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Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: WVA Welfare Drug Test Bill Advances, ME Voters Want Drug Decrim, More... (2/9/16)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 02/09/2016 - 22:49

Medical marijuana bills get filed not only in Iowa, but also Australia and Greece, a new poll shows enlightened drug policy attitudes among Maine voters, Republican US senators hold competing events for and against sentencing reform legislation, and more. 

 

[image:1 align:left caption:true]Medical Marijuana

 

Florida Medical Marijuana Bill Reemerges. A bill that would allow terminally ill patients to use medical marijuana has come out of hibernation in the House. After months on the sidelines, the bill, House Bill 307, was approved by the House Appropriations Subcommittee Tuesday on a 9-2 vote. It now needs one more committee vote before heading for the House floor.

 

Iowa Medical Marijuana Bill Filed. State Rep. Peter Cownie (R-West Des Moines) Tuesday filed a bill that would make it legal to grow medical marijuana, produce CBD cannabis oil, and create dispensaries. The bill is not yet on the legislative website. Republican lawmakers last year killed similar legislation.

 

Drug Policy

Maine Voters Support Drug Decriminalization, Not Punitive Drug Policies, Poll Finds. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of voters support decriminalizing drug possession, according to a new poll conducted by Public Policy Polling. More than seven out of 10 (71%) said substantially reducing incarceration rates was important to them. The poll comes as the state's Tea Party governor, Paul Le Page (R), is pushing legislation that would roll back reforms passed last year that make simple drug possession a misdemeanor instead of a felony.

West Virginia Senate Passes Welfare Drug Testing Bill. The Senate overwhelmingly (32-2) approved Senate Bill 6, which would create a three-year pilot program to drug test applicants for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program if state employees have "reasonable suspicion" they are using drugs. "Reasonable suspicion" can be triggered by applicants demonstrating "qualities indicative of substance abuse" or having been arrested on a drug charge in the past five years. The bill now goes to the House of Delegates.

Law Enforcement

Massachusetts Bill Would Let Users Turn in Drugs Without Fear of Punishment.  Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester) has filed a bill that would allow addicts seeking treatment to turn in unwanted drugs without the threat of prosecution. A person "who, in good faith, enters a police station and seeks assistance or treatment for a drug-related addiction, or is the subject of a good faith request for such assistance or treatment, shall not be charged or prosecuted for possession of a controlled substance"  if the evidence for such a charge was gained as a result of seeking treatment. The bill is before the Joint Judiciary Committee.

Sentencing

Republican Senators and Law Enforcement Leaders Rally for Federal Sentencing Reform Bill. Sens. Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Mike Lee (R-UT) joined law enforcement leaders today for a Capitol Hill briefing in support of the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 (S. 2123). The briefing, supported by Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration, comes the same day two other Republican senators, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Jeff Sessions of Alabama, hosted an event to oppose the bill.

International

Australian Government Filed Medical Marijuana Legislation. The federal government today filed legislation to allow the cultivation of marijuana for medical or scientific purposes. The bill would create a national scheme to regulate cultivation for such purposes.

Greek Lawmakers File Medical Marijuana Bill. Twenty members of the governing Syriza Party Monday filed legislation to legalize marijuana for medical and pharmaceutical purposes. "The proven beneficial effect in cases of especially dangerous diseases, such as glaucoma, cancer, epilepsy, anorexia nervosa, malignancies make the legalization of cannabis as medicine — already used in many developed countries — imperative. The criminalization of cannabis use has resulted in leading many patients and their families to acquire cannabis through illegal channels, something that entails substantial loss of revenue for the State, organized crime activities and pushing patients to resort illegal activities," the lawmakers argued.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

US OH: Medical Marijuana Plan For Ohio Pitched

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 02/09/2016 - 08:00
Dayton Daily News, 09 Feb 2016 - Goal Is to Get Funds to Collect Valid Voter Signatures. A team of veteran political operatives put out a 22-page proposal that offers up its political talent to help weed business interests with deep pockets take a run at putting a medical marijuana question before Ohio voters in November.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US FL: Editorial: As Government Drags Its Feet, Voters Move on

