Investors have contributed at least $4 million to each of nine limited liability corporations tied to ResponsibleOhio, according to securities offering filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
ResponsibleOhio’s proposed constitutional amendment would legalize the possession and state-licensed distribution of cannabis for recreational purposes. The proposal would establish a legal cannabis industry that would be supplied by 10 different grow sites, which have been promised to investors of the initiative (a move that has drawn the ire of legalization opponents and advocates). Some of the groups investors include basketball all-star Oscar Robertson, former Celevlands Browns player Frostee Rucker and fashion designer Nanette Lepore.
According to Jackie Borchardt with the Northeast Ohio Media Group; “Ten state-registered limited liability corporations had contributed $1.7 million to ResponsibleOhio’s political action committee before the end of January, according to a campaign finance filing with the Ohio secretary of state.” She continues;” The group had spent $1.3 million at that point, mostly on political consulting from The Strategy Network, run by ResponsibleOhio Executive Director Ian James, and attorneys.”
Borchardt notes that although “Funneling campaign contributions through LLCs isn’t illegal”, it a”dds another layer of mystery to a plan criticized for its secrecy.”
ResponsibleOhio is required to collect roughly 300,000 signatures by July 1st to out their initiative to a vote this November. The group estimates that the cannabis industry would reach $2 billion by the fourth year of legal cannabis sales, with $554 million in annual tax revenue for the state.
The post Campaign to Legalize Cannabis in Ohio Raises At Least $36 Million appeared first on The Joint Blog.
By Barry Bard, Marijuana.com
Aside from Nancy Grace and Bill O’Reilly, it’s become increasingly more rare to hear arguments against marijuana legalization from national media outlets–even FOX news. But FOX’s Medical A-Team doctor David Samadi gave us a blast from the “Reefer Madness” past this weekend, when the ill-informed doctor made some outrageous remarks against cannabis.
Samadi, who has probably never smoked, reacted oddly to the “new” news that marijuana is significantly (like over 100 times) safer than its counterparts like alcohol and cigarettes. Apparently upset and coming to grips with the reality that America is beginning to embrace legal marijuana, Samadi snapped and berated the trend:
“They’re extrapolating a lot of these animal studies and surveys that doesn’t make a lot of sense and coming with this whole thing that pot is safer,” the doctor insisted. “Absolutely not. It’s a huge fraud.”“It actually causes heart attacks,” he added. “It increases your heart rate. And on and on.
Marijuana does not cause heart attacks; a bad hearts cause heart attacks. Cannabis can act as a trigger for anxiety and heart-related ailments, but no one has ever died from a marijuana heart attack.
“We’re seeing in Colorado that we had 13 kids that came to the emergency [room] and ended up in the ICU as a result of overdose from marijuana,” Samadi said. “Now we have crack babies coming in because pregnant women are smoking this whole marijuana business.”
What little sense Samadi was making went out the bathroom window.
“I challenge any doctors, come to my Facebook, convince me how this is healthy for you. I’m 100 percent against this.” [Raw Story]
At this point, Samadi is just looking for anyone naive enough to challenge his ill-informed message. However, real doctors and anyone with a general sense of marijuana would not give this “doctor” the light of day.
As we’ve seen from celebrity doctors ranging from CNN’s Sanjay Gupta to Dr. Oz, even the most conservative ones have started to support marijuana reform. Making guys like this sound all the more outrageous:
The post FOX News Doctor Claims Legalization Causes Crack Babies appeared first on The Joint Blog.
Texas State Representative David Simpson (R-Longview) has introduced legislation to completely repeal the state’s prohibition on cannabis. This would allow cannabis to be “regulated like tomatoes, jalapeños or coffe.”
“Representative Simpson’s HB 2165 harkens back to a time when government did not intervene in the control of marijuana,” Zoe Russell, media spokesperson for Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP), said in a recent press release. “And you know what? It wasn’t a very scary time. The prohibition of marijuana was notoriously built on misinformation and hyperbole rather than facts and results. When these laws haven’t worked for 80 years, is it really such a novel concept to simply remove them?”
