New York Assembly Passes Bill to Seal Records for Cannabis Misdemeanor Convictions

New York's State Seal.

New York’s State Seal.

New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Chair of the Governmental Operations Committee Crystal Peoples-Stokes yesterday announced the passage of legislation that would permit the permanent sealing of certain cannabis convictions in an effort to curb the long lasting effects of criminal records.

Currently, an individual charged with possession of 25 grams of cannabis or less is charged with a violation, similar to a traffic offense with no criminal record. However, many times officers request that a suspect empty his or her pockets or purse, observe cannabis within the contents, and then charge them with the misdemeanor for possessing cannabis in a public place and open to public view.

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New Jersey Assembly Passes Bill to Add PTSD as Qualifying Medical Cannabis Condition

(Photo: mychronicrelief.com)

(Photo: mychronicrelief.com)

New Jersey’s full Assembly has voted 55 to 14 to pass legislation that would add post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying medical cannabis condition. Assembly Bill 457 now heads towards a vote in the Senate, where its passage will send it to Governor Chris Christie for consideration.

If passed into law, AB 457 would allow those with PTSD to purchase, possess and use medical cannabis, given they receive a recommendation from a physician. The measure is similar to Assembly Bill 3726, which was passed by New Jersey’s full Assembly last year with a 53 to 13 vote, but failed to advance in the Senate.

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U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee Passes Proposal to Allow Cannabis Banking

cannabis bankingThe U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee today gave approval to an amendment that would allow banks to provide services to cannabis businesses that are legal under their state’s law. The amendment, put forth by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), was made to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill.

The amendment would prevent government entities from spending any federal funds to prohibit or penalize banks and other financial institutions for providing services to cannabis businesses that are legal under state law. Currently most legal cannabis businesses are cash-only, as banks have been unwilling to work with them under fear of the federal government getting involved.

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RI: Legislation Allowing Everyone to Grow Hemp Unanimously Passes Legislative Committee

12-11-08hempA bill to legalize the cultivation and production of hemp has been passed unanimously by the Rhode Island House Health, Education and Welfare Committee. The measure, which initially started out as a hemp research bill but was amended to a full hemp legalization bill, now heads towards a vote in the full House of Representatives.

Under the proposed law, those wanting to cultivate hemp would be allowed to do so given they receive a license from the Department of Business Regulation. The licenses would unfortunately have a fairly steep price tag of $2,500, but would be valid for three years.

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World’s Largest Cannabis Policy Group (MPP) Endorses Gary Johnson for President

gary johnson

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson (photo: thelibertarianrepublic.com).

The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), the largest cannabis policy group in the world, has officially endorsed Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson for president of the United States. Johnson is the former governor of New Mexico (1995 – 2003).

“Of the three presidential candidates who will appear on the ballot in all 50 states and D.C., Gary Johnson clearly has the best position on marijuana policy”, says MPP Executive Director Rob Kampia. “When he first advocated for legalization in 1999, he was the highest-ranking public official in the U.S. to do so — as the sitting Republican governor of New Mexico, no less.”

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Washington State’s New Medical Cannabis Law Takes Effect July 1st

waSenate Bill 5052, a Washington measure to close every medical cannabis dispensary that’s not licensed with the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board while drastically reducing the amount of cannabis qualified patients can possess and cultivate, takes full effect on July 1st.

Senate Bill 5052signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee on April 24, 2015 – requires all non-licensed medical cannabis dispensaries to shut their doors. The new law (titled the Cannabis Patient Protection Act) also reduces the amount of cannabis a patient can possess by over 80%; if an individual joins a patient registry, they can possess three ounces of cannabis, down from the current limit of 24 ounces, and can cultivate up to six plants, down from 15. If they don’t join the registry, their possession limit is just one ounce, and their cultivation limit just four plants.

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CDC: State Laws Legalizing Marijuana Use Associated With Declining Teen Use

By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

useThe passage of statewide laws regulating the consumption of cannabis by adults and/or qualified patients is not associated with increased rates of teen marijuana use, according to a statistical analysis of results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

CDC data reports that the percentage of high-schoolers ever reporting having used cannabis fell from an estimated 43 percent in 1995 to just under 39 percent in 2015. The percentage of teens currently using cannabis (defined as having used marijuana at least once in the past 30 days) also declined during this same period, from 25 percent in 1995 to just under 22 percent in 2015.

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Medical Cannabis Products Now Legally Available in Pharmacies Across Macedonia

Macedonia has a population of roughly 2.1 million.

Macedonia has a population of roughly 2.1 million.

