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Cannabis Defense Coalition
It’s the place to be Saturday night in Seattle.

​​The Cannabis Defense Coalition (CDC), always a great group of folks with whom to hang out, is throwing a benefit party this Saturday night, Dec. 5, at the Cannabis Resource Center in Seattle’s beloved South Park neighborhood.
“We’ll be setting aside our ‘marijuana is safer than alcohol’ rhetoric for the night and serving up the hooch to fund pot activism,” said spokesman Ben Livingston of the CDC.
Musical entertainment will be provided by acoustic/bluegrass/Celtic group Boys of Greenwood Glen and blues/roots artists Sidestreet Reny.

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Graphic: PHenry

​As pharmacists and drug regulators from across the United States meet in Tucson this week, marijuana will be headlining the agenda.

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) opens its symposium today with presentations on medical marijuana by experts including Caren Woodson, government affairs director with Americans for Safe Access, the country’s largest advocacy group focused on the issue.

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Photo: Andrew Bardwell
You do know the best way to pass the time on the inside, don’t you?

​Folks try to smuggle pot into jail all the time. Sometimes they make it (I’ve gotten high more than once in L.A. County Jail). But when they get caught, it’s usually girlfriends or best buddies, rarely lawyers muling dank into the joint.

The words “damn good lawyer” come to mind, but let’s not jump to conclusions. The Douglas County, Neb., Sheriff’s Office hasn’t arrested anyone yet, according to KPTM Omaha, but charges against the lawyer could be forthcoming.
“The jail staff were suspicious of this individual, they were watching for this person and when they arrived, they knew to be vigilant and they did examine this particular visitor’s packages,” said Chief Deputy Marty Bilek. “In this case, a file folder, and that’s how they found the narcotics.”
Corrections workers confiscated 43 grams of pot, according to Bilek. That’s just over an ounce and a half.
KPTM says the sheriff’s office is so far only calling the suspect a “frequent jail visitor,” but “other sources” confirm he is an Omaha attorney.

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Photo: Coaster420
Washington state health officials are considering expanding the categories for which medical marijuana may be used.

​Washington State health officials are on the verge of deciding whether patients suffering from depression or certain anxiety disorders should be allowed to use medical marijuana as part of their treatment, Molly Rosbach at The Seattle Times reports.

Washington’s medical marijuana law, adopted by voter initiative in 1998, limits the legal use of medical marijuana to patients who have been diagnosed with a “terminal or debilitating medical condition.”
That includes patients with cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis, hepatitis C and several other diseases causing pain or nausea  “unrelieved by standard medical treatments and conditions.”

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Photo: DEA
Teacher learns a lesson: Don’t bring your weed to school!

​Talk about higher education! A staff member at Harden Middle School in Salinas, Calif., found a bag of marijuana, but it didn’t belong to one of the students.

A staffer who found an unattended backpack in the quad area of the school noticed a strong odor of marijuana. School officials inspected the backpack, and discovered a baggie containing marijuana along with a pipe.
After reviewing tape from surveillance cameras, school staffers found that 70-year-old Harry Williams, a substitute teacher, had set the backpack down when he rested on a bench. When he got up to leave, he forgot the backpack.
After being questioned, Williams admitted it was his weed; he said he forgot it was in his backpack when he came to school. Williams said he’s a medical marijuana patient with a doctor’s note allowing him to use the herb.
Williams was cited for possession of marijuana on school grounds. School staff sent him home after the incident, according to KION 46 Central Coast News.

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Photo: Selkem
What the doctor ordered?

​A new scientific study published in Harm Reduction Journal suggests that marijuana is a safe and effective substitute for alcohol and prescription drugs.

The study, published by researchers at the University of California, Berkley, showed that 40 percent of marijuana users said they’ve used pot to control their alcohol addictions, 66 percent said they used marijuana instead of prescription drugs, and 26 percent said marijuana helped them stay off harder “street” drugs such as cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.

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Photo: Polluxx
Not in Norco, or you may get Narco’d.

​Norco, Calif., is proposing a local law against selling drug paraphernalia.

Doing so is already against both state and federal law, but having a city law on top of that would “make it easier for authorities to enforce the regulation,” Norco officials claimed, according to the Press-Enterprise.
Norco officials admit there isn’t a problem with drug paraphernalia being sold in the city. Nobody in recent history has even been cited for the offense. But the bright idea of putting a local law on the books just seemed irresistible after officials noticed neighboring town Corona had passed its own local law.
“The councils of Norco and Corona have been trying to coordinate their responses to regional issues, and drugs are currently a regional issue,” said Lt. Ross Cooper of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department’s Norco station. (Blah, blah, blah.)
Cooper said other cities also have adopted similar ordinances, and Norco wants to spread the anti-drug message. Great idea, Lt. Cooper. Show what a moron you are by wasting the city’s scarce resources going after potheads.
The ordinance would echo a California Health and Safety Code section making it unlawful to sell drug paraphernalia, including water and ceramic pipes, scales and balances, and roach clips for joints.
If passed, the ordinance would become law in 30 days.

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Photo: Matt Wright, Wikimedia Commons
Denver is now collecting 3.9 percent tax on medical marijuana sales.

​The Mile High City started collecting sales tax on medical marijuana today.

The City of Denver expects every medical marijuana dispensary in the city to pay 3.6 percent sales tax starting Dec. 1, reports Patricia Calhoun in Westword.
“Tax revenue agents will be meeting with all dispensaries, giving them the information,” said City Attorney David Fine.

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Photo: Coaster420
Nugs like this Purple Kush beauty could be legal for medical use if Pennsylvania legislators show some leadership.

​A public hearing on legalizing medical marijuana is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 2, in Harrisburg, Pa., before the House Health and Human Services committee.

Discussed will be House Bill 1393, introduced in April by State Rep. Mark Cohen, D-Philadelphia. According to Cohen, the bill aims to ease the lives of suffering patients, take money away from the illegal drug trade and create about $25 million a year in tax revenue from the sale of marijuana.
“The bill has a 1-in-4 chance of becoming law, but I think that health care groups will lean toward it,” Cohen told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

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Artwork by Jim Wheeler
Medical marijuana patients win another battle in San Diego

​The manager of a San Diego medical marijuana dispensary was acquitted today of five charges of possessing and selling marijuana for profit.

Jovan Jackson, 31, was convicted, however, of possession of ecstasy and Xanax, according to SignOnSanDiego News Services.
Jackson, who was arrested after a pair of raids at Answerdam Alternative Care in Kearny Mesa last year, began to weep quietly as the verdicts were read in the courtroom of Judge Cynthia Bashant.
The verdicts ended a weeklong trial in San Diego Superior Court. According to SignOnSanDiego, the jury foreman said afterward that the lack of clarity in California’s medical marijuana law was a major reason for the acquittals.
Medical marijuana advocates said the verdicts were a rebuke to San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and local law enforcement. Aggressive medical marijuana enforcement has been a priority for Dumanis’ office.