Marijuana to Become Legal for Adults in Oregon Tomorrow

Marijuana to Become Legal for Adults in Oregon Tomorrow

Law approved by more than 56% of voters in November 2014 will take effect on Wednesday; voters in at least five states are expected to consider similar measures in November 2016

SALEM. OR — Marijuana will become legal for adults in Oregon Wednesday when the ballot initiative approved by more than 56% of voters in November 2014 officially takes effect.

The Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act, which appeared on the ballot as Measure 91 and was backed by New Approach Oregon, allows adults 21 years of age and…

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First Minnesota Medical Marijuana Patient Center to Open Wednesday in Minneapolis

First Minnesota Medical Marijuana Patient Center to Open Wednesday in Minneapolis

Department of Health promptly implements law allowing a limited number of patients with certain conditions to access medical marijuana, but leaves many seriously ill patients behind

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota’s first medical marijuana patient center is scheduled to open in Minneapolis Wednesday. Minnesota Medical Solutions is scheduled to open its doors to patients at12:01 a.m. CDT.

“This is a great day for suffering patients who have been waiting a long time to have access to this medicine,” said Patrick McClellan of Minnesotans for Compassionate Care, a Bloomington man with a rare form of muscular dystrophy who will be among the first patients served on Wednesday. “We are grateful that the Department of Health stepped up and implemented this law promptly. Patients in some states…

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Louisiana Governor Enacts Marijuana Sentencing Reform Measure

Louisiana Governor Enacts Marijuana Sentencing Reform Measure

BATON ROUGE, LA — Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal signed legislation late Monday significantly reducing criminal penalties for marijuana possession offenses.

House Bill 149, which took effect upon signing, amends the state’s toughest-in-the-nation repeat offender laws for marijuana possession offenses.

Under the previous law, second-time possession offenders faced up to five years of hard labor in prison. Third-time offenders faced up to 20 years hard labor in prison.

Under the revised law, two-time marijuana possession offenders face a maximum sentence of six-months in prison. Three-time offenders face a maximum sentence of two-years in prison. Those convicted of marijuana possession for a fourth time face up to eight years in prison.

First-time offenders found in the possession of 14…

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What effect does marijuana really have on weight gain? It's complicated

While cannabis alters the functions of neurobiological circuits controlling appetite, its effect on weight gain is complex since several factors appear to be involved. The main finding of the study shows that long-term cannabis use indeed influences weight gain, although its effects may differ by gender.

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Marijuana Legalization Initiative Filed in Massachusetts for 2016

Marijuana Legalization Initiative Filed in Massachusetts for 2016

BOSTON, MA — In Massachusetts today, June 29, 2015, Bay State Repeal submitted a marijuana legalization initiative to state officials. Intended to go on the ballot in 2016, it would repeal the criminality of marijuana, expunge past convictions, regulate and tax sales, all while preventing access to minors.

The regulations and taxes are reasonable, so eliminating the black market should be able to succeed.

The filing was with the Attorney General’s office, and may still be tweaked slightly before going on to election officials.

Bay State Repeal is a campaign committee comprised of local Massachusetts activists. We have been gearing up for this day for more than two years. 2016 is the big chance to eliminate prohibition, and we feel it is vitally important to do it right.

One of the…

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Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal Signs Marijuana Reform Bills

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal Signs Marijuana Reform Bills

BATON ROUGE, LA — As expected, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal on Monday signed into law two marijuana reform bills that were passed by the legislature earlier this year.

Of the two bill signed by Jindal, one is aimed at reducing Louisiana’s harsh penalties for marijuana possession, and the other is intended to provide access to medical marijuana 24 years after the state authorized its use.

PENALTY REDUCTION

While not a full marijuana decriminalization bill, House Bill 149 reduces some of the state’s draconian penalties for marijuana possession.  Currently, Louisiana is home to some of the harshest penalties for marijuana convictions in the country, with misdemeanor penalties for first time marijuana offenses for even the smallest amount (up to 60 pounds) of marijuana punishable…

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Medical Marijuana Sales to Begin Wednesday in Minnesota

Medical Marijuana Sales to Begin Wednesday in Minnesota

ST. PAUL, MN — Just a little over a year since Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton gave final approval to a bill making the state the 22nd in the nation to allow medical marijuana, the first sales to patients are expected to begin Wednesday.

