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The campaign in support of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) on Tuesday applauded the announcement by Secretary of State Alex Padilla that the measure has officially qualified for the November 8 General Election ballot in California.
“Today marks a fresh start for California, as we prepare to replace the costly, harmful and ineffective system of prohibition with a safe, legal and responsible adult-use marijuana system that gets it right and completely pays for itself,” said Jason Kinney, spokesperson for the Adult Use of Marijuana Act.
“This measure reflects years of hard work, diverse stakeholder input and broad, bipartisan public support,” Kinney said. “A growing majority of Californians support a smarter approach to marijuana and we’re gratified that voters will finally have the opportunity in November to pass comprehensive, common-sense policy that protects children, local control, public health and public safety, saves state and local taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, funds critical local programs, and serves as a model for the rest of the nation.”
The coalition of endorsers in support of AUMA is the largest ever formed in support of marijuana policy reform in the state, according to organizers. Public opinion polls over the past two years have repeatedly shown growing support among California voters for statewide marijuana legalization – most recently by the Public Policy Institute of California (May 25).
Artisanal mom-and-pop cannabis cultivators and medical marijuana providers have expressed concern that AUMA unduly favors deep-pocketed corporations over small business entrepreneurs.
The secretary of state set the final wording of the ballot question last week. It reads, “Do you want to allow the possession and use of marijuana under state law by persons who are at least 21 years of age, and allow the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products subject to state regulation, taxation and local ordinance?”
“The wording of our ballot question is far more important than the order in which it will appear,” said Yes On 1 Campaign Manager David Boyer. “It conveys to voters that the cultivation and sale of marijuana for adult use will be subject to regulation, taxation, and local control.
“We are pleased, as those themes comprise the core of our initiative and help explain the benefits of ending marijuana prohibition,” Boyer said. “Residents of Maine will be hearing a lot more about regulation, taxation, and local control as we spend the next four months encouraging them to vote ‘Yes’ on Question 1.
The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) submitted 258,582 total signatures to the Arizona Secretary of State. With 150,642 valid signatures of Arizona voters needed to place the measure on the ballot, that appears to be a comfortable margin. The secretary of state is expected to determine whether the initiative has qualified by late August.
“We are very encouraged by the strong levels of support and enthusiasm we found among voters during the petition drive,” said CRMLA Chairman J.P. Holyoak. “Arizonans are ready to end the antiquated policy of marijuana prohibition and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.
“We look forward to continuing the public conversation about the initiative, and we think most will agree it is a sensible step forward for our state,” Holyoak said.
U.S. Senator Steve Daines, U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and nine members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives on June 27 urged Congressional leadership to include a provision in the final funding bill sent to the president that protects veterans’ ability to discuss the use of medical marijuana with VA physicians in states where it is legal.
Although the provision passed both chambers of Congress, it was removed in the conferenced appropriations for Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies.
The Fiscal Year 2017 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act Conference Report failed to include Senators Daines and Jeff Merkley’s (D-OR) and Earl Blumenauer’s (D-OR) amendments that would allow for parity between VA and non-VA facilities in 26 states which have medical marijuana programs. The amendment does not change current laws preventing the possession or dispensing of marijuana on VA property, but simply allows veterans to discuss all options that are legally available in their state with their VA doctor.
“The Conferees failed to include a provision passed by bipartisan votes in the House and Senate that would allow VA doctors to discuss medical marijuana and make recommendations regarding its use in states where it is legal,” the members wrote. “We strongly believe the inclusion of either the House or Senate language in the final text should have been nonnegotiable. We feel the failure of the Conferees to include either provision is a drastic misfortune for veterans and is contrary to the will of both chambers as demonstrated by the strong bipartisan support for these provisions,” the members wrote.
The Colorado Health Research Council (CHRC) on Friday announced that it has formed to oppose Amendment 139, a constitutional amendment that would order the Legislature to set a limit of no more than 16 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) of any cannabis product sold at a state-licensed retail store, while also putting packaging and labeling requirements that already exist directly into the state Constitution.
“While likely well-intended, proponents of the hastily drafted measure are suggesting that we amend our constitution in a way that would have devastating unintended consequences to the citizens and economy of Colorado,” the group announced in a prepared statement.
Many Coloradans, including veterans suffering from PTSD, rely on cannabis as an effective and safe medicine. This bill would directly impact those using medical cannabis, including Jack Splitt, according to the CHRC.
Jack is a Colorado student and the namesake for “Jack’s Law,” a bill recently passed by the Colorado Legislature that allows students to get the medicine they need in Colorado schools. Jack suffers from severe spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, which causes all of Jack’s muscles to contract uncontrollably in painful full body muscle contractions.
Wake-and-bake options will expand in California this September when 1PM Industries, which just expanded its operations from Northern California to the southern part of the state, plans to introduce infused coffee creamer.
1PM on Wednesday announced that the Company has expanded its Von Baron Farms products to Southern California area. According to the company, it began delivering product to dispensaries in Southern California on Monday, June 27.
The company will begin holding its Southern California product demo days on July 7.
Von Baron Farms began selling its medical marijuana products to dispensaries in California in January 2016, and is currently selling its products in approximately 40 Northern California dispensaries. 1PM announced it has begun its final phase of development on its THC infused coffee creamers, which are expected to launch in September 2016.
Last week Derrick Morgan, starting outside linebacker for the Tennessee Titans, became the second active NFL player to call on the league to support cannabis research in order to see how specific compounds in the plant can help treat or prevent chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE.)
“If there’s any evidence that this could help players, they owe it to us to explore it,” Morgan told USA Today. “You hear about a lot of former players suffering from depression and dementia. Or the suicides,” Morgan said. “[The NFL] could and should be a leader in this. If there’s any evidence that this could help players, they owe it to us to explore it … It’s a legitimate ask.”
Morgan went on to tell Katie Couric in an exclusive interview: “Given how much influence the NFL has on society, I think it would help the greater good. There’s a lot of people suffering and a lot of people that can benefit from cannabis as a medical treatment.”
Morgan, a current executive MBA candidate at the University of Miami, took notice when seven-year NFL veteran Eugene Monroe became an outspoken advocate for “When The Bright Lights Fade,” a PSA and fundraising campaign aimed to help endow a series of pilot research studies that examine the impact of cannabinoid therapies on current and former NFL players.
“After researching, finding out more and more about it, I realized this is something guys should know about,” Morgan said.