Australian Capital Territory Government To Join National Medical Cannabis Trial

October 25th, 2014 by The General No comments »
The rapidly shifting politics of medical cannabis will change dramatically on Tuesday as the ACT government signs up to a national clinical trial of the controversial health treatment. The Canberra Times understands the New South Wales government will take carriage of a cross-jurisdictional trial after discussions between state and territory leaders during last Friday's Council of Australian Governments meeting in Canberra.

Joining a large population trial would represent a significant win for Chief Minister Katy Gallagher, who has previously lobbied the Abbott Government for a national trial and sought access to the planned NSW study from Premier Mike Baird. Last week the ACT's participation in the NSW trial appeared unlikely, but growing community support for medical cannabis saw the matter discussed by state leaders at a separate health ministers at meeting in Melbourne last week.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has also offered public support for legal cannabis use as part of treatment for terminal and chronic illnesses and the politics of the issue have changed dramatically in recent months. A separate medical cannabis bill for the ACT, introduced by Greens minister Shane Rattenbury, is set to be considered by a Legislative Assembly committee with a report due by June 2015. Last week Mr Rattenbury accused political leaders of seeking clinical trials as a "delaying tactic" for the introduction of cannabis treatments, already widely used overseas. A nation-wide poll released in July found almost 66 per cent of Australians support the legalisation of cannabis for medical purposes.

Medical cannabis, including in an oil form, is used to alleviate chronic pain and treat symptoms such as nausea and seizures. Patients undergoing chemotherapy, suffering from cancer and with conditions including multiple sclerosis have reported gaining relief from cannabis. Ms Gallagher wrote to federal Health Minister Peter Dutton in August asking for the Commonwealth to lead a coordinated response to calls for the introduction of medical cannabis, proposing the National Health and Medical Research Council support an Australia-wide clinical trial and the Therapeutic Goods Administration consider how medical cannabis could be licensed for use.

Last month she wrote to Mr Baird asking to join a working group planning his state's clinical trial, arguing that the ACT's small population would make a territory trial too small to be effective. A vigorous online campaign has targeted Ms Gallagher since she revealed her decision to report the case of a 2½-year-old Sydney girl to authorities after letters to her office outlined the girl's treatment with prohibited cannabis oil. Use of cannabis for medical treatment would require an application to the Therapeutic Goods Administration.



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Source: Canberratimes.com.au
Author: Tom McIlroy
Contact: Contact Us
Website: ACT government to join national medical cannabis trial

Michigan Appeals Court Rules That Medical Marijuana Law Trumps Unemployment Law

October 25th, 2014 by The General No comments »
A new ruling in a Michigan appeals court stated that if an employee gets fired only because they use medical marijuana, they still qualify for unemployment benefits. Three lower Michigan courts’ rulings were upheld: In Michigan, medical marijuana laws trump unemployment laws. In other words, if you live in Michigan and get fired because you smoked marijuana legally, you can still get unemployment money while you look for another job. The court ruled that it doesn’t matter what an employer’s policy is, Michigan’s medical marijuana law forbids penalties “in any manner” as long as the marijuana was used legally.

The attorney general’s office in Michigan claimed the state law protects people from criminal prosecutions, but did not protect them from unfavorable rulings in civil disputes such as unemployment pay, according to CBS News. The courts disagreed with the attorney general’s office. The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, according to the court’s decision, supersedes the the Michigan Employment Security Act. Thankfully for medical marijuana patients, the MMMA purposely uses plain language. “The plain language of the MMMA’s immunity clause states that claimants shall not suffer a penalty for their medical use of marijuana,” the court opinion stated.

The ruling came about after three employees were fired between 2010 and 2012 when they violated their employers “drug free” policies. The three employees had tested positive for medical marijuana, but were using marijuana in a way Michigan law says is legal. Forklift operator Rick Braska, CT tech Jenine Kemp, and furniture repairman Stephen Kudzia were the three medical marijuana patients at the center of the controversial case, according to Hemp. The employers of these three Michigan medical marijuana patients never accused their employees of being under the influence of the marijuana at any time on the job.

