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US Senators Make Historic Move to Legalize Medical Marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Mon, March, 16th 2015 by THCFinder

United States Senators Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) introduced a bipartisan bill this morning to end the war on medical marijuana.
 


Corey Booker.
  • Corey Booker.

The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act would downgrade pot from first to second on the federal government’s official list of dangerous drugs, ease cannabis industry banking woes, and reform the government's biased pot research mission. Doctors working for the Department of Veterans Affairs could recommend it for certain conditions.

"Today we join together to say enough is enough," said Booker. "These laws must change. ... High-trained officials in our country … are unable to prescribe and recommend drugs that will alleviate the pain and suffering of their patients."

"Research has been prevented by [current federal law]," said Paul. 


Gillibrand spoke about a young girl named Morgan Hintz of North Salem, New York with Dravet's Syndrome. Medical marijuana has been shown to control intractable seizures. "[The Hintz's] feel the real pain for the current federal laws as it relates to medicine that their doctors have prescribed. They are simply asking Congress to do its job to take care of America's kids.

 

Read more: http://www.eastbayexpress.com/LegalizationNation/archives/2015/03/10/senators-make-historic-move-to-legalize-medical-marijuana


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California Lawmakers Not Planning Crackdown On Marijuana DUI's

Category: News | Posted on Fri, March, 13th 2015 by THCFinder
ca-lawmakers-and-mj-duisSAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – For the first time in three years, California lawmakers won’t debate cracking down on drivers who have marijuana in their systems.
 
According to SF Weekly, 20 bills related to marijuana regulation were introduced before last month’s legislative deadline, but none were related to marijuana use and driving.
 
Last year, Assemblyman Jim Frazier (D-Oakley) introduced AB 2500, which would have placed a blood THC limit of 2 nanograms per milliliter. The measure failed in committee.
 
Opponents of the proposals say THC stays in the blood for several days after using marijuana, long after the effects have worn off. California NORML, which supports marijuana legalization, reported the number of fatal accidents in the state has dropped despite higher marijuana use. The group proposes a roadside test instead of a chemical test to determine if a driver is impaired.
 
Last year, Sen. Dianne Feinstein voiced concern about drivers high on marijuana. “The risk of people using marijuana and driving is very substantial,” Feinstein said in an interview with The Associated Press.
 
Feinstein, along with California Gov. Jerry Brown have both said they are skeptical of following Colorado and Washington State in legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes.
 

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Effort to legalize marijuana in Ohio step closer to ballot

Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, March, 13th 2015 by THCFinder
ohio-mj-closer-to-ballotOhio Attorney General Mike DeWine gave the go-ahead on Friday to the campaign to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use, putting ResponsibleOhio one step closer to a statewide vote on the constitutional amendment.
 
DeWine, who opposes legalizing marijuana, certified that the petition summary is a “fair and truthful” statement of the actual ballot language.
 
ResponsibleOhio now takes the matter to the Ohio Ballot Board, which has 10 days to determine if the ballot language covers a single issue. Once that hurdle is cleared, the campaign must collect 305,591 valid signatures from registered Ohio voters by July 1 to make the November statewide ballot.
 
ResponsibleOhio is backed by deep-pocketed investors and an experienced political team with a multi-million dollar budget. While other grassroots marijuana legalization groups have circulated petitions off and on, none have had the political and financial clout of ResponsibleOhio.
 
ResponsibleOhio is headed by Ian James, who runs a political consulting company that includes petition gathering services. James’ team put the constitutional amendment to allow casinos in Ohio on the ballot in 2009.
 
The ResponsibleOhio proposal calls for establishing:
 
* 10 legal growing locations that are at least 1,000 feet from schools, day care centers, churches or libraries;
* A seven-member Marijuana Control Commission to regulate growing, sales, distribution, licensing and taxing of marijuana products;
* 5 marijuana testing facilities to check potency and safety;
* Not-for-profit medical marijuana dispensaries for patients with debilitating medical conditions who could buy pot at wholesale prices; and
* A 5 percent flat tax on retail pot sales with 85 percent of the tax revenue going to local governments for services.
 
The plan would also allow adults 21 and older to grow up to four plants in indoor areas inaccessible to minors. Home grown pot could be shared but not sold.
 

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Minnesota Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Set To Open In July

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, March, 13th 2015 by THCFinder
minnesota-dispensaries-set-to-open-in-julyIt’s very rare for a state to legalize medical marijuana and stick to timelines surrounding rule-making and implementation, especially when it comes to dispensaries. Illinois is a great example. Illinois took way longer than expected to even license medical marijuana growers and dispensaries, and patients are still waiting for their medicine. Cases like Illinois are why I always point out the need for home cultivation provisions. Without a home cultivation provision, patients in states that drag their feet have no choice but to either go without medicine, or purchase it from an unregulated blackmarket.
 
