Will Denver Be the First Place in America to Legalize Magic Mushrooms?


Dried psilocybe cubensis mushrooms (WikiMedia Commons)

Denver could essentially legalize psychedelic mushrooms by next spring if a group of local activists has its way. But they have a few hurdles to overcome first.

This week, members of Denver for Psilocybin handed in to city officials a pair of municipal initiatives aimed at removing penalties for possessing and consuming the fungi, which contain the psychoactive ingredient psilocybin. That’s the first step in a process that could see the issue put before voters in the May 2019 local election.

One measure, the Denver Psychoactive Mushroom Decriminalization Initiative, reflects the activists’ maximum program; the other, the Denver Psychoactive Mushroom Enforcement Deprioritization Initiative, is a less ambitious backstop.

Both initiatives would make enforcement of laws against magic mushrooms a low law enforcement priority by adopting language that would “prohibit the city from spending resources to impose criminal penalties for the personal use and personal possession of psychoactive mushrooms.” Under both initiatives, the sale of magic mushrooms would remain illegal.

The initiatives differ in two important respects. The broader one allows for the “personal possessions, use, and propagation” of magic mushrooms; the backstop version only allows for possession and use, not propagation. And the broader version contains no limits on possession, while the backstop would limit possession to two ounces.

Kevin Matthews, campaign manager for Denver for Psilocybin, told Westword he hoped the broader measure would pass muster with both city officials and voters, but that allowing propagation may be a bridge too far.

“It’s a natural right. It’s a human right. This one is our Hail Mary victory shot,” Matthews said. “It’s more a matter of public opinion,” he said of the two-pronged approach. “Are people ready to accept that people are already propagating?”

The Denver City Council now has a week to schedule a comment and review hearing led by Council Executive Director Leon Mason and Assistant City Attorney Troy Bratton. While the hearing is open to the public, there is no opportunity for public comment.

If the council approves, the initiatives then go to the Denver Election Division, which will have three days to decide whether to accept or reject them. Denver for Psilocybin had earlier versions of the initiatives rejected by the Elections Division but hopes it has addressed those issues with the new versions. If approved by the Elections Division, the group will then have to come up with some 5,000 valid voter signatures by January to qualify for the May ballot. They are confident that if they can get the measures on the ballot, they can win.

“I am extremely optimistic. I think we’re gonna win. I think we’re going to pass this thing,” he says. Even if voters don’t side with the group, “simply getting on the ballot will be a victory.”

Denver isn’t the only place where moves to legalize or decriminalize magic mushrooms are afoot, but it may be the first place voters get a chance to weigh in. In Oregon, activists aiming at 2020 are working on an initiative that would legalize and regulate the therapeutic use of psilocybin, while just to the south, the California Psilocybin Legalization Initiative campaign tried to get their measure on the 2018 ballot, but came up short on signatures. They will be back.

Magic mushrooms remain illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act. But so was marijuana when Coloradans voted to legalize it in 2012. And here we are.


This content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license from StopTheDrugWar.org and was first published here.

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No evidence tougher policies deter adolescent cannabis use — ScienceDaily


A new study from the University of Kent has found no evidence that teenage cannabis use is lower in countries with tougher policies.

The study, by Alex Stevens, Professor in Criminal Justice in Kent’s School for Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, used data from the World Health Organisation’s Health Behaviour in School-aged Children survey. This survey asked over 100,000 teenagers in 38 countries, including the UK, USA, Russia, France, Germany and Canada, about their cannabis use.

Professor Stevens’s analysis of the data found no association between a country having a more liberal policy on cannabis use and higher rates of teenage cannabis use. The analysis controlled for differences between the countries, including their national income, and between the teenagers, including their gender, their affluence and psychological problems.

The new study was undertaken in response to a 2015 study that had concluded there was an association between policy liberalisation and a higher likelihood of adolescent cannabis use. This study has been used in the past to justify calls for tougher policies for cannabis use.

