Marijuana Politics

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Wed
08
May

30 Members of Congress urge DEA to “speed up” medical cannabis research

Thirty members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to the leaders of the Drug Enforcement Administration and Department of Justice on Tuesday, calling on the federal agencies to speed up research into the medical uses of cannabis. The letter was signed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers including cannabis advocate and Democrat Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and three of the nearly two dozen candidates for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president.

Wed
08
May

Maine holds public hearing on Bills to clear marijuana convictions

On May 7, Maine held a public hearing on a trio of bills that would clear criminal and civil records related to marijuana. The hearing, which took place before the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee, heard testimony from private citizens and those working in Maine’s developing legal industry. And while the state gets set to release the final version of its regulatory plan for that industry, Tuesday’s public hearings provided an opportunity to discuss the social justice aspects of Maine’s 2016 legalization of adult-use cannabis.

Wed
08
May

Texas lawmakers approve medical marijuana expansion bill

House Bill 1365 was passed by The Texas House of Representatives in a 121-23 vote. Sponsor of the bill, Democratic Rep. Eddie Lucio, told the other lawmakers in the House that he wants to help people in Texas who are suffering from all kinds of conditions.  

“Today, I don’t just stand here as a member of this body but as a voice for thousands of people in this state that are too sick to function or that in constant, debilitating pain,” said Lucio.  

The bill adds more than a dozen “debilitating medical conditions,” including cancer, HIV/AIDS, PTSD and Crohn’s disease to Texas' medical cannabis program. Conditions that cause pain, vomiting, seizures and other symptoms are also included in the bill.

Tue
07
May

Australia urged to legalize recreational cannabis

Companies in Australia highlighted the $1 billion that Colorado has earned from taxing adult-use cannabis. There are five times as many people living in Australia and Bernberg urged the Australian government to follow suit in order to boost its economy.

Tue
07
May

New Zealand to vote on cannabis legalization

New Zealand will hold a referendum on legalizing cannabis during the 2020 general election, the government announced Tuesday.

Justice Minister Andrew Little said the vote would be binding, but it will ultimately be up to the next administration to enact the legislation.

 

What will New Zealanders be voting on? 

Little said voters would be asked "a simple Yes/No question on the bases of a draft piece of legislation." The draft law will include:

Tue
07
May

Texas House passes bill to vastly expand access to medical cannabis

The Texas House on Monday advanced a bill that would expand the list of debilitating conditions that allow Texans to legally use medical cannabis.

House Bill 1365 would add Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s disease, muscular dystrophy, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism and a bevy of other illnesses to an existing state program that currently applies only to people with intractable epilepsy who meet certain requirements.

Tue
07
May

This is what happens if you get caught with cannabis at an American airport

Right now, 10 states allow recreational cannabis use and another 23 have legalized medical marijuana, but the federal government still upholds cannabis prohibition, writes Calvin Hughes and James McClure. That means you can't take cannabis across state borders, even if you're going from one legal state to another - like from Vermont to Massachusetts. But what happens when you forget that you have a joint in your knapsack or other carry-on luggage when you board a plane?

Tue
07
May

Bill to regulate and tax cannabis sales advances in Vermont

A Vermont House of Representatives committee approved a bill last week that would create a system to tax and regulate commercial cannabis sales in the state. The measure, S. 54, was approved by the House Government Operations Committee on Thursday by a vote of 10-1. The bill was passed by the Vermont Senate in February by a margin of 23-5.

S. 54 has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and is also expected to be considered by the Appropriations Committee before a floor vote, which must come before the end of the legislative session on Friday. Matt Simon, the New England political director for cannabis policy reform group the Marijuana Policy Project, urged members of the House to take swift action on the bill.

Tue
07
May

Canada's roadside drug tests can't tell the difference between tea and cocaine

The reliability of Canada's only federally approved device for roadside cannabis impairment testing has been thrown into question after a Vancouver lawyer determined the device is easily duped, writes Calvin Hughes.

While preparing to roll out cannabis legalization in October of 2018, the Canadian government introduced a new roadside cannabis impairment testing device called the Dräger DrugTest 5000. However, a series of tests have found that it's surprisingly easy to get a false positive using the machine.

Mon
06
May

Illinois releases plan for full legalization

This past Saturday, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker released the plan for full cannabis legalization which is set to begin on January 1, 2020. Companies that currently had medical cannabis licenses would get a jump on other companies with regards to applying for licenses.

According to the plan, new licenses for dispensaries would begin on May 1 and processors, craft growers and transporters would begin licensing on July 1. It wouldn’t be until late 2021, that the next round of businesses would receive licenses.

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