Search Results: senator (345)

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.


​Connecticut State Senator Robert J. Kane (R-Watertown) claims he can’t understand why his idea isn’t getting more support. “Everyone but the drug dealers would benefit,” said Kane, the lead sponsor of legislation to exploit a 1991 law that imposes a tax on illegal marijuana sales and establishes penalties for not paying the tax.

The 1991 tax was enacted to provide another avenue for seizing the assets of drug dealers, reports the Waterbury Republican-American.
This is the second year that Kane has pushed his pot tax. The first bill died in the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee. This year’s version is stalled in the state Senate.
But this isn’t the honest, upfront kind of taxation that comes with legalization. This is that sneaky kind of taxation that is imposed on a still-illegal substance — to provide a pretext for asset seizure, for “non-payment of taxes” on a product that would have gotten you busted even if you paid the tax.

Photo: Theodore’s World
Desperate Sell-Out: Sen. Barbara Boxer “shares the concerns of police chiefs, sheriffs and other law enforcement officials that this mesure could lead to an increase in crime, vehicle accidents and higher costs for local law enforcement agencies”

​California Senator Barbara Boxer may be considered a liberal, but when it comes to marijuana, all she knows is the same old song and dance. Sen. Boxer, facing the toughest reelection fight of her career, carries the unbecoming stench of desperation rather than the sweet smell of sinsemilla as she officially opposes a California ballot measure to legalize and tax cannabis.

“Senator Boxer does not support this initiative because she shares the concerns of police chiefs, sheriffs and other law enforcement officials that this measure could lead to an increase in crime, vehicle accidents and higher costs for local law enforcement agencies,” said Boxer’s campaign manager, Rose Kapolczynski, in a statement issued Friday to liberal blog Talking Points Memo.

Photo: Robert Sciarrino/The Star-Ledger
John Ray Wilson, a multiple sclerosis patient, is led out of Superior Court after being sentenced to five years in prison for marijuana.

​Two New Jersey lawmakers called on Gov. Chris Christie Wednesday to pardon a man sentenced to five years in prison for growing marijuana to treat his multiple sclerosis.

Senators Raymond Lesniak (D-Union) and Nicholas Scutari (D-Union) asked the governor to commute John Ray Wilson’s sentence to probation, reports James Queally at The Star-Ledger.
The senators called the prison term facing Wilson as “cruel, unusual and unnecessary” in a letter written to the governor March 24. Wilson, 37, of Franklin Township, N.J., was sentenced to prison after he was found guilty of second-degree “marijuana manufacturing” and third-degree drug possession by a jury in December.

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.

Graphic: A Greener Country

​Washington state patients who qualify for medical marijuana will be able to get legal recommendations for it from a wider range of health care professionals under a bill that appears headed to Governor Christine Gregoire’s desk.

Under Senate Bill 5798, it won’t be just doctors who can get sick people access to pot, reports Mark Rahner at The Seattle Times.
The bill widens the list of licensed medical professionals who can recommend marijuana to include physicians’ assistants, nurse practitioners and naturopathic physicians, according to one of its sponsors, Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle).
“The reason is that, especially in rural areas of the state and away from Puget Sound, because of long distances, many people do not see M.D.’s,” Kohl-Welles said. “They see nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants who have prescriptive authority.”

Photo: xCannabis

​According to Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron’s estimates, reducing the penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana to a civil fine would save Rhode Island about $11.1 million per year in reduced expenditures on police.

Miron also estimates that taxing and regulating marijuana would save the state roughly $40.5 million per year in reduced expenditures on police, prosecutors, judges and prisons. Taxing and regulating marijuana could also generate about $7.6 million per year in tax revenue, according to Miron.
Miron will testify Thursday before Rhode Island’s Marijuana Prohibition Study Commission and explain how changing the state’s current medical marijuana policies could save tens of millions of dollars annually, and possibly even generate additional tax revenue.

Graphic: Reality Catcher

​A Rhode Island Senate panel is expected to recommend decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana when it wraps up its 3 1/2-month investigation later this week.

The commission, chaired by state Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Cranston), has been studying the costs of current marijuana policy since November. Rhode Island, facing a budget crisis, tasked the panel to build a dossier on how much it costs to arrest, prosecute, and sometimes jail people for pot, reports Katherine Gregg at The Providence Journal.

Artwork: Jimmy Wheeler
The late Jimmy Wheeler, a medical marijuana patient in Washington, created this artwork. Now a proposed patient protection bill will be named in his honor.

​As most medical marijuana patients in the state already know, the current medical marijuana law in Washington doesn’t protect patients from search, arrest or prosecution.

The recent Washington Supreme Court ruling in State v. Fry further highlighted how little protection — as in almost none! — the current law gives “legal” patients.
Medical marijuana activists Ken Martin and Steve Sarich of patient advocacy group CannaCare contacted every Senator and Representative in Washington at the beginning of the current 2010 legislative session, attempting to find a sponsor for their new bill that would finally offer legal patients protection from arrest and prosecution.
“We could not find a single sponsor for this bill,” Sarich told Toke of the Town. “Those I actually spoke with told me they were ‘too busy’ this session.”
“This made us curious about what, exactly, these legislators were so busy working on (besides new taxes on just about everything),” Sarich said. “What we found amazed us.”

Photo: intellectual vanities

Next time someone says “there’s no reliable research,” call BS. The results are in. Medical marijuana works.

​The evidence is in. In a landmark report to the Legislature, the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research announced that its studies have shown marijuana to have therapeutic value.

CMCR researchers, in a decade-long project, found “reasonable evidence that cannabis is a promising treatment” for some specific, pain-related medical conditions.
These long-awaited findings are the first results in 20 years from clinical trials of smoked cannabis in the United States.
“We focused on illnesses where current medical treatment does not provide adequate relief or coverage of symptoms,” said CMCR Director Igor Grant, M.D., executive vice-chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the UCSD School of Medicine.
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