West Virginia general election is less than one week away!

Learn where candidates stand on marijuana policy before you vote on Tuesday, November 6!

West Virginia’s general election will take place next Tuesday, November 6. The outcome of state legislative races will be critical in determining the future of marijuana policy in West Virginia. There are also strong contrasts between the candidates in races for U.S Congress:

• State Sen. Richard Ojeda (D), who championed West Virginia’s medical cannabis bill and strongly supports federal reforms, is running for an open Congressional seat in District 3. His opponent, Del. Carol Miller (R), voted for the medical cannabis bill, but she also voted to dramatically restrict it, and she won’t commit to supporting federal medical cannabis legislation.

• District 1 candidate Kendra Fershee (D) has expressed strong support for medical cannabis. Her opponent, incumbent Rep. David McKinley (R), has not supported marijuana policy reforms.

• In District 2, incumbent Rep. Alex Mooney (R) has voted to protect state medical cannabis programs from federal interference. His opponent, Talley Sergent (D), has expressed strong support for medical cannabis.

Before you go to the polls, please take time to review MPP’s voter guide, which includes survey responses, votes cast by incumbent legislators, and candidates’ public statements.

After you read our West Virginia voter guide, please share it with your friends and remind them that next Tuesday is Election Day!

The post West Virginia general election is less than one week away! appeared first on MPP Blog.

from https://blog.mpp.org/medical-marijuana/west-virginia-general-election-is-less-than-one-week-away/…

New Mexico: Election Day is less than one week away

Do you know where your candidates stand on  marijuana policy?

New Mexico’s General Election Day is less than one week away, and early voting has already begun! If you are registered to vote, you may cast your ballot early through Saturday, November 3.

Here’s a look at where gubernatorial candidates stand on marijuana policy: Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) has said she would support legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults’ use under certain circumstances, while Steve Pearce (R) remains unsupportive. Both candidates are supportive of New Mexico’s medical marijuana program.

Check out the state’s website here for more voting information, including where you can cast your ballot. You can find more information on current marijuana policy in New Mexico here.

Please forward this to your family and friends, and be sure to get out and vote!

The post New Mexico: Election Day is less than one week away appeared first on MPP Blog.

from https://blog.mpp.org/tax-and-regulate/new-mexico-election-day-is-less-than-one-week-away/…

Minn.: Election Day is less than one week away!

Check out the Minnesota Campaign for Full Legalization’s cannabis voter guide!

Minnesota’s General Election Day is less than one week away! You can vote early in person until Monday, November 5. You can also register and vote on Election Day!

The Minnesota Campaign for Full Legalization (MCFL) has put together a state legislative voter guide with results of their candidate survey and incumbents voting records. (Note that an F grade may not mean the candidate is opposed; they may simply not have responded to the survey.)

Here are a handful of competitive races where candidates differ on marijuana prohibition:

• House District 3A (International Falls): Incumbent Rob Ecklund (DFL) is supportive of legalizing and regulating cannabis and also cosponsored marijuana legalization/regulation bills, HF 926 and HF 4541. Challenger Randy Goutermont (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey.

• House District 11A (Moose Lake, Barnum, Scanlon): Mike Sundin (DFL) cosponsored bills to legalize and regulate marijuana for adults’ use, HF 926 and HF 4541. Challenger Jeff Dotseth (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey.

• House District 19A (North Mankato): Jeff Brand (DFL) is supportive of legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults’ use, while Kim Spears (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey. There is no incumbent in the district.

• House District 37A (Spring Lake Park): Incumbent Erin Koegel (DFL) expressed support for legalizing and regulating marijuana and also cosponsored a marijuana legalization and regulation bill, HF 2714. Challenger Anthony Wilder (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey.

• House District 56A (Savage): Challenger Hunter Cantrell (DFL) supports legalizing and regulating marijuana, while incumbent Drew Christensen (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey.

• House District 57B (Rosemount): Challenger John Huot (DFL) supports legalizing and regulating marijuana, while incumbent Anna Wills (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey.

