Marijuana and Cannabis Legislation
We should be well beyond questioning whether or not marijuana helps our returning veterans cope with post-traumatic stress disorder and other conditions. But instead, vets are still denied access by Veterans Affairs doctors who are bound by federal laws prohibiting weed.
A bill introduced yesterday by Reps. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Dana Rohrabacher of California and co-signed by 10 other bipartisan lawmakers, would change that.
This week's asshole prohibitionist award goes to Kent County (Michigan) Prosecutor William Forsyth, who single-handedly has challenged the will of voters in Grand Rapids after they decided in 2012 to decriminalize up to 2.5 ounces of pot.
He's failed so far, but now the case is in the hands of the state Court of Appeals.
Forsyth first challenged the law in 2013, saying voters have no right to pass a measure that makes city laws conflict with state laws. But his challenge was shut down when a county circuit court judge said voters did have the authority.
Voters in Washington D.C. may have approved the legalization of limited amounts of pot for adults 21 and up earlier this month, but the U.S. Congress will have the final say. According to D.C. law, any new legislation Congress can either approve or reject new legislation in within 60 days.
The bill would also become law if no action is taken in that time - and that's exactly what some lawmakers want to see happen.
Supporters of a measure that would legalize limited amounts of cannabis for adults 21 and up in Nevada have collected nearly twice the required amounts of signatures needed to get their measure on the ballot in 2016.
They'll submit the signatures later today, joined by Democratic state Sen. Richard Segerblom, who has tried several times to get legalization measures passed by the state legislature.
We've told you already today about the close race in Florida to legalize medical marijuana, but there's at least three other major marijuana votes today to keep an eye on.
Sorry, Pennsylvanians in need of pain relief, suffering from seizures, wasting away from chronic nausea and dying of cancer or AIDS, you're going to wait until next year at least for your state to allow you to access medical cannabis.
The State House of Representatives yesterday made it clear they aren't going to vote on a medical marijuana proposal that has already been approved by the state Senate. House leaders say they have too many issues with the bill and need to hold hearings to iron things out - things they can't accomplish by the end of today, when the legislature adjourns.
Support for Florida's medical marijuana amendment has been riding high in polls for so long that it almost seemed like its passage would be a foregone conclusion. But a funny thing seems to have happened on the way to the ballot box.
Two new polls show that the amendment is now well below the 60 percent approval it needs to meet in order to be adopted into the state constitution.
Barbara Hoppe, council member from Columbia's Sixth Ward, introduced legislation earlier this year that would allow people to grow up to six plants at home. Those without a medical recommendation from a doctor would face a $250 fine and the confiscation of their plants if busted. Medical patients wouldn't face any penalties. That plan saw a lot of scrutiny, so Hoppe has rewritten her bill.
Her new plan, introduced this week and set for a hearing at the October 20 council meeting, allows for only two plants to be grown in a locked area and would allow medical patients to designate growing to a caregiver.
The Pennsylvania Senate yesterday approved a measure that would legalize the medical use of some forms of cannabis, though chances of the bill being approved by the state House in the final days of the session aren't very high.
Even then, the bill would have to overcome the stone wall that is the governor's office.
The Pennyslvlania legislature opens one week from today, and state Senators are expected to get right back to work moving a medical cannabis bill leftover from last session through to approval.