Calif. To Vote on Legalization of Marijuana Posted by on June 29, 2016 at 05:30:01 PT By Patrick McGreevy Source: Los Angeles Times California -- An initiative that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in California officially took its place on the Nov. 8 ballot on Tuesday as its campaign took a commanding lead in fundraising to battle the measure’s opponents.
The Secretary of State’s Office certified that a random sample showed sufficient signatures among the 600,000 turned in to qualify the measure. The initiative is backed by a coalition that includes former Facebook President Sean Parker and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. Read More... Pastor and Rabbi Want To Grow Medical Marijuana Posted by on June 26, 2016 at 11:36:06 PT By Fenit Nirappil and Aaron Gregg Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Heard the one about the rabbi and the pastor who want to sell medical pot? The vast list of applicants for one of up to 15 licenses to grow marijuana for medical purposes in Maryland includes at least two religious leaders, Rabbi Jeffrey Kahn and Pastor Gareth E. Murray.
Kahn is a longtime fixture in the District’s medical cannabis community, serving about 1,000 patients at the Takoma Wellness Center dispensary in the city’s northern tip. Read More... Democratic Senators Push DEA to Downgrade MJ Posted by on June 24, 2016 at 14:15:23 PT By Kate O' Keeffe Source: Wall Street Journal Washington, D.C. -- A group of Democratic lawmakers is renewing pressure on the Drug Enforcement Administration to remove marijuana from its current position on a list of the most dangerous drugs, a category that includes heroin and ecstasy.
Marijuana’s classification as a “Schedule I” drug is “a main barrier” to research on its potential health benefits and conflicts with a decision by half of the states to approve medical marijuana laws, eight Democratic senators wrote this week in a letter to the DEA and the Department of Justice, its parent agency. Read More... Colorado Survey Shows What MJ Legalization Will Do Posted by on June 21, 2016 at 06:17:40 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Colorado -- Rates of marijuana use among Colorado's teenagers are essentially unchanged in the years since the state's voters legalized marijuana in 2012, new survey data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shows.
In 2015, 21 percent of Colorado youths had used marijuana in the past 30 days. That rate is slightly lower than the national average and down slightly from the 25 percent who used marijuana in 2009, before legalization. The survey was based on a random sample of 17,000 middle and high school students in Colorado. Read More... Rep. Andy Harris, Foe of Legalized Marijuana Posted by on June 20, 2016 at 10:11:05 PT By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun Source: Baltimore Sun Washington, D.C. -- Two years after Rep. Andy Harris put himself in the center of a controversy over legalizing marijuana in the nation's capital, the conservative Republican is emerging as a leading voice advocating for more research into the drug's medicinal value.
Harris, a Johns Hopkins-trained anesthesiologist who hangs a white lab coat in his waiting room on Capitol Hill, has been working for roughly a year to build a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers who want to ease restrictions on marijuana for the purpose of studying its effect on debilitating diseases. Read More... Marijuana’s Biggest Adversary on Capitol Hill Posted by on June 20, 2016 at 08:10:52 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) is Congress's most vocal opponent of legal marijuana, having single-handedly spearheaded a provision blocking legal pot shops in the District of Columbia in 2014. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), on the other hand, was recently named Congress's "top legal pot advocate" by Rolling Stone.
The two lawmakers couldn't be farther apart on marijuana policy, but they're teaming up this week to introduce a significant overhaul of federal marijuana policy that would make it much easier for scientists to conduct research into the medical uses of marijuana. Read More... Microsoft: First Company Serving Legal MJ Trade Posted by on June 16, 2016 at 13:14:12 PT By Nathaniel Popper Source: New York Times USA -- As state after state has legalized marijuana in one way or another, big names in corporate America have stayed away entirely. Marijuana, after all, is still illegal, according to the federal government. But Microsoft is breaking the corporate taboo on pot this week by announcing a partnership to begin offering software that tracks marijuana plants from “seed to sale,” as the pot industry puts it.
The software — a new product in Microsoft’s cloud computing business — is meant to help states that have legalized the medical or recreational use of marijuana keep tabs on sales and commerce, ensuring that they remain in the daylight of legality. Read More... A Marijuana Reporter Walks In To a Pot Shop Posted by on June 11, 2016 at 08:07:29 PT By Emily Gray Brosious Source: Chicago Sun-Times Colorado -- As someone who writes about marijuana for a living, it recently started to seem a little strange I hadn’t actually been to the promised land of legal cannabis that Colorado has become over the past couple of years. So on Memorial Day weekend, I flew to Denver on a mission to buy weed . . . legally.
