The Week in Weed 9-20-14 Marijuana News

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Cheri Sicard and POW Paul Free

Cheri Sicard and POW Paul Free serving a LIFE SENTENCE for a nonviolent marijuana offense.

This Week’s Marijuana News: The War on Drug Tests; Girl Suspended from School for a Year for Writing About Marijuana in Her Diary; Israeli Doctors Given Temporary Permission to Prescribe Medical Marijuana; Madison, WI Police Chief Calls for Legalization; What’s at Stake in the 2014 Election for Marijuana Policy; and more

Politics/Legal

What’s at Stake in the 2014 Election for Marijuana Policy — It may be an off-year election, but it’s a big one for drug policy reform. In seven weeks, voters across the country will have a chance to accelerate the unprecedented momentum to legalize marijuana and end the wider drug war. In fact, there are more drug policy reform questions on the ballot this November than ever in American history. Voter initiatives — primarily reforming or repealing marijuana laws — appear on the ballots in seven states, at least 17 municipalities and one U.S. territory. To help you keep score at home, here’s an overview, starting with the highest-profile measures.

Girl Suspended from School for a Year for Writing About Marijuana in Her Diary — Administrators at a Dallas County, Missouri, school read a teenage girl’s diary, discovered a reference to marijuana within its pages, and suspended the girl for the rest of 2014.

The War on Drug Tests — Weed is now legal for recreational use in two states and for medical use in 23—but cannabis consumption can still come back to haunt you if it shows up in your pee. That’s because, despite legalization, few companies have budged on their drug testing policies to accommodate those who toke, medically or otherwise. When I asked the major companies in Washington—Amazon, Microsoft, Expedia, and Nordstrom—if they had plans to adapt their drug testing policies, none of them said yes (although a few shut me down with “no comment,” which is basically another way of saying no). It’s been reported that one in five companies in Colorado have adopted even tougher policies since marijuana became legal; earlier this week, the New York Times noted that many companies have retained their pre-employment drug testing policies for fear of “having a stoned workforce.”

International

Israeli Doctors Given Temporary Permission to Prescribe Medical Marijuana — Israel’s Health Ministry, attempting to deal with a heavy load on pain clinics, has announced that family doctors will temporarily be allowed to write medical marijuana prescriptions for their patients. The new rules will allow family physicians to write the medicinal cannabis prescriptions under two conditions, reports Ido Efrati at Haaretz: when it is an extension of an existing treatment, and keeping to an existing dosage.

States News

MPP Launches Consume Responsibly Campaign in Colorado — The Marijuana Policy Project on Wednesday launched the first-ever comprehensive public education campaign urging adults to “consume responsibly” in states where marijuana is legal. The campaign is being launched in Colorado and will be exported to Washington and then other states as they adopt similar laws.

Madison, WI Police Chief Calls for Legalization — Madison Police Chief Mike Koval endorsed the legalization of marijuana last week, saying the drug should be regulated and taxed, with revenues used to fund treatment programs for harder drugs.

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