Poll: Over 79% of Bermuda Voters Support Decriminalizing or Legalizing Cannabis

bermudaA new poll released by Profiles of Bermuda has found that an overwhelming majority of voters in Bermuda support either decriminalizing or legalizing cannabis.

According to the survey, 41.5% of Bermuda voters support legalizing cannabis, with an additional 37.8% supporting decriminalization. Altogether 79.3% support either legalizing or decriminalizing cannabis, with just 20% in favor of retaining the laws as they are. This represents and 8.5% increase in support since just last year.

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Louisiana Governor Signs Bills to Legalize Medical Cannabis, Reduce Cannabis Penalties

cannaLouisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has signed into law two measures to legalize the medical use of cannabis, and to significantly reduce the penalties for cannabis possession.

House Bill 149 reduces the penalty for someone caught possessing up to 14 grams of cannabis to a maximum sentence of 15 days in jail, whereas it’s currently a maximum sentence of 6 months. The penalty for a second cannabis possession offense will be reduced to a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 6 months, compared to a maximum sentence of 5 year prison as it is currently. The penalty for a third cannabis possession offense would be reduced to a maximum sentence of 2 years, with the fourth offense being a maximum jail sentence of 8 years; under current law, a person’s third and subsequent offenses can result in 20 years in prison.

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Washington Legislature Passes Recreational Cannabis Reform Bill, Governor Inslee Expected to Sign

Washington’s Senate on Saturday voted 36 to 7 to approve legislation that would make changes to the state’s recreational cannabis market, includingcannabud removing the three-tier tax structure in favor of a single excise tax. The vote came a day after the House of Representatives passed the measure with a 59 to 38 vote. It now heads to Governor Jay Inslee.

House Bill 2136 would remove Washington’s three-tier tax structure on recreational cannabis (25% on the producer, processor and retailer), and would replace it with a single 37% tax which would be paid at the point of sale at retail outlets.

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Washington House Passes Bill to Eliminate Three-Tier Tax Structure on Recreational Cannabis

moneycannabisWashington’s House of Representatives voted on Friday to pass House Bill 2136, a proposal to make several changes to the state’s recreational cannabis market, including eliminating the three-tier tax structure. The vote was 59 to 38.

Under current law, recreational cannabis is taxed at three different levels, 25% on the producer, 25% on the processor and 25% on the retailer. Under House Bill 2136, this structure would give way to a new system where cannabis is taxed just once, at the point of sale at the retailer, with the tax being set at 37%.

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China Sentences 13 to Death for Drug Charges in Public Rally

chinaChina sentenced 13 people to death on Friday for drug-related charges at a public rally attended by thousands.

According to the official Xinhua News Agency. the prisoners were among 38 convicts to receive sentences before a crowd of over 10,000 people in the city of Lufeng, which is located in the southern province of Guangdong. Eight of the prisoners were sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve, while others were sentenced to lengthy prison terms.

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Pennsylvania House Health Committee Unanimously Approves Medical Cannabis Legalization Bill

marijuana-medicalPennsylvania’s House Health Committee voted unanimously on Friday to approve Senate Bill 3, which would allow Pennsylvanians with certain medical conditions to possess, use and purchase cannabis pursuant to a recommendation from a physician. The proposal will now goes to the House Rules Committee before being up for a full House vote.

Senate Bill 3 was approved in May by the state’s Senate 40 to 7, but has since stalled in the House Health Committee, where many assumed it dead. Friday’s vote follows a discharge petition by Representative Nick Miccarelli (R-Ridley Park) that would have removed the measure from the Health Committee.

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First Ever Medical Cannabis Dispensaries Open in Massachusetts and Delaware

openFor the first time in their state’s histories, a medical cannabis dispensary is now open and operating in both Massachusetts and Delaware, years after the medicine was legalized.

In Massachusetts, Alternative Therapies Group, based in Salem, officially opened Thursday morning. The dispensary, which is located at 50 Grove Street in Salem (01970), is accepting patients by appointment only.

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Beginning July 1st Unlimited Hemp Cultivation Will Be Legal in Connecticut, No License Required

hemp1On Wednesday, July 1st, House Bill 5780 will become law in Connecticut, legalizing the unlimited cultivation of industrial hemp.