Meanwhile, in the gubernatorial race, Tim Walz (D) is supportive of legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults’ use, while Jeff Johnson …

The Marijuana Midterms: Ballot Initiatives in Four States + Plenty of Hot Races

Four states are voting on legalizing recreational (Michigan, North Dakota) and medical (Missouri, North Dakota) marijuana on Nov. 6. In addition, numerous Congressional and statewide candidates on the ballot support legalization. Here’s the breakdown:

The Initiatives

Michigan

Prop 1, or The Marijuana Legalization Initiative, if passed, would allow adults to possess up to 2.5 ounces of flower and 15 grams of concentrate as well as grow up to 12 plants. Michigan would be the 10th state to legalize marijuana and the first in the Midwest. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) raised $2.3 million as of early October with the Marijuana Policy Project ($743,000) donating nearly a third of that total. Smoker’s Outlet Management and MI Legalize 2018 have kicked in $250,000 and $170,000, respectively. The opposition—Healthy and Productive Michigan and Committee to Keep Pot Out of Neighborhoods and Schools—has amassed $1.5 million in contributions, two-thirds from Smart Approaches Against Marijuana (SAM) and another $250,000 from Michigan Energy First. The latest polling shows Prop 1 leading 57%-42%.

See Freedom Leaf article: Michigan Poised to Be the 10th State to Legalize It

Missouri

It’s an embarrassment of riches in the Show Me State with three different medical measures on the ballot: Amendment 2, Amendment 3 and Prop C. Missouri’s Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, who’s up for reelection, has endorsed Amendment 2, as well as NORML. “Of the three, NORML believes that Amendment 2 is written in a manner that best provides for the needs of patients and their physicians, and is the measure most likely to withstand scrutiny from lawmakers,” NORML stated on Sept. 5. If the two constitutional amendments both pass, the top vote-getter would become law. If neither of the constitutional ballot initiatives pass and Prop C does, then, it likely would be overruled by Missouri’s Republican state legislature. Keep it simple: Vote for Amendment 2.

Prohibitionists in Michigan have raised a lot of money to defeat legalization

Donate to the YES on 1 campaign to help them fight back against their dishonest opponents.

We’re concerned about the legalization campaign in Michigan. Polls are tightening, and new campaign finance reports show that Project SAM and big corporate donors like the Dow Chemical Company and ITC Holdings Corp have recently poured nearly $1.4 million into the effort to defeat Proposal 1. The pro-legalization campaign was outraised during the last reporting period.

Will you pitch in $25, $40, or even $250 right now to help the Michigan campaign fight back?

We’ve seen this before. In 2016, a blitz of donations from business allies of prohibitionists, including an opioid manufacturer, helped narrowly defeat the Arizona legalization initiative. We can’t let that happen this year in Michigan.

In order to gain support, the opposition is running a very dishonest campaign. Their TV ad claims that Prop 1 will allow edibles with “unlimited potency,” even though the initiative clearly states that the state government will craft regulations including a maximum THC level for marijuana-infused products. Furthermore, Project SAM is campaigning on the ground in Michigan trying to win over voters by claiming it supports decriminalization, which is yet another false claim.

If Prop 1 passes, Michigan will become the second-largest state in the country to legalize marijuana for adults, and the first in the Midwest. But if the initiative fails, Project SAM and their anti-legalization allies will claim victory and say that the legalization movement’s momentum is faltering. That could hinder our efforts to reform marijuana laws at the federal level.

There’s so much at stake. Please, don’t sit on the sidelines and allow Project SAM and their dishonest attacks against legalization to win. Donate today to help defeat marijuana prohibition in Michigan.

The post Prohibitionists in Michigan have raised a lot of money to defeat legalization appeared first on MPP Blog.

from https://blog.mpp.org/tax-and-regulate/prohibitionists-in-michigan-have-raised-a-lot-of-money-to-defeat-legalization/…

FDA Grants “Breakthrough Therapy” Status for Magic Mushrooms to Treat Depression

In a move that will likely come as a surprise to many, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Breakthrough Therapy status to psilocybin, which is the psychedelic ingredient found in magic mushrooms.

The Breakthrough Therapy status was granted for the use of psilocybin to treat depression. The move comes after research commissioned by the government found that the substance shows great promise in the treatment of depression.

The designation of Breakthrough Therapy allows the FDA to expedite research and review of treatments containing psilocybin (or psilocybin itself). Currently a Phase IIb trial is underway attempting to determine the optimal dose range for psilocybin to treat severe treatment-resistant depression.

