Maryland Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Legislation, Heads to Governor’s Desk

Maryland’s Senate, with an overwhelming 42-4 vote, approved legislation today, the last dMaryland_MMJay of the legislative session, which authorizes certain hospitals to dispense medical marijuana to patients. The measure also passed the House recently with a strong 108-28 vote.

Now that the measure has officially passed both chambers of the state’s legislature, it heads to Governor Martin O’Malley’s desk, who will have final say on whether or not the bill will become law this year. It’s expected that he’ll sign the measure.

Read moreMaryland Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Legislation, Heads to Governor’s Desk

Reminder: Over 500 Top Economists Support and have Lobbied for Legalization

Milton Friedman, who was one of the most well-known economists in the world, was joined by over 500 additional economists in signing a letter which broke down the economic benefits of legalization. The letter, which was written in 2005, was sent to then-President George Bush, Congress, and every state’s governor and legislature. bill-gives-states-marijuana-tax-power-thcf

The letter states “Marijuana legalization — replacing prohibition with a system of taxation and regulation — would save $7.7 billion per year in state and federal expenditures on prohibition enforcement and produce tax revenues of at least $2.4 billion annually if marijuana were taxed like most consumer goods. If, however, marijuana were taxed similarly to alcohol or tobacco, it might generate as much as $6.2 billion annually.”

Read moreReminder: Over 500 Top Economists Support and have Lobbied for Legalization

Industrial Hemp Officially Legal in Kentucky

As it passes midnight in Kentucky, Senate Bill 50 officially becomes law. The measure, which legalizes industrial hemp in the state, recently passed the Senate and House, giving the governor until April 6th at iENAhv8Luhy811:59PM to either sign the bill into law, veto it, or let it become law. With no veto or signature, and with it now being April 7th, the bill has officially become law.

Under this new measure, hemp production is now legal in Kentucky. However, with the federal government still seeing hemp as a schedule 1 drug next to the likes of heroin and other dangerous substances, Kentuckians will need to wait until a federal change to take place to begin production.

Read moreIndustrial Hemp Officially Legal in Kentucky

81% in Oregon Believe Marijuana Legalization to be Inevitable, Says New Poll

Recently lawmakers approved a measure legalizing marijuana for adults, sending it through its initial committee with a strong 6-3 vote.cannabis6small

New polling released Friday indicates that the public is in support of such a move, and the majority of those who aren’t still see it as an inevitability.

The polling, which was conducted by DHM Research and initiated by New Approach Oregon, found that 50%, compared to 45%, support the idea of legalizing marijuana for adults.

Read more81% in Oregon Believe Marijuana Legalization to be Inevitable, Says New Poll

Oregon’s Largest Newspaper Comes Out in Support of Legalization Measure

Yesterday The Oregonian, the largest media outlet in Oregon, called on lawmakers to support House Bill 3371, a measure which would legalize marijuana for adults. The bill recently passed out of its initial committee, the House Judiciary Committee, with a a vote of 6-3.33455021_30630b685e_z-300x225

According to the editorial, “Many Oregonians believe legalization is on the way, according to a recent poll commissioned by New Approach Oregon. An astounding 81 percent of likely voters told pollsters that pot will be legal here “sooner or later.” A more modest, but still noteworthy, 50 percent of those polled support legalization, according to Davis, Hibbitts & Midghall, which conducted the survey.”

Read moreOregon’s Largest Newspaper Comes Out in Support of Legalization Measure

Former Government Drug Adviser Attempting to Research Magic Mushrooms, Calls Drug Laws a “Disgrace”

Professor David Nutt, a former drug adviser to the U.K., is attempting to study whether a chemical found in magic mushrooms, psilocybin, can be useful in treating depression. Research published last year indicmagic-mushroomsates that it is, but Professor Nutt wants to run clinical trials, and he now has the funding to do so. The problem? He doesn’t have a way of obtaining science-grade psilocybin because of the government’s draconian drug laws.

“We are between a rock and a hard place, which is very unfortunate”, stated Professor Nutt to the BBC, “if this is an effective treatment for patients then they’re obviously being denied that possibility so one of the things we have to do now is have a more rational debate about the way the drugs laws are being implemented.”

Read moreFormer Government Drug Adviser Attempting to Research Magic Mushrooms, Calls Drug Laws a “Disgrace”

Maryland Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Measure

Today Maryland’s Senate, without debate, approvedĀ 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.

Read moreMaryland Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Measure

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.

TheJointBlog

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.

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

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.

Read moreNew Alabama Measure Would Legalize Marijuana