California Democrats Back Marijuana Legalization Posted by on March 09, 2014 at 18:22:55 PT By Mollie Reilly Source: Huffington Post California Democrats have approved a party platform including a plank calling for marijuana legalization, marking a major shift for the state party. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, state party delegates moved Sunday to adopt a platform that includes support for "the legalization, regulation and taxation of pot in a manner similar to that of tobacco or alcohol." The platform was adopted by a near-unanimous voice vote.
California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, formerly the mayor of San Francisco, made the case for the position change during the Democrats' 3-day convention in Los Angeles. Read More... Senate Passes Bill To Regulate Medical Marijuana Posted by CN Staff on March 08, 2014 at 15:34:44 PT By Lisa Baumann and Rachel La Corte, AP Source: Associated Press Olympia, Wash. -- A measure to overhaul the state's medical marijuana system cleared the Senate Saturday as the state moves to merge that largely unregulated market with the still-developing legal recreational market.
Senate Bill 5887 passed on a 34-15 vote and now heads to the House, which passed a similar measure last month. Both chambers will now negotiate a final bill to reconcile the medical market with the recreational market approved by voters in the fall of 2012. Read More... Why Wait? Fully Legalize Marijuana Now Posted by on March 08, 2014 at 06:50:39 PT By Leonard Lichtblau Source: Star-Tribune Minnesota -- It’s time to get real about marijuana laws in the state of Minnesota. Passing a medical marijuana law will, in all likelihood, be the first step in total legalization of the drug for recreational use, just as it has proved to be in Colorado and Washington and soon will in California and other states.
Why not go there now? Most Americans think marijuana is a tightly controlled substance in DEA Schedule I, the most addictive class of drugs, they believe, based on good scientific and medical evidence. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Read More... Marijuana Taxes in Colorado -- An Early Clue Posted by on March 07, 2014 at 06:46:50 PT By Pat Oglesby Source: Huffington Post Colorado -- Across America, lawmakers are eyeing tax revenue from legalized marijuana. Colorado and Washington are each officially expecting over $100 million annually in marijuana excise taxes. In a few days, the Colorado Department of Revenue is due to report how much marijuana tax was paid there for January, the first full month of recreational sales anywhere ever.
But the report on January collections will tell us next to nothing about what other states can expect, and only a little about Colorado. You can multiply January taxes by 12, but that won't show annual marijuana revenue the state can count on from now on -- for two reasons. First, the mature market will not resemble the start-up January market. Second, Colorado will start taxing some transactions that it exempted in January. Read More... MMJ Providers Fear Effects of Wider Legalization Posted by on March 06, 2014 at 13:49:55 PT By Kirk Johnson Source: New York Times Seattle -- There should be, one might think, a note of triumph or at least quiet satisfaction in Muraco Kyashna-tocha’s voice. Her patient-based cooperative in north Seattle dispenses medical marijuana to treat seizures, sleeplessness and other maladies. And with the state gearing up to open its first stores selling legal marijuana for recreational use, the drug she has cultivated, provided to patients and used herself for years seems to be barreling toward the mainstream.
But her one-word summary of the outlook for medical marijuana is anything but sunny: “Disastrous,” she said, standing in her shop, Green Buddha, which she fears she will soon have to close. Read More... CNN Documentary Tracks Medical Marijuana Refugees Posted by on March 06, 2014 at 10:56:40 PT By Joanne Ostrow, Denver Post Television Critic Source: Denver Post Colorado -- CNN's Sanjay Gupta toured Colorado's medical marijuana outlets in a documentary last summer, "Weed," talking about the medicinal uses of the drug and apologizing for joining the chorus of medical professionals who've given the public bad advice about marijuana over the years.
