Marijuana and Cannabis Legislation
The governor of South Carolina has approved a restrictive CBD-only bill into law in her state. But despite the moral victory for cannabis activists, the fact that it doesn't allow cannabis to be cultivated in the state, nor does it even allow for psychoactive chemicals to be extracted or given to patients may be a real hinderance.
Some sick and ill Iowa residents will now have access to a very limited form of medical marijuana after Gov. Terry Branstad signed a CBD-only medical cannabis bill into law last Friday.
But to access that medicine, patients are going to have to navigate some major legal gray areas and travel at least two states away.
A bill that would ban the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration from prosecuting medical marijuana patients, caregivers and businesses which are otherwise following state laws is up for debate this week in Washington D.C.
Similar measures have failed in recent years, but bipartisan backers of the bill - including author Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican from California - say they've got the support this time around.
With less than a month to go in the 2014 session, the New York State Assembly yesterday approved a medical cannabis bill. The bill would legalize the possession of up to two and a half ounce of herb for qualified patients as well as allow state-regulated dispensaries. The bill will now head to the state Senate.
Yesterday, Governor John Hickenlooper signed a baker's dozen worth of bills on various topics. But arguably the two most high-profile measures had to do with marijuana: legislation to establish a one-ounce-of-cannabis equivalent for concentrates and a proposal to make marijuana edibles more identifiable.
A prominent marijuana advocate praises these measures as examples of responsible legislation even though it's quite unclear at this point what the new laws will actually do.
On Tuesday, the New York State Senate's Health Committee voted to approve the Compassionate Care Act. If the bill goes on to pass the full senate, it would create a comprehensive statewide system for New Yorkers to access medical marijuana.
I know what you're thinking--didn't Governor Andrew Cuomo say back in January that he was going to legalize medical weed? Yeah, he said that, but his declaration came with a truckload of caveats: the program would be limited only to patients with specific ailments, and the marijuana, which the state planned to buy from the federal government, would be dispensed at just 20 hospitals. That plan, which was allocated $0 of funding in this year's state budget, has enough built-in logistical obstacles that, realistically, it will years before it sees the light of day, if it does at all. Read more over at the Village Voice.
Toke of the Town + Flickr/Keith Bacongco
North Carolina state Rep. Kelly Alexander is sick of lawmakers in his state refusing to even debate the issue of medical marijuana. He's attempted several pieces of legislation over the last few years - all shot down in committee - and says the time is right for voters to speak their minds on medical marijuana in the polls.
But other lawmakers hoping to pass a very strict CBD-only medical marijuana bill for children say Alexander's proposal might sink their ship.
Illinois already has medical marijuana laws on the books, but the program has been slow to roll out and it does not cover one of the fastest growing patient populations: epileptic children.
So it is with great relief that a bill adding epilepsy and severe seizure disorders to the list of state-approved qualifying conditions for medical cannabis patients has made it through both the House and Senate with few changes and seems likely to be passed into law.
A bill that would legalize medical cannabis for certain qualifying conditions in New York faces its first obstacle today in the state Senate Health Committee. The seventeen-member panel will decide whether state Sen. Diane Savino's bill will move forward to the full Senate for consideration.
But that might be tough going.
Dusty Trice wants to go home.
Minnesota is possibly going to be the next state to legalize medical marijuana, though there's two proposals before lawmakers currently and nobody is really sure which one should move forward. So why not ask a real medical marijuana patient who has fled Minnesota for medical cannabis-friendly California, but wants to return home? That's exactly what our friends at the Minneapolis City Pages did.
Dusty Trice was enjoying a career in Democratic party politics before a tumor knocked him off his feet. Though benign, it had grown to the size of a quarter and was lodged against his spine. For hours he would lay on the floor just to build up the strength to go see a movie. Then about a year ago he left Minnesota for California in search of medical marijuana.