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Weed Government

Maryland board leaders decide if they want to block ‘weed’ by changing Master Plan

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We love top point out the obvioius here at USWC. So when Commissioner Dennis Frazier, R-District 3 or Maryland stated “We shouldn’t be obstructing the legitimate use of marijuana just because it’s marijuana.” during a down meeting to deice whether to ammend the areas master plan to stop cannabisuness…we had to give a kudo for masterful obviousness in leadership.

Click this link to follow this story and know more: http://www.carrollcountytimes.com/news/local/ph-cc-ccg-medical-cannabis-20150829-story.html

Alaska Green Cross Celebrates State Legalization

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Last week Alaska became the third state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana.

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The organization Alaska Green Cross has been instrumental in assisting the support of the
people of the State to approve the recreational use.

This historic moment was celebrated at the end of Feburary in Gridwood and looking towards the future of
healthy alternatives of cannabis use.

Retail cannabis sales has details to workout at this time and is still at least a year off for offcial public consumption.  But most people enjoyed this event in private contemplation.

Alaska Green Cross, is continuing the positive move forward and is seeking support to assist in the

responsible development of cannabis use for all in the 0th State!

Congratulation Alaska and Alaska Green Cross!  For more information or to help please contact www,alaskagreencross.net

Idaho Moving Towards Legalization Due to Ten Year Old Girl’s Illness

By | Medical, News, Weed Government | No Comments

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Ten-year-old Alexis Carey has a rare but intractable form of epilepsy, Dravet Syndrome. The genetic disease causes severe and multiple seizures, which often leave parents guessing if the terror of watching their child seize up will pass or turn fatal.

Her Boise, Idaho, family learned that oil extracted from marijuana had helped other children and wanted to see if it would help Alexis too.

“Parent to parent, when you’re in a small community and 10 people that you know are all having success, that’s no longer anecdotal,” Clare Carey, her mother, said. “That’s hope.”

But Idaho’s stringent marijuana laws do not allow for medicinal use. The family began lobbying lawmakers to decriminalize the oil almost two years ago. Now, they’ve got some legislative backers and an upcoming hearing, as Idaho joins a larger movement to loosen laws to allow the use of marijuana extract oil.

Twelve states have legalized the oil while still banning medical marijuana. Virginia legalized the oil Feb. 26. In Utah, lawmakers have given initial approval to let those with chronic and debilitating diseases consume edible marijuana products, while still banning smoking.

Marijuana extract oil first received attention when a Colorado family fought and won for access for their daughter who also had Dravet Syndrome. It is similar to hemp oil, which is legal in Idaho and can be bought in grocery stores.

With no known cure for Dravet Syndrome, children are often prescribed a cocktail of medications to counter the seizures. However, the heavy drugs often come with side-effects that can permanently damage a child’s developing liver, kidneys and other organs.

Proponents of cannabidiol oil, a non-psychotropic extract of marijuana, argue that it reduces the amount and length of seizures in children.

Over time, Carey hopes that the oil would also reduce the number of medications her daughter relies on.

“Like any parent, you never give up hope that you can get complete seizure control,” she said. “Children die from Dravet by any one of the seizures. Alexis could have a seizure that may not stop, we never really know.”

Alexis began having seizures when she was two months old. But even in 2003, her mom says a lack of awareness of the disease led to many doctors not automatically suspecting it could be a rare, genetic disorder.

It wasn’t until Alexis lost all speech and potty control when she was 2 that doctors determined she had Dravet Syndrome, Carey said.

Since then, Alexis’ parents have put her on a variety of diets and medications to help reduce the seizures but the disease is tricky to manage. Dravet Syndrome often causes a variety of different kinds of seizures but medications typically target one particular type.

Alexis’ seizures usually occur at night, which means one of her parents regularly sleep with her and monitor her sleep patterns. During the day, Alexis requires constant supervision. While most 10-year-olds freely run and jump around, Alexis walks— albeit sometimes unstably and with help going up and down stairs.

Carey says working with Idaho’s Republican-controlled Legislature has been easier than anticipated.

Lawmakers who resisted the idea at first blush have warmed up to the idea, she said.

