Medical Marijuana and Cannabis News
South Carolina state Rep. Todd Rutherford currently has a bill in the state legislature that would legalize up to two ounces of cannabis for medical use for patients with doctor's recommendations. The only problem is that it's going nowhere.
So Rutherford took an interesting step this week to get more support, putting the measure on the Democratic primary ballot set for June 10 even though the vote wouldn't actually do anything. Basically, it's a statewide pot poll of Democrats.
While hundreds if not thousands of people are in jail over (increasingly bunk) medical cannabis charges up here in the states, Uruguay is legalizing medical cannabis use for prisoners who have a doctor's recommendation.
Yesterday, Long Beach voters overwhelmingly approved taxing any marijuana dispensary operating in the city. Measure A, which won 74 percent of the vote, would impose a city business tax of 6 percent of gross receipts per dispensary as well as a $25 to $50 per square foot tax on marijuana grows.
Although dispensaries that qualify as non-profits would be taxed at a lower rate, some marijuana activists have opposed the tax for being too stiff, while others have pointed out that, unless city officials (who have a terrible track record on this issue) get around to legalizing medical marijuana, the tax is completely meaningless. Nick Schou has more over at the OC Weekly.
Minnesota state capitol.
At one point yesterday it looked as though the Minnesota legislature would vote on a medical cannabis bill by the time they adjourned for a two-week Passover/Easter break later today. But now it looks like would-be Minnesota medical marijuana patients are going to have to wait at least two weeks before the issue gets picked up again.
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh says he will be fighting the applications of two medical marijuana dispensaries in his city in a meddling letter to state Public Health officials this week. In the letter, he tells the state health department that he expects "swift and uniform" denials if the applications have any inaccuracies in them whatsoever.
Rappaport Center/Flickr. Boston Mayor Martin Walsh.
Missouri Republicans might pass a bill that would allow cannabidiol oil - a form of medical marijuana - for people with severe epilepsy, but the restrictions on it are so tight that marijuana reform advocates are not exactly thrilled.
Susan Sanchez/LA Weekly.
Earlier this month we got the 2013 numbers for how many marijuana dispensaries in the city of L.A. have filed to pay a special city collective tax. It reflects how many weed retailers are in L.A. And it was higher than any other number we had seen in nearly five years: 1,140. This despite repeated city crackdowns and a new law, passed last year, that limits the number of shops in town to the 135 or fewer that were legit during a 2007 city "moratorium."
All signs point toward Floridians approving a medical marijuana proposal on November's ballot, but the legislature could ease the Sunshine State toward some legalized pot all on their own during this month's session. One measure, which would kick start research funding into medical marijuana and legalize a non-euphoric strain for epilepsy patients, passed through a House committee with no opposition late last week.
The White House is open to changing marijuana from a Schedule 1 controlled substance, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Friday, but any change would have to come from the U.S. House. The move wouldn't necessarily legalize cannabis, but it would make it easier for medical studies of the plant to be conducted as well as give state-legal pot businesses the ability to take federal tax deductions they currently are not allowed to take.
The Maryland House voted 78-55 to decriminalize possession of 10 grams or less this weekend, taking a tiny baby-step forward towards ending criminal penalties for cannabis users caught with less than a quarter-ounce. Those caught with the amount on a first-offense would pay a maximum fine of $100.