Lawmakers Send Medical Marijuana to Kasich Posted by on May 26, 2016 at 06:07:17 PT By Alan Johnson & Jim Siegel Source: Columbus Dispatch Ohio -- After passing a reluctant Senate by just three votes, Ohio is poised to become the latest state to legalize medical marijuana, so long as Gov. John Kasich signs it into law.
After more than a day of uncertainty about whether the bill had enough support in the Senate, the chamber voted 18-15 Wednesday afternoon, passing the bill despite opposition votes from the top two members of Senate Republican leadership — Senate President Keith Faber, R-Celina, and Sen. Larry Obhof, R-Medina. The House concurred 67-28 late Wednesday night. Read More... A GOP Congressman Says He Used Medical Marijuana Posted by on May 26, 2016 at 05:55:44 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) just made a striking admission: Speaking to a group of marijuana activists on Capitol Hill, Rohrabacher said he had recently turned to medical marijuana to help deal with arthritis pain, and it worked.
Two weeks ago, Rohrabacher said, he tried a topical wax-based marijuana treatment. That night, it was "the first time in a year and a half that I had a decent night’s sleep because the arthritis pain was gone," Rohrabacher said. Read More... MMJ Bill May Not Have Enough Support Posted by on May 25, 2016 at 09:28:22 PT By Alan Johnson & Jim Siegel Source: Columbus Dispatch Ohio -- A legislative vote on medical marijuana is coming down to the wire with the outcome in doubt today in the Ohio Senate. A Senate committee voted 7-5 this morning for House Bill 523, legislation that would allow Ohioans with certain medical conditions to legally obtain medical marijuana from a doctor.
The bill, with a few minor amendments, is expected to be voted on the Senate floor in an afternoon session, but the legislative sources are not at all certain the votes are there for passage. About a dozen of the 23 Senate Republicans and two or three of 10 Democrats saying they are willing to vote for the bill. At least 17 votes are needed for passage. Read More... Vets Will Still Smoke at White House Posted by CN Staff on May 19, 2016 at 12:26:25 PT By Steven Nelson, Staff Writer Source: U.S. News & World Report Washington, D.C. -- Marijuana reform advocates celebrated Thursday as the House of Representatives approved a spending bill amendment aiming to allow Veterans Health Administration doctors to authorize medical marijuana use for patients – but activists pressing for deeper reform still intend to smoke illegally and lay in the street in acts of civil disobedience outside the White House on Friday.
The legislative win follows a Senate committee’s April passage of the same amendment in a 20-10 vote. The House’s Thursday vote, 233-189, featured 57 Republicans joining all but five Democrats in favor. Last year, the House narrowly rejected the measure, but the Senate then passed it as part of the underlying bill and is expected to do so again. Read More... Increasing Numbers Of Americans Support Marijuana Posted by on May 19, 2016 at 04:56:11 PT By Bob Tognetti, The Huffington Post Source: Huffington Post USA -- A wave of recent polls shows that majorities of voters in five states, and a majority nationwide, support legalizing medical marijuana. Many voters also support legalizing marijuana for recreational use.
Eighty percent of Florida’s registered voters would support a state constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana. While support drops when voters are asked about recreational use, the issue still garners a majority with 56 percent for it and 41 percent against. Read More... If CA Legalizes MJ, Consumption Will Increase Posted by on May 16, 2016 at 06:13:56 PT By Beau Kilmer Source: Los Angeles Times California -- In six months, California will join Maine, Nevada and probably a few other states in deciding whether or not to legalize the large-scale commercial production of marijuana. Residents will be inundated with wild claims about the promises and pitfalls of these initiatives.
You will hear debates about government revenue, criminal justice benefits, the environment, and the effect of legalization on Mexican drug-trafficking organizations. Public health conversations may prove especially contentious. Some will claim that legalization will constitute a net gain for health. Others will say the exact opposite. Read More... How Much Is Too Much Marijuana to Drive? Posted by on May 13, 2016 at 09:14:40 PT By Jonah Bromwich Source: New York Times USA -- It’s relatively easy to determine when someone is too drunk to drive. If a driver’s blood-alcohol level is 0.08 percent or higher, that person is considered legally impaired. But a study says that measuring the effects of marijuana on drivers is far trickier, and that blood tests are an unreliable indication of impairment by cannabis.
As more states consider legalizing the substance, that presents a challenge to legislators seeking to create laws on driving while impaired by marijuana. Read More... Marijuana Industry Leaders Lobby Congress Posted by on May 12, 2016 at 12:56:42 PT By Jennifer Harper, The Washington Times Source: Washington Times Washington, D.C. -- Three Democratic lawmakers will herald the start of a two-day lobbying effort by marijuana entrepreneurs on Capitol Hill.
Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Ed Perlmutter of Colorado plus Denny Heck of Washington joined the National Cannabis Industry Association for a press conference Thursday just outside the U.S. House to talk up policy and “advocate for fair treatment of the legal cannabis industry,” according to the organization. They will spend the next two days explaining their situation to as many elected officials as possible. Read More... Legislation legalizing MMJ Clears Ohio House Posted by on May 10, 2016 at 16:06:02 PT By Jim Siegel, The Columbus Dispatch Source: Columbus Dispatch Ohio -- With a proposed constitutional amendment on the horizon, the House voted 70-25 today to give Ohioans access to medical marijuana, moving Ohio a step closer to being the 26th state to legalize the drug.
Rep. Steve Huffman, R-Tipp City, an emergency room doctor and sponsor of the bill, noted that in the hours of testimony, members heard about children prescribed marijuana who went from 300 seizures a day to five, and how it helped a veteran with his post-traumatic stress disorder. Read More... CA Voters Getting Chance To Legalize Marijuana Posted by on May 04, 2016 at 05:07:44 PT By Patrick McGreevy, Reporter Source: Los Angeles Times California -- A Measure to legalize marijuana for recreational use in California appears headed for the Nov. 8 ballot. A coalition that includes former Facebook President Sean Parker on Tuesday said it has collected 600,000 signatures, more than enough to qualify the initiative.
Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and other supporters of the measure plan to kick off a campaign for voter approval of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act on Wednesday in San Francisco. Read More... Maine Will Vote on Legalizing Marijuana Posted by on May 03, 2016 at 07:00:52 PT By Phillip Smith, Alternet Source: AlterNet Maine -- Marijuana legalization will be on the Maine ballot in November. The final obstacle to a popular vote was removed last Friday, when state legislators punted on their chance to act on the citizen legalization initiative, opting instead to send the question to the voters instead.
Earlier, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which organized the state's legalization initiative had to go to the courts to force recalcitrant state officials to recognize the validity of thousands of challenged voter petition signatures. The campaign had handed in roughly 100,000 signatures and only needed 61,000 valid voter signatures. Read More... Why Legalizing Will Be Much Harder Than You Think Posted by on April 27, 2016 at 09:23:04 PT By Erwin Chemerinsky Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- There are rumors that the federal government may soon lift its ban on marijuana, but that wouldn’t end marijuana prohibitions in the United States. This incongruity is the result of federalism: the ability of each jurisdiction — the federal government and every state — to maintain its own laws as to which drugs are illegal and which are not.
Completely legalizing marijuana in the United States would require the actions of both the federal government and every state government. If the federal government repealed its criminal prohibition of marijuana or rescheduled the drug under federal law, that would not change state laws that forbid its possession or sale. Likewise, state governments can repeal their marijuana laws, in whole or in part, but that does not change federal law. Read More... The Paradox At The Heart of Our Marijuana Laws Posted by on April 26, 2016 at 11:08:40 PT By Keith Humphreys Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- As Congress and the Drug Enforcement Administration weigh whether marijuana should be rescheduled, public faith in the drug classification system continues to erode. Debate rages between those who emphasize the strangeness of marijuana being on the highly restrictive Schedule I alongside far more harmful drugs like heroin, and those who emphasize how strange it would be to put crude plant matter on a less restrictive schedule alongside well-specified FDA-approved medications.
Both sides have a point, a paradox stemming from a design quirk of the 1970 Controlled Substances Act: The law takes pains to recognize that medically useful, FDA-approved drugs vary in harmfulness, but does not recognize that this is equally true of drugs with no approved medical use. By throwing all these diverse drugs into the same basket, federal law both baffles the public and makes it very difficult for researchers to evaluate whether tightly restricted drugs might have medical applications. Read More... Overdoses Fell with Medical Marijuana Legalization Posted by on April 26, 2016 at 08:21:54 PT By Colleen L. Barry Source: New York Times USA -- While opioid pain relievers offer critical benefits to certain patients, such as those with cancer-related pain, the rise of opioid prescriptions has had devastating public health consequences. The C.D.C. recently urged physicians to be very cautious in prescribing these drugs.
Meanwhile, access to medical marijuana has expanded rapidly — 24 states and D.C. have legalized its broad medical use — and chronic or severe pain is the most common condition reported among those using it. On it's face, this might seem to mirror the rise in prescription opioid use. Read More... About That Bud Summit at the White House Posted by on April 25, 2016 at 15:32:43 PT By Aaron C. Davis Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- It took a pot-smoking protest outside the White House, but on Monday, advocates for marijuana legalization were set for a historic face-to-face meeting with the Obama administration about easing laws governing the drug. Except, it wasn’t. Leaders of the successful ballot measure fight that legalized marijuana in the nation’s capital said they were granted a White House meeting, but it was with two junior-level staffers in Obama’s Office of National Drug Control Policy.
