Legislation to legalize the medical use of cannabis oil for children suffering from a variety of ailments passed Delaware’s House of Representative Thursday with a unanimous 40 to 0 vote. It passed the Senate last week, also unanimously (21 to 0).
Under Senate Bill 90, sponsored by Senator Ernie Lopez (R-Lewes), children with a qualifying medical condition who receive a recommendation from a physician would be authorized to possess and use cannabis oil that has at least 15% CBD (cannabidiol) or THC-A (tetrahydrocannabinol acid), and no more than 7% THC. Qualifying conditions include seizure disorders and any medical condition that has not responded to standard treatments and that involves intractable nausea, severe muscle spasms or wasting
The bill, Rylie’s Law, is named after Rylie Maedler who’s 9-years-old and suffers from intractable epilepsy.
Senate Bill 90 now goes to Governor Jack Markell for consideration.
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Toke TV 88: Senate Panel Protects MMJ States! Canada High Court Says All Forms of Medical Marijuana Legal! Chile Hosts Biggest Pro-Cannabis March Ever!
Canada’s Supreme Court has ruled that the nation’s ban on the medical use and distribution of cannabis-infused products such as edibles and oils is illegal, rendering it “null and void”. The ruling was unanimous.
According to the ruling, Canada’s law restricting medical cannabis use to only dried cannabis flowers, prohibiting the use of any cannabis-infused medicines, violates citizens’ rights “in a manner that is arbitrary and hence is not in accord with the principles of fundamental justice.” Thus, Sections 4 and 5 of the Controlled Substances Act, which prohibits possession and distribution of cannabis-infused products, has been rendered “null and void”.
The Supreme Court ruling upholds an earlier opinion by a B.C. court.
“The evidence amply supports the trial judge’s conclusions on the benefits of alternative forms of marihuana treatment,” the court said in the ruling. “There are cases where alternative forms of cannabis will be ‘reasonably required’ for the treatment of serious illnesses. In our view, in those circumstances, the criminalization of access to the treatment in question infringes liberty and security of the person.”
Government officials were none too happy about the decision.
“Frankly, I’m outraged by the Supreme Court,” said Minister of Health Rona Ambrose. “Let’s remember, there’s only one authority in Canada that has the authority and the expertise to make a drug into a medicine and that’s Health Canada.”
Though the Supreme Court agreed with the previous court’s ruling, they did decide overturn a decision to allow Parliament time to rewrite Canada’s medical cannabis law to include all forms of cannabis, saying it would “leave patients without lawful medical treatment.”
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Members of the United States Senate Appropriations Committee voted by a margin of 2 to 1 today in favor of language limiting the Justice Department’s ability to take criminal action against state-licensed operations that are acting in full compliance with the medical marijuana laws of their states. The provision was offered as an amendment by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) in the Senate version of the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill.
The Senate amendment mirrors language approved by the House last week in their version of the CJS bill.
Passage of the provision reauthorizes protections signed into law last year, but which are set to expire this September.
A vote by the full Senate and reconciliation with the House is necessary before the 2016 spending bill is transmitted to the President.
In a huge victory for cannabis law reform, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee voted today to approve an amendment to a federal spending bill offered by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) that would protect state medical cannabis laws from federal interference by the Department of Justice, which includes the Drug Enforcement Administration. The vote was 20 to 10.
The amendment mirrors one that passed the full House of Representatives last week with a 242 to 186 vote.
Specifically, the Mikulski amendment states that;
None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to any of the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin, or with respect to either the District of Columbia or Guam, to prevent any of them from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.
“What we’re witnessing today are the death throes of the federal government’s war on medical marijuana,” says Michael Collins, Policy Manager at Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs. “Last week the House sent a resounding message to the DEA and DOJ – stop the interference and let states legalize medical marijuana. Today, the Senate echoed that message.”
Less than a month ago, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed the bipartisan Daines-Merkley amendment allowing Veterans Administration (VA) doctors to recommend medical cannabis to their patients in states where medical cannabis is legal.
“There is huge momentum in the Senate on the issue of marijuana reform”, says Bill Piper, Director of Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs. “We now have the votes in the House and Senate to legalize medical marijuana, and leadership in both chambers should allow bills like the CARERS Act to move forward”.
