All posts tagged: California

California outlaws drones from delivering weed

Sorry, guys, but marijuana won’t be dropping from the sky in the near future. California has officially banned marijuana deliveries via “unmanned vehicles,” including drones.

Now that California has officially legalized pot, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control has released the Commercial Cannabis Business Licensing Program Regulations, outlining various emergency regulations on selling marijuana in the state. That means businesses have to abide by the state’s rules if they want to hold a commercial cannabis business license. And one such rule is an outright ban on autonomous marijuana deliveries, forcing companies to use manned vehicles to reach customers.

“Cannabis goods will be required to be transported inside commercial vehicles or trailers,” the bureau states. “Transportation may not be done by aircraft, watercraft, rail, drones, human powered vehicles, or unmanned vehicles.”

The bureau also has specific regulations on delivery vehicles and how drivers drop off marijuana. Drivers cannot use marijuana during their deliveries, and vehicles must be in-person through an “enclosed motor vehicle.” That means no self-driving cars, either, or autonomous weed robots.

“Cannabis goods may not be visible to the public during deliveries,” the regulations announce. “Cannabis goods may not be left in an unattended motor vehicle unless the vehicle has an active alarm system. Vehicles used for delivery must have a dedicated, active GPS device that enables the dispensary to identify the geographic location of the vehicle during delivery.”

These regulations spell bad news for a variety of California start-ups interested in the marijuana drone trade. MDelivers announced “the nation’s first fully-licensed drone delivery service” in April, and Eaze previously demonstrated how drones could be used to deliver weed to interested customers. For now, those dreams seem to be in jeopardy. At least in the Golden State, anyway.

H/T the Verge

Read more: http://www.dailydot.com/

Marissa SafontCalifornia outlaws drones from delivering weed
read more

After marijuana, are magic mushrooms next to be decriminalised in California?

Mayoral candidate near San Francisco seeks signatures to put decriminalisation on statewide ballot next year, saying drug could offer healing at time of crisis

As California prepares for the legalisation of recreational marijuana in 2018, one man is pushing for the state to become the first to decriminalise magic mushrooms.

Kevin Saunders, a mayoral candidate for the city of Marina, just south of the San Francisco Bay, has filed a proposal that would exempt adults over the age of 21 from any penalties over possessing, growing, selling or transporting psychedelic psilocybin mushrooms.

If he can get 365,880 voter signatures by the end of April 2018, the California Psilocybin Legalization Initiative will be placed on the statewide ballot.

Saunders thinks that now is the right time because, he says, the drug can help bridge the current political divide and restore a sense of community.

The world is really hurting and everybody is at a loss about whats going on right now with Trump, Brexit, the refugee crisis and everything else. Im at a loss at what to do politically, but the only thing I feel like we could do is get psilocybin into more peoples hands, he said.

It deflates the ego and strips down your own walls and defences and allows you to look at yourself in a different light, he said, adding: It could allow people to figure out what to do and could revolutionise the way we treat those with depression, addiction and cluster headaches.

A profound magic mushroom experience helped Saunders get over a debilitating five-year heroin addiction in 2003, when he was 32. I got to the root of why I made a conscious decision to become a heroin addict; Ive been clean almost 15 years.

California is one of eight states where voters have legalised marijuana for recreational use, even though its still included in the federal governments list of schedule 1 drugs. Saunders and Kitty Merchant, who is co-author of the measure and his fiancee, believe that magic mushrooms also listed as schedule 1 drugs are the next logical step.

I think we have learned a lot from marijuana and we are ready as a society, he said.

So far, they have about 1,000 signatures, but plan to ramp up signature-gathering efforts in early December at college campuses and events like the medical marijuana summit The Emerald Cup. Eighty-five thousand signatures will trigger hearings at the state capitol.

Merchant and Saunders are not the first couple to propose legalising mushrooms. The husband and wife team Tom and Sheri Eckhert announced earlier this year that they were pushing for a similar ballot measure in Oregon, hoping to make it the first state in the US to legalise the drug.

They have taken a more conservative approach than Saunders has, aiming for a 2020 ballot and seeking to legalise the drug to be taken only in licensed centres under the supervision of a certified facilitator. Individuals would not be able to just buy the mushrooms and consume them at home as they can with marijuana.

Its not only amazing for mental health, theres also a lot of potential for self-development and creative work, Tom Eckhert told Vice in July.

