MJ News for 05/28/2014

7greeneyes

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http://www.syracuse.com/news/index....bly_passes_medical_marijuana_legislation.html




New York state Assembly passes medical marijuana legislation


ALBANY, N.Y. -- The Democratic-led state Assembly on Tuesday passed legislation that would legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes, increasing pressure on the Senate to pass it before the session concludes at the end of June.

The bill, dubbed the Compassionate Care Act, passed 91-34. The Assembly had previously passed medical marijuana legislation, and in April Democratic Speaker Sheldon Silver said if the Senate were to take up the legislation the Assembly would pass it again.

Democratic Assemblyman Richard Gottfried said particular strains of marijuana can help children with a rare form of epilepsy and patients undergoing chemotherapy.

"Lives could be made more tolerable and longer by enacting this legislation," Gottfried said.

The Assembly's passage could be a possible indicator that the Republican-led Senate is gearing up to act on medical marijuana.

Last week medical marijuana cleared its first hurdle and passed the Senate health committee, but its prospects remain uncertain. The measure would still have to clear the Republican-led finance committee and be allowed by both leaders of the Senate to go to a floor vote.

Sen. John DeFrancisco, chairman of the finance committee, did not return calls seeking comment on whether he would allow medical marijuana to be brought to a vote in committee. The bill's sponsor Sen. Diane Savino, a Staten Island Democrat, said she is confident that she has the votes needed to pass in the finance committee and in the Senate.

Due to the power sharing agreement between Republicans and a faction of five Democrats that control the Senate, each leader can block bills from being brought to the floor by using veto power. Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos has warmed up to the idea, saying he supports medical marijuana use in oil form, but has trepidation about smoking the drug.

Sen. Jeff Klein, who leads a faction of Democrats who control the Senate with Republicans, is a co-sponsor of the bill.

While Gottfried and Savino's bills are not the same, if the bills passed, the sponsors will have to adjust and consolidate them before legislation reaches Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's desk.

Cuomo, who proposed a limited medical marijuana pilot program, which would allow 20 hospitals statewide to administer the drug, has been noncommittal on the Compassionate Care Act. He would review the legislation if passed, a spokesman said.
 

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http://www.wtsp.com/story/news/health/2014/05/26/mothers-for-medical-marijuana/9614989/




(Florida) Moms form group in support of medical marijuana


Lithia, Florida – Three mothers are throwing all of their efforts into helping their children, the medical marijuana ballot measure, and those seeking guidance.

"I think we all have something in common that we never imaged… that we have a sick child," said Renee Petro.

Petro, along with Moriah Barnhart and Jacel Delgadillo have formed a group called CannaMoms -- a play off the word cannabis -- with a very serious effort to campaign for the legalization of medical marijuana.

Petro's son suffers from what's called Febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome (FIRES) and Delgadillo's son suffer from Dravet syndrome, which ravages his body daily with seizures.

Barnhart, who is from Brandon, moved to Colorado several months ago to get her daughter medical marijuana following draining cancer treatments. But now she plans to move back to Florida so that her daughter Dahlia can be around family and friends, while still giving her daughter medical marijuana legally.

"We have learned that there are several people in the State of Florida already growing and using cannabis," said Barnhart.

Under a 1991 Florida First District Court of Appeals ruling, those suffering from debilitating illnesses in which there is no safer alternative, then medical marijuana can be cultivated and used for treatment.

Barnhart is working with a lawyer right now to make a case for her daughter's "medical necessity" claim.

Her case will be watched closely by fellow CannaMom Jacel Delgadillo, whose son suffers from Dravet Syndrome. Now on the last available new treatment for the illness, Delgadillo is moving to Colorado to see treatment for her son.

"I've seen so much progress in other children. I feel that my son should have that chance," she said.

Delgadillo admits that she would rather treat her son in Florida where he can be close to family. If Barnhart's case is successfully, then she will move back.

All three women say their experiences are what the CannaMoms is all about: the regular exchange of information that can help each other and other parents who want to seek them out for information.
 

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http://www.policymic.com/articles/9...er-s-murder-rate-after-marijuana-legalization




One Meme Sums Up What Happened to Denver's Murder Rate After Marijuana Legalization


According to government data released this week, the city- and countywide murder rate has dropped 52.9% since recreational marijuana use was legalized in January. This is compared to the same period last year, a time frame encompassing Jan. 1 through April 30.

The shift accompanies a dip in violent crime overall, as sexual assault fell 13.6% and robbery and aggravated assault fell 4.8% and 3.7%, respectively.

The data pool's size is important to note, as eight murders compared to 17 in the same time frame last year may seem a blip on the radar. On the other hand, a full quarter of the year has passed. It may be too soon to definitively attribute these changes to marijuana legalization, but the possibility of a correlative pattern is certainly worth keeping an eye on.

Background: All told, the first few months of legalization have been a boon to Colorado's economy.

