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Obama: If Enough States Decriminalize Marijuana, Congress May Change Federal Law

Category: News | Posted on Tue, March, 17th 2015 by THCFinder

President Barack Obama said if enough states reform their marijuana laws, Congress may change federal law that continues to make the drug illegal.

Obama, during an interview with Vice Media co-founder Shane Smith released in full on Monday, said he's encouraged that liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans seem to agree that current U.S. marijuana laws don't make sense.

"We may be able to make some progress on the decriminalization side," Obama said. "At a certain point, if enough states end up decriminalizing, then Congress may then reschedule marijuana."

Last week, Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) introduced a bill that would reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I drug, which has high potential for abuse and no medical value, to a Schedule II drug, which has lower potential danger and recognized medical benefits. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use. Twenty-three states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes. Four states, as well as D.C., have legalized recreational marijuana.

"I'd separate out the issue of criminalization of marijuana from encouraging its use," Obama said. "I think there's no doubt that our criminal justice system, generally, is so heavily skewed towards cracking down on non-violent drug offenders that it has not just had a terrible effect on many communities -- particularly communities of color -- rendering a lot of folks unemployable because they got felony records, disproportionate prison sentences. It costs a huge amount of money to states and a lot of states are figuring that out.

"But what I'm encouraged by is you're starting to see not just liberal Democrats, but also some very conservative Republicans recognize this doesn't make sense -- including the libertarian wing of the Republican Party."

Read More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/16/obama-marijuana-decriminalization_n_6881374.html


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Texas lawmakers introduce bills to legalize medical marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Mon, March, 16th 2015 by THCFinder

Texas lawmakers introduced comprehensive medical marijuana legislation Friday that would allow patients suffering from serious conditions — including cancer and seizure disorders — to access the plant with a doctor's prescription.

Rep. Marisa Márquez, D-El Paso, introduced House Bill 3785, and Sen. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio, introduced a companion bill in the Senate to remove barriers between patients and treatment, according to Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy.

“By continuing to deny access to patients, we limit the rights of families to seek the best possible treatment for conditions that do not respond to other drugs or therapies," Rep. Márquez said in a news release. "We should create paths, and not obstacles, in allowing doctors to recommend medicine that has been shown to work."

The House and Senate bills differ from previous proposals that would allow access to cannabidiol (CBD) oils with little or no THC, the chemical that gives users their high.

“Obviously this is a conservative state, so some are concerned about coming forward on something that’s not traditionally a conservative issue,” Heather Fazio, the Texas political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in an interview with Yahoo News.

Still, she says, fiscal conservatives interested in small government and liberal activists passionate about social justice are finding common ground in marijuana legalization.

“It’s really sweeping the nation. People are realizing this plant is not all the government has told us it is,” Fazio said in an interview with Yahoo News. “The information is available on the Internet, and everyone has access to learn for themselves — rather than hearing from politicians, some skewed study, or law enforcement.”

Some Texans have already moved to states where medical marijuana is legal.

Read More: http://news.yahoo.com/texas-lawmakers-introduce-bills-to-legalize-medical-marijuana-153717000.html


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US Senators Make Historic Move to Legalize Medical Marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Mon, March, 16th 2015 by THCFinder

United States Senators Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) introduced a bipartisan bill this morning to end the war on medical marijuana.
 


Corey Booker.
  • Corey Booker.

The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act would downgrade pot from first to second on the federal government’s official list of dangerous drugs, ease cannabis industry banking woes, and reform the government's biased pot research mission. Doctors working for the Department of Veterans Affairs could recommend it for certain conditions.

"Today we join together to say enough is enough," said Booker. "These laws must change. ... High-trained officials in our country … are unable to prescribe and recommend drugs that will alleviate the pain and suffering of their patients."

"Research has been prevented by [current federal law]," said Paul. 


