Recent steps by the federal government have put the medical marijuana industry of multiple states in question. Colorado is no exception to this, as banks throughout the state were recently bullied into ceasing all business ties with medical marijuana dispensaries.
The response from the local Colorado population has been surprisingly mixed. Despite the fact that Colorado was one of the earlier states to adopt medicinal marijuana policies, there are still many residents speaking out in support of a proposed ban on dispensaries.
The U.S. Attorney's office has recently been busy defending themselves against the medical marijuana community. After weeks of threats against dispensary owners and the medical marijuana community as a whole, they are finally speaking out in an attempt to defend their actions.
The Depart of Justice explicitly stated two years ago that they would respect states that passed laws in support of medicinal marijuana. People are wondering now, why go back on your word?
Medical marijuana dispensaries are a type of business that exist in a legal grey area. It is for this reason that it has been so easy for the federal government to bully them into shutting down, despite public support for the medicine and it's legal use.
Colorado dispensaries, however, have made a move to increase their political sway by joining the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. As the first medical marijuana entity to make such a bold step they are raising eyebrows across the nation.
Public Support for Legalization Reaches 50 Percent
According to a recent poll, half of the American population is now in full support of marijuana legalization. This number marks a historical record and comes after an increasingly large movement toward decriminalization.
While many people have supported decriminalization in the past, they have refrained from supporting full legalization. We see a shift in this trend now from a Gallup poll that was released on Monday.
Members of the medical marijuana community are often focused on those laws and regulations that directly affect the drug, or it's medicinal uses. Many patients, however, are currently being distracted from legitimate medicine because of the introduction of synthetic marijuana substitutes.
Synthetic marijuana looks a lot like the real thing, and it will even get you high. The high is nothing like that caused by actual marijuana, though, and the real effects are currently under examination.
Many people are shocked, be it in a positive or negative way, about the California Medical Association's recently admitted stance on marijuana regulation. As the state's biggest group of healthcare providers, they are well respected and influential in the medical community.
Recently, California made the medical marijuana community proud by holding a Pot Expo, despite pressures from the federal government. The expo was considered a large success, partly due to the harsh atmosphere at the time.
Washington residents in Yakima Valley recently tried to hold a marijuana expo of their own, but were very disappointed by the results, which differed greatly from those in California. Despite event organizers’ attempts to do everything by the book, the state still found a way to prevent them from exercising their rights.
There has been a lot of talk in the news recently about the federal government's attempts to curb the medical marijuana industry. One of the biggest moves made was against California, where many dispensaries recently received threatening letters to cease and desist.
These steps against California dispensaries were not made subtly and have actually been quite public. Many people in other states have been forced to ask themselves why something similar isn't happening in their own state.
We've all seen marijuana edibles in the shape of candy—be it fudge, chocolates, or a lollipop—but have we ever seen candy in the shape of marijuana? Well, we can now.
Grocery stores around the country have recently begun selling a product called Pot Pops. These lollipops are in the shape of a marijuana leaf, but they have not been dosed with any marijuana extracts, and they will not get you high. In fact, they come in sour apple flavor.
Despite recent attempts by the federal government to bully the medical marijuana industry, California's Pot Expo thrived over the weekend. A three-day event that started on Friday, October 7th, the Pot Expo featured vendors in many fields of marijuana.
First, we heard of a memo being issued in regards to the gun rights of prescription holders. All medical marijuana users, the memo stated, would no longer be allowed to purchase guns and ammunition; a right offered by the second amendment.
Next, we heard of banks in Colorado, which were being bullied into ceasing any future business with medical marijuana dispensaries. With the accusation of “conspiracy” and “distribution of illegal drugs” hanging over their heads, there are now no banks that will work with local collectives.
We have heard of many state medical marijuana laws that are currently facing drastic regulations and limitations. Among those that are the most extreme are those in Michigan, where things continue to go downhill.
The state Court of Appeals just released a decision that will send marijuana law back another several steps. Despite the implications of the ruling, many are struggling to decipher the exact effects that this decision will have.
The West Coast Cannabis Expo and Music Festival is set to be held in San Francisco this weekend, October 7th to 9th, 2011. In addition to celebrating various marijuana strains, products, and supported music, the Expo will feature a number of cannabis-friendly job opportunities.