“It’s a very favorable decision for the civil rights of employees in Michigan,” Matt Abel, a Detroit lawyer and senior partner of Cannabis Counsel, told The Detroit Free Press. Not everyone is pleased with the ruling though. “There’s a serious question of workplace safety when people may use medical marijuana before they come to work” Rich Studley, president of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, said of the ruling. Employers can require employees to not be under the influence while on the job. They are allowed to have drug-free policies. Michigan employees can still be fired for marijuana use, but because of the new ruling, smoking marijuana legally for medical reasons is not a reason to deny unemployment payments.



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Source: Inquisitr.com
Author: Dawn Papple
Contact: Contact Us
Website: Michigan Appeals Court Rules That Medical Marijuana Law Trumps Unemployment Law

The Marijuana Industry Could Be Bigger Than The NFL By 2020

October 25th, 2014 by The General No comments »
A report out from Greenwave Advisors, a "comprehensive research and financial analysis for the emerging legalized marijuana industry," projects that legal cannabis could be an industry with revenues of $35 billion by 2020 if marijuana is legalized at the federal level. They note that this is a floor representing revenues in the first year of countrywide legalization.

To put that figure in perspective, $35 billion represents more annual revenue than the NFL (currently $10 billion), and is roughly on par with current revenues for the newspaper publishing industry ($38 billion) and the confectionary industry ($34 billion).

Greenwave arrived at its numbers by considering existing and likely marijuana markets - medical and recreational - in states that already have them, as well as states that appear likely to open up such markets by 2020. According to the Huffington Post, Greenwave assumes 12 states plus DC will have legalized recreational marijuana in that time, with medical marijuana markets in 37 states. Currently 23 states have legalized medical marijuana, and two have legalized the plant for recreational use. Even without full federal legalization, Greenwave projects legal marijuana revenues of $21 billion.

It's worth noting that there's a fair degree of uncertainty surrounding these numbers - current estimates place the size of the U.S. black market at anywhere from 10 to 120 billion dollars. Predicting future marijuana sales may be a fool's errand, as evidenced by Colorado's difficulties in projecting marijuana tax revenues earlier this year.

Considering the legal marijuana industry generated roughly $1.53 billion in revenues in 2013, according to industry research group Arcview Market Research, it's reasonable to assume there's a lot of growth potential between now and then. That potential has attracted investor interest, but enthusiasm remains constrained due to the uncertainties surrounding legal weed.

The biggest buzzkill remains the federal government's classification of marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance, making it illegal for any use. The Justice Department has thusfar taken a hands-off approach to legalization efforts in Washington and Colorado. But depending on who wins the White House in 2016, or who Obama nominates for the Attorney General slot until then, that situation could change on a dime.

And the DEA still demonstrates occasional bursts of enthusiasm for raiding medical marijuana dispensaries. Just yesterday the DEA raided two branches of the well-known Farmacy dispensary in the Los Angeles area. The dispensary has a reputation for being one of the "best-run in Los Angeles," but that didn't stop agents from seizing computers, cannabis and cash from the locations. According to the Huffington Post's account, the DEA has not yet given any reason for doing so. In short there's still a lot of risk involved in the marijuana business, and risk makes investors skittish.

Regardless of the eventual legalization path, we're still looking at a good-sized industry that will generate a significant number of jobs and tax revenue. The concern is that we'll see an increase in societal harms associated with increased marijuana use. But as I've written repeatedly, these harms have stubbornly failed to materialize even as states have liberalized that marijuana laws over the past ten years.

And just yesterday the Cato Institute released a working paper examining a variety of social and economic indicators in Colorado - marijuana use rates, crime, drop out and graduation rates, alcohol use, fatal car crashes, and many others - and concluded that "changes in Colorado’s marijuana policy have had minimal impact on marijuana use and the outcomes sometimes associated with use."



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Source: Washingtonpost.com
Author: Christopher Ingraham
Contact: Contact Us
Website: The marijuana industry could be bigger than the NFL by 2020 - The Washington Post

No, Marijuana Use Doesn’t Lower Your IQ

October 25th, 2014 by The General No comments »
A 2012 Duke University study made international headlines when it purported to find a link between heavy marijuana use and IQ decline among teenagers. Other researchers questioned the findings almost immediately: Columbia University's Carl Hart noted the very small sample of heavy users (38) in the study, leading him to question how generalizable the results were.

