Tag Archives | Cannabis

Dutch Government Pushes Tourist Ban In Cannabis Coffeeshops

If you’d like to experience Amsterdam’s famous coffee shops, I suggest booking your flight soon. From Reuters:

The Dutch government said on Wednesday it wanted to ban tourists from buying cannabis in “coffee shops,” where hash is on sale legally, as part of a national crackdown on drug use.

The government, which took office last month, has agreed to limit the sale of cannabis to Dutch residents to curb crime linked to its production and trading.

The Netherlands has one of Europe’s most liberal soft drug policies and its coffee shops are a popular tourist attraction, especially in Amsterdam and border cities near Belgium and Germany.

But some cities near the border with Belgium have clamped down on drug tourism, and the Dutch minister for security and justice confirmed Wednesday a wider crackdown after coalition parties agreed to push for a ban in September.

[Continues at Reuters]

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Dutch Scratch n’ Sniff Anti-Cannabis Cards

Not sure what marijuana smells like? The Dutch authorities have delivered scratch and sniff cards to inform people of what the plant smells like, in hopes that a passerby may catch a whiff of an ‘illegal urban cannabis plantation.’ From BBC News:

About 30,000 Dutch households are to receive marijuana-scented scratch cards in an effort to uncover illegal urban cannabis plantations.

Authorities in Rotterdam and The Hague say they are distributing the cards to help people recognize what cannabis smells like.

The cards also include a number to call to report suspected marijuana-growing.

Dutch authorities turn a blind eye to citizens growing up to five marijuana plants for personal use.

“Citizens must be alerted to the dangers they face as a result of these plantations, and if they become aware of any suspect situations they must report them,” said the spokesman for government-appointed working group to combat cannabis cultivation in the Netherlands, Arnie Loos.

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The Prince Of Pot Is Finally Going To Jail

Escape to CanadaCanadian cannabis advocate Marc Emery, profiled in the disinformation documentary Escape To Canada, has given up fighting against his extradition to the United States. Story from AFP:

Canada’s self-styled “Prince of Pot” rallied supporters on Monday before turning himself in to Canadian authorities to be extradited to the United States to face a five-year jail term.

Marc Emery, 52, is alleged by US prosecutors to have sold more than four million marijuana seeds through the mail via his website. About 75 percent of the seeds went to US customers.

His wife Jodie Emery told AFP her husband expected to be extradited within “days or a week” after exhausting all legal challenges and an appeal for clemency to Canada’s justice minister.

“It?s absolutely devastating to think that I might not see my husband for five years,” she said. “It?s a harsh reality.”

The couple are still holding out hope that Emery may be allowed to serve his sentence in a Canadian jail to be near his family, if Canada’s Public Safety Minister Vic Toews consents.

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Legalize Pot? Get Mom Onboard

Pot usage amongst young and middle-aged moms isn’t new and it isn’t a fad.  The legalization lobby is smart to target these ladies to help get out the vote. MSNBC reports:

from Wikimedia Commons

Moms got tougher drunk-driving laws on the books and were directly responsible for passing and then repealing alcohol Prohibition. Now marijuana activists are trying to enlist the nation’s mothers in legalization efforts with a sales pitch that pot is safer than booze.

The nation’s largest marijuana legalization lobby recently started a women’s group. The Moms4Marijuana website draws thousands. And just in time for Mother’s Day, a pot legalization group in Denver has created a pink-carnation web card asking moms to support legalization.

These marijuana moms argue that pot is no worse than alcohol, that teens shouldn’t face jail time for experimenting with it and that marijuana can even help new mothers treat postpartum depression.  “I know so many mothers who support this but aren’t willing to come out and say it,” said Sabrina Fendrick, head of the Women’s Alliance at the Washington-based National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML.

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Medical Marijuana Legal in Foggy Bottom, on Capitol Hill and all over Washington D.C.

Personally, I hope the smell stinks up the whole rotten town.  This article from the Examiner gives more details:

From Oren neu dag at Wikimedia Commons

Illustration: Oren neu dag (CC)

One of the biggest expenses the medical marijuana lobby has had to face is the cost getting US Congressmen and Senators out of town for a medical marijuana dispensary tour.

That expense was eliminated today with the unanimous passage of Initiative 59 by the Washington DC Council.

Currently, 14 states have effective medical marijuana laws and more than a dozen others are considering them. In November, South Dakotans will vote on a medical marijuana ballot initiative, and Arizona is expected to have one on the ballot as well. Eighty-one percent of Americans support medical marijuana laws, according to a January ABC News/Washington Post poll.

