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

Missouri: New Medical Marijuana Petition Would Amend State Constitution

Hemp News - Mon, 11/02/2015 - 13:17

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

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.

read more

Justin Trudeau and Marijuana: Like Father, Like Son

NORML Blog - Mon, 11/02/2015 - 12:16

The recent victory in Canada by Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Party, a landslide triumph that ended nearly a decade of rule by the Conservative Party, promises a significant change in the politics of Canada in a number of policy areas, including a boost in spending to stimulate the economy; raising taxes on the wealthy; and legalizing marijuana.

Stephen Harper, head of the Conservative Party, attempted to use marijuana legalization as a wedge issue against Trudeau in the recent campaign, making the rather bizarre claim that marijuana is “infinitely worse” than tobacco (an estimated 37,000 Canadians die each year from tobacco smoking). His allegation fell flat with the voters and likely helped Trudeau demonstrate the need for new, fresh and more innovative and honest leadership.

Trudeau has long favored the legalization of marijuana, publicly acknowledging his own past use of weed (including an admission of smoking when he was a member of Parliament). Shortly after the recent Liberal Party victory, he announced legalization would move forward as one of his top priorities. We share a common border stretching nearly 4,000 miles, and whatever occurs in the U.S. inevitably has an impact on Canada. It appears our domestic experience with marijuana legalization has favorably impacted attitudes in Canada, and they too are now ready for a tax and regulate regimen.

The First Prime Minister Trudeau

This needed change in Canadian marijuana policy reminds some of us of earlier times when Canada had a far more progressive and tolerant marijuana policy than the U.S., going back to the 1960s and 1970s, when Justin Trudeau’s father, Pierre Trudeau, was the Prime Minister. Pierre Trudeau served as prime minister from 1968 to 1979, and again from 1980 to 1984. He was a dominant political presence who, with his glamorous wife Margaret Trudeau, was part of the fast-lane crowd during the 1970s, famously partying with the Rolling Stones; hanging-out at then-popular Studio 54 in New York; and, in a strange moment in a Washington Post news article, once publicly invited disillusioned young Americans to visit Canada, promising they would not be harassed if they brought along a couple of joints.

This was during the height of the anti-Vietnam War movement, when young Americans burning their draft cards and long hair and marijuana smoking were all part of the cultural rebellion that would transform American society and eventually bring that war to an end. Canada, and Pierre Trudeau, were generally opposed to the war, and supportive of U.S. draft resisters (offering them asylum in Canada) and others who were working to stop the killing.

Raising the “Pierre Trudeau Defense”

It was this public invitation to visit Canada that led me to raise the “Pierre Trudeau defense,” when I was busted with a joint entering Canada to give a college lecture in Calgary in the mid-1970s.

I was (obviously) not familiar with the rigors of international travel at the time, and had stuck a joint in the pocket of my sports coat to share with the students when the lecture was over. We usually went back to someone’s apartment after a college lecture, where the students would generally pass around a joint of whatever weed was available on the black market, at prices most students could afford, and frequently it was not high quality – what we might call “ditch weed” today. So I always enjoyed bringing a joint from my own stash – high quality homegrown – to share with the students, to let them experience the better marijuana that was available if one had the right connections on the black market.

As further evidence of my naiveté, I also was wearing a gold marijuana-leaf lapel pin on my sports coat, oblivious to the fact that the marijuana pin might well bring closer scrutiny as I entered the county. I almost made it through Customs without a problem, but at the last minute, one of the officers recognized my pin, and decided to stop me and search my pockets, where he found the joint.

As I was being taken into custody, a group of the students who were meeting me to take me to the lecture saw what was happening, and someone had the good sense to bring the lecture fee that I would have received, to use as bail, so I could get out of custody and deliver the lecture on schedule later that night.

When I returned in a few weeks to go to trial, my old friend Gerry Goldstein, a young Texas criminal defense attorney who was then heading Texas NORML, accompanied me as my attorney. Since we knew possession of a single joint in Canada would bring, at most, a slap on the wrist and a modest fine, we decided to engage in some street theater, and to make it into a show trial, at which we put on the “Pierre Trudeau defense”.