This year, the bill is endorsed by Republicans Sen. Curt McKenzie and Rep. Tom Leortscher. Both are chairs of the legislature’s State Affairs Committees, panels that often get tossed controversial legislation and have a high bar for clearance.

The measure unanimously passed the Senate committee during its introduction hearing, which means it now goes on to a full hearing in front of the committee.

Yet the bill must survive a Statehouse that approved a resolution in 2013 vowing never to legalize marijuana for any purpose.

Alaska Legalization Tuesday Feb. 24th

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ALASKA MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION TAKES EFFECT TUESDAY

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Commercial Regulation Development Underway

Law Enforcement Anticipates Public Safety Improvements

Last November, Alaska’s Ballot Measure 2, a law to legalize and regulate marijuana for adults, passed with 52% of the vote. When the measure takes effect on Tuesday this week, people age 21 and older will legally be able to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and cultivate no more than six plants at home, though commercial sales will have to wait until regulations have been established – probably spring or summer of 2016. Colorado, Oregon and Washington have also legalized marijuana, and medical marijuana is permitted in 23 states and Washington D.C.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a group of criminal justice professionals opposed to the drug war, campaigned for Measure 2 by meeting with communities and the media to discuss the public safety benefits of marijuana regulation.

“We anxiously await the same public safety improvements from Alaska that we have already seen in Colorado and Washington,” said Maj. Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of LEAP. “Cops will spend more time going after dangerous criminals and protecting communities, and parents can rest assured that their local marijuana retailer is barred from selling to their children.”

Tuesday also marks the first day of drafting the manufacturing and sales regulations. The timeline states that regulations should be completed by November 2015, business applications should open in February 2016, and licenses should be issued by May of the same year. Some regulators are concerned the timeline is too short, and advocate for a later deadline to ensure the best possible regulatory model.

The state’s judiciary committee recently stalled SB 30, a bill that initially concerned legalization advocates due to ambiguity surrounding its ability to supersede Measure 2. The committee has ordered a replacement bill, which may provide clarity and ensure that Measure 2 and the will of Alaska’s voters are respected. Other pending state legislation relating to Measure 2 include SB 8, which would regulate the production of industrial hemp.

LEAP is committed to ending decades of failed policy that have fueled dangerous underground markets and gang violence, fostered corruption and racism, and largely ignored the public health crisis of addiction, all while spending billions of dollars diverting the penal system’s attention away from more important violent crimes.

 

Native Americans Moving Carefully Towards Growing Cannabis On Tribal Lands

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After the Department of Justice issued a memo in December stating that Native Americans could grow and sell marijuana on tribal lands, there was an immediate rush by entrepreneurs to sign up tribes and cash in on the opportunity.

But some legal experts are now cautioning tribes to proceed carefully.

Seattle-based Native American attorney Anthony Broadman warned that the DOJ memo “was not a blank check to just go out and start growing weed,” according to Indian Country Today Media Network.

Rather, he said regulations may even be stricter on tribal lands than off, even in states where medical or recreational marijuana is legal.

Consultant Walter Lamar, another Native American businessman, also said tribes need to be wary of “opportunists and hucksters,” and advised them to ensure first and foremost that they’re following the law.

Broadman and others told the network that tribes should also proceed slowly, warning that individuals could even end up in jail.

Strain of The Week! Presidential OG

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There have been 44 presidents during the course of America’s history, as long as we count split term winner Grover Cleveland twice. Considering that there have been over 545 million individual Americans since our founding, a president, then, is a very rare breed. So as we finish celebrating the long President’s Day weekend, let us turn to another stand out breed for our Strain of the Week, the aptly named Presidential OG.

A hybrid from Royal Queen Seeds, Presidential OG is an indica dominant cross of Bubble Gum, a frequent visitor to the awards podium in Amsterdam in the 90’s, and OG Kush, a perennial favorite here in SoCal. Expect plenty of the pine scent familiar to OG Kush, as well as sweet notes of citrus and berry.

Presidential OG offers a sedative effect, helpful for mild insomnia, anxiety, or even PTSD. A good strain for unwinding physically, it is also mentally stimulating, making it a capable companion for long discussions tucked into the couch at your local coffee house or gathered around the kitchen after dinner.

