Bill That Would Provide Faster Relief to Suffering Patients Passed New York Legislature with Overwhelming Bipartisan Support But Needs Cuomo’s Signature to Become Law
One day before the deadline for Governor Cuomo to sign or veto a bill that would create emergency access to medical marijuana, patients and advocates will rally outside his office to demand action. Since the medical marijuana law passed a year ago, not one patient in New York has been able to access medical marijuana and at least four children, who could have likely benefited from it, have tragically died while waiting to obtain this much-needed medicine.
The emergency access bill was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support by the New York State legislature last June and delivered to Governor Cuomo on October 30th. He has ten days to sign or veto the bill, making the deadline for action November 11th.
Compassionate Care NY will hold a press conference urging Governor Cuomo to sign the emergency access bill.
What: Press conference and rally urging Cuomo to sign a bill to create emergency access to medical marijuana
• Representatives of the Drug Policy Alliance
• Missy Miller, mother of a child with a severe seizure disorder
• Reginald Brown, person living with HIV/AIDS
• Wanda Hernandez, person living with HIV/AIDS
When: Tuesday, November 10th, 10:00 AM
Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy is mobilizing activists throughout Texas in an effort to inject marijuana policy debate into 2016 state legislative races
Local marijuana policy reform activists, including a former Texas corrections officer, will gather Saturday for an advocacy training event at the Janet F. Harte Library in Corpus Christi.
The event, hosted by Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, is the third in a series of events being held around the state as part of an effort to inject the marijuana policy debate into 2016 state legislative races. Regional events are also scheduled for East Texas on December 5 and Houston on December 12. Last month, activists held trainings in Dallas and San Antonio.
The featured speaker at Saturday’s event will be Michael Gilbert, Ph.D., a University of Texas San Antonio criminal justice professor and former Texas corrections officer. He will join representatives of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy for media availability at 12:00 p.m. CT, and members of the media are invited to listen to his presentation at 1:15 p.m. CT.
“During nearly 16 years working as a corrections professional with military and state corrections, it became clear to me that marijuana prohibition is causing more harm than good," Dr. Gilbert said. "These laws have been counterproductive and fail to meet any of their policy objectives.
Minnesota: Medical Marijuana Panel Recommends Against Adding Intractable Pain As Qualifying Condition
Majority of panel opposes adding intractable pain; recommendations include a variety of additional criteria be met in order for intractable pain patients to have access to medical marijuana, if commissioner decides to add
The Minnesota Office of Medical Cannabis Intractable Pain Advisory Committee late on Wednesday posted its recommendations on the question of whether intractable pain should be a medical cannabis qualifying condition. A majority of the panel opposed adding intractable pain, despite marijuana’s relative safety when compared to commonly prescribed pain medications.
The panel also listed a variety of conditions that it suggests be met if the Commissioner of Health were to ultimately decide to add intractable pain to the program.
The recommendations — which include a 21 and older age restriction and a requirement that “traditional” methods of treatment be exhausted — will now be considered by Minnesota Commissioner of Health Ed Ehlinger. If he decides to add intractable pain, with or without added criteria, he must notify the chairs and ranking minority members of the legislative health and public safety policy committees.
Intractable pain would become a qualifying condition for medical marijuana, effective August 1, 2016, unless the legislature passes a law stating otherwise.
Thursday, November 19: International Drug Policy Reform Conference to Feature Town Hall Meeting Featuring BLM Co-Founder Patrisse Cullors and Leading Drug Policy Reform Activists
The Drug War is a primary source of funding for the tanks in towns like Ferguson, the over-policing in New York City and the unprecedented discretion given to police officers to criminalize black people. With the meteoric rise of the Movement for Black Lives and the growing movement for broader drug policy reform, what are the essential questions that drug policy reformers must ask themselves about black lives? And how can we join forces to course correct and create a world where all our communities can thrive?
These questions and many more will be explored at a live town hall as part of the International Drug Policy Reform Conference, hosted by the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) in the Washington, D.C. area from Nov. 18-21. The conference brings together more than 1200 leading international experts, treatment providers, researchers, policymakers and key activists at the leading global forum on drug policy reform.