While Minnesota will have the most restrictive medical marijuana program implemented to date, which bans smoking of marijuana and access to raw cannabis plant matter, advocates are pleased that sales are beginning on schedule.

“The door is opening,” says Bob Cappechi of the Marijuana Policy Project. “This will start helping people out. That’s really what this is all about.”

Patients suffering from certain debilitating conditions, including seizures, cancer, glaucoma and HIV/AIDS, will not have access to “traditional” forms of medical…

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Getting high in senior year: Researchers examine whether reasons for smoking pot are associated

A new study examines how reasons for illicit marijuana use relates to the use of other drugs individually, rather than grouping them into a single “illicit drug” group.

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Washington Passes Recreational Marijuana Reform Bill

Washington Passes Recreational Marijuana Reform Bill

OLYMPIA, WA — Washington’s legislature on Saturday passed a measure that that makes several changes to the state’s recreational marijuana laws, ranging from revising the market’s tax structure to zoning rules.

One of the main changes to the current system would be the elimination of the three-tier tax structure and its replacement with a single excise tax of 37 percent at the point of sale.

House Bill 2136 passed the Senate on a bipartisan 36-7 vote and now heads to the governor’s desk. The House passed the measure Friday on a 59-38 vote.

An amendment that passed Friday in the House removed language from the original bill that would have required local bans on licensed marijuana businesses to be approved by the jurisdiction’s voters.

To encourage more cities and counties to…

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Possession; Home Cultivation of Marijuana Becomes Legal in Oregon on Wednesday

Possession; Home Cultivation of Marijuana Becomes Legal in Oregon on Wednesday

Oregon Joins Washington, Alaska, Colorado, and Washington, D.C. in Ending Marijuana Prohibition

PORTLAND, OR — Beginning July 1st, adults 21 and older will be able to legally possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana in their home and up to 1 ounce of marijuana outside their home. Adults may also grow up to four plants as long as they are out of public view.

Oregon voters passed Measure 91 last November with 56% support. In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first two U.S. states – and the first two jurisdictions in the world – to…

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Washington House Passes Modest Marijuana Tax Reduction Bill

Washington House Passes Modest Marijuana Tax Reduction Bill

OLYMPIA, WA — The Washington House on Friday passed a measure that makes several changes to the state’s new recreational marijuana market, including eliminating the three-tier tax structure and replacing it with a single excise tax of 37% at the point of sale.  The current three-tier tax structure adds up to an effective tax of 44%.

House Bill 2136 passed the House on a 59-38 vote and now heads to the Senate for consideration. An amendment that passed Friday removed language from the original bill that would have only allowed local bans on licensed marijuana businesses if approved by the jurisdiction’s voters.

To encourage more cities and counties to allow marijuana businesses, the bill directs the state to share pot revenue with jurisdictions that do so. It would also allow…

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Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Bill Moved to Rules Committee

Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Bill Moved to Rules Committee

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania State House Health Committee voted unanimously on Friday to reassign Senate Bill 3, which would allow seriously ill Pennsylvanians to access medical marijuana with recommendations from their doctors. The committee voted to re-refer the bill to the House Rules Committee for further consideration.

The vote follows the filing of a discharge petition by Rep. Nick Miccarelli (R-Ridley Park) that would have removed SB 3 from the Health Committee where it had stalled and put it before the full House for a vote.  Only 25 signatures from lawmakers were needed, and the petition was closed with 40 signatures — at which point additional representatives weren’t allowed to sign on.

Rep. Miccarelli rose to call the petition, but in a surprising move, Health…

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Rhode Island Lawmakers Recess Legislative Session; Widely Supported Bill to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Remains on the Table

Rhode Island Lawmakers Recess Legislative Session; Widely Supported Bill to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Remains on the Table

The Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act had bipartisan backing in both chambers, and an April poll found 57% of Rhode Island voters in favor of such a measure

PROVIDENCE, RI — Rhode Island state lawmakers recessed the legislative session late Thursday leaving hundreds of bills, including a widely supported proposal to make marijuana legal for adults and regulate it similarly to alcohol, pending action.

Legislative leaders have indicated they may call a special session in the fall to finish their agenda.