The FDA’s Breakthrough Therapy designation was created in 2012, and was designed to give certain substances a faster pathway to approval.

The post FDA Grants “Breakthrough Therapy” Status for Magic Mushrooms to Treat Depression appeared first on TheJointBlog.

from https://thejointblog.com/fda-grants-breakthrough-therapy-status-for-magic-mushrooms-to-treat-depression/…

With Just Days Before the Election, New Poll has Michigan Marijuana Initiative Leading 57% to 41%

According to a new poll released just days before the November 6 general election, a strong majority of likely Michigan voters support Proposition 1 to legalize marijuana.

The poll, commissioned by Free Press and conducted by the polling firm EPIC/MRA, found that 57% of Michigan voters support Proposition 1, with 41% opposed. Only 2% are undecided on the issue. The numbers are almost identical to a Free Press poll released in September, which found support for Prop 1 at 56%.

“Even though there are some law-enforcement groups and others that are putting out information against the proposal, it seems to have pretty solid support,” says Bernie Porn, president of EPIC/MRA. “There has always been a perception that there are far too many people in jail for a minimal amount of use and that it prohibits the police from spending time on more serious crimes.”

Josh Hovey, spokesman for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (the group behind Prop 1, said “the public recognizes that prohibition causes more harm than the product itself and that regulation and taxation is the way we need to go.”

If Proposition 1 is passed by voters next week,  anyone 21 and older would be allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, or up to 10 ounces at a private residence. They would also be allowed to grow up to 12 marijuana plants. In addition, the initiative would establish a licensed and regulated system of marijuana retail outlets, with marijuana receiving a 10% excise tax in addition to the standard 6% sales tax.

The post With Just Days Before the Election, New Poll has Michigan Marijuana Initiative Leading 57% to 41% appeared first on TheJointBlog.

from https://thejointblog.com/with-just-days-before-the-election-new-poll-has-michigan-marijuana-initiative-leading-57-to-41/…

These Four States Vote on Marijuana Legalization NEXT WEEK

As surprising as it may be, we are now only a week and a day away from the November, 2018 general election.

We’re just 8 days away from the November 6 general election. During this election two states will be voting on the legalization of marijuana for all purposes, and two will be voting for the legalization of marijuana for medical use.

Below is a look at these four initiatives.

Recreational marijuana initiatives:

 

Michigan (Proposal 18-1):

Proposal 1, put forth by Michigan’s Committee to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, would allow anyone 21 and older to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, or up to 10 ounces at a private residence. Those 21+ would also be allowed to grow up to 12 marijuana plants.

In addition, the initiative would establish a licensed and regulated system of marijuana retail outlets. Marijuana would receive a 10% excise tax in addition to the standard 6% sales tax.

 

North Dakota (Measure 3):

Measure 3, if passed into law this November, would legalize the possession, personal cultivation and licensed distribution of marijuana and marijuana products – including hash and oil – for those 21 and older.

In addition, the initiative establishes a 3-step system for marijuana expungements:

  • Step 1.) The state begins to analyze all those currently in prison with charges that would be applicable under the law and flags them for expungment.
  • Step 2.) 30 days after their release from prison, the state shall automatically expunge their records.
  • Step 3.) The state then has 10 additional days to send via certified mail notification of such an event occurring.

If that state fails to expunge a record that qualifies, the person has a right to a court appeal. If the person wins the court appeal, they can sue the state for fiscal damages with the state waiving it’s sovereign immunity in the case.

 

 

Medical marijuana initiatives:

 

Missouri (Proposition C, Amendment

Maryland: Early voting has begun

Check out the Maryland Cannabis Policy Coalition’s voter guide to find out where candidate’s stand on marijuana policy!

Maryland’s General Election Day is less than two weeks away, and early voting is already underway! Now is the perfect time to study up on where your candidates stand on legalizing and regulating cannabis.

The Maryland Cannabis Policy Coalition has put together a comprehensive voter guide with the results of their candidate survey. Please check it out, share it on social media, and go make your voice heard!