Then, a follow-up study published 6 months later in the same journal found that the Duke paper failed to account for a number of confounding factors: "Although it would be too strong to say that the results have been discredited, the methodology is flawed and the causal inference drawn from the results premature," it concluded.

Now, a new study out from the University College of London provides even stronger evidence that the Duke findings were flawed. The study draws on a considerably larger sample of adolescents than the Duke research - 2,612 children born in the Bristol area of the U.K. in 1991 and 1992. Researchers examined children's IQ scores at age 8 and again at age 15, and found "no relationship between cannabis use and lower IQ at age 15," when confounding factors - alcohol use, cigarette use, maternal education, and others - were taken into account. Even heavy marijuana use wasn't associated with IQ.

"In particular alcohol use was found to be strongly associated with IQ decline," the authors write. "No other factors were found to be predictive of IQ change." The UK study does find evidence, however, of slightly impaired educational abilities among the very heaviest marijuana users. This group of students scored roughly 3% lower on school exams taken at age 16, even after adjusting for confounding factors.

In a press release accompanying the study, lead author Claire Mokrysz noted that "this is a potentially important public health message- the belief that cannabis is particularly harmful may detract focus from and awareness of other potentially harmful behaviours." Reviewer Guy Goodwin of Oxford University agreed: "the current focus on the alleged harms of cannabis may be obscuring the fact that its use is often correlated with that of other even more freely available drugs and possibly lifestyle factors. These may be as or more important than cannabis itself."

This is a key point. Many skeptics of legalization in the United States focus on the potential harms of marijuana use alone. But marijuana use is just one of many behaviors that can possibly affect life outcomes. In many cases these other behaviors are likely to play a much larger role in determining a person's trajectory through life.

It also partly explains why even as we've seen increasingly permissive laws regulating marijuana use in the past decade, there has been no corresponding uptick in negative outcomes. It's perfectly reasonable to assume that heavy use of marijuana - or any substance - in your teen years will lead to poor educational performance. Thus for states that are legalizing the drug -- Colorado and Washington so far - it makes sense to limit legal marijuana use to 21-and-over. But this study is the latest in a growing, robust body of evidence suggesting it makes little sense to focus on marijuana use to the exclusion of all other factors.



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Source: Washingtonpost.com
Author: Christopher Ingraham
Contact: Contact Us
Website: No, marijuana use doesn't lower your IQ - The Washington Post

Entrepreneur Hopes To Grow, Sell Medical Marijuana In Melbourne

October 25th, 2014 by The General No comments »
Florida - Michael Patterson says that when he worked in nursing home administration, he saw "horror stories" with patients getting addicted to narcotics. He saw narcotics sickening patients. After leaving management at healthcare giant Avante Group in 2008, he started his own company collecting data from visits to healthcare facilities and patient satisfaction surveys. He talked to patients with the same problems. He asked them for solutions. What do they think about Florida's hottest topic, medical marijuana?

Patterson said 90 percent of those patients supported medical marijuana, which would become legal for treating a wider variety of ailments if Amendment 2 passes next month. Regulating the medical marijuana industry would fall to the Department of Health. A licensed occupational therapist and nursing home administrator, Patterson incorporated his next business venture, Florida Apothecary, in February based on the patients' feedback. He hopes to open a two-fold operation in Melbourne: Growing 5,000 to 10,000 pounds of cannabis per month and dispensing medical marijuana in various forms. He plans to hire only licensed medical professionals in the dispensary and says he will employ his own security team. He estimated that he would create 100 to 300 jobs in the first three years.

He hopes that caliber of employee will add a sense of safety and legitimacy to his business. He referenced comparisons of dispensaries to headshops that have a bad reputation for selling "spice," a substance sold as potpourri but that can smoked and causes harmful effects. "The investment and time put into this, you're comparing a loan shark to the Bank of America," he said. "I don't think they understand it's going to be more of a pharmacy. I think they were associating it more with a nuisance."