I already knew the rules. Dispensaries close promptly at 7 p.m. You must be 21 or older to buy recreational cannabis; public consumption is a no-no. And so forth. My first stop would be Pure Marijuana Dispensary. I expected to get carded at the door or during checkout, like bars and liquor stores in Chicago do. Read More... Trudeau May Have Made Best Case for Legal Pot Posted by on June 10, 2016 at 10:11:19 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Canada -- Speaking Wednesday at an economic conference, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made one of the more buttoned-down, straight-edged arguments for marijuana legalization I've heard in recent years. It's worth quoting at length so I've done that below:
Look, our approach on legalizing marijuana is not about creating a boutique industry or bringing in tax revenue, it’s based on two very simple principles: Read More... 25 States Call Marijuana Medicine Why Not DEA? Posted by on June 09, 2016 at 13:51:57 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- John Kasich signed Ohio's medical marijuana bill into law yesterday, making it the 25th state (26 counting Washington, D.C.) to allow some form of medical marijuana use.
Ohio's measure is more restrictive than medical marijuana bills in many other states. It does not allow patients to smoke marijuana -- they must ingest it orally via edible products, or use a vaporizer. It doesn't allow patients to grow their own marijuana, and only a handful of conditions, including epilepsy, chronic pain and cancer, qualify for a medical marijuana recommendation. Read More... Majority of U.S. Voters Favor Legalizing Marijuana Posted by on June 06, 2016 at 06:20:58 PT By David Sherfinski, The Washington Times Source: Washington Times USA -- A majority of U.S. voters support legalizing marijuana in general, and nearly nine in 10 say VA doctors should be able to prescribe it in pill form to veterans suffering post-traumatic stress disorder, according to polling released Monday.
Fifty-four percent said marijuana should be made legal in the United States, compared to 41 percent who said it should not be, according to the Quinnipiac poll. More than 60 percent of Democrats and independents favor legalization, while 62 percent of Republicans are opposed. Read More... Chronic Marijuana Use Not Bad for Your Health Posted by on June 02, 2016 at 07:07:32 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- Long-term marijuana use is not associated with a raft of physical health problems, according to a new study, with one surprising exception: gum disease.
Researchers led by Madeline H. Meier of Arizona State University tracked the marijuana habits of 1,037 New Zealanders from birth to middle age to see what effect those habits have on some common measures of physical health, including lung function, systemic inflammation, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, body weight, blood sugar and dental health. Read More... Group Suspends Effort To Get MMJ Issue On Ballot Posted by on May 30, 2016 at 08:16:38 PT By Alan Johnson, The Columbus Dispatch Source: Columbus Dispatch Ohio -- With an Ohio medical marijuana law awaiting Gov. John Kasich’s signature, backers of a similar constitutional amendment decided it wasn’t worth it to go forward. Ohioans for Medical Marijuana announced Saturday that they folded their campaign after gathering “hundreds of thousands” of signatures on a petition asking Ohioans to approval medical marijuana — including growing and smoking it.
Neither of those things is permitted under medical marijuana legislation passed last week by the General Assembly, but much of the rest is the same. Kasich has not said whether he will sign the bill into law. Read More... Legal Weed is Not Dumbing Down Nation’s Teens Posted by on May 30, 2016 at 05:23:14 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- The marijuana policy landscape changed rapidly between 2002 and 2013. During that time, 13 states passed medical-marijuana laws, 10 states relaxed penalties for marijuana use, and Colorado and Washington became the first states to fully legalize recreational pot use.
Opponents of marijuana liberalization warned that these changes would bring devastating consequences, particularly for kids: "But what about the children?" was the common refrain. The president of National Families in Action, an anti-drug group, warned that commercial marijuana would "literally dumb down the precious minds of generations of children." Psychiatrist Christian Thurstone, an outspoken opponent of Colorado's marijuana legalization, argued in 2010 that "the state's relaxed laws have made the drug widely available — and irresistible — to too many adolescents." Read More... Lawmakers Send Medical Marijuana to Kasich Posted by on May 26, 2016 at 06:07:17 PT By Alan Johnson & Jim Siegel Source: Columbus Dispatch Ohio -- After passing a reluctant Senate by just three votes, Ohio is poised to become the latest state to legalize medical marijuana, so long as Gov. John Kasich signs it into law.
After more than a day of uncertainty about whether the bill had enough support in the Senate, the chamber voted 18-15 Wednesday afternoon, passing the bill despite opposition votes from the top two members of Senate Republican leadership — Senate President Keith Faber, R-Celina, and Sen. Larry Obhof, R-Medina. The House concurred 67-28 late Wednesday night. Read More... A GOP Congressman Says He Used Medical Marijuana Posted by on May 26, 2016 at 05:55:44 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) just made a striking admission: Speaking to a group of marijuana activists on Capitol Hill, Rohrabacher said he had recently turned to medical marijuana to help deal with arthritis pain, and it worked.