“Lawmakers’ decision to recess without voting on this widely supported legislation is disappointing, to say the least,” said Regulate Rhode Island Director Jared Moffat. “We believe we have the votes needed to pass the measure this session, and we’re optimistic that…

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Pennsylvania House May See Vote on Medical Marijuana

Pennsylvania House May See Vote on Medical Marijuana

Planned discharge petition would remove SB 3 from House Health Committee where it has stalled and permit a vote in the full House of Representatives

HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania State Rep. Nick Miccarelli (R-Ridley Park) will file a discharge petition in the House of Representatives on Friday to remove a medical marijuana bill from the House Health Committee and bring it to the full floor for a vote.

Senate Bill 3 would allow seriously ill Pennsylvanians to access medical marijuana with recommendations from their doctors. Rep. Matthew Baker (R-Wellsboro), who chairs the Health Committee, has stated that he will not call the bill for a vote there.  The bill was passed in the Senate by a vote of 40-7 earlier this year.

“There is no reason this compassionate legislation should not get…

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Study: Use Of Vaporizers Mitigates Pulmonary Risks Associated With Cannabis Smoking

Vaporization technology heats cannabis to a point where cannabinoid vapors form, but below the point of combustion.

“The vaporizer raises cannabinoid levels in humans but does not raise exhaled CO (carbon monoxide) levels,” researchers concluded. “The majority of studies suggest that vaporizers adequately reduce risk of pulmonary symptoms.”

Previous clinical trials of cannabis vaporization have concluded the method to be a safe and efficient vehicle for rapid cannabinoid administration.

Full text of the review, “What the initial…

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Delaware: First State’s First Medical Marijuana Dispensary to Open Friday

Delaware: First State’s First Medical Marijuana Dispensary to Open Friday

WILMINGTON, DE — After nearly four years and numerous delays, access to medical marijuana is coming to Delaware on Friday when the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary will open its doors to qualified medical marijuana patients.

First State Compassion Center, located in an industrial park on the outskirts of Wilmington, will open its doors at 10:30 am Friday, marking the first time the state’s estimated 340 medical marijuana patients will have safe, legal access to medical marijuana.

Medical marijuana patients are currently protected from prosecution for possessing cannabis, but can not grow their own and must purchase marijuana on the black market.

“Although we have been frustrated by the glacial pace of implementation, we are thrilled that Delaware’s qualified…

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NIDA Acknowledges Drawbacks to Monopoly on Marijuana Supply

NIDA Acknowledges Drawbacks to Monopoly on Marijuana Supply

WASHINGTON, DC — Members of the US Senate at a hearing Wednesday expressed skepticism in regard to federal policies limiting the ability of investigators to engage in clinical studies of marijuana’s health benefits.

Senators heard from representatives from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), University of Mississippi Medical Center, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center and Project SAM on a variety of issues

The hearing’s most noteworthy moment came when Nora Volkow, director of NIDA, acknowledged that the monopoly on marijuana cultivation for research purposes ought to be amended. Currently, NIDA contracts strictly with the University of Mississippi to grow marijuana for use in research studies. This…

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Senate Drug Caucus Holds Hearing on Barriers to Cannabidiol Research

Senate Drug Caucus Holds Hearing on Barriers to Cannabidiol Research

WASHINGTON, DC — The Senate International Narcotics Control Caucus held a hearing Wednesday on facilitating cannabidiol research.  Cannabidiol, or CBD, is found in cannabis and has shown great potential to treat intractable epilepsy and numerous other conditions.

According to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) CBD is considered a schedule I substance, despite the growing body of evidence indicating therapeutic benefits to patients suffering from dravet syndrome and other severe forms of epilepsy.  The hearing also focused on regulatory oversight and reforming the process for researchers to obtain cannabis.

“During today’s hearing we heard Nora Volkow, the head of National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), acknowledge that researchers would benefit from ending the monopoly that…

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First Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Dispensary Now Open

First Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Dispensary Now Open

SALEM, MA — Patients who have been desperately waiting for a dispensary to open in Massachusetts finally have some good news to celebrate this week.

Alternative Therapies Group in Salem has received a waiver from the state to begin operating, and opened its doors to qualifying patients on Wednesday, although appointments are required.

According to the Department of Health’s website, three other dispensaries have received approval to begin cultivating marijuana. These three dispensaries plan to locate their retail operations in Northampton, Brockton, and Ayer.

Only 15 dispensary applicants were selected by the department in 2014, but the state announced in June that it was overhauling the dispensary selection process and scrapping its widely criticized scoring system for judging…

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Delaware Becomes 20th State to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession

Delaware Becomes 20th State to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession

Last week, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell signed HB 39 into law, making it the 20th state to decriminalize — or in four cases, legalize — possession of personal use amounts of marijuana.