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Two separate campaigns aiming to legalize cannabis in Michigan have received approval from the state to begin collecting signatures on their initiatives, with both groups aiming for the 2016 general election ballot.
The Board of State Canvassers on Thursday approved petitions from the Michigan Cannabis Coalition (MCC) and the Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Committee (MCCLRC). Both groups will now have 180 days to collect the 252,523 signatures from registered Michigan voters in order to put their initiatives to a vote in November, 2016.
Although both initiatives would legalize recreational cannabis for those 21 and older, they vary in several ways.
Under MCC’s proposal, the state’s Legislature would be required to establish a regulatory and licensing system for cannabis facilities, which would be overseen by a new Michigan Cannabis Control Board. Lawmakers would also be tasked with determining the tax rate on cannabis sales.
Matt Marsden, a spokeperson for MCC, tells us that the measure would allow those 21 to cultivate up to two plants cannabis plants for personal use, with municipalities given the option of increasing the number to four, or prohibiting personal cultivation all together. There would be no limit on how much cannabis a person can possess at a given time. According to Marsden, the group plans to begin collecting signatures this weekend.
MCCLRC would also legalize cannabis retail outlets, but would set the tax at 10%, which would be in addition to the state’s sales tax. The proposal would also allow adults to cultivate up to twelve plants for personal use, and would allow localities to prohibit cannabis facilities, but would give voters the opportunity to reverse such action.
“We believe we’ve crafted the best law there is — better than the Legislature would create,” says Jeff Hank of MCCLRC. Hank notes that his group has led successful decriminalization efforts across the state in cities such as Detroit and Lansing.
A third group, the Michigan Responsibility Council, is also considering filing an initiative which would place cannabis in the same three-tier regulatory system the state currently has for alcohol.
According to polling released in April by the Marketing Resource Group, 51% of Michigan voters favor legalizing cannabis, with 45% opposed.
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An initiative to legalize cannabis that’s set to be placed on this November’s ballot in Ohio would create nearly 35,000 new jobs, according to a report released today by Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters.
“Legalization is coming to Ohio”, says Deters, who served as state treasurer from 1999 to 2004. “We need to accept the reality is going to happen”.
“Why in the world knowing this is coming would we let the bad guys have the money?” Deters wondered, noting that the black-market for cannabis continues to thrive . “I have come to believe the current laws hurt minorities”
Deters was joined at the event announcing the report – which was held at Ohio State University – by Cincinnati Councilor Chris Smithernan.
The report, which was released roughly a month after Deters announced the formation of the Marijuana Policies of Ohio Task Force to study the benefits of legalization, found that legalizing cannabis, including cannabis retail outlets, would create a new $7 billion industry, which would create 35,000 new jobs. In Colorado, the legal cannabis industry has already brought forth 10,000 new jobs for the state, and millions in tax revenue.
Yesterday the group ResponsibleOhio announced that it had collected over 550,000 signatures on its effort to put an initiative to legalize cannabis on this November’s ballot, well more than the 305,000 required.
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The proposal would allow patients who receive a registration card with the Department of Health to possess up to three ounces of cannabis, and to cultivate up to six plants. Allowable quantities of other cannabis products, such as edibles and oils, would be up to the Department of Health to decide.
“Personally I think it’s a slam dunk,” says Melissa Mentele, founder of the South Dakota Family Coalition for Compassion, the group behind the measure. “I think there is so much science out there that people can’t dispute it.”
Once approved by the state, advocates will have 180 days to get the 13,871 valid signatures to place the initiative on the November, 2016 presidential election ballot.
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We’re now only three weeks away until July 1st, the day that cannabis possession and cultivation becomes legal in Oregon for those 21 and older. This is thanks to portions of Measure 91, approved by voters last year, taking effect.
As part of the new law, adults will be legally allowed to possess up to half a pound of cannabis (eight ounces) at a private residence, or up to an ounce in public. Those 21 and older will also be allowed to cultivate up to four cannabis plants for personal use.
Measure 91 also authorizes cannabis retail outlets, though they’re not expected to open until next summer.
According to a recent study, cannabis is likely to be around $140 an ounce once retail outlets are open and operating, by cheaper than the average prices in Colorado and Washington, where an ounce goes for $300 – $400 on average.
The post In Three Weeks Oregon Will Become the Fourth State with Legal Cannabis appeared first on TheJointBlog.