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 02/07/2016 - 08:00
The Palm Beach Post, 07 Feb 2016 - After utterly failing to bring relief even to children with severe epilepsy through a non-narcotic form of marijuana, Florida officials fully deserve the wrath of voters who are on the way to taking matters into their own hands - with a constitutional amendment that would make marijuana available for a wide range of debilitating medical conditions. The medical marijuana amendment has gained enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot. It is sponsored by the same folks who fell just short with a similar amendment in 2014. Then, the measure got 58 percent of the vote. This time - in a higher-turnout, presidential election year - the chances of gaining the needed 60 percent seem in the bag.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CA: Editorial: Chico Council Wise to Chill on Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 02/07/2016 - 08:00
Chico Enterprise-Record, 07 Feb 2016 - Time is too short to waste it spinning your wheels, especially in local government where every exercise costs staff time and money. The city of Chico avoided one unnecessary fire drill Tuesday and wisely chose to take a wait-and-see attitude on a second one, all related to the always-confusing topic of marijuana regulation.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US HI: Pot O' Gold

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 02/06/2016 - 08:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 06 Feb 2016 - Celebrities, politicians and attorneys vie to get in on the ground floor of an industry forecast to be worth millions Actor Woody Harrelson, Hollywood producer Shep Gordon and dozens of high-profile attorneys, entrepreneurs and politicians are jumping on the opportunity to sell pot in Hawaii. The state Health Department released Friday a list of 66 applicants for eight dispensary licenses that will allow for the opening of Hawaii's first medical marijuana retail centers as early as July 15.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Fed Bill Would Allow MJ Ad Mailings, Far-Reaching MD Bills Filed, More... (2/5/16)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 22:08

Oregon's federal representatives fight to protect marijuana advertising, medical marijuana and CBD bills are moving in the states, a Maryland delegates files bills for drug treatment on demand, supervised injection sites, opiate maintenance (including heroin), and drug decriminalization -- quite a package! -- and more.

[image:1 align:right caption:true]Marijuana Policy

Oregon Federal Reps File Bill to Allow Published Marijuana Ads. Responding to warnings from the US Postal Service that mailing newspapers or magazines with marijuana advertising is prohibited even in states where it is legal, Oregon's two Democratic senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, have joined with two Democratic House members, Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici, to file the Marijuana Advertising in Legal States (MAILS) Act (HR 4467). The bill would reverse the USPS policy. "Federal agencies must respect the decisions made by law-abiding Oregonians and small business owners in the state," Wyden said. "Our bill updates the federal approach to marijuana, ending the threat to news publications that choose to accept advertising from legal marijuana businesses in Oregon and other states where voters also have freely decided to legalize marijuana."

Michigan Legalization Campaign Getting Close to Signature Goal. The MILegalize campaign says it has already collected some 240,000 raw signatures and is seeking another 100,000 to ensure a comfortable cushion for invalidated signatures. The state requires 252,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

Medical Marijuana

Alabama Bill Would Expand Access to CBD Cannabis Oil. Rep. Mike Ball (R-Madison County) has introduced House Bill 61, which would expand access to CBD beyond a limited study program at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. The new bill would allow parents with a valid recommendation for CBD cannabis oil to possess it in the state.

Delaware Bill Would Allow CBD Cannabis Oil for Kids in Schools. Sen. Ernie Lopez (R-Lewes) has filed Senate Bill 181, which would allow authorized caregivers to possess and administer CBD cannabis oil to pupils in school as needed.

Utah Medical Marijuana, CBD Cannabis Oil Bills Move. Two medical marijuana-related bills are headed for the Senate floor after winning committee votes. Senate Bill 73, filed by Rep. Mark Madsen (R-Saratoga Springs), would allow whole plant medical marijuana, while Senate Bill 89, sponsored by Sen. Evan Vickers (R-Cedar City), would expand on CBD cannabis legislation passed last year.

Kratom

Florida Bill to Ban Kratom Advances. A bill that would ban the increasing popular Southeast Asian herb, which some are using as an alternative to opiates or as a means to withdraw from them, has passed the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. The bill, House Bill 73, would make possession of kratom a misdemeanor. A similar measure seeking to make possession a felony failed last year.

New Synthetic Drugs

Kentucky Bill to Toughen Penalties for New Synthetic Drugs Advances. A bill that would increase penalties for possessing or selling new synthetic drugs has passed the House Judiciary Committee. The bill is House Bill 66.

Drug Policy

Maryland Bill Package Attempts Comprehensive Drug Decriminalization, Harm Reduction Approach. A set of four bills being filed today would upend the way the state deals with drug use and related problems. One bill would provide for drug treatment on demand in emergency rooms and hospital settings, a second bill would allow for safe injection facilities (there are currently none in the US), a third bill would allow for opiate maintenance therapy, including with heroin, and a fourth bill would decriminalize the use and possession of personal use quantities of illicit drugs. The package is being sponsored by Delegate Dan Morhaim (D-Baltimore County).