He touched a nerve. Now CNN and Gupta are back, with "Weed2," tracking "medical marijuana refugees" to Colorado. Read More... Marijuana Tax Revenue May Not Meet Expectations Posted by on March 06, 2014 at 05:31:25 PT Washington Post Editorial Source: Washington Post USA -- Marijuana legalization was a hot topic at the recent meeting of the National Governors Association in Washington, for obvious reasons — among them the prospect of raising much-needed revenue by taxing pot sales. “With all the bad weather we’ve had back home and all the potholes, we ought to have the revenue go to infrastructure — ‘pot for potholes,’ ” Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I) said.
Such an experiment is underway in Washington and Colorado, so it’s noteworthy that John Hickenlooper, the latter state’s Democratic governor, did not echo Mr. Chafee’s enthusiasm about the tax bonanza. “Going out and getting tax revenue is absolutely the wrong reason to even think about legalizing recreational marijuana,” he said, since it puts a state in the position of benefiting from use of a harmful substance — even if it’s not the most harmful. Read More... Florida Legislature Joins Southern Rush For MJ Posted by CN Staff on March 05, 2014 at 16:21:57 PT By Bill Cotterell Source: Reuters Florida -- Acknowledging a major shift in societal attitudes toward marijuana, a key committee of the Florida legislature voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to approve medical use of a "non-euphoric" marijuana extract that has shown promising results in treating seizures.
"We have evidence of benefits," Republican state Representative Cary Pigman, an emergency room physician, said of the substance known as cannabidiol, or CBD. "We have no evidence of harm." Read More... MMJ Ad Will Be First To Appear On Major Networks Posted by on March 05, 2014 at 14:51:54 PT By Katy Steinmetz Source: Time USA -- The new commercial from MarijuanaDoctors.com might seem to make perfect sense to a medical marijuana patient who has just taken a dose of their medicine. For most others, the logic may take a moment to sink in.
During the one-minute spot, which the company is touting as the first ever medical marijuana business commercial to air on major networks, a faux dealer pushes sushi in the street, opening up a coat filled with raw fish like cartoon thieves open trenchcoats filled with black-market Rolexes. “You wouldn’t buy your sushi from this guy,” the voiceover concludes. “So why would you buy your marijuana from him?” Read More... Georgia State Lawmakers OK Medical Marijuana Posted by CN Staff on March 05, 2014 at 12:20:43 PT By David Beasley Source: Reuters Atlanta -- A Georgia measure that would legalize use of a liquid, non-intoxicating form of marijuana for patients with severe seizure disorders has been passed by the state House of Representatives with wide support.
Lawmakers approved the legislation on Monday in a 171-4 bipartisan vote, and the bill, which would limit availability of medical marijuana to a handful of research facilities, now goes to the state Senate for consideration. Read More... Lawmakers Press White House, Again, on Pot Rules Posted by on March 04, 2014 at 20:09:15 PT By Alicia A. Caldwell, Associated Press Source: Seattle Times Washington, D.C. -- A senior U.S. drug enforcement official urged Congress and others Tuesday not to abandon scientific concerns over marijuana in favor of public opinion to legalize it, even as the Obama administration takes a hands-off approach in states where voters have made legal its sale and use.
The deputy administrator for the Drug Enforcement Administration, Thomas Harrigan, testified Tuesday before a House oversight panel that easing laws governing marijuana threatens U.S. institutions. Read More... D.C. Council Votes To Eliminate Jail Time Posted by on March 04, 2014 at 17:40:10 PT By Aaron C. Davis Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Consuming marijuana in a private home will no longer be a criminal offense in the nation’s capital under a measure that passed the D.C. Council on Tuesday and that instantly escalated a simmering national debate over loosening marijuana laws.
Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) intends to sign the measure, a spokesman said, putting District drug law in conflict with federal law. The signed measure will go to Congress, which has veto authority over D.C. laws but has organized to override only three times since 1979. Read More... D.C. Set To Loosen Marijuana Laws Posted by on March 04, 2014 at 07:07:10 PT By Aaron C. Davis Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- The D.C. Council on Tuesday is poised to make the city one of the nation’s most lenient for marijuana possession, easing penalties that most often ensnare African Americans including a potential one-year jail sentence that is expected to be reduced to a $25 fine.