“We can’t fix all of the past wrongs caused by prohibition, but at least we can stop perpetuating them,” says Representative Simpson. “Current marijuana policies are not based on science or sound evidence, but rather misinformation and fear. All that God created is good, including marijuana. God did not make a mistake when he made marijuana that the government needs to fix.”
Simpson continues; “Let’s allow the plant to be utilized for good—helping people with seizures, treating warriors with PTSD, producing fiber and other products—or simply for beauty and enjoyment. Government prohibition should be for violent actions that harm your neighbor—not of the possession, cultivation, and responsible use of plants.”
The post Bill to Completely Repeal Cannabis Prohibition Introduced in Texas Legislature appeared first on The Joint Blog.
Owners Tedd Wetherbee and Mike Henery say that The Gallery in Parkland has received a license from the state’s Liquor Control Board to distribute cannabis, and that’s enough for them.
Pierce County leaders said in a media statement that the county executive and prosecuting attorney will meet with the County Council soon to consider the county’s options.
The Gallery owners are also attempting to open recreational cannabis outlets in Fife and Gig Harbor, with litigation pending on both cases.
The post Art Gallery that Sells Cannabis Opens in Pierce County, Washington Despite County Ban appeared first on The Joint Blog.
The proposal, filed by Senator Cisco McSorley, would establish a regulatory system for the cultivation and production of hemp for research purposes. The proposal also includes a provision to legalize hemp for commercial purposes, though that portion of the law won’t take effect until there’s a change in federal law.
The bill will now head to the House of Representative, where is passage will send it to Governor Susana Martinez for consideration. Although Martinez doesn’t support legalizing cannabis, she does support allowing hemp cultivation.
The post Hemp Legalization Bill Approved by New Mexico Senate appeared first on The Joint Blog.
If Utah lawmakers approve a bill to legalize medical cannabis, wildlife – especially rabbits – will “cultivate a taste” for the plant, lose their fear of humans and be stoned all the time. This is according to an agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), who made the statements while testifying in opposition to Utah’s Senate Bill 259, which would legalize medical cannabis and was recently approved by the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee.
“I deal in facts. I deal in science,” said special agent Matt Fairbanks, a member of Utah’s “marijuana eradication” team in Utah.
Fairbanks says that at some cannabis grow sites he saw “rabbits that had cultivated a taste for the marijuana.” He continued: “One of them refused to leave us, and we took all the marijuana around him, but his natural instincts to run were somehow gone.”
So, there you have it; we shouldn’t allow those suffering from debilitating illnesses to use a safe and effective medicine because some lucky rabbits might benefit from consuming the plant themselves.
The post DEA: Utah Legalizing Medical Cannabis Will Lead to Stoned Rabbits appeared first on The Joint Blog.
By Amber Iris Langston, Show-Me Cannabis
For the first time since World War II, Missourians are allowed to legally grow marijuana. This week, the Missouri Department of Agriculture announced licenses for two recently created non-profits — Beleaf and Noah’s Arc — which will allow them to grow cannabis, produce a low-THC oil, and distribute that oil to an estimated 950 Missouri patients suffering from intractable epilepsy.
Each non-profit will be charged with the responsibility of tracking the cannabis from “seed to sale” and having oversight each step of the way in an effort to minimize potential holes in the system where cannabis might be used for any other purpose. A good idea in theory, Colorado attempted the same thing until the state quickly realized the impracticality of such a process. First, costs increase drastically with every piece of the puzzle required. Farming, oil extraction, and sales are all very different processes which all exist as separate industries in their own right. Not only is it difficult to be an expert in everything, creating such a rigorous standard pretty much guarantees that there will be quality control issues as there is no competition for who is the best at these services at the individual level.
