Marijuana Politics

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Thu
10
Jan

The details of Kentucky’s new medical marijuana bill have been revealed

Perhaps all Kentucky needs to move forward with medical marijuana legislation is a 78-year-old Republican lawmaker to admit he threw his prescription pain meds in the trash—and smoked a joint instead. Cannabis advocates are hoping that’s the case after Wednesday’s announcement of Kentucky’s House Bill 136, which would make cannabis legal for those with debilitating illnesses and excruciating pain.

“For those that don’t know, I had colon cancer seven years ago, and when I left the hospital, they gave me that nice bottle of Oxycontin,” said Daniel DeVerl “Malano” Seum, the state senator, at a press conference. “I threw it in the garbage can and went home and smoked a joint.”

Thu
10
Jan

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez brings former Marijuana Policy Project director to her staff

In her much loved dinner prep Instagram livestreams, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has made it clear that she thinks marijuana prohibition is a “tool” used to oppress people of color in the United States. But other than the fact she’d legalize cannabis and advocate for the release of people who have been incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses, she hasn’t released much info on her ideas around cannabis.

Thu
10
Jan

Possible 2020 Presidential candidate calls for marijuana legalization in new book

Yesterday California Democratic Senator and possible 2020 presidential candidate Kamala Harris released a new book called The Truths We Hold: An American Journey, which is essentially her laying out her political plans for America. And one of those plans involves marijuana, writes Joseph Misulonas. 

Thu
10
Jan

Virginia lawmaker introduces legislation to legalize marijuana in the state

Virginia House Delegate Steve Heretick, a former Justice Department attorney and president of the Virginia Board of Medicine, knows that cannabis, like any intoxicant, poses risks. But he also believes that adults should have the freedom and the responsibility to choose whether or not to consume cannabis for medical or other purposes. In a video posted to YouTube on Tuesday, the day before the start of Virginia’s first 2019 legislative legislation, Heretick presents those views as he introduces his bill to legalize marijuana in the state. Today, Heretick submitted that bill, HB2371, to the floor of the Virginia House of Delegates.

Thu
10
Jan

NYC mayor intends to prevent cannabis corporatization if legalization succeeds

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has called for a cannabis industry fueled by small businesses if legalization efforts in the state succeed. Speaking before a Brooklyn audience last week, the mayor said that in addition to the health and safety issues involved with legal pot, he is concerned about the potential influence of big business on New Yorkers and the emerging market.

“My goal is that we avoid the corporatization of the marijuana industry,” de Blasio said.

Thu
10
Jan

Democratic congressman says this will be the most pro-marijuana congress ever

Many people are hoping that Congress will begin pushing more pro-marijuana legislation now that Democrats are in control of the House of Representatives. And one Democrat is definitely raising people's expectations, writes Joseph Misulonas. 

Wed
09
Jan

New Mexico’s pot legalization proposal includes workplace protections

A bill that would legalize recreational cannabis in New Mexico includes workplace protections for employees that use pot while off the job. The bill by Albuquerque Democrats Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino and Rep. Javier Martinez is expected to be introduced in the legislature later this month, according to media reports.

Wed
09
Jan

Appeals court digs into marijuana smoking ban in Florida

Newly minted Gov. Ron DeSantis has indicated he may drop the state’s appeal of a court decision that said a Florida law banning patients from smoking medical marijuana is unconstitutional.

But on the same day the Republican successor to former Gov. Rick Scott was sworn into office, lawyers for the state tried to persuade a three-judge panel to uphold the smoking prohibition.

Tuesday’s arguments at the 1st District Court of Appeal were the latest twist in a challenge to a 2017 law aimed at implementing a constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana. More than 71 percent of voters approved the constitutional amendment in 2016.

Wed
09
Jan

Pediatric nurse appointed to Arkansas marijuana board

A pediatric nurse who says he's seen the positive effects of medical marijuana on his patients has been appointed to the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission.

Justin Smith, 38, was appointed to the board Monday, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported . Smith is a nurse at Arkansas Children's Hospital and has worked in pediatric care for 11 years. He replaces James Miller, who resigned last month to focus on his family and business.

Smith said he's seen cannabis products help treat children with epilepsy.

"I've seen it work with my own eyes," Smith said. "When you see that, it kind of changes your mind and perspective on things. Especially in my case, when you see it work on children, you can't really deny it has some benefit with proper application."

Wed
09
Jan

Former Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day urges leaders to support cannabis entrepreneurs on First Nations

A former Ontario Regional Chief is putting out a new magazine that he hopes clarifies jurisdictional issues around cannabis legalization and First Nations.

Isadore Day is CEO of a company called Bimaadzwin that focuses on Indigenous nationhood.

The new online publication, called Growth and Prosperity, seems to reflect his optimism about the potential role of retail cannabis sales in Indigenous communities.

Day says the publication will work as a reference that covers areas left blank by governments that failed to include First Nations in designing a retail system to sell legal cannabis.

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