The Senate approved the bill less than an hour earlier in a 12-9 vote.

Introduced by Rep. Helene Keeley, HB 39 will make possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by adults a civil violation punishable by a $100 fine with no possibility of jail. Possession of up to an ounce of marijuana is currently a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $575 fine and up to three months in jail.

HB 39 goes into effect six months after enactment.

Please thank the governor for his leadership! You can call him at (302) 744-4101 or send him a message on social media or by webmail here.

In other Delaware news, the first medical…

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California: Medical Marijuana Patients Fight Fresno County

California: Medical Marijuana Patients Fight Fresno County

FRESNO, CA — Fresno County uses an unconstitutional ordinance to uproot medical marijuana patients’ legal plants and fine them $1,000 per plant without judicial process, patients claim in court.

One plaintiff, who has muscular dystrophy and is on disability, faces a fine of $87,000 and sheriff’s deputies took all of his plants.

The county is using the ordinance as a cash cow, having imposed $2 million in fines already, with another $8 million in the works, according to the June 19 complaint in Superior Court.

Dwayne Alvares, Richard Hickingbottom and John Doe seek writ of mandate and an injunction against Fresno County and Sheriff Margaret Mims. They say the county’s enforcement of its medical marijuana ordinance violates equal protection and due process rights under the state…

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US Senators Press Federal Agencies to Remove Political Barriers to Medical Marijuana Research

US Senators Press Federal Agencies to Remove Political Barriers to Medical Marijuana Research

FDA and NIDA officials express support for ending NIDA’s DEA-mandated monopoly on marijuana available for research purposes

WASHINGTON, D.C. — At a hearing Wednesday, Sens. Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand pressed federal officials to eliminate political barriers that are preventing research on the potential medical benefits of marijuana. The hearing, “Cannabidiol: Barriers to Research and Potential Medical Benefits,” was held by the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control.

Officials from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) echoed the senators’ concerns and expressed support for removing barriers to research that have been created by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

NIDA has a DEA-mandated monopoly on the…

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What's the impact of marijuana on driving?

Drivers who use alcohol and marijuana together weave more on a virtual roadway than drivers who use either substance independently, a new study has found. However, the cocktail of alcohol and marijuana does not double the effect of the impairment.

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Delaware Governor Signs Bill to Allow Medical Marijuana Use by Children

Delaware Governor Signs Bill to Allow Medical Marijuana Use by Children

DOVER, DE — On Tuesday, Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed into law a bill that will allow children to be accepted into Delaware’s medical marijuana program.  The bill was unanimously passed by both chambers in the legislature earlier this month.

Under Senate Bill 90, known as Rylie’s Law, special under-18 medical marijuana cards will be issued to qualifying minors that will allow them access to medical marijuana oils that contain limited amounts of THC once dispensaries become operational later this month.

To qualify, minors must suffer from intractable epilepsy or a medical condition that has not responded to other treatments and that involves wasting, intractable nausea, or severe, painful, and persistent muscle spasms.

Only medical marijuana oils that contain a…

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Portland NORML to Teach How to Grow First Legal Marijuana Garden, Help Adults Get First Legal Seeds and Starts

Organization Takes Advantage of New Law Allowing Adults to Freely Share Cannabis Plants and Usable Marijuana with Each Other Starting July 1

PORTLAND, OR – The Portland Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is preparing adults for the beginning of legal marijuana in Oregon by providing instructions on finding the materials needed to grow cannabis.

On Saturday, June 27 at Noon, Portland NORML will hold its regularly-scheduled free Public Meeting at the Tony Starlight Showroom at 1120 SE Madison St in Portland. Dru West, expert cannabis horticulturalist and author of the best-selling “Secrets of the West Coast Masters”, will present a class on starting one’s first legal four-plant cannabis garden.

Portland NORML Executive Director Russ…

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Medical marijuana 'edibles' mostly mislabeled: Many too weak, some surprisingly strong

The vast majority of edible cannabis products sold in a small sample of medical marijuana dispensaries carried labels that overstated or understated the amount of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a proof-of-concept study shows. Though the scope of the study was small, the researchers say, the results of the study suggest some medical cannabis patients could be unintentionally overdosing or are being cheated by mislabeled products.

