“In many countries, marijuana use is allowed, but here we have these reactionary policies. Today we would say that drugs do not kill, what kills is the war on drugs,” said Carol Ribeiro, one of the prime organizers of the protest, which began as a march.
On Friday France took a huge step in reforming their cannabis polices by passing a measure which legalizes medical products containing cannabis or its derivatives, such as cannabis teas, sprays (such as Sativex) and capsules, all of which can contain actual cannabis, not just synthetic alternatives such as Marinol, which is legal in the U.S.. Although the measure isn’t perfect and doesn’t specifically authorize the sell of dried cannabis flower, it’s still a significant leap forward.
Last month Colorado passed a law – as part of a broad set of regulations for the newly-legal recreational cannabis industry – requiring marijuana-themed magazines to be kept behind the counter in stores that allow minors, similar to how the state treats pornography. On Thursday Colorado’s Attorney General announced that this new restriction is unconstitutional, and that the state will not defend it in court. The Attorney General’s office issued a statement that reads: “No magazine whose primary focus is marijuana or marijuana businesses is required to be sold only in retail marijuana stores or behind the counter in establishments where persons under twenty-one years of age are present, because such a requirement would violate the United States Constitution, the Colorado Constitution, and section 24-4-103(4)(a.5)(IV), C.R.S”.
Oregon has officially become the 4th state in the U.S. which allows those suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to become qualifying medical marijuana patients. Governor John Kitzhaber signed Senate Bill 281 yesterday, joining Oregon with three other states – Connecticut, Delaware, and New Mexico – which allow PTSD as a qualifying condition.
The proponents of last year’s Measure 80 in Oregon – which would have legalized marijuana for adults but was narrowly defeated in the general election – have filed two new initiatives aimed at the 2014 ballot in an attempt to bring legalization to the state.
One of the two initiatives is modeled after Measure 80, with a couple changes designed to make the initiative more acceptable to voters: For example, Measure 80 allowed for the possession of an unlimited amount, whereas the newly-filed initiative sets a possession limit of 24 ounces, and private cultivation limit of 24 plants.
On Wednesday the Hague District Courtruled that the Dutch government must pay damages to cannabis coffee shops across the Netherlands for lost income due to a tourist ban that is decidedly too harsh. A new law went into effect in the Netherlands May 1st of last year, intending to restrict tourists from purchasing marijuana at the local coffee shops. The law included a provision requiring local residents to register for a “pass” to purchase cannabis – a move that has lead to a major decline in the local customer clientele.
“Clients have been scared away”, said the courts. “Part of the cannabis card law has disproportionately infringed the interests of coffee shop clients, leading to financial losses during several months.”
New Jersey’s Senate Judiciary Committee has just approved Senate Bill 2842, a measure to expand on the state’s current medical marijuana law by explicitly allowing dispensaries to sell marijuana-infused foods and drinks, and by easing the restrictions designed to make it more difficult for a minor to become a qualified patient.
In addition to legalizing marijuana food items, such as medicated brownies, the measure would ease restrictions on those under 18 who are attempting to become a patient.
New Jersey, notorious for having just one medical marijuana dispensary in the entire state, has issued a license for a second safe access point.
The New Jersey medical marijuana program is known as one of strictest in the nation, and because of this hundreds of patients are unable to procure medicine for themselves without relying on the black market. Currently, the single dispensary operating in the state serves 130 clients – but the waiting list is backed up for months, due to the high demand and small supply. Now, these patients, many of whom have already been waiting for months to access even just a small amount of medicine, are looking forward to the addition of a second location.
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin has announced that he’s planning to sign a bill today that will decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
The measure will alter state coding so that the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana is no longer an arrestable misdemeanor offense, but rather a civil infraction, similar to a traffic ticket. Rhode Island, Massachusetts and California have similar laws, to name a few.
Only five full months into the year, and 2013 has already been one of the best in regards to meaningful and impactful cannabis-related studies and research. As time goes by science continues to crush decades of absurd propaganda, in addition to finding benefits of cannabis and ending its prohibition that even advocates may not have expected. The more cannabis science that’s released, the easier it becomes to get the public to understand and pay attention to its vast benefits.
Here’s a list of some of the most important cannabis studies to come out this year. We look forward to the studies yet to be released.