Head of the United Nations Development Program Denounces the War on Drugs

In a public statement made today, Helen Clark, Head of the United Nations Development Program, has made it clear that she feels that the war on drugs has failed. UN

“I’ve been a health minister in my past and there’s no doubt that the health position would be to treat the issue of drugs as primarily a health and social issue rather than a criminalized issue,” Clark told Reuters. “Once you criminalize, you put very big stakes around. Of course, our world has proceeded on the basis that criminalization is the approach. Continue reading

Vermont Bill Looks to Defy Federal Government on Hemp Ban

Vermont lawmakers are seeking to pass legislation that would allow the state to license farmers to grow hemp, explicitly ignoring the fed’s ban.

Vermont_state_sealAccording to the measure’s text, House Bill 490, which has been assigned to the House Agriculture and Forest Products Committee, would “authorize the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets to issue a license to grow industrial hemp pursuant to current Vermont statute”.

Under current law, hemp is technically legal under Vermont state coding, but the provision mandates that the state must wait until the federal ban is lifted, making it simply a political statement. This bill would effectively change that, and, by this summer (July), allow the state to license hemp producers. Continue reading

Louisiana Bill Would Reduce Penalties for Possessing Marijuana

On Tuesday legislation was filed in Louisiana which would lower the subsequent penalties associated with possessing cannabis in the state- a state where possession laws are some of the harshest in the country.louisiana

Under current law, an individual’s 2nd cannabis possession charge nets a conviction of up to 5 years in prison. Those with a 3rd possession charge in the state face up to 20 years in prison, regardless of the amount possessed.

Under the new proposal, House Bill 103, these penalties would be greatly reduced, and cannabis possession would be removed as an offense that carries with it mandatory minimum sentences. Continue reading

Hawaii Lawmakers Approve Hemp and Marijuana Decrim Bills on Same Day

Yesterday was a great day for cannabis law reform in Hawaii. The state’s House Judiciary Committee approved a measure that would decriminalize small amounts of hawaii-maui-4cannabis, sending it towards a full House vote. This comes just days after the state’s Senate voted unanimously to approve the measure. The committee did make two amendments, to lower the established ticket from $1,000 to $100 (where it was when the bill was first introduced), and lowering the possession limit from 1 ounce (28 grams), to 20 grams. This is according to the Associated Press.

On the same day, HB 154 HD2, a measure in the state to establish a two year industrial hemp research program that would examine hemp’s effectiveness in phytoremediation and bio-fuel, passed through two Senate committees unanimously, sending it to the full Senate. Continue reading

New Nevada Bill Would Legalize Cannabis

Tomorrow Assemblyman Joe Hogan, a Democrat from Las Vegas, will be introducing a measNV-Signure in the Assembly that would legalize cannabis for adults in the state.

“We’ve wasted a tremendous amount of money” Hogan told the Las Vegas Sun, “And marijuana is not just a harmless plant. The medical benefits are remarkable.”

Assemblymen Andrew Martin and Paul Aizley will be cosponsoring the measure, which is expected to be based roughly on the legalization measures which passed recently in Colorado and Washington.

Nevada lawmakers are also discussing legislation to expand the state’s medical cannabis program, by explicitly allowing for-profit dispensaries.


Federal Push to End Cannabis Prohibition to Continue

Lawmakers in D.C. working to end our federal prohibition on cannabis say that their efforts will continue, until a change is made. US_Capitol_240_11

In a USA Today article from this afternoon, representatives working on federal reform efforts have made it clear that these efforts won’t stop, regardless of whether or not there are any changes made this year.

“Maybe next year, maybe next Congress, but this is going to change. And the federal government will get out of the way,” said Congressman Earl Blumenauer, from Oregon. “I’m very patient. I’ve been working on this one way or another for 40 years, and I think the likelihood of something happening in the next four or five years is greater than ever.”

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Towns Not Allowed to Ban Medical Marijuana Dispensaries: Massachusetts Attorney General

In a statement released today by Assistant Attorney General Margaret Hurley, in speaking for Attorney Gemassachusetts-office-of-the-attorney-generalneral Martha Coakley, it was made clear that cities in Massachusetts don’t have the legal authority to implement full bans on medical cannabis dispensaries. The cities can enact zoning and other regulations.

According to the report, “where a bylaw frustrates a statutory purpose, such as Wakefield’s total ban on medical marijuana treatment clinics, the Attorney General’s standard of review compels us to disapprove it.” Continue reading

Colorado’s Marijuana Task Force Releases Final Recommendations

Today, Colorado’s marijuana task force released their final report, laying out their recommendations for how Colorados-Recreational-Marijuana-Task-Forcethey feel Amendment 64 should be implemented. The task force was established by the state’s governor to recommend regulations for legal cannabis to the state’s legislature. The final report was over 150 pages long, and can be found by clicking here.

Here’s a summary of the recommendations that were made: Continue reading

Study: Health of a Child Unaffected by Living in a Cannabis Grow Operation

A new study conducted by the School of Social Work at the University of British Columbia has found that “there was no significant differen284409774_640ce between the health of the children living in cannabis grow operations and the comparison group of children”.

The study was initially published by the International Journal of Drug Policy. It’s also been published to the US National Library of Medicine.

Here’s the method that was used: Continue reading

Vermont Seeks Reform: Legalization, 2 Decrim, and Medical Expansion Bills Filed

Vermont lawmakers and advocates are hard at work attempting to bring cannabis law reform in the state.


Vermont’s logo.

Yesterday House Bill 499 was introduced, and assigned to the House Judiciary Committee, according to The Daily Chronic. If passed, the measure would allow for the legal possession of up to two ounces of cannabis, which would be sold through state-licensed retail outlets. As with Initiative 502 in Washington, the state’s Department of Liquor Control would oversee regulations.

The measure would also explicitly legalize hemp in the state.

Continue reading