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Marshfield News Herald: Storck: Cannabidiol oil is just the beginning of medical marijuana uses (column)

Madison NORML News - Fri, 03/14/2014 - 15:21

Posted by Gary Storck
Friday, March 14, 2014

I get annoyed when lawmakers who don't understand an issue pretend they do. Take Wisconsin's narrowly focused medical cannabis bill AB726, which covers CBD hemp oil for children with seizure disorders. Below is an OPED published in the Marshfield News Herald and Wausau Daily Herald.

Legalize Pot? Dane County to vote on advisory referendum April 1

Madison NORML News - Thu, 03/13/2014 - 18:34

Posted by Gary Storck
Thursday, March 13, 2014

My latest Madison NORML Examiner post looks at the upcoming advisory referendum in Dane County asking voters if they favor state lawmakers legalizing cannabis.

New York Lawmakers Include Medical Cannabis Legalization in Budget Bill

The Joint Blog - Thu, 03/13/2014 - 14:42

New York’s Assembly has introduced a one-house budget bill which includes the Compassionat Care Act (Assembly Bill 6357 and Senate Bill 4406) as a provision.

“By including the comprehensive medical marijuana bill, known as the Compassionate Care Act, in their state budget proposal, the Assembly has jumpstarted negotiations with the Senate and Governor, as the measure will now be part of state budget negotiations”, said the Drug Policy Alliance in a Wednesday press release.

If the budget bill is approved with the Compassionate Care Act (which passed the Assembly in June, but has since stalled in the Senate) included, the possession of cannabis will be legalized for qualified patients, as will dispensaries to distribute the medicine.

“In the first few months, the state would be writing regulations and then accepting applications from organizations [to dispense medical cannabis]” says Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, the Compassionate Care Act’s primary sponsor in the Assembly. Once the program is up and running, he expects it to bring in $200 million in annual tax revenue.

According to polling released last month, 88% of those in New York favor the legalization of medical cannabis.

- TheJointBlog

The post New York Lawmakers Include Medical Cannabis Legalization in Budget Bill appeared first on The Joint Blog.

Poll: Americans View Marijuana As Less Harmful Than Sugar

The Weed Blog - Thu, 03/13/2014 - 14:00
By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director Americans believe that consuming cannabis poses less harm to health than does the consumption of tobacco, alcohol, or sugar, according to the findings of a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released today. Respondents were asked which of the four substances they believed to be “most harmful to a person’s overall health.” [...]

How To Hide Your Outdoor Marijuana Plants

The Weed Blog - Thu, 03/13/2014 - 13:55
By Robert Bergman Try to plant under trees or next to bushes, and keep only a few marijuana plants in any one spot. That way if some are discovered you’ll still have others to harvest. Through bending and pruning you can change the classic conical shape of the marijuana plants into something that might be [...]

Five Awesome Stoner Movies On Netflix

The Weed Blog - Thu, 03/13/2014 - 13:49
Netflix is definitely the product of a pothead mind… I mean come on, instant movies and TV streaming? While it may seem like a convenient idea for everyone, stoners know that Netflix was made for them! Sometimes, finding good shows or movies to watch can be extremely tiring. With the thousands of choices and your [...]

Prohibitionists Spinning ‘Only’ $2.1 Million In Colorado Marijuana Tax Revenue

The Weed Blog - Thu, 03/13/2014 - 13:44
Colorado released its sales and tax revenue figures for the first month of legal sales, showing $14 million in recreational marijuana sold bringing in $2.1 million in revenue for the state.  Despite that being about, oh, $2.1 million more than the state has ever earned in the recreational marijuana market, the prohibitionists with Patrick Kennedy’s [...]

New York Assembly Includes Medical Marijuana In Their Budget Bill

The Weed Blog - Thu, 03/13/2014 - 13:38
The State Assembly is introducing and passing their one-house budget proposal, which, for the first time ever, includes New York’s comprehensive medical marijuana proposal – the Compassionate Care Act (A.6357-A -Gottfried) / S.4406-A -Savino). As the Assembly gathers to pass the measure, dozens of patients, families, caregivers and healthcare providers are descending on Albany to press the [...]

Kentucky Senate Unanimously Approves Medical Marijuana Extract Bill

The Weed Blog - Thu, 03/13/2014 - 13:32
Courtesy of The Joint Blog Kentucky’s full Senate, in a 38 to 0 vote, has approved Senate Bill 124, a proposal to legalize medical cannabis extracts under certain circumstances. If approved into law, the proposal would allow universities in the state with a school of medicine to produce and distribute cannabis oil (that’s low in THC) [...]

New Hampshire House of Reps Votes In Favor Of Marijuana Decriminalization

The Weed Blog - Thu, 03/13/2014 - 13:28
By Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director Yesterday, the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted 215 to 92 in favor of House Bill 1625. This legislation would significantly reduce marijuana penalties in New Hampshire. Under present law, possession of any amount of marijuana is a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year of incarceration and [...]

