Medical Marijuana

Pennsylvania Poised to Become Next Medical Marijuana State

April 13th, 2016 1 Comment Becky Dansky

Almost a year after the Pennsylvania Senate first approved SB 3, the General Assembly is finally sending the medical marijuana legislation to Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature.13015406_10153387914096816_204741021068623634_n

SB 3 will create a comprehensive, compassionate medical marijuana program that allows patients with certain serious conditions access to medical marijuana with their doctors’ recommendation. Medical marijuana will be dispensed through a well-regulated system of state authorized grower/processors and up to 150 dispensary locations. While the bill still contains some flaws, it is one of the stronger bills to make it through a legislature, and is a particularly impressive bill in light of the strong opposition it faced from Speaker Mike Turzai and Health Committee Chair Matt Baker.

If you’d like to know more about SB 3, details are available here.

Congratulations to all of the remarkable advocates and compassionate lawmakers who fought tirelessly to make this program a reality.

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Medical Marijuana

South Carolina Senate Committee Kills Med. Marijuana Bill, Hope Remains in House

April 13th, 2016 1 Comment Becky Dansky

On Thursday, the South Carolina Senate Medical Affairs Committee voted 9-2 against the South Carolina Medical Marijuana Program Act (S. 672), effectively killing the legislation for the year.Seal_of_South_Carolina.svg Fortunately, there is still hope the House will take action on its version of the bill — H. 4037 — which was approved by a House subcommittee by a vote of 3-1 last year.

If you are a South Carolina resident, please contact your lawmakers and tell them South Carolina patients deserve access to safe and effective treatment.

S. 672/H. 4037 would allow patients with certain serious medical conditions to use and safely access medical marijuana. The legislation also would create a reasonable, well-regulated system of access through growers, processors, dispensers, and certified labs.

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Medical Marijuana

Ohio Medical Marijuana Campaign Begins Signature Gathering

April 6th, 2016 2 Comments Marijuana Policy Project

Late last week, the Ohio Ballot Board certified an initiative that would establish a comprehensive medical marijuana program in Ohio. The five-member board reviews proposed ballot measures to ensure they represent only one issue.OMM_horizontal-green_logo

Ohioans for Medical Marijuana must now collect 305,591 valid signatures of Ohio voters by early July to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. Last week, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine confirmed the group submitted at least 1,000 valid signatures of Ohio voters and determined their initiative summary “is a fair and truthful statement of the proposed law.”

The summary and full text of the initiative are available online at https://www.ohioansformmj.org/initiative.

 

Signature gathering for the initiative has already begun. Please contact Ohioans for Medical Marijuana if you would like to get involved.

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Medical Marijuana

Missouri Advocates Trying to Put Medical Marijuana on State Ballot

April 4th, 2016 No Comments Maggie Ellinger-Locke

MPP is excited that New Approach Missourinamlogoblue is spearheading an effort to give voters a chance to enact a comprehensive medical marijuana program this November. The ballot initiative would allow seriously ill patients who have a certification from their doctor to obtain medical cannabis from dispensaries regulated by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. For our complete summary of the initiative, please click here.

Should voters amend Missouri’s constitution to establish this program, medical cannabis would be subject to a 4% retail sales tax. Revenue from this tax would go to establishing the Missouri Veterans Health Care Fund benefiting veterans with health care assistance, drug rehabilitation services, housing assistance, job training, and tuition assistance.

But voters will not have the opportunity to cast a ballot for this compassionate program unless New Approach is able to collect enough signatures. They need to collect 256,000 signatures by May 8, 2016. Currently they are about 40% of the way to their goal. If you are a Missouri resident and want to get involved, please make sure you have signed the petition, and then review this training video and contact your respective volunteer coordinator to help out.

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Medical Marijuana

Ohio Attorney General Certifies Medical Marijuana Initiative

March 25th, 2016 No Comments Morgan Fox

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine notified Ohioans for Medical Marijuana on Friday that he has certified the summary of the group’s proposed ballot initiative to establish a comprehensive medical marijuana program and submitted it to the Ohio Secretary of State.OMM_horizontal-green_logo

The attorney general confirmed the group submitted at least 1,000 valid signatures of Ohio voters and determined their initiative summary “is a fair and truthful statement of the proposed law.” The summary and full text of the initiative are available online at https://www.ohioansformmj.org/initiative.

The Ohio Ballot Board will now have 10 days to review the measure and confirm it complies with Ohio initiative laws. Initiative backers will then need to collect an additional 305,591 valid signatures of Ohio voters by early July in order to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.

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Medical Marijuana

Pennsylvania Poised to Become 24th Medical Marijuana State

March 17th, 2016 5 Comments Becky Dansky

After years of advocacy from patients and their loved ones, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives approved compassionate, comprehensive medical cannabis legislation this evening!

SB 3 will now return to the Senate, which approved the bill last May, to consider the House’s amendments. Gov. Tom Wolf has been a strong champion of the issue and will sign the legislation when it arrives at his desk.1914591_10153313240631816_4731955737775675460_n

SB 3 allows patients with qualifying conditions to use and safely access medical cannabis with their physicians’ recommendations. As amended by the House, it allows up to 25 growers and processors to produce medical cannabis, which would be dispensed by up to 50 dispensaries with up to three locations each.

