Maine House Votes to Override Governor Veto of Marijuana Legalization Bill

Maine’s House of Representatives has voted to override a governor’s veto of legislation that would lead to the full implementation of a marijuana legalization law passed by voters in 2016.

Just a few days ago Governor LePage’s vetoed, for the second time, legislation that would have established a regulated system for legal marijuana cultivation and sales, in line with what voters approved in 2016. However, this time it looks like state legislators are taking the issue out of LePage’s hands by overriding his veto (something  possible with a 2/3rds majority). The House of Representatives voted 109 to 39 today to override LePage’s veto of LD 1719

The legislation, which must now receive a 2/3rds vote in the Senate before it can become law, would establish a system of licensed marijuana retail outlets, authorized to sell the plant to anyone 21 and older. Recreational marijuana would be taxed at 20%, while medical cannabis would continue to be taxed at 5.5% for flower and 8% for edibles.

In Maine, thanks to an initiative passed in 2016 which took effect in January, 2017, the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis is legal for those 21 and older, as is the personal cultivation of up to 12 plants.

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Illinois Senate Votes to Legalize Industrial Hemp

A bill to allow for the legal cultivation and production of industrial hemp has been given approval by Illinois’ full Senate.

Senate Bill 2298 was filed by Senator Toi Hutchinson along with a dozen other legislators. It was passed by the Senate last week in a unanimous 50 to 0 vote, with nine members abstaining. It will now be sent to the House of Representatives; passage in the House would send it to the desk of Governor Bruce Rauner.

Titled the Industrial Hemp Act, the legislation would amend state law so that the legal definition of  cannabis doesn’t include industrial hemp, and “Provides that “noxious weed” does not include industrial hemp”. The bill “Provides that a person desiring to grow, cultivate, or process industrial hemp or industrial hemp products must be licensed by the Department of Agriculture.”

The law “Provides that the application for a license shall include the name and address of the applicant and the legal description of the land area, including Global Positioning System coordinates, to be used to cultivate industrial hemp”, and “Provides that the Department may determine, by rule, the duration of a license and the requirements for license renewal.”

In addition, the proposal “Preempts home rule powers. Amends the Illinois Noxious Weed Law. Provides that “noxious weed” does not include industrial hemp. Amends the Cannabis Control Act. Provides that “cannabis” does not include industrial hemp”, and “Makes conforming changes in the State Finance Act.”

The full text of Senate Bill 2298 can be found by clicking here.

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May Marijuana Events: NYC Cannabis Parade to CannaMexico

May 1-2: CannabisLearn Conference & Expo, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, Pa.

May 4-5: High Times Cannabis Cup Central Valley, Cal Expo Fairgrounds, Sacramento, Calif.

May 4-6: MardiGrass, Nimbin, New South Wales, Australia

May 5: NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally, Union Square Park, New York, N.Y. (many other marijuana events take place on this day around the world)


May 9-11: Marijuana Business Conference & Expo, Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, La.

May 11: High NY Presents An Evening with Congressman Earl Blumenauer, WeWork South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY

May 12: Cultivation Classic, Revolution Hall, Portland, Ore.

May 15-17: CHAMPS, Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, N.J.

May 19-20: THC Fair, Red Lion Hotel, Coos Bay, Ore.

May 19-20: CannaGrow Expo, Palm Springs Convention Center, Palm Springs, Calif.

May 21-22: IC3: Institutional Capital & Cannabis Conference, JW Marriott Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Calif.

May 21-23: NCIA Cannabis Industry Lobby Days, The Capitol, Washington, D.C.

May 25-27: Lift & Co. Cannabis Business Conference, Toronto Expo Centre, Toronto, Ont.

May 30-31: CannaMexico World Summit

CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta Urges Jeff Sessions to Support Medical Marijuana, Especially to Combat Opiod Epidemic

CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is publicly urging United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reconsider his opposition to medical cannabis, particularly as a way to fight the opioid epidemic.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta (Photo by Michael Kovac/WireImage)

Gupta wrote a public letter to Sessions, saying that he had changed his mind on the use of medical cannabis, “and I am certain you can, as well”, reports the Associated Press.

Gupta says he made his plea to Sessions after he declined to be interviewed for his special on the topic, Weed 4, which aired on CNN on Sunday, April 29, 2018. The special followed football player Mike James and others who say that medical marijuana has both eased the pain of injuries and weaned them from addiction to opioids. A spokesperson for Sessions declined to comment.

