Washington State Representatives Ross Hunter and Reuven Carlyle introduced a bill earlier today that would establish a tax rate on medical cannabis access points within the state, that would be equal to 25 percent of their total sales.
Currently the state doesn’t accept taxes from medical cannabis access points, besides Seattle which passed a licensing and regulation measure in 2011.
The new bill, which will get a hearing in the coming days, is sure to prompt a deep discussion in the state.
Despite Mexico feeling the effects of the drug war more than anywhere else, Mexico’s President, Enrique Peña Nieto, has publicly come out in opposition to legalizing cannabis, one of his primary arguments being that cannabis is a “gateway drug”. Here is what Hempfest Director Vivian McPeak had to say on the matter:
“It is increasingly difficult to endure the endless re-emergence of messaging that keeps coming from the prohibitionist drug warrior sector.
Gateway? Yes, the Drug War has become a gateway into cemeteries for thousands of Mexican citizens, the gateway to prison for millions of Americans, and it remains a potential gateway to economic recovery for both nations.
In what could turn out to be a groundbreaking study, a group from Neuroscience Research Australia has been examining if cannabidiol – one of the main ingredients in cannabis – could reverse some of the symptoms of dementia, specifically Alzheimer’s disease.
Early research for the study has found that it does.
In the study, mice were injected with a disease analogous to Alzheimer’s, and then given doses of cannabidiol. The results so far are quite drastic; “It basically brings the performance of the animals back to the level of healthy animals,” said Tim Karl, one of the study’s researchers. He goes on, “You could say it cured them, but we will have to go back and look at their brains to be sure.”
Despite having support for medical cannabis below the national average, recent polling has found that 58 percent of residents in North Carolina believe that cannabis should be legal for medical purposes.
With this in mind, knowing he has the backing of his constituents, State Representative Kelly Alexander, Jr. will be introducing a bill on Wednesday (tomorrow) that would legalize medical cannabis in the state.
“This is for people who are undergoing chemotherapy. There are a lot of reasons that medical cannabis will help them”, Rep Alexander told the media.
At the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference this week, researchers at the University of Aukland (yeah, we hadn’t heard of it either) are presenting a study, in which they’ve “found” that cannabis consumers are 2.3 times more likely to have a stroke. This story hasn’t hit the media too hard yet, but it will soon, as they tend to love anti-cannabis propaganda such as this.
First, we’d like to note that the study only had 160 participants. All were stroke victims. There way of determining the increase was that those who tested positive for cannabis in their urine were apparently 2.3 times more likely to have had a stroke than those of the same gender/age group. If you’re thinking about this like we are, we strongly question the scientific integrity of this method.
What’s even worse? All but one of the cannabis consumers in the study also smoke tobacco.
According to an Associated Press report, a bill will be introduced tomorrow that will end our federal prohibition on cannabis.
The measure, which is said to have bipartisan support, is being sponsored by Colorado Rep. Jared Polis. and Oregon Representative Earl Blumenauer.
If passed, it would regulate cannabis similar to how our government handles alcohol. Cannabis would be removed from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s jurisdiction, and given to the renamed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana and Firearms.
Those growing or selling legal cannabis would need to obtain a federal permit, and laws would still apply to those transporting cannabis from a state where it’s legal, to one where it’s not.
The bill is apparently inspired by a past legalization measure sponsored by Reps. Barney Frank and Ron Paul.
Rep. Blumenauer, on the same day, will be introducing a companion bill that would tax cannabis, creating an excise tax of 50% at “first sale” (such as from a grower to a processor, or retailer). It would also tax producers at $1,000 annually, and other cannabis businesses at $500.
“People are suffering every day in the state of Maryland, and they are being subjected to going out on the streets to get the relief we should be providing,” Said Maryland State Delegate Cheryl Glenn.
Continuing her efforts from past years, Cheryl has introduced a bill – which gets a hearing Tuesday – to add an affirmative defense for medical cannabis caregivers, and will be filing another bill soon.
The affirmative defense bill is similar to legislation Cherly filed in 2012, and which passed the senate in 2011. However, additional sponsors have been gathered, and despite just a year’s time, the conversation has changed tremendously. The governor has also been mum on what he’ll do if medical cannabis legislation is passed this session, when in past years he’s threatened a veto.
SB 902 would direct the state to construct regulations and licenses for medical cannabis access points. SB 914 would significantly reduce the criminal penalties associated with possessing an ounce an a half or less of cannabis.
The bad news? Republican Senator Brian Crain, chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Select Agencies, the committee that would need to vote through either bill to get it to the senate floor, has been very clear that he will deny it a vote.
In what’s surely to be a horror story for cannabis consuming football fans, a man who lives on Vancouver Island was denied entrance in to the country – making him miss the Super Bowl he had tickets for – because of a prior cannabis possession charge. The charge was for 2 grams, and happened over 30 years ago.
Even worse, the chances of him obtaining his Super Bowl tickets to begin with were one in four million; Myles Wilkinson gained his tickets through a fantasy football contest, where over four million people attempted to win the same prize.
An update from Show-Me Cannabis, an organization working to reform cannabis policies in the State of Missouri:
We weren’t expecting an announcement about this until the bills are actually introduced next week, but it looks like the word is out. Missouri Representative Rory Ellinger will be introducing a bill to lower the maximum penalty on possession of under 35 grams of cannabis to a $250 fine and recommend a suspended imposition of sentence.
This bill would essentially extend the decriminalization reforms passed in Columbia in 2004 (and the reforms that will likely pass in Saint Louis this spring) statewide.