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US WA: Column: Out-Of-The-Box Thinking

MAP - Hemp - Wed, 06/10/2015 - 07:00
Seattle Weekly, 10 Jun 2015 - Imaginative Approaches to Pot Laws. It's no surprise that some of the people working to reform marijuana laws are a little out of the norm, shall we say. And with the era of Reefer Madness waning, it also makes sense that weed advocates and drug-policy reformers would begin to try new-some might even say wacky-approaches. Here are some personal favorites.

Effort To Save Medical Marijuana In Washington Continues On 3 Fronts

Toke Signals - Wed, 06/10/2015 - 02:47
Though lies and propaganda were used by the Liquor Control Board and 502 profiteer lobbyists to succeed this legislative session, one thing is clear — the community is united to save the voter approved medical cannabis. Their response is happening in three ways. (1) I-1372, the citizen initiative gathering signatures for the November ballot with a July 2, 5 [...]

American Medical Association Votes to Support Legal Protections for Physicians who Recommend Cannabis

The Joint Blog - Wed, 06/10/2015 - 00:40

Delegates to the American Medical Association (AMA), the largest association of physicians and medical students in the United States, have passed a resolution in support of protecting physicians who recommend cannabis from legal prosecution. The vote came during an annual meet in Chicago.

Specifically, the AMA agreed that in states where the therapeutic or recreational use of cannabis is legal, physicians who give it to patients for “an approved medical condition” should be guaranteed they will not face federal prosecution for doing so.

The resolution states that protecting physicians is “consistent with AMA policy to protect patient-physician communications about treatment options, supporting a public health approach rather than a law-enforcement focus, for individuals possessing cannabis for personal use and opposing government interference with the practice of medicine.”

Founded in 1847, the American Medical Association has a membership of 217,490 (as of 2011).


The post American Medical Association Votes to Support Legal Protections for Physicians who Recommend Cannabis appeared first on TheJointBlog.

Survey: Nearly One Out Of Six MS Patients Use Cannabis Therapeutically

NORML Blog - Tue, 06/09/2015 - 20:27

One-quarter of patients with multiple sclerosis report having used cannabis therapeutically and nearly one out of six (16 percent) currently use it to treat symptoms of the disease, according to survey data commissioned by the North American Research Committee on MS.

Over 5,600 MS patients participated in the survey, the results of which were presented last week at the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Center 2015 Annual Meeting.

Most subjects who had tried marijuana said it mitigated disease symptoms, such as spasticity or pain. Only five percent of patients surveyed said that cannabis said it did not provide some level of relief.

Those with more advanced symptoms of MS were more likely to report using cannabis therapeutically.

Of those surveyed, 82 percent said that they would consider cannabis therapy if it were a legal option in their state.

Clinical trials have previously reported that cannabis inhalation is superior to placebo in reducing pain and spasticity in patients with treatment-resistant MS. Other studies indicate that long-term use of cannabinoid therapy may potentially modify MS progression.

Previously survey data published in the journal Neurology reported that 14 percent of MS patients used cannabis for symptom management.

Bill to Reduce Cannabis Penalties, Allow Expungements, Passes Louisiana Legislature, Heads to Governor

The Joint Blog - Tue, 06/09/2015 - 03:02

Louisiana’s House of Representatives has passed House Bill 149, a proposal to drastically reduce the penalties for cannabis possession while allowing for the expungement of certain cannabis convictions, with a 74 to 19 vote. The vote comes just days after the Senate passed the measure 54 to 37. It now heads to Governor Bobby Jindal, who plans to sign it into law.

House Bill 149, sponsored by Representative Austin Badon, will reduce the penalty for possessing up to 14 grams of cannabis from a potential six month jail sentence, to a maximum jail sentence of 15 days. The penalty for a second cannabis possession offense – any amount not deemed for distribution – would be reduced to a misdemeanor with a maximum jail sentence of six months; it’s currently a felony with a potential five year prison sentence.

The penalty for a third cannabis possession offense would be reduced to a maximum sentence of two years, with the fourth offense being a maximum of eight years. Under current Louisiana law, a third cannabis possession offense (and all subsequent offenses) can result in a 20 year prison sentence.

