Medical Marijuana and Cannabis News
Despite opposition from Attorney General Pam Bondi, the Supreme Court of Florida officially ruled today that a ballot question that could approve use of medical marijuana is perfectly valid. This means that the question will now all but certainly come before voters in November.
Bondi had challenged the proposed amendment on the grounds that it was worded vaguely and pertained to more than one issue. Amendments put before voters can only address a single subject. No word on how big of a brick Bondi has shat, but Miami New Times has the full details.
A full-on medical marijuana bill in Georgia is still years away, but limited access to beneficial parts of the cannabis plant may be relaxed as state Rep. Allen Peake, a Republican from Macon, says he'll be introducing a medical cannabis bill this week.
According to Peake, the bill would allow for epileptic patients and patients suffering from seizures to apply for a permit from an academic medical center to possesses and use high-CBD oil, which would come from Colorado.
Advocates of medical marijuana met their goal -- they collected enough signatures to see that the issue gets posed to voters on this November's ballot.
Elections officials announced today they they verified 710,508 signatures that were submitted -- enough to force a vote on a proposed constitutional amendment. If approved, growing, selling, and using pot for medicinal purposes will be a right enshrined in the state constitution. Broward-Palm Beach New Times has the details.
After New Jersey Governor Chris Christie caught his breath from the walk to the podium to give his 2nd-term inauguration speech on Tuesday, he made a lot of headlines by vowing to "end the failed war on drugs".
His plan, an inevitable failure in its own right like so many others' before him, is to treat "addiction" with treatment, rather than incarceration. Of course, he makes no mention of those already unfairly incarcerated in New Jersey on trumped up drug charges, and how to...ahem... balance those scales. As Jacob Sullum writes for Forbes, why should otherwise law-abiding citizens be forced into a situation where they may be forced to decide between rehabilitation and incarceration?
Florida Gov. Rick Scott said yesterday that he would vote against a medical marijuana ballot initiative that could come before voters this fall, but that's about all he can do. A ballot initiative approved by voters can't be vetoed by Scott's office.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
Scott, the former head of Columbia/HCA hospitals, says he has empathy for sick Floridians, but that he can't bring himself to approve of a freely available plant to help them. Instead, he conflated the issue and associated medical cannabis with alcohol and other illegal drug use.
Oklahoma is not a state where you want to get caught with pot. First-offenders caught with even a flake of bud face up to a year in jail and $1,000 in fines. Cultivation or sales can net you anywhere from a mandatory two years to life life in jail.
State Sen. Constance Johnson, a Democrat from Oklahoma City, says it's time to change that. Johnson has introduced Senate Bill 2116, which would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of pot for adults 21 and up as well as the personal cultivation of up to five plants. The bill would also license commercial growers and retail marijuana stores as well as lessen penalties for those under 21.
Despite medical cannabis being legalized in the state, the Illinois Department of Public Health clearly thinks medical marijuana users are still criminals. Proposed rules for the program unveiled yesterday by the department would require all patients to be fingerprinted and undergo a background check before they could use the plant.
Thankfully, these are just draft proposals and there will be plenty of time for public comment on these stupid, onerous restrictions.
Alabama state Rep. Mike Ball wants to legalize medical cannabis for sick and ailing Alabamans, but he doesn't want the whole plant. Instead, Ball says he will be pushing for a bill that allows for high-CBD oils derived from cannabis but not for the outright legalization of the cannabis plant as a whole for medical purposes.
"This CBD oil bill is very high on my list of priorities," Ball told Montgomery, Alabama's ABC 31. He says the idea for the bill came after meeting a child in his district suffering from a severe seizure disorder.
Maps released by the Arizona state health department show the areas around the state that have the most medical-marijuana patients. All these hot spots are in the Phoenix area, and most are around North Phoenix, Scottsdale, and the East Valley. Consider this: Maryvale, a neighborhood on the west side of Phoenix, and Scottsdale have similar populations -- about 208,000 in Maryvale and 217,000 in Scottsdale. The map shows that after splitting up Scottsdale, both North Scottsdale and South Scottsdale have more medical-marijuana patients than all of Maryvale.
The Arizona Department of Health Services' year-end report on the medical-marijuana program also shows that other North Phoenix (and north-ish Phoenix) areas have more medical-pot patients than areas on the south side. Phoenix New Times has the full details and map.
The Arizona Department of Health Services again denied adding PTSD, depression, and migraines to the list of medical conditions that qualify people for a medical-marijuana card.
DHS Director Will Humble wrote on his blog that he "didn't approve the petitions because of the lack of published data regarding the risks and benefits of using Cannabis to treat or provide relief for the petitioned conditions." Phoenix New Times has the rest.