Missouri Proposal to Decriminalize Cannabis Possession Approved by House and Senate, Sent to Governor
With overwhelming support Missouri’s House and Senate has approved Senate Bill 491, a proposal to reform the state’s criminal code which includes a provision that decriminalizes the possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis. The measure, which has been sent to Governor Jay Nixon for consideration, was approved 29 to 2 in the Senate, and 140 to 15 in the House. The supermajority vote means that the Legislature would likely override a veto if Governor Nixon decides to take that route.
Under current Missouri law, the possession of any amount of cannabis can net someone a prison sentence of up to a year. Under Senate Bill 491, the charge for possessing of up to 10 grams of cannabis would be reduced to a simple fine, similar to a traffic ticket.
The measure includes several other reforms, including removing a mandate that finds someone convicted for the third time on a drug felony charge automatically denied probation and parole.
Governor Nixon has yet to declare what he’ll do with the bill; he has the option of vetoing it, signing it into law or allowing it to become law without his signature.
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By Brandon Isaak, Marijuana Policy Project
Jonathan Ogden, retired Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle, has applied for a medical marijuana dispensary license in Nevada, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. There are a limited number of licenses available in Nevada, so it is still unclear whether or not Ogden will own a dispensary.
One hundred and nine other companies have filed applications, and only 66 will be licensed this year, 40 of which will reside in Las Vegas (Clark county) where Ogden has applied. Applicants must also show they have $250,000 in liquid assets and have a licensed physician as the medical director to apply.
Hopefully, the NFL will feel the pressure of having Hall of Fame leaders like Ogden publicly support medical marijuana. The NFL’s stance on medical marijuana hasn’t evolved to the same extent as that of the nation at large, and the organization still imposes strict laws on players via steep fines and suspensions. However, with the NBA and NCAA rethinking their marijuana-use policies, perhaps, the NFL will move in the direction of acceptance.
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A new study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology has found that cannabis may treat neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
“In an increasingly ageing population, the incidence of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease are rising”, according to the study. “While the aetiologies of these disorders are different, a number of common mechanisms that underlie their neurodegenerative components have been elucidated; namely neuroinflammation, excitotoxicity, mitochondrial dysfunction and reduced trophic support. Current therapies focus on treatment of the symptoms and attempt to delay the progression of these diseases but there is currently no cure.” It continues; “Modulation of the endogenous cannabinoid system is emerging as a potentially viable option in the treatment of neurodegeneration. Endocannabinoid signalling has been found to be altered in many neurodegenerative disorders.”
While studying the effects of cannabinoids in treating neurodegenerative diseases, it was found that; “Through multiple lines of evidence, this evolutionarily conserved neurosignalling system has shown neuroprotective capabilities and is therefore a potential target for neurodegenerative disorders.”They conclude; “This review details the mechanisms of neurodegeneration and highlights the beneficial effects of cannabinoid treatment.”
The full study can be found by clicking here.
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Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real perform the song "Pali Gap / Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)" at the Jackson Wellsprings in Ashland, Oregon on October 28, 2012. http://www.promiseofthereal.com From: RestoreHemp Views: 225 3 ratings Time: 05:26 More in Music
Minnesota’s full House of Representatives approved a a proposal today with an 86 to 39 vote to establish a medical cannabis study. Shortly after the vote Governor Mark Dayton announced that he would be willing to sign the measure into law if sent to him. The proposal will now head to the state’s Senate.
After the vote in the House, families were seen pumping their fists in celebration, and breaking into a round of hugs, according to the Associated Press.
Under the proposed law - Senate Bill 1641 - the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis would have been legal for those who receive a recommendation from a physician, and state-licensed dispensaries would have be authorized to distribute the medicine to patients. However, an altered version was approved by the House which establishes a study on the use of cannabis in treating a variety of conditions.
We’ll keep you updated as this measure advances.
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A new report released this week by the Marijuana Arrest Research Project reveals that marijuana arrests have actually increased in New York City under the new leadership of Mayor De Blasio and Police Commissioner Bratton.
In March 2014, the NYPD performed more marijuana possession arrests than in any month in the last six months under the Bloomberg administration. In fact, March 2014 saw more arrests than in 10 of the 12 months in 2013 under the previous administration. The total number of arrests for first quarter of 2014 are higher than both the third and fourth quarters of 2013.
These arrests also continue the disturbing trend of disproportionately falling on individuals of color. In Brooklyn, in predominately white Park Slope, police made just 7 marijuana possession arrests in the first three months of 2014. In Carroll Gardens and Red Hook they made 12 marijuana arrests in that same time frame. More affluent neighborhoods saw even fewer arrests. In Manhattan, Police only made two marijuana possession arrests in the Tribeca/Wall Street area, one arrest in the Upper East Side, and four arrests in the Upper West Side. The story is quite different in predominately black or latino neighborhoods, where the police made significantly more arrests. In Bedford-Stuyvesant 111 individuals were arrested, 130 in Crown Heights, and 438 in East New York from January to March of this year.
Despite similar use rates across racial groups, 86% of those arrested in the first quarter of 2014 were blacks and Latinos.
Harry Levine, a sociology professor at Queens College, City University of New York, and co-director of Marijuana Arrest Research Project said:
“At 28,000 arrests a year, New York still makes more marijuana possession arrests than any city in the world. Yet the simple possession of marijuana has not been a crime in New York State since 1978. Isn’t it time for these unfair, biased, damaging, often illegal arrests to just stop, now?”