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The Ohio Ballot Board on Thursday certified an initiative that would establish a comprehensive medical marijuana program in Ohio. Ohioans for Medical Marijuana must now collect 305,591 valid signatures of Ohio voters by early July to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.
The five-member board reviews proposed ballot measures to ensure they represent only one issue.
Last week, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine confirmed the group submitted at least 1,000 valid signatures of Ohio voters and determined their initiative summary “is a fair and truthful statement of the proposed law.”
The summary and full text of the initiative are available online at https://www.ohioansformmj.org/initiative.
The long awaited, much anticipated UN General Assembly’s Special Session on Drugs will happen April 19-21 at the UN Headquarters in New York City, and Canada is expecting to advocate for abandoning the organization’s longstanding prohibition of marijuana.
Just a month before the important UN drug conference begins, Assistant Deputy Minister of Health Hilary Geller, at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs meeting in Vienna this month, said the new Canadian Liberal government headed by Justin Trudeau will be moving away from American War On Drugs policies, as pointed out by Lanny Swerdlow at the Marijuana Anti-Prohibition Project (MAPP),
The Canadian government plans not only to legalize marijuana, but also to open for safe-injection sites for intravenous drug users and to promote other harm-reduction policies.
Attendees at that conference, made up of government and non-governmental organization officials from around the world, “erupted in applause” mid-way through Geller’s address and gave a prolonged ovation.
A federal judge on Monday lifted the injunction which has been in place for almost 12 years prohibiting a South Dakota tribal member from cultivating industrial hemp. Other issues remain to be resolved before Alex White Plume can grow it on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Viken of South Dakota said there has been a “shifting legal landscape” since the original order was filed in 2004 against White Plume, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, reports Dave Kolpack of The Associated Press. The federal hemp laws were loosened in the 2014 Farm Bill, and marijuana has been legalized in several states in the interim.
Former North Dakota U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon, White Plume’s lawyer, said the Monday’s decision is a victory for both White Plume and tribal sovereignty.
“This order brings some justice to Native America’s first modern day hemp farmer,” Purdon said. “For over 10 years, Alex White Plume has been subject to a one-of-a-kind injunction which prevented him from farming hemp.”
Vermont could make history this spring. As Governor Peter Shumlin nears the end of his term in office, he wants the state to become the first in the union to legalize marijuana through its Legislature.
In an interview with Katy Steinmetz of Time Magazine, Gov. Shumlin said “I think the more enlightened states are trying to get ahead of this one” when it comes to cannabis legalization.
“There is no question America is going to move to a more sensible policy, state by state,” Shumlin said.
“We’re all spending huge amounts of energy focusing on the evils of pot smoking and we hardly talk about the fact that in 2010, we sold enough drugs legally through our pharmacies in the form of Oxycontin to keep every adult American high for a month,” the Governor pointed out. “That has led to death, destruction, addiction to heroin that’s affecting every state in America. And then we flip out about the possibility that we could move to a more sensible approach to marijuana.”
Steep Hill Labs on Wednesday released an open letter to the Washington State cannabis community encouraging a call to action to prevent contaminated cannabis from entering the patient and consumer supply chain.
“In a recent third party audit of certified I-502 laboratories in Washington State, cannabis contaminated with pesticides and microbiological organisms like E. coli are being passed by certain disreputable labs, which means unsafe products are getting onto shelves,” said Steep Hill CEO Jmîchaele Keller. “This is unacceptable when technology and the proper science are in place to insure safety to prevent health risk to consumers and patients.”
Recent independent third party testing, including that done upon the initiative of Ian Eisenberg of Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop in Seattle, showed many samples of I-502 recreational weed had traces of pesticides, causing concern in the community, especially among medicinal users with compromised immune systems and liver function.
Keller said Steep Hill stands with other leading labs in the industry, like Trace Analytics, who apply scientific best practices to put public health first.
A Colorado Springs cannabis club headed by a military veteran is handing out free marijuana to other veterans, hoping to give them relief from issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for chronic pain they suffer after returning home from war zones.
The Veteran Farmers Alliance over the weekend gave away more than a half-pound of weed, along with cannabis edibles, worth about $1,400, to veterans at the Dab Lounge, reports RT.com. Founder Steve Defino said other groups should be doing the same thing, and that cannabis was essential for him to deal with his PTSD, which he has battled for more than a decade.
Defino said he was prepared to spend nearly 20 times the amount he spent on Saturday at a followup event planned for Veteran’s Day in November, reports Andrew Blake at The Washington Times.
“I’ve seen other organizations operate, and I’m not very happy with the way they do it,” Defino said in an interview with KXRM. “They need to be donating more and doing more to show these guys that they actually care.”