But getting federal legislation passed and changing DEA and FDA regulations has been up to the US Congress and the US Senate. For example, the AMA recommended last October to move medical marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II.

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Don’t Just Smoke a Joint on 4/20, Take Action Against Marijuana Prohibition

From Alternet:

Stand up today with other Americans and get the word out there. This war will end; how soon depends, in part, on you.

April 20th (4/20) has long been associated with marijuana, both marijuana use and marijuana activism. Thousands of Americans will gather on that day at rallies in Boston, Boulder, New York, Santa Cruz, Seattle and other cities. For people who prefer to relax with a joint instead of a beer or martini it’s a time to celebrate. For those who don’t use marijuana it’s a time to stand up in support of their friends, family, and fellow citizens who face arrest for nothing more than what they put into their body. For the Drug Policy Alliance and the drug policy reform movement 4/20 represents something even bigger.

The movement to end marijuana prohibition is very broad, composed of people who love marijuana, people who hate marijuana, and people who don’t have strong feelings about marijuana use one way or the other.

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Afghan Farmers Reap Cannabis Harvest Worth £61m

From the Independent:
Afghanistan, already the world's top opium supplier, is now the world's biggest producer of cannabis, according to United Nations drug experts. There is large-scale cultivation of the drug in half of the country, resulting in 3,500 tons of hashish worth an estimated £61m annually, according to the first assessment of cannabis in Afghanistan by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. It warns that the threat from the drug needs to be dealt with to deny the Taliban the millions they make in protection taxes paid by farmers and drug smugglers. The focus on opium has resulted in cannabis being overlooked, according to Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of UNODC. "A concentration of cultivation in the southern part of Afghanistan shows that the Taliban and those insurgents that control the southern parts of the country are not only funding themselves by trafficking opium but also by trafficking cannabis. It's the same area."
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Medical Marijuana Bill Moves Through Maryland Senate In Landslide

From the Huffington Post:

The Maryland Senate voted on Saturday to allow patients access to medical marijuana at state-licensed dispensaries. The bill now moves to the state’s lower chamber.

The bill was approved overwhelmingly, with bipartisan support and without objections or discussion, by a 35-12 margin.

Maryland would join 14 other states in legalizing medical marijuana. The neighboring District of Columbia legalized it in a 1998 referendum that was only recently allowed by Congress to go into effect. The District’s city council is writing rules to establish the city’s medical marijuana policy.

Current Maryland law allows defendants charged with pot possession to cite a medical necessity defense. If a judge deems the drug to be beneficial, a maximum hundred dollar civil fine is imposed.

Lawmakers and advocates argued that the law unfairly forced patients to obtain marijuana in the black market. The new law would bring

[Read more at the Huffington Post]

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The Push to Legalize Marijuana: It’s Real

For the past few months, I've been posting at least one story each week about the nationwide push to change cannabis laws. The following article does a good job of explaining how this movement goes much farther than previous efforts, and why it is worth reporting on. Am I just getting everyone's hopes up? Is this a pipe dream, a THC laden pie in the sky? For me, it goes far beyond getting the legal right own something that is easy enough to find right now. It's about the misery the legal system is causing millions of people each year. Will 2010 be the year America stops eating its young? From The Atlantic:tax-cannabis-2010
You may have heard there's a push to legalize marijuana in California. You may not have heard that it's for real. Voting ballots in California this November will contain an initiative to legalize, tax, and regulate the sale of marijuana to adults 21 and older, and while this may sound like something that has no chance, whatsoever, of ever becoming law, the thing is: it actually might.
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Doctors Recommend Medical Marjiuana for Minors with ADHD in California

From NYDailyNews.com:

Hey, hyperactive kids, in California you can get stoned — legally. California doctors are now recommending marijuana to children diagnosed with attention hyperactivity disorder, Sphere reports.

Since 2004, California has given out more than 36,000 medical marijuana cards.  The number of these cards going to children - it appears that all of the known cases are teenagers – is not known, as doctors are not required to report medical marijuana cases.

However, experts say medical marijuana cards going to minors are on the rise.  Parents must accompany children under 18 requesting medical marijuana to this doctor’s appointment, the New York Times reports.

Even with this precaution, the fact that children can get medical marijuana is creating quite a controversy.

[Read more at NYDailyNews.com]

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