By a vote of 80 to 59 New York’s full Assembly has approved Assembly Bill 6716-A, a measure which decriminalizes the public display of up to 15 grams of marijuana, changing it from an arrestable misdemeanor to a simple civil infraction of $100. The measure would be a huge step towards ending to the travesty of New York City’s stop-and-frisk policy, which finds officers forcing an individual to empty their pocket, only to arrest them for public display once they bring any marijuana they might have out of their pocket. Cops use this method to skirt the state’s decriminalization law (possession of up to 25 grams in the State of New York isn’t a criminal offense).
Congressman Earl Blumenaur, a Democrat from Oregon, will be holding a press conference on June 5th with medical marijuana industry leaders to formally introduce a measure – the Small Business Tax Equity Act of 2013 -which would fix Section 280E of the U.S. tax code, which disallows marijuana access points from taking standard tax deductions. The same code has been used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to attack medical marijuana dispensaries, claiming them as illegal drug cartels. The measure would be a drastic and needed step towards legitimizing the marijuana industry.
On Thursday a newly-formed group – New York Physicians for Compassionate Care – will hold a press conference to announce that over 600 physicians in New York have signed a letter of intent urging state lawmakers to approve medical marijuana legalization. The announcement comes as legislators discuss legislation – Assembly Bill 6357 and Senate Bill 4406 – which would establish a system of state-licensed dispensaries to supply medical marijuana to qualified patients. The measure has already been approved by its initial committee, and according to the bill’s sponsor, has enough votes to pass the full Assembly and Senate.
Veterinarian Doug Kramer considers his work to be “enlightened”, even naming his clinic the Enlightened Veterinary Therapeutics. When hearing about his out-of-the-box methodology, it’s hard to argue.
Dr. Kramer administers medical marijuana to dogs, especially those with late-stage cancer. He does so in his clinic, and is undeniably vocal about it. He’s not hiding what he’s doing, and instead is making sure to spread the word as far and wide as he can.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper officially signed House Bill 1317, House Bill 1318, and Senate Bill 283 today, making Colorado the first state in the nation in which its elected officials voted for and approved regulations and taxes for recreational marijuana sales.
Under the proposals, marijuana would be regulated from “seed to sale”, where licensed cultivators would sell to licensed retailers, who would be authorized to sell up to an ounce at a time to Colorado residents, and up to a quarter ounce to those visiting from out-of-state. Retailers would be required to label their products with information such as its potency, and all medicine must be tested for mold and pesticides.
Whole Foods Market, the largest chain of natural grocery stores in the nation, has announced today in a press release that they’ll be celebrating hemp history week – June 3rd through June 9th – by promoting a wide range of hemp products, as well as educating on the importance of the diverse crop.
“Hemp is an environmentally sustainable ingredient used to make a wide variety of foods, paper, clothing, body care products, building materials and fuel”, the press release states, “The crop originated in Central Asia thousands of years ago and was brought to North America in the 1600s, where Canada now acts as the main supplier to the United States market. Hemp functions as a nutritional powerhouse and is loaded with digestible protein, dietary fiber and vitamin E.”
Likud MK Haim Katz, Chair of the Knesset Labor, Social Welfare and Health Committee, has announced that the number of physicians authorized to prescribe medical marijuana in Israel will more than double by the end of this year. Currently there are only 9 doctors allowed to prescribe cannabis to patients in Israel, resulting in over 11,000 patients nationwide – this number is being raised to 20.
On Tuesday Los Angeles voters approved Measure D, which puts a severe cap on medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. At the same time, voters elected councilman Eric Garcetti their new mayor. During the campaign Garcetti was considered the most friendly towards medical marijuana, and in a recent interview after the election, Garcetti has made it known that he’s in support of recreational legalization as well.
In the United States veterans of war are often viewed and treated as heroes – individuals brave enough to stand up for freedom and justice. On the other end of the spectrum, society often lets them get kicked around once they return from battle, shook-up from an experience that no human being should ever have to go through. The government – who sent them there in the first place – does little to help them adjust as many go homeless in an attempt to reintegrate themselves into normal society. Many veterans have a hard time coping with the reality of war, and many develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). When veterans decide to medicate naturally by using marijuana to treat this condition – one that can overcome someone’s entire life if severe enough – we throw them in prison, putting behind bars the same individuals who fought for the freedom of the people putting them there. If a veteran wants to medicate without being thrown in jail, they must resort to heavy narcotics, or lethal alcohol.
This is insanity-in-action.
Last May the Netherlands imposed a national ban on the selling of cannabis to those visiting from out-of-country. Multiple cities, including Amsterdam and now Maastricht, have been opting out of that law.
In November the city of Amsterdam announced that its 220 cafes were not going to abide by the new ban, or the new law requiring Dutch residents to register for a “weed pass” to purchase cannabis. The city stood by that, and after much lobbying from Amsterdam city officials, the Dutch government altered the law to give municipalities the right to use discretion on enforcing the ban. Not all cities have chosen to go the route of Amsterdam, however.