Before he began researching the issue a few years ago, Gupta said he was not a believer in medical cannabis and, in fact, thought marijuana was essentially being used as a ladder to recreational use of the drug. He said he became convinced that research on the issue was intentionally skewed against cannabis, and he spoke to enough people who swear by it.

“The idea that it could work for people, and sometimes is the only thing than can work for people, should give it the respect that it deserves,” he said in an interview. Still, reporters generally don’t become advocates the way Gupta has by writing to Sessions.

“I don’t see it, first of all, as a step into advocacy,” he said. “As a journalist, one of the things that we’re obligated to do is speak truth to power, and this is a good example of that.”

The opioid epidemic lends urgency to the issue, he said.

The CNN special quoted Sessions in a public appearance saying, “how stupid is that,” to the opinion that medical cannabis could be used to …

Study: Just 1 in 7 California Cities Allow Marijuana Stores

According to a newly-released study conducted by The Mercury News, just one out of every seven cities in California allow marijuana retail outlets, despite voters approving of legalization nearly a year and a half ago.

In 2016 California voters, with a 57% majority, gave approval to Proposition 64. The initiative legalized the possession and personal cultivation of marijuana, while establishing a system of licensed marijuana retail outlets. Despite the entire state passing the law, numerous cities – through ordinances passed by their city council – have establishes bans on all marijuana stores, requiring  marijuana consumers to either travel long distances to purchase the plant legally, or rely on the black market.

“Our study is the most comprehensive look to date at how the industry is taking shape”, states The Mercury News. “Some towns — among them San Jose and Oakland — are cannabis friendly, allowing a wide range of businesses to cultivate or peddle a product that residents are free to use. Other cities — including many smaller jurisdictions across the Bay Area — are less enthusiastic, with some blocking virtually every type of marijuana-related enterprise and, in some cases, passing ordinances that seem aimed at regulating personal use as much as possible, despite the voters’ will.”

Among the study’s findings:

  • Fewer than one in three California cities (144 out of 482) allow any kind of cannabis business to operate in their borders. And just 18 of the state’s 58 counties permit cannabis businesses in unincorporated areas.
  • Fewer than one in five California cities even allow medical marijuana dispensaries, even though medical marijuana has been legal in California since 1996.
  • Of the 144 cities that permit marijuana businesses in their borders, just 57 are levying taxes on the industry (which doesn’t mean cannabis in the 87 others is tax-free; there is a state tax of 15 percent). That’s largely because Proposition 64 requires governments to get voter

California Committee Approves Measure to Make Employers Treat Medical Marijuana Like Prescription Drugs

California’s Assembly Labor and Employment Committee has given approval to Assembly Bill 2069, which is designed to end employer discrimination against medical marijuana patients.

The legislative proposal – titled the Medical Cannabis Worker Protections Act – would force employers to treat medical marijuana the same way they do legal prescription drugs such as (but not limited  to) opioids. Employers would be required to give “reasonable accommodation” to medical marijuana patients under the state’s Fair Employment and Housing Act.

The legislation, filed by Asemblymember Rob Bonta (D) along with Asemblymember Bill Quick (D), was passed last week by the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee in a 5 to 1 vote.

The bill exempts employers who may be subject to federal regulations. It’s cosponsored by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the California chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

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Bill Allowing School Nurses to Administer Medical Marijuana Given Approval by Colorado Senate, Already Passed House

School nurses would be legally authorized to administer medical marijuana to patients under legislation passed through its second reading today in the Colorado Senate.

Under current law, a primary caregiver may possess and administer medical marijuana in a nonsmokeable form to a student while the student is at school. According to the official summary of House Bill 1286, which the Senate passed today through its second of three readings; “The bill allows a school nurse or the school nurse’s designee, who may or may not be an employee of the school, to also possess and administer medical marijuana to a student at school.”

The bill “provides a school nurse or the school nurse’s designee protection from criminal prosecution if he or she possesses and administers medical marijuana to a student at school.”

House Bill 1286 has already been passed through its third and final reading in the House, meaning its now just one Senate vote short of being sent to Governor John Hickenlooper for consideration. Once sent to his desk, Governor Hickenlooper will have the option of signing it  into law, allowing  it to become law without his signature, or vetoing it.

