Hawaiian lawmaker introduces pot-legalization bill
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, January, 21st 2013 by THCFinder
The Aloha State may soon follow in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington by becoming the third state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana by adults 21 and older.
While the historic laws in Colorado and Washington passed despite opposition from elected leaders, Hawaii’s measure was proposed by state lawmakers themselves.
House Speaker Jospeh Souki introduced the Personal Use of Marijuana Act on Friday. If passed, it will allow adults to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow a limited number of plants for personal use. It will also create a system of licensing for retail stores and cultivation facilities. As with the laws in Colorado and Washington, public use would be prohibited.
In a statement released by the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii, Mason Tvert, one of the architects of Colorado’s Amendment 64 and a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, lauded the bill.
“Regulating and taxing marijuana similarly to alcohol takes marijuana sales out of the hands of criminals and puts them behind the counter in legitimate businesses that will generate significant new revenue for Hawaii,” he said. “Law enforcement resources should be focused on preventing and responding to serious crimes rather than enforcing antiquated marijuana prohibition laws.”
The ACLU also released a poll last week showing that 57 percent of Hawaiians support legalizing marijuana. The organization said that similar laws are expected to be introduced in Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.
Like in many states, pot use in Hawaii is nothing new, but it gained new notoriety when it was learned that President Obama regularly partook of this federally prohibited substance as a member of the so-called Choom Gang in his youth.
Obama is opposed to legalization, but said in an interview with Barbara Walters last month that his administration wouldn’t make arresting pot smokers a high priority.
Medical marijuana bill introduced in Iowa House
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, January, 18th 2013 by THCFinder
Months after two states legalized marijuana within their borders, a lawmaker is seeking to authorize medical uses of the drug here in Iowa.
State Rep. Bruce Hunter, D-Des Moines, introduced a bill Wednesday that would allow patients diagnosed with cancer, HIV or AIDS, ALS , Crohn’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, among other illnesses, or who suffer from a medical condition or the treatment of a condition that causes “intractable pain” to be licensed to possess marijuana and not subject to arrest or prosecution.
“Iowans clearly want our state policy to be sensible and rooted in evidence, that's why I'm introducing this medical marijuana legislation,” Hunter said in a statement released by the Marijuana Policy Project. “At this point, there's no denying that marijuana helps alleviate the symptoms of a host of terrible diseases, many of which are notoriously difficult to treat.”
The bill calls for the creation of nonprofit dispensaries that would grow and sell the medical marijuana and related supplies.
The Des Moines Register’s February, 2010, Iowa Poll showed 64 percent of Iowans supported allowing medical uses of marijuana.
The Marijuana Policy Projected highlighted that finding this week, along with an Iowa Board of Pharmacy vote that same year unanimously recognizing the drug’s medical value.
“The bill introduced by Rep. Hunter will bring Iowa in line with a growing number of states that recognize the medical efficacy of marijuana,” Robert Capecchi, deputy director of state policies at the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement. “There is no reason to let seriously ill patients continue to suffer in Iowa while the rest of the country adopts this type of sensible legislation.”
But the bill likely will not go anywhere. Hunter is in the minority in the House, and Speaker Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiawatha, indicated last week he has no interest in pursuing medical marijuana.
Judge says MT Marijuana Act will harm patients
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, January, 18th 2013 by THCFinder
A Helena District judge has once again struck down portions of the Montana Marijuana Act.
Judge Jim Reynolds issued his ruling saying medical marijuana cardholders will be injured if the current law stays in tact. It states a provider can only serve three medical marijuana patients and it prohibits the patient from paying the provider for the marijuana.
The medical marijuana community argues the Montana Marijuana Act forces patients to grow their own.
Reynolds says under the current law medical marijuana users will be unable to do that which will cause harm to the patient.
This is the second time Reynolds has ruled on this case. The first time his ruling was overturned by the Montana Supreme Court and sent back to him for further review.
Montana Attorney General Tim Fox's office has not said whether or not it will appeal the ruling.
Lawmaker makes push for medical marijuana in Kansas
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, January, 16th 2013 by THCFinder
Once again, Kansas is pushing to legalize medical marijuana, and one lawmaker says it is not a matter of if but when it will be a legal option.
In the case of medical marijuana, one will likely find more supporters, like a senator from the state of Kansas.
"It's just going to be a matter of time before all of this country has it, and I just don't want Kansas to be the last state to enact it," said state Sen. David Haley, D-Kansas.
That is why Haley has introduced Senate Bill 9, which would allow patients to obtain and use marijuana without fear of arrest.
The bill would allow patients with certain qualifying conditions who have received recommendations from their physicians to privately possess up to six ounces of marijuana and grow up to 12 marijuana plants in their homes.
It also calls on the Kansas Department of Public Health to regulate and license medical marijuana compassion centers to provide medicine to qualified patients. The department would be able to limit the number of centers in any particular area.
"I do know people who are suffering from cancer, nausea from chemotherapy drugs, who've said they don't like breaking the law just to use marijuana ... a natural holistic substance," he said.
Whether marijuana helps people who are sick isn't really a question.
It's been proven time and time again it does help, and some say it's a much safer alternative than legal prescription drugs, which can carry some serious side effects. Not only that, supporters say it is a safety issue in general.
"Patients right now who use medical marijuana, they're getting it from drug dealers and gangs and cartels, that is who supplies marijuana in this country," said Dan Riffle with the Marijuana Policy Project.
Riffle points out no one has ever died from an overdose of marijuana, saying the same cannot be said for overdoses of conventional pain killers, which kill thousands of people every year.
Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have already given the green light to medical marijuana. At least 10 more states are expected to consider similar legislation this year.
Haley is hoping Kansas won't be the last.
Marijuana attorney says he will make ballot in D.C.
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, January, 15th 2013 by THCFinder
Paul Zukerberg, a District attorney who wants to decriminalize marijuana, said Monday that he is the first candidate to turn in enough signatures to qualify as a candidate in the April special election for a seat on the D.C. Council.
In a statement, Zukerberg said he turned in 3,091 signatures from registered voters to District elections officials – 91 more than required.
But based on past elections, Zukerberg may not have turned in enough signatures to withstand a possible challenge over the validity of his petition.
D.C Elections Board officials often toss dozens or hundreds of signatures for being invalid because they come from someone not on the voter rolls.
Mindful of his narrow margin, Zukerberg said he plans to continue collecting signatures through next week, when he plans to submit an updated total.
So far, 20 candidates, including interim council member Anita Bonds (D) and Republican Patrick Mara, have announced plans to run in the April 23 special election for the citywide at-large seat.
Potential candidates have until Jan. 23 to gather the required signatures, which can be a cold and grueling process during the winter. It’s widely expected that multiple announced candidates will fall short.
Zukerberg, 55, is an Adams Morgan attorney who specializes in defending marijuana possession cases.
He plans to argue during the campaign that the District needs to engage in a serious discussion about decriminalizing marijuana, arguing to many residents are drawing criminal records.
If he qualifies for the ballot, Zukerberg will also campaign on improving education, a more sustainable transportation network and ethics reform.
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