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DEA chief: Mexican cartels move into Colorado, Washington

Posted on April 5th, 2014 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

leafDrug Enforcement Administration chief Michele Leonhart, in testimony before a House Appropriations subcommittee April 2, went on the offensive against the cannabis legalization initiatives in Washington state and Colorado. "What was explained to the voters was how much money that they'd be raising," Leonhart said. "What was explained to the voters was that this was good for law enforcement, because then police could go after the real crimes. What was told to the voters is that this would collapse the Mexican drug cartels." Instead, Leonhart asserted, Mexican drug cartels are "setting up shop" in Washington and Colorado in anticipation of a cannabis boom. "Whatever the price will be set in Washington and Colorado, criminal organizations are ready to come in and sell cheaper," she said. She also claimed, without offering evidence, that many cannabis shops get their supplies from grow operations controlled by cartels. 

CBD derivative gets 'orphan drug' status

Posted on November 18th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , .

THCBritish firm GW Pharmaceuticals has won "orphan drug status"—a special category for agents developed to treat rare diseases—from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Epidiolex, a derivative of cannabidiol (CBD), to treat Dravet syndrome, a severe form epilepsy. In Utah, parents who are lobbying to import CBD-rich cannabis strains from Colorado, say they will keep up their campaign. "This changes nothing" in regard to children being able to access CBD, said Jennifer May, mother of 11-year-old Stockton, who suffers from Dravet syndrome. "On the other hand, it does lend credibility to the potential of CBD as a treatment." Like many Dravet patients, Stockton has tried dozens of pharmaceutical fixes, and run out of options. He can no longer use the toilet and has to be fed from a tube. "Orphan drug" designation qualifies GW for tax credits and exclusive rights to the drug if approved. But FDA approval for Epidiolex could take a year or more. (Salt Lake Tribune, Nov. 18)

Secession fever sweeps Colorado, California counties —cannabis backlash?

Posted on October 7th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

ColoradoOn Colorado's northeast plains, advocates of secession from the state have managed to put the question before voters in 11 counties this November —potentially bringing a split-the-state initiative to statewide vote by November 2014. As Weld County Commissioner and leading secession proponent Sean Conway explained to reporters, an "advisory" vote at the county level would require local lawmakers to request that state legislators introduce a constitutional amendment allowing the northeastern counties to go their own way. That would require two-thirds approval by both houses. Failing that, proponents could put the measure to statewide vote by collecting 80,000 signatures. Finally, the initiative would have to be approved by the US Congress. So it is an arduous process—but proponents are clearly dead serious.

Washington and Colorado: the empire chills out?

Posted on August 29th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

cannabisDeputy Attorney General James Cole, the same who authored a notorious 2011 memo asserting that federal cannabis enforcement remains a "core priority" even in states that have passed medical marijuana laws, has just issued a new memorandum seeming to clarify Justice Department reaction to the legalization measures in Colorado and Washington state. While it is written in the usual dense bureaucratese that often hides as much as it reveals, on balance it appears to represent a retreat from the hardline posture the Obama administration has assumed regarding medicinal cannabis over the past two years. The text of the Aug. 29 memo is provided by our comrades at CelebStoner:

Colorado 'pot porn' reg goes down to defeat

Posted on June 15th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

ColoradoUS District Judge Richard Matsch in Denver on June 11 struck down a Colorado law that would have required businesses to place cannabis-related magazines behind counters. Matsch ordered a permanent injunction against Amendment 64 which would have treated cannabis-related magazines as pornographic material. The ruling comes a week after publishers and bookstores filed a lawsuit against the state.

Colorado governor signs bills regulating cannabis

Posted on May 29th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

ColoradoGov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado on May 28 signed a new set of laws regulating the use and sale of cannabis. One law, HB13-1317, expands the medical marijuana enforcement division to cover retail cannabis sales. The law also prohibits retail cannabis outlets from selling more than one-fourth of an ounce to non-residents. Another law, HB13-1318, still subject to voter approval in the November statewide election, imposes a 15% sales tax on retail cannabis or cannabis products, and allocates 10% of the total tax revenue among the state's local governments that have at least one retail cannabis outlet. A third law, HB13-1325, provides that motorists found to have blood levels of five nanograms or more of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter may be charged for DUI.

Gunfire erupts at Denver 420 Rally

Posted on April 21st, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

420Gunfire erupted at Colorado's annual 420 Rally—the first since the state voted to legalize cannabis least year—injuring two people and scattering a crowd of thousands in Denver's Civic Center Park. A man and woman were shot in the leg, and a third grazed with a bullet. Both victims are in their 20s. They were taken to Denver Health Medical Center. Police asked attendees for possible photo or video footage of the shootings, and had no immediate motive. Witnesses described a jovial scene quickly turning to panic. Some thought firecrackers were going off, until a man fell bleeding, his dog also shot.

Mixed signals from UN on Drug War

Posted on March 17th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , .

earthHelen Clark, head of the UN Development Program, speaking ahead of a March 14 presentation of the UNDP's 2013 Human Development Report, offered a surprise critique of the global war on drugs, saying Latin American leaders should develop new policies. "I've been a health minister in my past and there's no doubt that the health position would be to treat the issue of drugs as primarily a health and social issue rather than a criminalized issue," Clark told Reuters. "Once you criminalize, you put very big stakes around. Of course, our world has proceeded on the basis that criminalization is the approach."

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