The full text of the bill can be found by clicking here.

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Colorado House and Senate Votes to Add Autism Spectrum Disorders as Qualifying Medical Cannabis Conditions

A proposal that would add autism spectrum disorders to Colorado’s medical cannabis program has been passed through its second reading in the Senate, having already been approved by the full House of Representatives.

House Bill 1263 was filed by State Representative Edith Hooton (D) along with a bipartisan group of three additional lawmakers. The measure was passed by the House on April 12 in a 53 to 11 vote, and today it was approved through its second reading in the Senate. It will now need to receive one final vote in the Senate before it can be sent to Governor John Hickenlooper for consideration.

According to its official summary, “The bill adds autism spectrum disorders to the list of disabling medical conditions that authorize a person to use medical marijuana for his or her condition.”

If the measure becomes law, as is expected at this point, autism spectrum disorders would join the following qualifying conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Cachexia
  • Persistent muscle spasms
  • Seizures
  • Severe nausea
  • Severe pain
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

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Five Maine Men Indicted on Federal Firearms Charges for Saying They Don’t Use Marijuana

By Betty Adams, Portland Press Herald (republished with special permission)

Five central Maine men were indicted earlier this month on federal firearms charges. Four have pleaded not guilty to the charges and are free on unsecured bail pending their next hearing in U.S. District Court in Bangor.

The fifth, Donald “Donny” Henderson, 33, of Winthrop, is set for arraignment May 4. He was issued a summons to appear in court and is represented by attorney James Nixon.

Henderson’s indictment says he made false statements on Feb. 28, 2017, while buying a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380-caliber pistol from Audette’s Inc., located in Winthrop. It alleges he checked a box indicating he was not an unlawful user of marijuana when, in fact, he was. The allegation is repeated in the second count, which says Henderson purchased an SCCY model CPX-1, 9 mm pistol on March 2, 2017, also from Audette’s.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives prohibits the sale of firearms and ammunition to those who use marijuana because it remains illegal under federal law even if state laws such as Maine’s permit medical and recreational marijuana.

Richard Quattrone, 48, of Augusta, is charged with two counts of lying to a federal firearms licensee on March 10, 2017. The indictment says he purchased a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380-caliber pistol from Audette’s and indicated that he is an not an unlawful user of marijuana or other controlled substances. It says that Quattrone “was an unlawful user of marijuana” at the time and that he intentionally wrote down an address that was not his current one. Quattrone is represented by attorney Christopher McLean.

Quattrone pleaded not guilty to the charges on Thursday and is free on $5,000 unsecured bond.

Convictions on charges of making false statements to firearms dealers carry penalties of up to 10 years in prison.

David O. Miles Jr., 27, of Hartland also allegedly bought two pistols, …

Illinois House Committee Votes to Allow Expungement of Past Marijuana and Paraphernalia Convictions

Illinois legislation that would allow for individuals to have marijuana (and marijuana paraphernalia) possession charges expunged (removed) from their records has been advanced in the state’s legislature.

Since the passage of a law decriminalizing marijuana in 2016, the possession of up to 10 grams is no longer a criminal offense in Illinois. House Bill 2367, filed by State Representative La Shawn Ford, would allow those who received a charge for possessing up to 10 grams of marijuana (or for possessing paraphernalia) prior to this law taking effect to petition their circuit court to have the conviction expunged from their criminal record. This would mean it would no longer show up on a background check. In order for the individual to apply, three or more years must have passed since the petitioner had their sentence completed.

According to La Shawn Ford, “law enforcement would have a right to object to it”, which he calls fair. “You have to go before a judge, the judge will look at it, and ultimately grant a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’”, says Ford.

The full text of House Bill 2367, which was initially filed in early 2017, can be found by clicking here.

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California Committee Approves Bill to Establish Marijuana Banks and Credit Unions

Legislation that would allow for the creation of a special class of state-chartered banks and credit unions that could service California’s legal marijuana industry has been passed by a key Senate committee.

Filed by Senator Robert Hertzberg (D), Senate Bill 930 was passed recently by the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee in a 6 to 1 vote, sending it to the Senate Appropriations Committee. Passage in the Appropriations Committee would send it to the full Senate. If passed by the Senate, and then the House of Representatives, it would go to Governor Jerry Brown for final consideration.