The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) will celebrate its fifth year of operation as the only national trade association for marijuana businesses with a gala dinner on Wednesday, November 11, in Las Vegas, featuring Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) as guest speakers.
At “Looking Back, Moving Forward,” NCIA’s 5th anniversary banquet, the organization will celebrate its history and that of the movement that helped create the cannabis industry, while looking ahead to the many challenges still to be faced. Rep. Titus will offer welcoming remarks.
During the banquet, NCIA will present the 2015 Legislative Leadership Award to Rep. Lee, a long-time champion of marijuana policy reform who has co-sponsored multiple pieces of legislation designed to protect cannabis businesses, patients, and consumers from federal interference. Included in those is the Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act, NCIA’s priority legislation that would end the industry’s banking crisis and provide financial services for the state-legal cannabis businesses.
NCIA was founded in late 2010 by Aaron Smith and Steve Fox, seasoned advocates for marijuana policy reform who foresaw the need for a voice representing the businesses of the emerging cannabis industry in Washington, D.C. The organization was founded with fewer than 30 members, but has grown rapidly in its first five years, now representing over 900 member-businesses.
By Steve Elliott
The Mexican Supreme Court on Wednesday opened the door to legalizing marijuana, delivering a direct challenge to the nation's harsh drug laws and adding to the debate in Latin America over the costs of the War On Drugs.
The vote, by the court's criminal chamber, declared that individuals should have the right to grow and distribute marijuana for personal use, report Elisabeth Malkin and Azam Ahmed at The New York Times.
The ruling applies only to a single cannabis club that brought the lawsuit, and does not strike down Mexico's current drug laws. But according to experts, it is likely the first of a wave of legal actions that ultimate could legalize marijuana.
The flow of drugs from Mexico to the United States continues, after decades of the America-backed War On Drugs has produced much destruction but few lasting victories. The drug traffic fuels political corruption in Mexico, which remains engulfed in violence.
“It’s the drama behind all of our efforts,” said Juan Francisco Torres Landa, a corporate lawyer who was one of the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case. "It's clearly a significant part of the business," said Peter Reuter, a University of Maryland expert on the global Drug War and a senior economist at the RAND Corporation.
By Steve Elliott
Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) on Wednesday introduced a bill that would repeal all federal penalties for possessing and growing marijuana, allowing states to establish their own marijuana laws. The bill is available online at http://www.mpp.org/sandersbill.
The “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2015” strikes all references to marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act, but retains penalties for transporting marijuana from states or jurisdictions where it is legal to those where it is not. It is the fourth marijuana policy reform bill to ever be introduced in the Senate, and it is the first that proposes ending marijuana prohibition at the federal level.
The introduction comes shortly after a Gallup poll showed 58 percent of Americans support marijuana legalization, regulation, and taxation, and after Senator Sanders’s announcement of his own support of legalization, the first major-party presidential candidate to do so.
Earlier this year, Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY), and Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced medical marijuana legislation, known as the CARERS Act. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced a bill to address the tax status of marijuana businesses, and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced a measure that would allow marijuana businesses to access banking services.
Linda Horan of Alstead wants a New Hampshire medical marijuana ID card, which would allow her to obtain medical marijuana legally in Maine and protect her from arrest and prosecution in New Hampshire
A terminal cancer patient seeking access to medical marijuana will file a lawsuit Thursday in Merrimack County Superior Court against New Hampshire Commissioner of Health and Human Services Nicholas Toumpas.
Linda Horan of Alstead, who is suffering from Stage 4 lung cancer, filed a pre-registration application to participate in New Hampshire’s medical marijuana program after receiving approval from all five of her physicians. She wants to receive a medical marijuana ID card that will allow her to obtain medical marijuana legally in Maine and protect her from arrest and prosecution in New Hampshire.
Horan will hold a news conference Thursday at 10 a.m. in front of the Merrimack County Courthouse just prior to filing the lawsuit. She will be joined by her attorney, Paul Twomey, as well as State Rep. Renny Cushing (D-Hampton) and New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Glenn Brackett.
Gov. Maggie Hassan signed New Hampshire’s medical marijuana program into law on July 23, 2013, but patients are still at risk of arrest and prosecution because program ID cards have not been issued. Horan pled her case directly to Gov. Hassan on September 7 after receiving a lifetime achievement award during the New Hampshire AFL-CIO Labor Day Breakfast.