In somewhat surprising news, Minnesota will not be a state that experiences delays in implementation. Per Marijuana Business Daily:
 
Many states have taken years to implement MMJ laws, develop regulations and get the first businesses up and running. Minnesota, on the other hand, passed a law just last spring legalizing non-smokeable medical cannabis, and dispensaries are now on track to open to the public on July 1.
 
“We are aiming to open three of our four dispensaries in July, and hopefully the fourth one will be in August,” said Dr. Kyle Kingsley, CEO of Minnesota Medical Solutions (also known as MinnMed).
 
Leafline Labs, the other MMJ producing and dispensing company licensed by the state, is also on track for the summer, said co-founder Dr. Andrew Bachman.
 
“We’re ahead of schedule in construction (and) production and will certainly have medicine available to be dispensed on July 1,” Bachman said.
 
Minnesota has one of the most strict medical marijuana programs in the country. Patients will not be allowed to smoke medical marijuana, and instead can only consume medical marijuana in vapor or edible form. Many conditions that qualify a patient in other states will not qualify a patient in Minnesota. With that being said, this is still good news for the patients that do qualify, and I’m hopeful that after the program is implemented and patients start using the dispensaries, that the program will expand
 

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Pot taxes generate $2.3 million for Colorado schools

Category: News | Posted on Fri, March, 13th 2015 by THCFinder
cannabis-taxes-making-money-for-schoolsColorado has now found its weed groove, generating record amounts of tax revenue from recreational marijuana sales just a little over a year removed from the first day of legalization.
 
Statewide retail marijuana sales-tax receipts increased by 153 percent in January, totaling $3.5 million this year, according to the Denver Business Journal. It’s a massive difference compared to the paltry $1.4 million made last January, when selling recreational pot first became legal.
 
The big winner is not just the Colorado government, but its public schools as well.
 
According to a monthly report from Colorado’s Department of Revenue, the state’s 15 percent excise tax on recreational pot sales have collected $2.3 million just for the schools alone.
 
Since legalizing marijuana last year, the state has generated millions in taxes, which have provided for prosperous schools, as well as programs for abuse, medical research, and police training.
 
Now that’s thinking of the children.
 

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Congress Ends Ban On Medical Marijuana

Category: Culture | Posted on Wed, December, 24th 2014 by THCFinder
congress-ends-ban-on-mmjThe title doesn’t lie. This week, Congress officially signed a bill that would end the federal government’s harassment of medical marijuana dispensaries and patients across the US. With 1,603 pages, the federal spending measure marks the first time that Congress has approved a nationally significant legislation that is backed by the legalization advocates. This signals the end of almost two decades of tension between the states that want to push forward with marijuana and the federal government, which says that it’s not okay. 
Even though the Obama administration said last year that they would refrain from raiding places compliant with state laws, the raid numbers have never been higher. By signing this bill, President Obama (who has said that he plans to sign the bill this week) will make this policy an official law. Medical marijuana patients will be safe from federal prosecution. Another important realization that comes with this bill’s passing is the fact that there seem to be Republicans that are backing the individual will of the states, letting the individual cities and towns to orchestrate their own systems. 
 
“This is a victory for so many,” said Republican Rep Dana Rohrabacher of Costa Mesa, who was the measure’s co-author. He also said that this is “the first time in decades that the federal government has curtailed its oppressive prohibition of marijuana.” As of righter now, there are 32 states and Washington DC that have legalized pot or ingredients of the plant in order to treat illnesses. That’s far more than half, closing in on the final states. The movement began far back in the 1990s and has been steadily gaining momentum for years, exploding over social media and mainstream culture in the last five or so years. 
 
For many years, Congress has rejected the pleas of the states to govern their own marijuana laws. With this measure being passed, the federal government will be forbidden from using any of it’s resources to impede state medical marijuana laws. Having been rejected six times, the passing of this bill is a relief to activists everywhere. Washington DC legalized medical marijuana back in 1998 but Congress blocked the law for 11 years before allowing it to officially be implemented. 
“The war on medical marijuana is over,” said Bill Piper, a lobbyist with the Drug Policy Alliance. “Now the fight moves on to legalization of all marijuana. This is the strongest signal we have received from Congress that the politics have really shifted. Congress has been slow to catch up with the states and American people, but it is catching up."

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