The proposed law would allow for the creation of special state-chartered banks and credit unions that could legally process transactions by licensed marijuana businesses. These “marijuana banks” would be regulated by the Department of Business Oversight.

According to its official bill analysis, Senate Bill 930:

“establishes the creation of cannabis limited charter banks (CLCBs) and cannabis limited charter credit unions (CLCCUs) to provide limited banking services to the cannabis industry. Under the administration of the Department of Business Oversight (DBO), CLCBs and CLCCUs can accept and maintain cash deposits as well as issue special purpose checks that can only be used for the following:

  • To pay fees or taxes to the state or local jurisdiction,
  • To pay rent on property that is associated with the account holder’s cannabis business,
  • To pay vendors located in California for expenses related to goods and services associated with the account holder’s cannabis business, or
  • To purchase bonds or interest-bearing notes or warrants backed by the full faith and
    credit of the state, or bonds or warrants of any local jurisdiction.”

Proponents of the measure say it would  allow marijuana businesses to move away from the cash-only scenario most are forced into, which many argue is a security risk and puts the lives of those who work at such outlets in danger. Opponents of the …

Michigan Legalization Initiative Qualifies for Ballot

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has cleared a major hurdle towards making marijuana legal in Michigan. This morning, the Board of State Canvassers approved the petition signatures, and the initiative to regulate marijuana will be on the ballot in November. If approved by voters, Michigan would become the first state in the Midwest with an adult-use cannabis law.

In addition to allowing adults age 21 and older to possess and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana, the initiative would: regulate marijuana businesses that cultivate, process, test, transport, and sell marijuana; legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp (used to make textiles, biodegradable plastics, food, construction materials, and fuel); protect consumers with proper testing and safety regulations for retail marijuana; impose a 10 percent excise tax on marijuana sold at the retail level on top of the state’s six percent sales tax; and give local governments the option of whether they want to allow marijuana businesses in their communities.

Organizations supporting the coalition include the Marijuana Policy Project, the National Cannabis Industry Association, the ACLU of Michigan, the Drug Policy Alliance, the National Patients Rights Association, Michigan NORML, and MILegalize.

The initiative is being certified at a time when national attention is focused on marijuana policy reform. Earlier this month, President Trump reiterated his position in favor of not interfering with state marijuana policies in a conversation with Sen. Cory Gardner and assured him that the Department of Justice would not target individuals and businesses that are in compliance with state marijuana laws.

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Zimbabwe to Allow Medical Marijuana

As public support for medical marijuana hovers over 90% in the United States while Congress continues to struggle to pass comprehensive legislation that would permanently protect state medical marijuana programs, Zimbabwe recently became the second African nation to legalize medical marijuana.

Marijuana Business Daily reports:

Details of the country’s cannabis regulations were announced in the government gazette on Friday, according to Zimbabwe’s state-owned newspaper, The Herald. (The gazette prints official notices and laws from the government.)

Five-year renewable licenses would allow growers to possess, transport and sell cannabis oil and fresh and dried cannabis, according to Reuters, which reported to have viewed Zimbabwe’s regulations.

The regulatory change came via Statutory Instrument 62, which amended the Dangerous Drugs Act to include Production of Cannabis for Medicinal and Scientific Use Regulations, The Herald reported.

“In the case of a company, proof of citizenship or proof of being ordinarily resident in Zimbabwe of the majority of directors or proof of an exemption by the Minister and proof of incorporation in Zimbabwe of the company…” according to the regulations.

Production must be licensed by the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare.

No details are available on whether imports or exports would be permitted or how local MMJ consumption would be regulated.

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Illinois Senate Approves a Safer Option for Opioid Patients

An important medical marijuana bill emerged from the Senate yesterday that could bring welcome relief to seriously ill patients around the state. Senate Bill 336 would allow patients who qualify for opioid prescriptions to enroll in the state’s medical cannabis program. SB 336, sponsored in the Senate by Sens. Don Harmon and Chris Nybo, emerged with a strong 44-6 vote in support. The bill is now in the House.

Seriously ill patients should not be pushed towards some of the most harmful drugs available, particularly when there is a safer alternative. Studies in recent years have supported what many medical marijuana patients already know: medical cannabis can be an effective alternative for patients who might otherwise rely on opioid drugs.