The bill also includes a provision to allow those with a conviction for cannabis possession to have the charge removed from their record (though only if they didn’t receive another cannabis-related charge within a two-year period afterward).

Though it’s not certain when, Governor Bobby Jindal plans to sign the measure into law.


The post Bill to Reduce Cannabis Penalties, Allow Expungements, Passes Louisiana Legislature, Heads to Governor appeared first on TheJointBlog.

Lawsuits Announced to Place Injunction on and Overturn Washington State’s Senate Bill 5052

The Joint Blog - Tue, 06/09/2015 - 02:34

A team of attorneys will soon file a series of lawsuits to place an injunction on, and overturn Washington State’s Senate Bill 5052, a recently signed law that will drastically reduce the rights of medical cannabis patients in the state while closing dispensaries and establishing an illegal patient registry.

Signed by Governor Jay Inslee in April, Senate Bill 5052 – which takes full effect in July, 2016 – will drastically reduce the amount of cannabis patients can possess and cultivate, making felons out of those who possess currently allowable limits. The measure will also lead to the closure of nearly every medical cannabis dispensary in the state, and will establish an illegal patient registry that is in clear violation of federal HIPAA laws.

The lawsuits will seek to place an immediate injunction on the new law, preventing it from taking effect while the group works to overturn it permanently.

The group of renowned attorneys who will be working on the lawsuits include Sensible Washington co-founders and longtime criminal defense attorneys Douglas Hiatt and Jeffrey Steinborn (who have 70 years combined legal experience), and attorney Aaron Pelley of Pelley Law LLC, among others.

Hiatt tells us that the group will be filing two to three separate lawsuits that will seek to fully dismantle the new law, in order to protect the rights that patients currently have, and to prevent the state from establishing the patient database.

They group plans to make a formal announcement in the coming days.


The post Lawsuits Announced to Place Injunction on and Overturn Washington State’s Senate Bill 5052 appeared first on TheJointBlog.

Survey: 56 Percent Of Likely California Voters Favor Marijuana Legalization

NORML Blog - Mon, 06/08/2015 - 21:26

Fifty-four percent of Californians support legalizing marijuana for adults, according to polling data commissioned by the Public Policy Institute of California and released today.

The percentage of respondents agreeing that “the use of marijuana should be legal” increased three percent since 2014. Fifty-four percent is the highest level of support for legalizing cannabis ever reported in a PPIC poll.

Among likely voters, 56 percent favor legalization (versus 41 percent opposed).

Democrats (65 percent), Californians age 18 to 34 (62 percent), Independent voters (61 percent), and whites (60 percent) were most likely to favor legalization. Sixty percent of Latinos and 57 percent of Republicans opposed legalization.

The complete PPIC poll is online here.

California is one of several states where voters are anticipated to decide whether or not to legalize and regulate the use, production, and retail sale of the plant in 2016.

Poll: Majority Of Arizonans Favor Legalizing Marijuana

NORML Blog - Mon, 06/08/2015 - 19:30

Most Arizonans support permitting adults to legally possess marijuana for personal consumption, according to statewide polling data commissioned by the Behavioral Research Center.

Fifty-three percent of respondents favor legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use. That is an increase of two percent compared to when pollsters asked a similar question last year.

Only 39 percent of respondents disapproved of the notion of legalizing cannabis.

Legalization supporters were more likely to be under the age of 35 (71 percent) and to vote Democrat (64 percent). Respondents age 55 or older (45 percent) and Republicans (33 percent) were least likely to support legalizing the plant for adult use.

Arizona is one of several states where voters will likely decide whether or not to legalize and regulate the use, production, and retail sale of the plant in 2016.

Chris Christie Will Go After States that Legalize Cannabis if Elected President

The Joint Blog - Mon, 06/08/2015 - 14:55

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Although it won’t come as much surprise to those who know his political background, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vowed on Sunday to overturn every state-level cannabis legalization law if he’s elected President next year.

The governor, speaking on CBS’ Face the Nation, said a Christie administration would use federal law to attack states that have legalized cannabis, including prosecuting those following their state’s law.

“Yes sir,” Christie told host John Dickerson when asked whether he’d go after Colorado and Washington, both of which legalized cannabis in 2012 through voter-approved initiatives.

“If you were president would you return the federal prosecutions in the states of Colorado, Washington states?” Dickerson asked. “Yes,” said Christie.

