Canada Senate Committee Approves Marijuana Legalization Bill

Legislation to legalize marijuana, which has already been passed by Canada’s House of Commons, has been given approval by a key Senate committee.

The Senate committee passed 40 amendments Monday to Bill C-45, including one that would allow provinces and territories to ban homegrown marijuana. Most of the other amendments were technical in nature and didn’t fundamentally change the measure (29 of the 40 were actually introduced by the bill’s primary sponsor).

Bill C-45 was passed by the House of Commons in November by a vote of 200 to 82. In March the Senate voted 44 to 29 to pass it through its 2nd reading. The measure must now be passed through a third reading in the Senate before it can be sent to the Governor General for Royal Assent (final approval).

If the measure does become law as Prime Minister Justin Trudea has promised, the possession and personal cultivation of marijuana will become legal for those 18 and older. The measure would establish a system of licensed brick-and-mortar cannabis retail outlets, while also allowing cannabis to be sold online.

During the Senate committee vote members defeated defeated an amendment that would have indefinitely delayed implementation of the legislation until the government reports to both houses of Parliament on the measures it’s taking to deal with the concerns of Indigenous communities. They also defeated an amendment to ban personal cultivation outright.

The committee’s amended version of the bill will now go back to the Senate as a whole, where senators will decide whether to accept or reject the amendments or propose additional changes, reports the Canadian Press.

The various factions in the Senate have agreed to hold a final vote on the bill by June 7, which would allow the Trudeau government to deliver on its promise to have the legal recreational cannabis regime up and running by late summer.

Freedom Leaf Interview: BiotrackTHC’s Patrick Vo

Seed-to-sale tracking is in the news. MJ Freeway has had numerous calamitous hacks to its systems. But MJ Freeway’s chief competitor, BioTrackTHC, which operates in seven states and Puerto Rico, has not. Credit goes to the Fort Lauderdale-based company’s CEO Patrick Vo and his team of software engineers. He received degrees from the University of Arizona and Indiana University before beginning his corporate career at Price Waterhouse Coopers. After moving to Colorado in 2011, Vo dove into the marijuana industry, and soon was hired by BioTrackTHC. This interview was conducted in March.

On Mar. 8, BioTrack announced it was merging with Helix TCS. Why the merger and why with Helix?

Both companies provide ancillary support products and services to the cannabis licensees, and the shareholders and management of both companies believe that the merger will position both teams to excel. Both organizations will remain distinct business units, and leadership will not change for either team. However, we plan to rationalize common business functions and have each team leverage the knowledge, operational and economic resources of the other to create even more value to the customers that rely on us. All in all, we’re very excited for the potential this merger holds for both companies and look forward to what the future holds.

Where you born and raised?

I was born in Muncie, Indiana. I’m a child of Vietnamese immigrants. That starting point shaped who I am. Woven through all of my choices is the idea that I’m “one of the lucky ones.” There are millions of others who were left behind [during and after the Vietnam War] and didn’t make it out. The greatest tragedy of my life would be to waste it by achieving mediocrity.

What led you to enter the marijuana industry?

I was a nerd when I was younger. Cannabis was something the cool kids did in school, so it was not a part of …

Connecticut Democratic Party Makes Marijuana Legalization, Release of Nonviolent Drug Offenders, Party Platforms

The Connecticut Democratic Party has passed a resolution making the legalization of marijuana – and the prison release of nonviolent drug offenders – an official party platform.

The Connecticut Democratic Party logo.

At the Party’s annual convention last week a majority of the over 1,900 delegates in attendance approved making marijuana legalization an official party platform (one of around 30).

The platform reads: “The time for legalization of Marijuana has come. Doing so will raise revenue, which can be used to benefit those suffering from the disease of addiction to prescription pain medications and other opioids.” The resolution states that “Connecticut should follow “Best Practice” for other states to detect and prevent impaired driving. However, this is not enough. We must immediately move towards early release of non-violent drug offenders, starting with the incaracated for Marijuana offenses.”

The entire 2018 party platform for the Connecticut Democratic Party can be found by clicking here.

Earlier this year Connecticut’s Joint Committee on Appropriations voted 27 to 24 to pass House Bill 5394, which would make  marijuana legal for those 21 and older. Unfortunately the measure has failed to advance any further since the vote occured.

poll conducted by Sacred Heart University in October found that 71% of Connecticut residents support legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana for adults.

