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Health Minister Sussan Ley announced on Wednesday afternoon that amendments to the Narcotic Drugs Act of 1967, which passed the House of Representatives on Tuesdday, had also successfully passed the Senate, reports Josh Butler at The Huffington Post Australia.
The new law will allow access to medicinal cannabis products for patients suffering from serious illnesses, by allowing the cultivation of the plant for medical and scientific purposes.
“This is an historic day for Australia and the many advocates who have fought long and hard to challenge the stigma around medical cannabis products so genuine patients are no longer treated as criminals,” Ley said.
A Canadian Federal Court judge on Wednesday struck down regulations restricting the rights of medical marijuana patients to grown their own cannabis. The judge gave the Liberal government six months to come up with new rules.
Judge Michael Phelan ruled in Vancouver that the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations were an infringement on charter rights and declared they have “no force and effect,” reports CBC News.
The judge suspended his declaration for six months, to give the federal government time to come up with new rules for medical marijuana.
Judge Phelan also ordered that an earlier injunction, allowing thousands of Canadians with prior medical marijuana authorizations to continue to grow it at home, remains in effect. But Wednesday’s ruling did not extend that to cover new patients.
With a quick prayer, a group of Georgia parents are preparing to very publicly break the marijuana laws. The room full of parents who have kids they believe can benefit from cannabis oil agreed that they will not be defeated by the recent gutting of the state’s medical marijuana legislation.
“The governor has asked us to break federal law; the governor has asked us to break another state’s law,” parent Vince Seivert said, reports Christopher S. Hopper at WXIA.
Some saw House Bill 722 as the logical successor after House Bill 1 passed last year, allowing Georgia parents to use and possess non-psychoactive CBD oil, derived from cannabis. Parents and patients were hoping HB 722 would make it easier for them to obtain their medicine.
But on Wednesday, the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee approved a gutted version of HB 722 that stripped out in-state cultivation language. In the version of the bill passed by the committee on Wednesday, post-traumatic stress disorder was added back to the list of authorized illnesses that can be treated with cannabis oil.
The high court, in a 6-1 decision, ruled that the restrictions placed on medical marijuana by the Montana Legislature in 2011 are a “rational response” to the rapid growth in medical marijuana patients from 2008 to 2010, reports Mike Dennison at MTN News. Never mind that the stuff actually works, unlike most harsh, toxic Big Pharma products; that just couldn’t be why the program was so popular, now could it?
The number of authorized medical marijuana patients in Montana rose from about 1,000 in 2008 to more than 30,000 in 2010. Dispensaries opened around the state, just as was intended by the people when they, in 2004, voted to approve marijuana as medicine.
One part of the 2011 restrictions that was struck down in Thursday’s ruling was the ban on medical marijuana dispensaries charging for their products. But the court left intact a provision that said providers can only have three clients.
U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) on the House floor Wednesday, addressed the serious opioid abuse epidemic across America, highlighting medical marijuana as an alternative to highly addictive prescription opioids in treating chronic pain.
In his remarks, Congressman Blumenauer called for further reforms to our medical marijuana laws, including making sure our Veterans – who are frequently prescribed opioids – are able to discuss medical marijuana as an alternative treatment option with their Veterans Administration providers in states where it is legal.
Rep. Blumenauer on Feb. 3 reintroduced H.R. 667, the Veterans Equal Access Act, to address this and will once again offer it as an amendment during consideration of the FY 2017 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill this year.
“Last night, ‘Frontline’ on PBS had a compelling documentary on the opioid and heroin epidemic,” Rep. Blumenauer said. “We’re now seeing politicians diving in – governors across the country sounding the alarm. It’s being featured by presidential candidates of both parties.”
Former Attorney General Eric Holder — who once had the power to unilaterally begin the process of rescheduling marijuana, but didn’t use it — now says he agrees that cannabis should be reclassified under federal law.
“I certainly think it ought to be rescheduled,” Holder said in a newly published interview with PBS. “You know, we treat marijuana in the same way that we treat heroin now, and that clearly is not appropriate.”
“It’s nice to have Holder’s support for this sensible policy change, but it would have been a lot better if he’d exercised the power to get marijuana rescheduling done while he was still in office,” Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, told Hemp News on Wednesday morning. “We know that Holder and President Obama are good friends, so I hope the former attorney general encourages his former boss and his successor Loretta Lynch to follow through during these final months of the administration and get the job done.
“There’s absolutely no reason marijuana should be in Schedule I, and it would be absurd to keep passing the buck to Congress when federal law clearly gives the administration the power to act,” Holder said.
“Most of the Super Tuesday states are historically Red states, and while that might be true today, many of these states are considering passing laws in favor of medical marijuana,” Dinenberg said. “Alabama, Georgia, and Texas are considering legislation.
“Others, such as Vermont and Massachusetts, already have medical marijuana and now are considering recreational,” Dinenberg said. “Of course, Alaska and Colorado have recreational use.”
Dinenberg pointed out that Donald Trump is leading in the polls in every Super Tuesday state that has passed or is considering medical or recreational marijuana. “Mr. Trump is on record supporting states’ rights,” Dinenberg said. “While he doesn’t favor federal legalization, his pro-states’ rights just might be enough to fend off his competitors.”