A video of her statement is available at https://youtu.be/KNj_SwYtWe8?t=3m20s.
The O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown Law, in collaboration with the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), has received a $250,000 grant from the Open Philanthropy Project to help develop guidelines on how states, countries, and other jurisdictions that opt to legalize cannabis for medical or recreational purposes can create regulatory frameworks, consistent with the goals of legalization, that will work effectively to protect and promote the public health.
“Now is an opportune time to develop regulatory approaches and guidelines that can prevent unnecessary public health harms from the legalization of medical or recreational cannabis while maximizing the potential public health benefits,” said the project’s lead investigator, Oscar Cabrera, Abogado (JD equivalent), LL.M., executive director of the O’Neill Institute. “With new ballot questions and legislation pending, it is especially important, now, to avoid elements that will unnecessarily create health risks or fail to secure potential benefits and likely be harder to fix after they are in place.”
Cabrera says the purpose of the project is not to advocate for or against legalizing cannabis, but rather to inform deliberations over the design and implementation of the laws and regulations governing legalized cannabis products with guidance from relevant experts in public health policy and law, both in the United States and abroad.
Grassroots Organization Mobilizes Volunteers and Fundraising Efforts to Collect Donations and Signatures
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla this week announced that the organizers of the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative (CCHI) 2016 can begin collecting signatures to qualify the initiative for the November 8, 2016 California state election.
The grassroots organization has 180 days to circulate petitions and collect 365,880 registered voters' signatures, which must be submitted to county elections officials by April 25, 2016. The CCHI 2016 plan allows for the legalization of cannabis in the state of California by citizens 21 years or older.
To raise the funds for this effort, the CCHI 2016 is launching a pledge drive to solicit funding from businesses and individuals to help fund the Initiative that legalizes cannabis in the state of California. The campaign has set a goal of $900,000 in pledges that needs to be raised to fund professional petition gathers across the state. Every dollar raised will go to hire the professional petitioners.
By Steve Elliott
Ohio voters have rejected a controversial marijuana legalization initiative that would have set aside all of the state's cultivation licenses for the drafters themselves. Issue 3 would have restricted commercial marijuana production to the 10 properties owned by the principal investors in the initiative.
Issue 3 trailed 35-65 percent with 43 percent of precincts reporting and The Columbus Dispatch called the election.
The initiative was a first in many respects: the first marijuana reform campaign funded almost entirely by "investors" who would benefit financially from the initiative, the first initiative to restrict commercial production to a limited number of sites owned by the major investors in the ballot initiative, and the first to appear simultaneously on the ballot with another initiative -- Issue 2 -- that seeks to nullify the legalization initiative. If it had won, it also would have made Ohio the first state to legalize marijuana without first legalizing it only for medical purposes.
“The defeat of the Ohio measure in no way slows down the revolution taking place across the country to end the failed prohibition of marijuana," said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon). "Many legalization supporters were skeptical the measure under consideration was the right approach in Ohio. I look forward to seeing more states join Oregon, Colorado, Washington, Alaska, and the District of Columbia in legalizing marijuana the right way.
By Steve Elliott
A legalization proposal in Arkansas has been scuttled by what state Attorney General Leslie Rutledge claims are "errors of grammar, punctuation and spelling" and "ambiguities in text." This is the second time the attorney general has rejected the proposal.
The Arkansas Cannabis Amendment, written by Mary Berry of Summit, Arkansas, would have allowed adults to cultivate, process, possess and use cannabis and anything made from the plant, reports Alexandra Sims at The Independent.
Atty. Gen. Rutledge found phrases in the proposal problematic, including "Any person eighteen (18) years of age and older," which she claimed should have been "or" instead of "and," reports Russia Today.
The phrase "all products derived from the cannabis plant," was declared "ambiguous" by Rutledge, who claimed the products could also include other ingredients and create a potential loophole in other laws.
"State laws as it pertains to marijuana" and "number of license" were also declared grammatically incorrect by Atty. Gen. Rutledge.
Berry has been instructed to resubmit the measure and ballot title.
Voters in Arkansas narrowly defeated a medical marijuana legalization proposal in 2012, with 48.56 percent approval.
