IL: Medical Marijuana Will Have to Wait for Now
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, July, 22nd 2013 by THCFinder
SPRINGFIELD, IL — The Illinois state legislature adjourned last week without addressing a medical marijuana bill that some lawmakers hoped to push through before the end of the legislative session.
The bill will be reintroduced when the new legislative session begins later this month, and could see a vote within the first few months of the year.
“While disappointing, the news doesn’t come as a shock. We’ve been operating under a time crunch and against some competing issues all along,” said MPP legislative analyst Dan Riffle. “While this shouldn’t be a partisan issue, Illinois Democrats do tend to support medical marijuana more than their Republican counterparts.”
Following the November elections, Democrats now hold super-majorities in both the Illinois House and Senate.
Could this super-majority be the key to making Illinois the 19th medical marijuana state?
“It won’t be a slam dunk by any means, but we’re more optimistic heading into the next session than we were going into this one,” said Riffle.
Some Republicans in the Illinois House said they opposed legalizing medical marijuana because it could be a “gateway drug” to abuse of other illegal substances.
Democrat Rep. Lou Lang, sponsor of the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, said in early November that he was closing in on enough votes in the House to pass the bill, but then delayed a late November vote on the bill because he did not want the bill to fail.
If passed, the bill would create a three year medical marijuana trail program in the state. Qualified patients would be allowed to buy and use up to 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis during a two-week period.
Illinois would become the second most populous state in the nation after California to allow medical marijuana.
Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana.
Following Marijuana Legalization, Testing For Potency And Toxins Becomes A Priority
Category: News | Posted on Mon, July, 22nd 2013 by THCFinder
Marijuana testing has historically been used to verify whether a person has the substance in their system. But as more states legalize the drug for recreational and medical purposes, there is a growing need to test marijuana for different reasons — to verify its safety, purity, potency and active ingredients.
Part of the push to begin laboratory testing on marijuana came after Washington and Colorado legalized the substance for recreational use in November 2012. According to a report in the Associated Press, the action “has placed regulators and researchers in a race against time to develop health warnings and ratings for potency before the legalized dispensaries open in the states.”
Just like alcohol, when retail sales of marijuana begin next year in the two states, the drug will come with health warnings, potency ratings and certification that it meets the safety limits for pesticides, molds and microbes such as E. coli and salmonella.
Regulators say they want to ensure people are aware of just how strong the drug is before they use it and don’t want people getting enormous doses at once. For these reasons, the concentrations, chemical compositions and active ingredients will all be labeled on the product.
Genifer Murray, the CEO of CannLabs in Denver, said the drug needs to be properly dosed, especially when it is being used medicinally.
“You can’t just say take a few puffs every few hours,” she said. “You can’t die from eating cannabis, but you sure can feel like dying if you eat too much.”
The tests will be expensive, adding about $500 to the cost of every 5 pounds of marijuana, which currently costs between $1,500 to $3,500 for 1 pound, according to the AP. But Murray says the extra cost is worth it because regulators will be able to trace contaminated marijuana back to the source.
Mason Tvert, the spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, said the decision to test the safety of marijuana “demonstrates a shift in how we are beginning to treat marijuana in this country.”
Read more: http://www.mintpressnews.com
Mexico could legalize marijuana in five years
Category: Legalization | Posted on Sun, July, 21st 2013 by THCFinder
SAN CRISTOBAL, Mexico - Mexico could legalize marijuana within the next five years, stripping brutal drug cartels of a major source of income, former President Vicente Fox said on Friday.
Fox, who battled the powerful cartels while president between 2000 and 2006, has since become a staunch advocate of reforming Mexico's drug laws, arguing that prohibition has helped create the criminal market that sustains the gangs.
Under his successor, Felipe Calderon, Mexico launched a military offensive to crush the cartels, but the violence spiraled instead, and more than 70,000 people have been killed in drug-related bloodletting since the start of 2007.
Legalization was the best way of ending the "butchery" of the drug gangs, Fox said as he hosted a conference in support of the measure in his home state of Guanajuato in central Mexico.
President Enrique Pena Nieto, who took office in December, is opposed to legalization, but he has said that the decision by the US states of Washington and Colorado to legalize recreational marijuana use has given him a more open mind.
Asked by Reuters whether Mexico could legalize marijuana by the time Pena Nieto's term ends in 2018, Fox said:
"I think it's going to happen much sooner. Once California gets into this, Mexico is going to be obligated to speed up its decision process."
Previous bills to legalize marijuana in Mexico have failed to move forward and a majority of Mexicans oppose such a move.
California, which borders Mexico, rejected a 2010 measure to legalize cannabis, though medical marijuana is legal.
Plans are still underway to legalize recreational use of marijuana in California, and Tom Angell, a spokesman for Marijuana Majority, a US-based group in favour of cannabis reform, said the state was very likely to vote again by 2016.
Read more: http://news.asiaone.com
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