He said an all-in-one operation would reduce safety risk that could come with transporting marijuana. In the future, he'd also like to begin a research operation studying the effects of marijuana as a treatment. Earlier this month, the Melbourne City Council looked at whether it should put regulations in place ahead of the November vote. Patterson advocated dispensaries being located in industrial areas, as several Brevard cities have done, saying it will still be accessible to those in need while not "in people's faces." Melbourne will not make any regulation decisions before the election.



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Source: Floridatoday.com
Author: Stacey Barchenger
Contact: Contact Us
Website: Entrepreneur hopes to grow, sell medical marijuana in Melbourne

Iowa Law Makes Marijuana Oil Legal To Possess But Impossible To Get

October 25th, 2014 by The General No comments »
Paperwork and bureaucracy but no actual medicine. That’s Iowa’s new prescription for children suffering from intractable epilepsy. In May, Gov. Terry Branstad signed into law the Medical Cannabidiol Act. The new law allows Iowans to possess small amounts of cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive oil derived from marijuana plants, if a neurologist certifies the oil is necessary for the treatment of a child with intractable epilepsy.

Cannabidiol has been shown reduce epileptic seizures, especially in children, according to state Rep. Rob Taylor, R-West Des Moines. Taylor was one of the main proponents of the bill. The Administrative Rules Review Committee of the state Legislature on Tuesday gave final approval to the procedures by which the Iowa Department of Public Health will administer the new law.

Starting Jan. 30, a parent or primary caregiver of an epileptic child will be able to get a photo ID that allows them to possess up to 32 ounces of cannabidiol, after filing the necessary paperwork and being approved by IDPH. What they won’t be able to get is the actual oil. It will remain illegal to produce or sell cannabidiol in Iowa.

In the states where the oil is legal, Colorado and Oregon, it’s illegal to sell cannabidiol to nonresidents. Even if an Iowan were able to buy it in one of those states, transporting it across state lines is a federal crime. “That’s the reality of the situation,” Deborah Thompson, policy adviser for IDPH, told Iowa Watchdog. “There are still some very fundamental barriers to parents getting the oil.”

Although the passage of the Medical Cannabidiol Act was preceded by a long and passionate debate in the state Senate, the issue of access to the oil was barely mentioned. It wasn’t until last month, when parents concerned about their inability to get cannabidiol testified before a legislative committee, that the issue began to gain the attention of lawmakers.

“A couple of legislators on the committee even said, we thought we did such a wonderful thing and it seems we really didn’t do much,” Thompson recalled. According to Taylor, the situation should surprise no one. “It was a very limited bill. All it did was give citizens of Iowa who possess and are registered with the state safe harbor under Iowa state law. Meaning we wouldn’t prosecute them if they have cannabidiol,” Taylor told Iowa Watchdog.

Asked what good it does to create an approval process for an item Iowans won’t be able to legally obtain, Taylor said, “It’s one more tool in their toolbox for families dealing with a very, very disturbing disorder.” Iowa Watchdog contacted Branstad’s office to ask if the governor was aware of the access issue when he signed the law and what he thought should be done about the problem. In an emailed reply, the governor’s spokesman, Jimmy Centers, didn’t directly address Iowa Watchdog’s questions.

Instead, Centers provided a general statement: “Gov. Branstad believes the bi-partisan program passed in Iowa needs time to take effect and its results evaluated before exploring expansion into other illnesses or increasing the production, processing and distribution in Iowa.” Taylor believes the problem of access will be addressed in the next legislative session. “I don’t know if there will be any changes to the law, but I expect a lot discussion and debate,” he said. Thompson agreed. “I don’t think it’s something that’s going away,” she said.



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Source: Watchdog.org
Author: Paul Brennan
Contact: Contact Us
Website: Iowa law makes marijuana oil legal to possess but impossible to get « Watchdog.org

Health Canada’s Anti-Marijuana Campaign A Study In Contradictions

October 25th, 2014 by The General No comments »
“The science is clear” on the dangers of marijuana, claims a new government ad campaign. But it’s a murky message because when it comes to the medicinal benefits of the drug, the same government also maintains there isn’t enough scientific study. The controversial new anti-drug crusade aims to encourage parents to talk to teenagers about the effects of marijuana on their brains and how it “can damage a teen for life.”

