New tool makes political candidates' positions, records on medical marijuana more accessible to voters
The medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) has produced a new 30-second online TV advertisement to launch its groundbreaking, election-cycle voter education campaign "Vote Medical Marijuana." The ad will also air on this Sunday's morning cable news programs in Detroit, Philadelphia, South Florida, and Washington State.
The campaign features an interactive online voter's guide at VoteMedicalMarijuana.org that provides information on political candidate positions as well as voting statistics and a report card for each Member of Congress and certain state elected officials.
"We want to better educate supporters and the general public about casting their ballot for candidates who have their best interests in mind," said ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer. "Our elected representatives in Congress and in state legislatures are making policy decisions on medical marijuana that affect millions of patients in the U.S."
President Barack Obama intends to nominate Vanita Gupta, the American Civil Liberties Union’s deputy legal director, to lead the Justice Department’s civil rights division, Sari Horiwitz at The Washington Post reported on Wednesday. This news comes not long after Attorney General Eric Holder announced his imminent resignation, and indicates a continued initiative of positive federal drug policy changes.
Gupta has been outspoken on a number of issues, including racial sentencing disparities, federal incentives to state police that prioritize the investigation of drug arrests over violent crime, mandatory minimum sentences and related disparities, as well as marijuana legalization. She currently leads the ACLU’s Campaign to End Mass Incarceration. Gupta has also garnered bipartisan support with conservatives Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform and David Keene, former president of the NRA, both speaking highly of her.
Popular alcohol delivery app expands market reach to bring medicinal marijuana to Los Angeles patients in need
Nestdrop, a popular Los Angeles alcohol delivery service, is introducing what it calls "the country's first in-App, on-demand medical marijuana delivery service for both iOS and Android."
Available today for alcohol deliveries for L.A. area residents, Nestdrop medical marijuana delivery service will launch in the next few weeks in the same app. Medical marijuana patients will be required to upload a photo of their doctor's recommendation to Nestdrop's securely encrypted vault to receive approval before ordering.
Unlike other online medical marijuana delivery services, Nestdrop says it is the first to provide an entirely in-app marketplace experience.
"After our initial success with alcohol deliveries, we decided to expand when we saw how this platform could be used to bring difficult-to-obtain products to people who really need them," said Nestdrop co-founder Michael Pycher. "We began talking to patients and found a genuine need out there for improved access to this medicine."
As part of the simple registration process, medical marijuana patients must upload a photo of a doctor's recommendation and Medical Marijuana Identification Card to order from Nestdrop's medical marijuana section. Once manually approved by a local dispensary, which can take as little as five minutes, patients will have full access to the same medicine that they are used to getting in-person, for the same donation amount.
Amy Poinsett, CEO and Co-Founder of MJ Freeway®, will be presenting at "Harmonizing Marijuana Legalization with Environmental, Land Use, and Other Regulations" at the University of California Irvine on October 23. The University of California School of Law has invited Poinsett to present on the Industry Perspectives on Enforcement of Civil Obligations panel.
"I am pleased to be speaking about the emerging issue of marijuana to a diverse group of law students, faculty and community members," Poinsett said. "MJ Freeway provides industry-leading business software and professional services to cannabis enterprises, currently in 18 states, Canada and Europe. Tracking every gram from seed to sale, this clear chain of custody guarantees to meet State or Federal requirements for tracking cannabis.
"I look forward to offering relevant examples and challenges that business owners face in this industry," Poinsett said. "As further entrepreneurs enter this burgeoning industry, it's important to discuss the issue of State compliance and of maintaining strong chain of custody practices."
MJ Freeway, in partnership with California Cannabis Industry Association and Students for Sensible Drug Policy, will be hosting an evening reception following the conference. Those interested are invited to join fellow conference attendees and industry professionals for further discussion at the University Club.
To learn more about the conference and evening reception, visit: mjfreeway.com/uci
About MJ Freeway
With the rapid growth of the medical marijuana industry in several states, as well as the recreational cannabis industry in Washington and Colorado, a vast number of businesses have sprouted to support, assist, and consult the companies that are actually involved with growing, processing, and selling the plant itself. Viridian Staffing, a recruiting agency based out of Seattle, is one such company.
Ganjapreneur, a cannabis industry business media outlet which launched over the summer, recently conversed with David Murét, co-founder of Viridian, to ask him some questions about the company and how it has helped connect marijuana businesses with job-seekers.
When asked what his favorite aspect of working in the cannabis industry was, Murét replied, "We would have to say the people. The industry has been such a magnet for dynamic free-thinking innovators who aren’t nearly as stiff and creatively stifled as you find in so many other, more established industries."
"We also love working in an industry which, on the whole, places such a high value on triple bottom line business practices, which are both socially responsible and environmentally sustainable, particularly here in the Pacific Northwest," Murét said.
Canada's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has released a new evidence-informed report on cannabis control. The Cannabis Policy Framework released by CAMH recommends marijuana legalization with a strict regulation approach to cannabis control.
