Marijuana DUI Law Killed in California Legislature
Category: News | Posted on Mon, May, 5th 2014 by THCFinder
A law that would have meant a DUI conviction if you had trace amounts of THC in your blood failed in the state legislature last week.
AB 2500 by Assemblyman Jim Frazier would have meant you could be convicted of driving under the influence if any amount of THC metabolites were found in your blood stream.
But the legislation was later amended to reflect a 2 nanograms-per-millileter blood limit, which is much lower than the 5-nanograms limit being discussed by many prosecutors and lawmakers.
Medical marijuana advocates argue that no limit is really fair because the metabolites can stay in your system for days. They've said that marijuana DUI limits will ensnare users who might have medicated a day or two before driving but who are not high.
Because THC remains detectable in the bloodstream for hours or days after use, well after deleterious effects have faded, the bill would make marijuana users liable for DUI regardless of whether they were actually impaired at the time.
The bill was defeated in the Assembly Public Safety Committee 4-2. One of the no votes came from a longtime advocate for sensible cannabis policy, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano.
The proposed law also targeted cocaine, meth, heroin, morphine and other drugs. NORML says such legislation is not necessary when it comes to cannabis, though:
Even while marijuana usage has been increasing over the past decade, accident rates and DUI arrests in California have been declining. Some experts speculate that this may be because drivers are substituting marijuana for alcohol. In any case, the evidence seems clear that marijuana isn't causing an epidemic of accidents.
Colorado Veterans Suffering From PTSD Denied Medical Marijuana In Colorado
Category: News | Posted on Wed, April, 30th 2014 by THCFinder
DENVER – Yesterday, a bill failed to pass the Colorado House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs committee that would have added post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of ‘debilitating medical conditions’ that qualify for a medical marijuana recommendation. This timely bill (HB14-1364) would have addressed a major gap in access to medical marijuana in Colorado for veterans and all those suffering from PTSD. The bill sought to ensure that veterans won’t lose their VA benefits for following their physician’s recommendation to use medical marijuana.
On average a veteran commits suicide every hour in the United States – and medical marijuana has been proven to reduce suicide. But, Colorado veterans who use marijuana to manage their symptoms of PTSD risk losing their Veterans Administration (VA) benefits. VA policy permits veterans in compliance with their state medical marijuana law to continue to receive all their benefits and remain eligible for care in the VA medical system.
“It’s insane that in a state with legal marijuana veterans don’t have the same right as anyone else over 21 – especially considering how many lives are at stake,” said Art Way, senior Colorado policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance. “No veteran should have to risk benefits or feel stigmatized when they use medical marijuana.”
Iraq war Veteran Sean Azzariti of Denver, a Marine who testified in support of the legislation yesterday, said “It saved my life and I truly believe that every veteran should have that choice of medication.”
The Drug Policy Alliance, in coalition with medical marijuana industry groups and patient advocates, stood in support of the measure. “This issue is especially important in a state like Colorado that has a large veteran community. The last thing that should happen in Colorado is for individuals to be punished for using medical marijuana that has been recommended by their doctor to reduce their symptoms,” added Way.
Presently 10 medical marijuana states include PTSD as a qualifying condition for eligibility — including 4 states that have added PTSD to their programs in the last 6 months alone. And a survey published last month in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugsreports that people with PTSD in New Mexico’s medical marijuana program show a greater than 75% reduction in severity of their symptoms when patients were using cannabis compared to when they were not.
The Drug Policy Alliance’s New Mexico office launched the Freedom to Choose campaign to advocate for veterans’ access to medical marijuana for PTSD and other wounds of war.
“Veterans deserve the freedom to choose the safest treatment for their debilitating conditions,” said Jessica Gelay, who is the policy coordinator for DPA’s New Mexico office and the coordinator of the Freedom to Choose campaign. “When our veterans come home they deserve access to the medicine that works for them. We are asking lawmakers not to turn their back on Colorado veterans.”
Hemp Bill Approved By Missouri House Committee And CBD Bill Passes House
Category: News | Posted on Tue, April, 29th 2014 by THCFinder
Just a few hours after I sent out last week’s newsletter this past Tuesday, the Missouri House Economic Development Committee approved H.B. 2054, a bill that would allow for the production of industrial hemp in Missouri. Like the committee vote on the Senate medical cannabis bill earlier that same day, the tally was both bipartisan and lopsided, with 16 votes in favor and only one against.
That’s even more remarkable when you keep in mind that, like all committees in our legislature, Republicans hold a solid majority of the seats on the committee. We have worked hard to appeal to both sides of the aisle on this issue, and we are transcending the typical partisan divide that exists on cannabis law reform!
