State rep announces bill to legalize marijuana at Hash Bash
Dozens of activists -- including comedian Tommy Chong, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero and State Representative Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) -- spoke out about the various merits of marijuana at the 44th Annual Hash Bash in Ann Arbor Saturday.
Jim Powers told the large, smoky crowd gathered at the University of Michigan's Diag how cannabis oil has helped heal his 6-year-old son, Ryan, who was an autoimmune disease.
But Powers is not happy about the hazy implementation of the medical marijuana law.
"The state of Michigan has failed my family," he added.
The crowd heard other personal stories from folks like 18-year-old Alyssa Erwin, who says cannabis oil has rid her body of cancer not once, but twice.
She was diagnosed with brain cancer at 14. She did chemo, but it made her sick, she said. Then she started taking cannabis oil.
"(It) saved my life," she said. "I told my parents: no more chemo."
Doctors at the University of Michigan Health System eventually pronounced her cancer free.
But then it came back last July worse than before. Erwin got cannabis oil back in her system and now doctors say she's 75 percent cancer-free.
"By law, I'm taking a medicine that is saving my life but is still illegal," she said. "We need these laws to change."
Veteran Dakota Serna said marijuana has helped him recover from the horrors of war.
"I watched some good people die, I saw some bad people die," he said, adding that smoking marijuana has helped bring him back from some dark mental places.
In addition to the personal stories of people helped by pot, politicians and members of various pro-marijuana organizations addressed the crowd.
Irwin said he is drafting a bill to introduce into the state legislature that would legalize marijuana in Michigan much like it has in other states.
"It's going to be Colorado improved in the Great Lakes state," he said.
Bernero said he is in favor of seeing the laws changed.
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Will Ohio legalize marijuana this year?
COLUMBUS – The race to make Ohio the fifth state to legalize marijuana starts this week, as activists seek the Midwestern, swing-state win that would cement their momentum nationwide.
The bipartisan Ohio Ballot Board on Friday approved a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would
•allow pot use by adults over the age of 21,
•legalize medical marijuana for minors, with parental consent,
•limit the commercial growth of marijuana to 10 sites owned by the investors that are paying for the ballot campaign. Adults over the age of 21 would be able to obtain a license to grow up to four marijuana plants for their personal use, but not for sale.
Now, supporters must gather nearly 306,000 signatures by July to reach their goal of qualifying for the November 2015 ballot – a target well within reach for the wealthy investors and the experienced campaign team they're paying to gather the signatures and market the measure.
Still, the proposed amendment, with its limit on commercial growers, faces opposition from some of Ohio's longtime marijuana proponents. They're pushing alternate measures.
"Those people … have invested their lives and taken great risks to get us to where we are today," said Keith Stroup, an attorney with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. "We would like the market to be open to small- and mid-sized growers, not just the big guys."
New York City Council Issues Formal Call For Legalizing Marijuana
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