In the gubernatorial race, here’s a look at where candidates stand: Ben Jealous (D) is a vocal supporter of legalizing and regulating marijuana. Meanwhile, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has not expressed support for legalization, but did recently say it was “worth taking a look at.”

If you are registered to vote, you can cast your ballot early now through Thursday, November 1. If you are not yet registered to vote, you have until November 1. Then, Election Day is set for Tuesday, November 6.

Please forward the message to your network in Maryland, and be sure to get out and vote!

The post Maryland: Early voting has begun appeared first on MPP Blog.

from https://blog.mpp.org/tax-and-regulate/maryland-early-voting-has-begun/…

Maryland: Early voting has begun

Check out the Maryland Cannabis Policy Coalition’s voter guide to find out where candidate’s stand on marijuana policy!

Maryland’s General Election Day is less than two weeks away, and early voting is already underway! Now is the perfect time to study up on where your candidates stand on legalizing and regulating cannabis.

The Maryland Cannabis Policy Coalition has put together a comprehensive voter guide with the results of their candidate survey. Please check it out, share it on social media, and go make your voice heard!

In the gubernatorial race, here’s a look at where candidates stand: Ben Jealous (D) is a vocal supporter of legalizing and regulating marijuana. Meanwhile, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has not expressed support for legalization, but did recently say it was “worth taking a look at.”

If you are registered to vote, you can cast your ballot early now through Thursday, November 1. If you are not yet registered to vote, you have until November 1. Then, Election Day is set for Tuesday, November 6.

Please forward the message to your network in Maryland, and be sure to get out and vote!

The post Maryland: Early voting has begun appeared first on MPP Blog.

from https://blog.mpp.org/tax-and-regulate/maryland-early-voting-has-begun/…

Nevada: $530 Million in Marijuana Sold in FY 2018, State Has Over 8,000 Full-Time Marijuana Jobs

According to a new report by the Nevada Dispensary Association, there was over $500 million in marijuana and marijuana products sold legally in the state in fiscal year 2018 (July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018).

Of the $529.9 million in marijuana sold, $424.9 million was recreational marijuana, with the remaining $105 million coming from the sale of medical marijuana. These sales brought in nearly $70 million in tax revenue for the state.

The report also found that the legal marijuana industry has brought at least 8,300 new full-time jobs to the state. From this, there was $443.3 million in labor income (direct, indirect and induced).

In Nevada, marijuana was legalized by voters in 2016. The state’s first legal marijuana sales took place the following year. Marijuana is taxed with a 10% excise tax on sales, and a 15% wholesale tax.

Nevada is one of nine states in the U.S. with legalized marijuana, with all but one of them (Vermont) allowing legal sales.

The post Nevada: $530 Million in Marijuana Sold in FY 2018, State Has Over 8,000 Full-Time Marijuana Jobs appeared first on TheJointBlog.

from https://thejointblog.com/nevada-530-million-in-marijuana-sold-in-fy-2018-state-has-over-8000-full-time-marijuana-jobs/…

Wisc.: Election Day is around the corner

Wisconsin’s General Election Day is less than two weeks away! If you are not yet registered to vote, you can register at your polling location on Election Day, Tuesday, November 6.

Almost three million voters will have the opportunity to directly weigh in on marijuana policies in Wisconsin through ballot measures on Election Day. Results could build significant momentum for statewide marijuana policy reform. Check out the confirmed list of questions by jurisdiction here.

In addition, here’s a look at where gubernatorial candidates stand on marijuana policy: Tony Evers (D) supports medical marijuana, and letting voters decide on legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults’ use, while Gov. Scott Walker (R) remains opposed to both.

For more information on voting, including where to cast your ballot, early voting, and voter registration, check out the state’s website here. You can find more information on Wisconsin’s current marijuana policies here.

Please forward this message to your network, and be sure to get out and vote!

The post Wisc.: Election Day is around the corner appeared first on MPP Blog.

from https://blog.mpp.org/general/wisc-election-day-is-around-the-corner/…

Iowa: November 6 is General Election Day

The Iowa general election is fast approaching. The deadline to register online is October 27. You can also register and vote on Election Day!

Here’s a look at where gubernatorial candidates stand on marijuana reform: Fred Hubbell (D) is supportive of expanding medical marijuana, while Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) said she “would support the process that’s already in place” that allows a board to make certain expansions to the existing low-THC program. You can find more information on Iowa’s current marijuana policies here.

