Medical Cannabis Support Needs to Continue Alongside Recreational Legalization

By Brian Grimmer, Washington State cannabis activist

There is a disturbing discussion occurring among cannabis legalization advocates: Is it time to abandon medical cannabis advocacy in favor of focusing on outright legalization? As a patient and cannabis advocate, I resoundingly say “NO!” – do not abandon the patients. medical-marijuana-symbolIt is the most effective avenue the cannabis movement has within its arsenal to win the “hearts and minds” of those who oppose cannabis law reform.

Two states in the country now allow for the recreational use of cannabis in addition to medicinal use. In these states, plus the 16 other states and D.C., where medical cannabis is permissible, the path to legalization has been blazed (pun intended) by successful medical cannabis campaigns. The secondary success of medical cannabis, beyond the compassionate treatment of those in need, lies in the fact that the prevalence of medical use in the communities where such use is acceptable has been successful in softening the overall attitudes towards cannabis within these communities.

Read moreMedical Cannabis Support Needs to Continue Alongside Recreational Legalization

Legalization Bill To Be Filed In Maine

Tomorrow at noon, legalization advocates and state lawmakers will hold a press conference in Maine to introduce legislation that would legalize cannabis in the state.

MedicalMarijuana2-JCR-600x399The measure, being referred to as “An Act to Tax and Regulate Marijuana”, would legalize cannabis for adults in a similar fashion to alcohol, and is planned to be based roughly on legalization initiatives that recently passed in Washington and Colorado.

Read moreLegalization Bill To Be Filed In Maine

Colorado Task Force Decides Cannabis Legal For All, Not Just Residents

Colorado’s cannabis task force – set up by Amendment 64 to recommend regulations to the legislature for legal cannabis sales – voted today to approve an amendment that would maintain the legality of out-of-state individuals using and purchasing cannabis. Opponents had hoped for the task force to vote in favor of requiring legal purchasers of cannabis to be state residents.

sitemgr_photo_544“Imposing a residency requirement would almost certainly create a black market for recreational marijuana in the state,” stated Colorado Rep. Dan Pabon, who’s a member of the task force.

Read moreColorado Task Force Decides Cannabis Legal For All, Not Just Residents

Four Cannabis Bills Pending in New Hampshire; Two Legalization, One Decrim, One Medical

On Thursday, New Hampshire’s House Criminal Justice and Public Safety committee heard roughly six hours of public testimony on three cannabis related bills that would either legalize, or decriminalize cannabis in the state. This comes just days after polling released from the University of New Hampshire found 56% of New Hampshire residents support legalizing cannabis like alcohol, and nearly 80% support its legalization fowhite-widow-xlr medical purposes.

Among these three was a measure filed by Republican State Rep. Mark Warden, in what he calls the “tomatoes bill”. This measure would remove all state criminal penalties associated with cannabis possession, and would allow people to grow cannabis freely as if it were tomatoes. In what he calls a “purist” approach, this is the measure most likely to garner intense praise from within the cannabis community for its bold approach.

Read moreFour Cannabis Bills Pending in New Hampshire; Two Legalization, One Decrim, One Medical

Majority of U.K. Residents Support Legalizing or Decriminalizing Cannabis

53% of residents in the U.K. support legalizing the production and supply of cannabis, or at the very least decriminalizing its possession. This is according to polling released today, conducted by Ipsos MORI, one of the nation’s top polling firms.

The poll was orderemarijuana-england-ukd by the Transform Drug Policy Foundation, a registered charity that considers itself “UK’s leading centre of expertise on drug policy reform”.

The poll also found that 67% support the “government commissioning a full independent review of drug policy”, which includes examining the impact of legalizing the supply and production, and decriminalizing possession, of other illegal drugs.

This comes not long after the country’s Home Affairs Select Committee called for a review of U.K.’s drug policy, requesting a royal commission to consider the decriminalization of all illegal drugs.

– TheJointBlog

Former U.S. Attorney, Appointed By Ronald Reagan, Fighting For Medical Marijuana In Arizona

In the fight to keep medical cannabis legal in Arizona, advocates were recently given a secret weapon.

Melvin McDonald isn’t your stereotypical supporter of medical cannabis. Mormon by faith, a former judge, and a former U.S. Attorney appointed by Ronald Reagan, Melvin reaches a much-needed audience when he speaks out about the need to allow patients safe access to this medicine.

Melvin McDonald.
Melvin McDonald.

“I was a leader in the drug wars in the 1980’s….I’d been appointed by President Reagan as the US Attorney. Our number one priority in Arizona was drugs and we battled drugs all the years I was US Attorney”, Melvin told Arizona Family.

Now, he understands that cannabis is medicinal; “Marijuana works with certain kinds of illnesses. I’ve seen it”.

Read moreFormer U.S. Attorney, Appointed By Ronald Reagan, Fighting For Medical Marijuana In Arizona

Washington State Bill To Clear Cannabis Misdemeanors Gets Committee Hearing

Recently we reported on legislation that was filed in Washington State, which would allow adults with a cannabis possession misdemeanor to have it removed from their record. The measure, House Bill 1661, is sponsored by a bipartisan assortment of 21 state legislators.

WA State Capitol.
WA State Capitol.

On Wednesday, February 20th, the community will have an opportunity to voice their opinions, and to help put the bill to a full House vote. A public hearing and executive session for the bill will take place starting at 1:30PM, and will be held by the House Committee on Public Safety – a committee chaired by State Rep. Roger Goodman, a friend of cannabis law reform.

Read moreWashington State Bill To Clear Cannabis Misdemeanors Gets Committee Hearing

Prediction: Medical Marijuana Coast To Coast By 2021

By Steve Elliott, Seattle Weekly columnist, and author of the Little Black Book of Marijuana

Legalizing marijuana is an idea whose time has come.

The recent overwhelming victories for legalizing recreational pot in Colorado and Washington state are just the latest eloquent testimonials to that fact.

urlWhat this shows is that the American public is completely ready to accept marijuana into the mainstream where it belongs. Most people no longer buy the threadbare, alarmist nonsense being peddled out of D.C. by the Office for National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske is required by law to lie about marijuana, but he hates doing it. (Hey, Gil: Come clean. I can see the misery in your eyes, bro.)

Read morePrediction: Medical Marijuana Coast To Coast By 2021

An International Glance At Reefer Madness

In many parts of the world, reefer madness is alive, and ridiculous.

The Times of India.

Today, The Times of India – one of India’s top news outlets – has put up an article that shrieks of yesteryear propaganda. The article, titled “Marijuana addicts get hooked young“, is laughable, if not trying to be passed off as serious journalism.

The article starts:

“An MBA student from a wealthy family here drew a lot of attention at a nightclub due to his antics. Minutes later, his unruly conduct led to a brawl and a visit to a police station.

Read moreAn International Glance At Reefer Madness

Kentucky Senate Passes Legislation Legalizing Industrial Hemp

Early last week a senate committee in Kentucky voted unanimously to approve legislation legalizing hemp in the state, putting it to a full senate vote.

On Thursday, the full senate voted 31-6, approving the measure and sending it to the House, where a majority vote would send it to the governors office. A signature from Governor Steve Beshearhemp would make the legislation law.

The vote comes at a critical time; if Kentucky legalizes hemp, obviously it will still be against federal law, meaning production won’t begin until a national change takes place.

However, a bipartisan group of federal lawmakers – that include the Republican senate minority leader – have filed legislation which would end our federal prohibition on industrial hemp, instantly allowing states that legalize or have legalized hemp to begin production.

Read moreKentucky Senate Passes Legislation Legalizing Industrial Hemp

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