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Mixed findings regarding quality of evidence supporting benefit of medical marijuana

In an analysis of the findings of nearly 80 randomized trials that included about 6,500 participants, there was moderate-quality evidence to support the use of cannabinoids (chemical compounds that are the active principles in cannabis or marijuana) for the treatment of chronic pain and lower-quality evidence suggesting that cannabinoids were associated with improvements in nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, sleep disorders, and Tourette syndrome.

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Adolescents uncertain about risks of marijuana, e-cigarettes, study finds

Teenagers are very familiar with the risks of smoking cigarettes, but are much less sure whether marijuana or e-cigarettes are harmful, according to a new study. The researchers compared teens’ knowledge of cigarettes, e-cigarettes and marijuana because they heard from teachers, parents and youth that anti-smoking efforts needed to address more than just conventional cigarettes.

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ONDCP Lifts Public Health Service Review on Marijuana Research

ONDCP Lifts Public Health Service Review on Marijuana Research

Decision Removes Unnecessary Burdens On Legitimate Scientific Inquiry

WASHINGTON, DC — On Monday, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) announced they will lift the public health service (PHS) review on marijuana research projects not funded by the federal government.

The PHS review process was established in 1999 following a 1998 Institute of Medicine report that called for more in depth scientific research on marijuana. While the process was intended to facilitate greater research today it is broadly recognized as undermining legitimate scientific inquiry.

“The US government has systematically impeded marijuana efficacy research, and the PHS review has played a large role in that stonewalling,” said Dr. Sue Sisley. “It was a shameful tactic used by opponents of…

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California Senate Votes to End Transplant Discrimination Against Medical Marijuana Patients

California Senate Votes to End Transplant Discrimination Against Medical Marijuana Patients

Bill Headed To Governor Jerry Brown’s Desk for Final Approval

SACRAMENTO, CA — The California Senate approved Assembly Bill 258, the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act, on Monday by a margin of 33-1.

AB 258 prohibits discrimination against medical cannabis patients in the organ transplant process, unless a doctor has determined that medical cannabis use is clinically significant to the transplant process.

Medical cannabis patients in California are routinely removed from the organ transplant waiting list if they test positive for cannabis use – even legal doctor-recommended medical cannabis.

AB 258 was introduced by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) and sponsored by Americans for Safe Access (ASA).  The bill was approved by the Assembly in April.

“AB 258 is about…

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Doctors and Veterans to Call on Pennsylvania Lawmakers to Approve Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Bill

Doctors and Veterans to Call on Pennsylvania Lawmakers to Approve Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Bill

The group will gather at 1:30 p.m. ET outside the Lt. Governor’s Office — participants will include a nationally recognized PTSD researcher; a prominent Pennsylvania-based pain management specialist; a local family medicine physician; local combat veterans; and the mother of a local veteran who committed suicide after struggling with PTSD

HARRISBURG, PA — A group of medical doctors will visit Pennsylvania state lawmakers on Tuesday and urge them to support legislation that would allow seriously ill residents to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. They will join a group of local combat veterans and their loved ones at 1:30 p.m. ET for a news conference outside the Lt. Governor’s Office.

Participants in the event will include Dr. Sue Sisley, a nationally recognized…

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Obama Administration Removes Crucial Barrier to Marijuana Research

Big Win for Marijuana Reform Advocates but More Has to Be Done; Senate Hearing on Medical Marijuana Scheduled for Wednesday

WASHINGTON, DC — In a long-sought move anticipated by many marijuana reform advocates, the White House announced Monday that it was removing a major obstacle to marijuana research – the Public Health Service (PHS) Review.

“This announcement shows that the White House is ready to move away from the war on medical marijuana, and enable the performance of legitimate and necessary research,” said Bill Piper, Director of Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs. “This is progress, but the White House should also end the NIDA’s unique monopoly on marijuana production, and allow private entities to grow marijuana, thus facilitating even more…

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Milwaukee Mayor Signs Ordinance Making Marijuana Possession a $50 Fine

Milwaukee Mayor Signs Ordinance Making Marijuana Possession a $50 Fine

MILWAUKEE, WI — Without any fanfare, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has signed into law an ordinance that reduces minor marijuana possession offenses to a $50 fine.

