Medical Marijuana Bill Advances in New York
Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, June, 13th 2014 by THCFinder
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo raised doubts on Thursday about whether he would sign into law a medical marijuana bill advancing through the state Legislature.
The bill, known as the Compassionate Care Act, was transferred out of the Senate Finance Committee over the previous objections of its chairman. That puts it within striking distance of a vote on the Senate floor, with the Legislature due to break for the year next Thursday.
The bill, which the Assembly passed earlier this year, would have New York joining its neighbors, New Jersey and Connecticut, in legalizing medical marijuana. It would create a growth and distribution system for the drug and allow health-care practitioners to prescribe it for cancer and other serious conditions.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo European Pressphoto Agency
In January, Mr. Cuomo introduced a more limited pilot program that doesn't require legislative approval. On Thursday at an unrelated event in upstate Peekskill, the Democratic governor said he was concerned the Legislature's effort could backfire.
"This sets up an entire system for marijuana growing, production, distribution, sales, and if you're not careful and the system isn't done well, this could actually turn into a major negative," Mr. Cuomo said, calling marijuana a gateway drug for other illegal substances.
"We want to make it work," he said. "But we also recognize the downside, which is if you don't put in the correct system, you could have a serious problem on your hands."
The medical marijuana issue is coming to the fore during an election year when lawmakers and Mr. Cuomo had been focusing instead on a series of anti-heroin measures, among a handful of issues expected to be in focus before lawmakers leave Albany.
The broader legalization effort gained steam after the governor's idea to make pot available to the very ill was criticized by some advocates as too limited.
The governor envisions a distribution system confined to 20 hospitals statewide, a program that is dependent on federal approval, since without it hospitals could jeopardize their federal funding. Marijuana is illegal under federal law, even as states move to legalize it.
Read more: http://online.wsj.com
Jamaica to decriminalize personal marijuana possession
Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, June, 13th 2014 by THCFinder
The Jamaican government has decided to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, joining the trickle of countries moving to soften laws on the drug known on the Caribbean island as "ganja."
Minister of Justice Mark Golding made the announcement at an afternoon news conference on Thursday saying that Jamaica's Dangerous Drugs Act would be formally amended this summer.
The cabinet of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller made the decision on June 2, he said.
"Cabinet approved certain changes to the law relating to ganja. These relate to possession of small quantities of ganja for personal use, the smoking of ganja in private places and the use of ganja for medical-medicinal purposes," he said.
"Approval has been given also to a proposal for the decriminalization of the use of ganja for religious purposes," he said.
Uruguay recently became the latest country to legalize marijuana use, joining several countries in Europe as well as the U.S. states of Colorado and Washington.
Possession of small quantities of the drug would become a non-arrestable, ticketable infraction in Jamaica resulting in a fine, Golding said.
"Too many of our young people have ended up with criminal convictions after being caught with a 'spliff,' something that has affected their ability to do things like get jobs and get visas to travel overseas," Golding said.
He added that the government would propose a bill in the Jamaican Parliament soon that will expunge the criminal records of people convicted for possession of small amounts of the drug, which is grown widely across Jamaica.
Read more: http://www.chicagotribune.com/
Mexicos President Might Be Open To Marijuana Legalization
Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, June, 10th 2014 by THCFinder
For a very long time, Mexico has been the top supplier for illegal marijuana to the United States. The marijuana from Mexico has been supplied by very dangerous drug cartels that are responsible for numerous murders and other horrors in mexico and the United States. Marijuana reform in the United States has decreased the profits from marijuana sales by these cartels.
Many news outlets have attributed decreased marijuana sales by cartels to recreational marijuana. While I agree that recreational legalization hurts cartels, medical marijuana reform has hurt the cartels more than recreational reform. Recreational sales are very new, and only occur in Colorado. that’s not enough to hurt cartels as much as the multiple states that have medical marijuana. The cultivation and sales attributed to medical marijuana is a much more likely contributor in my opinion. Patients used to have to buy cartel marijuana. Fortunately, now hundreds of thousands (if not millions) now grow their own or buy it from a dispensary.
Eventually as legalization spreads, it will hurt the cartels even more. When dozens of states allow legal recreational gardens and sales, cartels will be brought to their knees, at least in the marijuana world. If Mexico were to ever legalize, especially in conjunction with the U.S., it would be game over for cartel marijuana sales. Legalization is something that Mexico’s President would consider if the United States led the way. Per Reuters:
“Pena Nieto says he is in favor of debating the issue despite personal misgivings about legalizing cannabis, and lawmakers say Mexico cannot be out of step for ever with the United States, the principal buyer of illicit drugs that cross the border.
In an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais, Pena Nieto said legalization of marijuana was a “growing phenomenon” and that the policies followed in the last 30 to 40 years had only led to more consumption and more production of drugs.
“Therefore it’s a failed policy,” he told the newspaper.”
The United States, as the largest marketplace on the planet for marijuana, needs to lead the way on legalization. mexico will likely not make the first move. Even if they did, it wouldn’t help solve the cartel problem, because cartels would still benefit from prohibition in the United States. It’s time to put cartels out of business. it’s time to stop the pain and suffering that cartels cause. It’s time the United States made the logical decision to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana.
Uruguay To Sell Recreational Marijuana Tax Free
Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, May, 26th 2014 by THCFinder
Uruguay recently became the first country to completely legalize cannabis, and has big plans to create a recreational marijuana industry. This has lead to numerous other countries considering following suit. I think after other countries see how well it works, it will speed up the process of reform around the world. Hopefully the United States gets on that bandwagon sooner than later at the federal level.
A lot of people in the media and in the international community were shocked to see Uruguay make such a bold move. But I think the most shock came from the United States cannabis industry when it became known that Uruguay would be selling cannabis at such a low price – less than one dollar per gram. That price is considerably lower than prices in stores in Colorado.
It appears that Uruguay will be making another bold move with their cannabis policy – selling legal recreational cannabis tax free. Per Reuters:
Uruguay will exempt marijuana production and sales from taxes in a bid to ensure prices remain low enough to undercut competition from black market pot smuggled in from Paraguay, according to consultants advising the government on a legalization plan.
“The principal objective is not tax collection. Everything has to be geared toward undercutting the black market,” said Felix Abadi, a contractor who is developing Uruguay’s marijuana tax structure. “So we have to make sure the price is low.”
Uruguay will auction up to six licenses to produce cannabis legally in the next weeks. The government is also considering growing marijuana on a plot of land controlled by the military to avoid illegal trafficking of the crop.
One of the biggest selling points in the United States to reform cannabis laws and allow the industry to operate is that it will generate a significant amount of tax revenue. It seems that Uruguay is not as concerned with generating tax revenue. I think legalization combined with extremely low prices will catapult Uruguay to the status of ‘most cannabis friendly destination’ once sales start rolling out. How Uruguay will deal with an influx of foreign travelers is yet to be seen, but I think added tourism is ‘problem’ every nation would love to have.
Laura Blanco, President of Uruguay’s Cannabis Studies Association will be on hand at our conference in September to give attendees a first-hand account from the country making international waves by regulating cannabis sales. Join us in Portland, Oregon, as we bring together entrepreneurs, activists and professionals from across the globe to provide an international cannabis conference like no other.
Could Legalization of Marijuana Be in Texas's Future?
Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, May, 22nd 2014 by THCFinder
As 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.
Read more: http://www.houstonpress.com
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.”
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