Review: Prophets of Rage’s Debut Album

If you’re one of those nostalgic counterculture revolutionaries wondering where all the protest music has gone, Prophets of Rage is for you. It’s an old-school supergroup formed by members of three of the most radical, politically outspoken acts of the ’80s and ’90s: Rage Against the Machine’s guitar-slinging Harvard alum Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk; Public Enemy’s Chuck D and DJ Lord; and Cypress Hill’s B-Real.

The result marries Rage’s heavy-metal/hip-hop hybrid, fueled by Morello’s turntable-esque guitar stylings, and the OG rap of East Coast rabble-rouser Chuck D and West Coast bud-banger B-Real. Multiracial (like Morello himself) and politically to the left, Prophets of Rage—the name comes from a Public Enemy track on their groundbreaking It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back album from 1988—hark back to both the ’60s rock’n’roll call for rebellion and the ’70s punk howl for anarchy.

They first teamed up to make a political statement during the 2016 presidential campaign, touring from May to October. Without an album out or any new material, the tour featured a mix of Rage, PE and Cypress songs, with a few covers like the Beastie Boys’ “No Sleep ’Til Brooklyn” sprinkled in. Now they have their eponymously titled debut album to play and promote.

Prophets of Rage

From left: Tim Commerford, Tom Morello, B-Real, Chuck D, DJ Lord and Brad Wilk (Photo by Travis Shinn)

On Prophets of Rage, Chuck D and B-Real form a two-headed lead vocalist that recalls the give-and-take dialogue of Run the Jewels’ El-P and Killer Mike, with a similar eye towards the political zeitgeist. The album’s opening salvo, “Radical Eyes,” is a vehement call to arms, as Chuck D delivers the rallying cry, “If you need anything else to make me bleed/That you wanna blame me for what I read.”

Diversity in the New Marijuana Economy

Diversity Black Marijuana

The Hood Incubator in Oakland focuses on increasing the participation of black and brown communities in the cannabis industry.

There have been plenty of stories, blogs and social-media posts about the “whitewashing of the Green Rush.” For years, the Minority Cannabis Business Association and other groups have sounded the alarms about how this new wave of ganjapreneurs is distressingly monochromatic. Is anything actually being done?

Yes, things are being done. Oakland, California, which continues to be far ahead of any other municipality when it comes to cannabis, has approved a program that gives half of new city cannabusiness licenses to people with lower incomes or who live in the neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by the War on Drugs. 

diversity

Boston Councilwoman Ayanna Pressley is for equity in cannabis.

Massachusetts’ new adult-use pot law has a provision mandating outreach programs to the historically disenfranchised, and Boston City Councilwoman Ayanna Pressley has introduced legislation that would direct 20% of unspent revenues from state and local marijuana taxes toward programs aimed at social justice and creating more opportunities for people of color. Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia have all enacted legislation designed to create more diversity in the cannabis industry. In fact, Pennsylvania requires businesses applying for medical-cannabis licenses to spell out their plan for ensuring a diverse workforce.

Women are taking the lead in cannabis industry in terms of diversity. They fill 36% of the executive positions, according to a 2015 Marijuana Business Daily survey. That’s significantly higher than the 22% national average in the non-weed world.

Will the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment Survive?

Rohrabacher

Reps. Rohrabacher (right) and Blumenauer in 2014. (Photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers Fight for Federal Marijuana Protections

With Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinding the Cole Memo on Jan. 4, the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment is the only federal law standing in the way of a potential crackdown on medical marijuana.

First passed in 2014, Rohrabacher-Blumenauer (then known as Rohrabacher-Farr) is an amendment to the annual appropriations bill that prohibits the Department of Justice from using federal funds to crack down on medical marijuana programs in the 29 states where it’s legal. In December, President Trump signed a stopgap funding bill that would extend these protections until Jan. 19.

For example, last August, a federal judge in San Francisco cited the amendment in a ruling that two California medical-marijuana growers who’d pleaded guilty to cultivation charges could not be sentenced to prison due to the amendment. And on Oct. 18, federal prosecutors in Washington State admitted that it prohibited them from prosecuting a group of medical growers known as the Kettle Falls Five.

