Nearly three hundred cities worldwide, including Portland, participated in the fourteenth annual Global Cannabis March on Saturday, May 4, 2013. Speakers for the rally included Attorney's John Lucy IV and Leland Berger, Russ Belville of 420 Radio, Anna Diaz of NORML Women's Alliance, Madeline Martinez of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), Anthony Johnson of National Cannabis Coalition, Tim Pate, Jennifer Alexander and Paul Loney, Oregon NORML's legal counsel. The event was emceed by Urb Thrasher, a local cannabis radio host. The musical guest was Justin James Bridges. From: RestoreHemp Views: 28 1 ratings Time: 31:30 More in Nonprofits & Activism
Colorado Lawmakers Approve First-In-The-Nation Regulations Governing Retail Marijuana Production And Sales
Colorado lawmakers made history Wednesday by approving first-in-the nation regulations governing the retail production and sale of cannabis to those age 21 and older.
The Huffington Post has the story here:
On the final day of the legislative session, Colorado lawmakers finally passed two historic bills to implement recreational marijuana legalization in the state — making Colorado the first state in the U.S. to take such steps toward the legal sale, regulation and tax of marijuana for recreational use.
House Bill 1317, which proposes the regulatory framework for legal marijuana, passed the Senate on a 29-6 vote and passed the House on a 37-28 vote, on Wednesday.
House Bill 1318, which proposes the tax rates which will fund the regulatory framework for legal marijuana sales and will ultimately need Colorado voter approval, passed the Senate 25-10 and passed the House 37-28, Wednesday.
Both the regulatory framework bill and the tax bill head to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk and appear poised to become law.
The two measures do not impact the state’s existing medical marijuana laws, nor do they interfere with existing legal protections legalizing the personal possession (up to one ounce) and cultivation (up to six plants) for non-commercial purposes.
Further details about the newly approved regulatory bills is available here.
Lawmakers’ proposed tax scheme on the commercial production and retail sale of cannabis must be approved by a majority of state voters before being implemented. Proposed taxes do not apply to those engaged in the personal cultivation or not-for-profit transfers of cannabis.
Lawmakers’ proposals come six months after 55 percent of state voters approved Amendment 64, which legalizes the adults possession and cultivation of limited quantities of marijuana, and tasked the state with establishing regulations for the retail production and sale of cannabis to the public.
Members of the Senate this week approved legislation to significantly reduce marijuana possession penalties. On Tuesday, Senators voted 24 to 6 in favor of a House measure that amends penalties for the possession of personal use amounts of marijuana and/or marijuana paraphernalia by a person 21 years of age or older from a criminal misdemeanor (punishable by up to six-months in jail and a $500 fine) to a civil fine only — no arrest, no jail time, and no criminal record. House members had previously signed off on a slightly different version of the bill in April.
House members must sign off on the Senate’s changes to the bill. It will then go to Democrat Gov. Peter Shumlin, who has publicly expressed support for liberalizing the state’s marijuana possession penalties.
If signed into law, the measure will take effect on July 1, 2013.
Vermont’s proposed law is similar to existing ‘decriminalization’ laws in California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island, where private, non-medical possession of marijuana is treated as a civil, non-criminal offense.
Five additional states — Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, and Ohio — treat marijuana possession offenses as a fine-only misdemeanor offense.
Three states — Alaska, Colorado, and Washington — impose no criminal or civil penalty for the private possession of small amounts of marijuana. (The laws in Colorado and Washington were enacted via voter initiative while Alaska’s legal protections were imposed by the state Supreme Court.)
Posted by Gary Storck
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
The Dane County board looks at a vote on cannabis legalization.
Longtime Florida activist Cathy Jordan, a 63-year-old woman who consumes cannabis to mitigate symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS aka Lou Gehrig’s disease), a debilitating condition that she has lived with since 1986, today filed a suit against Sheriff Brad Steube of Manatee County, FL.
Ms. Jordan alleges wrongful conduct on the part of the sheriff’s department when, on February 15, 2013, they raided her home and confiscated 23 medical cannabis plants, which were being cultivated for her by Cathy’s husband Robert Jordan. The Jordans were both cooperative when the sheriff’s department arrived at their home, and they acknowledged they were growing medical marijuana for Cathy’s medical use. The police raid of the Jordan’s home came just days after lawmakers introduced legislation, the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act, which sought to authorize the physician-supervised use of cannabis for those diagnosed with serious debilitating conditions. (Florida lawmakers failed to hold hearings or vote on the measure.)