Canada has one of the highest rates of cannabis use in the world, with 40 percent of Canadians having used it at least once in their lifetime. CAMH's Cannabis Policy Framework was developed to provide evidence-based principles for reducing cannabis-related harm.
To do this, CAMH scientists and policy experts conducted in-depth analysis of the health, social, and legal implications of cannabis use and examined cannabis policy in other jurisdictions.
"Canada's current system of cannabis control is failing to prevent or reduce the harms associated with cannabis use," said Dr. Jürgen Rehm, director of the Social and Epidemiological Research Department at CAMH. "Based on a thorough review of the evidence, we believe that legalization combined with strict regulation of cannabis is the most effective means of reducing the harms associated with its use."
D.C. Working Families, SEIU, and UCFW Endorse Initiative 71
Labor Groups Point to Elimination of Discriminatory Enforcement and Opportunities to Advance Worker Rights
The Service Employees International Union, United Commercial Food Workers, and D.C. Working Families on Tuesday endorsed Initiative 71, D.C.’s marijuana legalization initiative. Initiative 71, which is on the November 4th ballot, would legalize the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana for adults over the age of 21, and allows individuals to grow up to six plants in their home.
D.C. laws prevent the ballot initiative from addressing the taxation and sale of marijuana, however, the D.C. Council is currently considering a bill which would account for such provisions.
"These major labor endorsements show that the elimination of marijuana prohibition is an issue of significant importance to workers in the District of Columbia," said Dr. Malik Burnett, D.C. policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). "Initiative 71 would eliminate unfairly harsh punishments for minors offenses, making it less likely that our young people get a lifelong criminal record that makes it harder to get a job, an apartment or credit card."
The possession of one ounce of marijuana is currently decriminalized in the District of Columbia, and persons found with more than this amount face a $25 civil infraction. Data from the Metropolitan Police Department reveals that 77 percent of tickets written during decriminalization have been in communities of color.
By Steve Elliott
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's government has thrown its support behind a clinical trial of medical marijuana, with New South Wales Premier Mike Baird revealing that a deal was struck at Friday's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
NSW will lead the collaborative, national trial, with the support of the Commonwealth and other states and territories, reports Simon Thomsen at Business Insider.
The health ministers discussed medicinal cannabis at their meeting, but underlined their continued opposition to the recreational use and legalization of marijuana, claiming it is linked to mental illness.
Premier Baird last month announced that the NSW government had formed a working group to set up the clinical trial, due to report back at the end of this year. "A NSW working group is already driving this reform and we welcome the support of the Commonwealth and the states and territories for the conduct of the trial," Baird said.
“NSW is playing a leadership role but our historic agreement to work collaboratively on this significant issue means we have a far greater chance of success,” Baird said.
PuraMed BioScience, Inc., a company which researches, develops, and markets over-the-counter (OTC) medicinal and healthcare products on Friday announced it is nearing the completion of development of its new non-prescription, hemp-based, homeopathic medication for treatment of epilepsy symptoms including seizures and seizure-related headaches.
Both epilepsy and migraines appear to be triggered by the same cortical spreading depression (CSD) in the brain; the difference is the rate of reaction. This may be why many people who suffer from migraines are prescribed epilepsy medications.
The third most common neurological disorder in the US, epilepsy affects about 2.7 million people, with children and older adults being most susceptible. The condition also causes up to 50,000 sudden deaths each year.
Recent research has shown cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in both hemp and marijuana varieties of cannabis, to be an effective therapy in the treatment of epilepsy symptoms.
"By incorporating standardized hemp oil into our current patented, over-the-counter migraine relief formula, MigraPure, we believe we can offer relief to people who not only suffer with migraines, but also offer relief to people who have seizure-related headaches and other epilepsy-type symptoms," said Russ Mitchell, CEO at PuraMed BioScience.
Florida entrepreneurs hoping to learn more about opportunities in the medical marijuana industry have the opportunity to do exactly that at a conference in Orlando on November 1.
The event, hosted by DispensaryPermits.com, will bring together leading medical cannabis entrepreneurs and industry experts to provide information and guidance to dispensary and cultivation application hopefuls.
Attendees will get a chance to learn more about operating professional dispensary and cultivation facilities, how to connect with the medical marijuana patient community, navigating industry legalities, selecting suitable real estate, and generating community support.
"When we decided to apply for a permit, we didn't know where to begin," said one client of DispensaryPermits.com. "With all of the misinformation that was circulating among media and other interested entrepreneurs, our team realized we needed professionals to help guide us through the application process."
"DispensaryPermits.com has an outstanding track record of success in assisting clients apply for and obtain dispensary licenses in multiple states," said DispensaryPermits.com Executive Director Sara Gullickson. "We look forward to providing valuable information about the complex medical marijuana industry at this upcoming conference in Orlando."
By Steve Elliott
It's not easy being green, at least if you're trying to remember exactly how much cannabis is in that infused edible product in your hand. Now a New York-based company is making that easier with an all-natural frosting label that goes directly on the product, instead of just on the packaging.
