Support For New York Marijuana Decriminalization Far Higher Than For Mayor
Category: News | Posted on Mon, December, 1st 2014 by THCFinder
During the 2014 Election, we found out that support for marijuana reform was higher than support was for most popular candidates. New York City did not have an initiative on the ballot (New York does not have an initiative process), but New York City did decriminalize marijuana. A new Quinnipiac Poll has found that marijuana decriminalization in New York City is far more popular than Mayor Bill de Blasio. Per Quinnipiac:
New York City voters approve 71 – 26 percent of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, but give the mayor an overall 49 – 36 percent job approval rating, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
Today’s rating compares to a 50 – 32 percent job approval in an August 26 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. The racial divide over Mayor de Blasio grows wider, with black approval at 71 – 14 percent and Hispanic approval at 56 – 27 percent, as white voters disapprove 50 – 34 percent.
Support for decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana is 51 – 45 percent among Republicans and over 66 percent among every other party, gender or racial group. Even voters over 65 years old support it 66 – 31 percent. Support in the boroughs ranges from 65 – 31 percent in Queens to 84 – 14 percent in Manhattan.
New York City voters say 70 – 27 percent that decriminalizing simple marijuana possession will not lead to an increase in crime, an opinion shared by every group listed.
I’d love to see a similar poll, but for full marijuana legalization. If just about any politician in New York City or New York State went head to head with marijuana reform, I bet reform would win just about every time. I’m hopeful for New York to legalize marijuana in 2016, but it will be an uphill battle since New York does not have an initiative system, as previously mentioned.
Colorado Health Officials Recommend Grants For Marijuana Research
Category: News | Posted on Wed, November, 26th 2014 by THCFinder
Something you hear marijuana opponents say over and over is that ‘there needs to be more marijuana research conducted’ before they support reform. That of course is usually only a delay tactic, proven by the fact that these same marijuana opponents fight marijuana research efforts as much as possible. I think deep down they know that research will be favorable to the marijuana movement. Fortunately for marijuana supporters, Colorado health officials have announced their recommendations for 8 marijuana research grants. Per the Denver Post:
Colorado health officials have recommended funding two studies on childhood epilepsy, two studies on post-traumatic stress disorder and four other studies as part of the largest-ever state research program on medical marijuana.
The studies — totaling about $7.5 million in cost — would be paid for by a surplus of registration fees paid by medical marijuana patients. The grants need final approval by the state Board of Health in December. Research could begin early next year.
“We hope the studies will contribute to the scientific research available about the use of marijuana in effectively treating various medical conditions,” Larry Wolk, the executive director of the state health department, said in a statement.
Marijuana is medicine. It sounds like such a simple statement, but it’s a statement that marijuana opponents seem to try to refute as much as they can. I can’t wait until these studies are concluded and the results are released. The results will be added to the mountain of evidence that backs up the claim that ‘marijuana is medicine.’ Future generations will look back on the marijuana opponents of this generation and wonder why there was so much fuss, and why anyone ever believed them in the first place.
Philadelphia Marijuana Arrests Fall 78 Percent After Decriminalization
Category: News | Posted on Mon, November, 24th 2014 by THCFinder
Philadelphia became the largest U.S. city to decriminalize marijuana possession earlier this year. The marijuana decriminalization measure was passed by the Philadelphia City Council after a hard fought battle. Since marijuana decriminalization took effect there has been a very dramatic decrease in marijuana arrests, as expected. Per Philly.Com:
Data provided by the Philadelphia Police Department to Philly420 shows a sharp decline in marijuana arrests since a new decriminalization policy went into effect. But, despite the change, some local residents are still getting handcuffed for weed.
From Oct. 20 to Nov. 20 just 20 of the new tickets were issued: 14 for possession and 6 for smoking in public. Possession of under 30 grams (about an ounce) results in a $25 ticket. Smoking it in public nets a fine of $100 and community service.
There were still 72 arrests for marijuana in the last month, but that was significantly less than the same time period in 2013. This year in the same period, there were about 320 arrests. Overall that’s a decline of 78 percent.
I would love to see statistics that show what other arrests occurred for other crimes during that same time period. Now that cops can focus on going after real criminals instead of arresting people for marijuana, the streets of Philadelphia are going to be a lot safer. I look forward to a day when there are zero arrests for marijuana in Philadelphia. Keep fighting until marijuana is legalized in Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania as a whole, and beyond!
Bill Introduced To Overturn Ban On VA Physicians Recommending Medical Marijuana
Category: News | Posted on Fri, November, 21st 2014 by THCFinder
U.S. House Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), along with ten bipartisan Congressional cosponsors introduced the “Veterans Equal Access Act” (VEAA) today, marking a concerted federal effort to allow our country’s veterans to become medical marijuana patients in states where it’s legal. The VEAA would simply allow Veterans Affairs (VA) physicians to discuss and recommend medical marijuana to their patients, a right enjoyed by physicians outside of the VA system.
“Post traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury are just as damaging and harmful as any injuries that are visible from the outside,” said Blumenauer, the bill’s author. “Sometimes even more so because of the devastating effect they can have on a veteran’s family. We should be allowing these wounded warriors access to the medicine that will help them survive and thrive, including medical marijuana, not treating them like criminals and forcing them into the shadows. It’s shameful.”
The VEAA is cosponsored by a balanced mix of ten members on each side of the aisle, as well as a range of members from states that have, and still have not, legalized marijuana for medical use: Dina Titus (D-NV), Justin Amash (R-MI), Paul Broun (R-GA), Walter Jones (R-NC), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Sam Farr (D-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), Steve Stockman (R-TX) and Steve Cohen (D-TN).
