President Obama to Restate Support for Medical Marijuana

This Sunday, President Obama is expected to voice his support for allowing medical marijuana and moving away from jailing people for drug abuse.

The Daily Caller reports: 

In a CNN special to be aired on Sunday, not only will President Barack Obama state his full support of medical marijuana, he’ll also advocate for alternative models of drug abuse treatment which don’t involve incarceration.

The television special, called “Weed 3,” features CNN’s chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon who came to support medical marijuana after reviewing the evidence. This time around, he’ll be delving into the politics of medical marijuana research and interviewing President Barack Obama, according to an email obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Obama has previously predicted that more states will follow the lead of Washington and Colorado in legalizing recreational marijuana, and confirmed that although marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, the Department of Justice will look the other way.

You can read Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s newest article on medical marijuana here.

Iowa Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Bill

The Iowa Senate voted 26-19 yesterday in support of a compassionate and comprehensive medical marijuana proposal! The bill now crosses over to the House of Representatives for debate.

The program approved by the Senate would allow Iowansiaflag who suffer from a variety of debilitating conditions to use and safely access medical marijuana with their doctors’ recommendations. The bill also requires the state to register in-state businesses to produce and distribute medical marijuana to qualified patients. This is a huge step forward, but for Iowa patients to receive the protections they deserve, the bill must first survive the House and then the governor.

If you are an Iowa resident, please urge your representative to support this comprehensive approach to medical marijuana for the good of all seriously ill Iowans.

Largest City in Kansas Decriminalizes Marijuana Possession

Yesterday, voters in Wichita, Kansas approved a ballot measure that greatly reduces the penalties for marijuana possession.

The Wichita Eagle reports:

Of the 37,000 Wichita voters, 54 percent said they wanted more lenient penalties for first-time offenders. About 45 percent wanted to keep the status quo.

The major provision of the ballot initiative was to reduce the punishment for a first-time marijuana conviction to a $50 fine. Violations would be an infraction that wouldn’t have to be disclosed on most job and college scholarship applications.

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Rep. Gail Finney

Rep. Gail Finney, D-Wichita, attended an Election Night party with the measure’s supporters and said she hopes the win in Wichita will send a message to the capital for the state to ease up on marijuana.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt has issued an opinion that the initiative is unlawful, primarily because it conflicts with state law.

Under state law, first-time marijuana possession is a Class A misdemeanor carrying a penalty of as much as a $2,500 fine and a year in jail. Legally, that puts it on par with violent offenses including assaulting a police officer.

Iowa Senate Could Vote on Medical Marijuana Any Day

After securing approval from the Iowa Senate Ways and Means Committee, the Medical Cannabis Act is primed for a floor vote by the full Senate.Iowa-StateSeal.svg This vote could happen any day now, so it’s important for Iowa residents to email your Senator TODAY and ask her or him to vote “yes” on the Medical Cannabis Act when it comes to the floor.

The Medical Cannabis Act, or S.F. 484,  makes significant improvements to the ineffective CBD-only law that was enacted last year in an effort to bring relief to individuals suffering from intractable epilepsy. That law has failed to help even the small subset of potential medical cannabis patients that it was specifically intended to help, making passage of the Medical Cannabis Act necessary.

Should the Medical Cannabis Act become law, individuals suffering from cancer, PTSD, intractable epilepsy, MS, and other debilitating conditions will be able to legally use and obtain their medicine within Iowa’s borders — but it must pass the Senate first.

Guide to American Academy of Pediatrics Decriminalization Study

Earlier this year, the American Academy of Pediatricsaap_logo-1 published an article called The Impact of Marijuana Policies on Youth: Clinical, Research, and Legal Update. While the report failed to recognize the benefits of regulating marijuana similarly to alcohol, it did  support decriminalizing marijuana because of the harms caused by arrests and their aftermath.

We put together this handy guide to highlight the most important points. Please share it with anyone who still thinks arresting and prosecuting marijuana consumers is good for young people.

The AAP also recently published a study suggesting that random drug testing and zero tolerance policies in schools can actually harm teens.

Marijuana Policy Project