According to new polling a strong majority of Texas voters support legalizing cannabis for all uses.
The poll, conducted by Quinnipiac University, finds that 61% of voters in the state are in favor of ending cannabis prohibition, with 39% opposed. Democrats support the measure at a much higher rate – 69% – whereas Republican support is 50%, but still significant (43%). Among Independents, support was the same as for Democrats at 69%.
“Texans are not much different than voters in other parts of the country”, states a Quinnipiac University press release announcing the new survey. “They support almost 2-1 the idea of allowing small amounts of marijuana for personal use”.
The poll found that although men support legalization at a higher rate than women (65% are in favor with 31% opposed), women still support the move with a clear majority, 57% to 36%.
Among every age group only those 65+ oppose legalization (40% to 51%), with those 18-34 having the highest level of support (79% to just 16%).
South Carolina’s House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee overwhelmingly approved a medical cannabis legalization bill on Thursday.
The South Carolina Compassionate Care Act (House Bill 3521), was passed by the committee in a 14 to 3 vote. The bill would allow those with certain medical conditions who receive a doctor recommendation to use medical cannabis and cannabis products. A companion measure in the Senate was passed through the Senate Medical Affairs Committee late last month.
“The diligent work of patients, advocates, and supportive lawmakers is paying off, and South Carolinians are closer to finding relief with medical cannabis than ever before,” says Janel Ralph, executive director of Compassionate South Carolina, which has been working to legalize medical cannabis in the state for years. “This issue needs to stay at the forefront of the legislature’s attention, and we will continue working to educate them about the need for a compassionate medical cannabis program in our state. Patients will continue to suffer until this bill is passed and implemented. We commend lawmakers for allowing the Compassionate Care Act to progress this far, and urge them not to delay taking it up when the next session begins.”
The South Carolina Compassionate Care Act, introduced last year by Senator Tom Davis and Representative Peter McCoy, would allow patients with certain debilitating conditions to access medical cannabis if their doctors recommend it. The Department of Health and Environmental Control would regulate and license medical cannabis cultivation centers, processing facilities, dispensaries, and independent testing laboratories. Qualifying conditions would include cancer, PTSD, Crohn’s disease, glaucoma, HIV, autism, Hepatitis C, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and any condition causing debilitating pain, severe nausea, and seizures.
According to a statewide Winthrop Poll, 78% of South Carolina adults support legalizing medical cannabis.
According to an October 2016 Winthrop Poll, 78% of South Carolina residents approve of making cannabis legal for medical purposes.
Location: Annenberg Theater at the Newseum, Washington, DC
Description: A full day of panel discussions and keynotes, including Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), DC Attorney General Karl Racine and Ben Jealous. The next day, the National Cannabis Festival, featuring Cypress Hill, will take place at RFK Stadium.
A resolution urging the federal government to respect Alaska’s marijuana legalization law, and to consider a change in federal law, has been passed by the state’s full Senate.
House Joint Resolution No. 21 urges the federal government” to respect the authority of the state to regulate marijuana use, production, and distribution and to honor previous federal guidance on marijuana policy”, and urges them “to reconsider its listing of marijuana as a schedule I controlled substance.” The House of representative has already approved the resolution in a unanimous vote last month.
Alaska of course is one of nine U.S. states where marijuana is legal. Passed in 2014, Alaska’s marijuana law allows those 21 and older to possess and use up to an ounce of marijuana, which they can purchase from a state-licensed marijuana retail outlet. The law also allows for the personal cultivation of marijuana.
For the full text of House Joint Resolution No. 21, click here.
Louisiana’s full House of Representatives has given approval to legislation that would make the state’s medical cannabis law permanent.
House Bill 823, filed by Representative Vincent Pierre (D), was passed by the House yesterday in a 69 to 23 vote. According to its official text, the measure; “Repeals the termination date of laws authorizing the recommendation or prescription of medical marijuana in the treatment of certain debilitating medical conditions”.
