Marijuana Politics

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Tue
09
Feb

Mormon Church Comes Out Against Utah Medical Marijuana Bill

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Mormon church has come out against a Utah bill that would allow the medical use of edible pot products, a position that could be a serious blow to one of two medical marijuana proposals before state lawmakers.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said leaders are worried about the unintended consequences of the measure proposed by Republican Sen. Mark Madsen of Eagle Mountain. A majority of Utah lawmakers are members of the Salt Lake City-based faith, and the church's position on an issue can be decisive.

The church doesn't object to another, more restrictive medical marijuana bill that would allow access to a marijuana-infused oil, church spokesman Eric Hawkins said in a statement.

Tue
09
Feb

Breathe in and regulate marijuana laws

You don’t have to be stoned to be confused by the status of Canada’s marijuana laws.

Users of medical marijuana must wonder if it’s OK to pick up supplies at pot dispensaries across the country.

In Nova Scotia, one operator proudly announced the opening of his Dartmouth dispensary last week.

But at least two in-province pot retailers were raided by police last year.

The law seems to suggest prescription holders should obtain the drug from licensed suppliers — which means by mail-order.

But the Supreme Court says “reasonable access” to medical marijuana should be, and is not being, provided.

No wonder dispensary owners say they operate in a grey area.

The situation is also fuzzy for recreational users. 

Tue
09
Feb

Marijuana in the US: business booming, attitudes changing

The marijuana business is booming in the US, with projected legal sales expected to be up more than a billion dollars in 2016 compared to 2015, when the legal market was worth $6.7 billion in sales.

What’s more, over half of Americans now say they support the legalisation of cannabis, according to a Pew Research Center study.

Marijuana is authorised, in one form or another, across 38 states and the District of Columbia. That means 86 percent of Americans now live in a state where the use of legal marijuana is permitted to some degree.

Tue
09
Feb

After LDS church opposes medical marijuana bill, lawmaker will not back off

Salt Lake City —

(KUTV) Utah Senator Mark Madsen said fighting old perceptions about pot have made his efforts to legalize medical marijuana an uphill battle. Then came another hurdle Friday when the Mormon Church said it opposed his bill.

Still, Madsen, who is Mormon, said he won't back down because polls show most Utah residents support the proposed law. Plus, people with serious medical conditions could really use the pain relief.

"It would be immoral to back down," he said.

Madsen said he loves his church and reveres the leaders of the LDS church but he also said he is acting on principle in pushing the legislation because he knows it will make a huge difference in people's lives.

"I don't want to let them down," he said.

Mon
08
Feb

It's All but Confirmed: Marijuana Legislation Is Going Nowhere on Capitol Hill in 2016

At the state level, marijuana has been practically unstoppable for the past two decades.

Since California legalized medical marijuana in 1996 for certain ailments, 22 additional states, as well as Washington, D.C., have taken similar steps. Furthermore, we've witnessed residents in four states -- Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and Alaska -- approve initiatives designed to legalize recreational marijuana since 2012.

Mon
08
Feb

Ex-IRS agent faces trial on medical marijuana dispensary bribery charge

A former IRS agent in Seattle is set to face trial this week on accusations that he solicited and received a $20,000 bribe from a medical marijuana dispensary.

Federal prosecutors say that after Paul G. Hurley audited Have A Heart Compassion Care in Seattle last year, he told its owner, Ryan Kunkel, that he owed $290,000 on his 2013 and 2014 taxes. But, they say, Hurley told Kunkel it could have been a lot worse: Hurley had saved him $1 million.

As Kunkel described it, the IRS agent rubbed his fingers together and suggested that in return for the leniency, Kunkel should pay off his student loan debt over time, court documents allege. Kunkel said that sounded like a bad idea, but fearing his audit would be held up, he agreed to pay Hurley $20,000 cash.

Mon
08
Feb

Anchorage Assembly to finalize marijuana regulations at Tuesday meeting

The Anchorage Assembly will vote on two ordinances at a Tuesday meeting that will finalize marijuana regulations within the municipality. While both ordinances are expected to pass, lawmakers are less certain about which of the eight amendments will be included in the new regulations.

The first of the ordinances, Title 21, deals with zoning and land use. A major concern voiced at the municipality's last public hearing were the proposed buffer zones between schools and businesses selling marijuana. Currently, the ordinance sets the buffer at 1000 feet.

Federal law requires that drug-free school zones be placed 1,000 feet from schools and playgrounds. The state requirement however, is 500 feet.

Mon
08
Feb

Barney Frank To The Marijuana Industry: "Thank You For Being Responsible"

Today was one of those days that I had to pinch myself because I felt so lucky. I got to attend a brunch fundraiser for legendary United States Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), who has fought for the cannabis reform movement for a very long time, and continues that support as more states allow a thriving cannabis industry to exist by leading the charge in Congress. The fundraiser was hosted by the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA). Speaking at the fundraiser was another individual that led the charge for many, many years in Congress. That individual was former Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA).

Mon
08
Feb

Cannabis party candidate joins the race for London mayor

An elderly hippy aims to campaign for the legalisation of cannabis by joining the mayoral contest — backed by the multi-millionaire founder of social networking site Bebo.

Lee Harris — who 50 years ago was among the first to seek the prohibition of drugs in Britain, is gathering the required signatures in order to compete against Tory candidate Zac Goldsmith and Labour’s Sadiq Khan.

The 79-year-old grandfather, who owns a “head shop” on Portobello Road called Alchemy, was a self-confessed “moral crusader” before changing his outlook. He is now the CISTA (Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol) party candidate, and hopes to “undo the damage” he helped to cause decades ago.

Sun
07
Feb

The Greens and the dodgy drug-driving laws

First a disclaimer: I believe the Greens are a progressive force in Australian politics.

Which makes me shocked and saddened to learn that the Greens supported the Road Transport Drug Testing Bill that gave birth to saliva testing for cannabis when it was introduced in NSW Parliament in 2006.

This bill was dodgy from the start.

Labor’s Eric Roozendaal, Minister for Roads who introduced the bill, is quoted in Hansard (see below): ‘There will be no need for police to prove that a person’s driving was impaired. It need only be proved that the drug was present in the person’s sample.’

Eric is clear: he’s not testing for driver impairment, which is what he should be as minister for roads to make the roads safe; he’s just testing for the presence of the drug.

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