Dickerson, looking for clarification, then asked; “So, if somebody’s enjoying that now in their state, if you’re president, that’s getting turned off?”

“Correct,” Christie responded.


The post Chris Christie Will Go After States that Legalize Cannabis if Elected President appeared first on TheJointBlog.

Nevada Governor Signs Hemp Research Bill Into law

The Joint Blog - Mon, 06/08/2015 - 07:02

Sprouting hemp plants.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has signed into law legislation that allows hemp to be cultivated for research purposes.

Senate Bill 305, introduced by Senator Tick Segerblom and passed by the state’s legislature with a unanimous vote, allows universities in the state, as well as the state’s Department of Agriculture, to grow and produce hemp for the purposes of researching the plant, with hemp being defined as having no more than 0.3% THC.

According to recent estimates by the Hemp Industries Association, there was over $600 million in hemp sold in the U.S. in 2016, despite the country retaining the illegality of hemp cultivation.

Next year, voters in Nevada will have the opportunity to legalize the possession, personal cultivation and state-sanctioned distribution of cannabis for recreational purposes.


The post Nevada Governor Signs Hemp Research Bill Into law appeared first on TheJointBlog.

Toke TV 87: Congress Tells DEA Hands Off Medical Marijuana! Ancient Humans Smoked Pot For Health! McCartney Switches From Cannabis To Booze ‘For The Kids’!

Toke Signals - Fri, 06/05/2015 - 16:57
Find out what you need to know about the week in cannabis/marijuana news, in just 26 minutes! Don’t forget to subscribe to the Toke TV channel on YouTube. Toke Signals Bud Pick of the Week   Toke Signals Stories of the Week Congress Passes 3 Amendments To Stop DEA From Undermining State Pot Laws [...]

US NJ: Column: G.R.I.P. - Get Rid Of Incumbent Politicians

MAP - Hemp - Fri, 06/05/2015 - 07:00
The Trentonian, 05 Jun 2015 - The primaries are done, now the two major parties can begin the sham campaign they claim are the free elections. You see the two parties make all the rules and many of those rules are created to deny independents and third parties fair access to the general election in November. Last year as my readers know the Demo-Pukicans (as I call them) combined to deny me access to the US Congressional ballot in the 3rd district. This year as I gathered signatures to run for state assembly here in the 15th I read the fine election print and discovered the Demo-Pukicans made it so you must reside in the state district for one year, it's not the same in federal elections.

US HI: The House That Hemp Built

MAP - Hemp - Thu, 06/04/2015 - 07:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 04 Jun 2015 - Former NBA Coach Don Nelson Touts the Benefits of Building With the Plant KIHEI, MAUI - Building one of the first homes in Hawaii made of hemp has left Hall of Fame NBA coach Don Nelson open to some friendly ribbing from his Maui neighbors. "Most of them think they can smoke it," Nelson said. While industrial hemp used in the construction of homes comes from the same cannabis sativa plant species as marijuana, it contains only a small amount of tetrahydrocannabinol - the psychoactive chemical that creates the marijuana high.

New NORML Political Director

NORML Blog - Thu, 06/04/2015 - 00:48

When my answer to the questions, “So what do you want to do?” changed from “I don’t know” to “I want to advocate for marijuana law reform” I got surprised faces, sometimes gasps, many smiles and A LOT of what I like to call, hushed support. Hushed support is the kind of support where someone congratulates you and tells you how much they agree with you, but also lowers their voice in hopes that no one else was paying attention. As a born and raised Floridian, I understood the hesitancy to speak at a regular volume when talking about the need for cannabis law reform. What I didn’t understand, however, was how one could be content hiding how they really felt. How much support does ‘hushed support’ really offer? It was these reactions that solidified my desire to advocate for marijuana policy reform for a living.

As NORML’s newly appointed Political Director I couldn’t be more excited to join a team of groundbreakers and thought leaders. I feel honored to continue the legacy NORML has in place and a necessity to serve it well. I am eager to have the chance to represent NORML in the political sphere and to provide an even louder voice to the tens of millions of cannabis consumers from around the country.