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Judge Rules Florida’s Ban on Smoking Medical Cannabis is Unconstitutional

A Circuit Court judge in Florida has ruled that the state’s ban on smoking medical cannabis – enacted by the legislature – is unconstitutional.

In 2016 Florida voters overwhelmingly passed an initiative that legalized medical cannabis through a constitutional amendment. The law allowed marijuana to be consumed through various methods, including smoking it. However, the following year the legislature enacted a ban on smoking medical cannabis, requiring patients to consume it through other means such as tincutres and topicals.

People United for Medical Marijuana and two patients challenged this ban in court, arguing that the amendment’s language only mentions smoking in public, meaning that patients should be allowed to smoke in private. Leon County Circuit Court Judge Karen Gievers ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, arguing that the ban is unconstitutional.

John Morgan, who spearheaded the medical cannabis initiative voters approved  in 2016 was among the plaintiffs, and tweeted after the ruling that “truth prevails.”

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Marijuana Legalization Bill Filed in North Carolina

Legislation that would legalize recreational marijuana has been filed in North Carolina’s House of Representatives.

Filed by Representative Kelly Alexander Jr. (D), House Bill 944 would allow those 21 and older to legally possess up to four ounces of marijuana for personal use. The bill would raise the threshold for felony possession from 1.5 ounces to 16 ounces; possessing over four ounces, but less than 16, would be a misdemeanor.

In addition, the measure would also allow those convicted of possessing up to four ounces of marijuana before the law would take effect to petition the court to have the charge expunged (removed) from their criminal record.

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

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10 Surprising Benefits Of CBD Gummies

CBD gummies

How about a bit of history before we begin? No, no, no, don’t go away! It’s relevant. We promise. So let’s talk gummies.

The first gummy candy (shaped like bears) was invented in Germany almost 100 years ago. Seventy years later, in the late 1990s, two natural-foods advocates mixed up a batch of gummy vitamins in order to get their kids to take a daily multi.

Now it seems like gummies are everywhere. We’ve got gummy this and gummy that. So it’s really no surprise that sometime in the last five years, some canna-genius was inspired—probably in a haze of joint smoke—to combine CBD and gummy candy into the ultimate medicinal confection: CBD gummies.

At this point, you’re probably asking, “But why do we need another method of consuming cannabis?” Our answer? Because each method offers a number of different benefits.

So why exactly should you take CBD gummies? In this article, the experts at Honest Marijuana will show you 10 benefits of this tasty and chewy treat. Some of them might surprise you.

10 Surprising Benefits Of CBD Gummies

CBD comes in many different forms, including:

Add to that some other novel methods of delivery—like pills, lube, and various kinds of bongs—and you’ve got yourself an infinite variety of fun. But with CBD gummies, now you’ve got infinite+1! That’s even more opportunities to get the medicine you need. Who could argue with that?

Let’s look at the top 10 benefits of taking CBD gummies instead of using oils, creams, and dab rigs.

1) Easy To Take

Do you have trouble swallowing pills? Do you feel like the pills will get caught in your throat? Do you think you’re going to choke? If that’s you to a T, CBD gummies will feel like a gift from the canna-gods.

That’s because CBD gummies are super easy to take. All you …

Hemp Legalization Bill Passed by Illinois Legislature, Sent to Governor

Illinois’ full legislature has passed a bill to allow for the legal cultivation of industrial hemp, sending it to Governor Bruce Rauner for consideration.

Senate Bill 2298, filed by Senator Toi Hutchinson, passed the Senate last month in a unanimous 50 to 0 vote. Yesterday it was passed by the House of Representatives 106 to 3. The Senate quickly concurred with a pair of House amendments, sending it to the desk of Governor Rauner.

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

Governor Rauner can now sign it into law, allow it to become law without a signature, or veto it. However, if he vetoes it the legislature can override it with a 2/3rds majority vote.

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

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CBD Company Says 7-Eleven Will Be Selling Their Products, 7-Eleven Says No, Not Really

In an odd situation, CBD comany Phoenix Tears sent out a press release recently announcing that by the end of the year 4,500 7-Eleven stores will be selling their product, only to be quickly refuted by 7-Eleven who says that isn’t true.

