Maryland Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Measure

Today Maryland’s Senate, without debate, approved House Bill 1101 through its 2nd reading. The measure wpopopoill be up for one final Senate vote in the coming days, which is a final procedural step it’s expected to pass through. It will then head to the governor for final consideration.

Last week Maryland’s House approved the measure with a strong majority, voting 108-28.

If it passes the final Senate hearing, and is signed into law, the measure would authorize certain hospitals to become licensed as academic medical centers, which would allow them to legally distribute cannabis to patients.

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Massachusetts Supreme Court Rules Sharing Marijuana Not a Crime

In a case involving a man who was arrested for marijuana distribution after sharing a joint at RNS-MASS-PLEDGEBoston Hempfest, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has ruled such activity does not constitute a crime, now that an ounce of marijuana is decriminalized in the state. The court stated that social sharing of small amounts of marijuana can’t be considered distribution.

The ruling, which is the first of its kinds in states that have decriminalized marijuana possession, will set immediate legal precedent in Massachusetts, and could lead the way for future rulings in other states.

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National Poll: 72% Believe Federal War on Marijuana Not Worth the Cost

Pew Research Institute, one of the more respected polling firms in the nation, released its annual survey, and found that 52% of Americans support legalizing marijuana. For good reason, this number – indicatinJake Dimmockg that a majority in the nation are in support – is what ruled the headlines. However, the polling also found that 72% of all Americans, including 67% of self-described Republicans, believe that federal enforcement of marijuana laws isn’t worth the cost.

The research found that regardless of someone’s political views, less than a third had the belief that federal marijuana laws are worth the widespread negative consequences. This is as much, if not more of an indication of the rapidly changing public opinion regarding marijuana reform than the fact that 52% support legalization.

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New Alabama Measure Would Legalize Marijuana

A measure which would legalize the possession, home-cultivation and retail sale of marijuana for adults was filed yesterday in Alamarijuana-leaf-3-305x150bama’s House of Representatives. The measure, House Bill 550, is sponsored by Rep. Patricia Todd, and is being titled the Alabama Cannabis and Hemp Reform Act of 2013.

If the measure passes, it would become law this October, and would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, the personal cultivation of up to a dozen plants, and would direct the Department of Revenue to setup regulations for retail sells.

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Kentucky Governor to Allow Bill Legalizing Hemp to Become Law

This morning Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear made an official announcement that he’ll be allowing a measure legalizing industrial hemp to become law. Both the state’s Senate and House, after heavy debate, passed the measure (Senate Bill 50) over the past several wehemp1eks, putting it in the hands of the governor to either veto the bill, sign it into law, or ignore it: he’s taking the latter option, meaning it will officially pass into law after April 6th.

The measure’s passage comes with the support of Kentuckians, with recent polling showing that 65% in the state support legal hemp production.

The measure puts Kentucky, as with the other 8 states that have legalized hemp, directly against the federal government, which considers hemp a schedule 1 drug. However, U.S. Senators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnel, both from Kentucky, have stated that they’d work at granting the state a federal waiver to grow hemp if the measure passes.

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61% in Vermont Support Marijuana Decriminalization, As Does State’s Attorney General

The annual Doyle Survey, which conducts public policy opinion research in Vermont, has recently released this year’s results. Among the multiple issues that the poll discussed with its 14,000 participates, it wmarijuana_1207as found that 61% of Vermont residents support decriminalizing marijuana possession, with less than a third, 31%, being in opposition to such a move.

These numbers are important, and come at a vital time, as both the Senate and House discuss measures to decriminalize marijuana possession: Senate Bill 48 and House Bill 200 have both had pubic hearings over the past few days.

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Oregon On Track to be Next State to Legalize Marijuana

Judging by the current situation, Oregon may very well end up as the next state in the U.S. to legalize marijuana for adults.colmes_Blumenauer_020613

Just yesterday, to the surprise of many in the political world, Oregon’s House Judiciary Committee approved a measure that would legalize the home-cultivation, possession and retail sale of cannabis throughout the state. The measure, which would also explicitly legalize hemp, would take full effect by July 2014.

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Maryland Senate Committee Approves Medical Marijuana Legislation

Today Maryland’s Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee voted to approve House Bill 1101, sending it towards a full Senate vote. Last week the state’s House of Delegates approved the bill 108-28. If the Senate passes the measure, which it’s expected tmarylandmmo do, it will head to the governor for final approval.

If passed, the measure would authorize certain hospitals to become licensed as academic medical centers, which would allow them to legally distribute cannabis to patients. These centers and their patients would then participate in a daily study examining the medicine’s effects.

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New Poll: 52% of Americans Support Legalizing Marijuana

In a comprehensive new set of polling released today by the respected Pew Research Institute, it was found that, for the first time in over four decades of annual polling, a majority of Americans sugood-weedpport legalization. According to Pew’s official press release, it’s noted that “Support for legalizing marijuana has risen 11 points since 2010.” 52% are said to be in support of legalization, which just 45% in opposition.

On top of this support, there’s even further support for having the feds back off of their war on marijuana. 72% believe that the federal government’s enforcement of marijuana laws costs more than it’s worth, and 60% believe that they should leave states that legalize marijuana alone entirely.

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Charges Dropped Against Florida Man Growing Marijuana for Sick Wife

Cathy and Robert Jordan.

Cathy and Robert Jordan.

Just a couple days ago we reported on a Florida man, Robert Jordan, who denied a plea bargain offered by the state – the plea came after officers raided his home, finding over 20 cannabis plants, which were being used to treat his wife, Cathy Jordan, who suffers from Lou Gherig’s Disease. Cathy has lived over 20 years past her doctor’s prediction because of the use of cannabis, which helps her fight depression, nausea, and other symptoms associated with the disease.

In refusing to take the plea bargain, Robert made the smart move in standing up for his rights: It was his hopes that he would win a court case, or at least have his charges lowered, by proving “medical necessity”.

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