Medical Marijuana

Pennsylvania Patients, Advocates Hold Rally at Statehouse

February 9th, 2016 No Comments Morgan Fox

Eight months after the Pennsylvania Senate last approved medical cannabis protections, patients are still waiting for the House to follow suit. On Monday, they held a rally at the State Capitol to urge lawmakers to make passing a comprehensive medical marijuana bill a priority.

The Patriot-News reports:

Several dozen supporters of a bill to permit use of certain cannabis-based products for medicinal purposes in Pennsylvania ramped up the pressure on hesitant state House leaders Monday.

The group of parent, patients and other caregivers – which has flooded the Capitol in support of their cause regularly over the past several years – staged an impromptu sit-in on the House side of the Rotunda Monday afternoon.

The point, said rally spokeswoman Latrisha Bentch, was to show House leaders in a very tangible way their patience is wearing thin as the 2015-16 legislative session enters its second half.

The group took seats on the Capitol’s Mercer tile floor shortly before 3 p.m., all but blocking session day traffic and a few perplexed staffers, for 18 minutes: Two minutes for each month since the Senate sent the leading medicinal marijuana bill to the House with a 40-7 vote.

“I feel like our kindness has been mistaken for weakness, and we don’t have to be kind to them (lawmakers). We don’t,” Bentch said as the rally was breaking up.

Last May, the Senate approved S.B. 3, which would allow patients with serious illnesses to obtain and use medical cannabis recommended by their doctors. Over the summer and fall, a House work group developed recommendations and the Rules committee moved the bill to the House floor. But it has yet to get a vote — and the most significant amendment includes troubling provisions such as a cap on the amount of THC.

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Uncategorized

Presidential Candidates Respond to MPP’s Question on ChangePolitics

February 8th, 2016 No Comments Marijuana Policy Project

Last month, MPP partnered with ChangePolitics for the launch of its new platform, which is designed to ask ChangePolitics-Socialshare-280x150questions of the presidential candidates and get them on the record about various policy issues.

One of MPP’s questions made it into the top 10 “Most Popular in New Hampshire,” and the Concord Monitor editorial team selected it as one of the final five to be answered by the candidates just ahead of the nation’s first primary election on February 9. 

If elected, how would your administration address the current tension between state and federal marijuana laws?

You can check out the responses from the Democratic candidates and the responses from the Republican candidates at ChangePolitics.org. Also be sure to visit MPP’s profile page to view and vote for all of our questions so we can get more responses from the candidates.

 

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Medical Marijuana

Georgia Representative Working to Fix Medical Marijuana Program

February 4th, 2016 3 Comments Chris Lindsey

The Georgia government enacted an ineffective law last year that was intended to provide relief to patients with epilepsy, but which didn’t provide for a source of medical marijuana within the state.

allen_peake
Rep. Allen Peake

Since then, state Rep. Allen Peake (R) publicly admitted to illegally transporting medical marijuana from Colorado to Georgia to help some parents with epileptic children, and he’s now pushing hard to fix the ineffective law by legalizing dispensaries for patients to purchase medical marijuana.

If you are a Georgia resident, please tell your lawmakers to support a workable medical marijuana bill. 

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Tax and Regulate, Video

Maine Campaign Submits More Than Twice Signatures Necessary to Qualify for Ballot

February 4th, 2016 No Comments Marijuana Policy Project

After months of hard work, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Maine  have submitted over 100,000 signatures to the Maine Secretary of State. This effort would not have been possible without the dedication of Mainers who believe in ending the failed policy of marijuana prohibition, and the sheer number of signatures is a good indicator of how badly the people want to bring this issue to voters.ME Release Header - NEW

Soon, we will hear back from the Secretary of State, but we are very confident that our campaign collected enough valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

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Tax and Regulate, Video

Arizona Legalization Campaign Uses Phoenix Open-inspired Billboard to Educate Voters

February 4th, 2016 No Comments Marijuana Policy Project

This weekend, the Waste Management Phoenix Open, one of the largest golf events of the year, will take place in Scottsdale. This tournament has been called “The Greatest Party on Grass,” based, in part, on the amount of alcohol consumed at the event. The tournament even has Coors as one of its sponsors.

In response, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol posted a billboard in Phoenix posing the question, “If beer and golf make for the ‘Greatest Party on Grass’… Why can’t adults enjoy a safer party on grass?” As you can see, it is a fun billboard. But the message is quite serious. We as a society let adults enjoy alcohol — as we should — but we punish adults who prefer a safer substance. That’s just wrong.

CRMLA Golf Billboard

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Prohibition, Research

Legal Colorado Marijuana Market Hurting Drug Cartels

February 2nd, 2016 No Comments Marijuana Policy Project

According to a story published today by Fox News Latinothe legal marijuana market in Colorado is partially responsible for decreased Mexican drug cartel activity within the U.S. and along the border.

Legal marijuana in Colorado seems to have helped with resolving the problem of drugs in Mexico, says the report, citing the pro-marijuana Weed Blog, which says that over the past two years trafficking of the drug by Mexican cartels has dropped by “up to 70 percent.”Mexico_Flag_Map.svg

An official report by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in October 2015 confirmed the reduction, showing that in 2014 there had been a year-on-year 23 percent drop in border smuggling.

