Nevada Legislature Unanimously Passes Hemp Bill, Sends it to Governor

Nevada’s full Legislature has unanimously passed Senate Bill 305, a proposal to allow colleges and the state’s Department of Agriculture to cultivate industrial hemp for research purposes.Plants-from-hemp

Senate Bill 305 was approved 19 to 0 by the state’s Senate, and 41 to 0 by the House of Representatives. There’s no word yet on whether or not Governor Brian Sandoval will sign the bill into law, let it become law without his signature or veto it, though the legislature clearly has enough votes to override a potential veto.

Specifically, the proposal introduced by Senator Tick Segerblom would allow universities in the state, as well as the state’s Department of Agriculture, to grow and produce hemp for the purposes of researching the plant. Read the rest of this entry »

Nebraska Senate Votes 44 to 2 to Study Cannabis Oil

photosource420magazineA legislative proposal that would commission the University of Nebraska to study the effectiveness of low-THC cannabis oil in the treatment of seizure disorders has passed Nebraska’s full Senate with a 44 to 2 vote.

“LB 390 creates the Medical Cannabidiol Pilot Study within the University of Nebraska Medical Center for patients who suffer from severe and untreatable or treatment-resistant epileptic seizures”, according to the legislative intent for the bill, introduced by Senator Sue Crawford. “It allows access to low-THC cannabidiol oil for patients under the supervision of a neurologist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Under LB 390, it shall be an affirmative and complete defense to prosecution if the defendant suffers from intractable seizures and is an active participant in the study or if the defendant is the parent or legal guardian of such an individual.”

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Missouri Governor Commutes Sentence of Man Serving Life in Prison for Cannabis

Jeff Mizanskey.

After over 20 years, Jeff Mizanskey has had his sentence commuted by Governor Jay Nixon.

Just days after saying he would consider doing so this summer, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has commuted the sentence of Jeff Mizanskey, a 61-year old man who has been in prison for over 20 years without parole over a cannabis-related charge. This will make him immediately eligible for parole.

“It’s amazing,” says Chris Mizanskey, Jeff’s son. “To be able to talk to him, to be able to sit here and have a conversation with him. To have my son sit on his lap, for him to be a part of his grandkid’s life, our lives, my whole family. I mean really words can’t even describe it.”

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Full Illinois Senate Passes Measure to Decriminalize Cannabis

thcannabisThe Illinois Senate has voted 37 to 19 to approve legislation that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis.

The measure, which passed the House of Representatives last month with a 63 to 53 vote, would remove the possibility of criminal charges for the possession of up to 15 grams of cannabis, reducing the offense to a civil infraction (ticket) of no more than $125. Under current Illinois law, the possession of any amount of cannabis can result in a misdemeanor charge with a potential year-long jail sentence.

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U.S. Senate Committee Votes to Allow VA Doctors to Recommend Medical Cannabis

vaIn a historic vote, the U.S Senate Appropriation Committee has approved an amendment to a federal spending bill that would allow Veteran Affairs (VA) physicians to recommend medical cannabis to their patients in states where the medicine is legal. The vote was 18 to 12.

The Veterans Equal Access Amendment, added to the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, is sponsored by Senators Steve Daines (R-MT) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR). Specifically, it would undo a 2009 directive barring VA doctors from recommending medical cannabis, even in states where its legal.

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Oregon Court of Appeals Rules Police Intercepting Mail for Drug Dog Test is Unlawful

dogsniffIt’s illegal for police and U.S. postal inspectors to intercept packages and have a police dog test it simply because they believe it contains contraband, according to a new ruling by the Oregon Court of Appeals.

The ruling, which will likely put an end to a long-standing police practice of intercepting mail without first obtaining a search warrant, came forth over a case where Portland police and a U.S. postal inspector intercepted a package headed to a Southeast Portland home because they believe it contained contraband, something a drug dog later confirmed. This led to the arrest of 26 year old Max Barnthouse.

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Washington: Only 22% of Voters Believe Cannabis Legalization Has Had a Negative Effect

wapicSupport for cannabis legalization has increased among Washington voters since they approved Initiative 502 in 2012, and a vast majority feel that the change in law has been a positive one, according to a new Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey.

“[I]n 2012 Washingtonians voted to legalize marijuana usage by 12 points”, says Tom Jenson of PPP in a Wednesday press release. “Now voters in the state say they support marijuana being legal by 19 points, 56/37. 77% of voters say marijuana being legal has either had a positive impact on their life or no impact at all, with likewise only 22% claiming marijuana legalization has affected them negatively.”

