The 23rd 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 31 minutes!
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Toke TV Bud Pick of the Week
Toke TV Stories of the Week
The CNN/Opinion Research poll shows 55 percent support the legalization of cannabis, while 44 percent are opposed, reports Aaron Blake at The Washington Post. The 55 percent support for legalization represents a rise of 12 points from just more than a year ago.
Polls from both Pew and Gallup have recently shown similar numbers, with majorities supporting cannabis legalization for the first time in American history. Gallup’s poll showed support for legalization at 58 percent in October.
Most Americans don’t view marijuana as being physically or mentally harmful, according to the new CNN poll. They are evenly split on whether pot is addictive, and whether it leads to other drugs. Only 19 percent describe marijuana use as a “major problem” in society today.
(Toke Signals)After making national headlines for his support of medical marijuana, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State only briefly mentioned his medical marijuana plan. Cuomo administration officials said that the program would involve distributing medical marijuana through 20 hospitals statewide, and the Department of Health would be charged with promulgating regulations.
Cuomo initially said he would share details about the plan during his State of the State address, but instead provided only limited comment. The Governor’s policy briefing book, published during his speech, outlines what amounts to a medical marijuana research program, not the comprehensive system that patients need, according to both the Drug Policy Alliance and the Marijuana Policy Project.
Critical questions remain as yet unanswered – such as which patients would be eligible, or where the marijuana for the program would come from. Administration officials have suggested they would obtain marijuana from the federal government or from supplies seized by law enforcement, but those options, while specifically outlined in the 1980 Olivieri law, are both unlikely and pose significant safety risks to patients.
Rep. Eileen Cody on Monday pre-filed House Bill 2149, a bill that would essentially gut the medical marijuana law in Washington state, in the Washington Legislature.
Rep. Cody, the chair of the House Health Care Committee, in her bill has hewn very closely to the recommendations made by the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB).
The medical marijuana patient community reacted quickly to the bill, and the reaction wasn’t a positive one. As some of us had been predicting since early 2012, “legalization” measure I-502 is being used as cover to eviscerate Washington’s medical marijuana law. Under the guise of bringing the medical marijuana community “into compliance” with recreational marijuana rules, safe access for patients is being endangered.
Once you read the bill, please contact Rep. Cody and tell her that the rights of medical cannabis patients should be preserved if she wants our votes.
“Any legislator in this state who votes for this bill, or any other legislation making it more difficult for patients to get critical healthcare in this state, should be removed from office by the voters,” Sarich said. “This is an election year, and I think our legislators, both Democrats and Republicans, may want to seriously consider that before simply casting their votes along party lines. This is the kind of legislation that voters will not ignore.”
“It’s just simply a matter of being rational and compassionate,” said Rep. Sherry Jones (D-Nashville), who sponsors HB 1385, reports Tom Humphrey at The Knoxville News-Sentinel. “It would apply to only the most severely debilitated people … children suffering a hundred seizures a day, people on chemotherapy, people with multiple sclerosis … people with a plethora of diseases.”
The Tennessee Legislature passed a bill allowing “marijuana by prescription” under state law in the 1980s, but that bill was unworkable as it required federal permission. Attempts since then have died in legislative committees, most recently in 2012.
The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana in Alaska turned in more than 46,000 signatures, about 50 percent more than the roughly 30,000 needed, reports Niraj Chokshi at The Washington Post. If the Alaska Division of Elections approves the signatures, ballot language will be prepared.
The sponsors of the legalization initiative, modeled on Colorado’s Amendment 64, said the next step will be to spread the word and garner support. “We’ll be taking our message to the voters in lots of different ways,” said Tim Hinterberger, one of the measure’s three sponsors and a professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage’s School of Medical Education.
In a sobering reminder of just how backward county governments can still be, even in California, the Fresno County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday ignored the objections of patients and banned all medical marijuana cultivation in the county’s unincorporated areas with a 5-0 vote. The ban takes effect next month.
The county is also banning medical marijuana dispensaries and collectives, leaving patients with no legal access to medicine, reports California NORML. “The Fresno ordinance is in blatant conflict with the intent of the Compassionate Use Act to ensure access to medical marijuana for all patients in medical need,” the group said in a statement.
Those who defy the ban will be fined $1,000 per plant, reports Marc Benjamin at the Fresno Bee. The ordinance also adds a fine of $100 per plant, per day for each day the plants remain after they are initially discovered.
The 37 new recreational cannabis dispensaries around the state reported first-week retail sales adding up to about $5 million, reports Matt Ferner at The Huffington Post.
Colorado expects retail cannabis sales to reach $600 million a year, from which it expects to collect almost $70 million in taxes. No official sales figures will be available before February 20, when businesses are required to file January tax reports, according to Julie Postlethwait of the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division.
Toke TV Must Read of the Week
Phytocannabinoids from the cannabis plant are a potent botanical medicine that prevent and heal diseases of the brain.
… Scientifically speaking, marijuana is good for your brain.