Decriminalization In North Dakota Fails, But First Medical Marijuana Shop To Open

Marijuana laws in North Dakota have undergone considerable changes over the past couple years. Most recently, an attempt to decriminalize recreational weed failed by a relatively narrow margin. At the same time, however, the state is making progress on the medical marijuana front, as North Dakota’s first-ever medical marijuana dispensary is slated to open shop next week.

Decriminalization Bill Fails

Yesterday, lawmakers in the North Dakota House voted on a new bill that called for the decriminalization of cannabis. Unfortunately for marijuana advocates in the state, the bill did not pass. It lost in a 47-43 vote.

The bill would have made some significant changes to state laws. Of course, it would not have made recreational weed legal. But lawmakers supporting the bill saw it as a chance to reduce the social harm caused by prohibition, without going as far as full scale legalization.

The proposed change would have made it so that possession of an ounce or less of weed would be a non-criminal offense. The maximum penalty would have been a $200 fine.

But since the bill failed, nothing has changed when it comes to North Dakota’s laws against recreational weed. Under these longstanding rules, possession of less

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First Clinical Trial Of Cannabis For PTSD in Veterans Is Now Complete

After a decade of working on the first FDA-approved trial examining the effects of THC and CBD on the symptoms of PTSD in war veterans, a team of researchers has declared their clinical trial complete. The process, however, was not simple.

“We are proud to have persevered through these regulatory hurdles independently of hospitals, universities, or the VA system,” commented site principal investigator Dr. Sue Sisley in a press release.

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) received approval from the U.S. Public Health Service to start the study back in 2014. Research began in January 2017 at Phoenix, Arizona’s Scottsdale Research Institute, and was slated to also take place at Johns Hopkins University, until the school dropped out of the experiment in March 2017.

The trial tested marijuana with varying cannabinoid makeups, experimenting with high-THC, high-CBD and equal THC-CBD (1:1) ratio cannabis. Subjects were able to use up to two grams per day during periods of self-dosing, which rotated with phases in which they were required to consume randomly assigned quantities of cannabis.

Brad Burge, a MAPS spokesperson, tells High Times about some of the challenges they had to overcome, which involved serious struggles recruiting vets needed for a robust study

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Man Facing 40 Years for Traveling with Legal Medical Marijuana Re-Sentenced

An Oregon medical marijuana patient who faced 40 years in a Mississippi prison for drug trafficking cannabis he purchased legally has been re-sentenced and could be paroled in three years. Patrick Beadle, 46, was sentenced in October to serve eight years in prison without the possibility of parole. However, last month he was allowed by Madison County Circuit Judge William Chapman, who has since retired, to plead guilty to simple possession and the original conviction was set aside. Beadle was then sentenced to 12 years in prison but will be eligible for parole after three years. At the sentencing hearing last year, Chapman had refused to reduce the conviction and said that Beadle could be sentenced to up to 40 years in the penitentiary.

“My client didn’t want to roll the dice on an appeal since he was facing eight years in prison day for day,” said Cynthia Stewart, one of Beadle’s attorneys.

Stewart said that Chapman and prosecutors agreed to vacate the drug trafficking conviction and allow Beadle to plead guilty to the lesser charge before the judge retired in January. She believes that because Beadle is a first-time offender, he has a good chance of being granted parole by the

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Supreme Court Rules That Constitution Limits Police Asset Forfeiture

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Constitution limits law enforcement’s ability to seize and keep private property believed to be connected to crimes. The completely legal practice is called civil asset forfeiture. It lets cops take people’s cash, cars, homes and anything else they say was involved in criminal activity. Police don’t have to prove the property was used in a crime. They don’t even have to convict the suspect who it belonged to. They can basically just take it. But after Wednesday’s unanimous 9-0 decision, the victims of civil asset forfeiture will at least have a better chance of getting their property back in court.

Supreme Court Unanimously Rules Excessive Fines Are Unconstitutional

Since its inception in the mid-1980s, federal state and local law enforcement agencies have taken more than $29 billion—that we know about— in cash and property through civil forfeitures. The actual figure could be much higher. According to the Institute for Justice, which reports on the endemic abuse of civil forfeiture in U.S. policing, law enforcement barely keep records of all the stuff they’re taking from people. They also don’t keep very good track of what they do with it

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Pot Retailers in Ontario to Undergo Mandatory Training to Identify Stoned Customers

Cannabis retailers in Ontario will be required to undergo mandatory training that includes tips on how to identify stoned customers. Other topics in the online curriculum cover Canadian cannabis history, federal and provincial legislation, compliance requirements, and the risks and potential harm associated with cannabis use.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has selected CannSell as the only authorized training program for the 25 cannabis retailers scheduled to open in the province beginning April 1. CannSell, a product of Lift & Co. Corp., must be completed by all cannabis retail employees and managers before they begin work.  The company has a similar training program for employees who serve alcoholic beverages. Nick Pateras, vice president of strategy at Lift & Co., told the CBC that the training is designed to ensure employees start work with reliable information about cannabis.

“Because we’ve had 95 years of prohibition, there is a lot of misinformation around cannabis,” Pateras said. “There are certain myths around its health benefits, maybe not a full understanding of the risks of cannabis consumption. We want to make sure we are conveying that when someone comes into a store and buys cannabis.”

Jean Major, Registrar and CEO of the AGCO,

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