There was no presidential entourage, no promises of more meetings to come. In fact, there was no visit to the White House proper, but a mostly empty conference room in an adjacent building. Read More... Efforts To Legalize Marijuana in Ohio Differ Posted by on April 25, 2016 at 06:11:56 PT By Alan Johnson, The Columbus Dispatch Source: Columbus Dispatch Ohio appears likely to become the 25th state to approve medical marijuana, either through a new state law or a voted constitutional amendment. State lawmakers and two citizen advocacy groups are working simultaneously on proposals to bring marijuana as medicine to Ohioans with qualifying medical conditions.
But how the legislature and advocates approach the subject is very different, and the two pro-marijuana groups are proposing separate variations as well. Read More... DEA Greenlights Marijuana Study Posted by on April 23, 2016 at 10:54:43 PT By Andrew Blake, The Washington Times Source: Washington Times Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency agreed for the first time ever this week to let researchers conduct clinical trials with marijuana to examine the potential benefits of using the plant to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.
A California-based nonprofit research group, the Multidisciplinary Approach to Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), announced on Thursday that the DEA will allow its scientists to conduct a double-blind, placebo-controlled study specifically designed to determine the potential benefits of medicinal marijuana with regards to treating PTSD. Read More... Mexico’s President Proposes To Relax Marijuana Law Posted by CN Staff on April 23, 2016 at 07:11:28 PT By Gabriel Stargardter Source: Reuters Mexico City -- Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Thursday proposed legalizing marijuana-based medicines, raising the amount users can carry and freeing inmates on minor weed charges, in a major shift amid regional efforts to reboot drug policy.
Pena Nieto, who is grappling with deadly drug cartel violence, said he will send to Congress a proposal to permit the use and importation of marijuana-based medicines, and raise the amount that weed users can legally carry to 28 grams from 5 grams. Read More... Marijuana Advocates Get Meeting With White House Posted by on April 20, 2016 at 17:55:05 PT By Sam Stein and Ryan J. Reilly, Huffington Post Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- A member of the Obama administration will meet with representatives of the marijuana advocacy community on Monday in what is being billed as a groundbreaking gathering.
DCMJ, an organization created in 2013 that has advocated for the legalization of marijuana in the District of Columbia, says it was extended a tete-a-tete with a representative of the Obama administration after having been rebuffed two times prior. The meeting, according to Adam Eidinger, co-founder of the group, will be the first time that they have sat down with a political aide — he declined to name the aide because of the sensitivity of the meeting — and possibly the first time a national reform group has had such an audience. Read More... What Will Rescheduling Marijuana Mean for Industry Posted by on April 20, 2016 at 14:52:42 PT By Alex Halperin Source: Rolling Stone Washington, D.C. -- Early this month, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced that it would make a decision on whether to reclassify marijuana. Under the Controlled Substance Act, the federal government considers marijuana a Schedule I narcotic, meaning that it has high potential for abuse and no medical benefits, a position at odds with the 24 states that have legalized medical marijuana and the millions of casual users currently enjoying the occasional smoke. There's little dispute that the current classification of marijuana is absurd — other Schedule I drugs include heroin, LSD and MDMA; both cocaine and methamphetamine are considered less onerous Schedule II drugs. But there is much debate about what rescheduling might mean for the nascent legal pot industry. Read More... Canada to Introduce Legislation to Legalize Posted by on April 20, 2016 at 14:43:54 PT By Alan Freeman Source: Washington Post Ottawa -- The Canadian government announced Wednesday that it will introduce legislation next year to decriminalize and legalize the sale of marijuana, making Canada the first G7 country to permit widespread use of the substance.
The announcement was made by Canada’s health minister, Jane Philpott, at a U.N. drug conference in New York. It follows through on a promise made during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s successful election campaign last fall. Read More... The Origin Of 4/20 Has Finally Been Solved Posted by on April 20, 2016 at 09:12:15 PT By Mollie Reilly, Deputy Politics Editor Source: Huffington Post San Francisco -- Four decades after a group of California high schoolers coined the term 420, one of the holiday’s biggest mysteries has been solved.
Every April 20, stoners flock to places like San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park or the University of Colorado, Boulder, to celebrate the high holiday. There are many myths about why 420 became the stoner code of choice. Some (falsely) claim it’s because there are 420 chemicals in THC, marijuana’s psychoactive compound. Other popular origin stories link the date to Adolf Hitler’s birthday, the police code for marijuana possession or the date of Bob Marley’s death (which was actually May 11). Read More... Marijuana Legalization in New England Is Stalled Posted by on April 20, 2016 at 05:35:11 PT By Jess Bidgood Source: New York Times Montpelier, Vt. -- First came Colorado and Washington. Then Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C. Now advocates for legal marijuana are looking to New England, hoping this part of the country will open a new front in their efforts to expand legalization nationwide.
