Colorado Legislation Introduced to Establish Legal Marijuana Regulations

Yesterday the chair of Colorado’s Joint Select Committee on the Implementation of Amendment 64 Task Force Recommendations, a committee established by Colorado’s legislature to form legislation to help regulate legal marijuana sales, introduced a 57-page bill that would do just that. The measure contains a majority of the recommendations that were colorado-marijuana_1352303424138_323563_ver1.0_320_240made by a marijuana task force commissioned by Colorado’s governor to discuss and determine potential regulations.

According to the Denver Post, some of the major points found in House Bill 1317 is that:

• Marijuana growers and sellers could operate separately, opposite of the requirements for medical-marijuana dispensaries.

• Only Colorado residents could own or work in marijuana retail outlets

• Out-of-state residents would be legally allowed to purchase, possess and consume cannabis, so they would only be able to purchase a quarter of an ounce, rather than a full ounce like residents can.

Read moreColorado Legislation Introduced to Establish Legal Marijuana Regulations

America to Legalize Hemp Cultivation by Next Year, Predicts Congressman

During a conference this week at The Brookings Institution, Congressman Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon, predicted that the current Congress – in office until the end of next year – will legalize the cultivation ohemp-growing-in-berliin-199x300f hemp, ending a decades long prohibition that was never founded on anything but baseless propaganda.

Congressman Blumenauer is one of several bipartisan legislators which have signed on to House Bill 525, a measure which would effectively end the nation’s prohibition on hemp, by excluding it from the U.S. Federal Controlled Substances Act. A companion measure in the Senate is sponsored by Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnel.

Read moreAmerica to Legalize Hemp Cultivation by Next Year, Predicts Congressman

Oregon Senate Votes to Add PTSD as Qualifying Medical Cannabis Condition

Today Oregon’s Senate approved a measure, 19-11, that would add post traumatic stress disord5B3DF573FDC0276ED310919118A6AC64er (PTSD) to Oregon’s medical cannabis program. The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last week with a 3-2 vote, and it passed its initial committee 4-1.

The measure now heads to the state’s House – its passage in that chamber would send it to the governor for final approval.

Read moreOregon Senate Votes to Add PTSD as Qualifying Medical Cannabis Condition

New Legislation Introduced to Establish National Commission on Federal Marijuana Policy

In a press release from this morning, U.S. Congressman Steve Cohen, a Democrat from Tennessee, introduced legislation to create a National Commission on Federal Marijuana Policy. The bill is inspired by the then-ignored Shafer Commission, ordered bUS-Congress-Capitol-Hilly President Nixon, which found marijuana prohibition to be baseless and without scientific backing – the group called for marijuana’s decriminalization, but was subsequently fired by Nixon.

This new commission would “undertake a comprehensive review of the federal government’s current policies toward marijuana, particularly in light of the growing number of states where marijuana is already legal for medicinal or personal use.”

Read moreNew Legislation Introduced to Establish National Commission on Federal Marijuana Policy

Vermont House Committee Expected to Pass Measure Allowing Hemp Cultivation Prior to Federal Change

Vermont’s House Agriculture and Forest Products Committee held a public hearing today on House Bill 490, a measure which passed the state’s Senate last month. Currently under Vermont state law, hemp is legal, but the law 18-hemphas a provision requiring the state to wait until the federal ban is lifted before they begin licensing farmers for cultivation. House Bill 490 would remove that requirement, and would allow farmers to begin cultivation, this July.

According to the measure’s text, it would “authorize the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets to issue a license to grow industrial hemp pursuant to current Vermont statute”.

Read moreVermont House Committee Expected to Pass Measure Allowing Hemp Cultivation Prior to Federal Change

Medical Marijuana Legalization Approved by Illinois House

House Bill 0001, which would legalize medical marijuana in the state, has officially passed through the Illinois House of Representatives after a long debate, sending it to the Senate. The vote was 61-57. MedicalMarijuana_ShutterstockYesterday, prior to the vote, a press conference was held announcing that over 200 physicians in the state have signed on to a resolution urging legal protections for medical marijuana patients and the doctors who recommend they use marijuana for medical purposes if they find it to be beneficial to them.

Read moreMedical Marijuana Legalization Approved by Illinois House

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Warrant Needed to Take Blood in DUI Cases

In a case that will have a deep and long-lasting impact on marijuana DUIs throughout the nation, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a cop can not legally take an individuals blood in order to deteSupreme_Courtrmine a DUI, without first obtaining a warrant. This is extremely relevant to marijuana consumers, especially as states like Washington (implemented through Initiative 502) now have a DUID clause that finds someone instantly guilty if they have a certain amount of THC in their blood – the U.S. government is working to implement this type of policy throughout the country.

Despite the Obama Administration and the State of Missouri lobbying otherwise, the court ruled 8-1 in favor of requiring a warrant. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the court’s majority opinion, stating that the natural dissipation of alcohol in the blood isn’t sufficient reason to remove the legal requirement of obtaining a warrant before taking the blood. Justice Clarence Thomas was the only judge that ruled in favor of warrantless blood testing.

This ruling will set immediate precedent throughout the nation.


64% in Washington D.C. Support Marijuana Legalization, 75% Support Decriminalization

New polling released today finds that an overwhelming percentage of people in Washington D.C. support reforming their district’s marijuana policies. The poll, which was conducted by Public Policy Polling, found twashington-dchat 75% of all D.C. residents support removing the criminal penalties associated with possessing an ounce or less of marijuana, making it a simple $100 ticket, rather than up to 6 months in prison like it is currently.

In addition, the polling found that 64% support the idea of decriminalizing the private cultivation of up to 3 plants. Just about the same percentage of people, 63%, said that they support legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana for adult recreational consumption (64% support simply legalizing possession). This puts support for D.C. roughly 12% higher than the national average, which is already at an all-time-high.

Read more64% in Washington D.C. Support Marijuana Legalization, 75% Support Decriminalization

New Legislation Would Legalize Marijuana for Medical Purposes in Pennsylvania

If newly-filed House Bill 1181 becomes law in Pennsylvania, residents of the state would be given the legal authority to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, and cultivate up to 6 plants, if they obtain a valid recommendation. In addition, it would authorize them to popopopurchase marijuana from safe access points – no specific regulations are given, however.

The qualifying conditions for medical marijuana under this measure – cachexia, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures,  severe and persistent muscle spasms,  Crohn’s disease, HIV/AIDS, cancer and glaucoma.

Individuals who have one of these conditions, and get a recommendation from a physician, would then be able to register with the Department of Health in order to get a license indicating that they’re a legal patient. Patients may also have a caregiver, who can possess and cultivate, though not consume, up to 6 plants and up to 6 ounces.

Read moreNew Legislation Would Legalize Marijuana for Medical Purposes in Pennsylvania

Initiative Underway to Legalize Marijuana in Alaska

Alaska has one of the more liberal marijuana possession laws in the U.S., with possession of an ounce decriminalized, but advocates are taking it a step forward and have begun an initiative drive to legalize the possession, personal cultivation and state-licensed sale of marijuanamarijuana3 to adults. Voters in Alasaka rejected a similar measure in 2004 with a 44%-56% vote, but the conversation surrounding marijuana has shifted greatly in those past 9 years – for example, support for legalization on the national level in that time frame has gone from under forty percent, to above fifty.

Today, activists took the first major step in putting an initiative to the vote of the people, but submitting draft language, along with 100 signatures, to the state’s lieutenant governor. The state has 2 months to review the measure, making sure the signatures are valid and the draft language is legally sound.

Read moreInitiative Underway to Legalize Marijuana in Alaska