Qualifying conditions include cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, seizures, autism, sickle cell anemia, and intractable pain if conventional therapies or opiates don’t work or are contraindicated. More details are available here.

Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard for so long to make this compassionate bill a reality, including the amazing team at Campaign4Compassion, the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp, Gov. Tom Wolf, Sens. Mike Folmer and Daylin Leach and their staff, especially MP Tomei, Reps. Mike Regan, Nick Miccarelli, Russ Diamond, and Joe Petrarca and staffer Sarah Speed, Majority Leader Dave Reed, and MPP’s lobbyist Jim Davis!

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Medical Marijuana

Limited Medical Cannabis Oil Bill Heads to Virginia Governor

March 10th, 2016 No Comments Maggie Ellinger-Locke

Virginia is in its final week of its 2016 legislative session and of the many marijuana-related bills Virginian lawmakers considered this year, only one — SB 701 — has made it to the desk of Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

This limited bill allows the cultivation of cannabis by pharmaceutical processes that would then produce cannabidiol oil. Patients suffering from intractable epilepsy could receive the oil with a written certification from their doctor. While Gov. McAuliffe is expected to sign the legislation, epileptic patients won’t receive any benefit until at least 2017, as the bill requires a second passage next year.

While MPP applauds the Commonwealth’s effort to bring relief to residents suffering from epilepsy, this measure does not go nearly far enough. If you are a resident of Virginia, please ask your elected officials to show compassion for our sickest residents, including those with other serious conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, intractable pain, and PTSD. Medical marijuana is far less harmful and poses fewer negative side effects than most prescription drugs — especially painkillers — and patients often find it to be a more effective treatment.

We celebrate this narrow victory and look forward to a future where patients can benefit from the expertise of their doctors by finding relief in medical cannabis.

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Medical Marijuana, Prohibition

Two Good Bills Passed the Oklahoma House This Week

March 10th, 2016 No Comments Kate Bell

Two moderate marijuana policy improvement bills passed the Oklahoma House this week, and will now move on to the Senate. One, HB 2479, would reduce Oklahoma’s draconian penalties for marijuana possession.Seal_of_Oklahoma.svg It would cut, from two years to one year, the mandatory minimum sentence for a second or subsequent marijuana possession conviction within 10 years of the first. It would also reduce the maximum sentence for such a conviction from 10 years to five years.

The second bill, HB 2835, which has been improved by amendment, would add people with numerous additional medical conditions to the list of patients given limited protections for possession of CBD cannabis oil. Although the bill still limits such oil to 0.3% THC and fails to provide in-state access, it is an acknowledgement by the legislature that cannabis can help patients with many different conditions, including chronic pain.

While both of these bills are limited in scope, this is a rare opportunity to see the Oklahoma Legislature reform the state’s marijuana policy.

If you are an Oklahoma resident, please urge your senator to support both of these common sense reforms.

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Medical Marijuana

Nebraska Senate Considering Medical Marijuana Bill

March 3rd, 2016 1 Comment Becky Dansky
floatcharacter
Sen. Tommy Garrett

Last year, the Nebraska Senate approved Sen. Tommy Garrett’s Medical Cannabis Act (LB 643), which would allow patients with cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS, and other serious ailments to safely access medical cannabis. Despite that victory, the bill has a long way to go to become law — it needs two more favorable Senate votes, and will likely need a 33-vote supermajority to stop a filibuster.

If you are a Nebraska resident, please write your senator now to support advancing LB 643 to a final reading.

The Senate is currently split on the issue, with some senators opposing medical marijuana altogether and some only supporting a limited, and likely ineffective, CBD oil bill.

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Medical Marijuana

Ohioans for Medical Marijuana Release Details of Proposed 2016 Ballot Measure

March 2nd, 2016 1 Comment Marijuana Policy Project

Ohioans for Medical Marijuana, a campaign committee formed by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), posted the full initiative text, the official initiative summary, and a Q&A with MPP Executive Director Rob Kampia on its website Tuesday morning.OMM_horizontal-green_logo

The initiative text, summary, and Q&A are available at https://www.ohioansformmj.org/initiative.

In summary, the initiative would:

  • allow patients with debilitating medical conditions to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it and protect them from arrest, prosecution, or discrimination with regard to housing, health care (such as organ transplants), and child custody.
  • permit qualifying patients to grow a limited amount of marijuana for their medical use, designate a caregiver to grow it for them, or purchase medical marijuana from licensed and well-regulated dispensaries;
  • maintain commonsense restrictions on the medical use of marijuana, such as prohibitions on public marijuana use and driving under the influence of marijuana; and
  • establish a Medical Marijuana Control Division to oversee a tightly controlled system of licensed medical marijuana dispensaries, cultivation facilities, distributors, processing facilities, and testing facilities.

Initiative backers plan to submit the initiative to state officials later this week. They will need to collect at least 305,591 valid signatures of Ohio voters by early July to qualify the measure for the November ballot.

Three out of four Ohio voters (74%) support amending the state constitution to make medical marijuana legal for patients with terminal or debilitating conditions, according to statewide survey conducted in February by Public Policy Polling. Only 22% said they are opposed. The full results are available at http://bit.ly/1Vt3vdA.

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