However, Professor Stevens found this was based on a misinterpretation of that study’s own numerical results. When taking into account the differences in cannabis use between boys and girls in different countries, and using more of the available data, a statistically significant association between policy liberalisation and adolescent cannabis use cannot be found.

Professor Stevens said: ‘My new study joins several others which show no evidence of a link between tougher penalties and lower cannabis use. This is useful information for governments as they consider the best way to deal with cannabis. As it is, the harms and costs of imposing criminal convictions on people who use cannabis do not seem to be justified by an effect in reducing cannabis use.’

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Materials provided by University of Kent. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.



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Diego Colorado Celebrates 2nd Anniversary with Record-Breaking Sales

Diego Pellicer – Colorado Celebrates
Second Anniversary On Valentine’s Day Announcing Record-Breaking Sales

Triple digit year-over-year growth; Innovation, premium product

and industry expertise keep Diego Pellicer – Colorado on a sweet path of success

 

DENVER (Feb. 14, 2019) – On Valentine’s Day, good things often come in pairs. For Diego Pellicer – Colorado, a couple of years have been good to the West Alameda location. Valentine’s Day marks the store’s second anniversary and another important reason to celebrate: triple digit growth. Diego Pellicer Worldwide, Inc. (OTCQB: DPWW), the premium marijuana brand and retail development company, today announced the Denver licensee’s location has reported an astounding 111% year-over-year growth from Jan. 2017 to Jan. 2019.

 

“It’s a winning combination: outstanding customer service, premium marijuana and competitive prices. Clearly, Diego Pellicer – Colorado has struck a chord in the cannabis marketplace, demonstrating how Diego Pellicer Worldwide licensed tenants bring a world-class experience to customers,” said Ron Throgmartin, chief executive officer, Diego Pellicer Worldwide, Inc. “We congratulate Diego Pellicer – Colorado’s team on its success. With our leadership, branding model and experience, we look forward to helping other retailers and operators experience such prosperity.”

 

Innovation, Cannabis Expertise and Collaboration

To better serve its increasing customer base, Diego Pellicer – Colorado recently introduced an app for Android where customers can order from current, in-store inventory, browse the product photo gallery, take a virtual tour of the store, get instant notifications of product specials and stay connected via Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. The app can be downloaded directly at https://co.diego-pellicer.com/android/

 

“Whether it’s the convenience of ordering online or offering a new, premium product category, we are constantly working to make the Diego shopping experience a pleasure for our customers,” said Nicholas Jack, chief retail officer, Diego Pellicer – Colorado. “We stay current with the market trends out here in Colorado and work hard to ensure we carry what’s in demand.” Strong relationships with vendors allow Diego Pellicer – Colorado to consistently offer the most premium flower and cannabis products the industry has to offer, the moment the products are available to the public.

 

About Diego Pellicer Worldwide, Inc. (OTCQB: DPWW)

Diego Pellicer Worldwide, Inc. is the premium marijuana brand and management company. In addition to its branded locations in Colorado and Washington, the company actively seeks to develop and manage high-end, turnkey cannabis retail stores. When federally legal, DPWW is positioned to become a national, vertically integrated marijuana company. To learn more about how to become a branded Diego Pellicer retailer, cultivator or investor visit www.Diego-Pellicer.com.

 

Safe Harbor Statement

Certain statements contained in this press release may be construed as “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “Act”). The words “estimate,” “project,” “intends,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “believes” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are made based on management’s beliefs, as well as assumptions made by, and information currently available to, management pursuant to the “safe-harbor” provisions of the Act. These statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected on the basis of these statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. The Company also undertakes no obligation to disclose any revision to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

 

CONTACTS:           Suzanne Herrick, Fedoruk & Associates, Inc., 612-247-3079, suzanne@fedorukinc.com

Nello Gonfiantini, Diego Pellicer Worldwide, Inc., 775-690-2188, nello@diego-pellicer.com

Neil Demers, Diego Pellicer Colorado, 720-937-9073, neil@diego-pellicer.com

 

WEBSITE:               www.diego-pellicer.com; co.diego-pellicer.com

# # #

 

MPP Endorses North Dakota Marijuana Legalization Ballot Initiative


WASHINGTON, DC — The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) announced Wednesday it is endorsing Measure 3, the initiative to legalize marijuana for adults in North Dakota and expunge past marijuana-related convictions.