Gillibrand spoke about a young girl named Morgan Hintz of North Salem, New York with Dravet's Syndrome. Medical marijuana has been shown to control intractable seizures. "[The Hintz's] feel the real pain for the current federal laws as it relates to medicine that their doctors have prescribed. They are simply asking Congress to do its job to take care of America's kids.

 

Read more: http://www.eastbayexpress.com/LegalizationNation/archives/2015/03/10/senators-make-historic-move-to-legalize-medical-marijuana


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California Lawmakers Not Planning Crackdown On Marijuana DUI's

Category: News | Posted on Fri, March, 13th 2015 by THCFinder
ca-lawmakers-and-mj-duisSAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – For the first time in three years, California lawmakers won’t debate cracking down on drivers who have marijuana in their systems.
 
According to SF Weekly, 20 bills related to marijuana regulation were introduced before last month’s legislative deadline, but none were related to marijuana use and driving.
 
Last year, Assemblyman Jim Frazier (D-Oakley) introduced AB 2500, which would have placed a blood THC limit of 2 nanograms per milliliter. The measure failed in committee.
 
Opponents of the proposals say THC stays in the blood for several days after using marijuana, long after the effects have worn off. California NORML, which supports marijuana legalization, reported the number of fatal accidents in the state has dropped despite higher marijuana use. The group proposes a roadside test instead of a chemical test to determine if a driver is impaired.
 
Last year, Sen. Dianne Feinstein voiced concern about drivers high on marijuana. “The risk of people using marijuana and driving is very substantial,” Feinstein said in an interview with The Associated Press.
 
Feinstein, along with California Gov. Jerry Brown have both said they are skeptical of following Colorado and Washington State in legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes.
 

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Pot taxes generate $2.3 million for Colorado schools

Category: News | Posted on Fri, March, 13th 2015 by THCFinder
cannabis-taxes-making-money-for-schoolsColorado has now found its weed groove, generating record amounts of tax revenue from recreational marijuana sales just a little over a year removed from the first day of legalization.
 
Statewide retail marijuana sales-tax receipts increased by 153 percent in January, totaling $3.5 million this year, according to the Denver Business Journal. It’s a massive difference compared to the paltry $1.4 million made last January, when selling recreational pot first became legal.
 
The big winner is not just the Colorado government, but its public schools as well.
 
According to a monthly report from Colorado’s Department of Revenue, the state’s 15 percent excise tax on recreational pot sales have collected $2.3 million just for the schools alone.
 
Since legalizing marijuana last year, the state has generated millions in taxes, which have provided for prosperous schools, as well as programs for abuse, medical research, and police training.
 
Now that’s thinking of the children.
 

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California Court: Concentrated Marijuana Qualifies As Medical Marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Tue, December, 23rd 2014 by THCFinder
concentrates-mmjTo most people, marijuana is marijuana, regardless if it’s flower, edibles, or concentrates. After all, it all contains marijuana, just in a different form and/or infused into other products such as brownies. However, public policy does not always reflect that fact. In a lot of states concentrates are treated differently than flower, carrying a separate penalty and/or fine than flower. There was a court case in California that was decided this week that determined the obvious – concentrated marijuana is in fact medical marijuana. Per SacBee:
 
A state appellate court in Sacramento has ruled that “concentrated cannabis” qualifies as marijuana for purposes of medical use.
 
A unanimous three-justice panel of the 3rd District Court of Appeal disagreed this week with an earlier ruling by El Dorado Superior Court Judge James R. Wagoner and reversed the judge’s decision that a medical marijuana patient violated probation by possessing concentrated cannabis.
 
While this decision seems very logical and inconsequential at first glance, it’s very significant. Concentrated marijuana is becoming more and more popular everyday in California. More and more people are no doubt being caught with it, and if law enforcement considers it to not to be protected under California’s medical marijuana law, it could result in a bad situation for the patient. Fortunately that’s not the case, as this court case will hopefully be followed by all California law enforcement.
 

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