Rep. McClintock and Polis Re-Introduce Their Amendment

Sessions’ decision to revoke federal protections in the eight legal recreational marijuana states has prompted a backlash in Congress. On Jan. 12, a bipartisan group of 69 members sent a letter to Congressional leadership urging them to include the McClintock-Polis amendment in the appropriations bill as well. Introduced by Reps. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.), its language is similar the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment’s, but it would also protect legal state recreational cannabis programs.

Washington Committee Approves Bill Prohibiting Cities from Banning Medical Marijuana Cooperatives

Legislation that would prohibit cities in Washington State from banning or adding new regulations to medical marijuana cooperatives was passed yesterday through its initial legislative committee.

House Bill 2471 was approved yesterday by the House Commerce and Gaming Committee. The measure, filed by Representative Steve Kirby (D), would make it so that “Counties, cities, and towns are prohibited from enacting any regulations pertaining to medical marijuana cooperatives absent an express grant of authority from the state.”

Under the proposal, state law regarding coops – which allows 10 patients to come together to grow and share cannabis at a share location – preempt all city laws. This is important given that several cities in the state have placed bans or moratoriums on medical marijuana cooperatives.

According to the bill’s official text;

The state of Washington fully occupies and preempts the entire field of regulating medical marijuana cooperatives authorized under RCW 69.51A.250. The state of Washington has sole authority to enact regulatory provisions regarding medical marijuana cooperatives, and cities, towns, and counties are prohibited from enacting regulations pertaining to such cooperatives absent an express grant of authority from the state.

House Bill 2471 is cosponsored by Representatives David Sawyer (D), Cary Condotta (R) and Nicole Macri (D).

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WA: Bill Prohibiting Use of Public Resources to Assist Federal Marijuana Crackdown Gets Public Hearing

Legislation to protect Washington State’s legal marijuana industry from federal intrusion received a public hearing today in the state’s House Finance Committee.

House Bill 2124 “Prohibits the use of public resources to assist the federal government in any activity that might impede or interfere with revenue to the operating budget pursuant to Washington state’s regulation of marijuana and marijuana-related products as prescribed by the laws of the state of Washington.” The measure “Provides that a public employee who knowingly violates this prohibition may be subject to disciplinary proceedings.”

The measure, filed by Representative David Sawyer (D) along with a bipartisan coalition of six other lawmakers, received a public hearing today in its initial committee. Representative Sawyer spoke in favor of the bill, stating that although a large number of people signed up to speak and express their support, he asked them to withhold from doing so in order to respect the committee member’s time. No one spoke in opposition to the measure.

The full text of House Bill 2124 can be found by clicking here. The bill “contains an emergency clause and takes effect immediately” upon passage.

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Illinois Judge Orders State to Add Intractable Pain as Qualifying Medical Cannabis Condition

In a decision that will significantly expand the pool of people eligible to use medical cannabis in Illinois, a judge has ruled that the state must add intractable pain as a qualifying medical cannabis condition.

In 2016 the Illinois Department of Public Health rejected a petition to add intractable pain to the state’s medical cannabis program. Now, two years later, Cook County Judge Raymond Mitchell has ordered the agency to add the condition. Intractable pain is defined as pain that’s resistant to standard treatment options.

The ruling comes from a lawsuit brought forth by Ann Mednick, who often experiences extreme pain associated with osteoarthritis; Mednick uses prescription opioids, but says they fail to control the pain and result in numerous side effects.

“Illinois is years behind the times,” says Mednick. “The state needs to get [it] together.” Mednick previously petitioned the now-disbanded Medical Cannabis Advisory Board to recommend the state add intractable pain as a medical cannabis condition; the board voted unanimously to approve the petition, 10 to 0. However, this didn’t stop Department of Public Health Director Dr. Nirav Shah from rejecting the recommendation in January of 2016.

In his ruling Judge Mitchell stated that Dr. Shah’s decision was  “clearly erroneous”. He pointed to the fact that Dr. Mednick said intractable pain is not a condition listed in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems as a recognized unique medical condition, despite that not being true. The judge also said that; “The record shows that individuals with intractable pain would benefit from the medical use of cannabis”.

Unsurprisingly, the Department of Public Health says it plans to appeal the judge’s ruling.

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Tennessee Medical Marijuana Bill Passed on First Consideration

A Tennessee medical marijuana measure has been introduced and “passed on first consideration” in the state’s Senate.