The new law, which officially takes effect at 12:00am on July 1st, removes hemp from the state’s list of controlled substances, legalizing it for all purposes. This means that hemp will be treated like other agricultural commodities such as tomatoes. Farmers will not be required to receive a license from the state, and no limit will be imposed on the number of plants they can cultivate. They will, however, need to maintain a THC level of no more than 1% in all of their plants (if it goes above that, it will be considered cannabis and remain illegal), though that number is higher than the 0.3% limit established in most states that have legalized the crop.

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Nation’s Largest Cannabis Policy Organization Launches Voter Guide to 2016 Presidential Race

Rand Paul earns the top spot on the list of 22 presidential hopefuls graded by the Marijuana Policy Project; Chris Christie and Rick Santorum receive lowest grades

presidentThe Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), the nation’s largest organization working to change cannabis laws, has launched a voter guide to the 2016 presidential race, detailing the candidates’ positions on cannabis policy and assigning them grades based on where they stand.

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Oregon Committee Unanimously Passes Bill to Allow Recreational Cannabis Sales to Begin October 1st

jarThe Oregon Legislature’s House-Senate cannabis committee has voted to approve Senate Bill 460, a proposal to allow currently operating medical cannabis dispensaries to begin selling recreational cannabis this year. This would give consumers a legal means of purchasing the plant, which becomes legal to possess and cultivate next week on July 1st, prior to outlets opening next year.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which is tasked with licensing recreational cannabis outlets, has said that shops won’t be open until at least next summer, prompting lawmakers to propose allowing dispensaries to sell the plant for recreational purposes sooner, so to not push people to the black-market. Senate Bill 460 would allow recreational users to purchase up to a quarter of an ounce of dried cannabis a day from dispensaries. They could also buy seeds and immature plants.

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Poll: 68% of Texas Voters Support Decriminalizing Cannabis

texasA strong majority of Texas voters support decriminalizing cannabis, replacing criminal penalties with a civil infraction similar to a traffic ticket, according to a new University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

According the survey, 685 of voters in Texas support decriminalizing cannabis, with only 26% opposed to the move.

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One Week from Today Cannabis Will be Legal in Oregon

cannabis11One week from today, on July 1st, recreational cannabis will become legal for those 21 and older in Oregon, thanks to the voter-approved initiative Measure 91.

Beginning midnight on July 1st, those 21 and older will be allowed to possess up to eight ounces of cannabis at a private residence, or up to an ounce of cannabis in public. In addition, adults will be authorized to cultivate up to four cannabis plants for personal use.

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Delaware Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Medical Cannabis Oil for Minors

cannaoilDelaware Governor Jack Markell has signed into law legislation that legalizes the medical use of cannabis oil for children suffering from certain ailments. The measure – Senate Bill 90 – was passed unanimously by the state’s legislature.

Sponsored by Senator Ernie Lopez (R-Lewes), Senate Bill 90 allows children with a qualifying medical condition who receive a recommendation from a physician to possess and use cannabis oil that has at least 15% CBD (cannabidiol) or THC-A (tetrahydrocannabinol acid), and no more than 7% THC. Qualifying conditions include seizure disorders and any medical condition that has not responded to standard treatments and that involves intractable nausea, severe muscle spasms or wasting.

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600 Christian Churches Call for an End to the Drug War

By Darby Beck, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

drugwarMANCHESTER, NH – Last Saturday, the New England Conference of United Methodist Churches, a group representing 600 congregations in six Northeastern states, voted in favor of Resolution 15-203, which uses Christian principles to call for an end to the War on Drugs.

The resolution begins:

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California Legislature Passes Bill Prohibiting Medical Cannabis Patients from Being Denied Organ Transplants

califlagCalifornia’s full Legislature has given approval to Assembly Bill 258, a proposal to prohibit medical cannabis patients from being denied organ transplants based solely on their use of the medicine, or their status as a patient. The measure was passed by the Senate 33 to 1, and was approved in April by the House 52 to 8.

Assembly Bill 258 now heads to Governor Jerry Brown who has 30 days to sign it into law, allow it to become law without his signature, or veto it.

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