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Louisiana Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Bill to Reduce Cannabis Penalties, Allow Expungement of Cannabis Convictions

prettybudsIn a unanimous vote, Louisiana’s Senate Judiciary Committee has given approval to legislation that would drastically reduce the penalties associated with an individuals second and third cannabis possession offense, while allowing those with just one offense to have the charge expunged from their record.

The proposal, sponsored by Senator J.P. Morrell (D-New Orleans), would save the state up to $16 million a year by reducing the penalty for a second cannabis possession offense to a misdemeanor with a maximum jail sentence of 6 months; under current law an individuals second offense is a felony with a potential 5 year prison sentence. The measure would reduce the penalty for a third cannabis possession offense to a felony with a maximum sentence of 4 years, rather than a maximum of 20 as it currently stands.

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Colorado Legislature Passes Legislation to Establish Hemp Seed Program, Sent to Governor for Consideration

seedsColorado’s full Legislature has given approval to Senate Bill 196, a proposal to establish a certified hemp seed program. The measure has been sent to Governor John Hickenlooper, who’s expected to sign it into law.

If signed by Governor Hickenlooper, or allowed to become law without his signature, Senate Bill 196 would establish a hemp seed program through the state’s Department of Agriculture, allowing farmers to apply with the Department to receive hemp seeds which they could then use for legally cultivating industrial hemp.

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Missouri Governor to Consider Freeing Man Serving Life in Prison for Cannabis This Summer

Jeff Mizanskey.

Jeff Mizanskey.

Jeff Mizanskey, a 61-year old Missouri man who has been in prison for over 20 years without parole over a cannabis-related charge, could be freed as soon as “relatively early summer”, according to Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.

Jeff was arrested in 1993 on his third nonviolent, cannabis-related charge. As part of the state’s controversial three-strike law, Jeff was sentenced to life in prison, without parole, despite having no history of violence and no criminal record other than the three cannabis charges.

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Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders Supports Decriminalizing Cannabis, Legalizing Cannabis for Medical Use

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a 2016 presidential candidate.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a 2016 presidential candidate.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a 2016 candidate for President of the United States, says that he supports decriminalizing cannabis, and supports legalizing it for medical use.

“Let me just say this,” Sanders said during a recent Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) interview. “The state of Vermont voted to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana and I support that. I have supported the use of medical marijuana. And when I was mayor of Burlington, in a city with a large population, I can tell you very few people were arrested for smoking marijuana. Our police had more important things to do.”

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Pennsylvania Governor Says He Supports Decriminalizing Cannabis

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf says he supports decriminalizing cannabis, noting that there are “a lot of reasons” to do so.

“There are a lot of reasons to look at decriminalization”,  Governor Wolf said during an interview with WPXI-TV. “I think that’s something that I support.”

He continued; “I believe, for a number of reasons, that we ought to decriminalize marijuana use. I think our prisons are over-crowded as a result of people going to jail for reasons that, you know, we break up families for reasons that we shouldn’t”.

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Oregon Senator Announces Effort to Begin Legal Recreational Cannabis Sales this October

cannabisjointandbudOregon State Senator Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene) has announced that he’s working on a proposal that would allow legal recreational cannabis sales to begin on October 1st, months before outlets are expected to open under the new system approved by voters last year (Measure 91).

The proposal would allow currently operating medical cannabis facilities to distribute recreational cannabis to anyone 21 and older starting on October 1st. Consumers would be authorized to purchase up to eight ounces of cannabis, and up to four cannabis plants.

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New DEA Chief to Focus Less on Cannabis, May Improve Methods to Reclassify and Declassify Cannabis

By Marijuana Business Daily

The incoming head of the Drug Enforcement Administration reportedly will focus less on marijuana and instead put more resources toward harder drugs such as heroin, which could relieve some pressure on cannabis businesses in states without strong regulations on the industry.

Chuck Rosenberg – who served as chief of staff to the director of the FBI – was named to the DEA’s top spot on an interim basis by newly appointed Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Rosenberg is expected to remain in the position while President Barack Obama is in office, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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Texas Legislature Passes Low-THC Medical Cannabis Bill

Texas-Marijuana-Laws simplecannabisdotcomThe Texas House of Representatives has voted 96 to 34 to pass Senate Bill 339, a proposal to legalize the medical use of low-THC cannabis for the treatment of epilepsy. The bill, which has already passed the full Senate with a 26 to 5 vote, now heads to Governor Greg Abbott for consideration.

The proposal, if signed by Governor Abbott (or allowed to become law without his signature), will allow those with epilepsy who receive a prescription from a physician to possess and use cannabis that has no more than 0.5% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), and at least 10% CBD (cannabidiol). The bill would establish a system of cultivation centers and dispensaries, which would be overseen by the Department of Public Safety.

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