Senate Bill 1633, introduced by Senator Jeff Yarbro, “establishes a defense to prosecution for the possession of marijuana in an amount not to exceed one ounce by declaring such possession is justified if possessed for the treatment of certain provable medical conditions.” The measure was filed today in the Tennessee Senate, and quickly passed on first consideration. The legislation must now go through the committee process and be approved by both the House and Senate before it can be sent to Governor Bill Haslam for consideration.

According to the proposal; “The person can prove a medical diagnosis of one (1) of the following:

(A) Cancer;
(B) Glaucoma;
(C) Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immune
deficiency syndrome (AIDS);
(D) Hepatitis C;
(E) Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis;
(F) Tourette’s syndrome;
(G) Crohn’s disease;
(H) Ulcerative colitis;
(I) Post-traumatic stress disorder;
(J) Severe arthritis;
(K) Fibromyalgia;
(L) Alzheimer’s disease;
(M) Cachexia or wasting syndrome;
(N) Peripheral neuropathy;
(O) Intractable pain that has not responded to ordinary
medications, treatment, or surgical measures for more than six (6)
months;
(P) Severe nausea;
(Q) Seizures, including, without limitation, those characteristic of
epilepsy; or
(R) Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including, without
limitation, those characteristic of multiple sclerosis.

 

Section 2 of the bill states that “This act shall take effect upon becoming a law, the public welfare requiring it.”

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WA: Committee Approves Bill Legalizing Medical Marijuana Deliveries

A legislative proposal that would legalize the delivery of  marijuana to patients has been given approval by its initial House committee.

House Bill 2574,  introduced by Representative Shelley Kloba (D), was approved by the House Commerce and Gaming Committee. The bill would establish “a medical marijuana delivery endorsement to the marijuana retailer’s license that authorizes the holder to provide marijuana home delivery services to qualifying medical marijuana patients age 21 or over, or to designated providers”, and “Authorizes qualifying medical marijuana patients to place delivery orders for marijuana products with a qualifying retailer over the telephone or by Internet.”

In addition, the bill “Requires that medical marijuana deliveries be made to the same qualifying adult that placed the order and that the delivery be made only to a private residence, hotel, motel, or other lodging business”, and “Requires that delivery persons be trained regarding age and identity verification, as well as verification that the patient is registered in the medical marijuana database.”

House Bill 2574 has will now move on to a second committee, where passage will send it towards a vote by the full House of Representatives.

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Washington Lawmakers Pass Legislation to Legalize Personal Marijuana Cultivation

Washington State’s House Commerce and Gaming Committee has passed legislation that would allow those 21 and older to grow marijuana for personal use.

House Bill 2559, filed by Representatives Brian Blake (D) and Cary Condotta (R), would authorize “an adult age 21 or over to possess six or less marijuana plants and up to 24-ounces of useable marijuana harvested from the plants”. The measure specifies that “no more than six marijuana plants may be grown or possessed on the premises of a single housing unit under the authorization, regardless of the number of residents living on the premises.”

House Bill 2559 must now pass through a second committee before it can be voted on by the full House of Representatives. If approved by the House it will move to the Senate, where passage would send it to Governor Jay Inslee for consideration.

At this time it’s unclear whether or not Governor Inslee would sign the bill if given a chance, though he has been largely supportive of the state’s legal marijuana system.

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Delaware Legislative Session Begins as Task Force Explores Marijuana Regulation

The Delaware Legislature is back in session, and your lawmakers need to hear from you! Let them know you want this to be the year that Delaware stops the cruel and counterproductive policy of prohibiting marijuana.

A legislature-created task force is already exploring taxing and regulating cannabis and will present its findings to the legislature and governor by February 28, 2018. Sen. Margaret Rose Henry and Rep. Helene Keeley — who sponsor the Delaware Marijauna Control Act — co-chair the committee, which includes agency heads, lawmakers, advocates, and opponents. The task force has considered important issues like consumer safety, taxation, public safety, and packaging and labeling.

After the task force issues its report, there may be changes made to the bill before it is considered by the legislature.

In states that have already legalized it, regulating marijuana similarly to alcohol is creating good jobs and revenue, while undercutting the illicit market. The New Hampshire House and Vermont Legislature have already voted this year for limited legalization bills. Considering a majority of Delaware voters support making marijauna legal, there is no reason for delay.