On Tuesday Phoenix Tears sent out a press release stating that hundreds of 7-Eleven stores will “immediately” begin selling their products, with the number rising to 4,500 by the end of the year. However, Stephanie Shaw, director of communications for 7-Eleven, told HuffPost that the purported deal was false.

“We have made no agreement or partnership with this company and do not know why they said that,” Shaw said.

Suzanne Mattaboni, a spokeswoman for Phoenix Tears, said the press release may have misstated some details of the deal.  She says the group is trying “to get to the bottom of this.”

“We are excited that 7-Eleven will bring the Phoenix Tears product line to millions of Americans who can benefit from these all-natural, safe, and market-proven health alternative products,” said Janet Rosendahl-Sweeney, founder of Phoenix Tears, in the apparently inaccurate press release. “In addition, this agreement confirms our belief that CBD’s status as a mainstream wellness option has arrived. We’re eager to usher in a new era of effective, holistic, hemp-based supplements that are now as easy to buy as stopping by the local convenience store.”

We’ll update this story as it progresses.

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13 Questions with Tommy Chong on His 80th Birthday

Stoner icon Tommy Chong turns 80 today, May 24. Here are highlights from interviews Freedom Leaf has conducted with Chong in which he talks about his long partnership with Richard “Cheech” Marin, the ending of Up in Smoke and other subjects from his 65-year-career in entertainment.

When was the first time you smoked pot?

I was 17 years old at a jazz club in Calgary. A Chinese jazz musician brought back a Lenny Bruce album and a couple of joints from California. He gave me the Lenny Bruce record and the joint. We lit his joint up, because I saved mine, and I got high for the first time. It was the first time I ever smoked. It changed my life. The next day I quit school.

How did you meet Cheech?

Cheech & Chong at New York’s Bitter End in 1972 (Photo by Allen Green)

He was a draft dodger from the States. He was the first Mexican I ever met, so I just wanted to touch him. When he met me, he’d never seen anything like me before either. I had real long hair, a Genghis Khan kind of look. He had real short hair, because he was dodging the draft from America in Canada and was trying to blend in. His name was Richard Marin. He never did a Mexican accent.

How did you get the name Cheech & Chong?

We won a battle of the bands without playing a single note! We did 45 minutes of comedy and the crowd loved us. That night we were driving home in the rain. I asked Cheech what his nickname was. He said, “Yeah, it’s Cheech.” Cheech & Chong! Perfect. I was going, “Cheech & Chong, Cheech & Chong,” and that was it.

Cheech & Chong reunited in 2003.

What was it about Cheech that made you guys so special together?

Cheech can imitate practically anybody. He’s one of …

Nevada: $41 Million in Legal Marijuana Sold in March, New Monthly Record

Legal marijuana sales in Nevada this March were the highest they’ve ever, according to new data released by the state.

The Nevada Department of Taxation says that throughout the state there was over $41 million in marijuana and marijuana products sold legally in March. This easily surpasses the previous monthly record of $35.8 million set in December.

The roughly $41 million in marijuana sold in March resulted in just over $7 million in taxes for the state. This brings the tax total for the past nine months to almost $50 million, just barely shy of the $50.3 that was projected by the state for the full fiscal year.

In Nevada, those 21 and older are allowed to purchase up to an ounce of marijuana, or 1/8th an ounce of marijuana edibles or concentrates, from a licensed marijuana retail outlets. Legal sales officially began on July 1, 2017.

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Arizona Supreme Court Rules Lawmakers Can’t Ban Medical Cannabis Access on College Campuses

The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that state lawmakers cannot prohibit the access of medical cannabis on college campuses.

In the case of Arizona v Maestas (No. CR-17-0193-PR), the Arizona Supreme Court upheld an appellate court decision which struck down a 2012 law that prohibited medical cannabis access on college campuses. The ruling sets immediate precedent across the state.

NORML Legal Committee member Tom Dean, who represented the patient-defendant in the case pro bono, called the decision a “victory for democracy.”

According to NORML, “Justices opined that the 2012 law was unconstitutional because it impermissibly sought to amend the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, which voters passed in 2010.” State law limits the legislature’s ability to amend, repeal, or supersede voter-initiated laws.