Drug Testing

Utah Bill Would Repeal Welfare Drug Testing Law. Since Utah approved a welfare drug testing law, only 47 applicants out of nearly 14,000 have tested positive for drugs. That's enough for Rep. Angela Romero (D-Salt Lake City) to call for an end to the program. Her House Bill 172 would do just that. It is currently before the House Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CO: At Bible Study, Weed Brings Revelations

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 08:00
Chicago Tribune, 05 Feb 2016 - Members of Colo. Group Say Pot Strengthens Faith CENTENNIAL, Colo. - As snow began to fall outside, Deb Button snuggled up on her couch, fired up a joint and spoke of the nature of Christ. "Even if Jesus didn't smoke weed, he'd still be a stoner," she said, exhaling a white cloud.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Will the VA Let Doctors Recommend Medical Marijuana to Veterans? [FEATURE]

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 04:31

On Wednesday, a group of 21 US senators and representatives sent a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs calling on it to allow VA doctors to discuss and recommend marijuana as medicine in states where it is legal.

[image:1 align:left]The bipartisan effort was led by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Steve Daines (R-MT), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Dina Titus (D-NV), and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA). All represent medical marijuana states.

Under current VA policy, embodied in VHA Directive 2011-004, which expires Sunday, VA doctors are prohibited recommending marijuana as a treatment option even in legal states. This discourages patients and doctors from being honest with each other.

"According to the current directive, VA providers are prohibited from completing forms seeking recommendations or opinions regarding a veteran's participation in a state-sanctioned marijuana program. This policy disincentivizes doctors and patients from being honest with each other," the solons wrote. "Congress has taken initial steps to alleviate this conflict in law and we will continue to work toward this goal. However, you are in a position to make this change when the current VHA directive expires at the end of this month. We ask that you act to ensure that our veterans' access to care is not compromised and that doctors and patients are allowed to have honest discussions about treatment options."

If patients can't get a recommendation from their VA docs and thus can't access dispensaries, they would be tempted to go elsewhere for recommendations, to doctors "likely far less familiar with their symptoms and medical history," the solons wrote.

[image:2 align:right caption:true]Noting that there has been a "sea change" in the legal framework around marijuana since the directive was issued in 2011, they asked that "upon the directive's expiration, any new directive remove barriers that would interfere with the doctor-patient relationship in states that have chosen to legalize marijuana for medical purposes."

But without a new directive, even though the old one is expiring, it will be the status quo at the VA, said Michael Krawitz, a US Air Force veteran and executive director of Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access. Krawitz participated in the process that led to the production and distribution of the directive.

"VA Directives remain in effect with full force even after expiration unless they are officially replaced or rescinded," he said. "Although I can understand that patients might not know that and might get uneasy about the expiring directive, but in practicality there should be no change in clinical practices caused by the expiration."

While VA patients could be spooked by the expiration, the status quo is unacceptable, said Dr. Sue Sisley, MD, in clinical psychiatry and internal medicine, who has two decades of experience treating veterans and who is set to do a pilot study on medical marijuana and PTSD for veterans.

"I've worked with veterans all over the country who are dealing with severe and chronic, debilitating medical problems," she said. "They just want the treatment that is going to help them the most, with the least side effects. I have seen firsthand the dramatic improvement so many veterans have had while taking cannabis. Not only have they experienced relief from problems such as PTSD, chronic pain, and migraines, but many of them have also been able to break their addiction to more dangerous drugs, such as opioids and benzodiazepines."

[image:3 align:left caption:true]VA staff physician Deborah Gilman, MD, said current VA policy forces physicians to ignore the science if it conflicts with policy.

"Unlike private practice physicians, VA physicians are under a gag order regarding discussing marijuana with patients," she said. "In other settings, doctors can be honest about their medical opinions regarding treatment options, based on science. In the VA, an administrator can write policy that you can't disagree with without losing your job. Veterans are fearful of losing either their medical benefits or their access to health care if they acknowledge using marijuana. This causes a VA doctor to give you a medical opinion based on the VA regulation, not on the science. I knew many VA doctors whose professional opinion was that cannabis might help some of their patients, but they could never say so in their office or in public."