But this largely liberal region is struggling with the devastating effect of opiate abuse, which is disrupting families, taxing law enforcement agencies and taking lives. And many lawmakers and public officials are balking at the idea of legalizing a banned substance, citing potential social costs. Read More... Legal Marijuana Market Will Grow To $7.1 Billion Posted by on April 19, 2016 at 11:19:41 PT By Katie Sola, Forbes Staff Source: Forbes USA -- Is it high time that America embraces marijuana legalization? The size of the market for legal marijuana in the United States is projected to grow to $7.1 billion in 2016, according to a report by New Frontier and ArcView Market Research. That represents 26% growth over the previous year, driven largely by adult recreational sales of marijuana, the researchers found. Legal adult recreational marijuana sales topped $998 million in 2015 compared to $351 million in 2014 — growing 184% year-over-year. America’s 2015 marijuana sales were higher than those of Dasani, Oreos and Girl Scout cookies. Read More... Government Spent $18 Million Destroying Marijuana Posted by on April 15, 2016 at 16:52:08 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- The Drug Enforcement Administration's controversial cannabis eradication program continued apace in 2015, new numbers released by the administration show. In 2015, local, state and federal authorities uprooted roughly 4.1 million cultivated marijuana plants in all 50 states, down slightly from the haul of 4.3 million plants in 2014.
Federal spending on the program remained at $18 million dollars, consistent with levels seen in previous years. That works out to a cost-per-plant of $4.42, up slightly from a cost of $4.20 per plant in 2014 (yes, really). Read More... More Doctors Want To Make Marijuana Legal Posted by on April 15, 2016 at 05:54:33 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- A group of more than 50 physicians, including a former surgeon general and faculty members at some of the nation's leading medical schools, has formed the first national organization of doctors to call on states and the federal government to legalize and regulate the use of marijuana in the interest of public health.
The group — which is announcing its formation Monday, under the name Doctors for Cannabis Regulation (DFCR) — is endorsing the legalization of marijuana for adult recreational use, a break from the position of the American Medical Association, the largest organization of doctors in the country. DFCR argues that the prohibition and criminalization of marijuana use does more harm to the public than good. Citing hundreds of thousands of annual marijuana arrests, racial and economic disparities in marijuana enforcement, and the role of prohibition in keeping marijuana prices high and lucrative to violent drug dealers, the physicians say that creating a legal and regulated marijuana market is the best way to ensure public safety, combat the illicit drug trade and roll back the negative consequences of strict enforcement policies on disadvantaged communities. Read More... Ohio Lawmakers Plan To Unveil MMJ Proposal Posted by on April 13, 2016 at 12:28:06 PT By Jim Siegel & William T. Perkins Source: Columbus Dispatch Ohio -- The Ohio House is expected to roll out a medical marijuana proposal today, while the Senate also is winding down its examination of the issue as the two chambers consider action ahead of a potential ballot issue this November.
“I think this is going to be a joint effort,” said Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, R-Clarksville. The House and Senate have used separate hearings to gather information on the medical marijuana legalization effort. Read More... Marijuana Is Smelling More Like Big Business Posted by on April 11, 2016 at 16:16:45 PT By Ian Lovett Source: New York Times Adelanto, Calof. -- After decades of thriving in legally hazy backyards and basements, California’s most notorious crop, marijuana, is emerging from the underground into a decidedly capitalist era.
Under a new state law, marijuana businesses will be allowed to turn a profit — which has been forbidden since 1996, when California became the first state to legalize medical cannabis — and limits on the number of plants farmers can grow will be eliminated. Read More... Where Do Candidates Stand on Marijuana Posted by on April 09, 2016 at 13:54:12 PT By Kerry Cavanaugh Source: Los Angeles Times USA -- The political opinion on pot is evolving pretty quickly. For two years Congress has told the Justice Department not to spend money going after pot shops in states that have legalized medical marijuana, even though the drug remains illegal under federal law. President Obama has taken a hands-off approach as Colorado, Washington and other states have legalized adult recreational use. And now the Drug Enforcement Administration is considering reclassifying marijuana from the ludicrously inappropriate Schedule 1 (meaning no accepted medicinal value and highly addictive) -- a move the Times Editorial Board believes is way overdue. Read More... Federal Officials May Loosen Marijuana Resrictions Posted by on April 08, 2016 at 17:53:56 PT By Jessica Firger Source: Newsweek USA -- Officials from several federal regulatory agencies announced this week plans to re-evaluate policies that restrict the availability of marijuana for medical research. The agencies will make a drug scheduling decision as early as June. In response to requests from members of Congress, the agencies vowed to draw up plans that may eventually expand the number of growers able to cultivate cannabis for medical and research purposes.
In the 25-page letter addressed to Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of National Drug Control Policy and Drug Enforcement Administration provided information regarding the supply, scheduling and surveillance of the drug. Read More...
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