This is also the same problem with a non-profit model. While on the face, it seems like a good idea to have an organization that doesn’t “profit” distributing medicine, the fact remains that there is certain to be a profit — particularly when only two companies are selling the product. Lack of competition means greater cost to consumers. Currently, a 10 mL tube of CBD oil in Colorado costs about $300 and lasts for about two weeks. Of course, that is just what is recommended as an herbal supplement, so it is difficult to say how much a patient will actually need. Regardless, this is certain to be cost-prohibitive for many patients who live on a limited income.
There is also an unfortunate consequence that all “non-usable” parts of the plant are to be destroyed under current guidelines. But when it comes to cannabis, pretty much every part is usable. Enormous amounts of cannabis biomass will have to be destroyed in this process which could otherwise be used for productive purposes. That leftover biomass could be utilized for biofuel, for making fiberglass, or for making hempcrete in building construction. On a side note, if the law would allow for cannabis plants that have high THC to be grown, then there would be less biomass weight. Low THC concentrations in a cannabis plant also means lower CBD concentrations, thus requiring more plants to be grown. But that’s another story.
Obviously, if the Missouri General Assembly moves forward on full medical marijuana this session, this current system of cannabis regulation in Missouri will be largely moot. However, in the event that we do not pass a whole-plant law by May, Senator Joe Keaveny has introduced SB 386, which would, at minimum, expand the illnesses which are treatable under the CBD oil law to include cancer, HIV, AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord damage, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathies, Huntington’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, or certain specified symptoms or complications associated with these conditions. The bill would also expand the number of nonprofit licenses to ten, which could mean up to 30 state dispensaries.
While we don’t know yet when all the Missouri patients who need marijuana as a medicine will get it, one thing is for certain, the first seeds of cannabis will be planted here in the coming weeks, and many more are sure to come.
The post Missouri: Cannabis Oil Licenses Granted by the Department of Agriculture, Sales to Begin Soon appeared first on The Joint Blog.
By Phillip Smith, StoptheDrugWar.org
The owner of historic maraschino cherry company in Brooklyn, New York, committed suicide at his plant Thursday morning moments after officers discovered a massive marijuana grow-up behind a false wall in the factory basement. Arthur Mondella, 48, becomes the 9th person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.
Dell’s Maraschino Cherries factory in Red Hook has been around since 1948 and was founded by Mondella’s grandfather. It is a major player in the industry, supplying cocktail cherries to clients including TGIF Fridays, Chick Filet, and Caesars. The plant has the capacity to process 400,000 pounds of cherries a week.
It also had the capacity to crank out large quantities of indoor marijuana. Once investigators discovered a hidden room behind a flimsy wall in a basement storage room, they uncovered a grow-op that could hold 1,200 plants.
According to the New York Post, police had received a tip that the factory was a front for a marijuana grow, but, unable to develop evidence to obtain a search warrant, they resorted to sending in the Department of Environmental Protection to do a “routine Inspection”—and see if they could find any signs of pot operation.
When investigators unearthed a basement full of luxury cars, suspicions were aroused, and they then found some “suspicious shelving,” which turned out to be a fake wall held fast by magnets. They opened the door and the rich, rank odor of marijuana burst from it.
That’s when Mondella, who had been cooperating in the hours-long “inspection,” ran into a nearby bathroom, locked the door, told his sister “Take care of my kids,” and shot himself in the head.
Cops said they thought they had just missed a harvest in the operation that used 125 grow lights in a 2,500-foot hidden space divided into several rooms. They found 100 pounds of pot, $125,000 in cash, and 60 different varieties of marijuana seeds.
The post Maraschino Cherry Mogul Kills Self As Cops Discover Cannabis Grow appeared first on The Joint Blog.
Members of Jamaica’s Parliament have given final approval to a long-standing plan to amend the nation’s marijuana policies.
The newly passed measure amends the island’s Dangerous Drugs Act so that the possession of up to two ounces of cannabis by an adult is reclassified as a non-criminal offense. Violators of the new law will receive a ticket and be mandated to pay a fine, but will not face criminal penalties. Public use of the substance will remain prohibited.
