Illinois Marijuana Legalization Hearings Coming to Chicago Next Week

(Flickr/Kristen Wall)

CHICAGO, IL — Sponsors of a proposal to regulate and tax marijuana for adult use in Illinois announced Wednesday that lawmakers will hold the first hearing on the bill next week in Chicago.

The Senate and House Appropriations committees will hold a joint hearing on SB 316 and HB 2353 on Wednesday, April 19, in the Michael A. Bilandic Building, according to Senate Committee Chairwoman Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and Rep. Kelly Cassidy…

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Kansas City Voters to Vote on Decriminalizing Marijuana on April 4

KANSAS CITY, MO — After more than a year of negotiations with city officials, and countless hours cultivating support for a ballot measure aimed at decriminalizing certain amounts of marijuana, members of Kansas City NORML will finally have a chance to hear from voters on the issue.

Next Tuesday, April 4, 2017, Kansas City voters will weigh in on Question 5. If approved, the measure will amend local laws regarding the possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana for adults age 21 and older…

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Illinois Poll Finds Two-Thirds of Voters Support Legalizing Marijuana

CARBONDALE, IL — Sixty-six percent of voters believe that the adult use and sale of marijuana ought to be treated like alcohol, according to statewide polling data compiled by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University.

Support for legalization is strongest among voters under 35 years of age (83 percent) and among Democrats (77 percent). However, majorities of respondents in every age demographic and of every political ideology endorse regulating…

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Illinois General Assembly to Consider Ending Marijuana Prohibition, Regulating and Taxing Marijuana for Adult Use

SPRINGFIELD, IL — State lawmakers introduced legislation Wednesday that would end marijuana prohibition in Illinois and establish a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed for adult use.

The Senate bill, SB 316, is sponsored by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Heather Steans (D-Chicago), while the House version, HB 2353, was presented by Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago). Each would make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess, grow, and purchase…

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Illinois State Treasurer Urges Trump to Let Banks Work with Marijuana Industry

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs on Monday sent a letter to President Trump asking for “clear guidance” in allowing banks to do business with the marijuana industry.

Illinois is one of 28 states that allows medical marijuana under a state-supervised program.

Federal law currently prohibits banks from processing money from customers working in the legal marijuana industry, making it difficult for marijuana related businesses to do…

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Minnesota Adds PTSD to Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana

Minnesota-medical-marijuana

In a press conference last week, Dr. Ed Ehlinger, the Minnesota Commissioner of Health, announced the department will add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis.

Patients who suffer from PTSD and have their doctor’s certification will be eligible to sign up for a medical cannabis card beginning August 2017.

Dr. Ehlinger also announced that the department will expand the program by allowing medical cannabis…

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Kansas City NORML’s Decriminalization Effort Qualifies for City Ballot

Kansas City, MO (Flickr/Dean Hochman)

KANSAS CITY, MO — Petitioners seeking to decriminalize municipal penalties specific to the possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana have gathered sufficient signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot, a representative from the Kansas City Clerk’s office confirmed today.

The proposal, spearheaded by Kansas City NORML, amends citywide penalties from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil fine, punishable by a $25 fine….

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Michigan Governor Signs Measures Regulating Medical Cannabis Dispensing

Michigan Governor Signs Measures Regulating Medical Cannabis Dispensing

LANSING, MI — Governor Rick Snyder has signed a package of legislation into law regulating the retail sale of medical cannabis and cannabis-infused products. The measures are ordered to take immediate effect.

The measures seek to clarify and expand various aspects of the state’s 2008 medical cannabis law. Specifically, the new law provides qualified patients for the first time with legal protections regarding the possession and use of non-smoked cannabis derived topical products and edibles, as well as cannabis-based extract products.

The…

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Michigan Lawmakers Send 3 Bills to Regulate Medical Marijuana to Gov. Snyder

Michigan Lawmakers Send 3 Bills to Regulate Medical Marijuana to Gov. Snyder

These measures seek to better clarify and expand Michigan’s medical cannabis law.

LANSING, MI — Lawmakers have given final approval to a package of bills, HB 4209/4210, HB 4827, SB 141, and SB 1014, to regulate the retail sale of medical cannabis and cannabis-infused products.

The measures, which lawmakers had debated for the past two years, now await action by Governor Rick Snyder (R).

House Bill 4209 licenses and regulates above-ground, safe access facilities where state-qualified patients may legally obtain medical marijuana. Michigan…

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Medical Marijuana Now Legal in Ohio as New Law Officially Takes Effect

Medical Marijuana Now Legal in Ohio as New Law Officially Takes Effect

Patients with qualifying medical conditions will receive legal protections as state initiates process of establishing a regulated system of medical marijuana production and distribution

COLUMBUS, OH — Ohio’s new medical marijuana law will officially go into effect on Thursday, September 8.