Tom Barrett

Tom Barrett

Members of the City Council approved the measure earlier this month when they voted 10 to 3 to amend the city’s decriminalization ordinance, which has been in effect since 1997.  Under the 1997 ordinance, marijuana possession offenses up to 25 grams are punishable by a fine ranging from $250 to $500.

Under the new ordinance, offenses involving the possession of 25 grams or less of marijuana will be reduced to a maximum of $50.00.  Subsequent offenses, however, would remain a criminal offense prosecuted by the state.

The new ordinance does not change the fine for public consumption of marijuana, which is…

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Markell Signs Delaware Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Into Law

Markell Signs Delaware Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Into Law

Delaware becomes 20th state in the nation to remove the threat of jail for simple marijuana possession

DOVER — Delaware Gov. Jack Markell signed a bill into law Thursday night that will remove criminal penalties and potential jail time for adult possession of a small amount of marijuana. The Delaware Senate approved the bill 12-9 earlier in the evening.

The new law will take effect in six months.

House Bill 39, introduced by Rep. Helene Keeley (D-Wilmington South) in the House and sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chair Margaret Rose Henry (D-Wilmington East) in the Senate, will replace criminal penalties for adult marijuana possession with a civil fine similar to a traffic ticket. Under current Delaware law, possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor with a maximum…

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Delaware Legislature Decriminalizes Marijuana Possession

Delaware Legislature Decriminalizes Marijuana Possession

DOVER, DE — The Delaware Senate approved a bill 12-9 on Thursday that would remove criminal penalties and potential jail time for adult possession of a small amount of marijuana.

The measure, which was approved in the House earlier this month, will now be sent to Gov. Jack Markell (D), who is expected to sign it into law. In a March letter to the editor of The New York Times, Gov. Markell said he is “hopeful that [his] state will decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.”

House Bill 39, introduced by Rep. Helene Keeley (D-Wilmington South) in the House and sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chair Margaret Rose Henry (D-Wilmington East) in the Senate, would replace criminal penalties for adult marijuana possession with a civil fine similar to a traffic ticket.

Under…

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Source: The Daily Chronic

Delaware Governor Signs Bill Decriminalizing Minor Marijuana Possession Offenses

Delaware Governor Signs Bill Decriminalizing Minor Marijuana Possession Offenses

DOVER, DE — Delaware Gov. Jack Markell signed legislation Thursday decriminalizing minor marijuana possession offenses.

Members of the Senate voted 12 to 9 in favor of the measure, House Bill 39, Thursday afternoon. The Governor signed the measure into law later in the evening.

House and Senate members approved the measure despite vocal opposition from law enforcement and Republicans. No Republican lawmakers voted in favor of the bill.

Under state law, the possession of personal use quantities of cannabis is classified as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail, a $575 fine, and a criminal record. House Bill 39 reduces penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana to a civil violation punishable by a $100 fine only — no arrest, and no criminal…

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Source: The Daily Chronic

(Another) Poll Finds Nearly All Pennsylvania Voters Support Medical Marijuana

(Another) Poll Finds Nearly All Pennsylvania Voters Support Medical Marijuana

LANCASTER, PA — Yet another poll has found that nearly all Pennsylvania voters support legalizing medical marijuana in the Keystone State, while a bill that would do just that has been blocked in the House by a single state representative who disagrees.

The latest poll, conducted by the Floyd Institute’s Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall College and released Thursday, finds 87% of Pennsylvania voters favor the legalization of medical marijuana in the state.  Among those polled that support medical marijuana, 67% said they “strongly favor” it.

“We’re talking a majority of people in both parties, male or female,” said political science professor G. Terry Madonna, who conducted the poll. “Virtually every demographic, every region of the state. You can’t…

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New Hampshire Finally Licensing Dispensaries

New Hampshire Finally Licensing Dispensaries

There is finally good news regarding the implementation of New Hampshire’s medical marijuana law.

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that three applicants have been approved to move forward with their plans to open dispensaries in four geographic areas.

One applicant was granted the ability to operate two dispensaries, while the two others may operate one dispensary each.

The announcement came more than four months after the department’s January 23 deadline. The delay was very disappointing, but late is obviously better than never.

The details, including the names of the three approved entities, are available here at the department’s website.

This news, while positive, does not necessarily mean that safe, state-legal access for patients is right around…

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Louisiana Governor Will Sign Marijuana Reform Bills

Louisiana Governor Will Sign Marijuana Reform Bills

The Louisiana Legislature has sent Gov. Bobby Jindal two bills proposing positive reforms to Louisiana’s marijuana policies! While one bill is largely symbolic, the other will help dial back some of the country’s harshest penalties for marijuana possession.