MPP is the nation’s largest organization dedicated exclusively to marijuana policy, and it played leading roles in the successful legalization initiative efforts in Colorado, Alaska, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada. It is the latest organization to throw its support behind Legalize ND, the local grassroots campaign that qualified Measure 3 for the November ballot.

“The Marijuana Policy Project supports Measure 3 and strongly encourages North Dakotans to vote in favor of this important initiative,” said MPP Deputy Director Matthew Schweich. “North Dakota’s current marijuana prohibition laws are ineffective and wasteful, causing more harm to consumers and to the community than marijuana itself. Adults should not be punished for using a product that is objectively less harmful than alcohol, and law enforcement officials’ time and resources would be better spent addressing serious crimes. Once marijuana is a legal product for adults, it can be regulated and controlled similarly to alcohol. It is time for North Dakota to join the growing number of states that have ended prohibition and taken new, more sensible approaches to controlling marijuana.”

MPP will assist Legalize ND by offering guidance and support with strategy and fundraising, as well as by mobilizing its supporters in North Dakota and around the country.

“We’re thrilled to have MPP’s support, and we look forward to working with them in the weeks leading up to Election Day,” said Legalize ND Chair David Owen. “With their help, we’ll continue to educate voters about the benefits of legalization and the harms of prohibition.”

Measure 3 would remove penalties for possession and cultivation of marijuana by adults 21 and older. It would also establish a process for sealing criminal records of individuals with prior marijuana convictions. In 2016, North Dakotans approved a medical marijuana ballot initiative, Measure 5. State regulators have been slow to implement it, and dispensaries are not expected to open until 2019.

“MPP is proud to throw its support behind this local grassroots effort,” Schweich said. “There is clearly a strong desire for change in North Dakota, and since state officials have not taken on this issue, it is up to the people to get it done. Voters will have a chance to make their voices heard this November, and we hope they will use it to say ‘yes’ on Measure 3.”

MPP is supporting several ballot initiative efforts this year, including Prop. 1 in Michigan, which would legalize and regulate marijuana for adult use, and Prop. 2 in Utah, which would legalize and regulate marijuana for medical use. Nine states and the District of Columbia have already approved laws making marijuana legal for adults, and eight of those states also regulate the commercial production and sale of marijuana for adult use.

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NORML Endorses Utah’s Medical Marijuana “Proposition 2”


WASHINGTON, DC — The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has endorsed Proposition 2: The Utah Medical Cannabis Act, which regulates the licensed production and distribution of medical cannabis products to qualified patients who possess a physician’s recommendation.

Seventy-seven percent of adults express support for the law change, according to statewide polling data compiled in March.

Proposition 2 is the result of years of intransigence on the part of Utah politicians who have time and time again refused to move forward with legislation to provide regulated cannabis access to the array of patients who could benefit from it,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said.

Under legislation enacted by the legislature in 2018, only those patients who are terminally ill may potentially access cannabis-infused products. To date, however, such products are not yet legally available.

“Passage of Proposition 2 will assure that those patients with qualified debilitating conditions who need medical cannabis have access to lab-tested products via a tightly regulated system of licensed, above-ground state-licensed facilities,” Strekal added.

If enacted by voters this November, Utah would become the 32nd state to permit patients’ access to medical cannabis.