To keep the odor of marijuana from wafting across the nation’s capital, however, city lawmakers in recent weeks pulled back from an even more liberal proposal to buffer residents from arrest: Smoking marijuana in public would remain a crime, akin to toting an open can of beer, and would carry a maximum penalty of up to six months in jail. Read More... TV Spots Pitch Medical Marijuana Posted by on March 04, 2014 at 05:39:33 PT By Rick Hampson Source: Detroit Free Press USA -- Late-night TV, which has enticed us with hard-sell offers for the amazing Ginsu knife and equally incredible hair loss remedies, now has another offer some can't refuse: a way to get medical marijuana.
Comcast, the nation's largest cable operator, has agreed to run an ad on its local cable systems in New Jersey, Massachusetts and greater Chicago that promote a service that links people seeking legal medical marijuana with doctors able to prescribe it. Read More... The Right Way To Legalize Marijuana Posted by on March 03, 2014 at 17:43:05 PT By Michael Hiltzik Source: Los Angeles Times USA -- Mark A.R. Kleiman is out this week with the single most comprehensive look at the trend toward legalizing pot you're likely to find. He doesn't spend much space on the pros and cons of legalization -- almost anyone can tick those off on the fingers of both hands -- but on the right way to do it, and the wrong way.
Short version: Colorado and Washington are doing it the wrong way, and the federal government's hands-off approach isn't making things any better. Read More... The Mythology of Marijuana Posted by on March 03, 2014 at 05:27:10 PT By Cyril Wecht Source: Post-Gazette USA -- Over the course of my 52-year professional career as a forensic pathologist and medicolegal consultant, I have been involved in numerous civil and criminal lawsuits dealing with various kinds of drugs — prescription, over-the-counter and illicit. Some of these cases have been quite significant, including a few that have been the subject of congressional hearings.
Product liability and medical malpractice lawsuits involving drugs frequently result in multimillion-dollar verdicts. In other instances, the determination of which drugs may have led to someone’s death may provide the evidentiary basis for charging the provider with homicide. Read More... Mommy Lobby Emerges as Advocate for MMJ Posted by CN Staff on March 02, 2014 at 19:59:54 PT By Ariana Eunjung Cha Source: Washington Post USA -- Standing in a Wisconsin State Capitol hearing room surrounded by parents hugging their seriously ill children, Sally Schaeffer began to cry as she talked about her daughter.
Born with a rare chromosomal disorder, 6-year-old Lydia suffers from life-threatening seizures that doctors haven’t been able to control despite countless medications. The family’s last hope: medical marijuana. Schaeffer, 39, didn’t just ask lawmakers to legalize the drug. She begged. “If it was your child and you didn’t have options, what would you do?” she said during her testimony in Madison on Feb. 12. Read More... Gov. Jerry Brown on Legalized Marijuana Posted by on March 02, 2014 at 16:22:21 PT By Jaime Fuller Source: Washington Post California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) went on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday to discuss his plans to run for an unprecedented fourth term, as well as many of the policy problems his administration is facing in the state.
"Meet the Press" host David Gregory asked Brown about the possibility of legalized recreational marijuana use in California, which Gregory described as an unthinkable prospect 40 years ago. Brown responded that he was watching Colorado and Washington — the two states currently have legalized recreational marijuana use — and that California's medical marijuana policies were "very close" to what these states are doing. "I'd really like those two states to show us how it's going to work," he said. Read More... Group of Lawmakers Vows Workable Medical Marijuana Posted by on March 01, 2014 at 05:11:53 PT By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun Source: Baltimore Sun Maryland -- A bipartisan group of state lawmakers vowed Friday to pass legislation this year to create a workable medical marijuana program that would cover children with debilitating conditions as well as adults.