For more information on voting, including registration and where you can cast your ballot, check out the state’s website.

Please forward this to your friends and family in Iowa, and be sure to vote!

The post Iowa: November 6 is General Election Day appeared first on MPP Blog.

from https://blog.mpp.org/medical-marijuana/iowa-november-6-is-general-election-day/…

N.H.: Send Gov. Sununu a message by supporting pro-reform candidates

Find out where N.H. candidates stand on marijuana policy, then help good candidates win on Tuesday, November 6! 

Last week, Gov. Chris Sununu doubled down on his opposition to marijuana legalization. This is a disappointing development, especially in light of the fact that the legalization study commission’s report is set to be completed next week. Gov. Sununu signed the bill that created the study commission, so it’s unfortunate that he couldn’t wait for its report before taking a firm position on the issue.

Sununu’s general election opponents — Molly Kelly (D) and Jilletta Jarvis (L) — both support legalizing, regulating, and taxing cannabis for adults’ use. However, Sununu continues to lead in the polls, and it is rare for a first-term governor to lose a re-election bid in New Hampshire.

If Sununu wins on November 6, it will be difficult to pass a legalization bill in 2019, but that doesn’t mean it will be impossible. If enough legislators support ending marijuana prohibition, it will be possible to override a potential veto with a two-thirds majority in the legislature.

Click here to learn where candidates on your ballot stand on marijuana policy!

The outcome of state Senate races will be especially critical for our success in the next legislative session, and those contests are often determined by a very small number of votes. If you are able to volunteer to help a good Senate candidate win in your area, please consider doing so!

Click here for a condensed, printable one-page version of our voter guide.

Please share this information with your family and friends. Then, please do what you can to help good candidates win in November!

The post N.H.: Send Gov. Sununu a message by supporting pro-reform candidates appeared first on MPP Blog.

from https://blog.mpp.org/tax-and-regulate/n-h-send-gov-sununu-a-message-by-supporting-pro-reform-candidates/…

Study: Cannabis Smoke Has No Impact on Lung Health

Cannabis smoke exposure is not detrimental to lung health and is not associated with the onset of lung cancer, emphysema, or COPD, according to a new study published in the journal Chest.

Donald Tashkin of UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine reviewed dozens of studies assessing cannabis smoke exposure and lung health, involving thousands of subjects.

He reports: “Although regular smoking of marijuana is associated with an increased risk of symptoms of chronic bronchitis and evidence of inflammation and injury involving the larger airways, lung function findings, although mixed, do not provide compelling evidence that habitual marijuana smoking in the manner and amount that it is generally smoked increases the risk of COPD, at least at the population level. Despite the presence of carcinogens in marijuana smoke in concentrations comparable with those that are found in tobacco smoke, the weight of evidence from well-designed epidemiologic studies does not support the concept that habitual marijuana use in the manner and quantity in which it is customarily smoked, when adjusted for tobacco, is a significant risk factor for the development of lung cancer.”

Studies also fail to show a relationship between cannabis smoking and decrements in lung function, and “argue against an association of marijuana with clinically significant emphysema.”

Tashkin’s findings are similar to those of past reviews finding that cannabis smoke exposure fails to possess the same sort of significant adverse pulmonary effects as does tobacco.

For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “Marijuana and lung disease,” appears in Chest. NORML’s fact-sheet, “Cannabis exposure and lung health,” appears online.

The post Study: Cannabis Smoke Has No Impact on Lung Health appeared first on TheJointBlog.

from https://thejointblog.com/study-cannabis-smoke-has-no-impact-on-lung-health/…

Study: Adolescent Marijuana Use in Canada Has Dropped Nearly 50% Since 2008

Marijuana use among adolescents in Canada has declined significantly in recent years, and fewer teens say that the substance is easy to obtain, according to a new study published in the journal Preventive Medicine.

For the study, researchers at the University of Waterloo in Ontario assessed teen marijuana use trends for the years 2004 to 2015. Researchers reported that adolescent use fell nearly 50% between the years 2008/2009 and 2014/2015. The percentage of teens who acknowledged that accessing cannabis “would be easy” fell nearly 40% between 2006/2007 and 2014/2015.

