Washington State Bill Protecting Patients From Arrest Passes Senate Committee Unanimously

Continuing an active week in cannabis law reform for Washington State that includes the passage of House Bill 1661 and House Bill 1888, Washington’s Senate Committee on Health Care voted, unanimously, to approve Senate Bill 5528, which would protect patients from arrest in the state.

SB 5528 would finally protect Washington patients from arrest.

SB 5528 would finally protect Washington patients from arrest.

Washington passed their medical cannabis act back in 1998, but over a dozen years later patients are still only subject to an “affirmative defense” for using, possessing, growing, purchasing or selling cannabis. What this means; although there’s a legal protection against prosecution for qualified patients, patients can still be legally arrested, and charged, for medical cannabis, even if they’re following state law precisely.

Senate Bill 5528 would change this, adding defined arrest protection for qualified patients, making it no longer legal for state and local officers to arrest patients who fall within the state’s legal limit.

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Reminder: 81% of Americans Support Legalized Medical Marijuana

Support for cannabis law reform is increasing drastically. Half of all Americans support recreational legalization, victories in Colorado and Washington have pushed the issue further into the mainstream, and legislation is being filed across the country to put a halt to this ridiculous prohibition on cannabis.7878545medical-marijuana-rx

As we move towards full legalization, it’s easy to forget that roughly 80% of all Americans support cannabis being legal for medicinal usage.

This is an incredible consensus on an issue that many people, and most politicians, still consider controversial. Getting 80% of Americans to agree on anything, better yet a switch from a substance being completely prohibited to allowed as a medicine, is rare, to put it lightly.

This is why it’s vital for supporters of reform to never forget about these numbers and the backing we have. We should never allow politicians to get away with ignoring this issue or playing it off as a political third wheel.

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Senator Seeking to Add PTSD to Montana’s Medical Cannabis Program

Yesterday Montana’s Senate Judiciary Committee heard public testimony on Senate Bill 310, which would add PTSD – post-traumatic stress disorder – to Montana_Marijuanathe state’s list of conditions that qualify an individual to become an authorized medical cannabis patient.

The committee didn’t hold a vote on the measure, which will be held at a later date. This leaves some crucial time for constituents and supporters of the measure to contact members of the committee, urging them to support Senate Bill 310.

When you do, make sure to point out recent science which indicates that cannabis can be helpful in treating PTSD, and may help prevent it if administered in a timely fashion.

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Nevada to Consider Legalizing Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Nevada residents have the advantage of being in a state where the use of medical cannabis is a constitutional right. They’re at a disadvantage if they don’t have a friend or acquaintance to purchase from, as safe access points remain illegal.

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Senator Segerblom.

Senator Tick Segerblom, a Democrat from Las Vegas, hopes to change that.

Senator Segerblom announced today that he would be filing legislation that would explicitly legalize medical cannabis dispensaries, giving the thousands of patients in the state an opportunity to legally purchase their medicine, rather than needing to resort to the black-market.

“We’re going to have places you can go with a card where you can legally purchase marijuana…It’ll be a for-profit. It won’t be a co-op. It won’t be run by the government … It’ll be taxed and the revenue will be used to do something good”, stated Senator Segerblom in his announcement speech, which came after a Senate Judiciary meeting.

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Hemp Bill Passes Through WA Committee Unanimously

Washington State HB 1888 was passed through committee today with a unanimous 8-0 vote. The bipartisan measure, sponsored by 5 Republicans and a Democrat, would add legal safeguards to ensure hemp’s1 legality in Washington, including raising the 0.3% THC standard set by Initiative 502 to 1% THC, which is more closely aligned with what the North American Industrial Hemp Council recommends.

In addition, the measure creates specific regulations on how hemp production would be licensed and overseen in the state, and it authorizes Washington State University to undertake research on industrial hemp once they’ve received a license.

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Maryland Lawmaker Introduces Measure to Legalize Marijuana

Maryland lawmakers will soon be discussing legislation introduced today by State Delegate Curt Anderson. The measure would legalize the possession and home-growing of a limited amount of cannabis, and would direct the state to license and regulate jointthe substance for legal retail sales.

