Message Of Marijuana Reform Receives Warm Reception In Missouri
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Sun, September, 22nd 2013 by THCFinder
We held town hall meetings in Jefferson City and Columbia this week, and both drew supportive crowds eager to know how they can advance the cause. On Monday, our meeting in Jefferson City attracted more than 25 marijuana law reform advocates. Many of them expressed an interest in lobbying our elected officials at the state capitol once the legislature starts its new session in January.
The Columbia town hall was an even greater success, thanks largely to the efforts of SMCR board chair, criminal defense attorney, and longtime Columbia resident Dan Viets. I wasn’t able to make it to the event, but Dan sent along this write-up:
A standing-room only crowd of more than 100 assembled at the Daniel Boone Public Library in Columbia Thursday night for a Marijuana Town Hall Meeting. They heard statements from Missouri Representatives Chris Kelly and Rory Ellinger that they are seriously considering filing bills to tax and regulate cannabis like alcohol, allow access to medical marijuana and/or decriminalize non-medical possession.
Kelly said he needs to be persuaded that the movement for legalization in Missouri is capable of putting together a winning campaign. He acknowledged that money is an important and necessary element of such a campaign, but said he also wants to see a winning campaign strategy.
His bill may ask the legislature to place the issue on the ballot and leave the final decision up to the voters. This would save the movement the need to spend great amounts of money just to get the issue on the ballot, and then have to raise more money for the campaign to pass the proposal.
Columbia Daily Tribune Publisher and Editor Hank Waters joined in, calling for full legalization, and conservative Tribune columnist and radio personality Bob Roper agreed. I offered opening comments and moderated the discussion.
Several audience members extolled the virtues of hemp as an agricultural commodity and a new revenue source for Missouri farmers. It was noted that Missouri was, and could again be, one of the major hemp producing states.
Several patients talked about their need for access to marijuana for medical reasons. Rep Ellinger has been the leading proponent of expanded expungement laws in Missouri, including allowing for expungement of cannabis offenses.
SMCR is drafting a proposal to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol which could be the basis for an initiative effort. SMCR may also ask Reps. Kelly and Ellinger to introduce the draft as a bill in the Missouri General Assembly, which could be in addition to an initiative effort or an alternative to one.
Read more: http://www.theweedblog.com
Canada's New Medical Marijuana Rules Cut Homegrowers, Pharmacists Out
After two years of study and discussion, the federal government has finalized new rules for medical marijuana and granted a reprieve to pharmacists who opposed the rules in their draft form.
Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq rolled out the regulations today for formal publication in the Canada Gazette on Wednesday.
Under the new regime, the government will no longer produce or distribute medical pot and medical marijuana users will no longer be allowed to grow the product at home.
Health Canada said since the medical marijuana program was introduced in 2001, it has expanded to 30,000 people from the original 500 authorized to use the product.
"This rapid increase has had unintended consequences for public health, safety and security as a result of allowing individuals to produce marijuana in their homes," the department said in a news release.
"Under the new regulations, production will no longer take place in homes and municipal zoning laws will need to be respected, which will further enhance public safety."
Under the new regulations, the government will allow patients to buy prescribed amounts only from licensed growers who will be required to meet strict conditions.
Medical Marijuana Patients Rally to Stop Mayor's Proposed Ban in Ventura
On Monday, September 16th, 2013 Ventura City Council will reconvene after their break. Medical marijuana patients, providers and advocates will gather in front of city hall at 5 p.m. for the third time in the hopes of stopping the blanket ban proposed by Mayor Mike Tracy in July. The proposed ordinance will affect patients by making it impossible for any professional medical marijuana dispensaries, delivery services or cooperative cultivation to take place within the city.
Members of the Americans for Safe Access Ventura Action Group and concerned community members are asking for sensible regulation and would like to form a working group with government and law enforcement to create compassionate policy while addressing the concerns of both sides of the issue.
Although California voters passed the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, the City of Ventura has made no effort to assure patients have safe access to marijuana for use in the treatment of serious and chronic conditions.