If you live in Delaware, please contact your lawmakers and ask them to support cannabis regulation.

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Massachusetts Governor Vows to Uphold Legal Marijuana Laws

On Friday, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker reinforced that Massachusetts will respect the will of Massachusetts voters. In response to Jeff Sessions’ decision to rescind Obama-era rules that protected state-legal marijuana markets, state and local law enforcement officials vowed that they would not raid retail marijuana establishments that were operating in compliance with state law.

Shortly thereafter, Gov. Baker echoed those sentiments, stating, “We have two laws in Massachusetts: One that was passed by voters several years ago around the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries, which are regulated and overseen by the commonwealth, and another law that was passed by the voters in 2016 that requires the state to create a legal infrastructure for recreational marijuana. Those are the laws that state and local law enforcement officials are bound to uphold and that’s what they’re going to do.”

Baker’s statement is important because it represents a sharp break from Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling who said in a statement he couldn’t guarantee that medical marijuana dispensaries, recreational pot shops, cultivators, and customers would be immune from federal prosecution. We applaud Gov. Baker’s statement and his principled stance against Lelling’s regressive direction on legal cannabis that attempts to flout the will of the voters.

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Cypress Hill and Bhang Form Company, Plan Joint Products

Cypress Hill

DJ Muggs at the International Cannabis Business Conference in Kaua’i, Hi. on Dec. 3. Photo by Matt Emrich

With Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, Tommy Chong and the Bob Marley family already making cannabis products, Cypress Hill has decided to join the Green Rush, inking a deal with Bhang Chocolates. Their company is called CHB.

Cypress cofounder DJ Muggs says he met with a lot of people in the industry before deciding on a partnership with Bhang, the popular California edibles company. “When I sat down with Scott (Van Rixel) and Richard (Sellers) it was organic,” he says of Bhang’s CEO and COO. “They understood the band. Scott’s a big fan. He knew our history and all of our lyrics. Plus, he’s a chocolatier. It was like I was meant to meet these guys.”

The plan is to roll out CHB strains in conjunction with the release of Cypress’ first new album in eight years, Elephants on Acid, in April. The title refers to a strain (Elephant Acid) grown by Muggs’ team.

DJ MUGGS on Cypress Hill“We’re still brothers.”

“We’re going to have super-unique packaging that celebrates the music and incorporates the band,” Muggs tells Freedom Leaf. “It’s going to be a way to distribute our music through our cannabis products. A lot of the songs will solely be distributed this way, since there aren’t record stores anymore. There are more headshops and places that sell weed than records. Now you’ll be able to go to one spot and get your weed and your records.”

Slowly But Surely, Cannabis Licenses Are Being Issued in Jamaica

Though many have the perception that Jamaica is all about free-flowing cannabis, that’s not officially the case. It’s true that the country’s tropical climate and fertile soil provide perfect conditions to grow ganja, and that reggae music and Rastafarian religious practices exalt the herb. But Jamaica’s government has opposed its use throughout most of the country’s history.

Cannabis was originally brought to Jamaica by East Indian laborers (who called it ganja) in the mid-1800s. By the 1930s, the plant had become widely used in the culture and a foundation of Rastafarian religious practices, even though the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1913 (a.k.a. the Ganja Law) made possession, cultivation and trafficking of marijuana illegal, with harsh prison sentences for violators.

Cultural perceptions became more permissive in the 1960s and 1970s, especially as Rastafarian and outspoken spliff-lover Bob Marley became Jamaica’s best-known citizen abroad, his music bringing the island nation’s culture to the world. But with Jamaica becoming a major exporter of ganja to Europe and North America, officials rejected attempts to relax the laws, for fear of violating international treaties.

It wasn’t until 2015 that the Dangerous Drugs Act was amended to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis for personal use. Now, possession of up to two ounces is a petty offense, and cultivation of five or fewer plants per household is legal. Adult Rastafarians are permitted to use cannabis for religious purposes. The 2015 amendment also made medical cannabis legal and created the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), which is responsible for regulating cultivation and distribution.

WA: New Bipartisan Bill Would Legalize Personal Marijuana Cultivation

Legislation to legalize the personal cultivation of marijuana for those 21 and older has been filed in Washington’s House of Representatives.