Happy Presidents Day!

Thank you to OC Weed Review www.ocweedreview.com

Getting Closer to De Classification of Cannabis By Judge Muller

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Federal Judge May Declare Pot’s Classification As Schedule 1 Narcotic Unconstitutional

 Judge Muller

Judge Kimberly J. Mueller of the Sacramento Division of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California just made some comments in court that signal that she might be preparing to declare marijuana’s classification as a Schedule 1 narcotic unconstitutional. According to Reuters, defense attorneys representing nine California men who are accused of illegally growing medical marijuana on federal land argued before Judge Mueller that the charges should be thrown out under the rationale that federal medical marijuana prohibition is unconstitutional.

In a hearing on Wednesday, Judge Mueller indicated that she is seriously considering the merits of the defense’s position and said to prosecutors, “If I were persuaded by the defense’s argument, if I bought their argument, what would you lose here?” At stake is whether or not the federal government has overstepped its bounds in declaring marijuana a Schedule 1 narcotic, which categorizes it as one of the deadliest drugs and as having no medical use.

The defendants in the criminal case are facing a $10 million fine, property seizure, and up to life in prison for what their lawyers characterized as an effort to cultivate medical marijuana for people in need of treatment. During the defense team’s closing arguments on a motion to throw out the charges, defense attorney Zenia Gilg said, “It’s impossible to say that there is no accepted medical use.” The defense team also pointed out the facts that 23 US states have already legalized marijuana for medical use and that Congress recently voted to block the Department of Justice from interfering in state-level efforts to legalize medical pot.

Assistant US Attorney Gregory Broderick, a prosecutor in the case, argued that Congress, rather than a judge, should determine whether marijuana belongs on Schedule 1. However, he stopped short of arguing that it does, saying, “We’re not saying that this is the most dangerous drug in the world. All we’re saying is that the evidence is such that reasonable people could disagree.” Meanwhile, he says the defendants should face punishment for growing medical pot on federal land as federal law still bans such activity. Despite the facts that the Constitution protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms and that many business owners rely on firearms to protect valuable merchandise, Broderick cited the men’s status as firearms owners as evidence that their marijuana grow operation was not for medical use. He said, “They had weapons. These guys were not producing medicine.”

The hearing included testimony by doctors as to whether marijuana is useful for medical purposes, which prompted Broderick to admit in comments cited by The Leaf Online, “If Congress heard all the testimony you have heard in this hearing, they may very well decide not to put marijuana in Schedule I.” However, he stood firm in his argument that Judge Mueller lacked the authority to rule on the issue, which he said should fall in the hands of Congress instead.

The Leaf Online‘s Jeremy Daw wrote, “Judge Mueller, who has already scheduled nearly a week of court time to the hearing, did not give any indication of sympathy to [Broderick’s] position,” noting that she did appear to give some pause to the notion that “Broderick’s argument that even if she could properly hear the case, the ultimate outcome is irrelevant” had “more credence.”

Judge Mueller said that she would consider the motion to drop the charges and issue a written ruling within 30 days.

In September of last year, Ben Swann released an expose on the federal government’s mixed messages on medical marijuana, as it holds the patent on medical cannabis while also declaring that it has no medical use. Watch it in the embedded video player, seen below.
http://benswann.com/federal-judge-may-declare-pots-classification-as-schedule-1-narcotic-unconstitutional/

IRS Prepares to Audit, Raid Dispensaries

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National Cannabis Chamber

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IRS Prepares to Audit, Raid Dispensaries
A byzantine legal memo of potentially disastrous implications has been released by the Internal Revenue Service, articulating a new theory of the tax code which could result in punitive audits, crippling tax bills and even federal raids for state-legal cannabis retailers — though, curiously, not necessarily for growers.

The federal memo, released on January 23rd, poses an existential threat to state-legal dispensaries and adult-use retail stores which have heretofore operated under the largesse of US Tax Court decisions like Californians Helping to Alleviate Medical Problems, Inc. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue (CHAMP), a compromise decision which subjected dispensaries to higher effective tax rates than other businesses but kept the double standard sufficiently in check to avoid taxing them out of existence. But under the reasoning of the new IRS memo, the logic in CHAMP and similar decisions may be of little avail to dispensaries subject to scathing audits.