Sen. Harmon’s bill would not only provide that alternative, it would also make other critically important improvements to the state program, including removing the current fingerprint requirement for all patients. Rep. Kelly Cassidy has already stepped in as chief co-sponsor in the House, along with over two dozen other House members who have joined with her as co-sponsors. But it’s crunch time in Springfield, and lawmakers are now working through the busiest time of the year — it’s important the bill continue to advance without delay.

If you are an Illinois resident, please ask your representatives to support this bill and to consider co-sponsoring if they haven’t signed on already.

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Michigan Voters Can Legalize It in November

Michigan is angling to become the 10th state to legalize recreational marijuana. On Apr. 26, the state’s Board of Canvassers ruled that the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMA) had submitted a sufficient number of signatures (250,000 were needed) to get the measure on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The state legislature will have the opportunity to enact it first, but that’s unlikely. The measure would allow adults to possess up to 2.5 ounces of pot and grow up to 12 plants at home. The overall tax rate would be 16% (10% excise tax and 6% sales tax) on cannabis products sold in licensed stores.

This is second effort to get recreational legalization on the Michigan ballot. In 2016, the state Elections Bureau rejected signatures submitted on a technicality. Due to this snafu, Michigan missed the opportunity to be part of the windfall of cannabis victories at the polls in 2016 when eight out of nine states passed either rec or medical initiatives.

Michigan NORML’s Rick Thompson

“The people of Michigan deserved this,” crowed Michigan NORML‘s Rick Thompson. “We’ve faced many trials and tribulations. We’ve had many stop and go signs from the federal government. That’s why states have to take the reins on the issue and really be the crucibles of democracy that they’ve always been intended to be.”

Maine Governor Vetoes Bill to Establish Legal Marijuana System

Legislation that would have allowed for the implemenation of a marijuana legalization law passed by voters in 2016 has been vetoed by Maine Governor Paul LePage.

Maine Governor Paul LePage.

Governor LePage’s veto is the second time he’s vetoed legislation that would have established a regulated system for legal marijuana cultivation and sales.

In his veto letter for LD 1719 (published by Marijuana Business Daily), Governor LePage wrote that he “cannot in good conscience support a law that, on its face, violates federal law.” Fortunately the state’s legislature has enough votes to override the governor’s veto, given support doesn’t change among many legislators

“It’s disappointing”, says David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, “but he made it clear to the Legislature that if he didn’t get 100% of what he wanted, he’d veto it”.

If the legislature does override LePage’s veto, recreational marijuana would be taxed at 20%, while medical cannabis would continue to be taxed at 5.5% for flower and 8% for edibles.

In 2016 Governor LePage drew the ire of many when he said that out of state drug dealers “with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty”, are impregnating the “young white” girls of Maine.

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Willie Nelson at 85: “Last Man Standing”

Willie Nelson turns 85 years old on April 29. It’s become a tradition for him to release an album around his birthday; Last Man Standing, his 73rd studio album and eighth since 2012 with Sony’s Legacy Recordings, is a fitting next episode in Nelson’s late-career renaissance.

Teaming up again with producer/songwriter Buddy Cannon, the duo penned 11 new songs for the album. Like on 2017’s God’s Problem Child, Nelson takes inventory of those that departed on Last Man Standing. On the opening title track (watch below), he name-checks Waylon Jennings, Ray Price, Merle Haggard and songwriter Norris Wilson, and wonders “who the next will be.” Despite the sad theme, Nelson’s sunny delivery and clever wordplay make for a fun tune as he jokingly sings, “I don’t want to be the last man standing/On second thought, maybe I do.”

Nelson’s Trump-era bewilderment surfaces on “Me and You” (“It’s like I’m in some moron country/I’ve never seen before”), which suggests circling the wagons with the ones you love (“The world has gone out of its mind/Except for me and you”). Unlike the Nelson favorite “Me and Paul,” there’s no reference to getting busted for weed.

New Study Provides Proof of CBD’s Potential in Relapse Prevention

Results of a new study “provide proof of principle supporting potential of CBD in relapse prevention”.

The study was published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, and epublished ahead of print by the U.S. National Institute of Health.