"There may be some medical quality there in the THC, but it seems to me there'd be a better way of dispensing it than a marijuana cigarette" stated Mayor Mike Tracy to KEYT News on July 8th. ASA member and medical marijuana patient Rachel Sedacca responds to the Mayor's comments "This is exactly the point. Dispensaries are important because that's where patients can go to get tinctures, edibles and topical salves. It's clear that the mayor who's proposing this ban knows little about the issue of marijuana as medicine. We'd like to work together for safe access in Ventura for patients that need it. Most people are familiar with the cannabinoid THC and its psychotropic qualities, but are less familiar with cannabidiol or CBD, which has been used with amazing results, effectively reducing or stopping devastating, relentless seizures for epileptics, crippling spasticity and pain in patients with Multiple Sclerosis, even showing it can shrink tissues of cancerous tumors. However marijuana high in CBD content is just not available on the street because it doesn't get people "high." Staffed by professionals, dispensaries offer safe access to patients, assuring quality, consistency and affordability not available on the black market, where patients will be forced to turn if the ban passes."
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com
Medical marijuana delays punish patients
Gov. Chris Christie plays politics in delaying the state’s medical marijuana program. He fights to keep children from being able to have edible forms of the medicine. He fights to restrict the kinds of medical cannabis permitted. He fights to restrict the number of distribution points and greatly restricts the licenses he grants to grow. More of our licensees are cronies or tied to the pharmaceutical industry than in any other state.
Medical cannabis patients don’t count these delays in months or years. They count them in seizures, unhealthy pounds dropped, PTSD suicides, days of vomiting, intractable pain and crippling spasms. They count them in addictions to legal painkillers and AIDS and cancer deaths.
Clearly, the governor does not understand this. The only way to consider delaying medical treatments is to deny the seriousness of medical cannabis patients’ illnesses and the efficacy of cannabis treatments. In insisting on this ill-informed view, he defaults on his responsibility. As governor, the Compassionate Medical Marijuana Use Act ostensibly binds him to respect both.
Read more: http://www.phillyburbs.com
Oklahoma: Majority Of Voters Endorse Marijuana Law Reform
Oklahoma, City, OK: A majority of likely Oklahoma voters back legalizing the use of medical marijuana and also support depenalizing pot possession penalties for recreational users, according to survey data released by SoonerPoll.com and commissioned by the Oklahoma state affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
Seventy-one percent of respondents said that they support amending state law to allow for physician-authorized patients to consume cannabis for therapeutic purposes. Twenty states and Washington, DC, have enacted similar policies since 1996.
Oklahoma citizens also strongly backed amending state criminal laws that presently outlaw the plant’s social use. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said that they preferred treating minor marijuana violations as a non-criminal, fine-only offense. Violators of such a policy would not be subject to arrest, face jail time, or receive a criminal record. Sixteen states already impose similar ‘depenalization’ policies. Two states, Colorado and Washington, have eliminated all criminal and civil penalties surrounding the possession of small quantities of marijuana by adults.
Finally, over 81 percent of Oklahoma respondents agreed that state lawmakers, not the federal government, ought to be the final arbiters to decide whether “[state] laws regarding whether the use of marijuana [are] legal or not.”
Read more: http://www.theweedblog.com
Medical marijuana registry numbers on the rise despite confidentiality breaches
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, September, 19th 2013 by THCFinder
The Colorado medical marijuana patient registry saw the largest increase in active patient numbers in months this summer, growing by 2,475 patients to 109,292 people from June to July.
The Department of Revenue received a total of 3,514 applications during that time period and hasn't reported any denials. That means as many as 1,039 additional new patients were added to the registry, although that number could be offset by people dropping off or not renewing.
The passage of Amendment 64, which legalized the possession, sale and cultivation of cannabis in limited amounts, was predicted to reduce the number of patients on the registry, but the growing figures some nine months after A64's passage seem to tell a different story.
Part of that could be because the next chapter -- recreational marijuana sales -- has yet to begin. But it could also indicate that medical marijuana patients who purchase pot at dispensaries will keep their cards in order to avoid paying a 30-40 percent tax rate (and possibly even more) for recreational cannabis.
Voters are being asked this November to approve a 25 percent tax on cannabis at the state level, with an excise tax applied to wholesale transactions. The handful of municipalities allowing recreational sales also plan to tack on special taxes, with proposals running from 3.5 percent (Denver) up to 15 percent on top of regular city and state sales taxes.
Put another way, a $100 half-ounce could require as much as $21 in sales tax. And that $100 could also be inflated: Some suggest that the additional 15 percent state excise tax will be passed on to consumers through higher retail prices.
Read more: http://blogs.westword.com
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