Browsing: Legislation

Photo: LA Kush

​The Los Angeles City Council voted 9-1 Friday to approve final amendments to a local medical marijuana dispensary ordinance it passed earlier this year.

Conspicuously absent from the final ordinance was a controversial provision that caused medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) to file a lawsuit against the city. The ordinance previously required dispensary operators to find a new location within seven days after the law took effect, which ASA argued was a violation of due process.
Although Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed the dispensary ordinance into law on February 3, the city was required to adopt a supplemental permit fee ordinance before the law could take effect.

Jodie Emery exposes the truth in public places.

​A new poll shows the majority of Canadians support legalizing marijuana, but not other drugs. As was the case two years ago, a majority of Canadians (53 percent) support the legalization of cannabis.

Support for legalization is highest in British Columbia, where more than six in 10 people say it’s time to stop jailing people for cannabis. Support is nearly as high in Alberta (59 percent) and Ontario (57 percent).

The Angus Reid poll, released Thursday, also shows many Canadians believe the country has a serious nationwide drug abuse problem, and 70 percent want mandatory minimum prison sentences and fines for drug dealers and, in a curious twist, marijuana grow operators, reports Jeff Lee of The Vancouver Sun.
The poll supports other Reid polls in the past that show most Canadians believe decriminalization of marijuana possession is a good idea, but that other illegal drugs should continue to be prohibited.
The online survey of 1,110 Canadians, conducted April 8-9, showed negligible support for legalizing hard drugs. The figure supporting hard drug legalization has actually dropped since the Reid survey in 2008. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percent.

The Czech Republic no longer punishes the growing of five or fewer cannabis plants

​Surrounded by confusion regarding exactly what was taking place, the Czech Republic changed its laws on the possession and growing of drugs at the start of this year. The change was more of a far-reaching clarification than a fundamental overhaul, reports Chris Johnstone at Radio Praha.

The new law that came into effect January 1 was an attempt to clear up what had been a hazy legal situation. Under the old law, all types of drug possession and use were criminal offenses. The new law makes possession or cultivation of cannabis (and certain other drug plants) an “administrative offense,” subject to only a fine if small amounts are involved.
The “small amount” was also defined for the first time. For example, growing up to five cannabis plants still counts as a small amount, but more than five is over the limit and considered a criminal offense.

DRUGS bermuda.jpg
Photo: Cruise Law News
Bermuda is discussing loosening its marijuana laws.

​Politicians in Bermuda are calling for a major debate on decriminalizing cannabis, with support said to be strong in some corners of the Progressive Labor Party (PLP), reports Tim Smith at The Royal Gazette.

Government Senator Walker Brown on Wednesday backed a debate on Bermuda’s marijuana laws, saying people in possession of small amounts of pot should no longer be prosecuted.
Party members David Burt and Makai Dickerson also spoke up for decrim, adding that the entire community should have a say on the issue.

Photo: Phoenix New Times
Protesters at the Phoenix Global Marijuana March 2008

​The Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project Wednesday submitted more than 250,000 signatures to the Arizona Secretary of State’s office in order to place medical marijuana on the November ballot in Arizona.

The initiative requires 153,365 signatures to qualify for the ballot. Once the initiative qualifies, Arizona voters will be asked on November 2 to vote yes on the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, which would allow terminally and seriously ill patients who find relief from marijuana to use it with their doctor’s approval.

Graphic: CBS/AP

​If popular online social network Facebook is any measure of things, marijuana legalization is way more popular than all three of the major California gubernatorial candidates combined, even with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger thrown in for good measure (take him, please).

Tax Cannabis 2010 has 57,244 Facebook fans as of early Wednesday afternoon, April 14, with another large influx of pot enthusiasts expected around the 4-20 marijuana holiday on April 20.
As pointed out by David Downs at East Bay Express, that’s more than all three major candidates for California governor — Jerry Brown, Meg Whitman, and Steve Poizner — combined, plus Schwarzenegger.

Idaho Medical Marijuana.jpg
Photo: Idaho Moms 4 Marijuana

​Idaho Rep. Tom Trail (R-Moscow) is proposing a measure that would make Idaho the 15th station in the nation to legalize the medical use of marijuana for patients with chronic illnesses.

The bill would allow patients with illnesses like cancer, AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, muscular dystrophy, glaucoma and multiple sclerosis to have access to legal marijuana grown and distributed through state-monitored dispensaries, reports KLEW.
According to Trail, the legislation would be “the most restrictive medical marijuana law in the nation” because it would permit doctors to recommend it only for a list of serious chronic illnesses.
The law, in what unfortunately may become a trend after New Jersey’s Legislature passed a similar measure, would also forbid patients from growing their own marijuana. Patients would be limited to two ounces of dispensary-purchased pot per month.

Photo: BodhiSativa Photography

​Tennessee legislation legalizing the medicinal use of marijuana by qualified patients was considered by the House Health and Human Resources Committee on Tuesday, reports Hank Hayes of the Kingsport Times-News.

However, the projected cost of the bill — and not “moral” or legal considerations — could bring it down during these times of tight budgets.
After testimony was heard, the committee deferred the bill for a week at the request of its sponsor, Rep. Jeanne Richardson (D-Memphis).
According to Richardson, the bill, HB 2562, is about compassion.
“It is really up to everyone to know this is no longer a fringe issue,” Richardson said. “Cheech and Chong smoking a bong… That is not the issue here. We will eventually pass this bill.”

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Graphic: Progressive Puppy
Free the pot prisoners

​Non-violent pot prisoners should be released before violent offenders when convicts are furloughed early due to state budget crunches, Aaron Houston of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) said in Congressional testimony Wednesday.

“Prioritizing the release of people whose only crime is marijuana-related just makes sense,” Houston said.

In his testimony, Houston asked that Congress urge the Department of Justice to encourage states “to certify that no inmates convicted of crimes of violence, including sexual abuse and assault, will be released before non-violent offenders whose sole offense relates to the possession, sale, or manufacture of marijuana.”
Houston, director of government relations for MPP, testified before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies.
On March 31, The Associated Press reported a disturbing trend: “Inmates convicted of violent crimes are among those being freed early from California jails to save money, despite lawmakers’ promises that they would exclude most dangerous prisoners and sex offenders.”

North Carolina marijuana flag.jpg
Graphic: Reality Catcher

​Supporters gathered outside the Guilford County, North Carolina Courthouse Tuesday evening to rally for a bill before the Legislature to legalize medical marijuana.

The purpose was to educate people on House Bill 1380, which would allow doctors to recommend medical marijuana for seriously ill patients, reports
Harold Watts said he wants to tell people how cannabis helps those who are suffering with chronic illness or pain.
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