Within the Expo will be a medical cannabis job fair, presented by the staff of Cannajobs. This event comes in response to the current economy, which has been rough on both marijuana patients and distributors, alike.
As of last week, there is not a single bank in Colorado that will openly deal with a medical marijuana dispensary. This comes as shocking news to the patient and caregiver community, as well as local law officials, who worry about increased crime due to cash transactions.
Many dispensary owners have made statements about this new development, saying they're not quite sure what they're going to do in response. They obviously can't securely deal with large amounts of cash, especially when dispensaries have already been targets for thieving in the past.
Congressional delegates of the state of Montana are fighting back against the federal government, which recently released a memo that makes it illegal for a medical marijuana prescription holder to buy a gun or ammunition.
Among those that spoke out in defense of marijuana patients is Senator Jon Tester, who claimed the memo is a “misguided effort.” We must ask, an effort to do what?
Despite the federal government's public stance on medical marijuana, they have been hiding their own medicinal marijuana production for years. Many marijuana supporters were shocked to recently find out that there are currently four patients around the nation that receive government-grown pot on a regular basis.
Before delving further into this, we must first understand a little-known program that was created in 1976. This program stemmed from a court case involving medicinal marijuana and concluded with 14 patients being granted rights to government-provided medicine.
In 2004, Montana shocked many other regions by becoming one of the first ten states to allow the use of medicinal marijuana. Since then there has been some debate as to how to distribute and regulate it, but for the most part local communities have not seen any negative effects.
Despite this, Montana prescription holders are now being told that they are not allowed to purchase guns or ammunition. The ATF, or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, is getting strict with gun control when it comes to marijuana users.
For many years, Americans have looked to the Netherlands as the only place with forgiving drug policies. In fact, many travelers visit this country because it is known as the marijuana capital of the world, with open use offered to each citizen.
Many people in the US are working to set up a drug system similar to that of the Netherlands, in the hopes that legalization will lead to less crime and less government spending. It appears that many citizens of New Zealand are currently looking to do the same thing.
Ray Kelly, the Police Commissioner of New York, recently issued a memo to the NYPD about new regulations concerning marijuana possession. Instead of considering this crime a high priority, officers are now advised to give little energy toward pursuing those with small amounts of marijuana.
The memo refers to misdemeanor amounts of marijuana and is specific to those that have been revealed due to an official search. If a person is asked to empty their pockets, therefore revealing a small amount of pot, NYPD should not charge the crime or even report it.
The Obama Administration has been facing a lot of complaints from people who were expecting a lot from this group and have yet received very little. In order to make the government more accountable, Obama recently passed a regulation stating that any issue with enough support will receive a customized response from the president.
Many people are aware of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. It has been common among soldiers returning from war and anyone else who has been through a traumatic experience. However, until recently, there wasn't medication available to treat or prevent the condition, but new studies suggest that pot may actually do the trick.
No, you didn't read that headline incorrectly. A new study, released just this Tuesday, shows that crime rates actually rise when medical marijuana dispensaries are closed. This study is in direct opposition of the majority opinion of law enforcement officials, who continue to claim that these collectives are hotbeds for crime.
The study takes into consideration the large metropolitan area of Los Angeles, which has allowed medical marijuana for years now. Last summer, however, hundreds of these dispensaries were shut down due to the restrictions of a new city ordinance.
Recently, laws have been passed to restrict the use and availability of medicinal marijuana in the state of Montana. Despite its legalization due to voter support, there are still many efforts to limit the options of patients, which has led to large decreases in various areas.
For starters, there has been a large decrease in the amount of prescribed patients. According to Roy Kemp, one of the deputy administrators, cardholders have dropped by about 15 percent through the end of last month.
The advances made toward medical marijuana rights recently have been incredible, but many people don't think it's enough. Why stop at medical marijuana, after all, when science and experience show no real reason to restrict its popular use?
This is the question that Colorado is asking as they seek to completely legalize the drug. Colorado Springs is currently being used as a test market for complete legalization, and the population will soon see a number of TV spots and mailing packets in support of the development.
Like many states, Nevada is currently experiencing a lot of confusion in relation to its medical marijuana laws. It seems to be a common occurrence these days as lawmakers seek to heavily restrict laws that were recently passed by majority voters.
