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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
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- Wed, 18 Oct 2017 04:20:21 PST

DEA Report: Uptick In Marijuana Seizures In 2016

Washington, DC: Seizures of indoor and outdoor cannabis crops reported by the US Drug Enforcement Administration rose in 2016, according to annual data compiled by the agency.

According to the DEA's Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Statistical Report, law enforcement confiscated more than 5.3 million marijuana plants nationwide in 2016. The total is a 20 percent increase over the agency's reported 2015 seizure totals and is the most plants seized by the DEA and cooperating agencies since 2011, when agents confiscated more than 6.7 million plants.

As in past years, the DEA's eradication efforts primarily targeted California. Of the total number of plants confiscated nationwide by the DEA and cooperating agencies in 2016, 71 percent (3.78 million) were seized in California. Law enforcement seized an estimated 552,000 plants in Kentucky, 333,000 in Texas, 128,000 in Tennessee, and 124,000 in West Virginia.

Only seven percent of all marijuana seized by law enforcement came from indoor grows.

The agency reported 5,657 arrests in conjunction with these cannabis eradication efforts - a ten percent decline from 2015.

The DEA also reported seizures of some $52 million in assets during their confiscation operations - nearly twice as much as the agency reported the prior year.

Study: Cannabis May Be Protective Against Liver Disease

Marseille, France: Cannabis may be protective against liver disease in subjects infected with both the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), according to data published online ahead of print in the Journal of Viral Hepatitis.

French investigators assessed the relationship between cannabis use and the prevalence of steatosis (fatty liver disease) in a cohort of 838 HIV-HCV co-infected subjects.

They reported, "Daily cannabis use was independently associated with a reduced prevalence of steatosis" after adjusting for potential confounders. "Daily cannabis use may be a protective factor against steatosis in HIV-HCV co-infected patients."

A 2013 study previously reported that cannabis exposure was not associated with liver disease progression in HIV/HCV co-infected patients. A 2015 study reported that HIV/HCV patients who used cannabis were less likely to suffer from insulin resistance as compared to non-users. Subjects diagnosed with HIV and/or hepatitis C frequently report using cannabis to treat disease symptoms as well as the side effects associated with conventional drug therapies, such as nausea and appetite loss.

Separate data published earlier this year in the journal PLOS One reported that subjects who consume cannabis are significantly less likely to suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as compared to those who do not.

For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, "Daily cannabis and reduced risk of steatosis in human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis C virus co-infected patients," appears in the Journal of Viral Hepatitis.

Alaska: Voters Decide Against Municipal Marijuana Bans

Anchorage, AK: Voters in Fairbanks and on the Kenai Peninsula (south of Anchorage) decided last week against a number of local ballot measures that sought to prohibit the operation of cannabis retailers and providers. Each proposal lost by wide margins.

Under a 2014 voter-initiated state law, local governments may opt out of regulations licensing the production and retail sale of cannabis to adults.

If the ballot measures had been approved, local retailers would have had to close within 90 days. A significant portion of the state's cultivators and retailers are located in Fairbanks and on the Kenai Peninsula.

Proponents of the ban cannot put a similar issue before voters until 2019.

Texas: San Antonio To Institute Cite-And-Release Program

San Antonio: Bexar county District Attorney Nico LaHood has announced plans to shield minor marijuana offenders from receiving criminal records.

Under the forthcoming policy, low level marijuana possession offenders will be cited rather than arrested and taken to jail. Defendants who complete a pre-trial diversion program, which may include taking a class and/or engaging in community service, will not receive a criminal record.

Similar cite-and-release policies have been enacted elsewhere in Texas, including in Harris County (Houston) and in Travis County (Austin). A similar proposed policy in Dallas is not yet operational.

Under state law, the possession of up to four ounces of cannabis is classified as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

Atlanta: Mayor Signs Decriminalization Ordinance Into Law

Atlanta, GA: Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has signed legislation amending citywide marijuana possession penalties.

Members of the Atlanta city council unanimously approved municipal legislation last week decriminalizing cannabis possession offenses. Ordinance 17-0-1152 amends local law so that possession offenses involving up to one ounce of cannabis are punished by a civil fine of no more than $75 -- no arrest, no jail, and no criminal record.

Under Georgia state law, minor marijuana possession offenses are classified as criminal misdemeanors, punishable by up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine.

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