Two weeks ago, Rohrabacher said, he tried a topical wax-based marijuana treatment. That night, it was "the first time in a year and a half that I had a decent night’s sleep because the arthritis pain was gone," Rohrabacher said. Read More... MMJ Bill May Not Have Enough Support Posted by on May 25, 2016 at 09:28:22 PT By Alan Johnson & Jim Siegel Source: Columbus Dispatch Ohio -- A legislative vote on medical marijuana is coming down to the wire with the outcome in doubt today in the Ohio Senate. A Senate committee voted 7-5 this morning for House Bill 523, legislation that would allow Ohioans with certain medical conditions to legally obtain medical marijuana from a doctor.
The bill, with a few minor amendments, is expected to be voted on the Senate floor in an afternoon session, but the legislative sources are not at all certain the votes are there for passage. About a dozen of the 23 Senate Republicans and two or three of 10 Democrats saying they are willing to vote for the bill. At least 17 votes are needed for passage. Read More... Vets Will Still Smoke at White House Posted by CN Staff on May 19, 2016 at 12:26:25 PT By Steven Nelson, Staff Writer Source: U.S. News & World Report Washington, D.C. -- Marijuana reform advocates celebrated Thursday as the House of Representatives approved a spending bill amendment aiming to allow Veterans Health Administration doctors to authorize medical marijuana use for patients – but activists pressing for deeper reform still intend to smoke illegally and lay in the street in acts of civil disobedience outside the White House on Friday.
The legislative win follows a Senate committee’s April passage of the same amendment in a 20-10 vote. The House’s Thursday vote, 233-189, featured 57 Republicans joining all but five Democrats in favor. Last year, the House narrowly rejected the measure, but the Senate then passed it as part of the underlying bill and is expected to do so again. Read More... Increasing Numbers Of Americans Support Marijuana Posted by on May 19, 2016 at 04:56:11 PT By Bob Tognetti, The Huffington Post Source: Huffington Post USA -- A wave of recent polls shows that majorities of voters in five states, and a majority nationwide, support legalizing medical marijuana. Many voters also support legalizing marijuana for recreational use.
Eighty percent of Florida’s registered voters would support a state constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana. While support drops when voters are asked about recreational use, the issue still garners a majority with 56 percent for it and 41 percent against. Read More... If CA Legalizes MJ, Consumption Will Increase Posted by on May 16, 2016 at 06:13:56 PT By Beau Kilmer Source: Los Angeles Times California -- In six months, California will join Maine, Nevada and probably a few other states in deciding whether or not to legalize the large-scale commercial production of marijuana. Residents will be inundated with wild claims about the promises and pitfalls of these initiatives.
You will hear debates about government revenue, criminal justice benefits, the environment, and the effect of legalization on Mexican drug-trafficking organizations. Public health conversations may prove especially contentious. Some will claim that legalization will constitute a net gain for health. Others will say the exact opposite. Read More... How Much Is Too Much Marijuana to Drive? Posted by on May 13, 2016 at 09:14:40 PT By Jonah Bromwich Source: New York Times USA -- It’s relatively easy to determine when someone is too drunk to drive. If a driver’s blood-alcohol level is 0.08 percent or higher, that person is considered legally impaired. But a study says that measuring the effects of marijuana on drivers is far trickier, and that blood tests are an unreliable indication of impairment by cannabis.
As more states consider legalizing the substance, that presents a challenge to legislators seeking to create laws on driving while impaired by marijuana. Read More... Marijuana Industry Leaders Lobby Congress Posted by on May 12, 2016 at 12:56:42 PT By Jennifer Harper, The Washington Times Source: Washington Times Washington, D.C. -- Three Democratic lawmakers will herald the start of a two-day lobbying effort by marijuana entrepreneurs on Capitol Hill.
Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Ed Perlmutter of Colorado plus Denny Heck of Washington joined the National Cannabis Industry Association for a press conference Thursday just outside the U.S. House to talk up policy and “advocate for fair treatment of the legal cannabis industry,” according to the organization. They will spend the next two days explaining their situation to as many elected officials as possible. Read More... Legislation legalizing MMJ Clears Ohio House Posted by on May 10, 2016 at 16:06:02 PT By Jim Siegel, The Columbus Dispatch Source: Columbus Dispatch Ohio -- With a proposed constitutional amendment on the horizon, the House voted 70-25 today to give Ohioans access to medical marijuana, moving Ohio a step closer to being the 26th state to legalize the drug.