While I have found a more permanent role in the marijuana policy debate, I challenge you to find yours. I challenge you to no longer offer ‘hushed support’ and instead proudly take action and responsibility to help reform the laws in your state. (If you aren’t sure what they look like, check it out here!)

I’m excited to open this new door and advocate for something I truly believe in: legalizing the responsible use of cannabis by adults around the country. So I invite you to join me as I embark on this new journey with NORML and hopefully I can encourage you to help me along the way and bring a voice to your own communities.

With enthusiasm and gratitude, I thank you for welcoming me into the NORML family.

House Members Reauthorize Measure Protecting State Sanctioned Medical Marijuana Programs

NORML Blog - Wed, 06/03/2015 - 19:39

A majority of the US House of Representatives voted today to reauthorize legislation limiting the Justice Department’s ability to take criminal action against state-licensed individuals or operations that are acting are in full compliance with the medical marijuana laws of their states.

House members voted 242 to 186 in favor of the amendment, offered by Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Sam Farr (D-CA), Reid Ribble (R-WI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Joe Heck (R-NV), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Don Young (R-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), Tom McClintock (R-CA), and Dina Titus (D-NV) as an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill. Sixty-seven Republicans joined 175 Democrats in favor of the provision; 176 Republicans and ten Democrats voted against it.

A similar amendment was signed into law last December. Because that language was included as an amendment to an annual spending bill, it must be reauthorized by Congress or else it will expire in September.

Representative Rohrabacher recently introduced similar stand-alone legislation, H.R. 1940: Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2015, after Justice Department officials questioned the extent to which their actions may be curtailed by budgetary amendments.

House members narrowly failed to pass a separate, broader amendment, offered by Reps. Tom McClintock (R-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Don Young (R-AK), Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) that sought to halt the Justice Department from interfering in states that have legalized the plant’s production and retail sale for adults. That measure failed by a vote of 206 to 222. (See how your US Representative voted here.)

House members also voted in favor of provisions to protect state sponsored hemp research programs and to restrict DEA funding for cannabis eradication efforts.

The Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill will now go before members of the US Senate for further debate.

US CO: Column: Hemp Has Its Week, And Another Try For PTSD

MAP - Hemp - Wed, 06/03/2015 - 07:00
Colorado Springs Independent, 03 Jun 2015 - Hemp has its week This issue of the Independent finds us smack in the middle of Hemp History Week (hemphistoryweek.com), a nationwide campaign organized by the Hemp Industries Association and Vote Hemp, which runs through Sunday, June 7. This sixth installment includes over 1,400 events "all aimed to catalyze movement on the issue of lifting the federal ban on industrial hemp farming in the U.S.," says a press release.

Cannabis POW of the Month: Fred Cundiff, Serving Life For Marijuana

Toke Signals - Tue, 06/02/2015 - 01:00
By Cheri Sicard Cannabis Cheri Like most people serving life sentences for nonviolent, victimless “crimes,” Charles “Fred” Cundiff is yet example of a prisoner behind bars because of America’s horrendous conspiracy laws. In July of 1991, Fred did what many of us have probably done at one time or another in our lives; he was [...]

Weekend Wisconsin Cannabis News Briefs May 29-31

Madison NORML News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 19:36

Posted by Gary Storck
Friday, May 29, 2015

Here is the latest Weekend Wisconsin Cannabis News Briefs May 29-31 from Cannabadger.com

Toke TV 86: Arrests At Marijuana Convention In Vegas! Daltrey Threatens To End Concert Over Pot Smoke! South Dakota MMJ Drive To Begin!

Toke Signals - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 15:43
Find out what you need to know about the week in cannabis/marijuana news, in just 15 minutes! Don’t forget to subscribe to the Toke TV channel on YouTube. Toke Signals Bud Pick of the Week Toke Signals Stories of the Week Nevada: Arrests Disrupt Medical Marijuana Convention In Las Vegas (Hemp News) Las [...]

South Africa: 'It Is Absurd That Dagga Is Still Illegal in SA'

MAP - Hemp - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 07:00
Business Day, 28 May 2015 - Despite intense lobbying, the jury is out on if medicinal cannabis should be allowed WHICHEVER way you look at it, dagga is medicine. Even if you smoke it just to get "high", it doesn't only alter your consciousness and cognitive functional - it has other pharmacologic effects on body and mind.
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