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​Washington state medical marijuana patients and advocates find themselves in an odd position this year. New Approach Washington’s I-502, a legalization initiative, is doing quite well gathering voter signatures, and just received a major cash infusion. But every rose has its thorn: The happiness activists would otherwise feel about expanded access to cannabis is tempered by concern at the harsh DUI provisions contained in the measure, as well as the prohibitions on home cultivation and on possession of more than one ounce at the time.

The ACLU-backed initiative is getting $100,000 this week from philanthropist Harriet Bullitt, and it expects to have $200,000 more from Progressive Insurance Chairman Peter Lewis, who has already given $50,000 to NAW, reports Gene Johnson at The Associated Press.
I-502 would remove criminal penalties for possession of up to an ounce for people 21 and older. Marijuana would be sold in state-licensed stores under the auspices of the Washington Liquor Control Board, and taxed at 25 percent.

NAW has two months left in which to collect enough signatures to qualify for the November 2012 ballot, but seems to be sitting pretty in that regard. With more than 180,000 signatures already gathered, principally by paid workers from California, I-502 needs 241,000 valid voter sigs to qualify, reports Curtis Cartier at Seattle Weekly

Graphic: Michigan Medical Marijuana Association

​A registered medical marijuana patient in Michigan is suing the Lyon Township and Oakland County because they’re trying to take his growing cannabis plants away from him.

Steven J. Greene got a notice from the township attorney on December 20 telling him he had 30 days to get rid of the marijuana plants growing inside his mobile home — on threat of seizure and prosecution under the township ordinance, reports Mike Martindale at The Detroit News.
A copy of the letter was also sent to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, which discovered the plants last year after both a storm and an attempted break-in set off burglar alarms at Green’s residence in separate incidents, according to Greene’s attorney, Thomas Loeb.
Greene, who is HIV positive, is on medical disability and uses marijuana to combat nausea from drugs used to treat his health condition, Loeb said.

Photo: Omaha World-Herald

​It’s been awhile since Omaha, Nebraska police began an investigation into allegations that two officers talked of framing a targeted alleged “gang member” by putting marijuana in his trash. So long, in fact, that one of the officers applied for a disability pension, had two hearings on the matter and retired — three months ago.

Two officers — the second one under investigation and the purported whistle-blower — have collected six months’ salary while not being allowed to work, reports Todd Cooper at the Omaha World-Herald. The City of Omaha has paid more than $50,000 to the two officers while they have been on administrative leave — $29,000 and $22,000, respectively, the World-Herald reports.
Meanwhile, a couple of drug possession cases have stalled in court while attorneys await reports on the internal affairs investigation.
With six months having passed since the investigation was launched by the Omaha Police Department and the officers were placed on paid leave, questions are being asked.

Photo: Bob Collacello

​Rolling Stones legend Mick Jagger has called for U.K. government officials to legalize marijuana and other drugs on a British island, to see if it prevents violence associated with the illegal drug trade.

The rock singer, who was convicted of marijuana possession in the 1960s, said that young people will always experiment with psychoactive substances, despite the risks, reports StarPulse. He is urging the government to legalize drugs on the Isle of Man, a British Crown dependency in the Irish Sea, to test the consequences of an end to prohibition.