The main focus of these restrictions seems to be the medical marijuana dispensaries, which provide patients with the drug. This is the case with Nevada, which allows patients to possess medical marijuana but still makes the buying and selling of marijuana illegal.
As one of many states that allows the use of medicinal marijuana, Michigan is home to many collectives and dispensaries. One such dispensary, Your Healthy Choice Clinic, is now at risk of being shut down due to the actions of its owner.
Your Healthy Choice Clinic, located in the city of Lansing, is owned by Shekina Pena. Pena, in an attempt to motivate the community to exercise their civic rights, offered a free half-gram of marijuana, or a free edible, to anyone who registered to vote at her dispensary.
Medical marijuana patients living in Castle Rock, WA, received some great news this week as the City Council voted to approve interim zoning regulations in support of medical marijuana gardens. The gardens will allow patients to join together to grow large amounts of pot for medicinal use within the city.
Medicinal marijuana has been known to help patients of many diagnoses, from cancer to anxiety. New releases show that multiple sclerosis can now be added to the list, but in a very different way.
On Tuesday, September 13th, the city council of San Jose, California, will hold an important meeting about the future of medical marijuana within its boundaries. Patient supporters will work to maintain the legal standards that have been previously defined, while opposers will seek to greatly limit the current law's regulations.
As the birthplace of widely accepted medical marijuana, California is often believed to be the “stoniest” state. After all, with more time to develop legal dispensary and prescription systems, it would make sense that the highest percentage of smokers would reside in this western state.
This is not the case, however, as new reports indicate that California ranks tenth on the chart of “most stoned” states. With 17 states prescribing legal medical marijuana, this means that nine of them are doing so at a higher rate than what is often considered “the hippy state.”
Recent attempts to restrict the distribution of medical marijuana in Michigan are raising cries from the population. On Wednesday, September 8th, almost 1,000 people took the streets of the state capitol in order to express their unhappiness with legislators seeking to limit a law that was passed by popular vote in 2008.
The Medical Marijuana Act was voted into Michigan legislation three years ago with a 63 percent majority. Despite voter support, the state legislature and Attorney General Bill Schuette are pushing bills to restrict the rights given by the law to qualified patients.
Many of us have been satisfied with the growing acceptance of medical marijuana, but others believe that this acceptance needs to go even further. Why stop at medical marijuana when science and history show that the drug should be legalized completely?
This is the stance of Jim Lewis, who ran for Florida Attorney General on the platform of complete legalization. Citizens in support of his cause held signs at a rally that read, “Prohibition didn't work. It still doesn't.”
Medical marijuana is becoming more widely accepted, with medical marijuana dispensaries operating legally in numerous states and localities. The small city of Marshall, Michigan, however, is one of those few areas that seem to be moving backwards in terms of acceptance, rather than forward.
Despite the fact that Michigan voters passed the Medical Marijuana Act in 2008, allowing the sale of marijuana to qualifying patients, Marshall legislators are still looking for loopholes to shield against its use. Their most recent attempt relates to the sale through registered dispensaries.
Despite popular opinion related to “the munchies,” a new study suggests that marijuana users are thinner, as a whole, and less likely to fall victim to obesity than those who refrain from smoking. The study is published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, and it raises a lot of questions as to the effects of medical marijuana.
Dr. Yann Le Strat, one of the authors of the recent study, reports being so shocked by the results that he thought he had made a mistake. The results were conclusive, however, and were based on two different research groups.
Despite the fact that there are now 17 states that allow the use of medical marijuana, many patients feel as though they need to hide their prescriptions, only smoking in the privacy of the home. This is not the case in Oakland, California, however, as legal marijuana users took the streets this weekend to publicly tell the local government that the current laws do not offer enough protection.
The California Court of Appeals is set once again to hear arguments regarding Anaheim’s four year ban on medical marijuana dispensaries. This is after an Orange County Superior Court judge delivered a victory to Anaheim in ruling that the city’s ban was not in violation of state law. The controversy has been contested in various state courts since the marijuana dispensary Qualified Patients Association filed suit against the city’s ban in 2007.
Maine to Soon Implement Amended Medical Marijuana Laws
Maine is set to put into effect later this year a number of amendments to its medical marijuana statute. Among the most significant changes to the law is the fact that patients will no longer be required to register with the state to use marijuana for medical purposes. The amendments will go into effect in late September of this year.
