Marijuana and Cannabis Legislation
Too late? After unsuccessfully trying to ban dispensaries, the L.A. City Council is backing a May 21 ballot initiative that would allow 100 or so of the marijuana businesses to survive: That proposal, called Measure D, is also supported by those very dispensaries, the ones that have been around since before an October, 2007 "moratorium" on pot shops that was also unsuccessful. L.A. Weekly has the rest.
As we reported back in March, Louisiana legislators are considering a bill that would have dropped marijuana possession from the mandatory minimum sentencing laws that help in the clogging of state prison systems.
House Bill 103 is gaining momentum, moving through committee this week and on to the House floor. The Advocate reports it was a pretty lively discussion, with several legislators pointing out the stupidity of sending people away for 20 years or more for a single joint to other, more pig-headed colleagues hell-bent on punishing pot users.
Two identical medical marijuana bills were introduced to the Minnesota House and Senate today, opening the door for a serious discussion on allowing marijuana for approved medical conditions in that state.
Minnesota state house.
The bills would not only allow patients to grow and possess cannabis, but it would also create a medical marijuana dispensary system regulated by the state health department. The law would also allow reciprocity with medical marijuana patients from other states so long as their license is current.
Maryland is set to be the 19th state to approve of a state medical marijuana program after Gov. Martin O'Malley announced earlier today that he would be signing the bill at a ceremony tomorrow.
While it sounds great - and no doubt will provide medical benefit to some patients - the program is arguably the strictest in the country and probably won't start serving patients until at least 2016 according to the Marijuana Policy Project.
Often lost in the debate over marijuana legalization is the role that industrial, commercialized hemp production could potentially play in mainstream American society, as well as in our economy. But because all cannabis varieties, including hemp, fall under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, the many industrial and even medical uses for hemp-based products here in America depend almost solely on foreign imports - mostly from China.
It's just a proposal, but it's an ugly, ugly proposal to hear. Colorado state lawmakers last Friday began kicking around an idea that could repeal Colorado's Amendment 64, which legalized possession and cultivation of limited amounts of cannabis as well as called for the creation of a recreational cannabis industry.
Basically, the argument hinges on the proposed taxes on recreational cannabis sales and state laws that require tax-related issues to be put before voters for approval.
Rep. Jeff Irwin, a Democrat from Ann Arbor, introduced HB 4623 yesterday along with a bipartisan group of cosponsors. Though the bill has been read once and assigned to committee, it faces waiting on a long list of other bills and a potentially intolerant committee.
Sen. Miguel Pereira, who sponsors the bill, is a former federal prosecutor who says the war on marijuana is a win-less effort. He said that possession cases are wasting government money and said that as many as 80 percent of people in jail are there for nonviolent crimes.
Earlier this month, the latest version of a THC driving bill that had failed the past two years seemed to be on a steady march to passage despite e-mail protests and petitions.
But no: Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 4-1 to squash the measure again.
Why? One advocate believes the legislation was doomed by the killer combo of persistent critics and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling of a few days ago. Denver Westword has the rest.
San Diego City Council is considering allowing medical marijuana dispensaries in the city again, and will take up the topic today at their Monday council meeting.
After ordinances allowing dispensaries - albeit with very strict regulations - were nullified in 2011, the city has been without medical marijuana laws. The existing shops were deemed illegal and the city shut down the roughly 100 or so in town.