Graphic: Cannabis Culture

​A group of medical marijuana patients Thursday held a press conference in Boston to ask lawmakers to support legalizing medical marijuana in Massachusetts.

The Legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Health is currently considering a bill that would make Massachusetts the 15th state in the U.S. to give seriously ill patients safe and legal access to medical cannabis.
Patients called for the bill to receive a committee vote before a deadline on March 18, after which passage out of committee becomes much more difficult.
“Watching my 29-year-old son struggle with the side effects of brutal chemotherapy treatments was heart wrenching,” said Lorraine Kerz of Greenfield, Mass., who said her son benefited from medical marijuana.

Photo: Monroe County, FL Sheriff’s Department

​CannaMed, which bills itself as Colorado’s largest medical marijuana evaluation company, is facing scrutiny for selling patient information to dispensaries and grow facilities so that those operations can show they are caring for enough patients to account for the cannabis they have on hand.

While CannaMed’s owner insists that he’s not doing anything wrong, his company could be greatly impacted by legislation now making its way through the State Capitol, reports Joel Warner at Denver Westworld.

Graphic: Mother Jones

​The New Hampshire House of Representatives Wednesday voted, as it did in 2008, to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.

House Bill 1653, which would reduce the penalty for possessing one-quarter ounce or less of cannabis, passed by an overwhelming 214-137 vote. That’s almost 61 percent of the House voting in favor of decrim.
Previously, the bill had been recommended “out to pass” in a 16-2 vote by the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee on February 11.
“This makes three years in a row that the House has passed a bill attempting to reform New Hampshire’s archaic marijuana policies,” said Matt Simon, executive director for the New Hampshire Coalition for Common Sense Marijuana Policy.

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Photo: AP
Lance Mackey celebrating victory with his lead sled dog, Larry, in 2008

​All the mushers participating in the famed Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race will be tested for alcohol and illegal drugs on the trail for the first time ever this year — a change defending three-time champion and medical marijuana user Lance Mackey believes is directed at him.

“I know for a fact,” said the three-time winner, reports The Associated Press.
Mackey said he would abstain for purposes of this year’s race. “I’m going to pee in their little cup, and laugh in their face,” Mackey said.

Graphic: ABC News

​A group of medical marijuana patients and advocates will hold a press conference Thursday to ask Massachusetts lawmakers to support medical marijuana.

The Legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Health is currently considering a bill that would make Massachusetts the 15th state in the nation to give seriously ill patients safe and legal access to medical marijuana.
Last September, Suffolk University released poll results showing that 81 percent of Massachusetts residents support allowing “seriously ill patients to use, grow, and purchase marijuana for medical purposes if they have the approval of their physicians.”

Photo: Grateful Meds

​An effort to provide eligible patients in Vermont with safe and legal access to medical marijuana could move forward this week when a Senate committee votes on whether to create state-licensed dispensaries for cannabis.

The Senate Committee on Government Operations is scheduled to vote Thursday on a bill which would establish up to five “compassion centers” at which patients could buy medical pot, reports Peter Hirschfield of the Vermont Press Bureau.

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​Hear the latest from those prohibitionist drug warriors at the United Nations? They don’t like medical marijuana, and they’re offering free (and unsolicited) input to the 14 states in the U.S. that have legalized the medicinal use of cannabis.

The U.N.’s International Narcotics Control Board’s (INCB) attempts to meddle in marijuana reform in the United States were denounced by the Marijuana Policy Project on Thursday.
The INCB, which is currently meeting in Vienna, Austria, said in a recent report that they were “deeply concerned” that the 14 U.S. states that have medical marijuana laws are sending the “wrong message to other countries.”
And here you were thinking that American states got to decide for themselves what “messages” to send! Silly you, they’re supposed to get the permission of the United Nations, first!
“The last thing the INCB should be doing is meddling in our states’ affairs,” said Aaron Houston, MPP director of government relations.

Graphic: MMPI

​State Senator Joseph Brannigan has introduced LD 1811, “An Act to Amend the Maine Medical Marijuana Act,” which would finally set the stage for the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries in Maine.

The Maine Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee will hold a public hearing on the bill on Thursday, March 11 at 1 p.m., in room 209 in the Cross Building. Any resident of Maine is allowed to testify.

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Miss High Times 2010 contestant Caitlin, of Santa Cruz, California, with part of this year’s 16 million ounces

​Whoa, dude. Californians smoke 16 million ounces of marijuana a year (yeah, genius, that’s a million pounds), according to a recent report prepared for the Legislature. That’s almost half an ounce for every man, woman and child in the state.

The numbers, from a recent state Board of Equalization report, were prepared for legislation introduced by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) which would legalize, tax and regulate marijuana for Californians 21 and older, reports Peter Hecht at The Sacramento Bee.
Ammiano’s legislation, AB 2254, would create a regulatory structure for marijuana similar to that used for alcohol. The bill would allow taxed sales to adults, while banning sales to or possession by those under 21.
Other interesting findings included in the report:
• California is America’s top marijuana growing state, with 8.6 million pounds of cannabis produced annually, at an estimated value of $13.8 billion. If those numbers are accurate, that represents more than a third of the entire pot crop of the United States. “The fact that California’s largest cash crop continues to go untaxed and unregulated is astounding, especially in such tough economic times,” said Aaron Smith, California policy director of the Marijuana Policy Project.
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