According to CannaBadge CEO and founder Carolyn Sevos, her company invented the edible labels for cannabis cakes, cookies, brownies and cupcakes. The labels are customizable, and can feature logos, warning information, serving suggestions, and even a QR Code.
"Putting a label on the product instead of just on a bag or wrap is the smart and responsible method of meeting child safety and packaging regulations," Sevos said. "An edible label enhances brand identity and customer loyalty, and protects manufacturers and dispensary owners from potential liability when accidental or over ingestion occurs when a product becomes separated from its packaging.
People who would be at risk for accidental ingestion now have an extra level of protection with CannaBadge, according to Sevos. Brands can achieve more immediate product identification, and dosage awareness can no longer be easily ignored.
"Just as importantly, if you've forgotten exactly what it is you're holding in your hand, CannaBadge is there to remind and help you," Sevos said. Clearly, this lady understands the challenges facing medical marijuana patients and recreational users.
Citizens for a Safer Maine on Friday announced it will not appeal a judge’s decision to allow the York Board of Selectmen to prevent a vote on a ballot measure that would make marijuana legal for adults.
“We’re confident an appeal would be successful, but at this point we cannot afford to continue playing this game with the selectmen,” said David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which supported the measure. “We know there is support for ending marijuana prohibition in York, and we’re going to focus our resources on giving them a chance to vote on it in 2016 with a statewide ballot initiative.
“It’s unfortunate that three out of the five selectmen have needlessly and very likely illegally prevented their constituents from voting on this measure,” Boyer said. “It’s a disservice to the voters who elected them, and they’ll have to live with that.”
Citizens for a Safer Maine initially submitted more than 200 signatures of registered York voters to place a measure in front of the York Board of Selectmen in July. The board voted 3-2 against putting the measure on the ballot and, based on local initiative rules, provided the group with 30 days to collect an additional 641 signatures.
Citizens for a Safer Maine submitted nearly 1,000 signatures in August 27, but the Board of Selectmen again voted 3-2 against placing the measure on the ballot. In September, Superior Court Judge Paul Fritzche did not grant an injunction requested by the group to place the initiative on the November ballot.
By Steve Elliott
Federal marijuana prisoner Randy Lanier, 60, a former race car driver, will be released from prison after serving 26 years of a life sentence at the high-security Federal Correction Complex of Coleman in Florida for a 1988 conviction on leading a marijuana drug ring.
U.S. District Judge J. Phil Gilbert has granted a motion by the federal government to reduce Lanier's life sentence and has approved his pending release, reports Jon Saraceno at Autoweek.com. Earlier this year, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. endorsed a proposal to reduce sentencing for convicted drug dealers, while seeking to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenders.
"He has served his time with dignity and respect," said Stephen Ross Johnson, lead attorney for Lanier since 2002. "He has helped mentor young people in the prison system."
The brief order issued by Judge Gilbert gives no reason for the sentence reduction. In addition to his life sentence, Lanier was given an additional maximum of 40 years on a distribution charge and another five years on an IRS fraud charge.
Lanier's release comes with heavy restrictions, including drug-and-alcohol tests, no consumption of alcohol or patronizing of establishments that sell it, no firearms, and no lines of credit without approval from his probation officer.
By Steve Elliott
The Basque Parliament on Wednesday urged the Basque Government to legalize and regulate the activity of cannabis clubs, and give legal support to marijuana cultivation for club members' collective consumption.
The Basque Chamber is concluding two years of work on a study of the clubs with adoption of a recommended solution towards regulating them. The recommendations approved "will place Basque Country at the head of the regulation of these places," the group said.
The political parties PNV (Basque Nationalist Party), EH BILDU (Basque Country United) and PSE-EE (Socialist Party of the Basque Country) have all advocated taking steps towards non-confrontational legal existence for the cannabis clubs, and have urged the Basque Government to devise a system which offers regulation, legal guarantees and security for the clubs.
These groups said that until there is such governmental regulation, cannabis clubs should establish their own self-regulation and standards of good practice. Also, it is expected that medicinal and therapeutic uses of cannabis will be excluded from the regulations governing the clubs.
The medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) has produced a new 30-second online advertisement to launch its survey drive for for this year's election-cycle educational campaign. (You can view the ad at the bottom of this article.)
The ad will also air on this Sunday's morning TV cable news programs in Detroit, Philadelphia, Sacramento, South Florida, and Washington State. As part of its groundbreaking "Vote Medical Marijuana" campaign, ASA has sent out more than 2,000 candidate surveys to help patients and the general public make more informed electoral decisions based on candidates' positions on medical marijuana.
More than 100 candidates in federal and state races across the country have sent in responses so far. The "Vote Medical Marijuana" campaign will focus on as many as 435 U.S. House races, 36 U.S. Senate races, 36 gubernatorial races, and 31 state attorney general races, as well as more than 360 state legislative races in California, Florida, and Washington.
"We want to better educate supporters and the general public about casting their ballot for candidates who have their best interests in mind," said ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer. "We hope this outreach effort will show our country’s leading politicians how significant medical marijuana is to their election campaigns."