Poll: 63% of U.S. Voters Support Legalizing Marijuana, 93% Support Medical

According to a new Quinnipiac University poll, a strong majority of voters in the U.S. support legalizing marijuana, while an even higher percentage supports legalizing medical marijuana.

According to the new Quinnipiac University national poll released today, when asked “Do you think that the use of marijuana should be made legal in the United States, or not?”, 63% of U.S. voters say “Yes”, it should be (a 5% increase from January). Just 33% of poll respondents stated that they believe it should remain illegal. Support was highest among  Democrats (75%), and lowest among Republicans (41%). Among Independents, 67% support legalization.

Among the various age groups those 18 to 34, by a large margin, had the highest level of support for making marijuana legal with 82% in favor and just 16% – less than one in five – opposed. Those 65+ was the only age group without a majority support for legalization (43% to 51%).

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AG Jeff Sessions Admits Medical Marijuana May Have Benefits, Says It’s “Perfectly Appropriate” to Study It

United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions – after decades of anti-marijuana rhetoric – admitted today that “there may well be some benefits from medical marijuana”, and says it’s “perfectly appropriate to study” it.

Sessions made the comments while speaking to the Senate Appropriations Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee. Sessions noted that the government plans to soon increase the number of licenses issued for those wanting to research marijuana.

“We are moving forward and we will add fairly soon, I believe, the paperwork and reviews will be completed and we will add additional suppliers of marijuana under the controlled circumstances,” said Sessions.

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Study: Hemp May Fight Ovarian Cancer

Results from some of the first studies to examine hemp’s ability to fight cancer show that it may be useful as a treatment for ovarian cancer, reports ScienceDaily.

Sara Biela and Chase Turner, graduate students at Sullivan University College of Pharmacy in Kentucky, will present new findings tied to hemp’s anti-cancer properties at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting during the 2018 Experimental Biology meeting to be held April 21-25 in San Diego.

“Hemp, like marijuana, contains therapeutically valuable components such as cannabidiol, cannabinol, and tetrahydrocannabinol,” explained Biela. “However, unlike marijuana, hemp’s therapeutic ability has not been studied in detail.”

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Kansas Governor Signs Hemp Bill Into Law

Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer has signed an industrial hemp bill into law.

Governor Colyer’s signed Senate Bill 263 yesterday following a 123 to 1 vote in the House of Representatives, and a 36 to 3 vote in the Senate. The Alternative Crop Research Act alters the definition of “marijuana” under the state’s controlled substances law to exclude “industrial hemp”. The measure allows the Kansas Department of Agriculture to cultivate and promote the research and development of industrial hemp. The Department will be given the choice of growing and researching the plant on their own accord, or they can coordinate with a college or university. Individual farmers will be allowed to grow hemp under supervision of the Department.

The bill states that; “Research and development of industrial hemp, under the provisions of the bill, means such things as analysis of industrial hemp growth, including required soils, growing conditions, and harvest methods; research on seeds most suitable for Kansas; and market analysis to determine the potential for an industrial hemp market in Kansas.”

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Colorado Senate Passes Measure to Alter Food and Drug Act to Allow Products with Industrial Hemp

Legislation that would alter the Colorado Food and Drug Act to allow products containing industrial hemp has been passed through its second reading in the state’s Senate.

House Bill 1295 was passed today through its second reading in the Senate, roughly two weeks after it was passed unanimously (62 to 0) in the House of Representatives. The measure will need to be passed through one more reading in the Senate before it can be sent to Governor John Hickenlooper for consideration.

According to its official summary; “The bill establishes that food and cosmetics are not adulterated or misbranded by virtue of containing industrial hemp. The bill also sets forth the department of public health and environment’s powers with regard to applicants and registrants engaged in, or attempting to engage in, the wholesale food selling, manufacturing, processing, or storage of an industrial hemp product, as that term is defined in the bill.”

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Pennsylvania Senate Passes Resolution Urging Feds to Deschedule Marijuana

Pennsylvania’s full Senate has unanimously passed a resolution urging the federal government to remove marijuana as a schedule 1 controlled substance.

Senate Resolution 258, filed by Senator Anthony Williams (D), was given approval today by the Pennsylvania Senate in a unanimous 46 to 0 vote. The resolution urges the Congress of the United States “to amend the Controlled Substances Act to remove marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance and to recognize the proven medical purposes of marijuana.”

The official text of the resolution states:

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Missouri House Votes to Legalize Medical Marijuana

Missouri’s full House of Representatives has passed legislation that would legalize medical marijuana.

The House approved House Bill 1554 today after hours of debate. Filed by Representative James Neely, the measure would expand “the definition of investigational drug, biological product, or device so that it can include medical cannabis.” Under this provision, “a dispensing organization or manufacturer of an investigational drug, biological product, or device that has successfully completed phase one of a clinical trial but has not been approved for general use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and remains under investigation in a clinical trial can be made available to certain eligible patients who have terminal illnesses.”

This bill also “changes the law regarding the use of hemp extract to treat intractable epilepsy to authorize the legal use of medical marijuana to treat terminal illnesses”, and “authorizes the Department of Health and Senior Services to issue medical cannabis registration cards to any Missouri resident, 18 years old or older, who can provide a statement signed by a doctor stating that the individual suffers from a terminal illness and may benefit from treatment with medical cannabis and that the individual has considered all other treatment options currently approved by the FDA and all relevant clinical trials conducted in Missouri.”

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Marijuana Legalization Initiative To Be On November Ballot In Michigan

Enough valid signatures have been gathered in Michigan to place a marijuana legalization initiative on this November’s general election ballot.

The Committee to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has submitted an estimated 277,370 valid signatures for their marijuana legalization initiative, according to the Bureau of Elections. This is well more than the 252,523 needed to place the proposal on the November ballot. The Board of State Canvassers is expected to officially certify the signature count later this week.

If passed into law by voters, the initiative would legalize the possession (10 ounces at home, 2.5 ounces outside of home) and personal cultivation (up to 12 plants) of marijuana for those 21 and older, while establishing a system of licensed marijuana retail outlets. Marijuana would be taxed with a 10% excise tax and a 6% sales tax, with funding going towards schools, local governments and road repairs.

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Alaska Legislature Approves Resolution Urging Federal Government to Respect Their State’s Marijuana Law

Alaska’s full legislature has passed a resolution urging the federal government to respect their marijuana laws, and to consider a change in federal law.

House Joint Resolution No. 21 was passed unanimously by both the House and Senate. The House concurred with the Senate’s version on April 20.

The resolution urges the federal government” to respect the authority of the state to regulate marijuana use, production, and distribution and to honor previous federal guidance on marijuana policy”, and urges them “to reconsider its listing of marijuana as a schedule I controlled substance.”

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Marijuana Now Decriminalized in New Mexico’s Most Populated City (Just in Time for 4/20)

An ordinance decriminalizing the possession of personal amounts of marijuana has officially taken effect in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The new law coincidentally (or maybe not!) takes effect on 4/20, the unofficial cannabis holiday (the law officially took effect as the clocks hit midnight MDT). The law taking effect comes a little over two weeks after it was passed by the city council in a 5 to 4 vote, and eight days after it was signed into law by Mayor Tim Keller (D).

Under the new law, the possession of up to an ounce (28 grams) of marijuana is a simple $25 ticket, rather than a misdemeanor punishable by jail time as it was before. The measure was filed by Councilmembers Pat Davi and Isaac Benton.

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