2 medical marijuana bills head to Iowa Legislature
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, November, 19th 2012 by THCFinder
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Bills that would decriminalize marijuana and approve its medical use may be headed for the Iowa Legislature after voters in Colorado and Washington decided that adults should be allowed to possess small amounts of taxed and regulated pot for recreational use.
Iowa state Rep. Bruce Hunter, D-Des Moines, is preparing a bill that would decriminalize pot possession as long as those caught with it weren't selling it, he told The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/TMiixN ).
Hunter also said he'll reintroduce a medical marijuana bill and state Sen. Joe Bolkcom told the newspaper he'll be seeking co-sponsors for his medical marijuana measure.
Both measures likely will face tough opposition in the next session, which begins in January.
An aide to House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, Josie Albrecht, said that "as with past efforts to legalize marijuana, House Republicans are unlikely to support the measure and do not believe it is a priority."
Gov. Terry Branstad has said he'll veto any bill that would legalize marijuana in any capacity.
Nonetheless, Steve Morrow, president of the Iowa chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said the success of the Colorado and Washington measures is "helping the cause."
Legislators who risk voters' wrath for advocating reform of pot laws now have the new Colorado and Washington laws to wield in defense, Morrow said.
They could use the help, said Bolkcom, D-Iowa City.
"They're nervous about a vote somehow being used against them when they run for re-election," Bolkcom said. "I think Iowans are ahead of their elected officials on this issue."
Iowa has been tough on marijuana users. Possession of any amount is a misdemeanor that carries a mandatory minimum sentence of six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
Hunter said he'd like to legalize marijuana completely and relieve its burden on the state's justice system.
"We've got a prison population that is made up of a lot of people that haven't really committed a violent crime, other than smoking some marijuana," Hunter said. "It doesn't do anybody any good. We're not fixing a drug problem by sending people to jail with a bunch of other drug problems."
But Peter Komendowski, president of Partnership for a Drug-Free Iowa, said decriminalizing and legalizing marijuana makes it tougher to protect children from the dangers of drug use.
"What we're doing is sending a mixed message to our kids that some drugs are OK and some aren't OK," Komendowski said. "If you know kids, it's extremely confusing to them if you're not on message."
Medical marijuana grows economy, advocates say in Portland
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, November, 13th 2012 by THCFinder
PORTLAND — For Paul McCarrier, organizer of the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine trade show on Saturday, it’s all about the economy.
Gesturing to the large conference room floor where several dozen exhibitors were selling their wares and services, McCarrier said the legalized use of marijuana to treat various ailments created an entrepreneurial bloom.
Almost all were small-business operators. Many were artisans, crafting glass pipes and T-shirts. Others were experts in the cultivation of the plant, providing advice and equipment such as grow lights, compost and greenhouses.
And, of course, there were the marijuana growers, who were well represented among the 150 or so who wandered through the trade show. Three years after a citizens initiative was passed and the state tweaked a law to create dispensaries and licenses for growers, there are 768 people cultivating the plant, six plants per patient for no more than five patients.
McCarrier compared the cottage industries that have grown around legalized medical marijuana in Maine to the many businesses that supply car manufacturers with specialized parts.
“It’s the economy of it,” he said. McCarrier noted that he had to leave his home in Belfast to find work in Portland, but thanks to being able to provide medical marijuana for patients, he was able to return and buy land and a home.
Inside a Marijuana Grow House in the San Fernando Valley
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, November, 13th 2012 by THCFinder
There is a warehouse in the San Fernando Valley that looks like any other, but inside there are rows of plants under intense lighting, fans, classical music and an unmistakable smell.
Video will be posted when available.
On the condition of anonymity, a marijuana grower agreed to share what happens in the warehouse under federal authorities’ noses.
Editor's Note: The grower will be referred to in this article as Mike to maintain anonymity.
"I would say the majority of people involved in it are paranoid, and they should be," Mike said. "In the beginning, I got into it for the money."