In the Health Canada campaign — the same department charged with overseeing the country’s burgeoning medical marijuana industry — the government’s opposition to marijuana is unequivocal: “The science is clear. Marijuana use equals health risks.” The problem is that while the government’s anti-marijuana position may be clear, the science behind its stance is anything but. Because marijuana is illegal, few randomized, controlled trials — the gold standard in the scientific community — have been conducted on its harms and benefits.

The commercial warns that marijuana can impair concentration and even cause hallucinations in some cases. The ad also suggests that marijuana is 300 to 400 per cent stronger than it was 30 years ago, but does not cite the origins of this information. Instead, it directs viewers to a government website for more information. Health Canada also goes so far as to point out that marijuana is not an approved drug or medicine in Canada. The reason the government refuses to approve the drug? Not enough science.

The government says it cannot endorse the use of the drug because its effects have not been tested in clinical trials the way pharmaceuticals have. The lack of clinical trials on the efficacy and side effects of marijuana has been a major sticking point for many doctors. They’re used to prescribing pharmaceuticals with dosages that have been determined by clinical studies.

For years now, the Canadian medical establishment and Health Canada have not accepted marijuana as a legitimate form of medication, despite reports from patients who say it’s an effective alternative to opiates for pain relief, and research from other countries that backs up that finding. But the same problems in scientific study also apply in research surrounding marijuana’s harmful effects. The studies referenced on the government website to support its anti-marijuana campaign include two surveys, which are not an acceptable measure of drug research in the medical community.

They are a form of anecdotal information Health Canada has dismissed when it comes to surveys that support the benefits of marijuana. Teenagers are the most prolific users of pot and several studies have suggested that they are particularly susceptible to negative effects because their brains are still developing. Not all studies have shown the drug definitely causes harm, but many have suggested a number of detrimental effects including a loss of memory and IQ.

Some researchers believe there are inconsistencies in the studies because they are largely self-reported and not conducted using the scientific method. The government campaign made headlines earlier this summer when it was first revealed Health Canada would spend $5 million on the ads. The main groups representing Canadian doctors distanced themselves from the campaign after it appeared to become “a political football.”

Some critics believe the ads are politically motivated “pot shots” at Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, who has spoken about his past marijuana use. The Tories have used that admission in attack ads against him. A Supreme Court ruling in 2000 gave Canadian patients access to medical marijuana, putting Health Canada in the awkward position of distributing a substance it officially does not condone. In April, Health Canada transferred to doctors much of the responsibility for deciding which patients can access medical marijuana, a move that did not sit well with the Canadian Medical Association.



News Moderator - The General @ 420 MAGAZINE ®
Source: Huffingtonpost.ca
Author: Sunny Freeman
Contact: Contact Us
Website: Health Canada's Anti-Marijuana Campaign A Study In Contradictions

Uruguay’s Left In Battle To Retain Presidency And Marijuana Law

October 25th, 2014 by The General No comments »
Uruguayan voters decide on Sunday whether to give the ruling coalition another term after a decade of strong growth and leftist reforms, or turn to an opposition candidate who says legalizing marijuana production was a step too far. Opinion polls ahead of the presidential election show young center-rightist Luis Lacalle Pou forcing the governing coalition's Tabare Vazquez, a former president, into a runoff vote in late November. Vazquez, 74, brought the leftist Broad Front to power 10 years ago and won praise for his blend of pro-market economic policies and social welfare policies.

His successor, outgoing President Jose Mujica, continued with the model and his straight-talking, unpretentious style made him one of the small nation's most popular leaders. Mujica also legalized abortion and gay marriage, and last year made Uruguay the world's first country to legalize the production, distribution and sale of marijuana.

Uruguay's constitution bars a president from holding two consecutive terms in office so Vazquez returned to be the Broad Front's candidate. He says his government, if he wins, will remain focused on improving conditions for the most vulnerable in a country of 3.4 million people. "Vazquez is going to be president again because Uruguayans don't want to return to the past," said Analia Vernini, a 36-year-old dentist.

