Marijuana and Cannabis Legislation
The effort to legalize marijuana in Missouri continues as ten different legalization proposals have been sent to the Secretary of State Jason Kander's office and are open for public comment.
But these aren't just changes to laws. They're changes to the Missouri State Constitution, similar to what Colorado has and done so in a way so no buzz-kill state legislator can try to repeal it. The Riverfront Times has the full story.
Three marijuana-related bills in Michigan leaped initial hurdles this morning, passing out of the House Judiciary committee. The first would allow for medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in the state again legally and the other makes legal marijuana-infused products including edibles and tinctures.
A third measure passed allowing pharmacies to sell and produce "pharmaceutical grade" cannabis that is if the FDA ever allows such a thing to happen. All three measures move on to the full House for consideration.
The Drug Policy Alliance Wednesday filed ballot initiative language last week that would legalize up to an ounce of pot and four plants for adults over 21 in California as well as allow for recreational cannabis sales with a tax of up to 25 percent.
But as of now, nobody seems willing to push it. According to a blog post at StopTheDrugWar.org last night, DPA officials say they aren't sure if they are even going to push for the measure right now due to remaining shell shock from failure of 2010's Proposition 19 that would have legalized recreational cannabis in the Golden State.
Sensible British Columbia Campaign organizer Dana Larsen Sunday announced that the ballot initiative they had been pushing to decriminalize marijuana possession failed to collect enough signature in time for the deadline.
Still, the group says they collected 200,000 signatures and that they're looking forward to 2015 with another plan to prevent police from enforcing marijuana laws in the Canadian province.
A proposed New Jersey law would allow medical marijuana patients in New Jersey to purchase meds in other medical marijuana states and travel back to New Jersey with their meds.
While it has good intentions, it seems the authors are missing a few key components: namely that New Jersey law only extends to the border of New Jersey and they can't compel other medical marijuana states to follow New Jersey law.
In just six days on Dec. 5 the Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether or not a proposed medical marijuana initiative already in the signature-gathering process will be allowed to move forward.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi says that the language proposed would open the floodgates for rampant abuse of the medical marijuana program. Medical marijuana supporters - including nearly 80 percent of Florida voters - think Bondi is horribly out of touch.
Fifteen years ago, voters in the state of Washington passed into law one of the nation's first state-level medical marijuana programs. While certainly flawed, as most of those early laws were, the pioneering program has produced a robust network of doctors, growers, dispensaries, and patients in the Pacific Northwest.
Last year, in the 2012 elections, Washington joined Colorado as the first two states to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults, enjoying an easy 55-45 victory at the polls. More recently, a memo was sent out by Attorney General Eric Holder and the U.S. Department of Justice, essentially giving the two states the feds' blessing to move ahead with their experiments with legal weed. It's all good in Washington, then, right? Unfortunately, no.
Could medical marijuana be sold through actual pharmacies in Michigan? That's the hope of a few Michigan lawmakers, who say that the plant should be rescheduled to include it along with other beneficial medicines and have it sold over-the-counter in licensed pharmacies.
The only catch: the feds would have to give their okay first.
Senate Bill 660, written by Michigan state Sens. Roger Kahn and Randy Richardville, would reschedule marijuana as a Schedule II drug, alongside drugs like morphine and OxyContin. Cannabis is currently a Schedule 1 drug, which means it has no medicinal value whatsoever in the eyes of the (clearly shortsighted) federal government.
Lorelei Ulrich has been steadily declining in health for four years, suffering from epilepsy that has her lifeless, not wanting to eat or play and basically wasting away. Her parents say that all of the treatments they have tried haven't helped - but medical cannabis treatments high in CBD have worked for kids in other states and now the Ulriches are fighting to make it legal in their state.
Portland, Maine voters this November are being asked to legalize the possession (not the purchase or sale, mind you) of up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis for adults over the age of 21 in the city. Currently, that amount is decriminalized with no jail time and a maximum $600 fine.
While the law change really won't changemuch, news reports this week tout Portland as a test-case for future East Coast cities and states thinking about similar progressive marijuana laws. But is it?