I was never quite sure why Trudeau had made that statement. Perhaps he simply wanted to demonstrate how hip he and his wife were, since they were known to have smoked marijuana with the Rolling Stones at some point. Regardless, it sure sounded like something that might help me justify my actions in Canada, and it would surely make good theater for the media.

So attorney Goldstein first introduced a copy of the Washington Post article into evidence, and then had me take the stand, and under oath, say I admitted bringing the joint into Canada, but insisting that I had done it on the reliance that Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau had assured me (and other young Americans) that we would not be hassled.

It was obviously not a legal defense, but it did have a certain appeal to the media, and seemed to further NORML’s position that there is nothing wrong with smoking pot.

The judge saw the humor in what we were doing, and allowed us to put on our defense, but then convicted me (on my own testimony), imposed a modest fine, and sent me on my way home, none the worse for wear. It had been exhilarating to challenge the system, and we felt we had successfully pushed the policy envelope by being so out-front and unapologetic about my marijuana smoking.

Busted Again, On the Way Out of the Country

But then things turned ugly. On our way through customs as we were leaving the country, still beaming from the fact that we had pulled-off our legal street theater without harm, the Canadian customs officials found an empty one-gram cocaine vial which I had inadvertently left in my shoulder bag, with trace amounts of cocaine still in the bottle, and I was taken back into custody. Suddenly, this little Canadian joke did not seem so humorous, and especially not to the prosecutor or the judge who had just allowed us to pull-off our stunt in his courtroom.

I was thrown in jail overnight, and the following morning Goldstein arranged for me to plead guilty to the new cocaine charge, pay a larger fine, and finally get out of the country, with a warning that I would never be permitted back into the country. (In fact, I have since been back to Canada on several occasions, so apparently someone saw fit to remove me from the list of banned travelers at some point.)

But all these many years later, when I hear the name Trudeau as the newly elected Prime Minister of Canada, I cannot help but smile as I remember the good-old-days, when a combination of youth and naiveté allowed us to live close to the edge, with little or no fear of the consequences.

Today I lead a far less dangerous lifestyle!

Tomorrow Is Election Day In Ohio – Will Marijuana Legalization Be Approved By Voters?

The Weed Blog - Mon, 11/02/2015 - 11:47
When Responsible Ohio first announced its plans to put a marijuana legalization initiative on the 2015 Ohio ballot, it almost instantly drew boos and hisses from the marijuana reform community. The first version of ResponsibleOhio’s marijuana legalization initiative did not include a provision for home cultivation. ResponsibleOhio, to its credit, listened to the feedback and

CN ON: Column: Look For New Pm To Get It Right On Four Fronts

Cannabis News - Mon, 11/02/2015 - 05:00
Northumberland Today, 02 Nov 2015 - We're in this for the long haul. Well, at least for four years. While only 39.5% of the electorate voted for Liberal candidates, Justin Trudeau will be governing with a majority mandate. It's full steam ahead with his agenda. There will be plenty of time to critique his forthcoming missteps and gaffes. And make no mistake, they're coming.

US OH: We Summarize Our Nov. 3 Election Endorsements

Cannabis News - Mon, 11/02/2015 - 05:00
The Athens News, 02 Nov 2015 - Yes on Issue 1 We strongly support Issue 1 on the Ohio ballot this Tuesday. It sets up a much fairer process for drawing district lines for Ohio House of Representative and Senate seats. Under the current corrupt system, maps for state legislative and congressional districts are redrawn every 10 years, after updated Census numbers are released. A five-member state Apportionment Board, whose members include the governor, secretary of state, state auditor and a legislator from each major party, draws the legislative districts. A simple majority wins any vote on the board, so the party that controls the board (Republican in recent years) has absolute control over how the legislative lines are drawn.