The bill now advances with a Do-Pass Recommendation to the House Rules Committee and, if it is approved there, to the House floor for consideration by the full chamber. Again, with only three work weeks left in the session our primary obstacle is time. Nonetheless, support for allowing Missouri farmers to tap into the $500 million industrial hemp market has clearly reached a tipping point in the Missouri legislature.
The cannabis reform bill that seems most likely to pass is H.B. 2238, which allows for the production of CBD oil derived from cannabis and its distribution to patients with “intractable epilepsy.” That bill passed the full House of Representatives this past Thursday, April 24, by a vote of 139 to 13 and will now head to the Senate.
Although it only applies to a relatively small number of patients, this bill will have a major positive impact on numerous lives. For many, it will mean the difference between moving away from their home in Missouri and living as a refugee in a medical cannabis state. For some, it may even make the difference between life and death.
The vote also puts all those who voted “Aye” on the record endorsing the idea that cannabis has at least one medical use. The taboo has been broken for them. With proper education, each one of them can likely be persuaded to support broader medical cannabis proposals.
Marijuana use may lead to heart complications, death, study says
For young and middle-aged adults, marijuana use may lead to cardiovascular complications, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Using 2006-2010 data from the French Addictovigilance Network, researchers identified 35 cases of cardiovascular and vascular conditions related to the heart, brain and limbs that occurred after marijuana use. They found that most patients were male, with an average age of 34.3 years.
The cases, representing 2 percent of marijuana-related complications, included 20 heart attacks and nine patient deaths.
According to researchers, marijuana use and related health complications are likely underreported. France has 1.2 million regular marijuana users, and many of the complications may not be recorded by the French Addictovigilance System.
"The general public thinks marijuana is harmless, but information revealing the potential health dangers of marijuana use needs to be disseminated to the public, policymakers and healthcare providers," lead study author Émilie Jouanjus, a medical faculty member at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Toulouse in Toulouse, France, said in a press release.
Researchers noted that people with pre-existing cardiovascular weakness may be more likely to experience the harmful effects of marijuana.
"There is now compelling evidence on the growing risk of marijuana-associated adverse cardiovascular effects, especially in young people," Jouanjus said. "It is therefore important that doctors, including cardiologists, be aware of this, and consider marijuana use as one of the potential causes in patients with cardiovascular disorders."
Former California Deputies Charged With Planting Guns At Cannabis Dispensary
Two former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies have been charged with multiple felonies, including conspiracy and altering evidence, in connection with planting guns inside a medical cannabis dispensary in 2011 to justify two arrests.
Julio Cesar Martinez and Anthony Manuel Paez were both booked Friday and released on $50,000 bail; they’re scheduled to be arraigned on June 17th. They’re being charged with one felony count each of conspiracy to obstruct justice as well as altering evidence as a peace officer. Martinez was also charged with two felony counts of perjury and one of filing a false report.
According to prosecutors the former deputies wrote a report claiming they observed a drug sale which involved an individual in open possession of a gun. Martinez followed the suspect into a medical cannabis dispensary, where he claimed to have found a gun near a trash bin and another on a desk.
As part of the incident, two men were arrested, one for possession of an unregistered gun and one for possession of a controlled substance while armed with a gun. Charges against the men were later dropped after the sheriff’s Internal Criminal Investigation Bureau investigated the incident a year later and discovered video that was inconsistent with the report.
If the former officers are convicted, they face could face more than 7 years in prison.
California county tries to ban pot farms as medical weed business thrives
(Reuters) - Citing marijuana fields springing up next to high schools and in abandoned barns, Sacramento County supervisors are set to declare pot gardens a public nuisance in the latest move by a local government to rein in California's cannabis industry.
U.S. states are increasingly moving to drop curbs on marijuana following landmark voter initiatives in Colorado and Washington state in 2012 that legalized the drug for recreational use.
But in California, where medical marijuana is legal but recreational use is not, state laws are hazy on who is allowed to grow and sell the drug, leading to a chaotic and largely unregulated marketplace of street-corner pot dispensaries, illegal cannabis farms and inappropriate prescribing by unethical doctors.
Cities and counties have struggled to impose order on an piecemeal basis as the state wrestles with developing a regulatory framework for the thriving if messy medical marijuana
"A huge number of complaints were received last year from residents with regard to outdoor marijuana cultivation," said Sacramento County Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan, who introduced the measure to ban marijuana gardens as a public nuisance. "Many were close to schools, group homes and other sensitive uses."
The fields can also be dangerous, as owners use weapons and dogs to guard their investments. Ten slayings currently under prosecution in the county have been linked to attempted marijuana theft, she said.
On Tuesday, the board unanimously signaled its intent to approve MacGlashan's ordinance, which will be up for a final vote on May 13.
The board postponed a decision on banning indoor cultivation of marijuana to study whether an all-out prohibition would infringe on the rights of medical cannabis patients to grow plants for their own use.
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