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

Man Wins Lottery, Pledges Half A Million To Cannabis Reform

Bob Erb of British Columbia won the lottery, earning himself a grand-total of $25 million. An activist at heart, Bob put this money right to use, by donating a large sum to a local homeless shelter, and pledging up to $500,000 to fight for an end to cannabis prohibition.

Round of applause to Bob.

“The biggest social injustice I’ve seen in all my entire lifetime is the criminalization and prohibition of marijuana,” he told CTV on Friday.

Right on Bob.

Bob, who told CTV that he “generally smokes 10-15 joints a day, 7 days a week”, will be donating his money in the form of a matching donation (someone gives a dollar, he matches it, up to half a million), which will go to the group Sensible B.C., which slogan is “Decriminalize Cannabis For a Safer Province.” In addition to lobbying their governmen598771_346942648730192_1096813873_nt to pass reform, the group is building its base to try and gather enough signatures to put the Sensible Policing Act to a vote of the people.

Read moreMan Wins Lottery, Pledges Half A Million To Cannabis Reform

Arizona Lawmaker Attempting to Once Again Put Medical Cannabis To A Vote Of The People

Winning in a nail-bitingly close race, Arizona residents voted in 2010 with 50.1% of the vote to approve a medical cannabis bill that allows for the use and possession of cannabis for medicinal purposes, and directed the Arizona Department of Health Services to establishing and license medical dispensaries.

Voters in Arizona also approved legislation regarding medical cannabis in 1996 and 1998, though the enactment of both were blocked because of technical errors in their language. arizona-medical-marijuana

Since the bill in 2010 passed, dispensaries have started opening just a couple months ago, finally bringing established access points for Arizona patients.

Now, just two years after its passage, a state lawmaker wants to once again put medical cannabis to a vote of the people, in hopes that they’ll reject it. Patients in the state held a press conference today to oppose the move.

Read moreArizona Lawmaker Attempting to Once Again Put Medical Cannabis To A Vote Of The People

Former NASA Scientist Launches H.A.S.H. (High Altitude School Of Hydroponics)

Dale Chamberlain used to work for NASA, designing experiments for the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. Now he’s helping people grow top-quality cannabis.

Former NASA Scientist Dale Chamberlain.

Dale has launched the High Altitude School of Hydroponics – H.A.S.H., with classes being held at Front Range Community College in Colorado. According to their website:

“A full service hydroponic school we are dedicated to high-quality instruction, hands-on training, reviews, supplies, service and customer satisfaction.

Read moreFormer NASA Scientist Launches H.A.S.H. (High Altitude School Of Hydroponics)

Michigan Supreme Court Rules Dispensaries Must Close, Republican Rep. Introduces Bill To Change That

michigan supreme court
Michigan Supreme Court.

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.

– TheJointBlog

Virginia Attorney General and Governor Candidate Open To Legalizing Cannabis

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.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

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.”

– TheJointBlog

Washington State Lawmakers Considering Taxing Medical Marijuana

Washington State Representatives Ross Hunter and Reuven Carlyle introduced a bill earlier todayTaxing-Marijuana 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.

– TheJointBlog

Seattle Hempfest Director Vivian McPeak Speaks Out Against Mexico’s President Opposing Legalization

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:

Seattle Hempfest Director Vivian McPeak.

“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.

Read moreSeattle Hempfest Director Vivian McPeak Speaks Out Against Mexico’s President Opposing Legalization

New Study Shows Cannabis May Reverse Symptoms of Dementia

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. images

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.”

Read moreNew Study Shows Cannabis May Reverse Symptoms of Dementia

Medical Marijuana Legislation Being Introduced in North Carolina

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. north_carolina-sign

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.

Read moreMedical Marijuana Legislation Being Introduced in North Carolina