“Cannabidiol (CBD), the major non-psychoactive constituent of Cannabis sativa, has received attention for therapeutic potential in treating neurologic and psychiatric disorders”, begins the study’s abstract. “Recently, CBD has also been explored for potential in treating drug addiction. Substance use disorders are chronically relapsing conditions and relapse risk persists for multiple reasons including craving induced by drug contexts, susceptibility to stress, elevated anxiety, and impaired impulse control.”

Here, researchers “evaluated the “anti-relapse” potential of a transdermal CBD preparation in animal models of drug seeking, anxiety and impulsivity.” For the study, rats with alcohol or cocaine self-administration histories “received transdermal CBD at 24 h intervals for 7 days and were tested for context and stress-induced reinstatement, as well as experimental anxiety on the elevated plus maze.” Effects on impulsive behavior were established using a delay-discounting task following recovery from a 7-day dependence-inducing alcohol intoxication regimen.

“CBD attenuated context-induced and stress-induced drug seeking without tolerance, sedative effects, or interference with normal motivated behavior”, claim researchers. “Following treatment termination, reinstatement remained attenuated up to ≈5 months although plasma and brain CBD levels remained detectable only for 3 days. CBD also reduced experimental anxiety and prevented the development of high impulsivity in rats with an alcohol dependence history.”

The results “provide proof of principle supporting potential of CBD in relapse prevention along two dimensions: beneficial actions across several vulnerability states and long-lasting effects with only brief treatment.” The findings “also inform the ongoing medical marijuana debate concerning medical benefits of non-psychoactive cannabinoids and their promise for development and use as therapeutics.”

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

Poll: 63% of U.S. Voters Support Legalizing Marijuana, 93% Support Medical

According to a new Quinnipiac University poll, a strong majority of voters in the U.S. support legalizing marijuana, while an even higher percentage supports legalizing medical marijuana.

According to the new Quinnipiac University national poll released today, when asked “Do you think that the use of marijuana should be made legal in the United States, or not?”, 63% of U.S. voters say “Yes”, it should be (a 5% increase from January). Just 33% of poll respondents stated that they believe it should remain illegal. Support was highest among  Democrats (75%), and lowest among Republicans (41%). Among Independents, 67% support legalization.

Among the various age groups those 18 to 34, by a large margin, had the highest level of support for making marijuana legal with 82% in favor and just 16% – less than one in five – opposed. Those 65+ was the only age group without a majority support for legalization (43% to 51%).

When asked “Do you support or oppose allowing adults to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if their doctor prescribes it?”, more than nine out of 10 U.S. voters say they support it, with just 5% saying they don’t. Medical marijuana is supported by all political parties and age groups (including being  supported by 91% of those 65+, and 86% of Republicans).

When asked “Keeping in mind that your answers are confidential, have you ever recreationally used marijuana or not?”, 43% said that they have, with 54% saying they haven’t.  When asked “Would you support or oppose a bill protecting states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana from federal prosecution?”, 74% say they would  support it, with 20% saying they wouldn’t.

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

The post Poll: 63%

N.H. Senate Committee Ignores Patients’ Testimony, Rejects Home Grow Bill

Yesterday, the New Hampshire Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted 3-2 to reject a bill that would allow home cultivation of up to two mature cannabis plants and 12 seedlings by registered patients and caregivers. Instead of listening to the numerous patients who testified at the public hearing, the committee recommended that HB 1476 be sent to “interim study,” which would effectively kill it for the year. But there’s still hope. Next, the bill is expected to receive a vote in the full Senate sometime in the next few weeks. Gov. Chris Sununu has not expressed a public position on the bill.

This bill is critically important because many patients are unable to afford the products that are available at dispensaries, which are not covered by health insurance. For some patients, home cultivation is simply the best, most affordable option. There is no need for further study before allowing limited home cultivation by registered patients and caregivers, especially now that it is becoming clear that access to cannabis is a key to addressing the opiate crisis.

If you are a New Hampshire resident, please email your state senator’s office today and urge him or her to support HB 1476! Then, call Gov. Chris Sununu and urge him to do the same.


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AG Jeff Sessions Admits Medical Marijuana May Have Benefits, Says It’s “Perfectly Appropriate” to Study It

United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions – after decades of anti-marijuana rhetoric – admitted today that “there may well be some benefits from medical marijuana”, and says it’s “perfectly appropriate to study” it.

