Dedicated to promoting positive legal, social, and political change in support of cannabis and the many adults who use it.

NORML’s Legislative Round Up July 8th, 2016

NORML Blog - Fri, 07/08/2016 - 11:15

Adult use legalization initiatives in Arizona, California and Massachusetts are moving forward and Illinois has expanded its medical marijuana program. Keep reading to get the latest news and to find out how you can #TakeAction.

Federal:
On Wednesday, July 13th the US Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism is holding a hearing titled, “Researching the Potential Medical Benefits and Risks of Marijuana.” The Congressional hearing follows the recent introduction of House Bill 5549 and Senate Bill 3077 – which would expedite the federal review process for clinical protocols involving cannabis. Contact your federal lawmakers today to encourage them to support this common sense legislation. #TakeAction

State:

Arkansas: The Secretary of State’s office affirmed on Thursday that proponents, Arkansans for Compassionate Care, submitted sufficient signatures from registered voters to qualify the measure for the November ballot. The 2016 Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act establishes a statewide program for the licensed production, analytic testing, and distribution of medicinal cannabis. Under the program, patients diagnosed by a physician with one of over 50 qualifying conditions may obtain cannabis from one of up to 38 licensed non-profit care centers. Qualified patients who do not have a center operating in their vicinity will be permitted to obtain a ‘hardship certificate’ in order to cultivate their own medicine at home. A similar initiative narrowly failed in the state in 2012, garnering over 48 percent of the vote.

California: It was announced this week that the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) initiative will appear on the ballot as Proposition 64. This pending proposal, if approved by the voters, will permit adults to legally cultivate up to six marijuana plants and to possess up to an ounce of marijuana or eight grams of marijuana concentrates; and it will license the commercial cultivation and retail sales of marijuana products to adults. The measure prohibits localities from preventing responsible adults from possessing and cultivating cannabis for non-commercial purposes in the privacy of their own homes. The initiative language specifies that it is not intended to “repeal, affect, restrict, or preempt … laws pertaining to the Compassionate Use Act of 1996.” You can read more about the proposal here.

Georgia: Members of the Clarkston City Council voted this week in to approve an ordinance reducing the penalties for simple possession of an ounce or less of marijuana. The amendment makes simple possession a citable rather than an arrestable offense, punishable by a $75 fine. Mario Williams, Public Safety Committee chairman said, “It is a proven fact that arresting people … for simple possession of an ounce or less of marijuana has damaging effects long-term and short-term on their lives and that’s why we took a step forward and mitigated those effects today.”

Illinois: Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation to expand and extend the state’s medical marijuana program to 2020. Legislation initiating the program was set to expire in 2018. Other changes to the program include adding post-traumatic stress and any terminal illness as qualifying medical conditions; extending the lifespan of state-issued registry cards from one year to three years in duration; and amending the requirement that physicians must explicitly recommend cannabis therapy. Instead, physicians will only be required to certify that there exists a bona fide doctor-patient relationship and that the patient possesses a qualifying, debilitating medical condition.

These new changes in law took effect upon the Governor’s signature.

Massachusetts: Proponents of a statewide marijuana legalization initiative effort moved one step closer this week to qualifying for the ballot in November. On Tuesday the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol turned in more than 25,000 additional signatures from registered voters to the Secretary of State’s office. The state required an additional 10,792 signatures. Proponents this week also gained a legal victory from the state’s Supreme Court, which rejected a challenge that sought to remove the language from the state’s ballot.

Pennsylvania: Members of the Harrisburg City Council this week voted unanimously in favor of a municipal ordinance to reduce penalties associated with the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The measure reclassifies cannabis possession as a summary offense punishable by a $5 fine. Pennsylvania’s capital city now joins Philadelphia and Pittsburgh in treating minor marijuana possession offenses similar to a traffic citation.

CN ON: Growing Like Weed

Cannabis News - Fri, 07/08/2016 - 04:00
Ottawa Sun, 08 Jul 2016 - Illegal Pot Stores Sprouting Up Across Ottawa Welcome to the National Cannabis Region. Two marijuana dispensary chains have opened up shops in Ottawa, and with Stittsville also set to get a dispensary, Ottawa will soon be home to six marijuana storefronts.

CN ON: Growing Like Weed

Medical Marijuana - Fri, 07/08/2016 - 04:00
Ottawa Sun, 08 Jul 2016 - Illegal Pot Stores Sprouting Up Across Ottawa Welcome to the National Cannabis Region. Two marijuana dispensary chains have opened up shops in Ottawa, and with Stittsville also set to get a dispensary, Ottawa will soon be home to six marijuana storefronts.

