The Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee convened this evening to take testimony on H 5274, the Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act. This bill, sponsored by Rep. Edith Ajello, would end Rhode Islandās marijuana prohibition, replacing it with a system in which marijuana is taxed, regulated, and sold in a manner similar to alcohol.Ā This is now the third session in a row that the Marijuana Policy Project has teamed with legislative champions like House Judiciary Chair Edith Ajello, community advocates, and allied policy organizations to make the case that marijuana should be regulated like alcohol, a far more dangerous substance. And for the third year in a row, I was so honored to be in Providence to participate.
Prohibition, Tax and Regulate
Research, Tax and Regulate
According to a California Field Poll released on Wednesday, the majority of Golden State voters are in favor of legalizing and regulating marijuana like alcohol for recreational use.Ā The Sacramento Bee expounded on the poll, which also stated that an even larger percentage of those polled oppose the federal crackdown on medical marijuana businesses. This sentiment was similar across party lines.
Marijuana reform activists were optimistic after learning of the results. Richard Lee, the chief proponent of Proposition 19, the ballot measure that attempted to make marijuana legal for adults in California in 2010, told the Bee:
“I think it shows that [marijuana legalization and regulation is] going to win in 2016, and it’s just a matter of writing the best law that we can.”
Earlier today, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that temporarily halted the enforcement of a Florida law requiring that all welfare recipients be drug tested in order to receive benefits.
We have addressed this issue in the past on this blog, and it is good to see the 11th Circuit supporting the lower courtās decision. Drug testing in this fashion is an invasion of privacy, and in most cases ends up costing the taxpayers far more than is saved by denying benefits to the very few people who test positive.
Medical Marijuana, Prohibition
Yesterday, the Miami Herald published an article discussing a recent poll that shows a majority of Florida voters support medical marijuana. The article specifically mentioned the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act and talked about how it could affect the gubernatorial race in 2014.
Apparently, certain folks in law enforcement didnāt like what they saw. Read the rest of this entry »
Medical Marijuana, Research
According to a recent poll conducted by Hamilton Campaigns on behalf of People United for Medical Marijuana, 70% of Florida voters support a plan to mend the state constitution to allow the medical use of marijuana.
This past Sunday, New Hampshireās Sentinel Source positively highlighted the stateās proposed medical marijuana legislation, House Bill 573. The editorial board points out that the āwell-crafted,ā 30-page bill removes the ambiguities with which reform opponents often take issue. The proposal stipulates that prior to receiving a medical marijuana recommendation, qualifying patients must first try other forms of relief, and it sets strict rules about the financial relationships between recommending doctors and treatment centers, the total of which is capped at five. Read the rest of this entry »
Medical Marijuana, Research
A Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll conducted last week found that 60% of registered Kentucky voters support making marijuana legal for medical use. Only 31% were opposed. A bill to make medical marijuana legal for certain qualifying conditions and ensure safe access for patients, S.B. 11, was introduced this session by Sen. Perry Clark.
In addition, 65% of those polled support making production of industrial hemp legal in the state. There is also a bill being considered that would allow farmers in Kentucky to cultivate hemp and take advantage of this versatile agricultural commodity.
Tax and Regulate
The news blog GoLocalProv just ranked the bills being considered in the Rhode Island General Assembly as the āmost likely to have a swift and immediate impact on residents throughout the Ocean State and the ones most likely to take up the majority of the General Assemblyās time.ā
Naturally, the Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act, or H 5274, came in at Number 2 on the list! Read the rest of this entry »
As you might haveĀ readĀ or heard, a state representative in North Carolina killed a medical marijuana bill yesterday because he felt he and his colleagues were being āharassedā based on the volume of emails and calls they were receiving in support of the legislation.
This is unacceptable. Our democratic process depends on citizens reaching out to their elected representatives to let them know where their constituents stand on the issues. Not only is this type of civic engagement appropriate, it should be encouraged. If anything, such a high volume of calls and emails in support of the medical marijuana bill should be considered a sign that this is an issue worthy of public debate.
Please send a messageĀ to Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam asking him to apologize for equating calls and emails from constituents to being āharassed,ā and requesting that he call for a hearing regarding medical marijuana.Ā
New Hampshire lawmakers met Thursday to discuss medical marijuana legislation. The House Committee on Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs heard four hours of testimony from supporters of H.B. 573, a bill that would allow patients with debilitating medical conditions to obtain and use medical marijuana upon receiving recommendations from their doctors. The bill permits up to five centers to dispense marijuana to patients, and it states that patients would be allowed to grow small amounts of marijuana for personal use.
A subcommittee will now examine the proposal, and on March 5, the House Committee on Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs will meet for a vote. A similar bill passed with bipartisan support in both legislative bodies in 2012, but it was vetoed by then Governor John Lynch. Gov. Maggie Hassan has expressed support for medical marijuana legislation.
To read more about the proceedings, check out WMUR-TVās coverage on the topic.