Patients with qualifying medical conditions will receive limited legal protections from laws prohibiting marijuana possession, as several state agencies formally begin the process of establishing a regulated system of medical marijuana production and…

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Chronic Pain Added as Qualifying Condition to Minnesota’s Medical Marijuana Program

Chronic Pain Added as Qualifying Condition to Minnesota’s Medical Marijuana Program

SAINT PAUL, MN — Pain patients in Minnesota can now find hope, as they are now able to access the state’s year-old medical marijuana program.

Supporters of this move believe it will provide thousands of patients with a safer alternative to prescription opioids and allow them to prevent or overcome dependency on prescription-based painkillers.

Minnesota legalized medical marijuana in 2014, allowing smoke-free forms of the substance to be consumed by those with doctors’ recommendations. The medical marijuana program took effect in 2015,…

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Illinois: Governor Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Measure

Illinois: Governor Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Measure

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation today amending the state’s marijuana possession penalties.

Senate Bill 2228 reduces the penalties for the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor (formerly punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,500 fine) to a civil fine of no more than $200 — no arrest and no criminal record.

It also decriminalizes related offenses involving the possession of marijuana paraphernalia.

Senate Bill 2228 also amends the state’s zero tolerance per se traffic safety…

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Illinois Governor Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Into Law

Illinois Governor Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Into Law

Illinois is now the 21st state in the nation to remove the threat of jail time for simple marijuana possession; possession of a personal amount is now considered a civil violation punishable by a fine of $100-$200, similar to a traffic ticket

SPRINGFIELD, IL. — Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill into law Friday that removes criminal penalties for possession of a personal amount of marijuana and replaces them with a civil fine.

The new law is effective immediately.

SB 2228, introduced by Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), makes possession of up to…

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Illinois Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Expansion Law

Illinois Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Expansion Law

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has signed legislation to expand and extend the state’s medical marijuana program.

The legislation, Senate Bill 10, extends the state’s medical cannabis program to 2020. Legislation initiating the program was set to expire in 2018.

Other changes to the program include: adding post-traumatic stress and any terminal illness as qualifying medical conditions; extending the lifespan of state-issued registry cards from one year to three years in duration; and amending the requirement that…

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Ohio Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Vaporization Measure

Ohio Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Vaporization Measure

Ohio Governor John Kasich has signed legislation into law establishing regulations for the licensed production and dispensing of medical cannabis formulations to qualified patients.

House Bill 523 authorizes the use of various forms of cannabis preparations for the physician-authorized treatment of the following qualifying conditions: acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS); Alzheimer’s disease; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease); cancer; chronic traumatic encephalopathy; Crohn’s disease; epilepsy or other seizure…

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Michigan Marijuana Legalization Initiative Takes Double Blow, But Vows to Fight On

Michigan Marijuana Legalization Initiative Takes Double Blow, But Vows to Fight On

Efforts to let Michiganders vote on legalizing marijuana this year suffered a one-two punch from the state’s political establishment today, but organizers are unbowed and are vowing to keep up the fight to get their initiative on the ballot.

The campaign is led by the Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Committee, also known as MI Legalize.

First, the state election board ruled Tuesday that the initiative was at least 106,000 signatures short of qualifying after throwing out 137,000 signatures that were gathered more than 180 days…

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Ohioans For Medical Marijuana Suspend 2016 Signature Drive

Ohioans For Medical Marijuana Suspend 2016 Signature Drive

With the recent passage of Ohio’s relatively comprehensive medical marijuana bill in the state legislature, a leading campaign working to place the issue of medical marijuana legalization before voters in November announced Saturday that they were suspending their signature drive.

Brandon Lynaugh, campaign manager for Ohioans for Medical Marijuana, made the announcement in a statement to supporters:

Late Friday evening, after considerable discussion, the decision was made to suspend our drive to place an issue on the November 2016 Ohio…

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Ohio Set to Become the 26th Medical Cannabis State

Ohio Set to Become the 26th Medical Cannabis State

WASHINGTON, DC — Late on Wednesday night, the Ohio Legislature passed a medical marijuana bill, HB 523, which would create a system of retail distribution in the state. The bill passed by a vote of 18-15 in the Senate, followed shortly by a 67-28 vote in the House.

Governor John Kasich (R) is expected to the sign the bill, which will make Ohio the 26th medical cannabis state and the 42nd state with either a medical cannabis or cannabidiol (CBD) law. This means that there are now more than 310 million Americans living in a state whose…

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Illinois Lawmakers Pass Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

Illinois Lawmakers Pass Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

SB 2228, which includes provisions agreed upon by Gov. Bruce Rauner and lawmakers, would replace potential jail time with a civil fine for possession of a personal amount of marijuana

CHICAGO, IL — The Illinois House approved a bill 64-50 on Tuesday that would replace criminal penalties with a civil fine for possession of a personal amount of marijuana. It will now go to Gov. Bruce Rauner for approval, having previously passed in the Senate.