Gov. Jindal said this week that he will sign both bills into law:

“We are going to sign both bills. They’ve made it through the process. They are going to make to my desk in the next few days,” Jindal told The Des Moines Register.

Senate Bill 143 amends a 1991 law allowing Louisiana’s physicians to prescribe medical marijuana in certain circumstances. Unfortunately, this prescription requirement was not removed and because no physician can prescribe marijuana without risking losing their license to prescribe other…

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Source: The Daily Chronic

Pennsylvania Libertarians Condemn Matt Baker’s Attempts to Block Medical Marijuana Bill

Pennsylvania Libertarians Condemn Matt Baker’s Attempts to Block Medical Marijuana Bill

Denying Pennsylvanians access to medical cannabis is cruel punishment for those suffering from a variety of illnesses

In response to actions by Pennsylvania State Representative Matt Baker (R-68th District) blocking a vote on Senate Bill 3 – which would legalize the use of cannabis for medical purposes  – Matthew Schutter, Chairman of the Lehigh County Libertarian Party and candidate for Carbon County Sheriff, issued the following statement on behalf of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania:

“Citizens in 23 states plus the District of Columbia have access, with a doctor’s prescription, to medical cannabis. This substance provides them with relief from symptoms associated with chemotherapy, AIDS, PTSD, glaucoma, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and other conditions. For many medical…

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Source: The Daily Chronic

Delaware Senate Committee Approves Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

Delaware Senate Committee Approves Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

The full Senate will now consider HB 39, which would replace potential jail time with a civil fine for possession of a small amount of marijuana by adults; the House approved the measure earlier this month

DOVER, DE — The Delaware Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill 4-2 on Wednesday that would remove criminal penalties and potential jail time for simple adult marijuana possession and replace them with a civil fine similar to a traffic ticket.

The measure will now be considered by the full Senate.

House Bill 39, introduced by Rep. Helene Keeley (D-Wilmington South) in the House and sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chair Margaret Rose Henry (D-Wilimington East) in the Senate, would make possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by an adult a civil violation punishable by a $100…

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Source: The Daily Chronic

Federal Study: Passage of Medical Marijuana Laws Don’t Increase Teen Use

Federal Study: Passage of Medical Marijuana Laws Don’t Increase Teen Use

The enactment of state laws legalizing the use and distribution of cannabis for medical purposes has not caused an increase in marijuana use by adolescents, according to the results of a federally funded study published this week in Lancet Psychiatry.

Investigators at Columbia University in New York and the University of Michigan assessed the relationship between state medical marijuana laws and rates of self-reported adolescent marijuana use over a 24-year period in a sampling of over one million adolescents in 48 states. Researchers reported no increase in teens’ overall use of the plant that could be attributable to changes in law, and acknowledged a “robust” decrease in use among 8th graders.

They concluded: “[T]he results of this study showed no evidence for an increase in…

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New York Passes Medical Marijuana Emergency Access Bill

New York Passes Medical Marijuana Emergency Access Bill

Patients and Families Demand Governor Sign the Bill into Law Immediately

ALBANY, NY — Monday night, in an unusual show of bipartisan support, the New York Senate voted 50 to 12 in favor of a bill, sponsored by Senator Joe Griffo, that directs the state to establish a program to help critically ill patients obtain emergency access to medical marijuana as soon as possible.

The Assembly version, sponsored by Assemblyman Dick Gottfried, passed last week by an overwhelming majority (130-18). The bill now goes to Governor Cuomo for his signature or veto.

The passage of this bill comes almost exactly one year after the legislature passed New York’s medical marijuana law and almost ten months after the Governor urged the Health Commissioner to do everything in his power to get medical…

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Medical Marijuana Laws Do Not Lead to Increases in Teen Use

This is not the first study to find that medical marijuana laws do not have an impact on teen use – but this study is the most comprehensive and valid, given the large sample size, the long study period and adjusting results for other factors that might contribute to marijuana use, such as gender, age and geographic location.

Additionally, the study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which has been critical of the impact of medical marijuana laws on teen use.