Those who receive a prescription from a physician are now – as of Monday, June 13th – legally authorized to purchase cannabis-based products for medical use from pharmacies across the country. This is possible due to recent amendments to the Law on Control of Drugs and Psychotropic Substances that make the sale and use of cannabis products for medicinal purposes legal for people suffering from certain illnesses, such as malignant diseases, multiple sclerosis, cancer, HIV/AIDS and epilepsy.”

“This will help a huge number of Macedonian citizens that are fighting serious illnesses and have a need for treatment with nature-based products,” says Marija Darkovska-Serafimovska, the head of Macedonia’s agency for medicines.

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Maximizing The Taste And Smell Of Your Marijuana

By Robert Bergman, ILoveGrowingMarijuana.com

budWhile many marijuana growers are most concerned about maximizing the yield and getting the most buds out of each marijuana plant, the taste and smell of the end product are also critical factors that can be influenced during your marijuana plants’ lives. In this article, we will discuss how to maximize the smell and improve the taste of your marijuana buds

Taking your time to learn the basics

Taking your time to learn the cannabis plant basics

A surprisingly overlooked way to improve the smell and taste of marijuana is simply to learn how to better grow and care for marijuana plants. If you are someone who just picked up the basics of how to grow marijuana on the fly, then this piece of advice is for you. It is very easy to grow marijuana well enough but maximizing the yield and potency of the buds, as well as the flavor and aroma, takes a few more steps of learning.

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Colorado: April Sets Record for Most Legal Cannabis Sold in Single Month with $117 Million

(Photo: naturalsociety.com)

(Photo: naturalsociety.com)

In Colorado, April set a record for the most legal cannabis ever sold in a single month period, with $117 million, according to BDS Analytics, a firm that tracks retail cannabis sales nationwide. This marks a 58% increase from April, 2015, and the $117 million garnered easily breaks the previous record of $101 million set in December.

The $117 million in cannabis sold in April follows roughly $270 million in legal cannabis sold January through March. In total there has been nearly $400 million in legal cannabis sold in Colorado in the first four months of 2016 (a 37% increase from the same period last year), putting the yearly total on track to surpass $1 billion.

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Louisiana Governor Signs Bill Protecting Medical Cannabis Patients and Caregivers from Prosecution

louis2Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has signed Senate Bill 180  into law, protecting medical cannabis patients and caregivers from criminal prosecution.

Under the new law, which goes into effect on August 1st, patients who are part of the state’s medical cannabis program would be protected from laws that penalize people for possession or distribution of cannabis. It also extends that protection to a patient’s caregiver and the parents of a minor who receives and administers medical cannabis.

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U.S. Senate Committee Votes to Protect Doctors Who Recommend Medical Cannabis

doctors

(Photo: marijuanadoctors411.com)

The United States Senate Appropriations Committee has voted 18 to 11 to give approval to an amendment that would explicitly protect physicians who recommend medical cannabis from any form of criminal persecution.

The amendment – introduced by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) – specifies that; “None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available in this title shall be used in a manner that would interfere with the ability of a provider to recommend medicinal marijuana in accordance with State law, or of a patient to participate in a medicinal marijuana program consistent with such State law.”

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Vermont Governor Signs Legislation Adding Glaucoma, Chronic Pain as Medical Cannabis Conditions

vermontVermont Governor Peter Shumlin has signed Senate Bill 0014 into law, expanding the state’s medical cannabis program to include more qualifying conditions.

Under the new law, which goes into full effect on July 1st, those with glaucoma, chronic pain, and patients under hospice care will be allowed to become legal medical cannabis patients, which means they can purchase, possess and use cannabis and cannabis products for medical use if they receive a recommendation from a physician. This has already been the case for those with a variety of conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis and severe nausea.

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Ohio Governor John Kasich Signs Medical Cannabis Legalization Bill Into Law

ohio

Ohio Governor John Kasich has signed into law legislation (House Bill 523) that makes Ohio the next state to legalize the medical use of cannabis and cannabis medicines. The governor’s signature comes roughly two weeks after the measure was passed in the House of Representatives 67 to 28, which followed an 18 to 15 vote in the Senate.

Under the new law, those who receive a recommendation from a physician will be allowed to purchase, possess and use cannabis and cannabis medicines. Although smoking cannabis would unfortunately remain prohibited, vaporizing cannabis would be allowed, as would ingesting it through a variety of other methods such as oils, tinctures and edibles.

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Survey: Pediatric Oncology Providers Favor Patients’ Access to Medical Cannabis

By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

oncology

A pediatric oncologist (photo: Chron.com).

More than nine in ten pediatric oncology providers with opinions favor patients’ access to cannabis therapy, according to survey data provided this week at the 2016 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Investigators from various US cancer treatment centers surveyed 654 pediatric oncology providers, including physicians and nurses, at three National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers in Illinois, Massachusetts, and Washington. Over 300 providers (46 percent) completed the survey.

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