Stupidity In Action: Cops Harass Elderly Couple For What *Appears* To Be A Pot Leaf Bumper Sticker

In a shining example of not only police stupidity, but of just how ridiculous cannabis prohibition has become, a couple driving through Tennessee, both in their sixties, were pulled over and harassed by multiple police officers – in body armor and wielding guns – because of a report that they received about a pot-leaf bumper sticker that was on the vehicle.

Ohio State Buckeyes helmet.
Ohio State Buckeyes helmet.

It turns out, the bumper sticker wasn’t cannabis related, but rather a picture of a buckeye leaf. The couple was from Ohio, and are fans of the college football team the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Taking the words right from our mouths, Bonnie Jonas-Boggioni, one of the victims, stated to USA Today, “It’s just amazing they would be that dumb”. Ha.

Read moreStupidity In Action: Cops Harass Elderly Couple For What *Appears* To Be A Pot Leaf Bumper Sticker

Physicist John Schwarz To Headline Medical Cannabis Conference

John Schwarz is a smart man. Widely regarded as one of the fathers of modern-day string theory, Schwarz teaches theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology. Next week, he makes a public stand in support of ending our absurd federal prohibition on medicinal cannabis.

Physics Professor John Schwarz.
Physics Professor John Schwarz.

Schwarz, who wrote a powerful editorial for the Huffington Post a few months back with the title “Obama, What About “Free and Open Scientific Inquiry” for Medical Marijuana?”, will be the headline speaker for The National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference, a conference being held by Americans for Safe Access, featuring workshops and panels focusing on scientific research and policy planning regarding medical cannabis. The conference will take place in Washington D.C. from February 22nd to the 25th.

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Five New Cannabis Related Bills In The Works In Alabama

Ignoring the rapidly growing base of support in the state for reform, state lawmakers earlier this month rejected House Bill 2 out of committee, which would have legalized medical cannabis in Alabama. Desporg_AMMJCite this defeat, advocates are remaining optimistic, and are pushing forward. So much so, that five new cannabis related bills are in the works, thanks to State Representative Patricia Todd, and the Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition (AMMJC).

Here is an update on the intent of these bills by Ron Crumpton, Executive Director of AMMJC, who’s also a 2014 senate candidate:

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Misdemeanor Cannabis Possession No Longer Guarantees A Night In Jail, In New York City

During his final State of the City address this morning, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg laid out a plan to help lower the immediate punishment for those found with small amounts of cannabis. Effective next month, those caught and arrested for cannabis possession misdemeanors will no longer spend a night in jail, but will rather be set up with a later court date, baring of course that they pass a warrant check.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

This is a small step, but when hundreds of thousands of people have been arrested for possession in the past decade, this could result in a lot of people moving forward who won’t need to sit in jail overnight for possessing a non-lethal piece of nature.

Read moreMisdemeanor Cannabis Possession No Longer Guarantees A Night In Jail, In New York City

56% In New Hampshire Support Legalizing Cannabis Like Alcohol

According to new polling conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, 56% of those in New Hampshire support legalizing possession of small amounts of cannabis, which would be sold and taxed through state-run liquor stores. Only 39% oppose this idea, with just 5% undecided.

This comes at a time when state lawmakers are considering House Bill 492, which would eggrolllegalize cannabis in the state.

In addition to recreational cannabis legalization, an overwhelming majority was also shown to be in support of legalizing medical cannabis. A resoundingly low 14% was in opposition, with 79% being in support

Read more56% In New Hampshire Support Legalizing Cannabis Like Alcohol

Drug Czar: Federal Government Will Go After Legal Cannabis Distributors In Colorado And Washington

In one of the first direct responses to how the federal government will react to the opening of legal retail outlets in Colorado and Washington after the passage of Amendment 64 and Initiative 502, Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske has made it clear that they’re planning to attack cannabis distributors, even if they’re following state law.

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Drug Czar Kerlikowske.

“You’ll continue to see enforcement against distributors and large-scale growers as the Justice Department has outlined. They will use their limited resources on those groups and not on going after individual users”, Kerlikowske told a Canadian magazine earlier this week.

Read moreDrug Czar: Federal Government Will Go After Legal Cannabis Distributors In Colorado And Washington

Federally Legal Hemp A Possibility In 2013

The possibility of legal hemp production in America has been gaining momentum over the past several months, and the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013 – House Bill 525 – is seeking to make it a reality.

Sponsored by Congressman Thomas Massie, a Republican from Kentucky, with 28 additional co-sponsors, HB 525 would amend our Federal Controlled Substances Act to exempt hemp. This measure would immediately allow individual states to license and regulate the production of hemp as an industrial and agricultural crop.

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Hemp plants.

If passed, this measure would allow the states that have legalized hemp to continue forth with this policy without running into conflict with federal law. This means that the eight states which have already passed hemp legislation – Colorado, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia – could begin to immediately enact their law, and the production of hemp.

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Spokane, Washington Opens Its Arms To Legal Cannabis

In Colorado and Washington, cities across both states are banning or working towards banning cannabis retail outlets after the passage of Amendment 64 and Initiative 502, even before they’re able to be established. This makes it exciting when major cities, such as Spokane – the second largest city in Washington – decide to follow the will of the voter. 121108_marijuana_3_405

Yesterday, Spokane’s City Council voted unanimously to align their city’s legal coding with the state’s in regards to its cannabis policies, effectively legalizing possession of an ounce, and the retail sale of cannabis on the city level.

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Senate Committee Votes Unanimously to Approve Legal Hemp in Kentucky

Today the Senate Committee on Agriculture in Kentucky voted unanimously on Senate Bill 50, which would legalize industrial hemp in Kentucky.

Industrial-Hemp
Hemp field.

U.S. Senator Rand Paul, wearing a t-shirt made of hemp, testified at the committee in favor of the bill, stating that if it passed, he’d work with the president on granting a federal waver to allow the production of hemp in Kentucky.

Read moreSenate Committee Votes Unanimously to Approve Legal Hemp in Kentucky

Q&A With Washington State Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, Sponsor Of House Bill 1661

Joe Fitzgibbon was elected to the Washington State House of Representatives in 2010, winning with 57.3% of the vote in the 34th district. Since then, Joe has been a champion for progressive issues, including cannabis law reform.

State Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon.
State Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon.

Recently he’s made news with the filing of House Bill 1661, which we announced last week. This bill would make the drastic and excellent move of allowing any individual who’s been charged with a cannabis possession misdemeanor in Washington State to have it remove from their record (which could directly effect the livelihood of tens of thousands of people).

We had the opportunity to spend some time chatting with Representative Fitzgibbon, and were able to ask him a few questions.

Read moreQ&A With Washington State Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, Sponsor Of House Bill 1661