Minnesota to become 22nd state to legalize medical marijuana
Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, May, 21st 2014 by THCFinder
It 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.”
Minnesotas legislature approves medical marijuana. Could New York be next?
Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, May, 19th 2014 by THCFinder
Minnesota 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.
Initiative Filed To Legalize Recreational Marijuana In Nevada
Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, May, 1st 2014 by THCFinder
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.
Survey: 53% of Doctors Support National Legalization of Medical Marijuana
Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, April, 30th 2014 by THCFinder
Medical 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.
They're next: Alaska fumes over marijuana legalization
Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, April, 22nd 2014 by THCFinder
Colorado 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.
Study: Marijuana legalization doesn't increase crime
Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, April, 16th 2014 by THCFinder
Three months after Colorado residents legalized recreational marijuana with the passage of Amendment 64 in Nov. 2012, Sheriff Tom Allman of Mendocio County, Calif. – a haven for marijuana growers – warned that an onslaught of crime was headed toward Colorado.
“Thugs put on masks, they come to your house, they kick in your door. They point guns at you and say, ‘Give me your marijuana, give me your money,’” Allman told a Denver TV station in February. His state became the first to legalize marijuana for medical use in 1996; Colorado followed suit in 2000.
But a new report contends that fourteen years later, even after Colorado legalized the sale of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use on Jan. 1 of this year, violent and property crime rates in the city are actually falling.
According to data from the Denver Police Department, violent crime (including homicide, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault) fell by 6.9% in the first quarter of 2014, compared with the same period in 2013. Property crime (including burglary, larceny, auto theft, theft from motor vehicle and arson) dropped by 11.1%.
THE CYCLE, 4/10/14, 5:31 PM ET
Time for politicians to get on board with pot
A study looking at the legalization of medical marijuana nationwide, published late last month in the journal PLOS ONE, found that the trend holds: Not only does medical marijuana legalization not correlate with an uptick in crime, researchers from the University of Texas at Dallas argue it may actually reduce it.
Using statistics from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report and controlling for variables like the unemployment and poverty rates; per capita income; age of residents; proportion of residents with college degree; number of police officers and prisoners; and even beer consumption, researchers analyzed data from all 50 states between 1990 and 2006. (California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996; in the decade that followed, 10 states followed suit. Today that number is up to 20 states, plus the District of Columbia.) They wrote:
“The central finding gleaned from the present study was that MML (medical marijuana legalization) is not predictive of higher crime rates and may be related to reductions in rates of homicide and assault. Interestingly, robbery and burglary rates were unaffected by medicinal marijuana legislation, which runs counter to the claim that dispensaries and grow houses lead to an increase in victimization due to the opportunity structures linked to the amount of drugs and cash that are present.”
The study drew a link between marijuana and alcohol use, surmising that the legalization of pot could cause the number of alcohol-fueled crimes to decline.
“While it is important to remain cautious when interpreting these findings as evidence that MML reduces crime, these results do fall in line with recent evidence and they conform to the longstanding notion that marijuana legalization may lead to a reduction in alcohol use due to individuals substituting marijuana for alcohol. Given the relationship between alcohol and violent crime, it may turn out that substituting marijuana for alcohol leads to minor reductions in violent crimes that can be detected at the state level.”
The pro-legalization group Norml cited a 2002 study by David Boyum and Mark Kleiman arguing that regulating marijuana on the same terms as alcohol “would tend to reduce crime.”
Read more: http://www.msnbc.com
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