Louisiana’s current medical marijuana law, passed in 2016, allows those with a qualifying medical cannabis condition to purchase and use medical cannabis products, given they receive a recommendation from a physician. Qualifying conditions include cachexia/wasting syndrome, cancer, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and seizure disorders/spasticity. This law is set to expire in 2020, but would become permanent under House Bill 823.
Earlier this month the House voted 60 to 39 to expand the list of qualifying medical marijuana conditions to include intractable pain, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), severe muscle spasms and Parkinson’s disease.
A bipartisan group of U.S. representatives have filed legislation that would facilitate government-sponsored research on the use of medical cannabis by veterans.
The VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2018 (HR 5520) was filed by representative Timothy Waltz (D) with 34 bipartisan co-sponsors. The measure states that; “In carrying out the responsibilities of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.. the Secretary may conduct and support research relating to the efficacy and safety of forms of cannabis.. on the health outcomes of covered veterans diagnosed with chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other conditions the Secretary determines appropriate.”
The measure authorizes “the Secretary to conduct and support research on the efficacy and safety of medicinal cannabis.”
According to recent polling published by The American Legion, 39% stated that they “know a veteran” who is using medical cannabis, with 21% saying they themselves “use cannabis to treat a mental or physical condition.”
If you support this proposal you can click here to urge your federal lawmakers to do the same.
Sex appeal. That’s what it’s all about with the PAX 3. It’s sleek, it’s compact, it’s minimalist… the iPhone of vaporizers. But where did this unique design come from? Why does it give off this feeling of style? The Californian based PAXLabs has got the branding for the PAX 3 spot on, and it is a pleasure to use. But how did they get to this stage? How did they come up with the most distinctive design on the market and inspire a generation of would-be dry herb vapers? Read on to find out more.
1) Apple Inspired Vape Design
There’s no doubt about where the inspiration for the PAX 3 comes from – just one glance at that matte finish and the distinct lack of any noticeable buttons exudes Apple, and by association, California. What a perfect companion for all you Apple fans out there who like a little bit of dry herb vaping in your life – hell, why not download the corresponding PAX app from the Apple App Store? 😉 In fact, the inspiration is so obviously taken from Apple it doesn’t just stop with the vape itself, let’s consider the packaging for a moment – an unnecessarily large white box with a hefty padded base protecting all the vital components of the PAX 3 (don’t go damaging those cleaning brushes!), ring any bells?
But seriously, when you see your PAX 3 sitting there on the living room table don’t you just dream of driving down the magnificent California coastline in the glorious sunshine, the waves breaking invitingly against the shore, vaping your PAX 3 just before an awesome surf sesh? I know this guy is…
I first heard about 420 in 1990, at a Grateful Dead show at the Oakland Coliseum, when a hippie breezed by our Cannabis Action Network (CAN) booth giving out fliers. They had a scrawny marijuana leaf drawn next to “420” and “Wake’n’Bake,” surrounding a proclamation asking everyone to “Smoke Pot at at 4:20.” The CAN crew quickly figured out it was 4:20 somewhere, more than 24 times a day, and got busy spreading the news to others.
From left: Ed Rosenthal, Debby Goldsberry and Steve Bloom at the 1994 Cannabis Action Network festival in Golden Gate Park.
CAN was on the road back then, driving from city to city hosting Hemp Tour events and rolling with big festivals like Lollapalooza, H.O.R.D.E. and Warped. This was pre-Internet, so we simply copied that flier and passed it out along the way. Each day at 4:20, in whatever time zone we were in, the crew would break out pipes, joints and bongs, knowing that people everywhere were joining us in solidarity. It was a great feeling to imagine all the others celebrating at the same time.
The original flier claimed 420 was a police code for pot-smoking in progress in California, starting a myth that still lingers today. It’s not; we’ve since learned that a bunch of students at San Rafael High School in Marin County started the phenomenon in the early 1970s, using 420 as their code to meet after school to get stoned. Ultimately, that group of friends, known as the Waldos, was credited with coining the term 420. They passed it around through Deadhead circles in the Bay Area until the 420 fliers mysteriously appeared on Shakedown Street at the Oakland Coliseum shows that closed out 1990.
