Search Results: senator (345)

Photo: Laurie Avocado

​Are California cities legally allowed to ban medical marijuana dispensaries? We may soon find out.

Legal briefs were filed Tuesday by patient advocates Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and California State Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) in an appellate court case that is expected to decide whether local governments can ban storefront distribution of medical marijuana.


​Medical marijuana advocates in Hawaii say it’s time to make it easier for patients in the state to have safe access to medicinal cannabis.

Ten years ago, Hawaii became the first state to legalize medical marijuana through the legislative process (California [1996], Oregon and Washington [1998] had already passed voter initiatives), but advocates say the the state program has failed to adapt to evolving patient needs, reports B.J. Reyes of the Honolulu Star Bulletin.
“We haven’t made any changes to our legislation since day one,” said Pam Lichty, president of the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii and co-chairwoman of the Medical Cannabis Working Group, convened last year to study the state’s law and make recommendations to the Legislature.
The report from the working group, due this week, plans to make four recommendations:

Photo: Wellsphere

​The Washington Senate Friday passed a bill that adds physician assistants, nurse practitioners and naturopaths as health care professionals who can authorize medical marijuana. Physicians can already authorize cannabis use for medical purposes in Washington.

Senate Bill 5798 passed by a convincing vote of 37-11, and now goes to the Washington House of Representatives for consideration, reports Michelle Dupler at the Tri City Herald.

Indoor marijuana grow in Minnesota. Thanks to Governor Tim Pawlenty’s veto, patients still have to break the law to use medical cannabis.

​With Minnesota’s legislative session set to begin this week, the author of last year’s medical marijuana bill said he doubts he will introduce another bill this year.

“For right now, it looks a little discouraging,” said State Senator Steve Murphy, who authored and introduced medical marijuana bills in both 2007 and 2009, reports Kyle Potter at
A medical marijuana bill actually passed the Minnesota Legislature last session, but was then vetoed by Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Photo: Westword
Cannabis potency testers Full Spectrum Laboratories were raided by federal agents Wednesday. Marijuana samples were seized, but no arrests were made.

​Federal agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration earlier this week raided a Denver potency testing laboratory and seized medical marijuana samples.

Cannabis advocates say the federal raid is the latest example of continued official harassment of the medical marijuana industry, reports John Ingold at The Denver Post.
The raid of Full Spectrum Laboratories happened on Wednesday, according to Betty Aldworth, the lab’s outreach director. Aldworth said federal agents took dozens of medical marijuana samples, both small amounts of pot and test tubes of “extraction fluid,” but left the lab’s equipment.
No employees were arrested.
Aldworth was at the State Capitol to watch lab co-owner Bob Winnicki testify about State Senator Chris Romer’s new medical marijuana bill when both Full Spectrum employees got an email letting them know the DEA had “stopped by” the lab, reports Michael Roberts at Westword.
By the time Aldworth and Winnicki got back to the lab, “it was full of DEA agents” and other local law enforcement hangers-on who spent the next several hours seizing all the marijuana they could find.

Graphic: UNK NORML

​A group of University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) students has joined the movement to legalize marijuana.

The UNK chapter of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, is working to educate students about cannabis and lobby for its legalization, reports Sara Giboney of the Kearney Hub.
“From a national standpoint, we want to educate the public in order to get a body of voters to push legislators to overturn marijuana prohibition,” said UNK NORML President Matt Cass.
“I want it to be legalized so people can see it’s not as harmful as they think,” Cass, a political science major, said. “It’s less harmful than alcohol and tobacco.”

Photo: WAMM
Valerie Corral, WAMM’s co-founder: “We are heartened by the federal government’s newly declared position suggesting deference to state medical marijuana laws”

​Seven years after Drug Enforcement Administration agents raided a California medical marijuana farm, forcing patients out of bed at gunpoint, founders of the collective running the farm agreed to settle a lawsuit against the federal government.

The Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) will continue helping terminally and critically ill patients under the settlement.
Valerie and Mike Corral, founders of WAMM, called the settlement a “draw.” “They didn’t win; we didn’t win,” Mike Corral told the San Jose Mercury News.
“We hope that over time the federal government will recognize its senseless position on medical marijuana and will formally codify protections for the sick, dying and marginalized patients who have the right to use whatever substances their physicians recommend to ease suffering,” said Valerie Corral in a statement read before U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel.
“We are nonetheless heartened by the federal government’s newly declared position suggesting deference to state medical marijuana laws and we are extraordinarily proud of our collective’s role in effecting this change in policy,” Corral said. “However, should our government break their word and again pursue this senseless assault on the sick and dying, we stand at the ready and we promise to hold them accountable in a court of law.”

Graphic: The Seattle Times

​The Legislature in Washington state displayed a trait Wednesday for which they are becoming well known: spinelessness, especially when it comes to marijuana law reform.

Despite the fact that a majority of state voters favor legalizing pot, cowardly politicians in the State House voted down a pair of bills aimed at changing Washington’s failed marijuana laws.
House Bill 2401 would have legalized and regulated the adult production, use and distribution of marijuana, in a manner similar to the regulation of alcohol.
The roll call vote on HB 2401, to legalize marijuana, went like this:

A Washington grow room. A bill which would legalize marijuana in Washington is dying through lack of leadership in the Legislature.

​If marijuana is going to be legalized in Washington this year, it will have to be the voters who do it — because the Legislature won’t.

The House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee is expected to vote down bills dealing with legalization and decriminalization of marijuana, reports Jerry Cornfield at the Everett Herald Net.
Rep. Chris Hurst, chairman of the public safety panel, told Cornfield there aren’t enough votes to move either bill out of committee.
Good going, Garden State!

​It’s finally happening: Medical marijuana is coming to New Jersey.

Both the state General Assembly and the Senate approved a medical marijuana bill Monday, reports
The bill now heads to the desk of Gov. Jon Corzine, who has already said he’d sign it.
Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic) said the bill is meant to benefit seriously ill people.
“For some New Jerseyans suffering from chronic and terminal diseases, medical marijuana represents a small glimmer of hope for relief from their symptoms,” Whelen said.
The bill disallows anyone under the influence of medical marijuana from operating a motor vehicle.
Monday afternoon, a group of patients suffering from various debilitating diseases convened at the statehouse and urged legislators to make legal medical marijuana a reality in New Jersey. Nearly a dozen medical cannabis supporters sang songs and told stories at a pro-legalization news conference.
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