Although marijuana has been legal in Washington to purchase and possess for several years now, cultivating marijuana is illegal without being a licensed grower. New legislation filed by Representatives Brian Blake (D) and Cary Condotta (R) would change this, allowing anyone 21 and older to grow marijuana for personal use.

Specifically House Bill 2559Authorizes an adult age 21 or over to possess six or less marijuana plants and up to 24-ounces of useable marijuana harvested from the plants”. The measure specifies that “no more than six marijuana plants may be grown or possessed on the premises of a single housing unit under the authorization, regardless of the number of residents living on the premises.”

House Bill 2559 has been assigned to the House Commerce & Gaming Committee. The committee has scheduled an executive session to discuss and potentially vote on the measure later today (1:30pm).

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Vermont Is the First State to Legalize Marijuana Through Legislation

Vermont made national headlines and was the subject of late-night talk show jokes on Jan. 10 when the state Senate approved a bill to legalize adult use of marijuana. While the measure would not allow legal sales, the Green Mountain State is poised to make history as the first in the nation to legalize marijuana by legislation instead of popular vote.

It will become the ninth state in the country to allow recreational marijuana when Republican Gov. Phil Scott signs the bill this week, as he’s promised. The only thing standing in the way of Vermont legalizing weed would be an unforeseen technical error in the bill’s drafting.

The legislation would let adults over 21 possess up to one ounce of marijuana or five grams of hash, and cultivate up to two mature and four immature plants at home. It would remain illegal to smoke pot in a public place or while driving.

However, the bill doesn’t permit commercial sales. Still, entrepreneurs there think a regulated market is inevitable. In fact, Gov. Scott’s Marijuana Advisory Commission has been studying cannabis sales and is set to issue a report on Jan. 15.

Rev. Al Sharpton: ‘Weed Must Be Decriminalized’

It took a while for the Rev. Al Sharpton to jump aboard the legalization movement’s soul train. The founder of the National Action Network and MSNBC talking head had long protested pretty much every issue that affects people of color, except for the drug issue.

I’ve known Sharpton since the late ’70s, when I was a young music journalist and he was one of the great R&B star James Brown’s best friends. After writing a cover story about the Godfather of Soul for New York’s Soho Weekly News in 1979, I had terrific access to Soul Brother No. 1. I met Sharpton on many occasions in the company of Brown, and wrote about it in my 1988 New York magazine article, “The Reverend and the Godfather.”

That same year I started working for High Times. Marijuana had become my beat.

Al Sharpton James Brown

James Brown and Rev. Al Sharpton in the late ’70s

About 12 years ago, I ran into Sharpton in New York’s Hilton Hotel. He was heading up an escalator and asked what I was up to when he saw me. I told him I now had a job as an editor at High Times.

Study: Medical Cannabis Legalization Associated with Reduced Violent Crimes in States Bordering Mexico

The introduction of laws legalizing medical cannabis is associated with reduced violent crimes in U.S. states bordering Mexico, according to a new study published by The Economic Journal.

“[T]he introduction of medical marijuana laws (MMLs) leads to a decrease in violent crime in states that border Mexico”, states the abstract of the study, titled Is Legal Pot Crippling Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations? The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on US Crime. “The reduction in crime is strongest for counties close to the border (less than 350 kilometres) and for crimes that relate to drug trafficking.”

In addition, researchers found that “MMLs in inland states lead to a reduction in crime in the nearest border state. Our results are consistent with the theory that decriminalisation of the production and distribution of marijuana leads to a reduction in violent crime in markets that are traditionally controlled by Mexican drug trafficking organisations.”

Specifically, the study concludes that in states bordering Mexico, medical cannabis legalization reduced violent crime by 13% on average.

The full study can be found by clicking here.

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Illinois Judge Allows 11-Year-Old to Use Medical Cannabis at School

In a decision that may have a far reaching and long lasting impact, an Illinois judge has allowed an 11-year-old girl to use medical marijuana at school, reports NPR.