"There is nothing more sacred in healthcare than the doctor-patient relationship," said Sisley. "Right now we are seeing interference with that coveted relationship. No government policy should come between a doctor and their patients. The only people who should be making medical decisions for veterans are their physicians, not a bureaucrat and not a law enforcement official. These men and women have sacrificed so much for their country. It's only fair that they get the care that they deserve, and have access to the whole range of treatment options."

For Krawitz, it's about getting health care he and countless other vets deserve.

"I suffer from a combination of internal injuries and broken bones leading me to be a perfect candidate for cannabis as an adjunct pain treatment," he explained. "I need to be able to go in and see my VA doctor and have a honest conversation where my doctor feels free to gain knowledge now available through continuing medical education and relay that information to me in writing even if that is the very documentation is what I need to participate in a state medical marijuana program."

Now it's up to Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald. He's heard from Congress, he's heard from patients, he's heard from doctors and scientists. We'll see if he's listening.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: MJ Arrests Plummet in NYC & Jamaica, ME May Refelonize Drug Possession, More... (1/4/16)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 21:34

What a difference a policy change makes! After decrim in Jamaica and actually enforcing decrim in New York City, marijuana arrests plummet in both places, a bill to cut pot penalties advances in Kansas, a bill to refelonize hard drug possession is in play in Maine, and more.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]Marijuana Policy

Kansas Senate Approves Cutting Marijuana Penalties. The state Senate Wednesday voted 38-1 to approve House Bill 2049, which lowers marijuana possession penalties. The bill moves first time pot possession from a Class A to a Class B misdemeanor and it moves second-time pot possession from a felony to a Class A misdemeanor. The Senate rejected an effort by Sen. David Haley (D-Kansas City) to decriminalize marijuana possession.

New York City Marijuana Possession Arrests Plummet. Marijuana possession arrests in the city hit their lowest level in 20 years last year, according to new data released by the State Division of Criminal Justice Services. Some 16,590 people were arrested for pot possession last year, down 42% from the year before and down a whopping 67% from 2011, when more than 50,000 people were arrested. While the arrests are down dramatically, what has not changed is the racial disparity in arrests: 88% of those arrested were black or Latino.

Medical Marijuana

California Governor Signs Bill to Kill Medical Marijuana Decision Deadline. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) Wednesday signed Assembly Bill 21, which will give cities and counties more time to develop local rules for commercial medical marijuana cultivation. An error in last year's statewide medical marijuana regulation bill had imposed a March 1 deadline for localities to act or they would lose control over regulating the grows to the state. More than a hundred cities and counties banned commercial cultivation in recent months as the deadline loomed.

Sentencing

Maine Officials Argue for Refelonizing Drug Possession. State Attorney General Janet Mills Wednesday asked lawmakers to approve a bill, LD 1554, that would refelonize the possession of hard drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine. The legislature last year made first-time drug possession a misdemeanor when the defendant had no previous convictions, but Mills and other administration officials argued that without the threat of a felony conviction and sentence (up to five years)) hanging over their heads, drug users could not be forced into drug treatment. " A felony charge brings with it the possibility of a significant period of probation … along with a long sentence hanging over the person," Mills said. "That kind of potential sentence gives the person an incentive to get into treatment and to demonstrate their commitment to recovery." But Mills is getting pushback from lawmakers. Another working session on the bill is set for next week.

International

Marijuana Legalization Could Cut Mexican Cartel Revenues By One-Quarter, Report Says. Mexico supplies between 30% and 50% of the pot consumed in the US, with the drug cartels raking in between one and two billion dollars a year, but that figure could be cut by up to 26% if legalization proceeds apace in the US, according to a report from the Instituto Belisario Dominguez for the Mexican Senate as it debates marijuana policy this spring. Legalization in Mexico itself "could benefit Mexico because that would increase the financial damage to the cartels, especially the Sinaloa cartel."

Jamaica Ganja Arrests Plummet After Decriminalization. National Security Minister Peter Bunning said Tuesday that police have arrested 14,000 fewer people for marijuana possession since the government decriminalized it last year. He pointed out that arrests have serious consequences, including not being able to get a visa to visit the US and problems with finding employment.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN BC: Will Legalization Ignore Medical Marijuana?