The measure would allow for the purchase and possession of up to an ounce of dried cannabis, up to 5 grams of concentrated products like hash and oil, and identical to Washington State’s Initiative 502, 16 ounces of cannabis-infused products like medicated brownies, and 72 ounces of cannabis-infused liquids like lotions or medicated sodas.

In addition, adults in the state would be able to grow up to 3 plants legally. It would also allow for the legal transfer of up to an ounce of cannabis, and 3 small plants.

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Zero Tolerance THC Driving Policy Introduced in California

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Senator Correa has filed absurd legislation that would make it illegal to drive in California with any amount of THC in your system.

Ignoring science and any valid reasoning, proponents of per se DUID (driving under the influence of drugs) laws for marijuana – a primary goal of our Drug Czar – have taken their fight to California, on the crooked wings of State Senator Lou Correa. Senator Correa is a Democrat from Santa Ana, and this week he filed Senate Bill 289, which would establish a complete zero tolerance driving policy for those with THC in their system, even if they’re a qualified medical marijuana patient.

If passed, this measure would instantly codify into law that it’s illegal for someone to drive with absolutely any amount of THC in their system. Not only is this unjust and ridiculous, it’s laughably unscientific. Science shows us that cannabis consumers can fail a zero tolerance THC test days or even weeks after last consumption, meaning that a joint someone smoked last week could land them with a life-altering DUID. Under the new law, as it’s per se, someone’s actual impairment wouldn’t be the factor for arrest, it would be an individual’s blood limit.

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Bill to Clear Marijuana Misdemeanors in Washington Passes Committee

As expected, Washington State’s House Committee on Public Safety voted this morning to approve House Bill 1661, moving it towards a full House vote. The bill would allow those convicted of a cannabis possessioweed-in-hand-300x199n misdemeanor – up to 40 grams for those 18 and older – to have it removed from their record. The committee voted 6-5 in favor of the bill.

The primary sponsor of the measure, Rep. Fitzgibbon, says the chances are “really good” that it will pass the House. Newly elected Governor Jay Inslee hasn’t stated his position on the bill, but it would be unlikely for him to veto such legislation. Its fate in the Republican-controlled Senate is less than certain, but its passage isn’t an impossibility, especially considering that the measure has several Republican sponsors.

As always, we’ll keep you up-to-date on future news regarding this legislation, and other cannabis related news stories.

– TheJointBlog

WA Legislation To Clear Cannabis Misdemeanors Expected To Pass Out Of Committee

This afternoon lawmakers from Washington State’s House Committee on Public Safety held a public hearing to discuss a handful of measures, including House Bill 1661, which would allow the hundreds of thousands of people who have been convicted of a cannabis possession misdemeanor in Washington State to have it removed from their record.

Tens of thousands of cannabis convictions could be vacated with the passage of House Bill 1661.

Tens of thousands of cannabis convictions could be vacated with the passage of House Bill 1661.

The bill is sponsored by a bipartisan group of 21 legislators, and a majority of speakers at the hearing were in support of the measure.

An executive session has been scheduled for tomorrow morning at 10AM, where a vote will likely be held on the bill. According to a lawmaker who wished to remain anonymous, it’s expected to pass out of committee, moving it on its way towards a full House vote.

This would be a major step towards this measure becoming law. We applaud the members of the committee who have shown support for this bill, and for those who decide to vote on the side of justice Continue reading

Support Legalization? You’re Part of the Marijuana Majority

In a society that couldn’t hide its celebrity obsession if it tried, opinions of the famous – whether it rock star, movie star or athlete – tend to hold weight in the minds of those who admire these individuals. For better or worse.marijuana-majority-featured-image

This is what makes the newly launched Marijuana Majority a vital component of pushing cannabis legalization forward, and into the mainstream.

Founded by Tom Angell, who until recently was Media Relations Director for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Marijuana Majority is a website and social media movement that aims at compiling the ultimate list of celebrities, scientists, lawmakers, etc., who support an end to our failed war on cannabis.

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