The majority of Americans say that “the use of marijuana should be made legal,” according to nationwide polling data provided by the General Social Survey. The GSS is a bi-annual scientific survey that collects data on social trends within the United States.
Fifty-two percent of respondents endorsed legalizing marijuana – an increase of nine percentage points since GSS pollsters asked the question in 2012. Forty-two percent of respondents said that they opposed the idea.
GSS pollsters have been tracking Americans’ views regarding marijuana legalization since the early 1970s. In 1990, only 16 percent of respondents backed legalizing the plant. The just-reported 2014 survey data marks the first time that the General Social Survey has ever reported majority support for legalizing cannabis.
Senate Bill 259 would allow those with debilitating conditions such as HIV/AIDS, cancer and epilepsy to possess and use cannabis-infused products such as edibles, lotions, oils and tinctures. Smoking cannabis, however, would remain prohibited.
Senate Bill 259 would authorize dispensaries to distribute cannabis products to qualified patients. These outlets would be licensed by the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.
The measure will be required to receive one more vote in the Senate. It’s approval will send it to the state’s House of Representatives for consideration.
The full text of the proposal can be found by clicking here.
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Investors have contributed at least $4 million to each of nine limited liability corporations tied to ResponsibleOhio, according to securities offering filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
ResponsibleOhio’s proposed constitutional amendment would legalize the possession and state-licensed distribution of cannabis for recreational purposes. The proposal would establish a legal cannabis industry that would be supplied by 10 different grow sites, which have been promised to investors of the initiative (a move that has drawn the ire of legalization opponents and advocates). Some of the groups investors include basketball all-star Oscar Robertson, former Celevlands Browns player Frostee Rucker and fashion designer Nanette Lepore.
According to Jackie Borchardt with the Northeast Ohio Media Group; “Ten state-registered limited liability corporations had contributed $1.7 million to ResponsibleOhio’s political action committee before the end of January, according to a campaign finance filing with the Ohio secretary of state.” She continues;” The group had spent $1.3 million at that point, mostly on political consulting from The Strategy Network, run by ResponsibleOhio Executive Director Ian James, and attorneys.”
Borchardt notes that although “Funneling campaign contributions through LLCs isn’t illegal”, it a”dds another layer of mystery to a plan criticized for its secrecy.”
ResponsibleOhio is required to collect roughly 300,000 signatures by July 1st to out their initiative to a vote this November. The group estimates that the cannabis industry would reach $2 billion by the fourth year of legal cannabis sales, with $554 million in annual tax revenue for the state.
The post Campaign to Legalize Cannabis in Ohio Raises At Least $36 Million appeared first on The Joint Blog.
By Barry Bard, Marijuana.com
Aside from Nancy Grace and Bill O’Reilly, it’s become increasingly more rare to hear arguments against marijuana legalization from national media outlets–even FOX news. But FOX’s Medical A-Team doctor David Samadi gave us a blast from the “Reefer Madness” past this weekend, when the ill-informed doctor made some outrageous remarks against cannabis.
Samadi, who has probably never smoked, reacted oddly to the “new” news that marijuana is significantly (like over 100 times) safer than its counterparts like alcohol and cigarettes. Apparently upset and coming to grips with the reality that America is beginning to embrace legal marijuana, Samadi snapped and berated the trend:
“They’re extrapolating a lot of these animal studies and surveys that doesn’t make a lot of sense and coming with this whole thing that pot is safer,” the doctor insisted. “Absolutely not. It’s a huge fraud.”“It actually causes heart attacks,” he added. “It increases your heart rate. And on and on.
Marijuana does not cause heart attacks; a bad hearts cause heart attacks. Cannabis can act as a trigger for anxiety and heart-related ailments, but no one has ever died from a marijuana heart attack.
“We’re seeing in Colorado that we had 13 kids that came to the emergency [room] and ended up in the ICU as a result of overdose from marijuana,” Samadi said. “Now we have crack babies coming in because pregnant women are smoking this whole marijuana business.”
What little sense Samadi was making went out the bathroom window.
“I challenge any doctors, come to my Facebook, convince me how this is healthy for you. I’m 100 percent against this.” [Raw Story]
At this point, Samadi is just looking for anyone naive enough to challenge his ill-informed message. However, real doctors and anyone with a general sense of marijuana would not give this “doctor” the light of day.
As we’ve seen from celebrity doctors ranging from CNN’s Sanjay Gupta to Dr. Oz, even the most conservative ones have started to support marijuana reform. Making guys like this sound all the more outrageous:
The post FOX News Doctor Claims Legalization Causes Crack Babies appeared first on The Joint Blog.
Texas State Representative David Simpson (R-Longview) has introduced legislation to completely repeal the state’s prohibition on cannabis. This would allow cannabis to be “regulated like tomatoes, jalapeños or coffe.”
“Representative Simpson’s HB 2165 harkens back to a time when government did not intervene in the control of marijuana,” Zoe Russell, media spokesperson for Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP), said in a recent press release. “And you know what? It wasn’t a very scary time. The prohibition of marijuana was notoriously built on misinformation and hyperbole rather than facts and results. When these laws haven’t worked for 80 years, is it really such a novel concept to simply remove them?”
“We can’t fix all of the past wrongs caused by prohibition, but at least we can stop perpetuating them,” says Representative Simpson. “Current marijuana policies are not based on science or sound evidence, but rather misinformation and fear. All that God created is good, including marijuana. God did not make a mistake when he made marijuana that the government needs to fix.”
