Bill to reduce marijuana penalties in Louisiana passes full Senate

Category: News | Posted on Tue, May, 26th 2015 by THCFinder

A proposal to soften Louisiana's harsh marijuana laws by reducing penalties for possession continues to gain steam in the Louisiana Legislature.

The Senate voted 27-12 Monday (May 25) to advance legislation that would create a new penalty system for marijuana possession dealing with amounts less than 2.5 pounds.

The measure's sponsor, J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, said his bill (SB 241) brings Louisiana's marijuana laws closer in line with other states, "in a way that is more humane." For example, the bill reduces the maximum penalty for possession from 20 years in prison to eight, raises the threshold for a felony-level possession charge and adds a second-chance provision for first-time offenders. 

Under current law, the maximum penalties for possession of any amount of marijuana up to 60 pounds are a $500 fine and six moths in jail for a first offense (a misdemeanor), a $2,500 fine and five years in prison for a second offense (a felony); and a $5,000 fine and a 20-year prison term (a felony).

Morrell's bill does not change penalties for first-offense possession of marijuana dealing with amounts between 14 grams and 2.5 pounds. The legislation makes possession of less than 14 grams of marijuana punishable by maximum sentence of a $300 fine and 15 days in jail. Second offenses are a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail; third offenses are a felony punishable by up to a $2,500 fine and two years in prison; and fourth or subsequent offenses are a felony punishable by up to a $5,000 fine and eight years in prison.

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PTSD Pot Study Could Force Uncle Sam to Eat Crow

Category: News | Posted on Mon, May, 25th 2015 by THCFinder

While Uncle Sam is still not convinced there is enough applicable science behind the healing theories of medical marijuana to allow veterans suffering from debilitating mental conditions to have access to the herb, researchers are finally moving forward with a federally approved study that could result in cannabis being used as an acceptable treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Although it has taken several difficult years to get to this point, Dr. Sue Sisley and her team of scientific minds are preparing to embark on an exploration into the healing powers of the cannabis plant. The results of this study could force those members of Congress, who recently voted against allowing veterans to discuss medical marijuana with their VA physicians, to eat crow.

Earlier last year, after receiving federal approval to proceed with her research, Dr. Sisley was terminated from her position at the University of Arizona, where the study was to be overseen. Fortunately, the state of Colorado came forward with a $2 million donation from the state’s recreational market to get this research off the ground.

Yet, Sisley and her team have since been forced to contend with the government’s inability to produce the caliber of cannabis required for the study. So they have been impatiently waiting for the University of Mississippi to harvest a crop specific to their potency demands.

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Maryland Governor Vetoes Marijuana Decriminalization Fix Bill

Category: News | Posted on Mon, May, 25th 2015 by THCFinder

maryland marijuanaGov. Hogan Vetoes Widely Supported Bill Intended to Fix Maryland Marijuana Decriminalization Law

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced late Friday afternoon that he has vetoed a widely supported bill to remove criminal penalties for possession of marijuana paraphernalia, including potential jail time. The measure would also designate public marijuana consumption a civil offense punishable by a $500 fine.

SB 517, introduced by Sen. Bobby Zirkin (D-Baltimore County), was approved 32-13 in the Senate and 83-53 in the House of Delegates. Maryland adopted a law last year that decriminalized possession of a small amount of marijuana, but it did not include marijuana paraphernalia.
Gov. Hogan’s letter to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller announcing the veto and explaining his reasoning is available at

Statement from the Marijuana Policy Coalition of Maryland, which supported SB 517:


“Gov. Hogan’s decision to veto this widely supported, common-sense legislation is baffling. An overwhelming majority of Maryland voters do not want citizens to be subjected to jail time and a lifelong criminal record simply for using marijuana. Their elected officials have stood up for them on this issue twice, and we hope they will do so again by overriding the governor’s veto.

