The 11th episode of Toke Signals TV with host Steve Elliott takes a look at some of the biggest marijuana news stories of the past week.
Find out what you need to know about the week in cannabis/marijuana news, in 25 minutes!
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Toke TV Bud Pick of the Week
Toke TV Stories of the Week
Amendment 64, approved by voters last November, didn’t just legalize small amounts of marijuana for adults — it also cleared the way for industrial hemp production. Farmer Ryan Loflin wasted no time; he planted 55 acres of hemp this past spring, reports Melanie Asmar at Westword.
Hemp advocates from across the United States came to watch last week as Loflin and his crew harvested the first plants by hand. “It felt very historic,” said advocate Lynda Parker.
“We think that, obviously, this is a symbolic first hemp harvest,” said Eric Steenstra, executive director of the Hemp Industries Association (HIA). Steenstra predicted that farmers in other states will soon follow Loflin’s lead.
Anyone over 18 years old cited for 10 grams or less of cannabis will no longer have to make a court appearance, reports Ryan Grenoble at The Huffington Post; their “offense” won’t be entered into their permanent record. Violators will have to pay a fine of 100 Swiss Francs, about $110, and then will be free to go.
Marijuana laws were relaxed in a try to unify cannabis policies that had varied from one area of the country to another. Decrim is also expected to save money by reducing marijuana-related court cases, of which there are 30,000 per year in Switzerland, reports Adam Withnall at The Independent.
The wording of a proposal to legalize medical marijuana in Arkansas was approved on Thursday by state Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, and supporters are now gathering signatures to qualify for next year’s ballot.
The group will need 62,507 signatures from registered voters in order to appear on the November 2014 ballot, reports The Associated Press.
Atty. Gen. McDaniel certified the wording of the proposal fromArkansans for Compassionate Care, the same group behind an initiative that was narrowly rejected (49 percent yes, 51 percent no) by voters last year.
The proposal would allow authorized patients with qualifying conditions to buy cannabis from nonprofit dispensaries or to grow their own marijuana if they don’t have reasonable access to transportation to a dispensary. Sales tax revenues from the dispensaries would first cover the costs of administering the program, and the remainder would be split evenly between the Newborn Umbilical Cord Initiative Fund and state drug education programs.
Two Wisconsin Democrats are trying again to legalize marijuana for medical use. Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) and Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) held a Thursday news conference to announce a new medical marijuana bill, saying cannabis can provide pain relief that other medication doesn’t.
Erpenbach and Taylor are cosponsoring the Jacki Rickert Medical Cannabis Act, which would legalize cannabis for medicinal purposes. The bill is named after medical marijuana patient Rickert, who is in a wheelchair. “What is (getting) high?” Rickert asked. “Living or gaining weight?”
Sen. Erpenbach called Gary Storck, a medical marijuana patient and advocate for its legalization, “the most persistent constituent in Wisconsin,” reports Jessica Vanegeren at The Capital Times. Storck, 58, has been lobbying Erpenbach and others to legalize medical marijuana, which he has been using for 41 years to treat his glaucoma.
Members believe the medical marijuana initiative has a better chance than an all-or-nothing attempt for outright legalization, according to a Weed Wyoming press release.
Which state will be next to legalize marijuana? What do the Obama Administration’s recent announcements about marijuana legalization and mandatory minimums really mean? What are some solutions to the national overdose crisis that takes more lives than car accidents or gun violence?
Why do blacks go to jail for drugs at 13 times the rate of whites even though they use and sell drugs at similar rates? What role can faith leaders play in organizing and mobilizing their congregations to end the drug war?
More than 1,000 people will gather to ponder these questions and many more at the International Drug Policy Reform Conference in Denver, October 23-26 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel.
A Louisiana man was sentenced to 20 years in prison earlier this month for possessing 15 grams of marijuana, barely over half an ounce.
Corey Ladd, 27, was sentenced in New Orleans on September 4; he had prior drug convictions, reports Bill Quigley at AlterNet. As a “multiple offender,” he was sentenced to “20 years hard labor at the Department of Corrections.”
“A sentence of 20 years in prison for possessing a substance that is safer than alcohol is out of step with Louisiana voters, national trends, and basic fairness and justice,” said Karen O’Keefe, a former New Orleans resident who now works as director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).
Must Reads of the Week
By Regina Pickett Garson (Toke Signals)
This story is about Mule Day 2013 in Winfield, Alabama. Or it was.My intent was to write a blistering editorial about how the Mule Day festival organizers kicked AMMJC, a patient advocacy group out of the festival. A patient advocacy group… no, it is not a typo.
And, yes, they filled out the application in a timely manner, paid their fees, did their homework, set up properly, and did everything else they were supposed to do. And, no, they weren’t misbehaving. It had something to do with pictures of a green leaf and some city ordnance that still hadn’t been located by the time the AMMJC group had been unceremoniously ordered to leave.
To make it all so much more interesting, the AMMJC had also invited a couple thousand some odd friends, family, neighbors and supporters from throughout the South to come out and support them and Mule Day as well. A fair number showed up… kind of got interesting when they started looking for the AMMJC booth though.
By Ron Marczyk (Toke Signals)Medical marijuana treats so many human illnesses so well due to its stimulation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Why is this so?
Because the present day medical therapeutic application is based on the evolution of the endocannabinoid system and the psychology of our species.
Together, there is nothing more natural than medical marijuana and how it works in the human body. Let me explain.
By Steve Elliott (Seattle Weekly)
It’s a paradigm-changer. With booths lined up side by side, patients are in the driver’s seat. If one farmer/vendor doesn’t have the strains or the prices you’re looking for, keep walking—there’s another booth right there. And you can try the medicine, on the spot, at many booths—lots of them keep a pipe on hand just for that purpose.
Not only does this exert downward pressure on prices through good old free-market competition, but it also puts upward pressure on quality, because if your strains or medibles don’t measure up to your neighbors’, guess where folks are going to spend their money?
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