Chronicle AM: Court Says Dispensaries Can't Take Biz Expenses, CT Sentencing Reform Becomes Law, More (7/10/15)

Nearly half the country thinks roads will be less safe with pot legalization, researchers debunk the gateway theory... again, applicants pile up for medical marijuana programs in Florida and New York, Connecticut's governor signs a bill doing away with mandatory minimums for drug possession, and more.

A new law should reduce prison overcrowding in Connecticut. (nadcp.org)
Marijuana Policy

Gateway Theory Debunked… Again. A new study in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse has found that while marijuana use may typically precede the use of other drugs, there is no evidence it causes people to move on to them. Teens smoke pot for specific reasons, the researchers found, and it is those reasons -- not marijuana use itself -- that prompt them to try other drugs as well. Kids who smoke pot because they are bored are more likely to try cocaine, while teens who smoke pot for personal insights are more likely to try psychedelics. "We found that marijuana use within itself wasn't a risk factor for use of other drugs," said lead author Joseph Palamar, an assistant professor in the New York University Langone Medical Center's department of population health. "People do generally use marijuana before other drugs, but that doesn't mean marijuana is a cause of [using] those other drugs." The study was based on data from the annual Monitoring the Future study of American high school students.

Gallup Poll: 47% Say Marijuana Makes Roads Less Safe. Public attitudes toward marijuana and driving are fairly evenly split, with 47% saying it would make the roads less safe and 50% saying it would make no difference, according to a Gallup Poll released today. The poll results present a potential point of attack for legalization opponents, who have increasingly resorted to fears of drugged driving as other arguments against legalization have evaporated. But as Gallup notes, "… these data may defuse arguments that increased legalization across the US will influence driver safety. With just 30% of Americans currently saying that an increase in legal marijuana would make driving a lot less safe, and 50% saying it will not make much difference, the pro-legalization forces may have an advantage." Click on the link for more details and methodological notes.

Alaska Marijuana Industry Trade Group Forms. The Alaska Marijuana Industry Association formally announced its existence Thursday at an Anchorage press conference. The nonprofit group intends to represent marijuana business owners in the state, once those businesses are licensed.

Medical Marijuana

Federal Appeals Court Rules Dispensaries Can't Deduct Business Expenses. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that they can't take the deductions because their product is prohibited under federal law. The ruling came in the case of the embattled Vapor Room dispensary, whose owner had claimed $650,000 in business expenses in 2004 and 2005. The IRS balked, and now the appeals court has sided with the IRS.

Florida CBD Cannabis Oil Grow Program Gets 24 Applicants. Some 24 commercial plant nurseries have applied for state licenses to grow marijuana and produce CBD cannabis oil to treat epilepsy and other medical conditions. The state is divided into five regions, and only one license will be awarded for each region.

New York Medical Marijuana Program Gets 43 Applicants. Nearly four dozen companies have applied for licenses to grow and distribute medical marijuana under a program approved by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D). The state Department of Health is expected to decide which applicants will get licenses sometime within the next couple of weeks.

Sentencing

Connecticut Governor Signs Drug Sentencing Reform Bill. Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) signed into law his "Second Chance Society" legislation, which eliminates mandatory minimum sentences for small-time drug possession and caps those sentences at one year. The measure also speeds up the pardon and parole process for nonviolent offenders. About 500 people are estimated to be imprisoned in the state solely for drug possession.

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Cancer Patients Can't Wait

Medical Marijuana should immediately be legalized in all 50 states. Ask any American who's gone through Chemotherapy who's used it. Ask the parents of any American kid with a seizure disorder who's life its saved. We need the President to cut through the red tape and take personal action on this issue right now. Americans are suffering and dying -- needlessly! 
 
For Cancer patients, for kids suffering from Seizures, and for so many others, safe, legal, access to Medical Marijuana is a matter of life and death 
 
Please call the whitehouse comment line at (202) 456-1111 and ask that the President have Marijuana removed from Schedule 1. 
 
Call every day, and ask everyone you know to call every day, and to keep calling, for however long it takes, until he does it. Please do everything you can to get as many people as possible to call and keep on calling. 
 
Do everything you can to help with this effort. 
 
With luck the effort will go viral. 
 
The lives of countless Americans depend on it.

"Medical Marijuana should

"Medical Marijuana should immediately be legalized in all 50 states." No. Marijuana should be legalized in all 50 states, whether it is medical or not. No, scrap that. It should be legal the world over. For any adult regardless of the reason. It should be in the same category as "tobacco products", "tea and coffee" and "alcohol". It really is that simple.

med marijuana patients can't wait for recreational legalization

Of course cannabis should be legal everywhere. But medicinal cannabis, which has more support, deserves to be focused on as a issue in its own right, patients can't wait until their state or country is willing to legalize recreational use.

I can't believe they needed

I can't believe they needed to go to court to find out that the Controlled Substances Act would forbid tax deductions..

They just need to challenge the Controlled Substances Act in it entirety as it is not different from Alcohol prohibition..There is a reason the Constitution was amended for alcohol prohibition. Guess what, the same standard applies to all chemicals...unless people are retarded and just let them do it anyways

TAX

Well, then if the ruling against tax deductions is based on the fact that the stuff is federally illegal, then obviously, they shouldn't have to pay tax on it at all!

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