Dels. Cheryl D. Glenn and Dan K. Morhaim, sponsors of two bills that would replace legislation passed last year that is widely regarded as a failure, said they would meld their two versions into a single measure. One change they expect to make in the original bills next week is to remove provisions restricting the therapeutic use of cannabis to adults. Read More... Medical Marijuana Bill Passes Key Committee Vote Posted by CN Staff on February 27, 2014 at 17:18:50 PT By Christina Almeida Cassidy, Associated Press Source: Associated Press Atlanta -- A bill to enable a type of medical marijuana to be used in Georgia under certain circumstances passed a key committee vote Wednesday, keeping it alive as a major legislative deadline looms.
Sponsored by Republican Rep. Allen Peake of Macon, House Bill 885 would revive a long-dormant research program allowing academic institutions to distribute marijuana to patients suffering from specific medical conditions. Read More... Medical Marijuana Bill Clears Kentucky House Panel Posted by CN Staff on February 27, 2014 at 14:44:34 PT By Rae Hodge, The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Frankfort, Ky. -- A measure to legalize medical marijuana in Kentucky passed a House committee Thursday, but whether the issue will come up for a vote in front of the full House was unclear.
Known as the Cannabis Compassion Act, the perennial bill is sponsored this year by Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, who called the historic passage "a miracle." "It was so rewarding to be able to offer the folks who are suffering from so many different medical conditions a little bit of hope," said the Louisville Democrat. Read More... MJ Legalization Officially Makes Alaska Ballot Posted by CN Staff on February 27, 2014 at 10:06:48 PT By Steven Nelson Source: U.S. News & World Report Juneau -- Alaska residents will decide Aug. 19 if "The Last Frontier" will be the third U.S. jurisdiction to legalize marijuana and regulate its sale. The state’s lieutenant governor, Mead Treadwell, confirmed Wednesday that a pro-pot initiative effort cleared the legal requirements and ordered election officials to put legalization before voters.
The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana in Alaska submitted 45,000 signatures Jan. 8 for the ballot measure, about 36,000 of which were validated by the state. Slightly more than 30,000 signatures were required. Read More... Advocates Press for MJ Measure on D.C. Ballot Posted by on February 27, 2014 at 09:58:36 PT By Aaron C. Davis Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- The District should set aside the warnings of its attorney general and let voters decide whether they want to legalize marijuana possession in the nation’s capital, advocates for the measure argued Tuesday before the D.C. Board of Elections.
The band of marijuana advocates is seeking to make the District one of the first East Coast cities to legalize marijuana possession. If it successfully gets the measure on the November ballot, legalization has a strong chance of being approved, according to a recent Washington Post poll, and it could hasten the arrival in Washington of a debate that has simmered mostly in Western states. Read More... Momentum Is Seen as States Consider Legalizing Posted by on February 26, 2014 at 19:06:21 PT By Rick Lyman Source: New York Times USA -- A little over a year after Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana, more than half the states, including some in the conservative South, are considering decriminalizing the drug or legalizing it for medical or recreational use. That has set up a watershed year in the battle over whether marijuana should be as available as alcohol.
Demonstrating how marijuana is no longer a strictly partisan issue, the two states considered likeliest this year to follow Colorado and Washington in outright legalization of the drug are Oregon, dominated by liberal Democrats, and Alaska, where libertarian Republicans hold sway. Read More... Law Enforcement Rallies Against Marijuana Bills Posted by on February 25, 2014 at 19:39:42 PT By Michael Dresser and Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun Source: Baltimore Sun Maryland -- Prosecutors, police chiefs and sheriffs gathered Tuesday in Annapolis to push back against the growing movement to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana or to legalize recreational use of the drug altogether.