Although medical cannabis is legal in Illinois, it’s against the law for students to use it in school or have school nurses administer it. However, a judge has made an exemption to the law for Ashley Surin, an 11-year-old who overcame a leukemia diagnosis at just 2 years old. Despite overcoming the illness, chemotherapy left her having semi regular seizures. Her mother, Maureen Surin, told NPR that since starting medical cannabis treatment, her seizures have largely declined in number. “We’re amazed with her progress,” says Surin.

Her parents filed a lawsuit in federal court on Wednesday against Schaumburg School District 54 and the State of Illinois, claiming that the state’s ban on taking the drug at school violates the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). On Friday, a judge ruled in their favor after hearing from the school district, which reportedly had concerns that its employees may be subject to legal penalties for helping Ashley with her medications.

“What people seem to misunderstand here is that medical marijuana is a prescription like any other drug,” Glink said. “Prohibiting it in school would be the same as prohibiting other medications such as Ritalin, Adderall or Concerta.”

Lawyers for the school district and attorney general’s office will meet back in court next week to work on a long-term plan for Ashley and the school. Ashley uses a patch on her foot and an oil extract on her wrists. “No one’s saying she wants to fire up a bong in math class,” the judge said, reported the Chicago Tribune.

“Ashley cannot wait to return to school,” Glink told NPR. “Now, that will happen on Tuesday.”

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from …

New Federal Bill Would Stop Jeff Sessions From Prosecuting State-Lawful Marijuana Entities

Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Don Young (R-AK) filed a resolution today (HR 4779) that would prohibit the federal government from enforcing federal marijuana laws in states that have legalized the plant.

“The federal government should respect the will of the voters in states that have voted to decriminalize cannabis”, says Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “It’s time to stop wasting taxpayer money on the failed War on Drugs. I’m proud to introduce the REFER Act, which would prevent the Attorney General and others in the Trump Administration from stifling the budding cannabis industry.” Lee says that “if the federal government chooses to interfere in these state matters, it’s up to Congress to prevent this harmful overreach.”

“With the Justice Department having rescinded Obama-era directives limiting the federal government’s involvement in states where marijuana is lawful, and with the future of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment uncertain, it is imperative that members of Congress take swift action in support of HR 4779,” says NORML’s Political Director Justin Strekal. “More than seven out of ten Americans – including majorities of both Democrats and Republicans – believe that states, not the federal government, ought to decide marijuana policy. Our nation’s longstanding federalist principles demand that Congress take action to respect voters’ wishes and permit these policies to evolve free from undue federal interference.”

Specifically, HR 4779 bars federal funding for any efforts that seek to “detain, prosecute, sentence, or initiate civil proceedings against and individual, business or property that is involved in the cultivation, distribution, possession, dispensation, or the use of cannabis in accordance with the law or regulation of the state or unit of local government in which the individual is located.”

It also prohibits the federal government from taking any punitive action against a financial institution “solely because the institution provides financial services to an entity” that is involved in state-sanctioned marijuana-related activities.

The post New Federal Bill Would Stop Jeff Sessions From Prosecuting

Vermont Poised to Become the Ninth State to Make Marijuana Legal for Adults

Vermont is about to make history!

A bill that would make marijuana legal for adults received final approval on Wednesday from the Vermont Senate and will soon make its way to the desk of Gov. Phil Scott, who vetoed a similar bill in 2017.

Gov. Scott indicated again after passage that he intends to sign H. 511 into law.

H. 511 would eliminate Vermont’s civil penalty for possessing one ounce or less of marijuana and remove penalties for possession of up to two mature marijuana plants and up to four immature plants, beginning in July.

Vermont is poised to become the ninth state to make marijuana legal for adults and the first to do so through its legislature. Eight other states have enacted laws legalizing and regulating marijuana for adult use, all through ballot initiatives. In Washington, D.C., voters approved a ballot initiative making personal possession and home cultivation legal for adults 21 and older.

The legislature approved H. 511 just days after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the removal of guidelines that urged federal prosecutors to avoid targeting marijuana businesses and individuals who are in compliance with state law.

The Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Rhode Island legislatures are expected to seriously consider making marijuana legal for adults this year as well, and the New Hampshire House approved a similar measure on Tuesday.

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9 States Have Legalized Cannabis – Here Are the 5 States Most Likely to Become #10

Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, Massachusetts, Maine, California and Nevada have all legalized marijuana, and Vermont’s Legislature just approved a bill to join this list. Which state will be #10?