Advocates of a constitutional amendment to legalize recreational cannabis in Ohio have collected over 550,000 signatures to place the initiative on this November’s general election ballot, well more than the 305,591 signatures required, according to a Tuesday press release by the group ResponsibleOhio.
“Because of the outpouring of support for the legalization of marijuana, today, we have more than 550,000 signatures on our petition,” says ResponsibleOhio Executive Director Ian James. “We’re proud to have the support of so many Ohioans in our effort to legalize medical marijuana for the chronically ill and for personal use by Ohioans 21 years and older.”
If passed into law, the group’s initiative would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis for those 21 and older, and would establish a system of state-licensed cannabis retail outlets which will be supplied by ten cannabis production centers. The proposal has drawn some criticism for divvying out ownership of the production center to investors of the measure.
According to recent polling, 52% of Ohio voters support legalizing recreational cannabis, with 44% opposed.
The post Enough Signatures Collected To Put Cannabis Legalization To A Vote in Ohio This November appeared first on TheJointBlog.
The anti-marijuana zealots in this country have always been entertaining, but I have lately noticed the appearance of some new defenders of prohibition, making Reefer Madness claims reminiscent of the earliest years of prohibition.
Harry J. Anslinger, the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, was the principal architect of the Reefer Madness strategy aimed at demonizing marijuana and marijuana smokers.
In the American Magazine in 1937, in an article entitled “Marijuana: Assassin of Youth,” he wrote:
“An entire family was murdered by a youthful addict in Florida. When officers arrived at the home, they found the youth staggering about in a human slaughterhouse. With an axe he had killed his father, mother, two brothers, and a sister. He seemed to be in a daze… He had no recollection of having committed the multiple crimes. The officers knew him ordinarily as a sane, rather quiet young man; now he was pitifully crazed. They sought the reason. The boy said that he had been in the habit of smoking something which youthful friends called ‘muggles’ a childish name for marijuana.”
While today we all laugh when we read those words, at the time the average citizen knew almost nothing about marijuana, nor did members of Congress, and it was with that absurd and uninformed mindset that Congress passed marijuana prohibition with little debate in 1937.
Today no rational person would treat those claims as serious or credible. Millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens smoke marijuana responsibly with no harm to themselves or anyone else, and the average citizen is far more familiar with marijuana and understand it is a mild intoxicant that is far less dangerous than alcohol, and should be similarly legalized and regulated.
Yet the clowns keep coming out of the circus car, one after another.
In one recent example, media curmudgeon Ben Stein published a column on the right-wing website The American Spectator, entitled “Marijuana Is A Cancer.” From that incredible start (ironic in light of research suggesting THC is helpful in treating several types of cancer), Stein describes a 27-year-old unnamed family friend whom he says has destroyed his life because of his marijuana smoking.
“Marijuana ate this young man’s soul. It was very much like that movie, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, where space aliens invade the bodies of humans. I have never known any chronic user of the chronic whose ambitions and good sense have not been either demolished or very substantially lessened by the use of the weed. It is eating up the soul of the nation altogether.”
And in case anyone did not yet understand his views on marijuana, Stein added: “The most bitter enemies of the United States could not have imagined a more wicked attack on a society based on individual initiative than the mass use of marijuana. To think we have a President in favor of its legalization, a Mayor of Gotham who is a huge proponent of the poison, a rap culture that celebrates this vile poison, is heart breaking.”
How’s that for trying to out-do Anslinger!
But Stein is not the only alarmist resurrecting the Anslinger rhetoric.
In March of this year drug advisor and televangelist Pat Robertson opined on marijuana on his CBN program “The 700 Club,” saying marijuana smoking is “slavery to vegetables.” According to Robertson “Cocaine is the product of a vegetable, alcohol is the product of a vegetable, marijuana is a vegetable. … And yet, people are enslaved to vegetables,” adding God could set you free from this vegetable slavery.
Thank God we have the guidance of Robertson to help us fight this new scourge of vegetable addiction!
Apparently it is circus season, and we can only look forward to more of these clowns surprising us with their insightfulness on marijuana and marijuana policy. It almost makes me long for Kevin Sabet and his warnings about “big marijuana” taking over after legalization. At least Sabet recognizes his tired, exaggerated claims about the dangers of marijuana smoking are no longer effective, and he has decided to challenge the free market system.
Good luck with that, Kevin.