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Republicans Are Playing Dirty in Their Bid to Stop North Dakota’s Legal Pot Initiative


As North Dakotans prepare to head to the polls in November to vote on the Measure 3 marijuana legalization initiative, they rely on their state government to come up with an estimate of what it will cost taxpayers. It’s not just this initiative—state law mandates that voters be informed of the potential budgetary impacts of any measure on the ballot.

But for voters to accurately assess the cost of a measure, the cost estimates must reflect reality. That’s not the case with the cost report issued last week by the state’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and approved in a party-line vote over the objections of Democratic lawmakers.

The OMB report put the cost of implementing the marijuana measure at $6.7 million, but two-thirds of that figure is to pay for a program not mandated in the initiative. OMB said it would take $2.2 million in clerical costs to expunge some 18,000 marijuana arrest records, as the initiative requires, but that it would also cost $4.4 million for a youth education campaign that the state Health Department argued would be necessary and the salaries of two full-time employees to run it for the next four years.

The Health Department may think such a campaign is necessary, but the initiative itself does not require—or even mention—any such campaign, and to include the Health Department’s wish list in the measure’s fiscal impact statement is just plain dishonest. That didn’t stop Republican lawmakers from voting to approve it.

Democrats tried to stop them. House Minority Leader Corey Mock (D-Grand Forks) offered an amendment to approve the fiscal impact statement but omit the Health Department’s figures, with other costs to be determined.

“This does not lead to a $6.7 million fiscal impact. It’s a $2.2 million fiscal impact, with more that’s likely to happen but it cannot be determined,” Mock said. “It will cost more than $2.2 million. We just don’t know how much.”

The amendment failed on a 10-5 party line vote. The Legislative Management Committee then approved by the same margin a motion by House Majority Leader Al Carlson (R-Fargo) to accept the fiscal impact statement with the Health Department’s cost estimate included.

Sen. Erin Oban (D-Bismarck) told the Bismarck Tribune after the vote that the fiscal impact statement as passed amounted to a lie.

“There seems to be a disagreement among this committee about what we want versus what the language in the measure actually says,” Oban said. “I think there was universal agreement, probably around this table, about wanting, if Measure 3 passed, an education campaign from the health department about the impacts of marijuana, especially on youth, for prevention purposes. But the measure does not require that. To me, it is lying to claim that Measure 3 required that because it didn’t.”

One Republican lawmaker, Sen. Jerry Klein (R-Fessenden), defended including the Health Department costs on rather dubious grounds.

“Until the measures are passed, and the Legislature and all the agencies can dig in and put an actual cost on it, I think our job has been simply to approve something that somebody said might cost this,” Klein told the Tribune.

The Health Department argued that because it has a responsibility to protect the health and welfare of North Dakotans, the educational campaign would be warranted, but again, it is not mandated in the initiative itself, and the Health Department doesn’t exactly have a great record when it comes to marijuana measures.

As North Dakota columnist and political blogger Rob Port pointed out in a column laying into the shady cost estimates, the Health Department was way, way off in its estimate of the costs of the successful 2016 medical marijuana initiative there.

“What people should keep in mind is that two years ago when the health department presented their information on what they estimated to be the cost of medical marijuana if it passed they said $8.7 million,” he quoted one lawmaker as telling him after the vote. “For fiscal year ending June 30, 2018, their actual cost was $363,000.”

That inflated figure didn’t stop voters from approving medical marijuana in 2016. Perhaps the inflated figure this year won’t stop voters from approving marijuana legalization in 2018, but it would be better if North Dakota Republicans could just be honest about the costs.


This content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license from StopTheDrugWar.org and was first published here.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News


A single marijuana bud sits alone on the middle front console of a car.

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Tuesday, February 19, 2019 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// NJ edges closer to legalizing recreational cannabis after breakthrough on taxing (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Chart: Most California municipalities ban commercial cannabis activity (Marijuana Business Daily)

// MedMen Is Already Praised as the ‘Apple Store of Weed’ But Its Rapid Trajectory Is Getting Sticky (Esquire)


These headlines are brought to you by Curaleaf, one of the leading vertically-integrated cannabis operators in the U.S. With legal medical marijuana dispensaries, cultivation sites, and processing facilities all over the United States, Curaleaf has served more than 100,000 medical cannabis patients and looks forward to helping many more long into the future. Swing over to Curaleaf.com to learn more about this very cool company!