Maryland is once again exploring a way to legalize the use of medical marijuana. The state has appointed an eighteen member group to work through May 2012 to determine the feasibility of legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
The Massachusetts legislature is once again considering permitting the physician-supervised use of medical marijuana.
House Bill 625 and its companion bill in the Senate (SB 1611) amend state law to “authorize an individual to use marijuana for medical purposes as directed by a physician.” These bills would allow authorized patients to get marijuana from state-licensed non-profit dispensaries. They would also allow patients to possess twenty-four plants and four ounces of usable marijuana for personal use.
A District Court judge in Boulder County, Colorado has ruled that the city of Longmont may enforce its ban on medical marijuana businesses, despite the fact that medical marijuana is permitted under Colorado state law. In her decision, she ruled that local communities may ban medical marijuana dispensaries because such businesses do not have a right to operate under Amendment 20 of the Colorado constitution. She also ruled that the businesses have no protected property interest that could be guarded by injunction.
The Oregon Marijuana Policy Initiative, or OMPI, recently filed a proposed initiative that would order the Oregon Health Authority to create a regulated supply and distribution system for patients using medical marijuana in the state of Oregon. The initiative must collect at least 1,000 valid signatures in order to qualify for an official ballot title, and must obtain about 85,000 signatures of registered Oregon voters in order to qualify for the Oregon general election ballot in November of 2012.
Michigan lawmakers are planning to change or clarify the state law that allows marijuana to be used for medical purposes. Still in the drafting process, the proposed bills would require stronger doctor-patient relationships before a patient could gain access to marijuana and would also likely reduce the number of Michigan’s marijuana dispensaries. Because the law was passed by the state’s voters, some of the proposed legislative changes will require three-fourths majorities in both the state’s House and Senate.
New rules adopted by Washington D.C.’s medical marijuana program must now state in writing that they assume the risk of federal prosecution for the growing or distribution of marijuana. They must also acknowledge that they may not hold the city liable for any federal arrests that result from their participation in the program. This has been done in response to a memo from the U.S. Department of Justice stating that it still considers marijuana to be illegal for all uses except for use in federally authorized research programs.
On August 11, 2011, a Tulare County Superior Court judge in California ruled that a marijuana collective cannot operate on land zoned for agricultural purposes. Judge Paul Vortmann stated, “In this state, marijuana has never been classified as a crop or horticultural product.”
Arizona residents recently voted to legalize the use of medical marijuana, but a new lawsuit filed by the state’s attorney general is bringing to light a very confusing aspect of the new law. Under Proposition 203, the act by which Arizona voters legalized marijuana for some uses, patients may grow and give the drug to other patients, but only if there are no dispensaries nearby and nothing of value is exchanged between the patients.
Arizona Attorney General is asking that the courts close down 3 Arizona Medical Marijuana clubs he claims are acting illegally.
Voters approved Arizona Medical Marijuana law via proposition 203, which is currently being held up by Arizona's governor to ensure that state employees will not face federal prosecution for administering and regulating the Arizona Medical Marijuana industry.
While most cities in Washington state are rushing to shut down dispensaries--largely in part to recent federal pressure--Seattle is embracing these organizations.
Seattle's city council is considering allowing dispensaries and co-ops to operate, as long as they are licensed by the city. To Washington Medical Marijuana advocates, this is finally a step in the right direction. Across the state, many dispensaries have been raided and their operators facing federal prosecution in the earlier parts of 2011.
In order to stem the assault on the Montana Medical Marijuana industry that has been taking place during the earlier part of 2011, a lawsuit has been filed to prevent new proposed laws from being instituted.
The Arizona Department of Health Services which regulates the Arizona Medical Marijuana program recently approved 6 applications for Medical Marijuana dispensaries to be located within the city limits.
Arizona had stopped the approval process after the recent increases in federal crackdowns on Medical Marijuana facilities across the nation. Arizona filed a lawsuit in federal court to determine if Arizona's Medical Marijuana Laws conflicted with federal drug laws.
Four Washington Medical Marijuana dispensaries were hand delivered letters by local enforcement stating they are in violation of state law, and would need to immediately cease operations.
The four dispensaries operate within the city limits of Kent, Washington. In response, the dispensary owners and some of their patients packed the City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 7 to protest these actions.