Sessions made the comments while speaking to the Senate Appropriations Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee. Sessions noted that the government plans to soon increase the number of licenses issued for those wanting to research marijuana.

“We are moving forward and we will add fairly soon, I believe, the paperwork and reviews will be completed and we will add additional suppliers of marijuana under the controlled circumstances,” said Sessions.

The post AG Jeff Sessions Admits Medical Marijuana May Have Benefits, Says It’s “Perfectly Appropriate” to Study It appeared first on TheJointBlog.


Study: Hemp May Fight Ovarian Cancer

Results from some of the first studies to examine hemp’s ability to fight cancer show that it may useful as a plant-based treatment for ovarian cancer, reports ScienceDaily.

Sara Biela and Chase Turner, graduate students at Sullivan University College of Pharmacy in Kentucky, will present new findings tied to hemp’s anti-cancer properties at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting during the 2018 Experimental Biology meeting to be held April 21-25 in San Diego.

“Hemp, like marijuana, contains therapeutically valuable components such as cannabidiol, cannabinol, and tetrahydrocannabinol,” explained Biela. “However, unlike marijuana, hemp’s therapeutic ability has not been studied in detail.”

Two new studies examined the therapeutic potential of an extract known as KY-hemp, which is produced from hemp grown in Kentucky. The plant strain, growing conditions and processing techniques were all optimized to produce an extract containing substances with potential therapeutic benefit and to eliminate any residue that could contaminate the product.

In one study, the researchers found that adding various doses of KY-hemp extract to cultured ovarian cells led to significant dose-dependent slowing of cell migration. This finding indicated that the extract might be useful for stopping or slowing down metastasis — the spreading of cancer to other parts of the body.

In a second study, the researchers explored the biology of KY-hemp’s protective effects against ovarian cancer, which they had observed in previous studies. Experiments with cultured ovarian cancer cells showed that KY-hemp slowed the secretion of the interleukin IL-1 beta. Interleukins produce inflammation that can be damaging and has been linked to cancer progression. The hemp-induced slowing of IL-1 β secretion represents a possible biological mechanism responsible for KY-hemp’s anti-cancer effects.

“Our findings from this research as well as prior research show that KY hemp slows ovarian cancer comparable to or even better than the current ovarian cancer drug Cisplatin,” said Turner. “Since Cisplatin exhibits high toxicity, we anticipate that hemp would

Kansas Governor Signs Hemp Bill Into Law

Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer has signed an industrial hemp bill into law.

Governor Colyer’s signed Senate Bill 263 yesterday following a 123 to 1 vote in the House of Representatives, and a 36 to 3 vote in the Senate. The Alternative Crop Research Act alters the definition of “marijuana” under the state’s controlled substances law to exclude “industrial hemp”. The measure allows the Kansas Department of Agriculture to cultivate and promote the research and development of industrial hemp. The Department will be given the choice of growing and researching the plant on their own accord, or they can coordinate with a college or university. Individual farmers will be allowed to grow hemp under supervision of the Department.

The bill states that; “Research and development of industrial hemp, under the provisions of the bill, means such things as analysis of industrial hemp growth, including required soils, growing conditions, and harvest methods; research on seeds most suitable for Kansas; and market analysis to determine the potential for an industrial hemp market in Kansas.”

Senate Bill 263 requires the Department to promulgate rules and regulations for hemp cultivation by December 31 of this year.

The full text of the bill can be found by clicking here.

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Colorado Senate Passes Measure to Alter Food and Drug Act to Allow Products with Industrial Hemp

Legislation that would alter the Colorado Food and Drug Act to allow products containing industrial hemp has been passed through its second reading in the state’s Senate.

House Bill 1295 was passed today through its second reading in the Senate, roughly two weeks after it was passed unanimously (62 to 0) in the House of Representatives. The measure will need to be passed through one more reading in the Senate before it can be sent to Governor John Hickenlooper for consideration.

According to its official summary; “The bill establishes that food and cosmetics are not adulterated or misbranded by virtue of containing industrial hemp. The bill also sets forth the department of public health and environment’s powers with regard to applicants and registrants engaged in, or attempting to engage in, the wholesale food selling, manufacturing, processing, or storage of an industrial hemp product, as that term is defined in the bill.”

The full text of this legislation can be found by clicking here.

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