House rejects proposal to let VA doctors recommend medical marijuana

The House rejected a proposal Thursday to allow doctors at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals to discuss the use of medical marijuana with patients.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer's (D-Ore.) amendment to the first fiscal 2016 appropriations bill of the year, which funds the VA and military construction projects, failed narrowly by a vote of 210-213. 

A total of 35 Republicans voted in favor of the amendment, while eight Democrats voted against it. Boos ensued from the Democratic side of the House chamber when Republicans closed the vote despite the razor-thin margin. 


Companies Try to Trademark Scents

Federal trademark officials in Alexandria, Va., recently received an unusual package: a hand-delivered parcel containing vials of a clear liquid that smelled of oranges.

The sender wasn’t a crank. It was a corporate trademark lawyer representing Flotek Industries Inc., a Texas producer of hydraulic-fracturing fluids used to extract oil and gas from rocks deep in the earth.


Are Cigarettes the New Joints? Get Ready for Homegrown Tobacco

High cigarette taxes fuel a surging black market in smuggled cigarettes, notes Americans for Tax Reform's Patrick Gleason in the Wall Street Journal. New York smokers are the greatest beneficiaries of that black market, burdened as they are with the most ridiculous cigarette taxes in the country. There's a huge flow of smuggled smokes from relatively low-tax states like Virginia. And some smokers are turning to an alternative to which marijuana fanciers facing legal pressures of their own have resorted for decades: growing their own.


Virginia plants seeds for new hemp industry

RICHMOND, Va. — When people think of hemp, marijuana often comes to mind — because the two plants are varieties of cannabis.

But hemp has a variety of uses, from making textiles and building materials to feeding livestock. The settlers at Jamestown grew hemp. So did George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. In the 1940s, Henry Ford reportedly built a car body of hemp fiber and ran it on hemp oil.

In the 1950s, however, the United States banned hemp because of its association with marijuana. That prohibition has remained in effect — until now.

Virginia soon will legalize the growing of industrial hemp under legislation passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.


Smoking pot in D.C. could cost Va. workers their jobs

You can go for a ride with the Pineapple Express - or any other strain of cannabis - while visiting friends in D.C., but you might get fired from work back home in Virginia as a result.

Legalized marijuana is closer than ever, now that adults can smoke, grow and share it in the nation's capital. But some local companies are sticking with tests that screen employees for the drug because it's still illegal in Virginia.

A local employment law expert said businesses must be more cautious about dismissing workers for positive drug tests now that marijuana is legal in some parts of the country - but users with a prescription likely have more protection than those who smoke just because, well, they like getting high.


Virginia Tech explores industrial hemp research under new law

Virginia Tech is gearing up for research that could help establish an industrial hemp growing industry in the commonwealth under a new state law.

On Monday Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed into a law a bill sponsored by Del. Joseph Yost, R-Pearisburg, and for years championed by Montgomery County politician, farmer and businessman Jim Politis that will allow limited hemp cultivation through a permitting system — so long as it is affiliated with a university research program.

Tech released information on its next steps in a news release on Wednesday.


Idaho may follow Virginia to approve marijuana oil

BOISE, Idaho

Ten-year-old Alexis Carey has a rare but intractable form of epilepsy, Dravet Syndrome. The genetic disease causes severe and multiple seizures, which often leave parents guessing if the terror of watching their child seize up will pass or turn fatal.

Her Boise, Idaho, family learned that oil extracted from marijuana had helped other children and wanted to see if it would help Alexis too.

"Parent to parent, when you're in a small community and 10 people that you know are all having success, that's no longer anecdotal," Clare Carey, her mother, said. "That's hope."


Virginia governor signs bill permitting medical use of marijuana oil

[JURIST] Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe [official website] on Thursday signed a legislative measure [HB 1445] aimed at permitting use of medical marijuana oils for individuals suffering from severe forms of epilepsy.


Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Filed in Virginia Senate

RICHMOND, VA — A bill that would remove criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana has been filed in the Virginia Senate in advance of the upcoming 2015 legislative session. If passed, Senate Bill 686, filed by Sen. Adam Ebbin (D – Alexandria), would reduce the penalty for possession to […]


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