CAN set up a national office in Berkeley in 1992. As the years went by, we kept spreading the message of 420. It was still rare enough to be subversive.
Federal legislation that would legalize industrial hemp across the United States has rapidly advanced to the Senate floor.
Filed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), the proposed law (the Hemp Farming Act of 2018) would remove hemp from the federal controlled substances list, effectively legalizing its cultivation and production. In no small part due to the bill being filed by the Senate majority leader, it has been fast-tracked past the committee process and directly to the Senate floor. This is possible through the usage of a procedural move known as Rule 14. Although the move doesn’t guarantee the measure will receive a Senate vote, it makes it incredibly likely.
“By legalizing hemp and empowering states to conduct their own oversight plans, we can give the hemp industry the tools necessary to create jobs and new opportunities for farmers and manufacturers around the county,” McConnel said in a statement announcing the bill’s filing. The measure is cosponsored by Senators Ron Wyden (D), Rand Paul (R) and Jeff Merkley (D).
In addition to legalizing hemp federally, the bill allows states to determine their own hemp laws and hemp regulations. Those wanting to research hemp would be able to receive a license from the Agriculture Department.
Pennsylvania’s Department of Health has approved allowing medical cannabis patients to use whole plant cannabis, and has also agreed to expand the state’s list of qualifying conditions.
At a hearing on Monday, the Department of Health approved changes to the Pennsylvania medical marijuana program that were recommended by the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board on April 9. This includes allowing patients to access medical marijuana flowers for vaporization in addition to the more expensive processed products they can currently obtain from dispensaries. Smoking marijuana would remain prohibited. It also approved several additions to the list of conditions for which patients can qualify for the program.
The Department of Health will promulgate official regulations with the changes on May 12.
Medical marijuana became available in Pennsylvania to registered patients in February. Only a fraction of the approved cultivation centers and dispensaries are currently operational, and patients are not permitted to purchase whole plant marijuana under the current system. This has led to product shortages and prohibitively expensive medicine throughout the state. There is more information about the benefits to patients of allowing whole plant marijuana here.
“Allowing cannabis in its natural, flower form and expanding the list of qualifying conditions will have a huge positive impact on seriously ill Pennsylvanians,” said Becky Dansky, legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project, who helped lead the medical marijuana effort in the state legislature. “By being able to provide medical marijuana in plant form, producers will be able to get medicine into the hands of patients much more quickly and for much lower cost to patients. This is vitally important for patient access right now while the program is still getting off the ground and production is not yet at full capacity. We hope these rules are promulgated as quickly as possible so even more patients will be able to find relief.”
Pennsylvania was the 24th state to pass and implement an effective medical …
Former Freedom Leaf senior editor Chris Goldstein interviewed editor-in-chief Steve Bloom about the origins of how the number 420 became synonymous with cannabis in 2016. Bloom was the first journalist to write about 420 when he worked at High Times in the 1990s.
Bloom: The last week of 1990 I went to several Grateful Dead shows at the Oakland Coliseum. I was walking in the parking lot and someone handed me a half page flyer. It had this message that people should smoke together at 4:20 and on 4/20. I brought it back to High Times in New York. We passed it around the office and everyone got a kick out of it. I was news editor at the time. I transcribed the flyer and published it in the May 1991 issue. My little write up in High Times was the first time “420” got any national publicity.
Goldstein: What did the flyer say?
Bloom: Four-twenty started in San Rafael, CA in the late ‘70’s. It started as police code for …
If you’ve ever done any kind of gardening—any kind at all—chances are you’ve said these words at least once: “What the deuce is wrong with these plants?!” All right, maybe not those exact words, but something to that effect. This sentiment is usually followed by some level of panic because there’s now a very real possibility that you could lose the plant completely (i.e., it dies).
