Browsing: Legislation

5396653671_90a1883f31_b_1_Matthew Kenwrick/Flickr

Trying to pass marijuana legislation in Texas “is akin to trying to clean the Statue of Liberty by licking it,” State Representative Harold Dutton (D-Houston) said in a recent interview with Houston NORML.

Sure, it’s no doubt been tough. But after four more states legalized recreational marijuana on November 8, might Texas be a little more inclined to at least take more baby steps?

Dutton is hoping the answer is yes. Last week, lawmakers filed several key marijuana-reform bills or proposals in the Legislature, ranging from a proposal allowing Texas voters to decide whether weed should be legalized to various bills that decriminalize possessing an ounce or less.

field-of-pot-nate-nicholsNate Nichols

If the latest crop of polls is correct, medical marijuana will be legally available to sick people in Florida tomorrow. As of late October, close to 80 percent of Floridians supported Amendment 2, which would legalize weed statewide for medical purposes, such as helping cancer or Alzheimer’s patients. Sixty percent of the electorate needs to approve the measure for it to pass.

But even assuming it passes, many Florida residents might need to travel pretty far to get their hands on medicinal cannabis. That’s because multiple cities are already gearing up to pass six-month “moratoriums” on medical marijuana — including Miami Beach.

medical-marijuana-florida-amendment-weedShutterstock.com

Attitudes toward medical marijuana are shifting as more states pass laws recognizing it as a form of treatment — not a way to get high. But as Floridians gear up this November to vote on a constitutional amendment that would legalize curative cannabis, it seems that the City of Wilton Manors is scheming to keep it out.

A new ordinance that will go through its first reading at tonight’s commission meeting will place heavy restrictions on business owners looking to obtain a medical marijuana permit. If passed, it will impose a 1,000-foot buffer around daycares, churches, rehab facilities, and schools — leaving only a sliver of available property on the outskirts of town.

cannabis_stock_image_photo_by_lindsey_bartlett_5_Lindsey Bartlett

Florida’s anti-pot lobby is back. And just like in 2014, it’s spreading straight-up lies about medical marijuana to try to frighten voters. Two years ago, Amendment 2 netted 58 percent of the vote — just short of the 60 percent it needed to pass.

That result likely had something to do with Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson’s scare campaign to shut the amendment down: Adelson spent more than $5 million to help fund the Drug Free Florida Committee, an anti-pot political action committee and PR campaign.

Now, with another medical marijuana amendment on the ballot this November, the Drug Free Florida Committee is back, but minus Adelson’s largesse so far. This time, Mel Sembler, a former U.S. ambassador and major Mitt Romney donor, is the money man behind the push.

Last week, Drug Free Florida sent New Times one of its first mass mailers — and it is extremely silly. The list, titled “The Top 10 Reasons to Vote NO on Amendment 2,” is chockfull of factual inaccuracies and half-truths straight out of the film Reefer Madness.

We debunked them so you don’t have to do it yourself.

DNC tokeLindsey Bartlett

Democrats have adopted a platform that their members are trumpeting as the “most progressive platform in party history” — and when it comes to marijuana, Dems aren’t just blowing smoke. The Party of the Donkey has taken a position on marijuana that no major political party in the United States has taken before.

The preliminary draft of the platform, released on July 1 by theDemocratic National Convention Committee, asserts that states should be “laboratories of democracy on the issue of marijuana.”

It goes on to say states that wish to decriminalize marijuana should be allowed to do so.

800px-Las_Vegas_63-thumb-560x340.jpgadmin | Toke of the Town

Dear Stoner: I’m going to Vegas in October and wonder if I can use my Colorado medical card to pick up a little medicine while I’m there.
Rich

Dear Rich: Nevada is one of the few medical marijuana states with a reciprocity law that allows out-of-state patients to possess and purchase cannabis while they’re visiting. Although the state might not have as many dispensaries or options as you’ll find in Colorado, Nevada has become a haven for patients coming from states with more restrictive regulations — and those coming from states with no MMJ. A February article in the Las Vegas Sun detailed how pre-screened tourists with a valid California ID or U.S. passport boarded a California-bound bus in Vegas and were connected with a doctor, who evaluated the tourists for a California medical card. If the tourists were approved, a medical marijuana recommendation was printed on the bus in Vegas, where the new patients were then free to visit dispensaries and carry and consume cannabis.


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Azel Praer/Flickr
The seeds of change are sprouting in Kansas


The way that the laws are currently written, you really do not want to get busted with weed in Wichita, Kansas…or any part of Kansas for that matter.
A first-time offense for simple pot possession in Kansas will earn you a misdemeanor charge on your record, up to a $2,500 fine, and even a year in jail. Get popped a second time and you could be looking at a felony.
But if the pro-cannabis advocacy group Kansas for Change has their way, that may be about to change for the better.


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In 1999, the voters in Maine approved the state’s first medical marijuana bill with a lopsided 61% approval. A decade later, the law was improved upon to allow for storefront dispensaries and to broaden the list of acceptable medical conditions that marijuana could be recommended for. In 2011, the law was built upon once again, protecting patients’ rights by making many registration processes optional.
In November of 2013 Portland, Oregon became the first city on the east coast to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults over the age of 21. In November of this year, the city of South Portland became the second.
Statewide recreational marijuana legalization -similar to what we’ve seen in Colorado, Washington, Alaska, and D.C. – appears to be inevitable in Maine.


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Indiana State Sen. Karen Tallian.

Emboldened by recent federal developments that seemingly gives states more authority to regulate medical cannabis, an Indiana state Senator says she’s ready to (once again) push a medical marijuana bill through the state legislature.
State Sen. Karen Tallian has unsuccessfully ran marijuana-related bills for years (including decriminalization measures) that didn’t even get the respect of a hearing in a committee. But Tallian says that the time is right to have a real discussion about legalizing marijuana for medical uses in her state and urged Republicans on the other side of the aisle to get their heads out of the sand.


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Florida For Care, the group that put together a bipartisan Blue Ribbon Committee to dictate regulatory standards had the medical marijuana amendment passed back in November, is hosting a couple of conferences they’ve dubbed “The Future of Medical Marijuana in Florida.”
With Amendment 2 defeated in the polls in November, the group is moving forward to start, as they put it, “strategizing and planning in advance of Florida’s Legislative Session.”
The next legislative session is scheduled for March.

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