Browsing: Legislation

Kenzie Bruce

Members of Congress joined legal cannabis-industry representatives in front of the United States Capitol today, May 23, calling for an end to federal pot prohibition. Among the lawmakers appearing in solidarity with the National Cannabis Industry Association were Colorado representatives Diana DeGette and Jared Polis.

“There are 34,000 Coloradans who are licensed to work in this industry, so you can imagine how dismayed everyone in Colorado was when Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced he was going to rescind the Cole Memo,” DeGette told the gathering. “I can say, I have never seen our delegation work so quickly to fix something in a bipartisan way.”

cannabis advocateBrandon Marshall

Most people thought the fight was over when Colorado voters legalized commercial cannabis in 2012, but that victory led to a series of smaller battles over such issues as social consumption, home-grow limitations and industry expansion. Proposals continue to pop up on both the local and state level that could advance or limit your rights as a cannabis consumer, patient, grower or business owner. Want to make sure things go in the right direction? Here’s how to become a cannabis advocate:

mmj for autismJacqueline Collins

Autism spectrum disorder could be added to Colorado’s list of conditions treatable with medical marijuana if Governor John Hickenlooper approves a bill that passed the General Assembly on May 4. HB 1263, introduced by state Representative Edie Hooton, went through the legislature with relative ease after it was introduced in March, but not without changes.

As originally drafted by Hooton, the bill was designed to add acute pain to the state’s list of medical marijuana conditions in hopes of combating opioid addiction. Before its introduction, however, she was approached by mothers and advocates of children suffering from ASD. Persuaded by their stories and studies taking place in Israel and Chile on marijuana benefits for ASD, Hooton added the condition to her bill…and it soon proved the most winning component.

cory gardnerBrandon Marshall

In a story of strange political bedfellows, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws is working with the office of Colorado Republican Senator Cory Gardner on an upcoming bill that would prevent the federal government from interfering with the marijuana system here and in other states that have legalized.

As noted by NORML political director Justin Strekal, Gardner has confirmed that he’s teaming up with Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, “to craft legislation that would reduce the tension between federal prohibition and states that have moved forward with legalizing marijuana for medicinal or adult use. And we’re working with a number of offices to make sure the language is going to be right and palatable to a bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate.”

Jacqueline Collins

The state’s hemp industry, which produces the majority of cannabidiol (CBD) products in Colorado, are worried about the consequences of a bill the General Assembly has approved that opens the door for CBD medicine approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Colorado lawmakers wanted to be ahead of the curve with HB 1187, introduced by State Representative Janet Buckner, to allow a pharmaceutical drug made from CBD that is expected to receive FDA approval within the next couple of months to be sold in Colorado. That drug, Epidiolex, is made by an American subsidiary of British GW Pharmaceuticals for treating epilepsy.

autism for mmjJake Holschuh

Advocates pushing to include autism spectrum disorder in Colorado’s list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana took a small but victorious step forward last night, April 5. But those who supported adding acute pain to the list weren’t as successful.

After over five hours of public testimony and deliberation, a House committee voted in favor of a bill that would add ASD to the state’s list of conditions treatable by medical marijuana. Introduced by Representative Edie Hooton, HB 1263 will now go in front of the entire House for consideration.

marijuana for autismiStock/KatarzynaBialasiewicz

Michelle Walker moved her family to Colorado from Texas in 2017 looking for relief for her son, who suffers from severe autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and epileptic seizures — and she found it. Walker says that her ten-year-old boy, Vincent Zuniga, has made astonishing progress since they moved to Colorado in order to get access to medical marijuana. As a result, they’ve been able to visit Rocky Mountain National Park, Coors Field and other public places they wouldn’t have dreamed of going to before Vincent’s new medication.

“We could never do these things without medical cannabis,” Walker explains. “It allows us to live this quality of life the best we can.” Because of his seizures — one of the nine qualifying medical conditions for cannabis in Colorado — Vincent qualified for a medical marijuana card; as a result, Walker is able to give her son high-CBD cannabis medication. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, approximately one-third of those suffering from ASD also have epilepsy.

cannabis employeesScott Lentz

When buying cannabis from a dispensary, asking the employees what they think of the product is common practice. But to be able to answer those questions honestly, the employees must sample the product first — and none of those samples are free.

Because of Colorado’s seed-to-sale tracking system for commercial cannabis, which monitors every cannabis product from the moment the seed is planted to the moment it’s sold to the customer, as well as a 2015 ruling from the Marijuana Enforcement Division that prohibits licensed pot businesses from giving away cannabis samples, all of those products must be sold. And because of that, any employee samples must be paid for.

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