US CA: Calaveras Green Lights Marijuana Cultivation

Cannabis News - Fri, 07/08/2016 - 04:00
The Union Democrat, 08 Jul 2016 - County Has Permitted About 800 Growers The destruction left by the Butte Fire was still evident Thursday morning in remnants of charred, leafless trees and gaping holes on hillsides, but vegetation does grow from the ruins: marijuana.

US AZ: Editorial: Panel Finds Major Revenue Potential in

Cannabis News - Fri, 07/08/2016 - 04:00
The Sun, 08 Jul 2016 - Idea Is Controversial, but Could Help Solve State's Financial Woes Could recreational marijuana solve the state of Arizona's revenue challenges? A report by the staff of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee has found that if Arizona legalized recreational marijuana, Arizonans would buy nearly $500 million of pot a year by 2020. That in turn would generate nearly $82 million in taxes once the program is fully implemented, Capitol Media Services reports.

US AR: First Medical 'Pot' Proposal Cleared

Cannabis News - Fri, 07/08/2016 - 04:00
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 08 Jul 2016 - An initiated act aimed at legalizing medical marijuana has been cleared for the Nov. 8 general election ballot, but the proposal faces opposition from three fronts - the backer of a competing constitutional amendment, a conservative organization and the governor. The Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act received enough valid signatures to appear on the ballot, Melissa Fults, campaign manager for Arkansans for Compassionate Care, said in an interview Thursday. Kerry Baldwin, a spokesman for the secretary of state's office, confirmed that the group did meet the signature threshold. It is the first initiated proposal to clear that hurdle; today is the deadline for submitting petitions for a general election ballot proposal.

US OH: OPED: Need New Weapons In This Drug War

Cannabis News - Fri, 07/08/2016 - 04:00
Morning Journal, 08 Jul 2016 - It's not your grandfather's war on drugs. It can't be. Over the years, we've watched police officers and agencies fight the good fight. Get the bad guys off the streets. We've also watched as the fight changed and law enforcement leaders, who see the casualties from the front line in the drug war, became advocates for recovery.

South Africa: Column: Puff And Pass Law To Legalise Herb

Cannabis News - Fri, 07/08/2016 - 04:00
Sowetan, 08 Jul 2016 - BILL Clinton memorably took a puff, but did not inhale. A few years later, his fellow Democrat Barack Hussein Obama admitted that in his youth not only did he take a puff from a dagga roll, but he also inhaled. "I inhaled frequently. That was the point," he said.

US CA: State Pot Growers' Association Stays Neutral on Prop. 64

Cannabis News - Fri, 07/08/2016 - 04:00
The Press Democrat, 08 Jul 2016 - SACRAMENTO - The people with the most at stake - marijuana growers, manufacturers and merchants - found themselves divided at a public meeting Thursday over the ballot measure that would legalize recreational marijuana if California voters approve it in November. The 17 members of the board of the California Growers Association present voted unanimously to continue the cannabis trade association's neutral position on the Adult Use of Marijuana Act known as Proposition 64, and resume its discussion July 30.

US AR: First Medical 'Pot' Proposal Cleared

Medical Marijuana - Fri, 07/08/2016 - 04:00
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 08 Jul 2016 - An initiated act aimed at legalizing medical marijuana has been cleared for the Nov. 8 general election ballot, but the proposal faces opposition from three fronts - the backer of a competing constitutional amendment, a conservative organization and the governor. The Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act received enough valid signatures to appear on the ballot, Melissa Fults, campaign manager for Arkansans for Compassionate Care, said in an interview Thursday. Kerry Baldwin, a spokesman for the secretary of state's office, confirmed that the group did meet the signature threshold. It is the first initiated proposal to clear that hurdle; today is the deadline for submitting petitions for a general election ballot proposal.

Arkansas: Medical Cannabis Legalization Measure Qualifies For November Ballot

NORML Blog - Thu, 07/07/2016 - 15:25

Arkansas voters will decide this November on a statewide initiative to permit qualified physician-authorized patients to possess and cultivate cannabis.

The Secretary of State’s office today affirmed that proponents, Arkansans for Compassionate Care, submitted sufficient signatures from registered voters to qualify the measure for the November ballot.

The 2016 Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act establishes a statewide program for the licensed production, analytic testing, and distribution of medicinal cannabis. Under the program, patients diagnosed by a physician with one of over 50 qualifying conditions may obtain cannabis from one of up to 38 licensed non-profit care centers. Qualified patients who do not have a center operating in their vicinity will be permitted to obtain a ‘hardship certificate’ in order to cultivate their own medicine at home.