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Tax and Regulate

California Medical Association Officially Endorses Marijuana Initiative

February 2nd, 2016 No Comments Marijuana Policy Project

On Monday, the California Medical Associationcma-logo announced that it was officially supporting the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), which would make marijuana legal for adults in California and regulate it similarly to alcohol.

The Sacramento Bee reports:

CMA officials, in a statement released by the legalization campaign, which is funded by billionaire venture capitalist Sean Parker and supported by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, said their rationale was twofold: Under a legal market, cannabis could be monitored, researched, regulated and mitigated to protect the public health; and improper diversion by healthy patients into the medical marijuana system could reduced. They stressed they do not encourage marijuana use and discourage smoking.

“The California Medical Association believes the Adult Use of Marijuana Act is a comprehensive and thoughtfully constructed measure that will allow state officials to better protect public health by clarifying the role of physicians, controlling and regulating marijuana use by responsible adults and keeping it out of the hands of children,” Dr. Steven Larson, CMA’s president, said in prepared remarks.

“Medical marijuana should be strictly regulated like medicine to ensure safe and appropriate use by patients with legitimate health conditions and adult-use marijuana should be regulated like alcohol. This measure – along with the recently-passed medical marijuana bills – will ensure the State of California does both – while keeping the public health and public interest as paramount concerns,” Larson added.

This is the second big statewide organization to endorse the AUMA in as many months. The California State NAACP announced its support for the measure back in January.

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Medical Marijuana

Illinois Governor Rejects Adding Conditions to Medical Cannabis Program

February 2nd, 2016 2 Comments Chris Lindsey

Despite a recommendation from the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner decided not to add eight medical conditions to the state’s medical cannabis pilot program. This is the second time his health department has turned down expanding the list of qualifying conditions.

Bruce Rauner, Chairman, GTCR, LLC was one of the panelists at the  George W. Bush Institute forum at the Art Institute in Chicago Tuesday Sept 18, 2012. The forum titled "The 4% Growth Project" featured panels with conservative business people and politicians . B582381798Z.1  (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune) ct  ......OUTSIDE TRIBUNE CO.- NO MAGS,  NO SALES, NO INTERNET, NO TV, CHICAGO OUT, NO DIGITAL MANIPULATION...
Gov. Bruce Rauner (IMAGE: Local150.org)

The petition included four pain syndromes and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The first time Gov. Rauner’s health department rejected new conditions, the governor noted that the program was not yet fully up and running. However, now that dispensaries have opened in Illinois, that reasoning no longer applies. The Medical Cannabis Advisory Board reviewed relevant studies and heard testimony from patients who could find relief if their conditions were added to the program.

Adding qualifying conditions would significantly improve the state program. The medical cannabis program recognizes only a narrow range of conditions, and Illinois is one of very few medical marijuana states that excludes patients with serious pain.

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Prohibition, Tax and Regulate

D.C. Voters Want Mayor to Work Around Congressional Ban on Regulating Marijuana Like Alcohol

January 29th, 2016 No Comments Kate Bell

A survey release this week by Public Policy Polling showed that 66% of voters in the District of Columbia support Mayor Muriel Bowser pursuing legal methods to allow D.C. to regulate marijuana similarly to alcohol despite a Congressional ban.Flag_Map_of_Washington_DC

Voters overwhelming approved Initiative 71 in 2014, which made marijuana legal in the nation’s capital, but Congress passed a budget rider that prevents the implementation of regulated commercial cultivation and retail establishments. Provisions related to personal possession and limited home cultivation were unaffected by the law and are currently legal in D.C.

This poll shows that the vast majority of D.C. voters would support the mayor using reserve funds to implement a system to tax and regulate marijuana. This would not only show that D.C. rejects Congressional interference with the will of the voters, but also bring the illicit marijuana market out of the shadows and reap millions in tax revenue.

In addition, 61% of voters are in favor of giving adults a safe and lawful place to consume marijuana outside their homes. Supporters including MPP met with the mayor last week, and she said she was open to working with us and our allies on the D.C. Council to move forward on a compromise that would end the blanket ban on use outside the home, currently set to expire on April 13. This will help restore the rights that D.C. voters supported when they voted yes on Initiative 71.

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Tax and Regulate

Vermont Senate Committee Approves Marijuana Regulation Bill

January 29th, 2016 No Comments Matt Simon

VT Coalition logo - SmallThe Vermont Senate Committee on Judiciary approved a bill (4-1) on Friday that would end marijuana prohibition in the state and regulate marijuana for adult use.

S. 241 would make it legal for adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and establish a tightly controlled system of licensed marijuana cultivation sites, testing facilities, and retail stores. It would also create a study commission to examine issues such as edible marijuana products and home cultivation, which would not be allowed under the bill. It would remain illegal to consume marijuana in public or drive under the influence of marijuana. If approved, rulemaking would begin this summer, but the new law would not take effect until January 2018. The bill will now go to the Senate Committee on Finance for consideration.

VT commercial screenshotThe Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana is working to build support for the bill and keep up the momentum. It recently launched a  television ad, produced by the Marijuana Policy Project, which features former Vermont Attorney General Kimberly Cheney. Cheney was also the subject of a series of web ads launched earlier this month.

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