“Overall, cannabis use among Canadian youth appears to have peaked around 2008/09, with substantial declines over the past decade,” states researchers.

Adolescent marijuana use rates in the United States have followed a similar decline over the better part of the past two decades. The researchers published separate data in January finding that few Canadians who consume cannabis meet criteria for problematic use.

Earlier this month, Canada legalized the use and sale of cannabis to those age 18 and older.

The full text of the study, titled Trends in cannabis use over time among Canadian youth: 2004-2014, appears in Preventive Medicine.

The post Study: Adolescent Marijuana Use in Canada Has Dropped Nearly 50% Since 2008 appeared first on TheJointBlog.

from https://thejointblog.com/study-adolescent-marijuana-use-in-canada-has-dropped-nearly-50-since-2008/…

Acting Regionally: SSDP Conferences from Binghamton to Santa Barbara

Each fall, Students for Sensible Drug Policy’s regional conferences bring students, alumni and community members in their respective areas together for knowledge sharing and community building through interactive workshops, educational discussions and networking.

We kicked off the fall season on October 6 at SUNY Binghamton in New York State. After welcoming remarks by former SUNY Binghamton SSDP Chapter Leader Grant Leow, I along with fellow SSDP staffer Hannah Procell led a cultural competency training session where we discussed racial bias in drug policy enforcement and the U.S. prison system and read some anecdotes of peoples’ first-hand experiences with being targeted by law enforcement. It’s important that incoming activists understand this and incorporate it into their advocacy.

The next session was a panel on harm reduction featuring Truth Pharm founder Alexis Pleus, SSDP alumnus and harm reduction counselor Garrett Reuscher and harm reduction psychotherapist Eddie Einbinder. The three experts explained the principles of harm reduction and the best ways to argue for it to prohibitionists, and also how to support a loved one struggling with use without compromising their autonomy.

Then SUNY Binghamton graduate student Kevin Revier presented “Stories from Jail: Harm Reduction Through an Abolitionist Framework,” which focused on the experiences of incarcerated people and the horrific treatment they face behind bars, the Prison Abolition movement and what anti-criminalization activism looks like beyond just drug-policy reform.

Poll: 49% in Wyoming Support Legalizing Marijuana, Up 12% From 2014

According to new polling from the University of Wyoming’s Survey & Analysis Center, 49% of Wyoming residents support legalizing marijuana, with 86% in favor of legalizing medical marijuana.

(Photo: Cannabis Now Magazine).

This marks an 8% increase from 2016, and a 12% increase from 2014.

“In 2014 over one-third (37%) of Wyoming residents said they support allowing adults in Wyoming to legally possess marijuana for personal use”, states a brief of the poll. “In 2016 support increased to 41%. Now in 2018, nearly half (49%) of Wyoming residents say they support this – a statistically significant trend since 2014.”

The poll found that “There is majority support among younger Wyoming residents, with a majority of 18-24-year-olds (63%), 25-29-year-olds (58%), 35- 44-year-olds (53%), and 55-64-year-olds (61.2%) supporting legalization. There is majority opposition to legalization of those ages 45-54 (64%), 65-74-year-olds (67%), and 75+ (81%). ”

Men in Wyoming “support legalization at a significantly higher rate than do Women (53% vs. 45%, respectively), as was the case in 2014 and 2016.”

The poll found that an even larger majority of Wyoming residents support medical marijuana legalization, with 86% in favor – also a 12% increase from 2014.

More information on this poll can be found by clicking here.

The post Poll: 49% in Wyoming Support Legalizing Marijuana, Up 12% From 2014 appeared first on TheJointBlog.

from https://thejointblog.com/poll-49-in-wyoming-support-legalizing-marijuana-up-12-from-2014/…

Utah Senator Tries Marijuana Gummy Bears Ahead of Medical Marijuana Vote

A Utah senator recently drove to Las Vegas and tried marijuana for the first time. He did so ahead of an upcoming vote on an initiative that would legalize medical marijuana.

Salt Lake City CBS affiliate KUTV-TV reported Utah Democratic state Sen. Jim Dabakis wanted to try cannabis before the vote. Dabakis selected an edible gummy bear for the test, saying legislators should at least try cannabis before it’s up for vote next month.