A similar initiative narrowly failed in the state in 2012, garnering over 48 percent of the vote.

Separate statewide medical use measures will be decided by voters this November in Florida and Missouri. Initiatives to permit the adult use of cannabis will be decided on in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada. A Michigan initiative remains in litigation.

Five Reasons to Leap into the Cannabis Industry Now

The Weed Blog - Thu, 07/07/2016 - 08:30
Two years ago, if you had told me  that I’d be going to a Cannabis Business Expo, I would have told you you’re insane.  But life game me a funny boat and a cannabis conference is where I gleefully spent a day last week. If you don’t know much about the cannabis industry, you may

Case to Get Medical Marijuana for PTSD Heads to Court in Colorado

The Weed Blog - Thu, 07/07/2016 - 08:30
Denver, CO –  The law firm, Hoban & Feola’s Denver team filed a historic case in the Colorado Court of Appeals on behalf of Plaintiffs who wish to obtain medical cannabis recommendations for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is not currently recognized as a qualifying condition for which medical cannabis can be prescribed in Colorado. The firm

Anchorage Prepares for Weed Week with App Launch

The Weed Blog - Thu, 07/07/2016 - 08:30
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, (July 6, 2016) – With 40-plus lecture sessions and 12-plus social activities, Anchorage Weed Week is sure to keep attendees schedules packed over the course of the six-day event taking place in Anchorage, Alaska, September 6-11. That’s why the organizers of Weed Week have contracted with Sched.org to manage attendees schedules and help

CN ON: City In Talks On Cannabis Dispensaries

Cannabis News - Thu, 07/07/2016 - 04:00
The Barrie Advance, 07 Jul 2016 - There are at least three illegal medical marijuana stores in Barrie, alleges Ward 2 Coun. Rose Romita, and she questions why they haven't been shut down. The city, Barrie Police Service, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and the Crown attorney's office are working together to figure out what to do about them.

CN ON: City In Talks On Cannabis Dispensaries

Medical Marijuana - Thu, 07/07/2016 - 04:00
The Barrie Advance, 07 Jul 2016 - There are at least three illegal medical marijuana stores in Barrie, alleges Ward 2 Coun. Rose Romita, and she questions why they haven't been shut down. The city, Barrie Police Service, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and the Crown attorney's office are working together to figure out what to do about them.

US: Medical Pot Cuts Other Drug Use

Cannabis News - Thu, 07/07/2016 - 04:00
The Herald, 07 Jul 2016 - Patients fill significantly fewer prescriptions for conditions like nausea and pain in states where medical marijuana is available, researchers reported Wednesday in one of the first studies to examine how medical cannabis might be affecting approved treatments. Prescriptions for all drugs that treat pain combined, from cortisone to OxyContin, were nearly 6 percent lower in states with medical marijuana programs. Anxiety medication was 5 percent lower.

US NM: OPED: Open Doors of Marijuana Industry to

Cannabis News - Thu, 07/07/2016 - 04:00
Albuquerque Journal, 07 Jul 2016 - Slowly but surely, marijuana prohibition is ending. Legalization can help undo the racist impact of the war on this widely used drug - but it could also help perpetuate injustice. Four states and the District of Columbia have passed measures to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use, and many more allow use for medical purposes. Those numbers will almost certainly grow this year, with my home state of California likely leading the way.

US: Medical Pot Cuts Other Drug Use

Medical Marijuana - Thu, 07/07/2016 - 04:00
The Herald, 07 Jul 2016 - Patients fill significantly fewer prescriptions for conditions like nausea and pain in states where medical marijuana is available, researchers reported Wednesday in one of the first studies to examine how medical cannabis might be affecting approved treatments. Prescriptions for all drugs that treat pain combined, from cortisone to OxyContin, were nearly 6 percent lower in states with medical marijuana programs. Anxiety medication was 5 percent lower.

US NM: OPED: Open Doors of Marijuana Industry to

Medical Marijuana - Thu, 07/07/2016 - 04:00
Albuquerque Journal, 07 Jul 2016 - Slowly but surely, marijuana prohibition is ending. Legalization can help undo the racist impact of the war on this widely used drug - but it could also help perpetuate injustice. Four states and the District of Columbia have passed measures to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use, and many more allow use for medical purposes. Those numbers will almost certainly grow this year, with my home state of California likely leading the way.