Marijuana Politics

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Wed
01
Apr

Two Russians charged with selling marijuana, bongs online

Eight Russian tourists were detained, and two of them charged with possessing and selling marijuana and bamboo pipes for smoking it online, on Koh Phangan in Surat Thani, police said on Wednesday.

A police officer shows a carved bamboo pipe used for smoking marijuana following a raid on two houses on Koh Phanan island on April 1 in which eight Russian tourists were detained, and  two of them charged with possessing and selling marijuana and bamboo pipes for smoking it on Facebook. (Photo by Supapong Chaolan)

Pol Col Pachum Ruengthong, chief of Koh Phangan police, announced the arrest of the three men and five women following a raid on two rented houses on the island.

Wed
01
Apr

Jamaica Governor General gives assent, 'Ganja law' now in effect

THE governor general has given his assent to the Bill amending the Dangerous Drugs Act, making possession of two or less ounces of ganja a ticketable offence.

Justice Minister Mark Golding made the disclosure yesterday, just over a month after the House of Representatives joined the Senate in passing the legislation now being called the Ganja law.

"My understanding is that the GG has now assented to the Bill and the signed Bill is now on its way back

to Parliament," Golding informed advocates of decriminalisation or legalisation of marijuana, who were anxious that the amendments became law as soon as possible.

Tue
31
Mar

Florida Tries Again on Medical Marijuana

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A bill to fast track some medical marijuana use in Florida is moving forward in the state legislature.

The Senate Health Policy Committee approved the legislation Tuesday in an 8-0 vote.

It would make changes to the law already passed by Florida lawmakers last spring. That measure has yet to help anyone because of legal challenges and bureaucratic delays.

"There are just some flaws that need to be corrected in the bill that we passed," sponsor Sen. Rob Bradley said to the committee as they considered the measure Tuesday.

The new bill expands the list of illnesses for which medical marijuana can be used. The new list includes HIV, epilepsy, ALS, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease.

Tue
31
Mar

Here Comes Italy: The Next Country to Legalize Marijuana?

An effort to legalize marijuana is getting underway in the Italian parliament, with some 60 lawmakers having signed onto a motion to do just that by the time it was rolled out three weeks ago. Now, the "all party" group is getting to work on the twin tasks of drafting an actual bill and getting it enacted into law.

The effort is being led by Sen. Benedetto Della Vedova, who is also Italy's undersecretary of state for foreign affairs. Della Vedova was a long-time member of the country's Nonviolent Radical Party, but was elected to parliament as a member of the centrist Scelta Civica.

Tue
31
Mar

New Jersey Assembly votes to rebuke Christie over medical marijuana

The New Jersey Assembly is rebuking the Christie administration's handling of the state's medical marijuana program.

Lawmakers voted Thursday to approve a resolution, ACR224, that says Gov. Chris Christie's Health Department has placed "arbitrary and unnecessary" restrictions on the program.

The vote comes a day after Christie criticized the notion of legalizing marijuana in order to gain a tax windfall, calling it "blood money."

Tue
31
Mar

Indiana's New Law Opens Door for Marijuana Churches

The same day Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law, paperwork was also submitted to register The First Church of Cannabis Inc. as a non-profit organization.

The church, founded by Bill Levin, promoted the filing with the Secretary of State via Facebook, and pointed out,

“Cannataerians… would seek love, understanding and good health.”

 

 

The recently enacted controversial law prevents the state (Indiana) government from “substantially burdening” a person’s right to exercise religion only if it can demonstrate that it is the least restrictive means of furthering a compelling governmental interest.

Tue
31
Mar

New York State's Medical Marijuana Rules Shaping Up as Unusually Restrictive

Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried, a Democratic sponsor of the medical marijuana legislation, criticized "senseless burdensome restrictions" on the program.

ALBANY — When New York State’s lawmakers were mulling legalizing the medical use of marijuana last summer, some proponents feared that the proposed law was so restrictive that it would prevent many patients from receiving the drug.

Now, with the state’s Health Department close to issuing final regulations about the new program, the law’s supporters say their fears may soon be realized.

Tue
31
Mar

Ballot issue invites look at marijuana use in Wichita

How often do people get arrested for marijuana? Who gets arrested? And are they accused of other crimes as well?

Those are some of the things we wondered as Wichitans prepare to vote April 7 on a proposal that would lessen first-time penalties for adults caught with an ounce or less of marijuana.

The future of the proposal is unclear, even if voters pass it. State officials have already said they will challenge it in court since it conflicts with state law.

But we can learn some things from what is happening with marijuana in Wichita now, based on data from the Wichita Police Department, Wichita Municipal Court and Sedgwick County District Court.

Tue
31
Mar

Interview with Paul Birch: chairman of Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol

Paul Birch, the co-founder of Bebo and chairman of the recently established single-issue political party Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol (CISTA), was in Glasgow on Tuesday to launch his party’s campaign in Scotland, ahead of the General Election in May. CISTA campaigns for the reform of laws which prohibit the sale and possession of cannabis in the UK. After meeting CISTA candidates standing in Scottish constituencies, he spoke to the Glasgow Guardian.

Guardian: To have launched a single-issue party, you must be passionate about that issue, in this case, legalising cannabis. How did that come about?

Mon
30
Mar

Sir Richard Branson on Ending the war on drugs, the challenges and opportunities ahead

Last week’s Vienna meeting of the UN’s Commission on Narcotic Drugs was an important stepping stone on the road to 2016, when world leaders will come together in New York to discuss drug policy in a special session of the UN General Assembly, also known as the UNGASS.

As dry as these diplomatic gatherings appear, they play a key role in our effort to end the war on drugs; try new approaches to drug policy that reduce harm; end the criminalisation of drug users and keep non-violent drug offenders out of prison; and treat drugs overall as a health issue. 

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