At a news conference and at a Senate hearing, law enforcement leaders warned that loosening marijuana laws would undermine drug enforcement across the board. They said it would be premature to pass a bill following in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington state, which recently legalized pot, and opposed a separate measure that would treat possession as a minor civil offense. Read More... Annapolis Police Chief Apologizes for MJ Misspeak Posted by on February 25, 2014 at 19:03:27 PT By Sean Welsh, The Baltimore Sun Source: Baltimore Sun Maryland -- Annapolis Police Chief Michael Pristoop issued an apology Tuesday for inaccurate statements he made about deaths related to the legalization of marijuana in Colorado.
Pristoop, in testimony regarding legalization of marijuana, stated that overdoses on marijuana led to more than 30 deaths on the first day the drug was legalized in Colorado. That data was based upon a hoax story that ran on satirical and comedy websites. Read More... Just Say No To These 11 Outrageous Arguments Posted by on February 25, 2014 at 15:40:54 PT By Matt Ferner and Nick Wing, The Huffington Post Source: Huffington Post USA -- Nearly 80 years ago, the feature film "Reefer Madness" hit theaters, projecting demonstrably false anti-marijuana propaganda all over the big screen. In today's era of legal medical and recreational cannabis, the tone of this movie is often mocked. But drug warriors are still employing many of the same hysterical arguments to prop up their campaign against weed.
When it comes to public opinion, it's becoming clear that anti-pot crusaders are losing the battle. Recreational marijuana is for sale in Colorado, it’s coming to Washington in just a few months and over a dozen more states are considering legalization measures right now. In all, 20 states have passed laws allowing the medical or recreational use of marijuana, and with a majority of Americans now in favor of legal weed for the first time in U.S. history, the momentum is on marijuana's side. Read More... Parents Pushing To Get Marijuana Extract for Kids Posted by CN Staff on February 25, 2014 at 14:21:55 PT By Robert McCoppin and Duaa Eldeib, Reporters Source: Chicago Tribune USA -- Nicole Gross was so desperate to find relief for her son's near-constant, debilitating seizures that she moved him from Naperville to Colorado so he could receive medical marijuana.
Weeks after Chase Gross, 8, started taking a marijuana oil extract through a dropper, his mother said she saw a dramatic decrease in the number of daily seizures he had, allowing him to make developmental leaps such as dressing himself and learning new sign language words, since his condition has left him unable to speak. Read More... Majority of Ohioans Support Legalization of MMJ Posted by on February 24, 2014 at 06:10:29 PT By Jim Provance, Bureau Chief Source: Toledo Blade Columbus, Ohio -- Eighty-seven percent of Ohio voters support legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, but support drops off to 51 percent when it comes to possessing a small amount for recreational use, according to the latest Quinnipiac Poll released today.
It remains unclear whether varying proposed ballot issues to legalize medical marijuana and industrial hemp will make it to Ohio's ballot as initiatives have in other states like Colorado. “Ohioans narrowly favor legalizing pot for personal use with women opposed while men support the idea," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Almost nine in 10 in both genders think marijuana should be legal for medical uses. Read More... Marijuana’s Rising Acceptance Posted by on February 23, 2014 at 05:30:24 PT By Marc Fisher Source: Washington Post San Bernardino, Calif. -- In the “medication area” of the nation’s biggest marijuana exposition, scantily clad young women hand out marshmallows they’ve dipped into a rushing fountain of pot-laced chocolate. A few steps away, Anthony Ramirez offers free hits from a bong filled with the waxy marijuana extract that his family started producing when a friend’s mother needed relief from the pain of lupus.
Across a vast outdoor plaza lined with hundreds of booths, this month’s Cannabis Cup gathering in Southern California has attracted more than 10,000 visitors at $40 a ticket. By midafternoon, some of them are sprawled on overstuffed couches that merchants have thoughtfully provided. Others move from booth to booth, sampling wares from businesses that have risen from the underground economy to create a burgeoning industry of hazy legality. Read More...
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