Dabakis, of Salt Lake City Democrat who represents the state’s 2nd senate district, said in a Facebook video in front of a dispensary that it’s “not a big deal.”

“I wouldn’t recommend it as sheer candy,” he added. “It’s kind of bitter.”

Many lawmakers have said they don’t support Proposition 2, but others have said they would support a medical cannabis compromise that’s set to be discussed in a special legislative session.

“It dawned on me (last) Wednesday on the floor of the Senate that the Legislature is going to have the final say on this medical marijuana,” Dabakis said.

Looking around at the other legislators, the senator said something bothered him.

“I thought, ‘Maybe nobody on this floor has ever tried marijuana,’” Dabakis said.  “I think if the Legislature would actually try it they would find it and realize this is no big deal, and at least let those who are suffering have the help that they need.”

The post Utah Senator Tries Marijuana Gummy Bears Ahead of Medical Marijuana Vote appeared first on TheJointBlog.

from https://thejointblog.com/utah-senator-tries-marijuana-gummy-bears-ahead-of-medical-marijuana-vote/…

Early voting underway in Nevada; find out where candidates stand on cannabis policy

Voters have important choices for governor and U.S. Senate that will affect cannabis policy

Early voting has already begun in Nevada, and current Gov. Brian Sandoval is term-limited and will step down in early 2019. Nevadans now have a choice between two major party candidates who have experience with the state’s regulatory cannabis program.

Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, helped implement regulations for cannabis businesses in the state’s most populous county and for the McCarran International Airport. He is particularly concerned with finding a solution to banking-related challenges. His consistent support for sensible rules and interest in seeking solutions earns Steve Sisolak an A grade from MPP.

His opponent is Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R), whose office had the duty to defend the legalization program from those who sought to delay implementation, and he objected to the federal government’s withdrawal of guidance on federal policy toward regulatory standards. However, he opposed Measure 2 from the outset and also opposed allowing out-of-state patients from getting access to medical cannabis while in Nevada. His mixed support earns Adam Laxalt a C from MPP.

Turning to the U.S. Senate race, as a Congressman, Dean Heller (R) voted against prohibiting federal intervention in medical marijuana laws back in 2007. But more recently, he cosponsored a banking and a medical cannabis-related bill, the CARERS Act. Sen. Heller gets a B. In contrast, challenger Jacky Rosen (D) cosponsors numerous favorable bills, including the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, earning Rep. Rosen an A.

Information on the election, including sample ballots, is available here. To verify you are registered to vote and to find your polling place, click here. Early voting locations are here.

This is an important election for Nevadans so please make sure you get out and vote! Early voting lasts until Friday, November 2 and Election Day is Tuesday, November 6.

The post Early

Early voting has begun in Kansas

Early in-person voting began Wednesday, October 17. Registered voters can cast their ballots early anytime from now through Monday, November 5. Then, the Kansas general election is set for Tuesday, November 6.

Here’s a look at where gubernatorial candidates stand on marijuana policy: Laura Kelly (D) is supportive of medical marijuana, while Kris Kobach (R) opposes it. You can find more information on Kansas’ current marijuana policies here.

You can find more information on registration and voting here.

Please forward this message to your family and friends, and be sure to get out and vote!

The post Early voting has begun in Kansas appeared first on MPP Blog.

from https://blog.mpp.org/general/early-voting-has-begun-in-kansas/…

Delaware Election Day is around the corner

Delaware’s General Election Day is less than two weeks away! Now’s a perfect time to study up on where your candidates stand on legalizing and regulating cannabis.

Our allies at the Delaware Cannabis Advocacy Network have put together a comprehensive state legislative voter guide with the results of their candidate surveys and incumbents’ voting records.

Check it out, share it on social media, and don’t forget to vote if you’re able to!

Please also consider stepping up your involvement by volunteering for a supportive candidate, making a donation, and/or attending a candidate forum to ask about the issue.