Separate provisions of the measure seek to establish regulations allowing for the licensed production of cannabis for therapeutic purposes as well as for industrial purposes. Additional provisions of the bill provide broader legal protections for those who use the plant for sacramental purposes.
Although various Jamaican commissions had previously recommended similar changes in policy for well over a decade, lawmakers had until now consistently failed to move forward with any legislation seeking to depenalize the plant’s possession or production.
Protestival - Seattle Hempfest - A Twenty-Year Retrospective From: RestoreHemp Views: 30 0 ratings Time: 50:48 More in Education
The Oregon Control Commission is made up of five members, three Democrats and two Republicans. Please encourage sensible members of the commission to stand with justice and not buy into reefer-madness politics being presented by its' Chair, Rob Patridge. COMMISSIONER MARVIN D. RÉVOAL , EUGENE E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 541-341-3478 COMMISSIONER PAMELA WEATHERSPOON, PORTLAND 2801 N Gantenbein Ave. Portland, Oregon 97227 E-mail: email@example.com Phone: 503-413-4630 COMMISSIONER MICHAEL E. HARPER, SR., PORTLAND P.O. Box 80867, Portland, OR 97280 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 503-349-8733 ----- * COMMISSION CHAIR ROB PATRIDGE, MEDFORD E-mail: email@example.com Phone: 541-210-8280 * District Attorney of Kalmath County * COMMISSIONER ROBERT RICE, PORTLAND 6850 SW Gable Parkway, Portland, OR 97225 E-mail: rarice1946@MSN.COM Phone: (503) 319-6791 * Board of Associated Oregon Industries (Against Medical Marijuana in Oregon) From: RestoreHemp Views: 9 0 ratings Time: 00:47 More in Education
The Oregon Control Commission is made up of five members, three Democrats and two Republicans. Please encourage sensible members of the commission to stand with justice and not buy into reefer-madness politics being presented by its' Chair, Rob Patridge. COMMISSIONER MARVIN D. RÉVOAL , EUGENE E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 541-341-3478 COMMISSIONER PAMELA WEATHERSPOON, PORTLAND 2801 N Gantenbein Ave. Portland, Oregon 97227 E-mail: email@example.com Phone: 503-413-4630 COMMISSIONER MICHAEL E. HARPER, SR., PORTLAND P.O. Box 80867, Portland, OR 97280 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 503-349-8733 ----- * COMMISSION CHAIR ROB PATRIDGE, MEDFORD E-mail: email@example.com Phone: 541-210-8280 * District Attorney of Kalmath County * COMMISSIONER ROBERT RICE, PORTLAND 6850 SW Gable Parkway, Portland, OR 97225 E-mail: rarice1946@MSN.COM Phone: (503) 319-6791 * Board of Associated Oregon Industries (Against Medical Marijuana in Oregon) From: RestoreHemp Views: 7 0 ratings Time: 00:49 More in Education
"I'm excited about what's going on right now. I happen to believe this could be our Napa Valley, our Silicon Valley, if we do it right--and we are committed to doing it right. We're going to start making rules later on this year with the idea that this becomes an economic engine. I want to be excited to say the cannabis industry produced 1.2 billion dollars to the State of Oregon. Maybe we could build a library once and a while." OLCC Commissioner Marvin D. Révoal, Eugene, 4th Congressional District ----- Please encourage sensible members of the commission to stand with justice and not buy into reefer-madness politics being presented by its' Chair, Rob Patridge. COMMISSIONER MARVIN D. RÉVOAL , EUGENE E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 541-341-3478 COMMISSIONER PAMELA WEATHERSPOON, PORTLAND 2801 N Gantenbein Ave. Portland, Oregon 97227 E-mail: email@example.com Phone: 503-413-4630 COMMISSIONER MICHAEL E. HARPER, SR., PORTLAND P.O. Box 80867, Portland, OR 97280 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 503-349-8733 ----- * COMMISSION CHAIR ROB PATRIDGE, MEDFORD E-mail: email@example.com Phone: 541-210-8280 * District Attorney of Kalmath County * COMMISSIONER ROBERT RICE, PORTLAND 6850 SW Gable Parkway, Portland, OR 97225 E-mail: rarice1946@MSN.COM Phone: (503) 319-6791 * Board of Associated Oregon Industries (Against Medical Marijuana in Oregon) From: RestoreHemp Views: 105 0 ratings Time: 01:28 More in Education
The new marijuana laws recently approved by the voters of the District of Columbia (Initiative 71) by nearly 70 percent took effect last week, following a 30-day period in which the US Congress had the opportunity to override the provision, but our opponents did not have the votes.
