Marijuana Politics

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Thu
02
Jun

Marijuana Legalization 2016: Is The Cannabis Movement Overextended?

In early May, the national advocacy group Marijuana Policy Project sent out a panicked email titled “Alone, beaten down and incredulous in Boston.” MPP had been working to land a marijuana legalization measure on Massachusetts’ ballot this November, but a recent fundraising event in Boston had drawn just a single attendee. “What’s worrisome isn’t this one bad event, but that it mirrors the contributions and involvement across Massachusetts since the initiative launch,” MPP Executive Director Rob Kampia wrote in the message. “Simply put, the campaign is broke,” he noted.

Thu
02
Jun

If Marijuana Is Decriminalized in NYC, Then Why Are Possession Arrests on the Rise?

Since the 1970s, a weed decriminalization shift has swept the nation, and New York was one of the first states to jump on board with the passing of the Marijuana Reform Act in 1977. Still, New York’s marijuana-related arrest rate became the highest in the country—more than double the national average in 2013 with over 535 arrests per 100,000 people.

Thu
02
Jun

South Africa: ‘Dagga fan’ Malema blows smoke in ANC faces

‘Legalise it,’ the EFF leader said, before laying into ‘ANC complainers’ who want to join his party.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema on Monday said he fully supported calls for the legalisation of dagga. Malema said he felt alcohol was more dangerous than marijuana.

“I’ve seen a lot of people smoke dagga and not have a problem, but I’ve never seen anyone drink alcohol and read books. I’ve seen people drink alcohol, get into their cars and cause accidents, but I’ve never heard of an accident caused by a dagga smoker.

“There is no solid reason why it cannot be legalised, if there is anything that needs to be made illegal is alcohol, it is the most dangerous thing.”

Thu
02
Jun

Oakland gives pot convicts chance to open marijuana businesses as part of reparations for war on drugs

Convicted pot felons that want to own a legal marijuana business in Oakland will now be prioritized under new, radical permit rules designed to make amends for the United States’ war on drugs.

The city’s new Equity Permit Program calls for 50 per cent of all licenses for medical marijuana facilities to go to Oaklanders imprisoned for a pot offence in the last 10 years, or to residents of six neighbourhoods that police have excessively targeted for drug arrests.

“Communities of colour have been negatively and disproportionately impacted by disparate enforcement of cannabis laws,” reads the ordinance introducing the rules.

Oakland city council voted unanimously to approve the program — the first of its kind in the U.S. — last month.

Wed
01
Jun

Legalize marijuana group submits 354000 signatures to state

LANSING, Mich. —

A group trying to legalize marijuana in Michigan says it has submitted about 354,000 valid signatures to the state just before the deadline.

Whether the state considers that many signatures submitted Wednesday as valid remains unclear: A bill presented to Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday would stop such groups from counting signatures older than 180 days.

Current law allows them to count older signatures toward the roughly 253,000 they need to put the measure before voters. However, neither Snyder's office nor the Secretary of State's office would say whether the bill before Snyder would apply to the marijuana advocacy group.

Wed
01
Jun

Former treasurer sues Empire claiming it gave monopoly to marijuana dispensary

The former treasurer of Empire who was fired after she publicly confronted City Council members about a secret agreement with the town’s only marijuana dispensary owner to defer thousands of dollars in fees has filed a lawsuit against the city in federal court.

The whistle-blower lawsuit filed Tuesday by Dawn Ward’s attorney Ahson Wali accuses Mayor Wendy Koch and other Empire City Council members of violating Ward’s First Amendment rights by firing her for making protected comments at a council meeting.

“By voting to terminate Plaintiff, the Mayor and the Board violated plaintiff’s First Amendment rights through an official act or policy of the town,” the lawsuit says.

Koch did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment Wednesday.

Wed
01
Jun

Illinois Bill Would Add PTSD to Medical Marijuana Conditions List

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS) —

Post-traumatic stress disorder could soon be on the list of qualifying conditions to receive medical marijuana in Illinois.

The bill is part of the measure the Illinois House passed to extend the medical cannabis program until 2020. The bill would also add terminal illness to the list of qualifying conditions, and make patient's cards valid for three years instead of one.

HCI Alternatives says one thing overlooked in the bill is changing the language of how doctors can prescribe the drug.

Wed
01
Jun

Did the United Nations' special session on drugs change anything?

 

The United Nations held a special session on drugs at the General Assembly in New York in April, and cannabis industry attorney Christian Sederberg was there to see it.

Billed as “UNGASS,” the United Nations General Assembly Special Session was “a big deal,” Sederberg says, as it was the first time in more than 20 years that this kind of conversation on drug policies and tweaking of treaties has taken place.

Sederberg points out that since the UN process “moves at a glacial pace,” nothing that happened in the session will change drug policy or affect the marijuana legalization movement anytime soon, but the discussions there about cannabis were a step in that direction.

Wed
01
Jun

4 updates on medical marijuana in Pennsylvania

Temporary regulations for the state's Medical Marijuana Program are expected next month.

To date, 23 states have moved forward and legalized marijuana for certain medical conditions while several others have legalized one ingredient in the marijuana plant.(Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Story Highlights

Wed
01
Jun

Israel: Decriminalization of marijuana - coming soon?

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) is seeking alternatives to legislature that would completely decriminalize the personal use of soft drugs, Walla! News reports Wednesday, following a debate over a similar bill proposed by Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg. 

Representatives of the Ministry of Justice confirmed that Shaked turned to the Ministry's internal legal advisory office to examine an alternative to de-criminalization of the drugs. 

The amount of drugs allowed for personal use, according to the proposed law, is 15 grams, and applies to hashish and marijuana; the law would commute the fines for personal use, which top hundreds of shekels. In this case, the penalty for the offense would be reduced significantly, although usage itself is banned. 

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