By Steve Elliott
Iran has an image as a hardline conservative nation, but drug policy is one of the areas in which the Islamic Republic has produced some paradoxically progressive policies. During a recent conference on addiction held in Tehran, a prominent Iranian official outlined what could become alternative to the country's current drug policy, including the legalization of cannabis and opium.
Said Sefatian is head of the working group on drug demand reduction in the Council for the Discernment of the Expediency of the State (the Expediency Council), which plays a critical role in national drug policy, reports Mayizar Ghiabi of The Independent. All Iranian drug laws are discussed and voted upon in the Parliament -- except for drug laws, which are both discussed and legislated in the Expediency Council.
Advocates: Not One Patient Has Yet Received Medical Marijuana and Four Children Have Died Waiting in the Past 15 Months; Cuomo Must Sign or Take Other Action to Provide Relief to Suffering Patients
Governor Has Ten Days to Sign or Veto the Bill
The New York State Assembly on Friday delivered to the Governor a bill to expedite access to medical marijuana for critically ill patients. In June, with overwhelming bipartisan support, both houses of the legislature passed A.7060 (Gottfried) / S.5086 (Griffo), directing the state to establish a program to help critically ill patients obtain emergency access to medical marijuana as soon as possible.
“The law that created New York’s medical marijuana program was passed in 2014 and is supposed to be up and running by January 2016,” said Assembly sponsor Richard N. Gottfried, who chairs the Assembly Health Committee. “But there remains a real danger that many seriously ill patients will not be able to access medical marijuana, and their conditions will deteriorate, potentially jeopardizing their lives.
“Many of these patients are young children with severe forms of epilepsy who have been successfully treated with particular forms of medical marijuana in other states,” Gottfried said. "I have been in discussions with the Cuomo administration about the bill for months and have answered every question raised by the Governor’s staff; I am not aware of any argument against the bill.”
By Steve Elliott
A pro-marijuana coalition called New Approach Missouri filed an initiative petition last week to get a proposed constitutional amendment on the 2016 ballot to legalize cannabis for medicinal use.
The new proposed initiative would replace a broader initiative proposal, already approved by the secretary of state for signature collection, that would have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes as well, reports Jo Mannies at St. Louis Public Radio.
Show-Me Cannabis is ending its broader legalization proposal because polling showed it would be challenging to to voter approval for recreational legalization, according to executive director John Payne. But Missouri voters are likely to overwhelmingly support medical marijuana, according to coalition consultant Jack Cardetti, who's running the campaign.
"It's what's good for patients in the state of Missouri, to be able to access medicine that's helpful to them without being treated like criminals," said Payne of the New Approach Missouri coalition's message.
The proposal would allow patients or caregivers to grow a limited number of their own plants, as long as they register their gardens with the Missouri Department of Health.
By Steve Elliott
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in Cherokee, North Carolina, is investigating the possibility of allowing marijuana on the reservation.
Tribal Council members unanimously approved a resolution to conduct a feasibility study, to see if legalizing cannabis for medical, recreational, or industrial purposes would benefit the tribe, reports Rex Hodge at WLOS.
Joseph Owle of Common Sense Cannabis said it could bring in revenue and help those with health issues.
"With our feasibility study we're going to come back with numbers on what can be produced economically for our tribe here ... how it could impact our patients that we see through our health care system."
"There's currently no plan to legalize marijuana on the reservation," said Cherokee Vice Chief Richard Sneed. "That's not even being talked about. There's a feasibility study to gather information."
Residents said they like the idea of medicinal cannabis. "To help people with ... cancer or people with epilepsy," said Denise Welch.
"I think we should get it," said Doug Catt. "It would be good for ... like she said ... medical use ... not for recreational use."
Any kind of marijuana legalization would still have to be decided by a referendum and be voted on by the people.
Historic footage of Oregon becoming the 3rd state to legalize marijuana and restore hemp. The same night, Alaska and Washington D. C. ended cannabis prohibition. In 2012, Colorado and Washington residents voted to end the drug war. It is predicted, California, Montana and Nevada will follow Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and D.C. on the path to cannabis legalization. Footage: KPDX, 11-4-14 From: OregonNORML Views: 8 1 ratings Time: 04:15 More in News & Politics