Campaigners have gathered nearly 1 million signatures for an initiative to legalize medical cannabis in the State of Florida, according to Ben Pollara, Campaign Director for United for Care, the nonprofit organization behind the proposal. The organization has until February 1st to submit roughly 683,000 signatures from registered Florida voters.
If the initiative – which would be put to a vote this November – is approved into law, the possession and use of cannabis will become legal for qualifying individuals who receive a license from the Department of Health, with the prerequisite being a recommendation from a licensed physician.
State-licensed dispensaries will be authorized under the initiative to distribute cannabis to patients or their caregivers. Physicians would have the ability to prescribe cannabis to anyone who they thought would benefit from it.
A Quinnipiac University poll released in November found that 82% of those in Florida support legalizing medical cannabis, with only 16% opposed, a clear sign that voters may very well make Florida the first state in the south to legalize cannabis for medical purposes, now that they have an opportunity to do so with this new initiative.
Attorney John Morgan, founder of United for Care and a former fundraiser for President Obama, is prepared to wage a massive campaign to assure his initiative is approved into law, vowing to spend “whatever it takes” to do so.
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The Colorado Department of Agriculture announced late this week that it has officially adopted the state’s first-ever rules and regulations for industrial hemp, following the state’s recent legalization of hemp production.
The new rules, which are in immediate effect, allows hemp producers to begin registering with the Department’s industrial hemp program beginning March 1st.
“These rules are the first step to allow Colorado producers to legally grow industrial hemp,” says Colorado Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture Ron Carleton.
To grow hemp during the 2014 cultivation season, producers must register by May 1st. According to the Department, the annual registration fee will be $200, plus an additional $1 per acre (if the individual or group is planning to cultivate their hemp for research purposes, the fee will be altered to $100, plus $5 per acre).
Under the state’s law, farmers must keep their hemp at or below 0.3% THC.
More information on Colorado’s hemp rules can be found by clicking here.
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Madison NORML Examiner: New York to activate 34 year old medical MJ law: WI has similar law on books
Posted by Gary Storck
Sunday, January 5, 2014
There are cannabis stories appearing out of everywhere these days. I wrote this about the latest developments in New York State where the governor, Andrew Cuomo, plans to take executive action to use a 1980 law to provide medical cannabis in limited circumstances. Wisconsin passed a similar law in 1982 and like New York, it remains on the books.
Just Announced: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released a statement tonight that his state of the union speech next week will include an announcement of an executive order making medical cannabis legal.
After this comes to be New York will become the 22nd state where qualified patients will have legal access to cannabis as a therapeutic.
Earlier this week Vermont Senator David Zuckerman introduced a proposal – Senate Bill 306 – to legalize recreational cannabis. Under the proposed law, the possession up to 2 ounces of cannabis, and the cultivation of up to 3 plants, would be legal for those 21 and older. State-licensed retail outlets would be authorized to distribute cannabis, which would be taxed at $50 an ounce.
Just last year, Vermont lawmakers approved a measure – which was signed by the governor – to decriminalize up to an ounce of cannabis, and up to 5 grams of hashish; the proposal took effect July 1st of last year.
In September Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin said that he believes the nation is heading towards cannabis legalization, and wants his state to be “part of the conversation”.
When asked about Senate Bill 306, Shumlin’s office says that he’s likely to support it, as he would any legislation that legalizes, taxes and regulates cannabis.
“Marijuana is used all over the place. People still function in society,” says Senator David Zuckerman. If his proposal is approved into law, residents in the state can expect to see cannabis retail outlets in early 2015.
The post Legislation to Legalize Cannabis Introduced in Vermont appeared first on The Joint Blog.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today that he will take executive action next week that will allow for the use of cannabis for medical purposes among those with serious illnesses.
Under Governor Cuomo’s plan, which bypasses the legislature by relying on a provision in the public health law known as the Antonio G. Olivieri Controlled Substance Therapeutic Research Program, 20 hospitals across the state will be authorized to prescribe cannabis to patients with cancer, glaucoma and other diseases that meet standards to be set by the New York State Department of Health.
While this plan would fall well short of being as progressive as other medical cannabis laws – especially in states like Colorado and California – it nonetheless moves New York in the right direction, and will have a direct impact on thousands of individuals who rely on cannabis for its medical capabilities.
Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, praised Governor Cuomo’s decision, saying that it’s “a bold and innovative way of breaking the logjam”, referring to multiple stalled attempts in the state’s legislature to legalize medical cannabis.
Governor Cuomo hopes to have an infrastructure in place this year to begin dispensing medical cannabis through state-licensed dispensaries.
The post New York Governor to Legalize Medical Cannabis Through Executive Action appeared first on The Joint Blog.
Study: Cannabinoids Can Treat Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis Better Than Pharmaceutical Alternatives
A study published in the journal Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, and published online by the National Institute of Health, has found promising evidence that cannabinoids can provide a natural treatment for the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
“In an experimental mouse model of MS-related spasticity, Sativex [a product made entirely from cannabis] dose-dependently improved hind limb flexion/stiffness and a dosage of 10 mg/kg was shown to be as [or more] effective as the most widely established anti-spasticity treatment baclofen (5 mg/kg)”, claims the study.
According to researchers at the Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry at Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche in Italy; “These findings with Sativex are very promising and offer encouragement for MS patients, the majority of whom will develop spasticity-related disabling and recalcitrant symptoms. Furthermore, research into the endocannabinoid system may offer potential in other neurodegenerative, inflammatory and pain disorders.”
The study can be found by clicking here.
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Long-serving Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. announced today that he would support legislation to legalize cannabis similar to what was approved
“I favor the legalization and taxation of marijuana, with restrictions,” says Miller, adding that he believes support will continue to grow in coming years. “I know where people are going to be a generation or two from now.”
Miller says a legalization proposal would have a good chance of passing the Senate.
In the House, a new legalization proposal will soon be filed by Delegate Curtis Anderson, according to a recent announcement.
If approved by the House and Senate, any cannabis legalization legislation would need to go to Governor Martin O’Malley, who isn’t favorable to cannabis legalization, but with enough public support can likely be convinced to at least not stand in the way if Maryland’s Legislature decides to take that path.
According to recent polling, 53% of those in Maryland support cannabis legalization, with just 38% opposed.
Cannabis legalization advocates in Maryland should contact their lawmakers – which they can look up by clicking here – to urge them to support the legalization of cannabis.
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