This is especially true when you’re growing cannabis because the end result is a homegrown psychedelic trip or some much-needed medication. So there’s real value waiting for you at the end of this particular rainbow.
One of the more common “What the…” problems is magnesium deficiency in cannabis. It can affect any strain at any time and eventually leads to the complete failure of your crop (again, that’s DEATH, boys and girls). So what’s a concerned cannasseur to do if magnesium deficiency rears its ugly head? Treat the problem and prevent it from happening again, that’s what.
But how exactly can you tell if it’s magnesium deficiency or something else entirely? The experts at Honest Marijuana are here to help. We’ll be your superhero!
In this article, we’ll tell you how to diagnose, treat, and prevent magnesium deficiency in your cannabis plants. Along the way, we’ll also answer some other important questions, such as:
What is magnesium?
What does magnesium do in cannabis?
Can pH levels affect magnesium absorption?
How long after diagnosis until your plants look better?
That’s a lot to get to, and we realize the life of your precious pot plants is on the line. Time is of the essence, so let’s get started saving the day. Cue Mighty Mouse theme song.
What Is Magnesium?
Magnesium (Mg) is a chemical element on the periodic table (number 12 for those of you who were curious). It was “discovered” in 1618 by Henry Wicker’s cows (seriously, look it up). One hundred and …
A new Colorado-based study released by the CDC examines the likelihood of a person being a marijuana consumer based on the industry they currently work in.
The study, titled Current Marijuana Use by Industry and Occupation — Colorado, 2014–2015, was released by the CDC on Friday. Using the 2014 and 2015 BRFSS [Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System] data combined, “state-weighted percentages were calculated, and bivariate analyses using a Rao-Scott chi-square test were performed to compare the prevalence of marijuana use by age group, sex, and race/ethnicity.” In addition, “prevalence and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to compare the prevalence of marijuana use by industry and occupation.”
Among the combined 26,936 respondents* in the BRFSS 2014 and 2015 surveys, 18,848 (70.0%) were given the opportunity to answer the question of whether they had ever used marijuana or hashish, and 18,674 (99.1%) responded (either positively or negatively) to the question. Of those respondents, 10,169 (54.5%) indicated that they were employed or had been out of work for less than 1 year. Among the 10,169 workers responding, 14.6% reported using marijuana during the preceding 30 days.
The prevalence of current marijuana use was higher among persons aged 18–25 years (29.6%) than among persons aged 26–34 years (18.6%) and persons aged ≥35 years (11.0%), and higher among men (17.2%) than among women (11.3%). By race/ethnicity, prevalence of current marijuana use was highest among non-Hispanic whites (15.3%), followed by Hispanics (15.1%) and non-Hispanic blacks (14.5%).
Below is a breakdown of marijuana users by industry, starting with the industry with the highest percentage of users, down to the industry with the lowest percentage:
Accommodation and Food Services — 30.1% Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation — 28.3% Other Services (except Public Administration) — 20.9% Construction — 19.7% Real Estate, Rent, Lease — 19.6% Retail Trade — 18.9% Administration, Support, Waste Management, and Remediation Services — 18.8% Information — 18.2% Manufacturing — 16.3% Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing/Hunting — …
Reporting on Washington State’s legal marijuana market is slow-going, with data released by the Liquor and Cannabis Board being months behind other states.
Washington’s Liquor and Cannabis Board, which oversees the state’s legal marijuana industry, operates a neat and fairly comprehensive Marijuana Dashboard which has detailed statistical information regarding marijuana sales, licensing and production. The problem is that the Board seems be incredibly slow at collecting data, and/or reporting it.
The latest monthly sales data for Washington’s marijuana industry was released by the Board roughly two months ago. This was data for October, 2017. This means that data for November, 2017 and onward is unreported and completely unknown by anyone outside of the Board (or maybe it’s even unknown to them). By contrast, in Oregon and Colorado, states which have their Department of Revenues overseeing their marijuana markets, sales and tax data is reported through February of this year. This means that they’re four months ahead of Washington’s available data, and just one month behind current time (this makes March the only finished month where data isn’t yet available, though it will be soon).