US OH: The Big Business Of Pot In Ohio

Cannabis News - Mon, 11/02/2015 - 05:00
Columbus Monthly, 02 Nov 2015 - A closer look at the economic forces driving ResponsibleOhio's controversial plan to establish 10 wholesale marijuana growers in the state-and some of the plan's potential consequences Ohioans have heard a whole lot about pot this year. In August, ResponsibleOhio gathered enough signatures to put a constitutional amendment on the fall ballot that would legalize both medical and recreational marijuana use. The ResponsibleOhio plan-also known as Issue 3-began attracting controversy long before the coming Nov. 3 vote, sparking heated debate over issues that typically surround marijuana legalization, including how it would impact public health and safety and concern over easier access for minors. But the section of ResponsibleOhio's proposed amendment that's attracted the most controversy centers not on how marijuana would be consumed, but how it would be grown.

Canada: Military Refused To Beef Up Addiction Care

Cannabis News - Mon, 11/02/2015 - 05:00
Globe and Mail, 02 Nov 2015 - According to a 2014 presentation to the Surgeon-General's clinical council, 59 per cent of soldiers who had taken their lives since 2011 were known to be struggling with alcohol or drugs and 35 per cent were intoxicated at the time of their suicide The Canadian Forces rejected an internal recommendation to expand its addictions program to better help military members struggling with substance abuse, despite being aware that nearly six in 10 soldiers who died by suicide in recent years had been dependent on alcohol or drugs.

US CO: Pueblo's First Medical Pot Store Open

Cannabis News - Mon, 11/02/2015 - 05:00
Pueblo Chieftain, 02 Nov 2015 - Five years and three months after City Council approved licensing rules for medical marijuana stores in Pueblo, the first of those businesses hung out its "Open" for business sign this month. "We were going to open a store in the county when we realized we could have a medical marijuana store in Pueblo if we could find a location," said Monique Duran, co-owner and manager of Seven-One-Nine, a medical pot store at 2729 Farabaugh Lane.

US OH: Voter Fraud Alleged In Pot Issue

Cannabis News - Mon, 11/02/2015 - 05:00
Dayton Daily News, 02 Nov 2015 - Claims About Registration Forms Sent to Prosecutor. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted Friday sent details about potential voter registration fraud by ResponsibleOhio to the Delaware County prosecutor for possible legal action.

US OH: Pot Vote Difficult To Predict

Cannabis News - Mon, 11/02/2015 - 05:00
Columbus Dispatch, 02 Nov 2015 - The television commercials, direct-mail ads, endorsements and debates are over: It's time to decide whether marijuana will be legal in Ohio. Eyes across the country will be on the Buckeye State on Tuesday to see what voters decide on State Issue 3, the for-profit constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana in smokable and edible form for recreational use for those 18 or older, and for patients of any age with qualifying medical conditions.

US OH: Ohio Marijuana Vote Raises Fears Of A Monopoly

Cannabis News - Mon, 11/02/2015 - 05:00
New York Times, 02 Nov 2015 - COLUMBUS, Ohio - As a member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society, a collector of antique marijuana apothecary jars, the founder of an industrial hemp business and "a pot smoker consistently for 47 years," Don Wirtshafter, an Ohio lawyer, has fought for decades to make marijuana legal, calling it "my life's work." But when Ohio voters go to the polls Tuesday to consider a constitutional amendment to allow marijuana for both medical and personal use, Mr. Wirtshafter will vote against it.

US OH: We Summarize Our Nov. 3 Election Endorsements

Medical Marijuana - Mon, 11/02/2015 - 05:00
The Athens News, 02 Nov 2015 - Yes on Issue 1 We strongly support Issue 1 on the Ohio ballot this Tuesday. It sets up a much fairer process for drawing district lines for Ohio House of Representative and Senate seats. Under the current corrupt system, maps for state legislative and congressional districts are redrawn every 10 years, after updated Census numbers are released. A five-member state Apportionment Board, whose members include the governor, secretary of state, state auditor and a legislator from each major party, draws the legislative districts. A simple majority wins any vote on the board, so the party that controls the board (Republican in recent years) has absolute control over how the legislative lines are drawn.