Both CHAMP and the new memo revolve around the language of Internal Revenue Code section 280E, which mandates an explicit double standard for taxing US businesses: while practically every other American business is allowed to deduct ordinary expenses like rent and utilities when calculating their taxable income, “traffickers” in a Schedule I or Schedule II substance (including cannabis) are disallowed from deducting those same expenses. The result is that many state-legal medical cannabis collectives, like CHAMP, were taxed on much more income than they actually took in after accounting for basic operating expenses, which led to crippling tax bills so high that many claimed they were being taxed to death.

Fortunately for the industry, CHAMPS sued the IRS in tax court and won — partly. Although the US Tax Court ruled that 280E did indeed forbid expenses which dispensaries may have incurred in obtaining and distributing cannabis, it also ruled that the costs of any ancillary services offered — such as acupuncture, yoga, community events, etc. — could be deducted instead.

Further decisions by the Tax Court extended similar relief through liberally interpreting 280E’s language to allow dispensaries to deduct costs of goods sold (COGS), another standard deduction for many kinds of businesses. Taken together, these decisions led to effective tax rates on dispensaries which were, although still unfairly high, manageable enough for most to stay in business. As a side benefit, many more patients gained access to affordable yoga and acupuncture.

The rules outlined in the new memo are devastating to this detente. “Read together,” the memo reads, “§280E and the flush language at the end of §263A(a)(2) [a subsequent revision of 280E by Congress] prevent a taxpayer trafficking in a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance from obtaining a tax benefit by capitalizing disallowed deductions… nothing in the legislative history of §263A suggests that Congress intended to permit a taxpayer to circumvent §280E by treating a disallowed deduction as an inventoriable cost or as any other kind of capitalized cost.” This reasoning directly repudiates the deduction of COGS on state-legal marijuana sales which has proven so critical to the continued operation of taxpaying dispensaries.

Lest anyone doubt the agency’s intent in promulgating this new rule, the memo’s authors conclude with a green light to IRS agents nationwide considering potentially lucrative audits against dispensaries: “In our view, Examination and Appeals have the authority under §446B to require a taxpayer to change from a method of accounting that does not clearly reflect income to a method that does clearly reflect income… When a producer or reseller of a Schedule I or Schedule II substance uses a method of accounting that causes a tax result contrary to… the legislative history of §280E, the proper exercise of the above-mentioned authority is warranted.”

This new authority could lead to devastating audits which require dispensaries to recalculate their income and expenses going back years into the past and apply a far less forgiving COGS standard under 280E than the court in CHAMP etc. articulated. The result could be bills for back taxes so massive as to effectively put scores of dispensaries out of business. And the collectives which refuse to undergo this slow death by a thousand bureaucratic cuts could simply be raided instead.

Curiously, the IRS outlined a significantly more generous interpretation for cannabis growers, noting that “a producer [i.e., grower] of a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance should be permitted to deduct wages, rents and repair expenses attributable to its production activities, but should not be permitted to deduct wages, rents or repair expenses attributable to its general business activities or its marketing activities.” This is apparently due to special provisions in the tax code which extend certain favorable treatment to farmers.

A word of warning to dispensary operators: the drug war is not over yet. By trading the DEA for the IRS, dispensaries may only be headed from the frying pan into the fire.

Chamber members enjoy the benefits of always knowing what’s happening in their state as laws constantly change. Look to an organization that has experience in the Cannabis Industry, that has the resources you need to setup your business, has National Networking and Branding reach, and much more!

The Chamber is your voice for lobbying, so you can be heard!

For more information please visit -http://www.nationalcannabischamberofcommerce.com

Another Cannabis Prisoner Grows Old Behind Bars

By | Experiences, News, Thoughts, Weed Government | 2 Comments

Another Cannabis Prisoner Grows Old Behind Bars * The Human Solution ribbon

Antonio Bascaro is presently serving the longest prison term in US history of marijuana, thirty five years with four more to go. His present sentence has been cruel and unusual for the crime. Besides his punishment being unjust, his part in a smuggling operation was quite small. Everyone from the boss to his fellow conspirators have since been released, yet somehow this Cuban hero who fought in the Bay of Pigs has been forgotten.

