Medical Marijuana Discrimination Bill Passes House, Heads to State Senate
Montana and Michigan voters still support medical marijuana
A February survey of 2,212 Montana voters by Public Policy Polling found that 63% still back marijuana for medical purposes. Most voters, however, also support stricter regulations under the law. The survey was funded by Patients & Families United, a Montana support group for patients who use medical marijuana.
The Montana House of Representatives voted Feb. 10 to repeal the state's 2004 voter-enacted law. House Speaker Mike Milburn, a Republican, said many patients approved for medical marijuana are not terminally ill, and that the law has created a growing illegal drug trade. At this article's deadline, the House measure had not gone to the Senate.
The Montana Medical Assn. had no comment on the repeal of the medical marijuana law in its state, a representative said. In general, the association's position on medical marijuana is that the drug should be used only in the safest, legally-approved way and "be subject to the same regulatory scrutiny as any other psychoactive drug with the potential for abuse." More research regarding the safety, dosage and effectiveness of medical marijuana is needed, the MMA said in a statement.
In Michigan, a January poll of 600 voters by the Marketing Research Group found that 61% of residents would vote again for the medical marijuana law enacted in 2008. The poll was funded by the Michigan Assn. of Compassion Centers, which advocates citizens' rights under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.
The Michigan State Medical Society said in a statement that it supports the use of cannabinoids for medical purposes by routes other than smoking. The society also urges further research and testing on the drug.
Washington workers await court's decision on protecting legal marijuana use
Colleges keep pot bans despite states easing laws
As legislatures nationwide debate whether to legalize medical marijuana, colleges and universities in states where laws have been adopted say their campuses will remain drug-free.
N.J. patients, advocates criticize proposed rules on medical marijuana
TRENTON — For nearly two hours today, dozens of patients and their advocates — some through tears, others at the top of their lungs — vented their frustrations over the state's proposed rules for New Jersey's yet-to-launch medical marijuana program.
"You're getting hammered up there, aren't ya?'' Crohn's disease sufferer Stephen Cuspilich, of Southampton, told the state health department officials conducted the legally-required hearing on the proposed rules expected to take effect this summer.
Cuspilich questioned why the state would require doctors who recommend marijuana to take courses on drug addiction first, and treat marijuana more cautiously than morphine, which can kill.
"You're putting these flaming hoops and hurdles in front of everybody to get this medication — me and everyone else. We know what works for us and what doesn't work for us.''
"You need to stop thinking about the business of the law and think about the intent of the law, which is compassion,'' he said, eliciting applause.
L.A. pot dispensaries fight proposed tax on medical marijuana
As Los Angeles voters decide Tuesday whether to create a pot tax, medical marijuana activists who once urged City Hall to tax and regulate them are hoping to defeat the proposal.
The critics said they are angered by the council's decision to limit the number of dispensaries to 100 and choose them by lottery.
"The city has done nothing for the patients, and I don't see why the patients have to pay a sin tax. We're not a topless bar," said Yamileth Bolanos, a dispensary operator who leads a group of the city's oldest collectives. "The city hasn't even been able to enact an ordinance that creates safe access."
Measure M would require the city's dispensaries to pay a 5% business tax on gross receipts, which is 10 times more than the city's highest tax. Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who proposed the tax, estimated that it would raise at least $10 million. The city faces a $54-million budget shortfall through June.
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