In another example of Seattle officials respecting the will of the voter, and the intent of Initiative 502 which legalized the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana in Washington State, Metro bus drivers in Seattle have been given a new policy for found marijuana – turn it into the lost and found. The new policy shift was announced yesterday, and will take effect immediately. Before the change, drivers would give the marijuana to police, who would typically just throw it away.
In a ruling that will set precedent across the state, Michigan’s attorney general Bill Schuette says parents who use marijuana for medical purposes aren’t inherently disqualified from having custody of their children. This ruling is an important one, as past cases in Michigan, and in other medical marijuana states across the nation, parents have lost custody of their children, sometimes simply for being an authorized medical marijuana patient.
Colorado’s full House of Representatives has approved a measure, Senate Bill 241, to legalize hemp in the state, allowing licensed cultivation to begin this year. The measure has already passed through the Senate – it was approved by its initial two House committees, both unanimously. The measure now heads to the governor for final approval – he’s expected to sign it.
With the passage of Amendment 64, hemp was, in a way, legalized, though a provisional block was included that requires legislative action for hemp cultivation to begin. This legislation would be that required action necessary to legalize hemp and authorize the state to begin distributing hemp licenses. Continue reading
The Republic of Georgia has become the next nation considering a reformation of their cannabis policies. Today David Sergeyenko, the nation’s minister of Labor, Health and Social Affairs, stated that the nation was considering new strategies to deal with the issue of drugs. One of those strategies being considered is the legalization of marijuana.
The strategy is one that could quickly gain some national attention, and political support. Multiple lawmakers in the Republic of Georgia have, in the past, called for the legalization of “soft drugs” such as cannabis. Continue reading
After weeks of debate and public consideration, the Massachusetts Department of Health will be moving forward with implementation of their proposed medical marijuana regulations after it was approved unanimously by the state’s Public Health Council this week. The regulations were largely praised by the medical marijuana community.
Some of the specific regulations that were approved, include:
- Allowing a patient to possess up to 10 ounces at a given time, which is described as a “60-day supply”.
Times are changing, fast. States around the U.S. are working to end prohibition, nations like the Czech Republic have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, and two states in the U.S. have legalized the retail sale of recreational cannabis. Among the shift in policy, a wave of support has trampled over the general public, as well as lawmakers and government officials. In short, cannabis is losing its place as a stigmatized substance.
Since the passage of Initiative 502 in Washington State, the Seattle Police Department has been at the forefront of destigmatizing this plant. They plan to continue this by sending their sitting Chief, Jim Pugel, to this weekends Cannabis Freedom March, an annual march where cannabis activists and advocates march through Seattle, bringing awareness to the marijuana reform movement. Seattle Police Department’s spokesman, Sergeant Sean Whitcomb, will also be speaking at the event. Continue reading
This week Kentucky’s Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer’s been visiting Washington D.C., meeting with federal officials, lawmakers and others in order to get federal approval for his state to cultivate hemp – Kentucky passed legislation ending hemp prohibition on the state level last month. While in D.C., Comer had a meeting with the House Majority Leader John Boehner this week, a Republican, who let him know that he would speak with the Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnel about how they can move forward legislation to end hemp prohibition on the national level, instantly allowing states like Kentucky to begin licensing hemp farmers. This is something that McConnel, the Senate Minority Leader, has already been working towards – he sponsored bipartisan legislation filed in march.
A measure intending to bring about the decriminalization of marijuana in St. Louis has been officially signed by the city’s mayor, and will become law on June 1st, 2013. The measure was approved last month by the St. Louis Board of Alderman with a 22-3 vote.
Once it becomes law on June 1st, the ordinance will give police officers the option to ticket individuals possessing small amounts of marijuana rather than arresting them and hitting them with a misdemeanor.
A measure to legalize medical marijuana, which has already passed the Illinois full House of Representatives, was approved today by a key Senate committee. The Senate Executive Committee voted 10-5 to approve HB1, which would authorize qualified patients to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, which they would obtain through one of sixty state-licensed dispensaries in the state.
In April, over 200 physicians in the state signed on to a resolution urging lawmakers to legalize medical marijuana, which is something that recent polling has shown is supported by 63% of the state’s residents.
Today Nevada’s Senate Health and Human Services Committee held a public hearing on Assembly Bill 351, a measure to protect patients from being prosecuted when driving unimpaired by removing the state’s unscientific driving limit which finds someone instantly guilty of a DUID (driving under the influence of drugs) if they have 2 ng/ml or more THC in their blood, which is determined through a blood draw. The measure was approved by the Nevada State Assembly last month with a 31-8 vote.
The legislation is sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader William Horne, a Democrat from Las Vegas. “Marijuana is currently the only drug we have a limit where we say, ‘you have this much, so you must be impaired,’” Horne stated today during the public hearing, “I think that’s unfair.” Continue reading