“Because the AMMA sets forth a list of locations where the legislature may impose ‘civil, criminal or other penalties’ when a person possesses or uses marijuana, § 36-2802, and because that list does not include college and university campuses (unlike pre-, primary-, and secondary-school grounds), we assume that the voters did not intend to criminalize AMMA-compliant possession or use of marijuana on public college and university campuses,” the court ruled. It further rejected the state’s claim that a campus-wide ban was necessary in order to preserve universities’ federal funding.

“If the State had prevailed, they could then have tampered with any and all ballot initiatives, past, present, and future,” said Dean. “This is a victory for all Arizona voters and especially for medical marijuana patients.”

The ruling sets aside the felony conviction of defendant Andrew Lee Maestas, who was initially charged and found guilty of the possession of 0.4 grams of marijuana despite his status as a state-registered medical cannabis patient.

The post Arizona Supreme Court Rules Lawmakers Can’t

Study: Cannabinoids May Reverse Behavioral Deficits Caused By Repeated Social Defeat

A compound meant to mimic the effects of natural cannabinoids was found to reverse the short and long-term deficits caused by repeated social defeat in a new study published by the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

Psychosocial stress contributes to the development of psychiatric disorders. Repeated social defeat (RSD) is a murine stressor that causes a release of inflammatory monocytes into circulation. Moreover, RSD-induced anxiety-like behavior is dependent on the recruitment of these monocytes to the brain.

With this in mind, it’s important to note that “Activation of the endocannabinoid (ECB) system [done naturally through the consumtion of cannabinoids] may modulate both neuroendocrine and inflammatory responses mediated by stress”, states the study’s researchers. “Therefore, we hypothesized that a cannabinoid receptor agonist would attenuate RSD-induced inflammation, anxiety, and stress sensitization.”

To test this hypothesis, “mice received an injection of the synthetic cannabinoid1/2 receptor agonist, WIN55,212-2 (WIN; 1 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) daily for six consecutive days, 30 min before each exposure to RSD. Anxiety-like behavior, immune activation, neuroinflammation, and microglial reactivity were determined 14 h[ours] after RSD.”

RSD-induced anxiety-like behavior ” was reversed by WIN55,212-2″. Moreover, “WIN55,212-2 reduced the accumulation of inflammatory monocytes in circulation and brain after RSD and attenuated RSD-induced interleukin-1β (IL-1β) messenger RNA (mRNA) expression in microglia/macrophages. Increased ex vivo reactivity of microglia/monocytes to lipopolysaccharides (LPS) after RSD was also attenuated by WIN55,212-2.”

Next, “fear expression, extinction, and recall were evaluated 24 and 48 h, respectively, after contextual fear conditioning, which took place 7 days after RSD. Here, RSD caused prolonged fear expression and impaired fear extinction recall, which was associated with increased IL-1β mRNA in the brain.” Moreover, “these stress-induced effects were reversed by WIN55,212-2.”

The study concludes by stating that “activation of cannabinoid receptors limited the immune and neuroinflammatory responses to RSD and reversed the short-term and long-term behavioral deficits associated with RSD.”

The full study can be found by clicking here.

Freedom Leaf Recipes: Mexican-Fusion Cuisine, Baja Med-Style

When I visited Mexico’s Baja California peninsula in my youth, the most notable “cuisine” consisted of fish tacos and cerveza. No more. Baja Mediterranean is now a hot culinary trend that’s gaining worldwide recognition.

The explosion in popularity of Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe wine country has undoubtedly helped put “Baja Med” on the map. Besides wines that are racking up international medals, visitors will find world-class olive oils and farm-to-table fare all the way from casual to haute cuisine.

Three elements define the Baja Med diet:

• Mexican influences such as cheeses, chicharrones, chilies and masa
• Mediterranean influences such as olives and olive oil, and herbs and spices.
• Parts of Baja have large Asian populations, so their ingredients and culinary styles have been assimilated into the local cooking.

Jamaica Orange Agua Fresca

Tart hibiscus flowers (called jamaica, pronounced ha-my-ka, in Spanish) are used for popular drinks in Mexico. Like cannabis, jamaica is antioxidant-rich and carries many health benefits. It can be found in Latin grocery stores or health-food markets.

• ¾ cup hibiscus flowers, dried
• 4 cups water
• …

Study: CBD May Treat Epidermolysis Bullosa

Cannabidiol (CBD) was found to be an effective treatment for epidermolysis bullosa in a study published by the journal Pediatric Dermatology.