Although data being released so slowly isn’t a life-changer for most people. even for those in the industry, it’s another sign that the Board may not be entirely fit to handle the job they’ve been tasked to do. Way back in 2015 we reported on how the Board was utterly confused about the state’s then-new medical marijuana law, and was giving bad advice to medical marijuana collectives that could have led to them receiving felony charges.
We reached out to the Liquor and Cannabis Board for their thoughts on this issue but they have yet to respond.
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) says he’s made a deal with President Trump that will protect businesses in legal marijuana states.
It was a big week for Republicans and weed. First, on Apr. 11, former Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) announced that he’d joined the advisory board of Acreage Holdings, a cannabis company “with cultivation, processing and dispensing operations across 11 states.”
Two days later, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) said he’d struck a deal with President Trump that would allow recreational marijuana business in the nine legal states to operate without federal interference. Gardener stated:
“Late Wednesday (Apr. 11), I received a commitment from the President that the Department of Justice’s rescission of the Cole Memo will not impact Colorado’s legal marijuana industry. Furthermore, President Trump has assured me that he will support a federalism-based legislative solution to fix the states’ rights issue once in for all.”
In exchange, Gardner said he would no longer block Trump’s Justice Department nominees.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Gardner’s remarks:
“We’re always consulting Congress about issues, including states’ rights, of which
President Trump has pledged that the federal government won’t interfere with state laws that legalize marijuana, and says he’ll support legislative efforts to cement this.
Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) says that he has received commitment from President Donald Trump that the administration will not take action to disrupt marijuana markets in states that legally regulate the substance, and because of this will s top his blocking of all Department of Justice nominees.
“Since the campaign, President Trump has consistently supported states’ rights to decide for themselves how best to approach marijuana,” Says Gardner. “Late Wednesday, I received a commitment from the President that the Department of Justice’s rescission of the Cole memo will not impact Colorado’s legal marijuana industry.”
He added: “Furthermore, President Trump has assured me that he will support a federalism-based legislative solution to fix this states’ rights issue once and for all. Because of these commitments, I have informed the Administration that I will be lifting my remaining holds on Department of Justice nominees.”
White House Press Secretary confirmed during a press conference that Trump has spoken to Garnder about marijuana on several occasions.
“We applaud this commitment from President Trump, who promised during his campaign to take a federalist approach with regard to marijuana policy”, says NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri. “That campaign promise was not reflected by Trump’s appointment of longtime marijuana prohibitionist Jeff Sessions to the position of Attorney General or any of the actions that Sessions has taken since becoming the nation’s top law enforcement officer.”
Altieri continues; “With the President now reiterating this commitment, it is time for Congress to do its part and swiftly move forward bipartisan legislation that explicitly provides states with the authority and autonomy to set their own marijuana policies absent the fear of federal incursion. Doing so would not only follow through one of Trump’s campaign promises, but it would codify the will of the overwhelming majority …
The Marijuana Policy Project is looking for our next Executive Director to run the nation’s leading marijuana policy reform organization! We are taking advantage of our first-ever change in executive leadership to cast the widest net possible so we can find just the right person to lead us into the future at this critical juncture in marijuana policy.
We are looking for a leader with a personal commitment to marijuana policy reform and individual liberty who has the drive, skills, and experience to end marijuana prohibition. Marijuana reform is one of the country’s most popular and bipartisan issues, with public support more than doubling over the last 20 years. The opportunity has never been greater to make historic changes to the nation’s marijuana laws.
The Executive Director will lead the team responsible for over half of the current medical marijuana and adult use legalization laws in the country. The position develops and implements the organization’s political strategy and goals in conjunction with the staff and Board of Directors. Ensuring fiscal stability is a major part of the job, and the ideal candidate will have a track record of successful fundraising and a demonstrated ability to run a fast-paced, mission-driven organization of 20 or more employees with a primary focus on changing laws.