In March 2014 alone, taxed and legal recreational marijuana sales generated nearly $19 million, up from $14 million in February. The first three months of the year have also earned the state $7.3 million in tax revenue — $12.6 million, if you include funds generated by medical marijuana. Legal cannabis sales are projected to reach up to $2.57 billion nationwide this year.

As a direct result, the Colorado state legislature has expressed plans to spend $33 million of these funds on school nurses and public education around marijuana. Ten percent to 15% is also expected to be distributed among the state's police departments, allegedly to be used on DUI enforcement. All this despite countless efforts on Mayor Michael Hancock's part to restrict the parameters around legalization:

Time will tell who gets the last laugh.

Also: As PolicyMic's Tom McKay points out, the fallout from legalization has been far from the crime-fuelled societal collapse critics warned about. Not only is violent crime down across the board statewide, the legislation's effects can be seen in a much wider array of spaces — one being the shifting priorities of Mexican drug cartels and the marijuana growers they employ.

"I wish Americans would stop with this legalization," Mexican grower Rodrigo Silla told the Washington Post last month. According to him, the financial burden placed on growers by the legal industry in the U.S. has made cultivating cannabis "not worth it anymore."

Consequently — and unfortunately — more growers are moving into the heroin industry to compensate for lost business.

But: Amid all these developments, the legalization wave shows few signs of dissipating. According to a High Times report, nine states are currently exploring legislative changes around marijuana use, yet another indication of the plant's expanding national prioritization.

A medical marijuana legalization bill was recently introduced in North Carolina. New York and Illinois have recently seen major steps forward toward permission for medical use. In California, law enforcement agencies may soon be required to return marijuana and related items seized from people whose cases were dismissed or acquitted.

And a recent Gallup poll indicates that 60% of Americans favor "eliminating [marijuana] prohibition," a number expected to reach 75% by 2023. Put simply, we may be nearing the end of a particularly grim chapter in American legal history.
 

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http://kfor.com/2014/05/27/petition-drive-working-to-make-medical-marijuana-legal-in-oklahoma/




Petition drive working to make medical marijuana legal in Oklahoma


OKLAHOMA CITY - A Tulsa-based organization announced they will be kicking off their petition drive for getting a medical marijuana initiative on the ballot in Oklahoma.

Oklahomans for Health will kick off their official petition effort with a rally at the State Capitol in Oklahoma on Wednesday, May 28.

“This will be our official kickoff and will begin this historic campaign in Oklahoma,” said Chip Paul, a representative from Oklahomans for Health. “We need everyone’s help with this effort to make this successful. We need to gather 160,000 signatures and have to raise a significant amount of money.”

According to Oklahomans for Health, several candidates for state wide office will be speaking at the rally including Sen. Connie Johnson.

Johnson said, “I am excited about the roll out of the Oklahomans for Health medical marijuana initiative petition as yet another opportunity to have the conversations about marijuana policy reform that many Oklahomans are ready and wanting to have.”

Oklahomans for Health says they are challenging each candidate for state office to adopt a freedom agenda by supporting their efforts.

The organization says they are focused on bringing a responsible medical marijuana law to Oklahoma.

If you would like to volunteer or help with a donation, visit the Oklahomans for Health website.
 

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http://www.thejournal.ie/europe-cannabis-drugs-1488575-May2014/




Over 80 per cent of drug seizures in Europe are for cannabis


MORE THAN 80 PER cent of drug seizures in Europe are for cannabis, a massive study on drug use in Europe has found.

The study published yesterday said around one million seizures of illicit drugs are reported annual in Europe. Most of these are small quantities of drugs confiscated from users, although this total also includes multi-kilogram consignments seized from traffickers and producers.

In 2012, two-thirds of all seizures in the European Union were reported by just two countries, Spain and the United Kingdom. Smaller, but non-trivial numbers of seizures were reported by Germany, Belgium, Italy and four Nordic countries.

The map above shows that Ireland, relative to other countries, has a small number of seizures – between one and ten thousand a year.
In the UK, the number of seizures is greater than 100,000. Most of the seizures are for herbal cannabis and cannabis resin.

The annual consumption of these products can be roughly estimated at around 2 000 tonnes. Over the past ten years, the number of herbal seizures has overtaken that of resin, and now represents almost two-thirds of all cannabis seizures.

The report said this reflects the growing availability of domestically produced herbal cannabis in many countries.

The emergence of synthetic cannabinoids, chemicals that mimic the effects of cannabis, has added a new dimension to the cannabis market, according to the report.

"Most synthetic cannabinoid powders appear to be manufactured in China, and are then shipped in bulk, using established legitimate transport and distribution networks. Once in the European Union, the chemicals are typically mixed with or sprayed onto herbs and packaged as ‘legal high’ products for sale either on the Internet or via other retailers."

In the first six months of 2013, eighteen countries reported more than 1 800 seizures of synthetic cannabinoids.
 

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