Drug Czar: Federal Government Will Go After Legal Cannabis Distributors In Colorado And Washington

In one of the first direct responses to how the federal government will react to the opening of legal retail outlets in Colorado and Washington after the passage of Amendment 64 and Initiative 502, Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske has made it clear that they’re planning to attack cannabis distributors, even if they’re following state law.

Drug Czar Kerlikowske.

“You’ll continue to see enforcement against distributors and large-scale growers as the Justice Department has outlined. They will use their limited resources on those groups and not on going after individual users”, Kerlikowske told a Canadian magazine earlier this week.

Read moreDrug Czar: Federal Government Will Go After Legal Cannabis Distributors In Colorado And Washington

Federally Legal Hemp A Possibility In 2013

The possibility of legal hemp production in America has been gaining momentum over the past several months, and the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013 – House Bill 525 – is seeking to make it a reality.

Sponsored by Congressman Thomas Massie, a Republican from Kentucky, with 28 additional co-sponsors, HB 525 would amend our Federal Controlled Substances Act to exempt hemp. This measure would immediately allow individual states to license and regulate the production of hemp as an industrial and agricultural crop.

Hemp plants.

If passed, this measure would allow the states that have legalized hemp to continue forth with this policy without running into conflict with federal law. This means that the eight states which have already passed hemp legislation – Colorado, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia – could begin to immediately enact their law, and the production of hemp.

Read moreFederally Legal Hemp A Possibility In 2013

Spokane, Washington Opens Its Arms To Legal Cannabis

In Colorado and Washington, cities across both states are banning or working towards banning cannabis retail outlets after the passage of Amendment 64 and Initiative 502, even before they’re able to be established. This makes it exciting when major cities, such as Spokane – the second largest city in Washington – decide to follow the will of the voter. 121108_marijuana_3_405

Yesterday, Spokane’s City Council voted unanimously to align their city’s legal coding with the state’s in regards to its cannabis policies, effectively legalizing possession of an ounce, and the retail sale of cannabis on the city level.

Read moreSpokane, Washington Opens Its Arms To Legal Cannabis

Senate Committee Votes Unanimously to Approve Legal Hemp in Kentucky

Today the Senate Committee on Agriculture in Kentucky voted unanimously on Senate Bill 50, which would legalize industrial hemp in Kentucky.

Hemp field.

U.S. Senator Rand Paul, wearing a t-shirt made of hemp, testified at the committee in favor of the bill, stating that if it passed, he’d work with the president on granting a federal waver to allow the production of hemp in Kentucky.

Read moreSenate Committee Votes Unanimously to Approve Legal Hemp in Kentucky

Q&A With Washington State Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, Sponsor Of House Bill 1661

Joe Fitzgibbon was elected to the Washington State House of Representatives in 2010, winning with 57.3% of the vote in the 34th district. Since then, Joe has been a champion for progressive issues, including cannabis law reform.

State Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon.
State Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon.

Recently he’s made news with the filing of House Bill 1661, which we announced last week. This bill would make the drastic and excellent move of allowing any individual who’s been charged with a cannabis possession misdemeanor in Washington State to have it remove from their record (which could directly effect the livelihood of tens of thousands of people).

We had the opportunity to spend some time chatting with Representative Fitzgibbon, and were able to ask him a few questions.

Read moreQ&A With Washington State Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, Sponsor Of House Bill 1661

Man Wins Lottery, Pledges Half A Million To Cannabis Reform

Bob Erb of British Columbia won the lottery, earning himself a grand-total of $25 million. An activist at heart, Bob put this money right to use, by donating a large sum to a local homeless shelter, and pledging up to $500,000 to fight for an end to cannabis prohibition.

Round of applause to Bob.

“The biggest social injustice I’ve seen in all my entire lifetime is the criminalization and prohibition of marijuana,” he told CTV on Friday.

Right on Bob.

Bob, who told CTV that he “generally smokes 10-15 joints a day, 7 days a week”, will be donating his money in the form of a matching donation (someone gives a dollar, he matches it, up to half a million), which will go to the group Sensible B.C., which slogan is “Decriminalize Cannabis For a Safer Province.” In addition to lobbying their governmen598771_346942648730192_1096813873_nt to pass reform, the group is building its base to try and gather enough signatures to put the Sensible Policing Act to a vote of the people.

Read moreMan Wins Lottery, Pledges Half A Million To Cannabis Reform

Arizona Lawmaker Attempting to Once Again Put Medical Cannabis To A Vote Of The People

Winning in a nail-bitingly close race, Arizona residents voted in 2010 with 50.1% of the vote to approve a medical cannabis bill that allows for the use and possession of cannabis for medicinal purposes, and directed the Arizona Department of Health Services to establishing and license medical dispensaries.

Voters in Arizona also approved legislation regarding medical cannabis in 1996 and 1998, though the enactment of both were blocked because of technical errors in their language. arizona-medical-marijuana

Since the bill in 2010 passed, dispensaries have started opening just a couple months ago, finally bringing established access points for Arizona patients.

Now, just two years after its passage, a state lawmaker wants to once again put medical cannabis to a vote of the people, in hopes that they’ll reject it. Patients in the state held a press conference today to oppose the move.

Read moreArizona Lawmaker Attempting to Once Again Put Medical Cannabis To A Vote Of The People

Former NASA Scientist Launches H.A.S.H. (High Altitude School Of Hydroponics)

Dale Chamberlain used to work for NASA, designing experiments for the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. Now he’s helping people grow top-quality cannabis.

Former NASA Scientist Dale Chamberlain.

Dale has launched the High Altitude School of Hydroponics – H.A.S.H., with classes being held at Front Range Community College in Colorado. According to their website:

“A full service hydroponic school we are dedicated to high-quality instruction, hands-on training, reviews, supplies, service and customer satisfaction.

Read moreFormer NASA Scientist Launches H.A.S.H. (High Altitude School Of Hydroponics)

Michigan Supreme Court Rules Dispensaries Must Close, Republican Rep. Introduces Bill To Change That

michigan supreme court
Michigan Supreme Court.

In a ruling that will have an immediate impact on dozens of medical cannabis access points, Michigan’s Supreme Court has voted 4-1, deciding that cash sales of cannabis are not allowed under the state’s medical marijuana act. This will set a higher precedent than the Isabella County Appeals Court which recently ruled, in the same case, that access points are allowed.

“Today, Michigan’s highest Court clarified that this law is narrowly focused to help the seriously ill, not an open door to unrestricted retail marijuana sales,” stated Attorney General Bill Schuette, who opposes medical cannabis access points. He continues “Dispensaries will have to close their doors”.

To combat this new decision, and to make sure patients have access to their medicine, Republican State Representative Mike Callton plans to quickly introduce a bill to explicitly legalize access points, a move that must be applauded by cannabis reform advocates and common-sense crusaders alike.

The state is said to have over 125,000 authorized patients.

– TheJointBlog

Virginia Attorney General and Governor Candidate Open To Legalizing Cannabis

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has turned some heads, stating that he’s “open” to the idea of legalizing cannabis at the state level. Cuccinelli is one of the top candidates in Virginia’s race for Governor.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

During a Q&A while visiting a political science class at the University of Virginia, Cuccinelli was asked his thoughts on cannabis being legalizing in Colorado and Washington. He replied, “I don’t have a problem with states experimenting with this sort of thing, I think that’s the role of states”.

The professor who ran political science class, Laray Sabato, stated that it was “suggestive of a willingness to change marijuana policies in Virginia eventually.”

– TheJointBlog