Interested parties should contact email@example.com with a cover letter, resume, and a list of professional references.
Matthew Schweich, the current executive director, is committed to leading the organization until his successor has been named. He will then focus his attention on the Michigan and Utah ballot initiatives campaigns. Mr. Schweich joined MPP in early 2015 as the director of state campaigns, and he was the campaign director for the 2016 legalization ballot initiative campaigns in Maine and Massachusetts, and also worked on the 2016 Nevada campaign. He was named executive director of MPP in November 2017.
Louisiana’s full House of Representatives has voted to expand the state’s medical marijuana program (passed in 2015).
The House voted 60 to 39 yesterday to expand the list of qualifying medical marijuana conditions. Filed by Representative Ted James, the House-approved legislation would add intractable pain, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), severe muscle spasms and Parkinson’s disease to the conditions eligible for medical marijuana use. A separate measure by Representative Rodney Lyons, which has already passed the House, would also add autism to the list.
“We’ve got a lot of vets who don’t want to take drugs, the heavy drugs,” says Representative Kenny Cox, a retired Army officer who argued that the law could help military veterans suffering from PTSD. The proposal must now be passed by the Senate before it can be sent to Governor John Bel Edwards for consideration.
“If we can prolong life and ease pain for one young person, one senior with this bill, I think we’re headed in the right direction,” says Representative James.
Passed in 2015 and altered in 2016, Louisiana’s current medical marijuana law allows those with cancer, cerebral palso, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy and other specific conditions to use marijuana in non-smokeable forms such as oils, sprays, pills and topicals (like lotions).
Alaska Governor Bill Walker has signed into law a bill legalizing industrial hemp.
Governor Walker signed Senate Bill 6 today, which was filed by Senator Shelley Hughes. The measure was passed unanimously by both the Senate (18 to 0) and House of Representatives (36 to 0).
The new law legalizes industrial hemp by separating hemp from the definition of marijuana. This effectively removes hemp from the state’s list of controlled substances, allowing it to be grown as an agricultural commodity. Senate Bill 6 also clarifies that “cannabidiol oil is not included in the definition of “hashish oil””,and clarifies that “adding industrial hemp to food does not create an adulterated food product”.
“It was time to remove hemp from the marijuana statutes,” says Senator Hughes. “There’s no psychoactive impact from hemp. If you were to smoke acres and acres and acres of hemp, all you would get would be a sore throat and a cough.”
Hughes continues; “I just want to use Alaska hemp. It’s been frustrating for us, just because our business is entirely made up of products that we wild-craft or grow ourselves. And so the hemp seed oil, that would just change everything for us, to have it completely Alaska-grown and made herbs and plants in our products.”
The April 11 announcement from Acreage Holdings, a diversified multistate cannabis corporation headquartered in New York, that former House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, would join its board of advisors affirms reformers’ lament that the closer the U.S. gets to legalizing cannabis, the more persecutors-turned-profiteers like Boehner will seek to join the nascent and booming industry.
Despite being a well-known devoted consumer of tobacco and alcohol, Boehner in his 20-plus years in Congress voted against all proposed measures to reform any aspect of cannabis prohibition—from adult use to industrial hemp to medical access. Every single one.
As recently as 2015, Boehner opposed the effort to legalize recreational use in Ohio, his home state. In 2011, he said marijuana should remain a Schedule I drug, stating: “I remain concerned that legalization will result in increased abuse of a variety of drugs.”
Predictably, since Colorado and Washington legalized the commercial production, sale and taxation of cannabis products in 2012, individuals previously associated with maintaining cannabis prohibition and advocating for rigorous law enforcement have begun using their positions of power and influence to profit from the fruits of decades of advocacy work by nonprofit organizations like the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Drug Policy Alliance, Marijuana Policy Project and the American Civil Liberties Union.
