browse by category.

The slang dictionary currently includes categories such as "stoner phrases," "paraphernalia," and "units of measurement" to categorize its growing collection of slang terms and cannabis-related phrases that are commonplace in the industry.

A representative for the website explained that the dictionary is intended to be both informational and entertaining. "If you read through some of the example usages for the different terms, you can see that the writers had a lot of fun with the whole thing," he said.

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