US OH: The Big Business Of Pot In Ohio

Medical Marijuana - Mon, 11/02/2015 - 05:00
Columbus Monthly, 02 Nov 2015 - A closer look at the economic forces driving ResponsibleOhio's controversial plan to establish 10 wholesale marijuana growers in the state-and some of the plan's potential consequences Ohioans have heard a whole lot about pot this year. In August, ResponsibleOhio gathered enough signatures to put a constitutional amendment on the fall ballot that would legalize both medical and recreational marijuana use. The ResponsibleOhio plan-also known as Issue 3-began attracting controversy long before the coming Nov. 3 vote, sparking heated debate over issues that typically surround marijuana legalization, including how it would impact public health and safety and concern over easier access for minors. But the section of ResponsibleOhio's proposed amendment that's attracted the most controversy centers not on how marijuana would be consumed, but how it would be grown.

Canada: Investors Should Take A Deep Breath Before They Try Cannabis

Medical Marijuana - Mon, 11/02/2015 - 05:00
Globe and Mail, 02 Nov 2015 - Anthony Wile: Chief editor of the economic and investment newsletter The Daily Bell and chief investment strategist of High Alert Investment Management. The election of Justin Trudeau's Liberals has had an immediate impact on the investment marketplace, with a rush to invest in the handful of publicly traded Canadian medical marijuana startups - all on the promise of legalization of recreational marijuana use.

US: Marijuana Vote May Be Key In 2016

Cannabis News - Mon, 11/02/2015 - 05:00
Los Angeles Times, 02 Nov 2015 - Public Opinion Is Rapidly Changing. but Legalization Remains a Vexing Issue for Most Presidential Hopefuls. WASHINGTON - Pot is very much on the minds of voters, with millions poised to decide whether to legalize it. That raises a tantalizing question for presidential candidates: Is there political opportunity in the wind?

US NM: NM Licenses To Buy Medical Pot Increase 50 Percent

Cannabis News - Mon, 11/02/2015 - 05:00
Albuquerque Journal, 02 Nov 2015 - Looser PTSD Rules Boost Prescriptions The number of New Mexicans licensed to buy medical marijuana surged by almost 50 percent this year, in part because of a court ruling in April that eased some qualifications required to get a license, a state official said.

US OH: A Pot Of Gold For Nick Lachey?

Cannabis News - Mon, 11/02/2015 - 05:00
Washington Post, 02 Nov 2015 - Pop Singer and Select Ohioans Will See Green If Initiative Passes Two things you probably haven't been paying a lot of a attention to lately: Election Day in Ohio. (It's not 2016 yet.)

US CO: Pueblo's First Medical Pot Store Open

Medical Marijuana - Mon, 11/02/2015 - 05:00
Pueblo Chieftain, 02 Nov 2015 - Five years and three months after City Council approved licensing rules for medical marijuana stores in Pueblo, the first of those businesses hung out its "Open" for business sign this month. "We were going to open a store in the county when we realized we could have a medical marijuana store in Pueblo if we could find a location," said Monique Duran, co-owner and manager of Seven-One-Nine, a medical pot store at 2729 Farabaugh Lane.

US OH: Pot Vote Difficult To Predict

Medical Marijuana - Mon, 11/02/2015 - 05:00
Columbus Dispatch, 02 Nov 2015 - The television commercials, direct-mail ads, endorsements and debates are over: It's time to decide whether marijuana will be legal in Ohio. Eyes across the country will be on the Buckeye State on Tuesday to see what voters decide on State Issue 3, the for-profit constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana in smokable and edible form for recreational use for those 18 or older, and for patients of any age with qualifying medical conditions.

US OH: Ohio Marijuana Vote Raises Fears Of A Monopoly

Medical Marijuana - Mon, 11/02/2015 - 05:00
New York Times, 02 Nov 2015 - COLUMBUS, Ohio - As a member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society, a collector of antique marijuana apothecary jars, the founder of an industrial hemp business and "a pot smoker consistently for 47 years," Don Wirtshafter, an Ohio lawyer, has fought for decades to make marijuana legal, calling it "my life's work." But when Ohio voters go to the polls Tuesday to consider a constitutional amendment to allow marijuana for both medical and personal use, Mr. Wirtshafter will vote against it.