“Epidermolysis bullosa is a rare blistering skin disorder that is challenging to manage because skin fragility and repeated wound healing cause itching, pain, limited mobility, and recurrent infections”, states the study’s abstract. “Cannabidiol, an active cannabinoid found in cannabis, is postulated to have antiinflammatory and analgesic effects.”

Researchers “report 3 cases of self-initiated topical cannabidiol use in patients with epidermolysis bullosa in an observational study”. One patient “was weaned completely off oral opioid analgesics, and all three “reported faster wound healing, less blistering, and amelioration of pain with cannabidiol use.”

The study states that “Although these results demonstrate promise, further randomized, double-blind clinical trials are necessary to provide scientific evidence of our observed benefits of cannabidiol for the treatment of epidermolysis bullosa.”

More information on this study, conducted by researchers at West Virginia University and Standford University, can be found by clicking here.

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Pennsylvania Adds Four New Medical Cannabis Conditions, Including Opioid Use Disorder

Pennsylvania has officially added four new medical conditions to the state’s medical cannabis program, including becoming the first state in the nation to allow medical marijuana for opioid-use disorder.

“We have expanded the number of serious medical conditions to include neurodegenerative diseases, terminal illness, dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders and opioid-use disorder,” said Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine in a recent press release. Pennsylvania is the first state to add opioid-use disorder separately as an approved condition for medical marijuana patients.

“By adding opioid-use disorder as an approved medical condition under the program, we not only give physicians another tool for treatment of this devastating disease, but we allow for research to be conducted on medical marijuana’s effectiveness in treatment,” Dr. Levine said. “Only approved conditions under the law can be studied through our research program.”

Other changes include:

  • Revising the serious chronic pain definition to no longer require patients to use opioids before using medical marijuana;
  • Permitting medical marijuana to be dispensed in dry leaf or plant form, for administration by vaporization;
  • Allowing physicians to opt out of the public-facing practitioner list while remaining in the Patient and Caregiver Registry; and
  • Requiring patients to pay the $50 medical marijuana identification card fee once in a 12-month period.


Below is the full list of Pennsylvania’s qualifying medical cannabis conditions:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
  • Autism.
  • Cancer.
  • Crohn’s Disease.
  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity.
  • Epilepsy.
  • Glaucoma.
  • HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) / AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).
  • Huntington’s Disease.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
  • Intractable Seizures.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.
  • Neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Neuropathies.
  • Opioid-Use Disorder.
  • Parkinson’s Disease.
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.
  • Severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe chronic or intractable pain in which conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or ineffective.
  • Sickle Cell Anemia.
  • Spastic Movement Disorders.
  • Terminal Illness.

Freedom Leaf Travel: Welcome to Baja California

It’s just 17 miles from San Diego to where Mexico begins and two hours from Long Beach, where I used to live. Last year, I moved to Ensenada in Baja California, which is on the Pacific Ocean about two hours (70 miles) south of the border.

Spanning 745 miles north to south, the Baja peninsula is one of the world’s longest. Halfway down it becomes another state, Baja California Sur, and at the southern tip is the tourist destination Cabo San Lucas.

Before the move, I was bombarded with inaccurate information from well-meaning friends about what to expect. The biggest misconception is that Mexico is dangerous. Yes, five of the country’s 32 states have Level 4 “Do Not Travel” warnings, “due to violent crime and gang activity,” according to the U.S. State Department. But Baja is listed as a Level 2, meaning  “Exercise Increased Caution.” The state’s main tourist hubs— Ensenada, Rosarito and Tijuana—are considered safe (see “Baja California Travel Advisory” below).

It’s just 17 miles from San Diego to the Mexico border, and another 70 to Ensenada.

Americans are easily frightened by sensationalistic media accounts of mass executions and cartel violence. But like the violent crime that occurs in the U.S. every day, these activities rarely affect the average citizen or tourist.

A Brief History of Marihuana in Mexico

Pancho Villa (center) smokes a joint on his ranch in Chihuahua.

Mexico has been key in the worldwide spread of marijuana use and cannabis culture. It was through Mexico that the plant found its way to North America’s jazz vipers, beatniks and hippies. But the absurd policy of attempting to suppress cannabis in the same way as truly dangerous drugs like cocaine and heroin is a large part of what has propelled Mexico into a crisis of relentless, nightmarish narco-violence.