About how 10 years ago, a friend helped him establish his first cannabis grow house. Since then, Mike claims to have seven or eight working grow houses around the Southland.
"All over LA County, San Bernardino, Orange County," he said.
In the warehouse garage, there is no marijuana odor. But go beyond two separate doors, and the smell is present. Mike has 96 plants, all growing to a classical music soundtrack.
"They grow better with classical music," he said.
Everything is monitored in the room where lights mimic sunlight -- 12 hours on, 12 hours off.
"We control pretty much every aspect of the plant from the environment to the temperature to the humidity to the nutrients in the water," Mike said.
It is a sophisticated system of pipes and tubes, tubs, fans, plugs and buds. When NBC4 visited the so-called pot farm, plants in the first room still had eight weeks until harvest time. An adjacent makeshift room houses plants even less mature.
Read more: http://www.nbclosangeles.com
NY being pressured to legalize marijuana for medical uses
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, November, 12th 2012 by THCFinder
Put this in your pipe and smoke it, New York.
A serious campaign is under way to green New York’s economy by legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, The Post has learned.
Big Marijuana has tapped politically juiced Albany lobbyists — including powerhouse Patricia Lynch Associates — to spread the smoky ganja gospel in the Empire State.
Lynch, whose firm is representing the for-profit, Colorado-based Rx pot manufacturer and seller Gaia, has connections on both sides of the aisle. She’s a former top aide to Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and one of her managing partners, Patrick McCarthy, is former executive director of the state Republican Party and an aide to former GOP Gov. George Pataki.
“We’re going to negotiate this bill with the wind at our backs. There’s tremendous support to legalize medical marijuana in New York,” said state Sen. Diane Savino, a Staten Island Democrat, adding:
How much education do doctors need before recommending medical marijuana to patients?
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, November, 9th 2012 by THCFinder
After Massachusetts voters passed a ballot initiative on Tuesday legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, I’m wondering how the law will be implemented, as my colleague Chelsea Conaboy details the challenges in today’s Globe.
The state’s Department of Public Health will follow the lead of other states and require patients to get a physician’s approval to apply for a medical marijuana identification card. This card will enable them to obtain and possess a certain amount of the drug from a state dispensary if they have a debilitating condition.
How easy it will be to obtain such a card and how many dispensaries the state will allow to open, however, remain unknown. And whether the state will ensure quality control and standardization of products sold in these dispensaries also is uncertain. State health officials also need to define which conditions are debilitating enough to constitute pot use.
In Colorado, college students have no trouble getting a card and getting as much pot as they need at one of the more than 1,000 dispensaries scattered throughout the state. (They’ll probably have an even easier time now that Colorado along with Washington passed a ballot measure on election day to legalize the drug for all adults over age 21.)
Dr. Lauren Smith, interim commissioner for the Department of Public Health, said in a statement on Wednesday that “the Department will work closely with health care and public safety officials to develop smart and balanced policies and procedures over the coming months. We will work carefully, learn from other states’ experiences and put a system in place that is right for Massachusetts.”
In other words, they haven’t figured out exactly how the system is going to work.
Medical marijuana will likely resurface in Ark.
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, November, 8th 2012 by THCFinder
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas failed to become the first southern state to legalize medical marijuana this week, but the narrow loss didn't discourage the measure's supporters who said Wednesday they plan to tweak their proposal and try again.
"We'll try to get it through the General Assembly and if that doesn't work, we'll take it back to the people," said Chris Kell, campaign strategist for Arkansans for Compassionate Care, the group advocating for the medical marijuana measure.
Voters in Tuesday's election narrowly rejected the measure that would have allowed patients with qualifying conditions to buy marijuana from nonprofit dispensaries with a doctor's recommendation. More Arkansas voters cast ballots for the medical marijuana measure than they did for President Barack Obama, with more than 500,000 voters in favor of the marijuana issue and about 390,000 votes cast for Obama.
"I think this vote just shows that it's really not as controversial as everybody thought," Kell said.
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