Lacalle Pou, 41, is the son of former president Luis Lacalle, although he has sought to distance himself from his father's 1990-95 rule, which was stained by botched privatizations and political scandal. The latest opinion polls show Vazquez with the support of 43 percent of voters compared with 31 percent for Lacalle Pou.

But that would leave Vazquez short of the 50 percent he needs for a first-round victory and, in a runoff, Lacalle Pou could secure the support of right-wing Colorado Party candidate Pedro Bordaberry, who has polled between 14-18 percent support. That would make the runoff vote a tight one. Voters also elect lawmakers on Sunday. Neither the Broad Front nor Lacalle Pou's National Party are likely to win a majority in Congress, meaning the next president will face a tougher time than Mujica in passing laws.

END TO WEED EXPERIMENT?
A keen surfer, father-of-three Lacalle Pou is viewed by supporters as a fresh face for Uruguayan politics. With more socially liberal views than previous National Party candidates, who could appeal to moderate voters on both the left and right. He has tapped into the simmering discontent felt by many Uruguayans toward the extent of Mujica's social reforms. Almost two in three opposed the ex-guerrilla's plan for the state to oversee the legal production and commercial distribution of marijuana.

"Lacalle Pou is the young face of the National Party, but also of all Uruguayan politicians," said 54-year-old teacher Susana Montero. "You have to give him an opportunity, I think I will vote for him." Lacalle Pou told Reuters on Wednesday he would try to repeal much of the ground-breaking marijuana law passed last December if he is elected. He also said he would reverse Mujica's offer of asylum to six Guantanamo Bay prisoners. "Uruguay is heading towards a government of conviction rather than a government of imposition," he told supporters on the campaign trail in the western town of Paysandu.

Uruguay's $55 billion economy has expanded an average 5.7 percent annually since 2005. The government forecasts lower growth of 3 percent this year, still outperforming neighboring Argentina and Brazil. The number of Uruguayans living in poverty has fallen sharply to 11 percent from more than a third in 2006. Lacalle Pou says the Broad Front has benefited from a cyclical boom and called policymaking in the last ten years "a lost decade". He plans to put the brakes on inflation, now running at 9 percent, with spending cuts and tight monetary policy. He also promises tax relief and a reduction in the fiscal deficit.



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Source: Reuters.com
Author: Sarah Marsh
Contact: Contact Us
Website: Uruguay's left in battle to retain presidency, and marijuana law | Reuters

Marijuana Industry Could Be Worth $35 Billion In 2020, If All States Legalize It

October 25th, 2014 by The General No comments »
If all 50 states legalized marijuana and the federal government ended prohibition of the plant, the marijuana industry in the United States would be worth $35 billion just six years from now. That's according to a new report from GreenWave Advisors, a research and advisory firm that serves the emerging marijuana industry in the U.S., which found that if all 50 states and the federal government legalized cannabis, combined sales for both medical and retail marijuana could balloon to $35 billion a year by 2020.

If the federal government doesn't end prohibition and the trajectory of state legalization continues on its current path, with more, but not all, states legalizing marijuana in some form, the industry in 2020 would still be worth $21 billion, GreenWave projects. In its $21 billion 2020 model, GreenWave predicts 12 states plus the District of Columbia to have legalized recreational marijuana (besides Colorado and Washington, which legalized it in 2012). Those states are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont, according to data GreenWave provided to The Huffington Post from the full report. By that same year, the model assumes, 37 states will have legalized medical marijuana. To date, 23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical use.

"Our road map for the progression of states to legalize is very detailed –- our assumptions are largely predicated on whether a particular state has legislation in progress," Matt Karnes, founder and managing partner of GreenWave as well as author of the report, told HuffPost. "We assume that once legalization occurs, it will take a little over a year to implement a program and have product available for sale. So for example, for Florida, we expect the ballot measure to pass [this year] yet our sales forecast starts in year 2016. We think the time frame will lessen as new states to legalize will benefit from best practices."

