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Could Legalization of Marijuana Be in Texas's Future?

Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, May, 22nd 2014 by THCFinder
texas-mj-legalization-could-be-coming-soonAs you drive up the long, gravel-lined drive of the small clapboard house in south Texas, not much seems unusual. An old hunting dog suns himself on the porch, and the modest decor of the peeling front porch — a weathered rocker and a swing — drips with small-town charm.
 
You'd never guess that it's quite modern inside, though. Just beyond the front door sit not only tidy living quarters, but a sophisticated cannabis grow house presided over by a war veteran whose hands curl like claws most mornings. His knees and back ache, making mobility difficult, especially when it rains. And here in this small town by the water, it rains often.
 
A cannabis advocate and medical user, Tim, who asked that we not use his real name, has been smoking cannabis daily for a number of years now, and after a while, growing his own marijuana by means of a hydroponic system seemed the logical way to go.
 
The contraption he built seems more the brainchild of a mad scientist-cum-expert gardener than of this older country man, but it is his nonetheless. He has crafted it all, from the vent system, powered by two minuscule computer fans, to the plant's light source, an advanced-technology LED lighting system.
 
In the ten or so years that Tim has been growing, he's become quite the indoor gardener. It's just too risky to grow marijuana outside, and with his apparatus, Tim can control the conditions, genetics and potency of the plant. The lights are set to the flowering and vegetative cycle, and with the careful acuity it takes to garden in here, he sometimes gets two crops from one plant.
 
What he can't control are the laws of Texas, the ones that say what he is doing is illegal. It's against the law to grow marijuana and equally illegal to use it for any purpose — even though cannabinoids, an active component of cannabis sativa, or marijuana, are widely regarded as a pain reliever for rheumatoid arthritis.
 
Perhaps not for much longer, though, for reasons as much practical as humanitarian.
 
With the reefer madness currently going on around the nation, a peculiar thing has happened. Texas has started discussing the unthinkable: legalizing marijuana.
 
Look back a couple of years, and a pro-pot stance in Texas was equal to political death. The only politicians brave enough to broach the subject — guys like Kinky Friedman — were going to be a tough sell to the general public anyway. Today, though, addressing your pot stance is an expected part of the platform.
 
If the results of recent polls are correct, it seems that Texas residents want what other states have: legalization. A poll conducted by The University of Texas and the Texas Tribune showed that 77 percent of registered voters in Texas believe in some form of legalization. Of that, 28 percent would agree only to medical legalization, while 49 percent are in favor of blanket legalization.
 

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Minnesota to become 22nd state to legalize medical marijuana

Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, May, 21st 2014 by THCFinder
minnesota-22nd-state-to-legalize-medical-marijuanaIt took years, many false starts and a veto, but Minnesota medical marijuana advocates finally succeeded in getting a bill that’s on track to become law in a matter of days.
 
A broad bipartisan majority of state lawmakers in the Minnesota House of Representatives approved legislation to provide access to medical cannabis to improve the quality of life of Minnesotans with serious medical conditions on Friday. The bill passed by a vote of 89-40.
The Senate passed the same bill earlier Friday by a vote of 46-16. It now heads to Governor Mark Dayton, who says he will sign it into law.
 
The compromise bill, announced Thursday by the Dayton administration, state lawmakers and advocates, addresses the medical community’s desire for medical oversight and for gathering quality information about patients’ health impacts while accommodating the safety and security concerns of the law enforcement community.
 
“This year, Minnesota took an important step toward improving the quality of life of people with serious and terminal medical conditions like cancer, HIV/AIDS and seizure disorders,” said Rep. David Bly (DFL-Northfield). “We forged a strong bipartisan compromise that provides relief to suffering children and adults while addressing concerns of law enforcement and the medical community.”
 
Bly believes the bill is a first step and can be improved upon in coming years after there is an opportunity to closely examine the research and outcomes − research, he says, that will help us better understand how and why medical cannabis can benefit patients.
Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn said that although he was pleased that a compromise was finally reached, he was concerned that there would be too many distributors and about the potential for regulation difficulty.
 
“I like that they’re going to regulate the distributors. I’m also happy that they’re using the liquid extracts and taking the THC out and other things that have side effects,” Dunn said. “I just don’t want us to move too fast and have multiple distributors like Colorado did. I like Minnesota’s way of going about it cautiously. Also, I think it will be difficult to regulate people with a legal prescription who drive under the influence.”
 

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Minnesotas legislature approves medical marijuana. Could New York be next?

Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, May, 19th 2014 by THCFinder
minn-approves-mmjMinnesota is poised to become the second state to legalize medical marijuana this year, but it may not be the last.
 
