LOUISVILLE, KY — Kentucky Senator Perry Clark plans to pre-file a bill for the 2014 legislative session to legalize medical marijuana in the state, and members of the Health and Welfare committee will hold a public hearing on the measure August 21.
The bill is expected to be formally introduced in January when the full legislature reconvenes for the 60-day 2014 legislative session.
Senator Clark (D-Louisville) filed similar legislation in 2012 and 2013, but the bills failed died in committees without ever receiving a hearing.
The bills were both titled the “Gatewood Galbraith Memorial Medical Marijuana Act,” named after the late marijuana advocate Gatewood Galbraith.
The two previous bills would have reclassify cannabis as a Schedule II substance available for medical treatment under a doctor’s direction, and would have allowed patients to possess up to 5 ounces of marijuana or cultivate up to five plants for their own medicinal use.
The bills also stipulated that any plants a patient is growing can not be taxed under state law.
Senator Clark . . . . . READ MORE
SPRINGFIELD, IL — When the Illinois legislature passed the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act in May, it capped a decade-long push for medical marijuana in the state, and even though it creates only a temporary medical marijuana pilot program, medical marijuana advocates called the bill a “great first step.”
Illinois patients needed only the signature of Democrat Governor Pat Quinn on the pages of House Bill 1 for medical marijuana to begin moving towards reality, making Illinois the 19th medical marijuana state, even if it is only for four years.
But medical marijuana patients are still waiting, nearly three months later, for Gov. Quinn’s signature, despite indications that the Governor supports the bill.<. . . . . READ MORE
PHOENIX, AZ — Police in Phoenix, Arizona say they arrested three men for pretending to operate a medical marijuana dispensary Friday.
Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson issued a statement saying officers served a search warrant Friday evening at what appears to be an unlicensed, illegal medical dispensary.
According to the statement, operators did not have a valid business license or a state-issued medical marijuana dispensary permit.
Police say they seized marijuana and marijuana edibles including brownies, muffins and candies. Several weapons were also seized, according to police.
The three men arrested were Kenneth Winans, 52, Hernan Vega, 40, and Jeremy Skidmore, 34. All three were booked at the Maricopa County Jail.
All three men will face charges for illegally controlling an enterprise and possession of marijuana for sale. Vega and Skidmore also face additional charges of being in possession of a firearm during a drug offense.
Under Arizona’s 2010 voter approved medical marijuana law, non-profit medical marijuana dispensaries must be licensed by the Arizona Department of Public Health. Patients and caregivers may not grow their own medical marijuana unless they live more than 25 miles from a registered dispensary.
AZ: Phoenix Police Bust Unlicensed Medical Marijuana Dispensary was written b. . . . . READ MORE
SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Assembly is considering a bill that would ban the use of e-cigarettes and similar smokeless vaporizers in areas where tobacco smoking is banned.
Though the bill, Senate Bill 648, was approved by the Senate in May as a bill against tobacco e-cigarettes, it would adversely impact use of vaporizers by medical marijuana patents.
Current state law defines e-cigarettes as “device[s] that can provide an inhalable dose of nicotine by delivering a vaporized solution.” This includes a wide range of vaporization devices now widely used for medical marijuana and other herbs, as well as tobacco and nicotine.
California NORML is urging the Assembly to reject SB 648 on the grounds that vaporizers offer a proven, beneficial “harm reduction” substitute for medical marijuana users by reducing exposure to harmful smoke toxins while at the same time posing no second-hand smoke hazard to the public.
Vaporizers are designed to eliminate the respiratory hazards of smoking by eliminating the combustion that produces the smoke. Regular pipes and cigarettes produce carcinogenic tars, particulates and other smoke toxins that are a byproduct of burning leaves.
Vaporizers don’t produce these toxins because they don’t burn anything, bu. . . . . READ MORE
WASHINGTON, DC — The organizations and individuals behind a decade-long effort to reschedule marijuana out of the Controlled Substance Act’s (CSA) Schedule I have now complied with a vow they made when the DEA’s decision to reject the effort was upheld by a federal appeals court in Washington.
Filing the writ does not mean the Supreme Court will decide to take up the case. The high court receives thousands of such appeals each session, but actually decides to hear only a tiny percentage of them. This writ, however, has two things going for it: It is on the paid certiorari docket (most are not) and it argues that the Supreme Court needs to resolve conflicts between federal appellate courts.
With the appeal, petitioners are challenging what they call an unreasonable and unprecedented standard for proof of medical efficacy of marijuana set by the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld the DEA’s denial of the petition..
