In a ruling that will have an immediate impact on dozens of medical cannabis access points, Michigan’s Supreme Court has voted 4-1, deciding that cash sales of cannabis are not allowed under the state’s medical marijuana act. This will set a higher precedent than the Isabella County Appeals Court which recently ruled, in the same case, that access points are allowed.
“Today, Michigan’s highest Court clarified that this law is narrowly focused to help the seriously ill, not an open door to unrestricted retail marijuana sales,” stated Attorney General Bill Schuette, who opposes medical cannabis access points. He continues “Dispensaries will have to close their doors”.
To combat this new decision, and to make sure patients have access to their medicine, Republican State Representative Mike Callton plans to quickly introduce a bill to explicitly legalize access points, a move that must be applauded by cannabis reform advocates and common-sense crusaders alike.
The state is said to have over 125,000 authorized patients.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has turned some heads, stating that he’s “open” to the idea of legalizing cannabis at the state level. Cuccinelli is one of the top candidates in Virginia’s race for Governor.
During a Q&A while visiting a political science class at the University of Virginia, Cuccinelli was asked his thoughts on cannabis being legalizing in Colorado and Washington. He replied, “I don’t have a problem with states experimenting with this sort of thing, I think that’s the role of states”.
The professor who ran political science class, Laray Sabato, stated that it was “suggestive of a willingness to change marijuana policies in Virginia eventually.”
Washington State Representatives Ross Hunter and Reuven Carlyle introduced a bill earlier today that would establish a tax rate on medical cannabis access points within the state, that would be equal to 25 percent of their total sales.
Currently the state doesn’t accept taxes from medical cannabis access points, besides Seattle which passed a licensing and regulation measure in 2011.
The new bill, which will get a hearing in the coming days, is sure to prompt a deep discussion in the state.
Despite Mexico feeling the effects of the drug war more than anywhere else, Mexico’s President, Enrique Peña Nieto, has publicly come out in opposition to legalizing cannabis, one of his primary arguments being that cannabis is a “gateway drug”. Here is what Hempfest Director Vivian McPeak had to say on the matter:
“It is increasingly difficult to endure the endless re-emergence of messaging that keeps coming from the prohibitionist drug warrior sector.
Gateway? Yes, the Drug War has become a gateway into cemeteries for thousands of Mexican citizens, the gateway to prison for millions of Americans, and it remains a potential gateway to economic recovery for both nations.
In what could turn out to be a groundbreaking study, a group from Neuroscience Research Australia has been examining if cannabidiol – one of the main ingredients in cannabis – could reverse some of the symptoms of dementia, specifically Alzheimer’s disease.
Early research for the study has found that it does.
In the study, mice were injected with a disease analogous to Alzheimer’s, and then given doses of cannabidiol. The results so far are quite drastic; “It basically brings the performance of the animals back to the level of healthy animals,” said Tim Karl, one of the study’s researchers. He goes on, “You could say it cured them, but we will have to go back and look at their brains to be sure.”
Despite having support for medical cannabis below the national average, recent polling has found that 58 percent of residents in North Carolina believe that cannabis should be legal for medical purposes.
With this in mind, knowing he has the backing of his constituents, State Representative Kelly Alexander, Jr. will be introducing a bill on Wednesday (tomorrow) that would legalize medical cannabis in the state.
“This is for people who are undergoing chemotherapy. There are a lot of reasons that medical cannabis will help them”, Rep Alexander told the media.
At the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference this week, researchers at the University of Aukland (yeah, we hadn’t heard of it either) are presenting a study, in which they’ve “found” that cannabis consumers are 2.3 times more likely to have a stroke. This story hasn’t hit the media too hard yet, but it will soon, as they tend to love anti-cannabis propaganda such as this.
First, we’d like to note that the study only had 160 participants. All were stroke victims. There way of determining the increase was that those who tested positive for cannabis in their urine were apparently 2.3 times more likely to have had a stroke than those of the same gender/age group. If you’re thinking about this like we are, we strongly question the scientific integrity of this method.
What’s even worse? All but one of the cannabis consumers in the study also smoke tobacco.
According to an Associated Press report, a bill will be introduced tomorrow that will end our federal prohibition on cannabis.
The measure, which is said to have bipartisan support, is being sponsored by Colorado Rep. Jared Polis. and Oregon Representative Earl Blumenauer.
If passed, it would regulate cannabis similar to how our government handles alcohol. Cannabis would be removed from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s jurisdiction, and given to the renamed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana and Firearms.
Those growing or selling legal cannabis would need to obtain a federal permit, and laws would still apply to those transporting cannabis from a state where it’s legal, to one where it’s not.
The bill is apparently inspired by a past legalization measure sponsored by Reps. Barney Frank and Ron Paul.
Rep. Blumenauer, on the same day, will be introducing a companion bill that would tax cannabis, creating an excise tax of 50% at “first sale” (such as from a grower to a processor, or retailer). It would also tax producers at $1,000 annually, and other cannabis businesses at $500.
“People are suffering every day in the state of Maryland, and they are being subjected to going out on the streets to get the relief we should be providing,” Said Maryland State Delegate Cheryl Glenn.
Continuing her efforts from past years, Cheryl has introduced a bill – which gets a hearing Tuesday – to add an affirmative defense for medical cannabis caregivers, and will be filing another bill soon.
The affirmative defense bill is similar to legislation Cherly filed in 2012, and which passed the senate in 2011. However, additional sponsors have been gathered, and despite just a year’s time, the conversation has changed tremendously. The governor has also been mum on what he’ll do if medical cannabis legislation is passed this session, when in past years he’s threatened a veto.