The 22nd episode of Toke Signals TV with host Steve Elliott takes a look at some of the biggest marijuana news stories of the week.
Find out what you need to know about the week in cannabis/marijuana news, in 26 minutes!
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Toke TV Bud Pick of the Week
Toke TV Stories of the Week
At 8 a.m. on January 1, an ex-Marine named Sean Azzariti became the first person in Colorado to legally buy a bag of recreational marijuana under legalization measure Amendment 64, approved by state voters last year.
Azzariti, an Iraq veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, had been unable to buy marijuana under Colorado’s medicinal cannabis program, because PTSD isn’t an authorized condition under the state’s MMJ law, reports Niraj Chokshi at The Washington Post.
He bought an eighth ounce (3.5 grams) of Bubba Kush for $40 and some cannabis-infused truffles for $9.287, comprising the very first legal sale under Amendment 64. “It hasn’t even really sunk in fully, but it’s a huge honor to say the least,” Azzariti said, reports CBS News.
The call to the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office for a child welfare check resulted in the arrest of Chris Butts, 42, his girlfriend Sonja Franks, 46, Stephen Franks, 22, and Amber Nixon, 22, after deputies claimed they smelled marijuana when Butts answered the door, reports CullmanSense.
Chris Butts serves as the executive director of the Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition (AMMJC), a group focused on changing Alabama laws concerning medical marijuana.
The call to the sheriff’s office came from his ex-wife DJ Butts, Chris Butts claimed in a Saturday Facebook status update apparently made from the back of a police cruiser. “Was just raided,” Butts posted Saturday afternoon. “I’m in the back of a transport right now […] DJ set me up. If you are friends with her you should watch out.”
Legislation adopted this year to establish a state-regulated medical marijuana program in Illinois will go into effect Wednesday. Licensed medical marijuana cultivation and distribution facilities are expected to begin producing medical marijuana and providing it to patients in late 2014.
Patients with qualifying medical conditions will NOT be protected from arrest until the Department of Public Health has established the patient registry and approved their individual applications to the program.
“We hope state officials will work swiftly to ensure seriously ill patients no longer face legal penalties for using medical marijuana,” said Chris Lindsey, a legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “Illinois patients and their families have already waited long enough.”
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder on Monday signed a new law that would allow the state to certify “pharmaceutical-grade cannabis,” but the law can’t take effect unless and until the federal government reclassifies marijuana as a Schedule II drug, suitable for medicinal use.
Medical marijuana has been legal since voters approved an initiative legalizing it back in 2008, but remains illegal for any purpose under federal law, reports Jonathan Oosting at MLive.com. The Obama Administration, however, has pledged to respect state marijuana laws.
Senate Bill 660, which is now Public Act 268 of 2013, provides the framework for Michigan to regulate large-scale cannabis growers and sell marijuana in pharmacies if the federal government recategorizes it in the future.
A California ballot initiative to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana got a positive review from state Attorney General Kamala Harris, who last week released a summary saying legalization could save the state “hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Harris’s summary of the Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act (MCLR) explained that it would legalize under California law the use, cultivation, possession, transportation, storage and sale of cannabis, reports Robin Wilkey at The Huffington Post.
“Reduced costs in the low hundreds of millions of dollars annually to state and local governments related to enforcing certain marijuana-related offenses, handling the related criminal cases in the court system, and incarcerating and supervising certain marijuana offenders,” the fiscal analysis reads. “Potential net additional tax revenues in the low hundreds of millions of dollars annually related to the production and sale of marijuana, a portion of which is required to be spent on education, health care, public safety, drug abuse education and treatment, and the regulation of commercial marijuana activities.”
Washington State last week reminded medical marijuana dispensary operators that they “must pay taxes,” and the state Department of Revenue plans to collect back taxes from about 300 dispensaries that seem not to have paid any. But Seattle-based activist/attorney Douglas Hiatt says he’s “hopping mad” about the announcement, and he’s advising shop owners to contact him before paying anything.
The Department on Friday sent letters to dispensaries, “medible” makers, and other businesses involved in medical marijuana, emphasizing that taxes apply to their transactions, reports Bob Young at The Seattle Times. According to the Department of Revenue, about 500 registered dispensaries are already paying taxes on their earnings.
That number represents a big increase over previous DOR reports. Department spokeswoman Kim Schmanke said 102 medical marijuana businesses paid about $2.5 million in state and local taxes in 2012.
An Alabama family is celebrating their first New Year in Colorado after relocating to treat their epileptic daughter with medical marijuana.
Butch and Mandy Swann of Haleyville, Ala., moved to Colorado on September 15 with their children Allie, 14; Cy, 6; and Carter, 2. Allie has violent seizures that brain surgery and potent pharmaceuticals haven’t helped, reports Martin J. Reed at Al.com.
The parents administer three oral doses of marijuana-derived CBD oil, containing cannabidiol, to Allie every day in order to control her seizures.
Toke TV Must Read of the Week
By Ron Marczyk
“The DEA had ignored accumulating evidence of marijuana’s benefits, and so acted “arbitrarily and capriciously” in rejecting the rescheduling petition last year. Federal law requires the agency to take such evidence into account, accusing the Department of Health and Human Services of creating a Catch-22 for medical marijuana advocates by strictly limiting researchers’ access to marijuana, then arguing there is insufficient scientific evidence to merit rescheduling it.”
The present day drug scheduling is an incomplete scale in that it only lists negatives!
Medical marijuana does not fit into the present drug schedule; this unique medicine is so special that its multitude of many actions creates its own stand-alone category, a “positive side,” mirror-image type of drug scheduling.
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of Toke Signals and Indie Media Weekly