The legacy of the 500-year Moorish occupation of Spain was critical in Mexico’s rise as a global cannabis hub. The Moors brought hashish and the Maghrebi tradition of kif-smoking to Spain. It survived in the shadows among the Moriscos (crypto-Moors) even after the 1492 Catholic Reconquista and the Inquisition. Cannabis first entered the New World on Spanish galleons bound for New Spain (Mexico).

It caught on with both peasants and the higher classes in Mexico over the centuries. The iconic anthem of the Mexican Revolution, “La Cucaracha,” is about Pancho Villa’s peasant army getting high (“marihuana que fumar”) as they marched through the desert.

Marijuana Consumers Work Out More Than Non-Consumers, Are More Likely to Have Full-Time Jobs

Those who consume marijuana work out more often than those who don’t, and are more likely to have a full-time job, according to a study of California marijuana consumers conducted by BDS Analytics.

The study separated people into three categories: Those who have consumed marijuana in the past six months, those who have not consumed marijuana in the past six months but are open to it (“acceptors”), and those who have not consumed marijuana in the past six months and aren’t open to doing so (“rejectors”).

The study found that the average age for marijuana consumers is 39. The average age for acceptors is 49, with the average age of rejectors being 56. Among consumers, 43% say they work out outdoors multiple times a week. This is significantly higher than acceptors (35%), and drastically higher than rejectors (just 25%).

This trend is continued among those who work out multiple times a week at a gym; 40% among consumers, 30% among acceptors and 27% among rejectors.

The study also found that marijuana consumers are considerably more likely to have a full-time job. Among consumers, 53% have a full-time job, compared to 44% for acceptors and just 33% (less than 1 in 3) among rejectors.

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

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Vicente Fox’s Global Vision: Legalization of All Drugs

In order to end the cartel violence in Mexico, former president Vicente Fox thinks all drugs should be legalized, what he calls “the whole enchilada.”

Don’t get Vicente Fox started on Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions. Oh, why not?

“I just don’t like those two guys,” he says during a phone interview from his home base in the village of San Cristobal, in the state of Guanajuato about four hours northwest of Mexico City. “I don’t think the United States should be in the hands of those two guys. The November midterm elections are a great opportunity for the people of the United States to stop Trump from doing crazy things, to stop him through a strong liberal Congress, a Congress that looks to the future, not this blinded position of Trump looking at the past. He wants a very strong government that controls the borders and decides the fate of society and people. Your citizens should never accept that. The United States is the vanguard, the leader on developed thinking, on freedom of choice, on unity of purpose. This guy should be kicked out.”

Vicente Fox at press conference announcing the Canna Mexico World Summit on May 30-31.

The Canna Mexico World Summit, the international cannabis conference that Fox’s company Centro Fox is presenting on May 30-31 in San Cristobal, is just weeks away. This is the main reason for the phone call, to get the word out to the U.S. industry.

“It’s going to be a global event with people from Israel, Europe, South America, Mexico, the United States and Canada,” Fox explains. “The whole purpose is to push forward the process of legalization. Medical use has been approved, but we have yet to see the regulation. We have to take the step to move forward to total legalization that includes responsible recreational use. We’re going to have 1,500-2,000 people here. It’s going to be a high-impact …

Colorado Legislature Approves Measure Allowing School Nurses to Administer Medical Marijuana

Legislation designed to allow school nurses to legally administer medical marijuana has been passed by the Colorado Legislature, and sent to Governor John Hickenlooper.

House Bill 1286 “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.” The measure has been passed by both the Senate and House of Representatives, sending it to Governor Hickenlooper; he can now sign it into law, allow it to become law without his signature, or veto it.

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. However, nurses are not allowed to do the same. House Bill 1286 would change that.

Filed by Representative Dylon Roberts, the measure was passed by the 47 to 17, and by the Senate 30 to 5.

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

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Illinois Legislature Passes Bill Allowing Students to Use Medical Marijuana at School

In an overwhelming 149 to 3 vote, Illinois’ full legislature has passed a bill to allow students who are medical marijuana patients to use their medicine on school premises.

House Bill 4870, filed by Representative Louis Lang along with nine other lawmakers, is known as Ashley’s Law. Named after Ashley Surin, a 12-year-old who uses medical marijuana to treat the epilepsy she developed during chemotherapy, passed the Senate Thursday by a vote of 50 to 2. This comes roughly a month after the bill was passed by the House of Representatives 99 to 1.