The legislature and governor there struck a deal last week that would allow medical marijuana by the summer of 2015. It was approved by wide margins in the House and the Senate, putting the state on track to become the 22nd nationwide — and third in the Midwest — to allow marijuana for medical use. Maryland approved marijuana for such uses in April, and New York could be next.
 
The New York state Senate plans to take up the measure Tuesday, and the bill’s sponsor says she has more than enough votes to secure passage — a first for that chamber. The state Assembly has passed similar measures four times, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard, and voters overwhelmingly support the idea.
 
A February poll found that voters in New York supported legalizing medical marijuana virtually 10 to 1. Nine percent opposed the idea, while 88 percent supported it, according to Quinnipiac University, which conducted the poll. Voters in Florida, where medical marijuana is on the November ballot, support the idea by a virtually identical margin.
 
Bills to legalize medical marijuana have been proposed in at least 15 states this year, according to an April count by the Marijuana Policy Project, a pot advocacy group.
 

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Initiative Filed To Legalize Recreational Marijuana In Nevada

Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, May, 1st 2014 by THCFinder
nevada-recreational-cannabis-initiative
An initiative to legalize the recreational use, possession and distribution of cannabis has been filed in Nevada by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana. Advocates will have until November 11th to collect 101,667 valid signatures; if they’re successful, lawmakers will consider the measure during the 2015 session. If lawmakers reject the measure, it would be automatically put to a vote of the people in 2016.
 
Under the proposed law, the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis would be legal for everyone 21 and older. Cannabis retail outlets would be authorized to distribute the substance.
 
Under current Nevada law, the possession of any amount of cannabis is a misdemeanor charge with a potential jail sentence of up to a year. For someone’s 4th offense of possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, the charge is a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 to 4 years. This new initiative would make the possession of up to an ounce entirely legal for those 21 and older.
 

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Survey: 53% of Doctors Support National Legalization of Medical Marijuana

Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, April, 30th 2014 by THCFinder
majority-of-doctors-support-legalizationMedical marijuana might be legal in 21 states, but it is still not widely prescribe by doctors across the country—despite the majority of doctors and patients supporting its use.
 
According to a survey by online medical resource WebMD, 69% of doctors and 52% of patients polled say marijuana delivers benefits. 
 
“Regardless of past restrictions, a majority of patients and doctors see
 
marijuana as delivering real benefits to treat patients,” says Michael Smith, chief medical editor at WebMD in the research report. “Uncertainty is the next largest
 
response, with 37% of patients unsure of marijuana’s benefits versus 20% of doctors.”
 
Among the nearly 1,500 doctors surveyed, 82% of the physicians in favor of medical marijuana were oncologists and hematologists. What’s more, a wide majority of respondents say medical marijuana should be an option for patients.
 
However, the support of legalized marijuana has its limits, according to the survey: 53% of doctors and 51% of consumers oppose legalizing it nationally for recreational use.
 
WebMD and its Medscape unit polled 3,000 consumers along with 1,500 doctors for its report.
 
Support for medicinal use of marijuana is strong even in states where it’s illegal. According to the survey, 50% of doctors practicing in states where it’s banned say it should be legalized, while 52% of doctors practicing in states that are considering legalizing it for medicinal use support the practice. Forty-nine percent of consumers living in states where it’s not legal support legalizing medical marijuana.
 

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They're next: Alaska fumes over marijuana legalization

Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, April, 22nd 2014 by THCFinder
alaska-weed-legalizationColorado has been a test case for marijuana legalization in recent months. Yes, it could prove to be an economic boom. But voters already have remorse over the legislation: new polling reveals that majorities are not eager to mar Colorado’s “wholesome” image, or replace it with something more, uh, cosmic.
 
Alaska, where the legalization issue will appear on an public ballot this fall, faces similar concerns.
 
The interest group “Big Marijuana-Big Mistake-Vote No on 2” is registered with the Alaska Public Offices Commission, and demand that “Ballot Measure 2,” which would legalize weed, be defeated. The group’s treasurer Deborah Williams, a youth counselor, calls the measure “extreme” and is annoyed by cute marijuana ads in Colorado that mask serious health concerns.
 
“She also questions whether Alaskans would be OK knowing that potent marijuana products like hash oil, wax, crumble and shatter would be legal under the proposed initiative,” writes Alaska News reporter Suzanna Caldwell, citing the street names of the stuff.
 
Ms. Williams has competition from the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska, funded by the Marijuana Policy Project, a national interest group which has drawn 45,000 signatures to a pro-weed petition. While Colorado and Washington state sort out legalization complexities, Ms. Williams hopes Alaska will hold off on big decisions.
 
“What do we want our state to look like? Right now, the costs far outweigh the benefits,” she asks.
 
Read more: 

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