“To deny that sufficient evidence is lacking on the medical efficacy of marijuana is to ignore a mountain of w. . . . . READ MORE
WASHINGTON, DC — Medical marijuana patient advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) filed a petition for writ of certiorari today with the U.S. Supreme Court to appeal a January Circuit Court decision that maintained marijuana’s current federal status as one of the most dangerous drugs with no medical value. In the widely watched case ASA v. Drug Enforcement Administration, petitioners are challenging an unreasonable and unprecedented standard set by the District of Columbia Circuit, which also creates a federal appellate split on what constitutes proof of medical efficacy.
“To deny that sufficient evidence is lacking on the medical efficacy of marijuana is to ignore a mountain of well-documented studies that conclude otherwise,” said ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford, who argued the appeal before the D.C. Circuit in October of last year. “The Court has unreasonably raised the bar for what qualifies as an ‘adequate and well-controlled’ study, thereby continuing the government’s game of ‘Gotcha.’”
On January 22nd, the D.C. Circuit granted plaintiffs standing — the right to sue the federal government to reclassify marijuana — but, in a READ MORE
A new study has found that over 70% of recent seizures of illicit drugs in the United States are marijuana related, painting a picture of the American drug landscape and a mis-prioritized, failed, war on drugs.
The study, “Busted: Analyzing America’s Most Recent Drug Hauls,” looked at major drug seizures as reported by over 1,500 media outlets in the United States during a 13 month period from March 2012 – April 2013.
The study found that of the 5,000 most recent drug busts reported in the news, 70.5% involved marijuana — 140% more than all cocaine (13%), heroin (10%) and methamphetamine (6%) busts combined. The study did not look at prescription medication abuse or other designer drugs, only the “big four.”
The study found high concentrations of methamphetamine and meth labs in the Midwest, an abundance of heroin in the Northeast, especially in the tri-state area, and a lot of cannabis in California and North Dakota. Cocaine busts were virtually non-existent in Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Montana and North Dakota, and in a reality check for Breaking Bad fans, New Mexico wasn’t anywhere near the top ten in meth busts.
The study’s author, John Millward, admits that the study represents only a fraction of the total number of seizures made by the DEA, FBI, U.S. Customs Service and U.S. Border Patrol on a yearly basis, but because each of the busts were large eno. . . . . READ MORE
GAINESVILLE, FL – On July 1, a new law went into effect that seeks to ban selling drug paraphernalia, like bongs, rolling papers and other implements used to smoke marijuana and ingest other controlled substances. The law passed over the last legislative session, and was signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott in June.
The original legislation would have been much harsher, but those selling anything that might be construed as paraphernalia should still be cautious, as the resulting charges could still result in severe penalties, said Gainesville marijuana lawyer Dean Galigani.
“Some of the discussion around this bill seems to indicate that the bill is toothless, and it’s true that it could have been worse,” Galigani said. “But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t severe punishments that those charged with retail sale of paraphernalia might face.”
House Bill 49, which is now part of Florida Statutes section 893.147, amended the statute to outlaw retailers from selling or offering to sell several items listed in Florida’s paraphernalia law (Florida Statutes section 893.145), including any of many kinds of pipe other than those made of briar, meerschaum, clay or corn cob “knowingly and willfully.”
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AUGUSTA, ME – Patients diagnosed with post-traumatic stress, Crohn’s disease, and other debilitating disorders will soon be eligible for cannabis therapy under legislation approved last week absent the Governor’s signature.
The new law expands the list of qualifying conditions for which a Maine physician may legally recommend cannabis to include “post-traumatic stress disorder,” “inflammatory bowel disease” (such as Crohn’s and/or ulcerative colitis), and “dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders and other diseases causing severe and persistent muscle spasms” (such as Parkinson’s disease and/or Huntington’s disease). It is the second time that Maine legislators have acted to expand the pool of patients who may have access to medicinal cannabis.
The law takes effect in approximately 90 days.
Four states — Connecticut, Delaware, New Mexico, and Oregon — explicitly allow for the use of cannabis to treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — A medical marijuana dispensary billed as the world’s largest cannabis store may stay open while the city of Oakland fights a U.S. government effort to shut it down or seize the property, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday in an ongoing tug-of-war in Caifornia between federal authorities and the medical marijuana industry.
In February, Magistrate Maria-Elena James, the same judge who issued the ruling on Wednesday, said the city had no right to intervene in a federal prosecutor’s civil-forfeiture action against the Harborside Health Center, which was previously featured on the Discovery Channel reality TV show “Weed Wars.”
The city appealed the ruling, and James’s latest order allows the dispensary to continue to sell medical marijuana to individuals carrying a doctor’s recommendation while the appeal is under review.
James called the question of Oakland’s legal standing in the case “a matter of significant public interest.”
Attorney Cedric Chao, who is representing . . . . . READ MORE