It has taken three and a half decades of good conduct, back surgery, and finally old age for Antonio to prove that he is not a threat. He now resides in a medium security facility. Why is anyone involved with marijuana a threat when today they could be considered businessmen?

Antonio Bascaro was lost in the judicial system and this cannot happen anymore, he is a prime example of how the Drug War creates a social imbalance in minority communities. A single man, a good father, with no one to tell his tale for another 30 years; that would be up to his daughter. It’s easy to forget about somebody who didn’t commit a violent crime, but instead was guilty of making a living for his family.

Antonio’s daughter pushes with due diligence for her father’s release. Could you imagine if the only person that could help a loved one for you was the POTUS? “My dad ‘disappeared’ from my life when I was 12, almost 13.” she told me as we went over her father’s story.
One can only imagine the life his children had, growing up thinking their father was a criminal. Then you live life lessons and realize marijuana is safer than most things legal and that the Drug War is not here to protect citizens but to control and manipulate.

Aicha Bascaro is still trying to digest why this happened to her, her father, her brothers, and everyone else that loved her father. She asked me, “I am still trying to understand who wins by him being in prison all this time. Someone must be winning something, otherwise it just doesn’t make sense. Do you know who wins?” My only reply is, “Control.” I then sent her a link to watch the documentary Grass: The History of Marijuana, for this is what I believe.
As long as Antonio Bascaro remains in jail, he is living proof of America’s racial prejudice past. Marijuana is not the drug you learned about in school or on TV. Don’t even believe the news. Watch the world for yourself and you’ll quickly see, that Antonio Bascaro is an innocent man by today’s standards, just like sitting in the back of the bus was wrong fifty years ago.

Please read this plea written by Antonio Bascaro’s daughter!
By Miggy Fourtwenty

For more information about the many people who have been sent to prison for simple possession of cannabis visit The Human Solution International website at www.thsintl.org   Thank You!

No One Belongs In Jail For A Plant!

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No One Belongs In Jail For a Plant
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The Human Solution International is a grassroots network of people that began in Southern California. Over the years the organization has grown to include over 50 chapters scattered nationally and internationally and is a federally recognized 501c3 nonprofit organization.
The purpose of The Human Solution International is to support each other through the trials people face as cannabis consumers. THSI members believe standing in solidarity against the unfair treatment of human rights will keep people out of prison for a plant which has been proven to have medicinal and health benefits. Citizens tax dollars are wasted on arresting and incarcerating people for cannabis despite the growing number of laws passed.

The Human Solution International believes change begins with education. Members teach fellow citizens about Jury Nullification, their right to say not guilty because the law is inappropriate. Teaching the public about their rights as a juror can save countless people from unnecessary prison time. If there is no victim, there is no crime. Making sure jurors know they can determine the law is wrong will help to end prohibition.

The Court Support program is a powerful avenue THSI uses to accomplish their goals. Joe Grumbine, CEO of THSI knows first hand the benefits of community support in the courtroom. Joe, like many other THSI members is a victim of the drug war. “I enjoy my freedom today in no small part because of all the court supporters that attended the 18 day nightmare of my trial. We will not stop until we have a world where no one gets locked up for a plant.”

Another vital aspect to the THSI is the Prison Outreach and Adoption Program. Prisoners receive letters, emotional support, and money on their books. Many prisoners have been helped through the adopt a prisoner program. Business and individuals adopting a prisoner provide regular assistance to the prisoners various needs. Many adoptees assist the prisoners family and provide extra support during the holidays. Kristin Flor, Vice President of THSI is passionate about the program due, in part, to her personal experience as the daughter of medical marijuana caregiver who went to prison because marijuana is still a schedule one drug. Richard Flor died a miserable and tormenting death chained to his table after exposure to abuse by the less than adequate medical care in the prison system. Kristin says, “No one should have to die in prison for our plant. As we pass laws that say it is legal, we still have almost 50 prisoners serving life sentences.”

If you would like to join the fight for freedom with The Human Solution International please visit http://www.thsintl.org/.
By Mindi Griffiths

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