After the Manatee County State Attorney’s office reviewed the facts of the case, they issued a memorandum on April 2, 2013 declining to prosecute either Cathy or her husband. The Manatee County State’s Attorney’s office found that they could not likely overcome a medical marijuana necessity defense, which would be raised by the defendant should a prosecution be initiated. However, the sheriff’s department has refused to return any of the cannabis that they confiscated from Ms. Jordan during the February 15 raid.
With this lawsuit, the plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment finding that they have a legal right to cultivate and possess medical marijuana under Florida law; an injunction barring the sheriff’s department from making further seizures of medical marijuana from Cathy and Robert Jordan; and an injunction barring the initiation of criminal charges against either of the plaintiffs for their continued cultivation and possession of medical marijuana.
The lawsuit has been filed by Norm Kent of Fort Lauderdale, Chair of the NORML Board of Directors. NORML intends to file a friend of the court brief in the case once the defendants are served.
Kent stated: “This suit embodies NORML’S commitment to patients who have a medical need for marijuana, while simultaneously showing how the responsible use of cannabis by adults should not be restricted by law enforcement authorities. We intend to prevail in this suit so that seriously ill patients like Cathy no longer have to fear arrest or state interference for simply using their medicine.”
Added NORML Legal Counsel Keith Stroup: “Cathy Jordan is a courageous woman who has been fighting for many years to legalize the medical use of marijuana for herself and other seriously ill patients. We are proud to stand with Cathy and Robert Jordan to challenge he senseless arrest of patients who use marijuana medically.”
Florida is not among the 18 US states that presently exempt qualified patients from arrest for engaging in physician-authorized cannabis therapy.
A new study which was just reported on at the annual meeting for the American Association of Cancer Research has found that habitual marijuana consumers have no more increased risk of lung cancer than casual consumers, or those who don’t consume at all. This to be true regardless of how many times a day a person a person consumes cannabis, and regardless of how long ago they started.
The study included data from six case-control studies conducted from 1999 to 2012 in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand. It included a subject pool of 2,159 lung cancer cases and 2,985 controls – the studies were part of the International Lung Cancer Consortium (ILCCO), an international group of lung cancer researchers.
Dr. Zhang of the University of California performed two analyses, one which compared all lung cancer cases and all controls, regardless of current or past tobacco use. Then, the analysis was restricted to those who had never smoked tobacco, which consisted of 370 cancer cases and 1,358 controls. Dr. Zhang also adjusted the models to account for age, sex, etc.. Habitual use was defined as one joint per day, per year.
When compared with cannabis smokers who also used tobacco, habitual pot smokers had no significant increase in cancer risk.
According to the Oncology Report, which posted today about the study, “In an analysis of marijuana smokers that excluded tobacco smokers, there were no significant differences in any of the comparisons, including habitual vs. nonhabitual use; number of joints smoked per day; duration of up to 20 years or duration of more than 20 years. The difference in risk is likely related to chemical additives in commercial cigarettes that aren’t present in most methods of inhaling marijuana smoke.
As a general recommendation, smoking anything isn’t good for the respiratory system, said Dr. Alberts, chief medical officer of the Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa. But for patients using medical marijuana, the benefit could outweigh the risks.”
“You can think of it as similar to a CT scan. Radiation isn’t good, but if the scan is something beneficial and the risk is low, you take it. If cannabis is indicated, and if it’s legal, and if there’s literature backing up the indication for use, then you weigh the risk of smoking and the benefit it could bring, and make the decision”, stated Dr. Zhang.
This new study validates research in 2006 by Dr. Taskin of the University of California which found that not only does marijuana consumption not lead to lung cancer, it may actually protect against it.
The post New Research Finds Habitual Marijuana Consumption Not Linked to Lung Cancer appeared first on The Joint Blog.
Earlier this week Alaskan Congressman Don Young announced, in a press release, that he’s joining a growing list of bipartisan sponsors who support H.R. 1523, the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2013. The measure would explicitly protect marijuana consumers and businesses from federal prosecution if they’re following state law, such as in Colorado and Washington where recreational marijuana retail sales were recently legalized. The measure would effectively put an end to the U.S. government’s prohibition on marijuana – it would be up to the states to decide their marijuana laws.
Congressman Young’s sponsorship of the bill comes just a few weeks after an initiative drive was announced in his state of Alaska, which would legalize the possession and state-licensed retail sales of cannabis to adults 21 and older. Young’s support also comes not long after recent polling has indicated that not only does 52% of Americans support legalization, over 60% feel that the federal government should leave states alone that decide to take the approach of legalizing marijuana. The polling also found that 72% believe that the government’s war on marijuana costs more than it’s worth?
As the measure continues to gain support and momentum, constituents should continue to urge their elected lawmakers towards supporting this measure.
The post Federal Measure to End Marijuana Prohibition Gains 15th Bipartisan Sponsor appeared first on The Joint Blog.