Simpson continues; “Let’s allow the plant to be utilized for good—helping people with seizures, treating warriors with PTSD, producing fiber and other products—or simply for beauty and enjoyment. Government prohibition should be for violent actions that harm your neighbor—not of the possession, cultivation, and responsible use of plants.”
The post Bill to Completely Repeal Cannabis Prohibition Introduced in Texas Legislature appeared first on The Joint Blog.
Owners Tedd Wetherbee and Mike Henery say that The Gallery in Parkland has received a license from the state’s Liquor Control Board to distribute cannabis, and that’s enough for them.
Pierce County leaders said in a media statement that the county executive and prosecuting attorney will meet with the County Council soon to consider the county’s options.
The Gallery owners are also attempting to open recreational cannabis outlets in Fife and Gig Harbor, with litigation pending on both cases.
The post Art Gallery that Sells Cannabis Opens in Pierce County, Washington Despite County Ban appeared first on The Joint Blog.
The proposal, filed by Senator Cisco McSorley, would establish a regulatory system for the cultivation and production of hemp for research purposes. The proposal also includes a provision to legalize hemp for commercial purposes, though that portion of the law won’t take effect until there’s a change in federal law.
The bill will now head to the House of Representative, where is passage will send it to Governor Susana Martinez for consideration. Although Martinez doesn’t support legalizing cannabis, she does support allowing hemp cultivation.
The post Hemp Legalization Bill Approved by New Mexico Senate appeared first on The Joint Blog.
If Utah lawmakers approve a bill to legalize medical cannabis, wildlife – especially rabbits – will “cultivate a taste” for the plant, lose their fear of humans and be stoned all the time. This is according to an agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), who made the statements while testifying in opposition to Utah’s Senate Bill 259, which would legalize medical cannabis and was recently approved by the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee.
“I deal in facts. I deal in science,” said special agent Matt Fairbanks, a member of Utah’s “marijuana eradication” team in Utah.
Fairbanks says that at some cannabis grow sites he saw “rabbits that had cultivated a taste for the marijuana.” He continued: “One of them refused to leave us, and we took all the marijuana around him, but his natural instincts to run were somehow gone.”
So, there you have it; we shouldn’t allow those suffering from debilitating illnesses to use a safe and effective medicine because some lucky rabbits might benefit from consuming the plant themselves.
The post DEA: Utah Legalizing Medical Cannabis Will Lead to Stoned Rabbits appeared first on The Joint Blog.
By Amber Iris Langston, Show-Me Cannabis
For the first time since World War II, Missourians are allowed to legally grow marijuana. This week, the Missouri Department of Agriculture announced licenses for two recently created non-profits — Beleaf and Noah’s Arc — which will allow them to grow cannabis, produce a low-THC oil, and distribute that oil to an estimated 950 Missouri patients suffering from intractable epilepsy.
Each non-profit will be charged with the responsibility of tracking the cannabis from “seed to sale” and having oversight each step of the way in an effort to minimize potential holes in the system where cannabis might be used for any other purpose. A good idea in theory, Colorado attempted the same thing until the state quickly realized the impracticality of such a process. First, costs increase drastically with every piece of the puzzle required. Farming, oil extraction, and sales are all very different processes which all exist as separate industries in their own right. Not only is it difficult to be an expert in everything, creating such a rigorous standard pretty much guarantees that there will be quality control issues as there is no competition for who is the best at these services at the individual level.
This is also the same problem with a non-profit model. While on the face, it seems like a good idea to have an organization that doesn’t “profit” distributing medicine, the fact remains that there is certain to be a profit — particularly when only two companies are selling the product. Lack of competition means greater cost to consumers. Currently, a 10 mL tube of CBD oil in Colorado costs about $300 and lasts for about two weeks. Of course, that is just what is recommended as an herbal supplement, so it is difficult to say how much a patient will actually need. Regardless, this is certain to be cost-prohibitive for many patients who live on a limited income.
There is also an unfortunate consequence that all “non-usable” parts of the plant are to be destroyed under current guidelines. But when it comes to cannabis, pretty much every part is usable. Enormous amounts of cannabis biomass will have to be destroyed in this process which could otherwise be used for productive purposes. That leftover biomass could be utilized for biofuel, for making fiberglass, or for making hempcrete in building construction. On a side note, if the law would allow for cannabis plants that have high THC to be grown, then there would be less biomass weight. Low THC concentrations in a cannabis plant also means lower CBD concentrations, thus requiring more plants to be grown. But that’s another story.
Obviously, if the Missouri General Assembly moves forward on full medical marijuana this session, this current system of cannabis regulation in Missouri will be largely moot. However, in the event that we do not pass a whole-plant law by May, Senator Joe Keaveny has introduced SB 386, which would, at minimum, expand the illnesses which are treatable under the CBD oil law to include cancer, HIV, AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord damage, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathies, Huntington’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, or certain specified symptoms or complications associated with these conditions. The bill would also expand the number of nonprofit licenses to ten, which could mean up to 30 state dispensaries.
While we don’t know yet when all the Missouri patients who need marijuana as a medicine will get it, one thing is for certain, the first seeds of cannabis will be planted here in the coming weeks, and many more are sure to come.
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