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 08:00
The Georgia Straight, 04 Feb 2016 - The Canadian government legalized medical marijuana more than a decade ago. However, Kamloops physician Ian Mitchell told the Straight that patients still come to him with basic questions and often have no idea where they can find advice about cannabis. "I send them to dispensaries, just because there is nowhere else to go," he said in a telephone interview.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CA: Column: Oil Producers Gets Shattered

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 08:00
Sacramento News & Review, 04 Feb 2016 - I heard a club got raided the other day? I thought raids were a thing of the past. What gives? - -Blue Steele Close. It wasn't a cannabis club that got raided, but a cannabis processing facility. Med West Distribution (which makes stuff for the Bhang line of cannabis products) in San Diego was raided by by the local cops, apparently acting on an "anonymous tip." Two people were arrested and charged with manufacturing an illegal substance and manufacturing an illegal substance with intent to sell. Local advocates were surprised that Med West got raided, considering that Med West has been operating at the same spot in San Diego for a few years, and local officials had recently toured the facility.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CA: Council Scraps Pot Ban

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 08:00
The Chico News & Review, 04 Feb 2016 - Proposed Ordinance Was Too Prohibitive, Unnecessary, Members Say "Let's forget this, whatever it was." That was a motion by Chico Vice Mayor Sean Morgan regarding a prohibitive medical marijuana ordinance proposed by City Attorney Vince Ewing at Tuesday night's regular City Council meeting (Feb. 2). The panel agreed unanimously.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CA: No Pot, No Tax Revenue

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 08:00
The Chico News & Review, 04 Feb 2016 - Re "Hasty decisions" (Newslines, by Meredith J. Cooper, Jan. 28): The benefits of medical marijuana, both medically for patients and financially for the state and local governments, should be fair across the board. In the case of Colorado, the state has shown benefits for the schools and government through taxation.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CA: Column: Obama's Unfinished Marijuana Business

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 08:00
SF Weekly, 04 Feb 2016 - OBAMA'S UNFINISHED MARIJUANA BUSINESS Barack Obama was elected president on the promise of change. Back in 2008, there was plenty to improve upon: a wrecked economy, two foreign wars, a fatal addiction to imported fossil fuels.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CA: Column: What Deadline?

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 08:00
North Coast Journal, 04 Feb 2016 - A University of California San Francisco think tank released a study based on proposed marijuana legalization ballot measures that warns of a corporate takeover of the marijuana industry that could have negative public health effects. The report, which comes from the university's Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, says legalization - the most prominent effort for which is being funded by tech billionaire Sean Parker - is likely to lead to big money flowing into Sacramento to lobby for the newly legal industry.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US OR: Column: How To Lobby 101

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 08:00
Portland Mercury, 04 Feb 2016 - I HAVE GOOD NEWS! Today we're going to explore how you can shatter the myth of the lazy, unmotivated, forgetful stoner and defend cannabis consumers everywhere. And you can do it while stoned! I also have not-so-good news! It's going to involve taking time out of your day. Not much, but you are going to have to click on some links, maybe type a little, and make a phone call. So it's about on par with the effort you exert using Tinder-without all that lingering regret.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CA: State Axes Pot Decision Deadline

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 08:00
Los Angeles Times, 04 Feb 2016 - The Move Gives Cities and Counties More Time to Develop Local Rules on the Growing of Medical Marijuana. SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday gave cities and counties more time to develop local regulations on the commercial growing of medical marijuana amid concern that a March 1 deadline had many rushing to ban cultivation.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US NJ: Facebook Blocks Pot Dispensaries' Business Pages

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 08:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 04 Feb 2016 - TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Three of New Jersey's five medical marijuana dispensaries have had their business pages shut down by Facebook, cutting off what advocates call an integral place for customers to learn about which plant strains best treat their illness and where to find discounts. Compassionate Sciences in Bellmawr, Garden State in Woodbridge, and Breakwater Treatment and Wellness in Cranbury had their pages shut down this week.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Update

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 22:54

No new qualifying conditions for Illinois, Puerto Rico adopts medical marijuana regs, a New York state senator files a medical marijuana expansion bill, and more.

[image:1 align:left]Illinois

Last Friday, the state refused to expand the list of qualifying medical conditions. The administration of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner will not allow patients suffering from eight conditions to use medical marijuana. The Department of Public Health announced last Friday that no new conditions would be added despite pleas from patients, advocates, and medical marijuana business owners. The Medical Cannabis Alliance of Illinois issued a statement calling the decision "a gross injustice to patients."