Below is a list (in no particular order) of the top five states we believe are the most likely to legalize marijuana next, becoming the 10th state in the U.S. to do so (which would make 20% of the entire country).

 

New Hampshire

Just days ago, by a vote of 207 to 139, New Hampshire’s full House of Representatives approved House Bill 656 which would legalize marijuana for those 21 and older. This makes the state an easy choice for this list, and gives it a large head start on most other states. However, its fate in the Senate is far from certain, and passage will be much more challenging. It’s also uncertain if Governor Chris Sununu would allow it to become law. Still, it’s hard to not get the feeling that legalization in New Hampshire isn’t very far away.

New Jersey

Newly elected Governor Phillip D. Murphy has vowed to legalize marijuana within his first 100 days in office. This is in stark contrast to New Jersey’s last governor, Chris Christie, who was staunchly opposed to legalization. Although Governor Murphy may or may not be able to follow through on this promise, it’s all but guaranteed that legalization will soon be a reality in New Jersey.

 

Michigan

Michigan is the only state where a marijuana legalization initiative is already on this year’s general election ballot. This gives voters the opportunity to make Michigan the 10th legal marijuana state – that is, of course, unless another state legalizes through their legislature prior to November.

 

Ohio

In 2016 Ohio voters rejected an initiative that would have legalized marijuana. However, the proposal’s failure had far more to do with its bad design (creating a monopoly among a few growers) rather …

Washington State Bill Would Legalize Medical Marijuana Deliveries

Legislation that would legalize the delivery of marijuana and marijuana products to qualified patients has been introduced in Washington’s House of Representatives.

The measure, House Bill 2574, was introduced by Representative Shelley Kloba (D) along with a bipartisan coalition of 11 other lawmakers. The bill would establish “a medical marijuana delivery endorsement to the marijuana retailer’s license that authorizes the holder to provide marijuana home delivery services to qualifying medical marijuana patients age 21 or over, or to designated providers”, and “Authorizes qualifying medical marijuana patients to place delivery orders for marijuana products with a qualifying retailer over the telephone or by Internet.”

The proposal “Requires that medical marijuana deliveries be made to the same qualifying adult that placed the order and that the delivery be made only to a private residence, hotel, motel, or other lodging business”, and “Requires that delivery persons be trained regarding age and identity verification, as well as verification that the patient is registered in the medical marijuana database.”

House Bill 2574 has been assigned to the House Commerce & Gaming Committee.

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Poll: 61% of South Carolina Voters Support Legalizing Medical Cannabis

According to new polling a strong majority of  voters in South Carolina want cannabis to be legal for medical purposes.

According to the new Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy survey, 61% of South Carolina voters support making physician-approved medical cannabis use legal. Just 31% are opposed, with 8% undecided.

“The numbers in the poll are positive,” said Jill Swing, founder of SC Compassionate Care Alliance, which is advocating for medical cannabis legalization. Swing says she wants a bill passed that allows  “safe, legal access to patients who do not want to break the law.”

Republican State Representative Jonathon Hill says that he’s “hopeful of passing something this year”. Hill says that marijuana could be a “far less addictive and dangerous” alternative to opioids.

“We are going to save lives [if medical marijuana becomes legal]”, Swing says.

For the survey Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy interviewed 625 registered South Carolina voters between December 6 and December 10. The poll has a margin of error of 4%

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Study: U.S. Marijuana Legalization Would Create a Million New Jobs, $132 Billion in Tax Revenue in First 8 Years

According to a new study if marijuana is legalized across the United States a million new jobs would be created and the government would receive at least $132 billion in new tax revenue in the first eight years.

The study was conducted by New Frontier Data, a data analytics firm that’s primary focus is analyzing the legal marijuana industry. They found that if marijuana was made legal across the country, and taxed at 15%, it would generate at least $131.8 billion in tax revenue between 2017 and 2025.

The study also concluded that legalization would create 782,000 new jobs almost immediately; this would rise to 1.1 million by 2025.

“When there are budget deficits and the like, everybody wants to know where is there an additional revenue stream, and one of the most logical places is to go after cannabis and cannabis taxes,” says Beau Whitney, an economist at New Frontier Data.

According to a Pew Research Center poll released earlier this month, 61% of voters in the United States support legalizing marijuana for those 21 and older.

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