Having  passed both chambers of the state’s legislature, House Bill 4870 will now be sent to Governor Bruce Rauner for consideration. The proposed law amends the School Code to require “a school district, public school, charter school, or nonpublic school to authorize a parent or guardian of a student who is a qualifying patient to administer a medical cannabis infused product to the student on school premises or a school bus if both the student (as a qualifying patient) and the parent or guardian (as a designated caregiver) have been issued registry identification cards under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.”

The measure  “Provides that a parent or guardian may not administer a medical cannabis infused product if the administration would create disruption to the school’s educational environment or would cause exposure of the product to other students”, and “Provides that nothing in the provision requires a member of the school’s staff to administer a medical cannabis infused product to a student.”

An amendment  passed by the House states:

Provides that the provision may be referred to as Ashley’s Law. Defines terms. Provides that, in addition to the parent or guardian of a student who is a registered qualifying patient, an individual registered with the Department of Public Health as a designated caregiver may administer a medical cannabis infused product to

Marijuana Legalization Bill Passed by Northern Mariana Islands Legislature, Sent to Governor

The Northern Mariana Islands Legislature has passed legislation to legalize marijuana, sending it to Governor Ralph Torres for consideration.

The U.S. territory’s Senate passed the measure Tuesday, which was followed quickly by its passage in the House of Representatives the following day. Governor Torres now has the option of signing it into law, allowing it to become law without a signature, or vetoing it.

If the measure does become law, those 21 and older would be allowed to legally possess, use and cultivate marijuana for personal use. A licensed and regulated system of marijuana stores would be authorized to sell the plant.

According to an over 500-page report released by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Government and Law, “[T]he absence of marijuana regulations in the Commonwealth allows the existing marijuana black market operators to target persons under 21 years of age with total disregard to the safety, health and wellbeing of the youth in the Commonwealth”.

The Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory, has a population of approximately 55,000.

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Ohio Ballot Board Certifies Initiative to Legalize Marijuana for Those 21+

The Ohio Ballot Board has officially certified the Marijuana Rights and Regulations Act, giving proponents the go-ahead to begin collecting signatures.

The Ballot Board’s approval of the initiative comes roughly a week after Attorney General Mike DeWine certified the initiative’s language as being “fair and truthful”. Advocates of the measure must now collect 305,591 signatures from registered Ohio voters in order to put it to a vote of the people. If the signatures are collected by July 4 of this year (unlikely), the initiative will be voted on this November. If they are collected prior to July, 2019, it will be placed on the November, 2019 general election ballot.

If placed on either ballot and voted into law, the possession, use and cultivation of marijuana for personal use would become legal for those 21 and older, without the state’s medical marijuana law being effected. The intiaitve establishes a system of licensed marijuana retail outlets, allowed to sell marijuana and marijuana products.

A legalization initiative was rejected by Ohio voters in 2015, but largely because of initiative’s badly written language (such as establishing a monopoly on marijuana businesses among those who donated to the effort), and not because they don’t support ending marijuana prohibition.

The post Ohio Ballot Board Certifies Initiative to Legalize Marijuana for Those 21+ appeared first on TheJointBlog.


Blumenauer’s Canna-PAC Raising Money for Pro-Pot Candidates

Rep. Earl Blumenauer surrounded by High NY’s Mike Zaytsev (left) and Todd Hinden.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) talked up de-scheduling marijuana on a May 11 visit to Brooklyn to raise money for his new Cannabis Fund political action committee.

Blumenaeur, known for the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment that prevents the federal government from prosecuting states with  legal medical cannabis programs, touched on a wide range of issues at the High NY event at WeWork in South Williamsburg.

Rather than changing cannabis’ current federal classification as a Schedule 1 drug to another schedule, Blumenauer advocates removing it as a controlled substance altogether. “This is within our capacity,” he told about 100 attendees. “If we get the politics right, have hearings and experts come in, it would probably not be scheduled at all within the course of the next five years. It can happen sooner. We’ll see states be allowed to treat cannabis the way they treat alcohol.”

Blumenauer’s Cannabis Fund PAC is backing pro-pot candidates in the upcoming mid-term elections. “I’m raising money to give to candidates who have the courage to say the right thing and to make it a little easier for them to step up,” he explained.