“Medical marijuana relieves pain and suffering for millions and does not lead to an increase in teen marijuana use,”  said Amanda Reiman, manager of Marijuana Law and Policy for the Drug Policy Alliance and professor at UC Berkeley. “This should end the ‘What About The Kids’ argument used by opponents…

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Legalizing medical marijuana does not increase use among adolescents

A nationwide study analyzing 24 years of data (1991 to 2014) from over one million American adolescents in the 48 contiguous states has found no evidence that legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes leads to increased use among teenagers.

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The Colorado’s Supreme Court Unfortunate Ruling On Employment Discrimination

The Colorado’s Supreme Court Unfortunate Ruling On Employment Discrimination

Earlier this week, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that employers in Colorado can fire employees for cannabis use even if they are medical cannabis patients. At the center of Monday’s ruling is Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic that used cannabis to control leg spasms while off duty from his job. Coats had argued that his usage was protected under Colorado state law, but the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that he could be fired because cannabis is illegal under federal law.

Here are some key takeaways to help you understand the ruling:

This Ruling is Very Narrow

Law professor Sam Kamin told the Denver Post that the ruling “really comes down to interpreting this one word in this one statute.” Because cannabis is not legal under federal law, the Court ruled that the Colorado law…

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Colorado Supreme Court Affirms Employers Rights to Fire Medical Marijuana Patients for Off-Duty Marijuana Use

The case involved Brandon Coats, a 34-year-old quadriplegic, who uses marijuana to help with spasms and seizures due to a debilitating car accident. Coats worked as a customer service representative for Dish Network for three years until he was randomly drug tested and subsequently fired for testing positive for THC.

The highest court in the state has now firmly sided with employers on this issue, giving advocates a clear message that state protections are needed.

The case and many others like it highlight the gray areas and legal fixes needed in Colorado and other states that have reformed their marijuana laws. Given that the substance remains illegal under federal law, any rights bestowed upon civilians by state law fall far short of fully protecting medical marijuana patients and…

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Costa Rican Ministry of Health Releases Criteria for Pending Medical Marijuana Bill

Announcement Followed By First Conference In Central America On Medical Marijuana; Marijuana Reform Initiative Finally Brings Central America Into The Regional Debate

“By taking this issue seriously, Costa Rica is demonstrating compassion for those whose suffering could be alleviated with medical marijuana,” said Hannah Hetzer, Policy Manager of the Americas at the Drug Policy Alliance. “With so much momentum for drug policy reform building in the Americas, Costa Rica’s medical marijuana initiative brings Central America into a debate that is already strongly underway elsewhere in the region.”

Among the conditions specified by the Ministry are that medical marijuana must be used as a last resort and that recreational use of marijuana will continue to be illegal. Medical…

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Colorado: Supreme Court Affirms Employees Can Be Fired For Off-The-Job Marijuana Use

Colorado: Supreme Court Affirms Employees Can Be Fired For Off-The-Job Marijuana Use

DENVER, CO — Members of the Colorado Supreme Court have unanimously affirmed lower courts’ rulings that employers possess the authority to fire employees for their off-the-job use of marijuana.

The Court found that the plant’s legal status under state law does not make the act of consuming cannabis “lawful” under the state’s Lawful Off-Duty Activities Statute.

The Justices opined:

“The supreme court holds that under the plain language of section 24-34-402.5, C.R.S. (2014), Colorado’s ‘lawful activities statute,’ the term ‘lawful’ refers only to those activities that are lawful under both state and federal law. Therefore, employees who engage in an activity such as medical marijuana use that is permitted by state law but unlawful under federal law are not protected…

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Georgia Commission on Medical Cannabis to Hold Hearings

Georgia Commission on Medical Cannabis to Hold Hearings

ATLANTA, GA — For the first time in Georgia’s history, lawmakers and professionals will be investigative how to regulate and establish in-state cultivation and dispensing of cannabis to qualified patients under House Bill 1 signed into law April 16, 2015 by Gov. Deal.

Georgia C.A.R.E. Project director James Bell and many other advocates/patients will be attending the hearing on Tuesday June 16, 2015 at 1:00 pm in the Coverdale Legislative Office Building across from the state capitol.

HB-1 is viewed as the first step of many that will inevitably re-establish regulations and guidelines for safe and legal access to cannabis in Georgia.

It is Georgia C.A.R.E. Project’s position that Georgia must take the following steps:

  1. Regulations must be established to allow in-sate cultivation and…

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Source: The Daily Chronic