Senate Bill 2228, introduced by Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), would make possession of up to 10…

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Illinois Lawmakers Pass Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

Illinois Lawmakers Pass Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

SB 2228, which includes provisions agreed upon by Gov. Bruce Rauner and lawmakers, would replace potential jail time with a civil fine for possession of a personal amount of marijuana

CHICAGO, IL — The Illinois House approved a bill 64-50 on Tuesday that would replace criminal penalties with a civil fine for possession of a personal amount of marijuana. It will now go to Gov. Bruce Rauner for approval, having previously passed in the Senate.

Senate Bill 2228, introduced by Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), would make possession of up to 10…

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Ohio Medical Marijuana Initiative Certified, Signature Gathering Begins

Ohio Medical Marijuana Initiative Certified, Signature Gathering Begins

Ohioans for Medical Marijuana must collect 305,591 valid signatures of Ohio voters by early July to qualify for the November ballot; the proposed measure would allow patients with debilitating medical conditions to legally access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it

COLUMBUS, OH — The Ohio Ballot Board certified a proposed ballot initiative on Thursday that could establish a comprehensive medical marijuana program in Ohio. The five-member board reviews proposed ballot measures to ensure they represent only one issue.

Ohioans for…

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Ohio Attorney General Certifies Medical Marijuana Initiative

Ohio Attorney General Certifies Medical Marijuana Initiative

The measure proposed by Ohioans for Medical Marijuana would allow patients with debilitating medical conditions to legally access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it

COLUMBUS, OH — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine notified Ohioans for Medical Marijuana on Friday that he has certified the summary of the group’s proposed ballot initiative to establish a comprehensive medical marijuana program and submitted it to the Ohio Secretary of State.

The attorney general confirmed the group submitted at least 1,000 valid signatures of…

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Ohio Medical Marijuana Initiative Submitted to Attorney General’s Office

Ohio Medical Marijuana Initiative Submitted to Attorney General’s Office

The proposed measure would allow patients with debilitating medical conditions to legally access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Backers of a proposed 2016 ballot measure to establish a comprehensive medical marijuana program in Ohio submitted their initiative petition to the Ohio Attorney General on Thursday with more than 2,000 signatures.

The office has 10 days to examine the official summary of the initiative and confirm the petition contains at least 1,000 valid signatures of Ohio voters. The petition…

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Poll: 3 of 4 Ohio Voters Support Legalizing Medical Marijuana

Poll: 3 of 4 Ohio Voters Support Legalizing Medical Marijuana

Public Policy Polling survey finds 74% in favor and only 22% opposed as advocates prepare to launch a campaign in support of a constitutional ballot initiative that would allow seriously ill patients to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it

COLUMBUS, OH — Approximately three out of four Ohio voters support amending the state constitution to make medical marijuana legal for patients with terminal or debilitating conditions, according to a new poll by Public Policy Polling released Monday.

The survey of 672 randomly selected…

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Michigan Medical Marijuana Patients Eligible for Unemployment Benefits

Michigan Medical Marijuana Patients Eligible for Unemployment Benefits

LANSING, MI — State qualified medical cannabis patients are eligible to receive unemployment benefits, according to the Michigan Supreme Court.

Justices let stand a 2014 appeals court ruling determining that patients can receive compensation even in cases where their employer has fired them for failing a drug screen. As long as there is “no evidence to suggest that the positive drug tests were caused by anything other than claimants’ use of medical marijuana in accordance with the terms of the MMMA (Michigan Medical Marijuana Act),…

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Minnesota to Allow Medical Marijuana for Intractable Pain

Minnesota to Allow Medical Marijuana for Intractable Pain

ST. PAUL, MN — Patients suffering from intractable pain will soon be able to have access to medical marijuana in Minnesota.

Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger announced the decision to add intractable pain, as defined in Minnesota law, to the list of qualifying conditions for which patients can legally access medical marijuana on Wednesday, while calling upon the state’s health care community to boost efforts to help patients deal with pain more effectively.

Ehlinger said it was a “difficult decision”…

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Was Anchoring Medical Marijuana to Recreational in Ohio Bad for Patients?

Was Anchoring Medical Marijuana to Recreational in Ohio Bad for Patients?

By now, everyone in the medical marijuana reform movement has seen the results in Ohio, where the commingled recreational and medical cannabis voter initiative (Issue 3) put forth by ResponsibleOhio was defeated at the polls by a nearly 2:1 margin.

Aside from sanctimonious hand wringing from recreational proponents treating patient access as a political weapon against those who had concerns with the implications of Issue 3’s licensing structure (which has been talked about ad nauseam and won’t be discussed in detail here), nobody has…

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Illinois Governor Rejects Additional Medical Marijuana Conditions

Illinois Governor Rejects Additional Medical Marijuana Conditions

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill Thursday that would have allowed patients suffering from eleven different conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder, to qualify for the state’s medical marijuana program.

Other conditions that would have been added to the program included chronic post-surgical pain, osteoarthritis and irritable bowel syndrome. The addition of the qualifying conditions had been suggested by the Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board earlier this year.

In his veto message, Rauner…

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