Georgia Senate Committee Approves Medical Cannabis Bill With Unanimous Vote

The Joint Blog - Thu, 03/13/2014 - 13:08

Georgia’s Senate Health and Human Services Committee has given unanimous approval to House Bill 885, a proposal to legalize cannabis oil for medical purposes.

State Rep. Allen Peake, the bill’s primary sponsor, holds up what a bottle of cannabis oil looks like.

The measure would offer “protection from prosecution for possession of cannabidiol oil”, says Republican Rep. Allen Peake, the bill’s primary sponsor.

The proposal, which passed the state’s House of Representatives earlier this month with an 171 to 4 vote, would permit academic medical centers in the state to produce low-THC cannabis oil, which they would be authorized to distribute to those with cancer, glaucoma and seizures. The measure was amended to also provide protection from arrest for anyone in possession of cannabis oil that’s low in THC that was obtained from another state, as long as they have a recommendation from a physician.

“If a person were to “obtain a prescription for cannabis (cannabidiol) oil in a state where a doctor is authorized to write that prescription  .. if they were able to get back to Georgia, then either the patient or the doctor who administers it would be immune from prosecution”, said Danny Porter from the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia; the council has come out in support of the bill.

The measure clearly doesn’t go far enough, but it’s still a significant step in the right direction. It’s now up for a full Senate vote.

- TheJointBlog

The post Georgia Senate Committee Approves Medical Cannabis Bill With Unanimous Vote appeared first on The Joint Blog.

US: The Entrapment Of Jesse Snodgrass

MAP - Cannabis - Thu, 03/13/2014 - 07:00
Rolling Stone, 13 Mar 2014 - He was a friendless high school loner struggling with autism. So why did an undercover cop target him as a drug dealer? Jesse Snodgrass plodded around yet another stucco corner, searching for Room 254 in time for the second-period bell, only to find he was lost yet again.

New Hampshire House of Representatives Passes Cannabis Decriminalization Measure 215 to 92

The Joint Blog - Thu, 03/13/2014 - 04:50

New Hampshire’s full House of Representatives, in a 215 to 92 vote, has approved House Bill 1625, a proposal to decriminalize cannabis possession, and to defelonize cannabis cultivation.

If approved into law, House Bill 1625 would make the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis a simple $100 ticket, and would make cultivation of up to six cannabis plants a Class A misdemeanor, rather than a felony.

Under current law, the possession of any amount of cannabis is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison, and the cultivation of any amount of cannabis is a felony punishable by up to 3 years in prison.

According to recently polling, 62% of New Hampshire voters support decriminalizing small amounts of cannabis.

A seperate cannabis-related proposal was passed last week by New Hampshire’s House; the measure would legalize cannabis cultivation for medical purposes.

- TheJointBlog

The post New Hampshire House of Representatives Passes Cannabis Decriminalization Measure 215 to 92 appeared first on The Joint Blog.

Kentucky Senate Unanimously Approves Medical Cannabis Extract Bill

The Joint Blog - Thu, 03/13/2014 - 02:04

Kentucky’s full Senate, in a 38 to 0 vote, has approved Senate Bill 124, a proposal to legalize medical cannabis extracts under certain circumstances.

If approved into law, the proposal would allow universities in the state with a school of medicine to produce and distribute cannabis oil (that’s low in THC) to qualified patients who receive a recommendation from one of the university’s physicians; they could then conduct research on the safety and efficiency of the oil. The measure would also explicitly allow anyone enrolled in an FDA trial (two such trials were approved by the FDA last year) to be legally treated with cannabis oil.

“This was one of those tingly moments you get when you pass a bill that you really know is good for the commonwealth. It is really going to help people’s lives,” said Republican Representative Julie Denton, the bill’s primary sponsor.

Debbie McGrath, Executive Director of the Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana, said she was “thrilled” with the vote.

The measure now heads to the House, where its passage would send it to the governor.

Late last month a House committee approved a separate medical cannabis proposal which would legalize the possession of up to 3 ounces of cannabis, and the private cultivation of up to 12 plants for qualified patients. Dispensaries would also be authorized under this bill. Its chances in the Senate remain uncertain.

- TheJointBlog

The post Kentucky Senate Unanimously Approves Medical Cannabis Extract Bill appeared first on The Joint Blog.

Maryland Senate Gives Preliminary Approval to Cannabis Decriminalization

The Joint Blog - Thu, 03/13/2014 - 00:22

Maryland’s Senate gave preliminary approval today to a proposal decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of cannabis. The measure is now set for one final vote in the Senate, which could come as soon as tomorrow. Its passage in the Senate will send it to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Under the proposal – Senate Bill 364 – the possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis would no longer be a criminal penalty associated with jail time; instead, it would become a simple $100 ticket.

“In no state, not New York or Mississippi or Ohio or any of these states has marijuana usage gone up when they moved from criminal to civil. In no state has any other drug usage gone up, not heroin, not cocaine, crack, nothing!” says Senator Bobby Zirkin, the bill’s primary sponsor.