Here are a handful of competitive races where candidates differ on cannabis prohibition:

  • House District 12 (Hockessin, Greenville): Krista Griffith (D) supports legalizing and regulating cannabis, while incumbent Rep. Deborah Hudson (R) voted against medical cannabis, decriminalization, and legalizing and regulating cannabis.
  • House District 21 (Pike Creek Valley): Rep. Michael Ramone (R) voted against legalization and regulation and replied in response to DCAN’s survey that he is undecided. Challenger Stephanie Barry (D) is supportive.
  • House District 22 (Hockessin): Guillermina Gonzalez (D) supports legalizing and regulating cannabis, while Michael Smith (R) is opposed.
  • House District 36 (Milford): Bryan Shupe (R) told the League of Women Voters he is currently not supportive of HB 110 (legalization and regulation), while Donald Allan Jr. (D) expressed support in response to DCAN’s survey.
  • Senate District 4 (Greenville, Centerville): Laura Sturgeon (D) is supportive of legalizing and regulating cannabis, while Gregory Lavelle (R) did not respond to DCAN’s candidate survey. Lavalle voted against decriminalization.

Delaware doesn’t have a voter initiative process, so the only way to legalize cannabis in the First State is via the legislature and governor. So, please be sure to get out to vote and spread the word!

Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 6. You can find your polling place and read your sample ballot here

The 6 Countries Most Likely to Legalize Marijuana Next

By Gene Johnson, Associated Press

More than two dozen countries have relaxed their cannabis or other drug laws, and a number could consider legalizing in the not-too-distant future.

The South American nation of Uruguay was first to legalize marijuana in 2013. Canada became the second on Oct. 17, 2018, and its size and global standing likely will encourage others to follow. Here’s a look at other nations that could be influenced by Canada’s legalization:

New Zealand

The government announced in late 2017 that medical cannabis would be allowed, and the country is due to hold a national referendum by 2020 on whether to legalize and regulate adult-use marijuana. The exact language and scope of the referendum question remain unclear.

“That they’ve agreed to have a referendum shows how far the debate has come in New Zealand,” said Steve Rolles, a senior policy analyst at Transform, a global drug law reform organization based in England. “And the fact they have a model in Canada — a country they have good relations with, that they’re quite similar to culturally — can only help the reform cause.”

For now, recreational cannabis remains illegal, with possible penalties ranging from a $500 fine ($327.46 U.S. dollars as of the exchange rate Oct. 22, 2018) for possession to a 14-year jail term for its growth or distribution.

Mexico

Ravaged by drug war violence and corruption, Mexico decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana and other drugs in 2009. A series of Mexico Supreme Court rulings beginning in 2015 began laying the groundwork for marijuana legalization by holding that people should have the right to grow and distribute marijuana for personal use.

The country’s incoming interior minister, Olga Sánchez Cordero, participated in some of those rulings as a Supreme Court justice and has said she will push for broad marijuana legalization. She has the blessing of incoming President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who won office in …

Why this Michigander is hoping Prop. 1 passes

Having worked in states across the country to pass humane, sensible marijuana laws, it’s exciting that in just two weeks voters in my home state, Michigan, will have a chance to legalize marijuana!

While polls are encouraging, the opposition is ramping up its misleading attacks, and we can’t take anything for granted.

Will you please make a donation to the Michigan campaign today?

Growing up in Michigan, I saw firsthand how marijuana prohibition failed my home state. When I was in high school, teenagers had easy — and dangerous — access to marijuana. While buying marijuana from an open-air drug market, someone I knew had a gun pulled on him. It’s heartbreaking to think of kids growing up on that street.

During college, two friends’ dreams of teaching and practicing law were derailed due to cannabis convictions.

Now, when I go back home, I experience pothole-plagued roads and read about shockingly high rates of unsolved crimes, while police waste time on marijuana.

At long last, we have a chance to end Michigan’s wasteful, cruel policy of marijuana prohibition. Proposition 1 will move marijuana sales off of the streets and into regulated stores, while creating good jobs and generating hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue. Cannabis consumers will have a safe, tested product, and adults won’t be criminalized for using a substance that is safer than alcohol.

Michigan can set an example. So far, only East and West Coast states have legalized marijuana. Let’s bring sensible marijuana policy to the Midwest.

So please, chip in today.

Together, we’ve got this!

The post Why this Michigander is hoping Prop. 1 passes appeared first on MPP Blog.

from https://blog.mpp.org/tax-and-regulate/why-this-michigander-is-hoping-prop-1-passes/…