High Times is wasting no time in bringing their cannabis cup to a much wider audience now that cannabis is legal in Colorado. This April 20th, and 21st, the first ever High Times US Cannabis Cup will take place in Denver (other High Times cannabis cups have occurred throughout the country, but strictly for qualified patients). Among the traditional cannabis cup contest which includes multiple categories of cannabis strains, products, etc., the cup will feature seminars, leaders of the marijuana reform movement, etc..
The City of Bogota, the capitol of Columbia, is considering a new program to help the drug addicts in their city break their addictions using marijuana. For years the country has combated widespread drug use, particularly of a drug called basuca (similar to crack cocaine). To combat the social and health problems associated with this drugs’ use, and the symptoms of withdrawal users suffer, the city plans to open “controlled consumption centers”, where addicts can go to safely consume, and work towards weaning themselves off the drugs.
According to Julián Quintero, who works on drug policy with the Bogota-based non-profit organization Acción Técnica Social, the centers will work as such:
Today Maryland’s House of Representatives approved a bill giving caregivers of patients who use medical marijuana a defense in court if they possess up to an ounce. The measure, which passed the House 92-37, recently passed the Senate, and now heads to the governor’s desk for final approval.
In Maryland, patients have an “affirmative defense” if they possess marijuana for medical reasons, meaning that they can still be arrested and prosecuted, but are allowed to use medical necessity as a defense in court.
For the 4th straight year, Colorado lawmakers are attempting to set a specific limit at which someone has “too much” THC in their blood for them to legally drive. House Bill 1114 would set a 5 ng/ml limit for THC: if someone’s blood is shown to be at that limit or higher while driving (which would be determined through a blood draw), they would be guilty of driving under the influence of drugs. Such a charge has harsh and permanent consequences that are typically worse than simple marijuana possession, which Colorado voters just legalized. The bill was approved by a House committee today, and advances towards a full House vote.
The past three years, lawmakers have rejected this same limit. They also rejected a higher 7 ng/ml limit. The reason is clear: There’s absolutely no science to back such a limit, and setting one would endanger innocent individuals of being prosecuted while driving entirely sober. Science has shown that active THC can linger in a person’s body for weeks, and regular consumers, especially patients, are likely to always be above 5 ng/ml, even when they’ve abstained for hours or days.
Thanks to legislation which passed through the state’s House and Senate and was signed by the governor last year, possessing up to an ounce of marijuana in Rhode Island is no longer an arrestable misdemeanor offense. Starting today, April 1st, such a charge will be reduced to a civil infraction – a simple $150 ticket. Prior to the law taking effect, marijuana possession of up to an ounce carried with it a potential 1 year prison sentence.
Under the new law, those under 18 in possession of marijuana will have his or her parents or legal guardians notified, and they will be required to complete an alcohol and drug education course, as well as perform community service, in addition to the $150 fine.
Rhode Island now joins over a dozen states in the U.S. which has decriminalized small amounts of marijuana.
Robert Jordan grows marijuana in Florida, and he does so for his wife, Cathy Jordan, who suffers from Lou Gehrig’s disease. Because of marijuana, Cathy has lived over 20 years past her doctor’s original prediction: The average lifespan of those who have the disease is 3-5 years. Marijuana, according to her husband, helps Cathy combat depression, lost appetite and muscle spasms.
Despite the clear necessity of Cathy using this medicine, medical cannabis isn’t legal in Florida, and by growing it Robert risks year of prison time. Growing up to 25 plants in Florida is a charge that carries up to 15 years in prison: 25 plants or more carries a mandatory minimum of 3 years.
The tours will take place during what is being referred to as World Cannabis Week, and will consist of numerous marijuana-friendly concerts, events, etc.. According to the group’s introduction:
Employees at Wellness Connection, by far the largest medical marijuana dispensary group in Maine, have officially unionized to combat what they consider bad management. The newly unionized group consists of over 40 people.
This news comes just days after the dispensary was cited for violating more than 20 state regulations, one being that they used pesticides in essentially all of their products, despite that being forbidden by state law. The state investigation began after an employee gave a tip to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services.
By the end of the year medical cannabis patients in Massachusetts should have the ability to go to a dispensary, and purchase their medicine through a safe, secure and regulated location. This is according to draft regulations released today by the state’s Department of Public Health, the department responsible for licensing and regulating the industry. Medical cannabis became a possibility in the state after voters approved Ballot Question 3 this past November.
For the proposed regulations to be finalized, the Public Health Council and the Secretary of State must approve them, which the department expects them to do by this May.
Some of the regulations include:
Jury nullification is a practice that dates back to before our nation was formed, and is the act of a jury acquitting someone of a charge, even if the evidence is clear, by finding them “not guilty”. By doing so, people can make sure that an individual doesn’t fall victim to unjust, archaic laws. As a juror, taking this path is simple: Vote “not guilty” to someone who is being charged with a bad law. A bad law being something like, say, cannabis prohibition.
Or most non-violent convictions made under the drug war.