Tag Archives: Cannabis

Oregon to Vote on Marijuana Legalization in November


The Oregon secretary of state’s office completed the legalization trifecta this afternoon when they announced the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act of 2012 (OCTA) officially qualified for the November ballot. Oregon now joins Washington and Colorado on the list of states whose voters will have the opportunity to end cannabis prohibition this fall.

Supporters ended up turning in 88,887 valid signatures, slightly over 1,000 more than required for qualification. The initiative will appear on the Oregon ballot as “Measure 80.” According to the campaign, Measure 80 would “regulate cannabis (marijuana) for adults 21 years of age and older, with commercial sales only through state-licensed stores. Ninety percent of tax revenue, estimated at more than $140 million annually, would go to the state’s battered general fund. Seven percent of tax proceeds would go toward funding drug treatment programs, and much of the remaining revenue would be directed toward kickstarting and promoting Oregon’s hemp food, fiber and bio-fuel industries.” Read more at NORML.org.


Medical Marijuana Industry and Political News

There’s no shortage of news to talk about this week with Congress’ decision on Obamacare. We’re looking forward to seeing how this effects medical marijuana patients and access to the medicine in the future. Many see medical marijuana as any other pharmaceutical, yet the government doesn’t usually share that view. It will be interesting to see how it is treated under the Health Care Reform.

Other news around the country:

New Jersey to Grow This Summer. According to Big Buds Magazine, the first of two New Jersey dispensaries is on its way to opening this summer. While Medical Marijuana has been legal in the Garden State for two years, it has taken this long to certify vendors and facilities. The Compassionate Care Facility will employ about 50 people. Read more…

New Hampshire Fails to Override MMJ Veto. SB 409 sought to allow for the personal possession, cultivation, and use of cannabis by qualified patients and was vetoed by Governor John Lynch. While the House largely supported the bill, Senate was more torn and failed to achieve the 2/3 vote needed to override the veto. The veto garnered 13 or the required 16 votes. Read more…

Chicago Decriminalizes Small Amounts of Marijuana. Cannabis Culture: “Supporters said the Chicago measure, which takes effect on August 4, would help raise revenue for the city, save money and free up police to pursue more serious crimes..The issue of deploying police to handle more serious crimes is particularly pressing this year in Chicago, which has seen a 37 percent spike in its murder rate.” Read more…

In related news, check out this great graphic from The Chicago Reader about how 86% of those arrested in Chicago for marijuana possession are black (click to enlarge):

Top News of the Week

Support comes from an unlikely source this week as a notably conservative politician’s daughter publicly endorses marijuana legalization, while New York takes great steps in legalizing medical marijuana. Rhode Island meanwhile lessens the punishment for possessing marijuana; possessing an ounce or less will become a civil violation with a $150, like a ticket. Read on for the full stories.

Meghan McCain Speaks Out in Support of Legalization

The Arizona conservative Senator’s daughter went on a cross-country roadtrip with liberal comedian Michael Ian Black. They toured cultural sites, discussed gay marriage and gun rights, and wrote it all down for us to read in America, You Sexy Bitch: A Love Letter to Freedom.

On the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, she discusses why she supports the legalization of marijuana:

California Hospital Denies transplant for Legal MMJ User

Patient Toni Trujillo has been on the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s transplant list waiting for a kidney for six years…until now. Trujillo has been using medical marijuana legally for two years to stimulate her appetite and increase and maintain protein levels while on dialysis, yet she was removed from the list for “substance abuse.”

This isn’t the first time this has happened, either.  Last year the hospital removed a man with inoperable liver cancer from their transplant list for the same reason – legally smoking marijuana. Without the transplant, doctors expect him to die within 90 days.

From DrugFree.org:
Sally Stewart, a spokesperson for the hospital, said marijuana users can be exposed to a type of mold that can cause deadly disease among patients whose immune systems are compromised. They also are at risk of a fatal lung infection after transplantation, she told the newspaper. “We do not make a moral or ethical judgment about people who are smoking medical marijuana. Our concern is strictly for the health and safety of our patients,” she said.

NY General Assembly Approves Medical Marijuana Bill; RI Decriminalizes

The same day that Rhode Island Governor Chafee signed a bill to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, the New York State Assembly approved a bill to allow qualified patients to possess medical marijuana. The vote passed 90-50, setting a positive note for the Senate vote. Similar legislation have previously been stopped twice in the Senate, but supporters are optimistic for AB7347’s passing. Tell your New York Senator to support the bill here.




Forthcoming Obama Biography Reveals Details of Regular Marijuana Use


Drug Policy Alliance

A forthcoming biography on President Obama is making headlines, with new details about the president smoking marijuana with his teenage friends in Hawaii.

David Maraniss’ book, “Barack Obama: The Story,” describes Obama as a marijuana enthusiast: “When a joint was making the rounds, he often elbowed his way in, out of turn, shouted ‘Intercepted!’ and took an extra hit,” Maraniss writes. Maraniss also describes Obama’s technique of “roof hits” while hot-boxing cars. “When the pot was gone, they tilted their heads back and sucked in the last bit of smoke from the ceiling,” he writes. Obama has been less than shy about his drug use in the past, writing about the topic in “Dreams from My Father.” “Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it,” he writes in the memoir.

While Obama’s term began with great promise for drug policy reformers, in the past two years it has been difficult to distin¬guish Obama’s drug policies from those of his White House predecessors. Although President Obama has acknowledged that legalization is “an entirely legitimate topic for debate” – the first time a sitting president has made such a statement – his administra¬tion has made a string of increasingly disappointing moves over the last year. Half of all U.S. drug arrests are for marijuana – more than 850,000 Americans were arrested for marijuana in 2010 alone, 88 percent for mere possession.  Read more.