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Chronicle AM: ME to Vote on Legalization, AK "Pot Cafes," AL Passes CBD MedMJ, More... (5/2/16)

Lots of Maine news today, Alaska could see "pot cafes," a New Hampshire asset forfeiture bill gets gutted under police pressure, and more.

Coming to Maine?
Marijuana Policy

Alaska Marijuana Draft Regulations Include Pot Cafes. Alaska could become the first legalization state to actually allow social marijuana smoking in designated businesses. The state's Marijuana Control Board has crafted draft regs that would allow users to toke up inside retail stores. The draft regs are now awaiting public comment. While "public" marijuana use is banned, the regs create an exemption for retail stores to seek an "onsite consumption endorsement" to their licenses. Stores with that endorsement could then set aside an area for people to consume marijuana.

California GOP Opposes AUMA Legalization Initiative. The state Republican Party voted at its convention over the weekend to oppose the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) marijuana legalization initiative. "We must not turn this plague loose on our children and the people of California," said Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber, who also called marijuana an "entry-level" drug that leads to addiction. California Democrats have endorsed the initiative.

It's Official: Maine Will Vote on Legalization in November The final obstacle to a popular vote was removed last Friday, when state legislators punted on their chance to act on the citizen legalization initiative, opting instead to send the question to the voters instead. Earlier, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which organized the state's legalization initiative had to go to the courts to force recalcitrant state officials to properly count all the signatures, and they did so.

Vermont House Takes Up Marijuana Legalization Today. The House is considering legalization today, albeit in a roundabout fashion. One House committee rejected the legalization measure, Senate Bill 241, while another amended it to legalize possession and personal cultivation, but not regulated, legal marijuana commerce. The Senate responded by pasting SB 241 into another bill, House Bill 858, which the House is considering today. Stay tuned!

Medical Marijuana

Alabama Passes CBD Medical Marijuana Bill. Both houses of the legislature have now approved "Leni's Law," which would allow people with seizure disorders or other debilitating medical conditions to use CBD cannabis oil to treat their ailments. Gov. Robert Bentley (R) is expected to sign the bill into law.

Connecticut Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill Passes Legislature. A bill that would allow children with certain debilitating medical conditions to use medical marijuana has passed out of the legislature after a final Senate vote last Friday. Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) is expected to sign House Bill 5450 into law.

New Hampshire's First Dispensary Opens. The Sanctuary Alternative Treatment Center opened in Plymouth last Saturday. It's the first dispensary in the state to open for business. It only took nearly three years after the state's medical marijuana law was approved for this to happen.

Asset Forfeiture

New Hampshire Asset Forfeiture Bill Scaled Back Under Police Pressure. The state Senate last Thursday stripped a provision from an asset forfeiture reform bill that would have directed funds seized by police to the state's general fund rather than to the agency that seized them. The move came after police chiefs said not letting them keep the goodies would "handcuff" them.

Oklahoma Governor Signs Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill. Gov. Mary Fallin (R) last Thursday signed into law a bill that will allow people whose property is subject to asset forfeiture to recover attorney fees when they challenge the seizures. The new law goes into effect November 1.

Drug Policy

Maine Decriminalizes Drug Possession, Moves to Adopt Pre-Arrest Diversion Program. Last Thursday, a bill that would make simple drug possession a misdemeanor instead of a felony passed into law without the signature of Tea Party Gov. Paul LePage. The bill, LD 1554, decriminalizes the possession of up to 200 milligrams of heroin. Earlier this month, the legislature also approved a bill that would fund Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) programs, which have proven successful in Seattle and other cities.

Harm Reduction

Maine Legislature Overrides Governor's Veto of Overdose Reversal Drug Bill. The legislature voted last Friday to override gubernatorial vetoes of LD 1457 and LD 1552, which would allow access to naloxone without a prescription and provide public funding for needle exchange, respectively. Gov. Paul Le Page had claimed "naloxone does not save lives, it merely extends them until the next overdose" and complained that the $70 cost would not be repaid.

International

Canada Supreme Court Throws Out Mandatory Minimums for Drug Traffickers. In a decision last Friday, the high court ruled mandatory minimums for repeat drug offenders are unconstitutional. The case is R. v. Lloyd.

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"We must not turn this plague

"We must not turn this plague loose on our children and the people of California," said Sen. Jim Nielsen. The word 'children' is vague rhetoric that is used as an excuse for prohibitionists to maximize harm and ratchet up abusive and fraudulent attacks on the populace. Children means age 0 to 5, or 0 to 18, or 0 to 50 years old. This is the old generation gap war, the battle of rich old people against everyone else in the guise of "protecting the children". The many drug war deaths due to vicious and racist policy is phony rhetoric that fails to hypnotize anyone into supporting bad policy. Here is a message from the children: put prohibitionists on trial. Fire and defund the DEA and fellow crooks and con artists, a menace to society. Burn the drug schedules, send them back to Nixon. We didn't need government meddling in Prohibition in 1890 and we don't need it now, or ever. Prohibition was a disastrous and fraudulent idea when it was dishonestly manufactured by Anslinger, and it was always harmful and abusive, thuggish and un-American: self-appointed Prohibitionists must follow the will of the populace including minorities, not dictate behavior. Set the drug war prisoners free to clear space for Prohibitionists, to protect society. Here is a message from the children: drugs are freedom, and a sacrament. Complete repeal of Prohibition is the way of truth and freedom. A Prohibition-free world by UNGASS 2019 -- we can do it!

The many drug war deaths and

The many drug war deaths and broken families due to vicious and racist policy can no longer be propped up by phony rhetoric that fails to hypnotize anyone into supporting bad policy. The old cheap rhetoric moves now backfire: "we need more weapons and tools to fight drugs"; "for the children", etc. -- these are recognized as manipulative attacks on the populace. No more giving a blank check for Prohibitionists to get away with murder and robbery (forfeiture), no more shooting the family dog justified by "for the children", no more herbicides, no more driving farmers to clearcutting rainforest. Evil rhetoric, insincere and manipulative, is now recognized as such, and the children have a message for Prohibitionists: re-legalize and completely repeal Prohibition. Prohibition is harm maximization and a crime against sacraments and freedom to access altered states. Authority is found in the history of visionary plants, not in the deceitful rhetoric of Prohibitionists and thugs in costume posing as authorities.

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