Their efforts run in parallel to several promising clinical trials in which psychedelic mushrooms have been used to successfully treat severe depression, anxiety and addiction.

Robin Carhart-Harris, who has been studying the use of psilocybin to tackle treatment-resistant depression at Imperial College London, believes that it is a logical inevitability that the drug will become available to patients.

However, such legalisation will only take place once final phase 3 clinical trials are completed and the drug is approved by the FDA and the European Medicines Agency. To standardise the dose, the psilocybin would have to be administered in capsule or pill form.

Depression is such a major problem and its not being treated effectively at the moment. A lot of patients arent seeing results with traditional antidepressants, Carhart-Harris said, adding that psilocybin could be a legal medicine to be administered in clinics within the next five years.

Although magic mushrooms are the safest of all the drugs in terms of the number of people who require emergency medical treatment, according to last years Global Drug Survey, they still carry risks.

They are drugs with very low toxicity and very low abuse potential, said psychiatrist Adam Winstock, founder of the Global Drug Survey, who said that if you take into account how often people take them, they are safer than cannabis.

The only difference being the potential for mushrooms to distort your perceptions, cognition, emotions in a way that is totally outside of most peoples real of normal experience. For a minority of people, taken in the wrong situation, that could be terrifying.

Winstock is inviting people to fill out the 2018 Global Drug Survey, an annual anonymous survey that analyses international drug use patterns.

Winstock said hed prefer to see a well-regulated market for magic mushrooms where youd have to show a letter from a doctor saying you were not receiving any acute mental health care or medications. Buyers should also be given advice on how to use the drug, what the effects are and given links to online services to manage difficult situations if they arise.

I would get people to treat mushrooms with the respect they deserve, he said.

The Drug Policy Alliance, a not-for-profit group focused on ending the war on drugs, would not comment on the specific proposals in California and Oregon, but its director of legal affairs, Tamar Todd, said: We certainly agree that nobody should be arrested or incarcerated simply because they possessed or used drugs.

An earlier version of this article mistakenly stated that Robin Carhart-Harris works at University College London. He is at Imperial College London.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Marissa SafontAfter marijuana, are magic mushrooms next to be decriminalised in California?
read more

California outlaws drones from delivering weed

Sorry, guys, but marijuana won’t be dropping from the sky in the near future. California has officially banned marijuana deliveries via “unmanned vehicles,” including drones.

Now that California has officially legalized pot, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control has released the Commercial Cannabis Business Licensing Program Regulations, outlining various emergency regulations on selling marijuana in the state. That means businesses have to abide by the state’s rules if they want to hold a commercial cannabis business license. And one such rule is an outright ban on autonomous marijuana deliveries, forcing companies to use manned vehicles to reach customers.

“Cannabis goods will be required to be transported inside commercial vehicles or trailers,” the bureau states. “Transportation may not be done by aircraft, watercraft, rail, drones, human powered vehicles, or unmanned vehicles.”

The bureau also has specific regulations on delivery vehicles and how drivers drop off marijuana. Drivers cannot use marijuana during their deliveries, and vehicles must be in-person through an “enclosed motor vehicle.” That means no self-driving cars, either, or autonomous weed robots.

“Cannabis goods may not be visible to the public during deliveries,” the regulations announce. “Cannabis goods may not be left in an unattended motor vehicle unless the vehicle has an active alarm system. Vehicles used for delivery must have a dedicated, active GPS device that enables the dispensary to identify the geographic location of the vehicle during delivery.”

These regulations spell bad news for a variety of California start-ups interested in the marijuana drone trade. MDelivers announced “the nation’s first fully-licensed drone delivery service” in April, and Eaze previously demonstrated how drones could be used to deliver weed to interested customers. For now, those dreams seem to be in jeopardy. At least in the Golden State, anyway.

H/T the Verge

Read more: https://www.dailydot.com/irl/california-bans-drones-marijuana/

Marissa SafontCalifornia outlaws drones from delivering weed
read more

‘How am I abusing my child?’: woman panhandling with infant rejects criticism

Megan Doudney, homeless with a six-week-old child, has seen support from some corners while others have confronted her in person and on social media

Anything helps, reads the sign that Megan Doudney lays out in front of her baby buggy as she nestles her six-week-old infant in her arms while panhandling on San Franciscos Market Street.

But the 34-year-old homeless mother has received a lot more than the financial help she was hoping for.