“We’ve pretty much decided that we think criminalizing people for very small amounts of marijuana is not good. It’s not good for our society. It’s not good for our public resources,” said Senator Allan Kittleman, a supporter of the measure.

A separate proposal to legalize medical cannabis has garnered over 60 cosponsors, and the Senate Judiciary Committee recently held a public hearing on a measure to legalize recreational cannabis.

- TheJointBlog

The post Maryland Senate Gives Preliminary Approval to Cannabis Decriminalization appeared first on The Joint Blog.

New Hampshire House of Representatives Votes Overwhelmingly in Favor of Marijuana Decriminalization

NORML Blog - Wed, 03/12/2014 - 21:39

Today, the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted 215 to 92 in favor of House Bill 1625. This legislation to significantly reduce marijuana penalties in New Hampshire.

Under present law, possession of any amount of marijuana is a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year of incarceration and a maximum fine of $2,000. Passage of this act would eliminate criminal penalties for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana and replace them with a civil fine of $100 — no arrest and no criminal record. It would lower the classification of cultivation of six marijuana plants or less to a Class A misdemeanor. You can read the full text of this measure here. House Bill 1625 now awaits action in the state Senate.

New Hampshire Residents: Click HERE to quickly and easily contact your member of the state Senate and urge them to support this important legislation. You can also view how each member of the House of Representatives voted here.

Poll: Americans View Pot As Less Harmful To Health Than Tobacco, Alcohol, Or Sugar

NORML Blog - Wed, 03/12/2014 - 19:26

Americans believe that consuming cannabis poses less harm to health than does the consumption of tobacco, alcohol, or sugar, according to the findings of a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released today.

Respondents were asked which of the four substances they believed to be “most harmful to a person’s overall health.” Most respondents said tobacco (49 percent), followed by alcohol (24 percent) and sugar (15 percent).

Only eight percent of those surveyed said that they believed that marijuana was most harmful to health.

The poll possesses a margin of error of +/- 3.10 percent.

Commenting on the poll results, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “These results once again reaffirm that an overwhelming majority of the American public understands that any potential risks associated with the use or abuse of cannabis are relatively minor to those associated with many other legal and regulated substances. Criminalizing cannabis and those who consume it responsibly is a disproportionate public policy response to what is, at worst, a public health issue but not a criminal justice concern.”

Under federal law, marijuana is classified as a schedule I controlled substance, meaning that its alleged harms are equal to those of heroin.

Maryland House Committee to Hear Decriminalization and Legalization Bills, Advocates to Rally in Support

NORML Blog - Wed, 03/12/2014 - 18:52

Tomorrow, the Maryland House Judiciary Committee will be holding a public hearing to discuss House Bill 880 (legalization) and House Bill 879 (decriminalization) at 1:00pm in Annapolis.

Maryland residents can click here to contact their legislators in favor of decriminalization and here to contact them in favor of legalization. It only takes a few minutes, so please take a moment of your time to let your voice be heard.

Please also consider calling both House Judiciary Committee Chairman Delegate Vallario and Speaker of the House Delegate Busch to let them know that Marylanders support reforming the state’s marijuana policies. These two will be key in seeing these measures advance and have had prior history of opposing such efforts. Their contact information is below:

House Judiciary Committee Vallario
P: 301-858-3488

Speaker of the House Delegate Busch
P: 301-858-3800

Prior to the hearing, marijuana law reform advocates will be rallying at Lawyers Mall outside of the state house at 11:00am to show support for these important pieces of legislation. They will be joined by legalization and decriminalization bill sponsor, and NORML PAC endorsed candidate for Maryland Governor, Delegate Heather Mizeur. More information on the rally is available here.

Thank you for supporting our efforts to legalize marijuana in Maryland. Together, we can bring about great change in the state this legislative session!

Colorado: First Month Of Legal Marijuana Sales Yields $3.5 Million In Taxes And Fees

NORML Blog - Wed, 03/12/2014 - 18:36

Retail sales of cannabis in the month of January yielded an estimated $3.5 million dollars in state tax revenues, according to financial data released online this week by the Colorado Department of Revenue.

Under Colorado law, commercial cannabis producers must pay a 15 percent excise tax, while retail customers must pay an additional ten percent sales tax (on top of the state’s existing 2.9 percent sales tax) on any cannabis purchased at a licensed facility. The majority of Colorado voters approved the imposition of cannabis-specific taxes (Proposition AA) in November 2013.

For the month, customers spent an estimated $14 million on the purchase of marijuana and cannabis-infused goods at state-licensed facilities. This figure is anticipated to grow larger as more and more facilities become operational.

State law authorized the retail sale of cannabis beginning on January 1st to those age 21 or older. At that time, only 24 retailers were operational. By month’s end, nearly 60 facilities were up and running. Presently, over 150 licensed facilities are operational.

Similarly licensed retail operations are anticipated to be operational in Washington by this summer.

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