In 2011, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) issued a directive which said, “VHA policy does not administratively prohibit Veterans who participate in State marijuana programs from also participating in VHA substance abuse programs, pain control programs, or other clinical programs where the use of marijuana may be considered inconsistent with treatment goals.” However, in addition to giving wide discretion to continue discrimination against veterans, the policy also forbids VA physicians from issuing medical marijuana recommendations to their patients.
For many veterans, their VA physician is their primary care physician and they have no need to go outside of the VA system for health care. In fact, since more than a million U.S. veterans are at risk of homelessness due to poverty, they don’t have the option to pay for private physicians in order to meet their health care needs. As a result, veterans are either denied critical pain medication and other pharmaceuticals because of their medical marijuana use, or they are forced by their VA physicians to go without an important and adjunct therapy.
“Millions of Americans suffer from PTSD and chronic pain, but our veterans are even more adversely affected by these conditions, and yet we fail to treat them with the same level of respect,” said Mike Liszewski, Government Affairs Director with Americans for Safe Access, the country’s leading medical marijuana advocacy group. “Veterans must be given the same rights and health care options that we give other Americans, especially where medical marijuana is concerned.”
Researchers were granted permission earlier this year to study the effects of medical marijuana on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). However, soon after, the University of Mississippi, the sole supplier of research-grade cannabis in the U.S., said it was unable to provide the requested strains, causing delays in the research. More recently, in June, the study hit another snag after the lead researcher, Dr. Sue Sisley, was abruptly fired by the University of Arizona.
In March, the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs published a study that found participants who used inhaled marijuana reported an average of 75 percent reduction in PTSD symptoms.
Official Bob Marley Marijuana Blend On the Way
Category: News | Posted on Wed, November, 19th 2014 by THCFinder
The world's most famous reggae singer is on the verge of becoming the Marlboro Man of Marijuana: The Bob Marley estate has licensed the Legend singer's name and likeness to create a special blend of herb dubbed Marley Natural.
Marley's widow Rita Marley and children Cedella and Rohan have teamed up with Privateer Holdings, a private equity group specializing in the legal marijuana market, to exclusively mass-produce those "heirloom Jamaican cannabis strains" that Marley himself smoked to make the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer the face of the herb revolution. Privateer also owns Tilray, a 60,000-square-foot property on Vancouver Island, British Columbia that ranks as the world's largest marijuana grow farm.
Although the blend won't hit the States where pot is legal – which now includes Alaska and Oregon – until late-2015, Marley is now positioned to become the face of a movement to legalize weed not just in America but worldwide. "Bob Marley started to push for legalization more than 50 years ago. We're going to help him finish it," Privateer Holdings CEO Brendan Kennedy told NBC News.
"It just seems natural that Daddy should be part of this conversation," Cedella Marley, 47, the reggae legend's first-born daughter, told NBC News in a taped statement. "As Daddy would say, 'make way for the positive day.'" Son Rohan Marley added, "Herb is for the healing of the nation; herb is for the meditation; herb is for the higher vibrations."
Rita Marley, who was once a member of Marley's backup singing group the I Threes, said in a statement, "You can depend on Bob, too. He’s 100 percent behind what is happening. He's happy because this is what we dreamed of," referring to marijuana legalization. "It was unruly for them to call it weed or drugs. We saw it as a spiritual thing, given to us by God." The Marley family also shared a commercial for the Marley Natural, as well as the blend's logo, a dread lion positioned between two pot leaves.
Marley finished ninth on Forbes' most recent list of the top-earning dead celebrities, with annual earnings of around $20 million for his estate (not including all the bootlegged clothing and paraphernalia featuring the singer's likeness). With the release of Marley Natural Fine Cannabis, and with the legal weed industry in America already at $50 billion and climbing with every state that decriminalizes marijuana, Marley's estate can expect to rocket up the posthumous earnings list in the near future.
Medical Marijuana Patient Stabbed & Charged With Possession
Category: News | Posted on Tue, November, 18th 2014 by THCFinder
On October 8th of 2013, Scott Waselik, 24 was stabbed in his home by his roommate, Kevin Rios, 22. Suffering a stab wound to the chest, Waselik managed to drive his car to the police station in his town of Sparta, New Jersey, and tell the police about the attack. Reluctantly, Waselik gave his address to police in order to get custody of his roommate. While Waselik was transported to the hospital for treatment, police headed to his house. When the cops arrived at the house, the saw Rios standing near his car, with a bag of cannabis in the open trunk, the report said. After cuffing Rios, one of the officers at the scene went in to the house to “clear” it and saw more marijuana and paraphernalia. After leaving the scene and coming back with a warrant, cops returned and seized the plant and the paraphernalia.
Both Waselik and Rios had cards, allowing them to consume the plant in allowance with their state’s law. The police, however, said that the marijuana found wasn’t from a state approved dispensary, as is required by the law in New Jersey. Waselik, a patient who suffers from Crohn’s disease, wasn’t even given a chance to defend himself before being slapped with the possession charge. For the last year, he has been arguing his case that he had a right to have the marijuana found in his home.
On Friday, Waselik caught a break and the judge hearing the case did him a huge favor. The judge ruled that the police had no authority to enter the house in the first place. Which means that both the cannabis (totaling at 74 grams) and the paraphernalia can’t be used as evidence. But the judge ruled that the police had no emergency need to enter the house, seeing as how Rios was already in custody and Waselik was on his way to the hospital.
Targeting a medical marijuana patient is a low blow by the police. With the judge throwing out the evidence of the plant and the paraphernalia, Waselik will be able to consume his marijuana in peace. As a patient dealing with Crohn’s, he is definitely someone would could benefit from using the plant as a medicine. Those patients that need the plant should not be targeted, especially when they are complying with the laws regarding possession.
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