New Hampshire

On Monday, a patient who sued the state over medical marijuana access died. Linda Horan, who sued the state in November to issue her a medical marijuana card so she could get her medicine in Maine because New Hampshire dispensaries hadn't opened, died Monday at age 64. The ailing labor leader won her lawsuit and was able to procure medical marijuana out of state, but succumbed to cancer. The court ruling applied only to Horan, but days after the ruling, the states began sending out ID cards to patients.

New York

Last Friday, a medical marijuana expansion bill was filed. Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan), chair of the Assembly Health Committee, last Friday filed a bill that would double the number of medical marijuana manufacturers and dispensaries in the state. The bill is not yet available on the legislative website.

Puerto Rico

Last Thursday, the commonwealth adopted medical marijuana regulations. The island dependency's Health Department has adopted a regulation to allow for the cultivation, manufacture, and distribution of medical marijuana. The regulation does not allow smoking it. The department said it will implement a seed-to-sale tracking system and award licenses to doctors and companies that want to grow and manufacture medical marijuana projects. The system should be in place by year's end.

Rhode Island

On Wednesday, the governor announced a plan to impose hefty plant taxes on patients and caregivers. Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) has introduced a medical marijuana reform plan that would impose a $150 per plant tax on plants grown by patients and a $350 per plant tax on plants grown by caregivers. The governor says this will help the state raise $8.4 million in new tax revenues. But that tax is based on the administration's position that each plant is worth $17,000, which is nowhere near the case. Patient advocates are not happy.

Wyoming

On Monday, activists said the medical marijuana initiative won't make the ballot. A spokesman for Wyoming NORML, which organized the campaign, said Monday that the group had only managed to gather some 7,000 raw signatures ahead of next week's deadline and will fall far short of the more than 25,000 valid voter signatures required to make the ballot. The group will try again in 2018, it said.

[For extensive information about the medical marijuana debate, presented in a neutral format, visit MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org.]

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: DC Council Backs Away From Pot Club Ban, RI Gov Wants Patient Tax, More... (2/3/16)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 21:49

The idea of marijuana social clubs in the nation's capital remains alive, Rhode Island patients face the prospect of seeing their plants taxed, there are medical marijuana advances in Australia and Poland, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

DC City Council Backs Away from Pot Social Club Ban. The District of Columbia city council today voted to halt consideration of legislation that would permanently ban adult consumption of marijuana outside the home, and instead moved forward with the creation of a task force to explore the establishment of regulated places where adults can legally consume marijuana in the District. Last week, the council passed an emergency ban on social clubs and it was supposed to make that ban permanent today, but backed off in the face of strong public pressure. Instead, it voted to establish a task force to study the issue.

Medical Marijuana

Rhode Island Governor Wants to Impose Hefty Plant Tax on Patients, Caregivers. Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) has introduced a medical marijuana reform plan that would impose a $150 per plant tax on plants grown by patients and a $350 per plant tax on plants grown by caregivers. The governor says this will help the state raise $8.4 million in new tax revenues. But that tax is based on the administration's position that each plant is worth $17,000, which is nowhere near the case. Patient advocates are not happy.

Drug Testing

Wisconsin Bill Would Make It a Crime to Cheat a Drug Test. State Sen. Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) has introduced a bill that would criminalize the possession, sale, or advertising of chemicals used to create synthetic urine to defeat drug tests. Under current state law, workers can be fired for cheating on drug tests, but face no criminal penalty. The bill would make using synthetic urine to cheat a drug test a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail for users and up to 90 days in jail for sellers or manufacturers. Fourteen other states have similar laws.

International

Human Rights Watch Condemns Tunisia's Drug Laws. The group issued a report this week singling out Law 52, which is says requires courts to impose "cruel, disproportionate, and counterproductive" sentences on drug offenders. The law requires a mandatory minimum one year jail sentence for any illegal drug possession, including marijuana.

Australian State Run Synthetic CBD Trials on Children With Epilepsy. The Victoria state government has authorized a study on 10 children as part of an effort to understand the effects of synthetic cannabinoids on children with epilepsy. The trial is set to get underway in Melbourne this month. The state government has kicked in $150,000 for the trial.

Polish Rapper Files Medical Marijuana Bill. The pioneering Polish rapper known as Liroy is now Polish Member of Parliament Piotr Liroy-Marzec, and on Monday, he presented a draft bill to legalize medical marijuana in the East European country. "This draft crowns everything I've said over the years, especially during the election campaign," said Liroy-Marzec. "I promised people I met who were ill that I would do everything possible to table this draft," he said.

Categories: Medical Marijuana
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