After two rounds of voting by thousands of our supporters across the U.S.A. — beginning with a public vote on Facebook before moving on to a members-only vote —we are excited to announce the winner of the Marijuana Policy Project’s 2018 T-shirt Design Contest.
Congratulations to Michelle Geiger of Apollo Beach, Florida! Her polished and imaginative design features our organization’s full name, our motto We Change Laws, our website URL (mpp.org), and our inaugural year all cleverly shaped to represent MPP’s nationwide impact.
We look forward to using this new shirt to help amplify our advocacy and educational efforts on the state and federal levels, starting with its unveiling at the National Cannabis Festival on April 21, 2018 in Washington, D.C. It will also be available in multiple color and size variations on our online shop this summer.
Thanks to everyone who participated in MPP’s 2018 Design Contest and for your ongoing commitment to MPP’s mission. Between the integral role MPP played in passing adult-use marijuana legalization in Vermont and our successful efforts to secure state medical marijuana protections in Congress, we have already made significant progress this year. With upcoming ballot initiatives in Utah (medical marijuana), Michigan (adult-use), and other states this year, your continued support is crucial.
Early this week, former Republican House Speaker John Boehner announced his support for descheduling marijuana at the federal level. At the same time, he revealed his plans to become advisor to a multi-state marijuana industry firm with dozens of locations. This is a stark departure from his previous stance on marijuana. While in Congress, Boehner voted in favor of legislation that prevented the District of Columbia from implementing its voter-approved medical marijuana program for more than a decade, and was a vocal opponent of legalization.
Boehner, along with former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld (R), is joining the Board of Advisors of Acreage Holdings, which holds 35 licenses for cannabis businesses across the U.S.
“When you look at the number of people in our state and federal penitentiaries, who are there for possession of small amounts of cannabis, you begin to really scratch your head,” Boehner said. “We have literally filled up our jails with people who are nonviolent and frankly do not belong there.”
In a tweet, Boehner, who did not endorse marijuana law reform while serving as the House’s top official, said he now supports removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, a process known as descheduling.
In a 2011 letter to a constituent, the speaker wrote, “I am unalterably opposed to the legalization of marijuana or any other FDA Schedule I drug. I remain concerned that legalization will result in increased abuse of all varieties of drugs, including alcohol.”
But now, Boehner says that he and Weld will advise Acreage on navigating confusing and conflicting federal and state marijuana laws.
While Boehner should be commended for seeing reason and adding his voice to those calling for sensible marijuana policy reform, many advocates are concerned that he is set to profit from policies he opposed and is not doing enough to counteract the impact of his words and actions while in office.
This week, the Maine House and Senate overwhelmingly passed LD 1719, which would set up Maine’s adult-use marijuana market. MPP was neutral on the bill, as it removed social club licensing from the initiative voters passed in 2016. LD 1719 also reduced the number of plants adults can cultivate at home from six to three flowering plants. That said, it’s been 18 months since Maine voters passed Question 1, and it is time that adults had a legal place to purchase marijuana.
Given the veto-proof margins that LD 1719 passed by, we are uncertain if Gov. LePage will veto the bill. If he does, many lawmakers will have to change their votes to sustain his veto. We will keep you posted on what happens next.
The legalization of marijuana is associated with a reduction in crime, as well as drug and alcohol use, according to a new study published by the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.
“First-pass evidence is provided that the legalization of the cannabis market across US states is inducing a crime drop”, states the study’s abstract. “We exploit the staggered legalization of recreational marijuana enacted by the adjacent states of Washington (end of 2012) and Oregon (end of 2014). Combining county-level difference-in-differences and spatial regression discontinuity designs, we find that the policy caused a significant reduction in rapes and property crimes on the Washington side of the border in 2013–2014 relative to the Oregon side and relative to the pre-legalization years 2010–2012.
Researchers found that legalization “also increased consumption of marijuana and reduced consumption of other drugs and both ordinary and binge alcohol. ”
More information on this study, conducted at the University of Bologna in Italy, can be found by clicking here.