Moves by some U.S. states to legalize marijuana are not in line with international drugs conventions, the U.N. anti-narcotics chief said on Wednesday, adding he would discuss the issue in Washington next week. “I don’t see how (the new laws) can be compatible with existing conventions,” Yury Fedotov, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), told reporters. Asked whether there was anything the UNODC could do about it, Fedotov said he would raise the problem next week with the U.S. State Department and other U.N. agencies. The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has also said Uruguay’s new bill contravened the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which it says requires states to limit the use of cannabis to medical and scientific purposes, due to its dependence-producing potential. The Vienna-based INCB monitors compliance with this and two other drug control treaties.
Massachusetts Governor-elect Charlie Baker pledged to “vigorously oppose” the legalization of recreational marijuana, even as he plans to move forward with the implementation of medical marijuana. Baker, asked about the issue in an interview with The Republican/MassLive.com in Boston on Monday, said, “I’m going to oppose that and I’m going to oppose that vigorously … with a lot of help from a lot of other people in the addiction community.” Baker, a Republican, said many people dealing with addiction believe marijuana use is a “significant first step” toward addiction to other drugs. “There’s a ton of research out there at this point that says, especially for young people, it’s just plain bad,” Baker said. Baker indicated that he will move forward with trying to get the medical marijuana dispensaries approved two years ago open. “I think waiting is a bad idea. There are clearly people who are looking for Massachusetts to get its act together and move forward on this,” Baker said.
A graduate student has sued a Rhode Island textile company for refusing to hire her because she uses medical marijuana to treat frequent and debilitating migraine headaches. Christine Callaghan, who is studying textiles at the University of Rhode Island, sued Westerly-based Darlington Fabrics Corp. and its parent, the Moore Company, on Wednesday. The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing Callaghan, said it believes it’s the first lawsuit of its kind in the state. Carly Iafrate, the attorney who filed the lawsuit for Callaghan, said if employers are allowed to discriminate against medical marijuana patients, then its legalization would become “an empty promise,” adding, “People with disabilities simply cannot be denied equal employment opportunities on the basis of the type of medication required to treat their particular condition.”
Chicago arrests for small amounts of marijuana were down 39 percent during the first six months of this year compared to the same period in 2012; there were 5,000 fewer arrests in 2013 than there were in 2011 and that 4,100 pot tickets have been issued “in lieu of physical arrest” since the new citywide decriminalization law took effect. Asked whether he believes the highly-touted ordinance has delivered, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, “We’ve made changes… I want more police officers on the street, less officers arresting for minor possession of marijuana and I don’t think it’s an accident that New York just adopted what Chicago did.” Zoning Committee Chairman Danny Solis championed the ordinance in hopes it would put police officers on the street for thousands of additional hours to fight more serious crime. He was also hoping to avoid saddling black and Hispanic young people with arrest records that would haunt them for the rest of their lives.
Owners of pot shops in Washington State say they will be lucky to break even this year. ”Everything is just going to taxes,” said owner James Lathrop of Cannabis City in Seattle. Lathrop says Uncle Sam plans to take more than what is fair thanks to a federal tax code from the 1980’s called 280E. It prohibits businesses selling a Schedule I or II drug — illegal or not — from deducting their regular business expenses. “So that’s another 35 percent on top of everything else,” explained Lathrop. In the Evergreen State, a state tax of 25 percent is thrown at the producer, processor and retailer. “That’s ultimately an 85 percent compound tax,” said Lathrop. All those taxes mean some retailers could be seeing more red than green if they don’t set money aside. The extra cost is passed to the consumer. KING 5 found prices for marijuana anywhere between $18 to $25 a gram on Tuesday.