// New York bodega owners want in on selling legal marijuana (SF Gate)

// Marijuana-themed Cheba Hut opening more sub joints in Colorado across the country (Denver Post)

// ND House bill to expand conditions for medical marijuana qualifications passes (KFYR TV NBC)

// Bill to allow medical marijuana in schools passes New Mexico Senate (KRQE News)

// Proposed bill would let first-time marijuana offenders have conviction dismissed (East Idaho News)

// New York City councilman wants companies to stop testing for marijuana (Fox 8 Cleveland)

// Study Shows That Bees Like Hemp, And That’s Great News For The Environment (Marijuana Moment)


Check out our other projects:
Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement.
Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

Love these headlines? Love our podcast? Support our work with a financial contribution and become a patron.

Photo: cinders and rain/Flickr



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New Mexico Health Secretary Balks at Medical Marijuana Expansion


SANTA FE, NM — New Mexico’s Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher has agreed to proposed changes in the state’s medical cannabis law that would permit patients with obstructive sleep apnea to access marijuana; but she rejected calls to expand access to patients with other debilitating conditions, including Tourette’s syndrome (TS) and opioid dependency.

“I cannot say with any degree of confidence that the use of cannabis for the treatment of opioid dependency and its symptoms would be either safe or effective,” Secretary Gallagher opined in a signed decision.

She also rejected recommendations to permit the use of cannabis for the treatment of eczema, muscular dystrophy, psoriasis, or Tourette’s syndrome. A number of case reports and clinical trials report that THC can mitigate symptoms of TS. Cannabis use has also been associated with improved outcomes in opioid-dependent subjects undergoing outpatient treatment.

Among chronic pain patients enrolled in medical cannabis programs, the use of opioids typically is reduced or eliminated over time.

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South Africa’s Highest Court Upholds Right to Consume Marijuana in Private


Port Elizabeth, South Africa (Wikimedia/Kay-Africa)

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA — The nation’s highest court has upheld a 2017 decision finding that the use of marijuana by adults in private is constitutionally protected behavior.

Judges unanimously ruled that privacy protections encompass an adult’s right to possess and grow cannabis in a private space.

It is not “a criminal offense for an adult to use or be in possession of cannabis in private for his or her personal consumption,” the court determined.

Public cannabis use and marijuana sales remain prohibited under the ruling.

South African politicians first outlawed marijuana in 1908. Annually, some 13 percent of all arrests in the nation are marijuana-related.

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Canadians Involved in Legal Marijuana Industry to Be Barred Entry to the United States


WASHINGTON, DC — A top official from the US Customs and Border Patrol has affirmed that the agency will enforce a federal policy prohibiting those involved with the Canadian marijuana industry from entering the United States.

Section 212 of the US Immigration and Nationality Act states that foreigners are ineligible to enter the US if they are “determined to be a drug abuser” or if they have assisted in the trafficking of an illicit substance. A US Custom representative told Politico that the agency is broadly interpreting the statute to include those who work or have financially invested in Canada’s legal marijuana industry, or who acknowledge personal use of the substance.

Canada legalized the regulated production and distribution of medical cannabis nearly two decades ago. In June of this year, Canadian lawmakers gave final approval to separate legislation regulating the adult use marijuana market. The new law takes effect on October 17, 2018.

NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano strongly criticized the US enforcement policy, stating: “This is an irrational and discriminatory policy that unduly penalizes tens of thousands of Canadians who pose no health or safety risk to the United States. At a time when public opinion and the culture surrounding marijuana is rapidly shifting, not just in the United States but around the world, it is inane for US border officials to maintain such a draconian and backward-looking policy.”

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