While Doudney has received an outpouring of support from some, others have unleashed a maelstrom of criticism on social media against her and panhandling with children that have turned into face-to-face confrontations on the street and 911 calls reporting her.

outside in america

Its just harassment, said the mother, who is currently staying with her baby and two dogs at a city-funded, temporary family shelter run by Hamilton Families. Doudney, who has a severe back condition and receives social security payments, said she used the money she collected panhandling to cover extra expenses and to save money for a future deposit on an apartment.

A lot of people assume I cant take care of the baby, she said, as she held her daughter, Nedahilla, in a blue fleecy blanket and fed her out of a pink butterfly bottle. These people want to take her from me. In what way, shape or form am I abusing my child?

The case comes at a time when panhandling is under renewed debate around the country. This month, New Yorks mayor, Bill de Blasio, claimed that panhandling was something people did because they think its fun and said he would ban it if he could. Sacramento is considering making it a crime to panhandle at intersections, ATMs and gas stations. Meanwhile, an economist at Columbia University has written that it would make more sense to accredit panhandlers than ban them and a not-for-profit organization in Seattle has launched a new app that does just that.

On Monday, Deidre Laiken, a 70-year-old former teacher from North Beach, conducted a one-woman protest, holding a picket sign next to Doudney which read: Women against child abuse.

Most people think about this poor woman, but they dont think about the child, said Laiken, who learned about the case from social media. One of the definitions of child abuse is using a child for exploitation or financial gain. This woman is making a lot of money.

The real issues were desperation and poverty, said Nick Kimura of the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness. Its a much bigger issue than her sitting on the sidewalk, said Kimura, a longtime volunteer for the organization. The reason shes doing this is because shes poor. Its not something people are choosing to do. The question is: how is this intervention helping?

Originally from Nebraska, Doudney moved to San Francisco about five years ago, after losing the home where she was living in Minnesota. I had some choices. I could be homeless in Minnesota, where I would freeze to death, or I could be homeless in California.

Doudney, who walks with a severely hunched back, has suffered severe pain since she was a child. She said she had been taking opioid medications for years, but was able to quit once she arrived in California, where medical marijuana is legal.

Doudney first gained attention on social media, when a woman who frequently passed her on the street posted photographs of the baby on the local social media app Nextdoor.

In early July, several Nextdoor users went to see the baby and mother, who was panhandling on Market Street. One of them noticed the baby looked sick and called 911. A few minutes later, two or three police cars, an ambulance and a fire truck showed up, according to Doudney. The paramedics assessed the baby on the spot and determined it had low blood sugar, she said. The medics transported the baby and the mother to the hospital, where the baby was treated and released.

They called 911 because they said the baby was discolored, said Doudney. They said she looked like she was unconscious. Of course she looks like shes unconscious shes a sleeping baby! It was just crazy.

One user of social media posted photos showing the baby stroller sitting unattended on Market Street, except for a homeless person in a wheelchair nearby. The woman posted remarks saying she had documented the baby being left alone in its stroller for up to 40 minutes.

I called CPS and said this cant be legal, said Erica Sandberg, another Nextdoor user, who also posted about the baby on Facebook and was there the day the ambulance took the baby and mom to the hospital.

Doudney said: The allegations that I leave her alone are absolutely untrue. I can take her everywhere except into the cannabis club.

Doudney said she has had her friend in a wheelchair stay with the baby outside the club while she goes inside.

Homeless service providers argue that in San Francisco, where there is virtually no affordable housing available, the problem that needs to be addressed is getting homeless families into safe, stable situations.

Rachel Kenemore of Hamilton Families said the number of homeless families in the city has jumped from around 600 in 2007 to more than 1100 today. There are so many families needing housing that there is a wait of six to nine months to get into shelter programs.

She said it doesnt help to demonize families in need: Lets be part of the solution on this. What can we do to be supportive to members of our community who need help?

Many passersby greet Doudney enthusiastically as she panhandles, some handing her dollar bills. One man comes by to offer some money and then returns with some doughnuts; another stops to offer a sports jersey he cannot use. But others are more critical.

Why is your baby out here? one woman calls out as she quickly walks by.

Doudney shakes her head and says she has no intention of being scared away by these critics. I do what I need to for my child.

Do you have an experience of homelessness to share with the Guardian? Get in touch

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/31/homeless-baby-san-francisco-panhandling

Marissa Safont‘How am I abusing my child?’: woman panhandling with infant rejects criticism
read more