As Karnes noted, some of these states are already considering legalization this November -- voters in Oregon, Alaska and D.C. are considering measures to legalize recreational marijuana, while Florida voters will weigh in on medical marijuana legalization. GreenWave isn't the first group to suggest the federal government may end its decadeslong prohibition of marijuana. One congressman has even predicted that before the end of the decade, the federal government will legalize weed. And as outlandish as it may sound, it's already possible to observe significant shifts in federal policy toward pot.

The federal government allowed Colorado's and Washington's historic marijuana laws to take effect last year. President Barack Obama signed the 2014 farm bill, which legalized industrial hemp production for research purposes in the states that permit it, and the first hemp crops in U.S. soil in decades are already growing. And in May, the U.S. House passed measures attempting to limit Drug Enforcement Administration crackdowns on medical marijuana shops when they're legal in a state.

The GreenWave report also projects a substantial shift in the marijuana marketplace -- the merging of the medical and recreational markets in states that have both. "In the state of Colorado, we are beginning to see the sales impact -- i.e., cannibalization of medical marijuana sales by the adult-use market -- when the two markets co-exist," Karnes said. "We expect a similar dynamic to unfold in those states that will implement a dual marijuana market."

Beginning in July, recreational marijuana sales in Colorado began to outpace medical for the first time, according to state Department of Revenue data. Karnes writes in the executive summary that just what the marijuana industry will look like in 2020 will largely depend on how the industry is regulated and how it is taxed by that time.

"Since 'chronic pain' is the most common ailment among medical marijuana users, it is likely that recreational users can already purchase marijuana without great difficulty in states where medicinal use is legal," the report reads. "Accordingly, it can be argued that a merged market already exists in medical marijuana states. Less currently popular, but arguably providing more economic stimulus, would be a regulatory regime providing for only adult recreational use."



News Moderator - The General @ 420 MAGAZINE ®
Source: Huffingtonpost.com
Author: Matt Ferner
Contact: Contact Us
Website: Marijuana Industry Could Be Worth $35 Billion In 2020, If All States And Feds Legalize It

Facebook Tells DEA: Stop Impersonating Users

October 25th, 2014 by The General No comments »
Facebook has sent a letter to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration demanding that agents stop impersonating users on the social network. The letter follows a BuzzFeed report that revealed how the DEA seized a woman's phone and later created a Facebook account in her name.

Sondra Arquiett was unaware as the DEA masqueraded as her while speaking to her friends. The DEA even posted photos of her with her son and another photo of her alone in panties and a bra. She has sued the DEA agent who set up the account. The Justice Department is backing him up, claiming federal agents have the right to do such things. Now Arquiett has Facebook (FB, Tech30) on her side.

"The DEA's deceptive actions... threaten the integrity of our community," Facebook chief security officer Joe Sullivan wrote to DEA head Michele Leonhart. "Using Facebook to impersonate others abuses that trust and makes people feel less safe and secure when using our service." The letter goes on to say that Facebook shut down the DEA's fake Arquiett account. It also demands that the DEA confirm it stopped all other cases of impersonation.

The DEA declined to comment and referred all questions to the Justice Department, which has not returned CNNMoney's calls. How did the DEA end up with this woman's phone? In 2010, Arquiett was arrested and faced charges related to cocaine distribution. She pled guilty and received probation. In legal filings, a federal prosecutor said Arquiett "implicitly consented by granting access to the information stored in her cell phone and by consenting to the use of that information to aid in an ongoing criminal investigations [sic]." But in its letter, Facebook said it is "deeply troubled" by that legal position.

Privacy researcher Runa Sandvik, who advises the Freedom of the Press Foundation, explained it this way: It's one thing to strike a deal and become an informant. It's another to lose complete control of your online identity. "Isn't this the definition of identity theft?" Sandvik asked. This is only the latest case in which the technology firm comes head-to-head with the federal government on civil liberties issues. Facebook has asked for more transparency about NSA spying on Americans. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has called President Obama to complain about it. And Facebook is fighting in court to have the Manhattan district attorney's office justify its seizure of 381 people's accounts.



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Source: Money.cnn.com
Author: Jose Pagliery
Contact: Contact Us
Website: Facebook tells DEA: Stop impersonating users - Oct. 20, 2014