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Here's what might happen to marijuana prices if it were legalized across the US

Category: News | Posted on Mon, May, 25th 2015 by THCFinder

Over the last two decades marijuana has practically been an unstoppable force.

Since 1995, 23 states have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, while four states (along with Washington D.C.) have legalized all aspects of marijuana, including its recreational use for adults. Even in states where marijuana failed to gain approval initially, such as Oregon, the proverbial scales were tipped in favor of supporters just a few short years later.

Even Congress is getting in on the act. In March, three U.S. Senators introduced the CARERS Act, which is a bill aimed at decriminalizing medical marijuana. The CARERS Act would make it easier for banks to make loans to legal medical marijuana businesses, would remove some of the barriers associated with medical marijuana research, and most importantly would reschedule marijuana from a schedule 1, or illicit drug, to a schedule 2 drug, signifying that it does have medical benefits, even if it is prone to abuse.

But, have you ever really thought about the hypothetical economic implications of what would happen if marijuana was made legal nationwide?

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Ganjapreneur Interviews Founder Of International Cannabis Association

Category: News | Posted on Sun, May, 24th 2015 by THCFinder

international cannabis associationAs the cannabis legalization movement has gained momentum in Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, and other states, the cannabis industry has increasingly been referred to as a potential opportunity for legitimate start-ups and businesses. Dan Humiston, founder of the International Cannabis Association, recently discussed how his organization helps aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs in an interview with, a cannabis industry and business news website.

In the interview, Humiston discusses how he first became involved in the cannabis industry, and why he decided to leave a successful career as a business owner to do so. He explains, “In 1985 I opened my first tanning salon and over the next 30 years I grew my chain Tanning Bed Inc. to the largest chain in New York and one of the largest chains in the country. In the mid 2000’s, tanning industry sales started to fall and by the end of the decade it was apparent that I needed to find ways to reduce or re-purpose the space of my stores which were over 4,000 square feet. In 2012 I saw a 60 minute report about the cannabis industry and started trying to figure out how divide my tanning salons into tanning salons and dispensaries.”

Humiston describes what it was like trying to enter into an industry full of people who were inherently suspicious of outsiders due to the longstanding status of cannabis as an illegal substance. “Oddly enough,” he says, “the industry association would not provide information to non-industry companies because they said they were an industry association formed by industry companies, so why would they willingly provide information for future competitors?”

Rather than being deterred, however, Humiston decided to create an association that would be inclusive to anyone who wanted to learn about the industry. “Realizing that there are many other aspiring marijuana entrepreneurs that are looking for help, I decided to fill the void.”

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Louisiana Approves Reduction in Pot Penalties

Category: News | Posted on Sat, May, 23rd 2015 by THCFinder

Louisiana, which has become infamous for enforcing some of the toughest laws in the United States against marijuana offenders, could experience a significant level of reform this year in the way the state prosecutes those who get busted with the herb.

Earlier this week, the Senate Judiciary Committee put their stamp of approval on a piece of legislation (House Bill 149) aimed at reducing the penalties inflicted on individuals with multiple convictions for pot possession. The full Senate will now deliberate the proposal.

The latest vote is an important step for marijuana reform in Louisiana. After all, a similar proposal, which was introduced in 2014 by Senator J.P. Morrell, never even made it out of committee alive. Some believe the change of heart in the state legislature has to do with the recent support by law enforcement groups, who have all agreed not to intervene with the progress of the bill.

If the proposal manages to go the distance, the majority of the state’s penalties for minor pot possession would be amended. For starters, a provision would be included that gives first-time offenders a second chance at salvation before being thrown to the wolves of the Department of Corrections. These individuals would simply need to refrain from receiving another charge for two years, and the offense would be expunged from their record.

Habitual offenders, however, would still face prison time, but the sentences would be greatly reduced. Right now, a person with a third offense for possession in Louisiana can get locked up for 20 years, as well as pay a fine of $5,000. Under HB 149, individuals convicted several times for possession would never spend more than eight years in prison.

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