Rep. Steve Huffman, R-Tipp City, an emergency room doctor and sponsor of the bill, noted that in the hours of testimony, members heard about children prescribed marijuana who went from 300 seizures a day to five, and how it helped a veteran with his post-traumatic stress disorder. Read More... CA Voters Getting Chance To Legalize Marijuana Posted by on May 04, 2016 at 05:07:44 PT By Patrick McGreevy, Reporter Source: Los Angeles Times California -- A Measure to legalize marijuana for recreational use in California appears headed for the Nov. 8 ballot. A coalition that includes former Facebook President Sean Parker on Tuesday said it has collected 600,000 signatures, more than enough to qualify the initiative.
Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and other supporters of the measure plan to kick off a campaign for voter approval of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act on Wednesday in San Francisco. Read More... Maine Will Vote on Legalizing Marijuana Posted by on May 03, 2016 at 07:00:52 PT By Phillip Smith, Alternet Source: AlterNet Maine -- Marijuana legalization will be on the Maine ballot in November. The final obstacle to a popular vote was removed last Friday, when state legislators punted on their chance to act on the citizen legalization initiative, opting instead to send the question to the voters instead.
Earlier, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which organized the state's legalization initiative had to go to the courts to force recalcitrant state officials to recognize the validity of thousands of challenged voter petition signatures. The campaign had handed in roughly 100,000 signatures and only needed 61,000 valid voter signatures. Read More... Why Legalizing Will Be Much Harder Than You Think Posted by on April 27, 2016 at 09:23:04 PT By Erwin Chemerinsky Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- There are rumors that the federal government may soon lift its ban on marijuana, but that wouldn’t end marijuana prohibitions in the United States. This incongruity is the result of federalism: the ability of each jurisdiction — the federal government and every state — to maintain its own laws as to which drugs are illegal and which are not.
Completely legalizing marijuana in the United States would require the actions of both the federal government and every state government. If the federal government repealed its criminal prohibition of marijuana or rescheduled the drug under federal law, that would not change state laws that forbid its possession or sale. Likewise, state governments can repeal their marijuana laws, in whole or in part, but that does not change federal law. Read More... The Paradox At The Heart of Our Marijuana Laws Posted by on April 26, 2016 at 11:08:40 PT By Keith Humphreys Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- As Congress and the Drug Enforcement Administration weigh whether marijuana should be rescheduled, public faith in the drug classification system continues to erode. Debate rages between those who emphasize the strangeness of marijuana being on the highly restrictive Schedule I alongside far more harmful drugs like heroin, and those who emphasize how strange it would be to put crude plant matter on a less restrictive schedule alongside well-specified FDA-approved medications.
Both sides have a point, a paradox stemming from a design quirk of the 1970 Controlled Substances Act: The law takes pains to recognize that medically useful, FDA-approved drugs vary in harmfulness, but does not recognize that this is equally true of drugs with no approved medical use. By throwing all these diverse drugs into the same basket, federal law both baffles the public and makes it very difficult for researchers to evaluate whether tightly restricted drugs might have medical applications. Read More... Overdoses Fell with Medical Marijuana Legalization Posted by on April 26, 2016 at 08:21:54 PT By Colleen L. Barry Source: New York Times USA -- While opioid pain relievers offer critical benefits to certain patients, such as those with cancer-related pain, the rise of opioid prescriptions has had devastating public health consequences. The C.D.C. recently urged physicians to be very cautious in prescribing these drugs.
Meanwhile, access to medical marijuana has expanded rapidly — 24 states and D.C. have legalized its broad medical use — and chronic or severe pain is the most common condition reported among those using it. On it's face, this might seem to mirror the rise in prescription opioid use. Read More... About That Bud Summit at the White House Posted by on April 25, 2016 at 15:32:43 PT By Aaron C. Davis Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- It took a pot-smoking protest outside the White House, but on Monday, advocates for marijuana legalization were set for a historic face-to-face meeting with the Obama administration about easing laws governing the drug. Except, it wasn’t. Leaders of the successful ballot measure fight that legalized marijuana in the nation’s capital said they were granted a White House meeting, but it was with two junior-level staffers in Obama’s Office of National Drug Control Policy.
There was no presidential entourage, no promises of more meetings to come. In fact, there was no visit to the White House proper, but a mostly empty conference room in an adjacent building. Read More... Efforts To Legalize Marijuana in Ohio Differ Posted by on April 25, 2016 at 06:11:56 PT By Alan Johnson, The Columbus Dispatch Source: Columbus Dispatch Ohio appears likely to become the 25th state to approve medical marijuana, either through a new state law or a voted constitutional amendment. State lawmakers and two citizen advocacy groups are working simultaneously on proposals to bring marijuana as medicine to Ohioans with qualifying medical conditions.
But how the legislature and advocates approach the subject is very different, and the two pro-marijuana groups are proposing separate variations as well. Read More...
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