So it is now perfectly legal in the District of Columbia to possess up to two ounces of marijuana; to cultivate up to six plants in the home, not more than three of which may be flowering; and to give away, but not sell, up to one ounce of marijuana to someone at least 21 years of age. It is one of the better decriminalization laws in the country, a welcome half-way step that is now law in 17 states as well as the District.
I say it is a half-way step, because while it legalizes the possession and use of marijuana by adults, it does not establish a legal, regulated market, such as those currently operating in Colorado and Washington, and soon to be up and running in Oregon and Alaska. (Voter initiatives in DC may not require the expenditure of city funds, so that was not an option). In DC, marijuana smokers will either have to cultivate their own marijuana in their home, or continue to buy their marijuana on the black market, with no quality controls to protect them from contaminants such as molds or pesticides, and no way to evaluate the strength of the product.
Decriminalization is obviously a giant step forward for any jurisdiction, as it ends the practice of treating marijuana smokers as criminals. Although in DC the elected City Council has already reduced the penalty for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana to a civil offense, punishable by a fine of $25, so the latest change will not be dramatic, and the changes will largely go unnoticed by the general public. Nonetheless, it is good to get rid of the fine altogether and finally make marijuana possession and cultivation legal.
Perhaps most significant, now that possession of two ounces of marijuana is legal in the District, the smell of marijuana, traditionally used by the police as legal justification to search the passenger compartment of a car without the need to obtain a search warrant, no longer provides probable cause for a search. It is impossible for the police to tell whether the marijuana they are smelling is more or less than the two ounce limit, so this much-abused police practice now must stop.
Similarly, the smell of marijuana when the police come to someone’s home has traditionally been used by the police as probable cause to obtain a search warrant for someone’s home; that common, abusive practice must now also end. So the new laws in the District will have the positive result of protecting our right to privacy and reinforcing our 4th Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.
Interestingly, Mayor Muriel Bowser and a majority of the DC City Council members were poised to develop and approve a set of regulations to license growers and dispensaries in the District, until the drug warriors in Congress used the budget bill approved at the end of the last Congress to preclude the District from spending any of its money to legalize marijuana. Some on the council have long supported more progressive marijuana laws, while others resent the interference of Congress in the local affairs in the District, which enjoys a limited form of “home rule.”
The anti-pot zealots in Congress, led by Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), had thought their budget amendment would also stop the provisions of Initiative 71 from being implemented, but the mayor and City Council Chair Phil Mendelson and the new DC Attorney General all took the position that the initiative was “self-enacting” and required no expenditure of funds by the District, and they are treating the Congressional budget amendment as having no effect on the initiative, although they acknowledge it would block the Council from going further to regulate the market.
When the anti-marijuana ideologues in Congress saw that the elected leadership in the District were going to enforce the language of the new initiative, they publicly threatened to have the mayor and other city officials arrested! To the everlasting credit of Mayor Bowser, Council Chair Phil Mendelson and Police Chief Cathy Lanier, they held a joint press conference explaining what is and is not allowed by the new laws (no public smoking; no selling; no outdoor cultivation; and no possession on federal lands, which comprise roughly 29 percent of the District’s total land area), and announcing the new laws would take effect at 12:01am on Thursday, Feb. 26th.
