State Representative Joe Moody, an El Paso Democrat, must know there’s more of a chance that the Texas Legislature will do a group rendition of the macarena than there is that House Bill 334 will get through the Legislature during the special session. Still, Moody held a public hearing on a bill he filed this week, pretty much just for the heck of it.
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After hours of testimony on Wednesday, March 8, a Colorado House committee approved Senate Bill 17-17, which would make people suffering from PTSD and other stress disorders eligible for medical marijuana, in an 8-1 vote. It now moves on to a full vote of the House.
“We’re in the final stretch, and the momentum has really kicked in,” says Cindy Sovine-Miller, a lobbyist working with the Hoban Law Group to help shepherd the proposal through the Colorado Legislature. “There were two and a half hours of testimony of people who were opposed to this bill — testimony from very credible people. The testimony from the people who are actually impacted by this really won the day.”
In a 34 to 1 vote, the Colorado Senate passed the Post-Traumatic Stress Bill; today, March 8, it’s scheduled for a public hearing before the House State Affairs Committee.
Adam Foster, lead attorney on the case, says it’s time for Colorado to join the 21 states with medicinal cannabis laws that have approved PTSD as a qualifying condition.
“Colorado has been the leader in so many different regards with regard to the cannabis plant, but we are very much behind the curve as far as using medical cannabis to treat PTSD,” he says. “Every other state that has considered the issue has approved medical cannabis for the treatment of PTSD, and Colorado is really an outlier in that regard.”
And so it begins. Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, Trump’s nominee for the country’s next attorney general, took center stage on January 10 at his confirmation hearing. Marijuana supporters had been quick to voice their concern over Sessions’s nomination because of his stance on marijuana, as well as his positions on other social issues.
Sessions’s most recent statements on marijuana were made during a Senate hearing last April, when he said that “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” that “we need grownups in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized” and that “it is in fact a very real danger.”
At a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing convened last week to consider “the potential medical benefits of marijuana,” lawmakers heard from cannabis advocates and doctors alike. Their testimony overwhelmingly supported marijuana being used for medical purposes; many of the speakers also supported rescheduling cannabis to a Schedule II substance.
Numerous individuals and organizations had been invited to present testimony, including Aaron Smith, co-founder and executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. NCIA represents more than 1,000 businesses in forty states, including many in Colorado. Smith told the senators that while the American public has acknowledged the medical benefits of cannabis for decades, the federal government has yet to do so. This reluctance at the federal level has prohibited adequate research into cannabis, which furthers the argument of naysayers. It’s a catch-22, he said: Without legitimate research, detractors can continue to claim that marijuana does not have any medical value — but as it stands, scientific research is not possible, so it’s hard to prove the medical benefits of the substance.
Here’s a helpful tip that should probably go without saying: when you’re in court for marijuana possession, don’t possess marijuana. Seems like common sense, right? apparently not to Richard Thompson.
See, Thompson, 32, allegedly showed up at Port Authority court in New Jersey this week for initial court hearings for DUI and marijuana possession charges with a backpack full of weed.
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.
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Florida state representatives made drug law history yesterday when they held the first ever Florida legislative hearing on a specific medical therapeutic use of marijuana. The topic was “Charlotte’s Web” a strain of the cannabis said to be greatly effective in the treatment of pediatric epilepsy.
In some folks’ view, a great advantage of high CBD strains is that it is has no euphoric effect. Bummer. But if that’s what it takes to get the stuff out of the arms of John Law and into the hands of patients, so be it.
A proposed New York medical marijuana bill saw huge support in a Assembly Committee on Health meeting on Wednesday, with dozens of supporters turning out to speak in favor of legalizing the plant for sick New Yorkers according to Long Island Newsday.
The Compassionate Care Act would legalize the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of pot for people with debilitating conditions including cancer, aids and multiple sclerosis. The state Health Department would monitor the program.
Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy yesterday announced that the Senate Judiciary Committee is set to hold a hearing to discuss the conflicts between state and federal marijuana laws next month.
Both medical and recreational marijuana laws will be on the table for discussion, notably whether or not state employees implementing the programs will be safe from prosecution however Leahy also feels that the state’s rights to enact recreational laws should be respected.