It was wonderful to see a united defense of the right of the voters in the District of Columbia to determine their own marijuana policy, free from Congressional interference.
This situation may yet end up being resolved by the courts, but for the moment, the good guys are winning. As an aside, the mayor has now called for the City Council to adopt new legislation making it clear that Amsterdam-style “cannabis clubs” will not be tolerated in DC; a sop, I suppose, to the other side. We will try to stop the ban from being enacted. Smoking marijuana is a social activity, and there is no reason to limit marijuana smoking only to a private home. Hopefully we can find some middle ground that will permit smokers to exercise their new right in other private areas. This issue too may end up in the courts.
New Alaska Penalties Also Took Effect
The new legalization law recently approved by the voters in Alaska (Measure 2) calls for the establishment of licensed growers and sellers by the end of the year, but there too the parts of the new law eliminating all penalties for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, and for cultivating up to six plants in the home, took effect last week. Once again, little will change initially for smokers in Alaska, since they have enjoyed protection from arrest or prosecution for possessing personal use amounts of marijuana in the home since 1978, because of a state Supreme Court decision, Ravin v State, finding such conduct protected by the right to privacy provisions in the state constitution.
But again, as in DC, the police will no longer be able to use the mere smell of marijuana as probable cause to search a vehicle, so the legal significance of the new law is enormous.
Oregon Law to Take Effect in Mid-Year
The new penalties approved by the voters in Oregon (Measure 91) will take effect on July 1, although the state has until Jan. 1, 2016 to implement the provisions regulating the cultivation and sale of marijuana. As of July 1, Oregonians will be legally permitted to possess up to one ounce of marijuana in public and up to eight ounces of marijuana in the home (and one pound of solid edibiles, 72-ounces of infused liquid, and one ounce of extracts), along with the right to grow up to four plants per household.
Until that time, possession of an ounce or less remains a non-criminal violation, carrying a fine-only, with no possibility of jail.
This column was originally published on Marijuana.com.
Measure 91 OLCC Listening Session - Tigard, Oregon - 2-26-2015 From: RestoreHemp Views: 28 0 ratings Time: 52:17 More in Education
Kalmath County District Attorney and Oregon Liquor Control Commission Chair, Rob Patridge, a Republican appointed by disgraced Governor John Kitzhaber to quash cannabis reform in September 2013, is submitting a Request for Proposal to Salem to add costly and invasive "Seed-To-Sale" surveillance legislation into Measure 91. Patridge, who was against the passage of Measure 91, and now openly criticizes it, is now manipulating and attempting to change what was voted on in November 2014 by hiding behind last-ditch federal guidelines known as the Cole Memorandum of 2013. The Cole Memorandum, merely an opinion by the United States Attorneys Office, was released as a last-gasp effort to continue prohibition against cannabis. It does not have the force of law, nor reflect Oregon's stance on the issue. The Oregon Control Commission is made up of five members, three Democrats and two Republicans. Please encourage sensible members of the commission to stand with justice and not buy into reefer-madness politics being presented by its' Chair. COMMISSIONER MARVIN D. RÉVOAL , EUGENE E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 541-341-3478 COMMISSIONER PAMELA WEATHERSPOON, PORTLAND 2801 N Gantenbein Ave. Portland, Oregon 97227 E-mail: email@example.com Phone: 503-413-4630 COMMISSIONER MICHAEL E. HARPER, SR., PORTLAND P.O. Box 80867, Portland, OR 97280 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 503-349-8733 ----- * COMMISSION CHAIR ROB PATRIDGE, MEDFORD E-mail: email@example.com Phone: 541-210-8280 * District Attorney of Kalmath County * COMMISSIONER ROBERT RICE, PORTLAND 6850 SW Gable Parkway, Portland, OR 97225 E-mail: rarice1946@MSN.COM Phone: (503) 319-6791 * Board of Associated Oregon Industries (Against Medical Marijuana in Oregon) From: RestoreHemp Views: 81 0 ratings Time: 03:38 More in Education